Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Abstract Photo, Good Fences, Wkend in B&W - Sept 3-6: "Wrought Iron"

NF Photography Abstract Photo prompt alternates with a Digital Art creation every other Wednesday

Good Fences asks us to post fence photos each Thursday.

Weekend in Black and White is a prompt to post a black and white photo each weekend.

Simple can be unsophisticated, but it can also be elegant. It is usually basic, straightforward and uncomplicated.

My original photo is simply a small section of wrought iron fence and the shadow it casts on a sidewalk.

ABSTRACT ART attempts to achieve an aesthetic effect with lines, shapes, colors, and textures without depicting objects as they really are. It may be representational  or nonrepresentational. It can be simple or complicated.

My abstraction was created by taking parts of my black and white photo, rotating, scaling, overlapping, and coloring them. The abstract is much more COMPLICATED than the original photo.  It is not as straightforward, but it is more interesting visually.  

Some people prefer one over the other, but simple and complicated both have their merits. 

I'm taking a 2-week break.
I hope to have a bunch of new photos by the time I return the week of Sept 21st.

"Wrought Iron"
original black and white photo
taken at North Park, Allegheny County, PA
"Wrought Iron"
abstraction created from the photo above

Friday, August 29, 2014

Black and White Weekend - 8/29/14: "Train"

asks us to post a black and white photo. No spot colors. No sepia. Black and white, only.

See my photostream on Flickr:
Below my name, click on albums to find a particular type of photo (Black and White, Landscape, Still Life, Autumn Scenes, Bridges, Animals, Art Created from My Photos, etc.)

Antique locomotive, Pioneer Museum
Flagstaff, Arizona

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Good Fences - 8/28/14: "Iron Gate"

Good Fences Thursday asks us to post a photo of a fence or gate each week.

Sometimes I feel like all the fences in my images look alike. There are about three or four basic types in this area, so it's difficult to find a unique one.

I spent three days at the beginning of August driving around the area, looking for interesting fences or, at least, interesting things behind them. But at home I was looking for another photo on my computer and came across this image which I took in 2011. I had forgotten I had it.

My local Photo Meetup group was meeting for dinner in a section of Pittsburgh called The Strip District. Except for a few farmers' markets scattered through the city,  is the closest thing we have to a  permanent fresh-produce market with various vendors selling produce, bakery, cheese, T-shirts, and just about anything else you'd want. In the summer it has a street-fair atmosphere, especially on Saturday mornings. From 1978-1987, I lived nearby and shopped there often.

The restaurant was a few blocks from that area. I arrived early so walked around the neighborhood taking photos of various things that caught my eye.

And this gate in front of a garage door certainly caught my eye. To me, it looks like it was custom made by a blacksmith or artist. And what made it doubly interesting were the shadows that resulted from the low evening sun.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Digital Art - 8/27/14 "Dissonant Doors"

NF Photography prompt: Digital Art

For those who think they aren't good at creating abstracts, I have created 3 easy lessons on creating successful abstract designs in any media.  If you are interested, you can find "Lesson 1: Color" by clicking HERE.   Lesson 1 has a link to "Lesson 2: UNITY" which has a link to "Lesson 3: ADDING VARIETY."  
"Dissonant Doors"
Although I create dozens of abstract designs from my photos each year, once in a while I come up with something I really love.  I think I like this one because it has more of a painterly feel to it than some of my other digital creations. Of course, I made five or six versions before I came up with this one.  I love digital because I can experiment without wasting materials.
Of course that says nothing about the TIME I waste.
And, of course, I make great use of the undo button.
Keep scrolling down to see the images I used and the steps I took to create this image  in their captions and why I chose this title. (Click on any image for larger views of all images, then click the X in the upper right to return to this page.)

First, I decided to close my eyes and randomly select a folder from my photo files. I landed on "Doors." I previewed the photos there and noticed that I had about 6 photos with red doors and black and/or tan in or around them, so I chose those photos and narrowed my choices to three.

THE TITLE: It just so happened that all of these photos were taken in the quaint historic village of Harmony, PA or nearby. At first I thought of calling it something like Harmony or Harmonious, but I didn't think that fit my final image. So I looked up antonyms of harmony and chose "dissonant."  I decided "Dissonant Doors" fit the image and I liked the double D alliteration.

This building is now a private home
but used to be a bank.
I liked the old-fashioned screen door
on this old house.
An old barn, now used for storage at a golf course.

I chose a part of each photo, scaled it,
moved it around, duplicated and rotated it,
and upped the saturation of the reds,
until I had my basic design.
I merged all my door layers together, then I
used the Photoshop filter gallery (cutout, poster edges,
paint daubs, and underpainting) to give the

image a more abstract ambience.  I also used the
shadows/highlights tool to up the mid-tone contrast.
I then duplicated that layer, changed the mode to overlay,
and used the bas relief filter. 
I still wanted more texture, so I looked through
the royalty-free background textures I have
and decided on this grunge image.
I added it to a new layer and resized it to completely
 cover my existing image. I selected the lightest parts,
feathered the edges and erased them.
Then I moved the opacity to about 50%.

(I could have changed the mode to overlay, instead.)
Using a large soft brush, I erased a few additional parts. 

Finally, I used the shadows/highlights tool to increase
the mid tone contrast on this layer to achieve
the final result at the top of this post.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Black and White Weekend - 8/22/14: "The Shed"

asks us to post a black and white photo. No spot colors. No sepia. Black and white, only.

"The Shed"
I love going out on foggy mornings to
drive on back roads and take photos.
I found this only a few miles from my home.