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Blooming Possibilities in Photo Textures

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Tip #2 I’ve learned from my self-taught immersion into photo texturing is that frailty is a texture’s potting soil. (See here for the #1 tip).  A texture helps capture the emotional and almost timeless connection I have to a budding tree, the spindly stems and cluster of Queen Anne’s Lace blooms, as well as a beloved brother’s long ago expression.  Botany and brothers have proven to be perfect models for learning the art of photo texturing.

 

 

Art in Bloom and Sculpture

branches-decordava-coakleyfI visited the Decordava Art and Sculpture Park on Sunday and took my Canon 5 Mark 11  with the 50mm lens–not the really expensive one, the L glass 1.2 (I don’t own that one!), but the 50mm 1.4.

I am learning that using photo textures takes a very good photo to begin with. You can’t ” texture” a photo into something unless it was “something” to begin with is the easiest way for me to say it.

So, I was looking for the dreamy background through a budding bush. Spring, after all, is why I was finally able to make the long drive to the museum.

Their outside sculpture park featured an amazing rope wall by Orly Genger that was red, yellow, blue and seemed to roll right through the entire park like a river.  For my purposes, it had a budding bush adjacent to it and made perfect use of the 50mm’s dreamy  bokah.  Then, I went looking for a texture that would complement it and given that the building itself has the older wing right next to the more contemporary wing, I was in luck.

This image is not complete as I still want to even out the textures.  This is a painstaking business but every wrong turn I make helps me understand this medium better and when I should choose it,  I have learned that textures are not bandaids for bad photos.  I’d call that Rule #1 for using photo textures.

 

I ended up using both images that I took at the museum and added a third non-site texture to anchor it.  It is still unfinished but here are the two images from the Decordova that I used.

Memory’s Brush of Spring

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The original black and white slide of my brother was taken by my father in the spring of 1944 (I think he looks around 2 years old?).  Our backyard in spring had tulips, azalea bushes, a blossoming cherry tree and a rose arbor.  My memory of Tim and spring in that spot was the brush I used to restore this photograph.

Headlights

shadows-motion-purpledot-fshfI’ve taken twilight photographs at traffic intersections for years.  Sometimes, I am parked in a nearby lot or stopped at the intersection itself waiting for the green light.

Timeless Baseball Requires Photoshop

redsox2013rev-coakley-cardOpening Day ceremonies for the Boston Red Sox seemed to vault into the timeless sphere.  The only thing bringing me back to the day to day were the large commercial signs and advertisers plastered all over Fenway.  There are so many of them that the spirit of the game and the day get lost.  So, I took them out.  I can dream, can’t I?

 

Train Travelers at South Station

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The more my dislike of traveling deepens, the dreamier my photos of it become.

I cannot be trusted.

A Walk in the Industrial Park

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A walk in a nearby industrial park today gave me an image I wanted to use to learn the application of photo textures.  The gallery images show (apart from the textures) the images I used. The original image I shot was from the sidewalk and contained only one paint spot.  A painting that I’ve had in my head for weeks ever since seeing it at the MFA in Boston was by Adolph Gottlieb and, as a consequence, I’ve been noticing circles in my every day life on a regular basis. The last image I took while at the YMCA in Franklin, Ma.  It is a wall game that lights up and buzzes (and annoys the stuffing out of me as I walk endlessly around the indoor track above it) but it is often used by small children who love it, so it’s not all bad!

I am going to continue to work on versions of this to include the blue background of the YMCA game.  Maybe it shall be yet another circle of that color or perhaps it shall come via a texture I have not yet discovered.

General Motors Memory Lane, Leica & Santa.

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Memory lane. I walked it this week after listening to the news about General Motors as well as discovering my father’s old Leica camera. (Leica Leitz 3IIIC 1946).

This photo began as a high resolution scan of my father’s leather key chain made years ago.  I discovered them in a dark, cold basement with the door and trunk key to our Oldsmobile clearly visible.  (I think they were separate keys “back in the day.”)

I photographed the camera on top of placemats I made for my family this year of all the boats in our long family history.  I am learning to use photo textures so both nostalgic subjects seemed like good candidates to add to my learning curve.

I also drove an hour away by my childhood home en-route to the only real camera store within 100 miles of me.   My father’s old camera rested on the passenger seat.  I wanted to know if I could use the Summaron 35mm 2.8 Leica lens on a new digital camera that offers adapters.   Corny as it may sound, I’d like to see my world through the same lens as he viewed his world.  I could, but it might not be worth it, the camera man said.

My childhood home has been remodeled and enlarged. Finding the window of my old room was not as simple as left side, second floor. I heard Santa on the roof in that room.  (No rolling of eyes.)  I really did. Cross my heart.

Sigh.

I’m going to get a second opinion about this Leica lens and think about driving the two-tone Olds with top down at 90 mph one summer’s evening down the Mid-Cape Highway in the early sixties.  I was the safety risk for GM at that stage in my life not their faulty ignition switch of 2014.

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Queen Anne’s Lace

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In 2008, I took a series of photographs of a wild, dense but fragile Queen Anne’s Lace by a local pond.  I photographed it at sunrise, sunset, for many months.  They did not survive the subsequent winters but my photographs have.  I always thought they needed a painter more than a photographer so in 2014, for the first time, I have experimented with putting some textures on them.  They seem to inch closer to what I saw in my mind’s eye but not in my lens.  I am looking forward to learning more about texture blending on some of my photos that may be the beginning of a painting rather than a straight photograph.  Not all subjects need apply but Queen Anne’s Lace seemed a perfect place to start.

 

Iris Texture of Spring

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I went in search of textures this morning for my garden photographs, and in particular, for this Iris I had just bought at Stop & Shop.

I started out with a Google+ photographer who uses textures quite a lot, almost too many textures to my eye, but I figured he would at least know some resources.  He posted that he was giving an interview about them on another Google+photographer’s page.  I went there but couldn’t find his interview but found another with Mark Johnson, a photographer from Colorado, who is a very good teacher and he mentioned that he was a using a texture from shadowhousecreations.blogspot.com that were not only beautiful, but free.

I went there, and sure enough, beautiful textures and all for free.  I downloaded them all. Left him a Paypal thank-you and went to work.  Hours of creativity are ahead of me because of another artist who decided to allow his creations to be available to all.  Generosity and creativity do not always go together.  It is a lesson I shall take forward with me.

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Pat Coakley