Friday, January 25, 2013

Waiting on Warmer Days

I picked this Lilies of the Valley shot from May 2011 to reprocess with SnapArt filters.  This shot is a composite of three different rendering:
  • a charcoal pencil sketch
  • cold-press paper watercolor
  • an impasto-style oil painting

I took the original photo from ground level. The noon-day sun illuminated the blooms from almost directly over-head.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Springing Ahead

Touching upon my recent passion for biking the rail trail and photographing wild flowers, I just read a new release via EurekaAlert!

The title, In the Eastern US, spring flowers keep pace with warming climate, says it all.
MADISON – Using the meticulous phenological records of two iconic American naturalists, Henry David Thoreau and Aldo Leopold, scientists have demonstrated that native plants in the eastern United States are flowering as much as a month earlier in response to a warming climate.
Here's an additional link: An early sign of spring, earlier than ever.

Last year's wildflower pictures started in early April.  I'll b sure to venture out earlier to confirm this trend.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Favorite Pictures of 2012

One of the sites I follow, Digital Photography School, recently had a posting on Best Photos of 2012.  Not surprisingly, I wasn't featured.  It did get me to review my own work with an eye toward what my favorites would be.  This was tougher than I thought.  Not that much jumped out and said "Great picture!"

However, now that I've made my selections, I find it difficult to pare it down to the top ten or top twelve.  It will have to be the top fourteen:

  1. The Rue Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides)

  2. Purple-flowered raspberry (Rubus odoratus)

  3. Forget-me-not (Myosotis scorpioides)

  4. Orange day lily

  5. Great White Egret (Ardea alba)

  6. Hibiscus

  7. Warm Mineral Springs stream, Florida

  8. Woodburn Hall on WVU's downtown campus

  9. Snowy Egret (Egretta thula)

  10. Blue Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum)

  11. Sweet Goldenrod (Solidago odora)

  12. Valley Falls State Park

  13. Prickett's Fort State Park blacksmith shop window

  14. Forks of Cheat Baptist Church

Suddenly, Last Summer

Instead of going out and shooting new pictures, I've once again gone back to work with older shots.  In this case, I worked with a straight-on shot of Woodburn Hall that I took early in the morning of June 8, 2012.

The shot was taken with my Canon EF20-35mm f/3.5-4.5 USM wide-angle lens and a polarizing filter.  Blue skies, anyone?

I adjusted for some minor pin-cushioning on the sides by using the Perspective Crop tool in PhotoShop CS6.  One of the other things that had earlier held me back from working this picture is that lawn sprinklers were going in the right-front of the building.  I edited that out with a combination of Stamp tool and copying in a portion from another picture where the sprinkler had changed position.  The results are not unpleasing.

As long as I was messing around, I thought I'd have a little fun with the SnapArt filter.  Here's the Woodburn shot processed as an Impasto-style oil painting:

It looks much better as a full-screen image than it does here on the blog page.  Give the image a click and see for yourself.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

StewArt Hall

It's somewhat of a cop-out to start the year posting some old pictures from March of 2010, but -- hey -- it's got to be better than nothing, right?

Can you guess what this is?  If you can, then you're pretty good on your Morgantown architecture.  It's the mascaron figure on the far left corbel beneath the balcony of Stewart Hall. 

Judging from the patterns around these faces, I suspect that these mascaron figures seem to represent a generic "Green Man" --  a  sculpture, drawing, or other representation of a face surrounded by or made from leaves. Branches or vines may sprout from the nose, mouth, nostrils or other parts of the face and these shoots may bear flowers or fruit.

Here are the rest of the faces in closeup, starting on the other side, with the second and third from the left: