Monthly Archives: May 2013

How Not To Be Bored

Black and white pen doodle.

Make something. Not the same thing you made last time—something different. It’s hard to be bored when you’re making something new.

A Year Ago: Sunset Blades

Myrtle tree and grass in late afternoon light.Thoroughly exhausted today. Because I love you all…
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If you’ve been around for awhile, you know I appreciate street dancing. Just because this young man wound up on national television doesn’t diminish his cred in any way. Once again, I am in awe of the control and discipline, hard work and creativity it takes to produce a performance like this.

A Year Ago: Fixture

Ceiling light.
I am apparently fascinated by ceiling fixtures…
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Six Seconds of Rain

It went on a lot longer than six seconds—some of the fattest, heaviest raindrops I’ve ever seen. The wetness of this Spring cannot be overstated.

A Year Ago: Cupcakes

Cupcakes in plastic containers on bar towel.It’s a lot easier to sell soda and cupcakes than it is to sell giclée prints
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Day-glo lilies.

Sometimes subtle is NOT what is called for—sometimes you need day-glo over-the-top in-your-face slap-you-silly color. Here ya go. Paint your VW bus already.

A Year Ago: Some Birds

Birds silhouetted against building exterior.I hoped the birds were going to cooperate, but alas—I am no St. Francis of Assisi…
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Golden Future

Today, rather than focus on my (as always) copious opinions on the topic “Always Be Learning,” I thought I’d give you another look at the before & after of a photograph.

This is the facade of the Reuter Center, home of the University of North Carolina/Asheville’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute—also known as the College for Seniors. It’s a wonderful resource for folks who move to Asheville to retire, offering diverse educational programs and the companionship of like-minded learners.

Here’s the unaltered image as produced by the GF-1. I was pleased with the intense blues and lines of the building. I debated briefly whether I wanted to get rid of the tiny tree branch protruding into the frame in the upper left, but decided that I liked the little living imperfection.

But I was unsatisfied by the blankness of the glass facade and the lack of drama. I wanted something more abstract and more ambiguous. I made a straight conversion to black-and-white, but that was even duller. It was time to bust out the heavy-duty image filters.

There was some high-pass filtering. Some detail enhancing, some curve manipulation, some toning. Honestly, I can’t remember all the steps, because there were a lot of them. I fiddle with these things pretty relentlessly, trying one thing after another, in various combinations, until I’m happy with the result. My guess is that I spent twenty minutes or so to arrive at this picture.

Reuter Center, UNC Asheville, NC

In this case, I was after an image that would be both optimistic and a little ominous. I love that you can now see into the building, as well as being dazzled by the reflections and the light. The altered version has a retro-futuristic feel that I associate with the golden age of science fiction and—further back—the robo/deco sensibility of Metropolis. To me, this poster for The Age To Come is glamorous, but maybe a little menacing too.

This is not documentation or journalism. It’s not about what was there when I took the photograph, but about what’s in my head and heart when I get it ready to show to someone else.

A Year Ago: Direction

Fenced off driveway.This is what has become of my neighborhood supermarket…
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Named bricks, bounced light, and shadows.

We all yearn to be acknowledged, to be recognized for who we are what we have contributed. Acknowledgment costs so little and yields rewards all out of proportion. If we are acknowledged, perhaps we will be remembered. Perhaps our time will have been well-spent. Maybe we will leave some trace of our passing.

Memorials are covered with names. We honor people by recording their names in public, and yet—except on rare and special occasions—we then promptly cease to really see or read them. They become background noise, visual wallpaper. They become the texture of the pavement we walk on without noticing at all. Like Ozymandias, our defiance of obscurity and mortality is in vain.

Our best and most enduring memorials are in the living, from generation to generation: those we have loved and who have loved us, whose lives we have nourished with generosity, kindness, guidance, challenge, fun, and creativity. Our legacy lives in the ideas we share with others, whether they remain attached to our names or not.

A Year Ago: Urban Landscaping

Buildings and shrubs.It’s easy to overlook the everyday shrubs and shrubberies of city life…
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End of the Tea Party

Empty glass and tea tag.

Drink the tea, leave the dregs, enjoy the light through the empty glass.

A Year Ago: Exotica

OrchidOne thing I’m gradually giving up on…
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Old & New

This is another image that feels autobiographical: emblematic of my betweenness. The old and familiar have passed away, but surely left their marks. The new is struggling to realize its potential. Nothing is established or settled.

A Year Ago: The Shadow of the Light

It is by the light that we know darkness…
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Bob on the Blue Ridge

Outdoor portrait.

The sun was shining brightly, but there was a chilly breeze. We walked a segment of the Mountain to Sea Trail off the Blue Ridge Parkway. It was a lovely little intermission.

A Year Ago: Back in the Saddle Again

Photographs by Nina Tovish on display at Artomatic 2012, Washington, DCAlthough I still have a tremendous amount of prep work to go, I wanted to give you all a glimpse of the project…
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Industrial pipe outlet.

Many outlets, no flow.

A Year Ago: Something Beautiful from Jen

Italian glass ashtray.This isn’t the best picture in the world, but it seems to fit…
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