Thursday, November 29, 2012

10 permutations; revelations of backlit symmetry

Ten permutations of a single image, 
using the PicFrameApp along with Snapseed...
continuing to play with cropping and symmetry...

(scroll to the bottom to find out what you're looking at, 
or to confirm your guess)

the "source material," 

Above, the result of editing 
the 'original,' below,
an unfurling tulip in a vase on our coffee table,
backlit at sunset:

Tulip. Sunset. Surreal.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

a week of symmetry and its surreal revelations...

A week ago, I took my iPhone with me on my morning run--a glorious autumn morning in Sabino Canyon, great for reflection shots...

...Later that evening I was playing around with a couple of the scenes--turned one into a black-and-white, and then thought it might be fun to 'mirror' the black and white version, lining it up with the original color photo, using the PicFrame app to place the photos side-by-side, and then 'erasing' the space between the photos by reducing the width to zero; below is the result:

A bit trippy; I was pleased with how it turned out.

So, the next day, while on my lunch break, I thought I'd play around with 'mirroring' another photo--from a recent trail-run into Bear Canyon. When I finished flipping the photo and placing it next to the original, I was surprised by what I saw staring back at me:

Symmetry brings out unforeseen patterns;
the brain wants to impose sense;
faces and anthropomorphic figures pop out.


So then--back to a reflective landscape from Sabino Canyon--
cottonwoods glowing under the desert sun...
I was floored by the result: 
That face at the bottom...
With its enigmatic Mona-Lisa-smile--
serendipity of underwater undulations in the sand and gravel...

Onto a monsoon downpour over the desert--
 vague notions of a UFO in the sky;
weather marching ominously over the saguaros:

 From the Sonoran desert to Seoul--from landscapes to architectural details--the roof of the Throne Hall of Gyeongbok Palace--flipped on its side and mirrored:
 --fractal, almost...

And then from the traditional to the post-modern, still in Seoul--Daniel Liebeskind's "Tangent" (HQ for Hyuundai Development Company), "cubed:"

...back to landscape.
Can you recognize where this melting scene comes from?
 (Is that a rock-star's face in the middle?)
Mt. Rainier.

The idea of faces--I went back to my Sabino Canyon landscape with the eerie face--decided to triple it:

Without getting overly theological,
it's interesting to see a trinitarian head appear where,
in nature, there's nothing...

Back to Seoul:
a floating roof, 
guarded by two 'haetae:'

More architecture--the Loreto Chapel's 'miraculous' spiral staircase in Santa Fe, NM...
the spiral becomes the infinitely impossible:

 Radial symmetry can be hypnotic.

Some sculpture--the 'tree of hearts' on a jetty jutting out into the Sea of Japan,
in Sokcho, along the NE coast of S. Korea:

St. Louis' Gateway Arch becomes a gaping celestial maw:
The 18th-century San Francisco de Asis adobe church in Taos, NM
transforms into an evocation of a moai head from Easter Island, no? 

And now, back to Tucson for something from just a few hours ago. 
With some out-of-town friends, we went for an evening walk in Sabino Canyon...this time, my eye looking for shadow-and-rock jutting into the sky, wondering what symmetry will reveal...Below, a before-and-after comparison of a mountaintop:

And here's a close-up of the cropped-copied-and-rotated end-result:
 Vaguely Mayan?
A carved bar of gold?
Eagles? Foxes? Jaguar heads?

To conclude,
a couple more scenes from Seoul--
Korean architecture just seems to lend itself to 
this kaleidoscopic treatment: 
--one of the stone 'haetae' (mythical fire-eating dragon-dogs) guardian statues in front of Gwanghwamun gate, the main ceremonial entrance to the Joseon-dynasty-era Gyeongbok Palace, in the center of Seoul. 

This last one is a 'transplant'--I'd taken the photo (of Bigak pavilion, a monument on a busy intersection in Seoul) with my Canon, but then e-mailed it to my iPhone so I could play with it with PicFrame--the intricately painted eaves, coming at you from the night sky...

What's coming at you? What do you see?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

November morning reflections, Sabino Canyon

Fall is subtle in most of the Sonoran desert; saguaros don't exactly have leaves that erupt into color. But in the riparian canyons, where cottonwoods line the creeks, there are corridors of autumn foliage to be found. 

I took my iPhone with me this morning on my run in Sabino Canyon, on the NE edge of Tucson. The cottonwoods are just beginning to turn...

 The summer monsoon rains are a distant memory now, and the winter rains are still a few weeks off, so the creek has mostly dried up--but a few reflecting pools remain...

...about two-and-a-half miles into the Canyon:

...we haven't had a hard freeze yet, 
so a few summer wildflowers are still blooming: the mid-morning sun, reflection of cottonwoods beneath "The Acropolis:"

There are still a few weeks left to enjoy the desert canyon autumn--the sycamore and ash haven't really begun to turn yet; most years, peak color along Sabino creek is isn't until late December.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

submissions...from a far shore to the backyard

For what it's worth, here are my five submissions for

From Sokcho, South Korea... Seoul's Gyeongbok-gung Palace... a cactus bloom in the backyard here in Tucson;
ephemeral color among the spikes--
each flower lasts for just a day:

Sunday, November 4, 2012

evening light, on the coffee table...

My wife bought some tulips the other day, put them in a vase on the coffee table...

While watching the news this evening, the flowers were backlit as the sun set--got the iPhone out for an 'inside-the-flower' shot...and then thought I'd play with it using snapseed. So, a before-and-after shot:

...used the drama, grunge, and center focus tools, and also a bit of the selective tool to 'de-brighten' a couple of items in the background to make them blend in with the dark background caused by using the 'old lens' option in the center focus filter.