080218: August

Seems like summer has barely begun and all of a sudden it is August, to me at least. I’ve been so busy in my studio that I’ve barely been outdoors. I thought of that as I was putting this post together. I started off with some fresh fossil images but soon veered away toward images from past forays in the car and on foot – simply put, I needed to remind myself that there is a world beyond the studio!

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So here we go outdoors – from an old locomotive to a hummingbird et al.

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Thanks for the visit.

072618: Three Groupings

I’ve been going in a few different directions lately as today’s post reflects. Group One consists of  images of pods from the baptisia plant. I know nothing about gardening. But I do know when it’s time to cut something down and bring it into the studio! Group Two is made up of new fossil images. And Group Three is a selection of new mixed media pieces I am working on.

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Thanks for the visit.

071818: Bones

While browsing my photo library last week I kept noticing how many images of bones I have accumulated – not so surprising for all the time I’ve spent in museums and their various storage rooms. So today’s topic is bones large and small – from a bird skull to a whale’s jaw.

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Last week’s post ended with a photoshop “gimmick” as I described it – flopping half of an image to create symmetry – and when you can sometimes get away with it. A lot has to do with the subject matter, how it is cropped, how it meshes, etc. Well, the bones seemed appropriate and that led me on a little side trip. I liked it so much that I grabbed a few fossil images (equally appropriate) and even an old image of a leaf.

I hope you enjoy this small selection of oddities!

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Thanks for the visit.

071218: Back to the Library

Once again I’ve been diving into my library of images from my shooting at the various divisions of the Florence Museum of Natural History. Today’s images are some of the more interesting and odder outtakes from a variety of its collections – Mammals, Reptiles, Entomology, Echinoderms, Paleontology, and Botanica.

So, from whale bones and reptiles to butterflies and fossils (and much in between):

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These last two images need a bit of explanation. Gorgonocephalus agassizi, otherwise known as underwater “basket stars,” remind me of Medusa, the Greek mythological monster with snakes instead of hair. Interesting enough, as the image above shows. The second basket star (below), found off Cape Cod in 1888, seemed to call out for a different treatment.

There are some Photoshop “tricks” that can easily become rather “gimmicky” and wise to avoid using. But sometimes a particular image just lends itself to the gimmick. And, used carefully and judiciously, it can provide some very interesting results. In this case, the horizontal flop gave me something natural as well as unnatural, an eye-catching symmetry from meandering randomness! More on this “trick” next week.

Thanks for the visit.

053118: A Rediscovered Folder

A year ago, as we prepared a party for the opening of my new studio, I threw a few hundred image into a slide show that looped on my computer screen throughout the afternoon.

Yesterday I ran across that folder – hadn’t seen it since then. I took some time to look through it and took a liking to this seemingly unlikely mix. I guess it’s an indication of the things I found interesting at the time – all things natural, I suppose.

Some things local and some things from far away, including “natural” objects from the Natural History Museum in Florence, Italy.

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Thanks for the visit.

052418: A Visit to the Quarry

I had an opportunity a few days ago to drop by my favorite local quarry. In earlier days I would dig there weekly. But lately my visits are few and far between. On these recent  returns I often feel like I’m visiting a fresh, new site.

The owner cuts into the side of the hill, taking ground fill and crushed rock away for his construction sites. Seldom are there any fossils in that part of the quarry. Instead, though, there are fine shooting opportunities as these first five images indicate. (By the way, the hill off in the distance is part of the eastern escarpment of the Catskills).

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Eventually, I made my way to the shelf that contains the fossils. There are always plenty to find. So today’s post is the result of that one trip – a nice selection of mostly ordinary 387 million year old marine invertebrate fossils, all dirty and broken but fascinating nonetheless.

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One surprise for me this trip were these gastropods I found – not particularly special but not often found at this site.

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Thanks for the visit.

051718: Leaves Left

I am constantly brushing leaves aside whenever I’m rummaging through the many fossil laden rocks that surround my studio.

Here in the northeast, these leaves bring us beautiful colors during autumn. The rest of the time we generally look past them as they blend (decay) into the forest floor.

 This week, rather than ignore them, I decided instead to focus on a handful of last autumn’s leaves.

Even in decay, nature provides beauty!

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Thanks for the visit.

041218: Nature in Abstract

Today’s mix of images reflect, to me at least, a simple beauty in the world that surrounds us. Sometimes it takes a moment to stop and look a bit closer. These images speak to a series of those moments that I wish to share.

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A fine endnote for today – our first flower of the spring!

Thanks for the visit.

040518: Maine on My Mind

Generally, when many people think of Maine they often conjure up images of lobsters (and lobster boats), or perhaps moose if they go inland. I, on the other hand, remain mesmerized by its coastal rocks. The ability of nature and natural forces to create such beauty continues to amaze and astound me!

Last summer Cindy and I had to cancel our annual trip to Maine at the last minute. As disappointing as that was, it now gives us all the more reason to already be counting the days until our trip this summer.

Until then, I satisfy myself with trips through my photo libraries, reviewing past shooting experiences “Down East.” So, for today’s post, I managed to pull together a group of images that had been previously passed over. I think they work pretty well. I hope you do too.

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Thanks for the visit.

031518: Waiting for Spring

As I was reworking this fossil image I realized a desperate need for some color in my life. Three nor’easters in the first two weeks of March have tested my resolve as I (and many others) await the first real signs of Spring.

Drab, colorless days have forced me back into my libraries in search of colorful signs of life. So the rest of today’s post is a riot of colors that (hopefully) will soon be upon us – personally well needed given that snow is falling once again as I write this!

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Thanks for the visit.