Tuesday, October 1, 2013

"pulvus et umbra sumus"...& summer in the Dordogne

In this week's "1000 Words" showcase by the good folks over at WeAreJuxt,
 I'm honored to have this shot included:


And, looking back at summer,
this photo made the list for Life in LoFi's favorite photos of the summer,
a field of sunflowers in the Dordogne:

(TangledFX app used for the slight 'Van Gogh' effect here)

Monday, August 26, 2013

Five shots, five colors--the #CTC13 contest...

For tonight, some discipline in being photographically concise--choosing just five scenes from this summer's travels...I was going through the France-and-Spain-photos on my iPhone, and then I read about the "Capture the Color" travel-photo-blogging contest...and I thought this would be a good exercise in visual-summarizing: five photos, five colors...
...and to limit myself, ONLY photos from my iPhone.

(This posting, incidentally, 
is a copy of my 'official entry
for the allophile.com blog, 
not this 'snapseeded' one...)

For complete information on this contest, go here:

...and as part of the process, each blogger nominates five fellow bloggers to participate; so here goes:

Robert Koehler--http://www.rjkoehler.com/


When flying over the Grand Canyon, ALWAYS get a window seat...
a summer storm off in the distance, from my Tucson-Salt Lake City flight back in June,
the first leg of my flight to Paris

The Château de Chenonceau,
spanning the River Cher

For one glorious evening and morning,
this was 'our Paris'--the view from our hotel room
in Montmartre

it's a cliché, but...when driving by a field of sunflowers
in the South of France, you just have to stop and get a roadside picture;
a 'painterly' view of Castelnau-sur-Gupie, between the Garonne and Dordogne rivers

The World comes to Paris...
on the Quai Anatole France, on the Left Bank of the Seine,
a walkable world-map


Not part of  'the five,'
but this one soap-shop window-front scene 
from Barcelona could sum it all up:

Monday, August 19, 2013

a 'painterly' scene along the Dordogne...

An evening scene from several weeks ago:

...sunset light along the Dordogne River in the SW of France, 
the old bastide ('fortified town') of Sainte-Foy-la-Grande...

This week, I'm honored to have this photo featured on iART Chronicles--one of the images chosen for "Painterly Mobile Art Monday." 

While in France, I began experimenting more with "painterly" effects in mobile photography editing...If you're curious, this flickr group shows what other mobile photographers are doing with this...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

this summer's scenic runs: Georgia, France, Spain...and back to Arizona

With the new school-year starting less than a week after our return from Europe, there hasn't been time yet to go back and finish organizing/editing the hundreds of photos on my iPhone...Each day, two or three get done in the afternoon...

As a starting point, then, for posting some of those scenes here: some of this summer's scenic runs...A while back I got one of those hand-strappy-water-bottles for running, and conveniently enough, the ID zipper pocket on the side just fits my iPhone:
(from yesterday morning in Saguaro Nat'l Park)
So, when I'm not doing my routine neighborhood-morning-run, 
my iPhone often comes with me...

...as it did along the trail between the Savannah River and the Augusta Canal, when I was in Georgia back in June:
...Spanish-moss...19th-c. architecture...and lots of water...

In Paris, on my first morning back in 11 years,
along the Canal St.-Martin:

(some thought-provoking street-art...)
the Cité des Sciences, Europe's biggest science museum, in the Parc de la Villette

Staying with some friends on Paris' southwestern edge,
trails in the hilly forest above St.-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse:

Down to the South of France--
running along the Canal du Midi, near Toulouse:

a Carpe-Diem-emblazoned-barge-with-a-bike--gotta love it...

And then down to Barcelona:

--along the waterfront of the Olympic Village, Frank Gehry's "Peix" (fish) sculpture

ahh, the Mediterranean...

And then, Madrid:

--starting point, in the Plaza Santa Ana, 
in front of our hotel and Hemingway's old haunt:

A statue of Federico García Lorca, in front of the Teatro Español
jogging past Goya, presiding over the entrance to The Prado
....the Parque del Buen Retiro
...the Palacio de Cristal, originally built in the 19th-c. to house
flora and fauna from the Philippines...
black swans!
across from the entrance to the Park, part of the Prado,
housed in what was once the Ballroom of the Buen Retiro Palace
storefront: Velázquez' Infanta, with a 'free the Canary Islands' slogan...
a freaky mural, while jogging back up the hill to the Plaza

Back to Tucson and the Sonoran Desert...

This evening, I went for a quick run in the hills around Sabino Canyon...
...enjoying some of the water that the monsoon has brought...
...and hoping to time it right for sunset:

Back home.

Now--back to work, too.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

...back from Europe...anyone going to be in Vermont?

I've been back in Arizona for about a week-and-a-half now...And back to work, as the school-year here began this past week...I took about a thousand photos with my iPhone while in France and Spain from late June through last week; stay tuned...

But for this first post-trip post, a question for you readers--will anyone be in Vermont now through September first? The Vermont Center for Photography is hosting a juried exhibition, and I'm honored to have two images included!

So, should you find yourself in the area, check it out, and you'll see these images of mine:

"Nighthawks for Dumplings, Bukchon, Seoul"

"When he awoke, the dinosaur was still there."

(scenes from France and Spain...coming soon...)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

"are smartphones killing memories?"...seeing like Monet?...and Arch views

Perhaps you've seen this piece, from a couple of days ago on the BBC:

If you're interested in mobile photography at all, whether as a part-time hobby or as an addictive avocation, these seven minutes are worth your time.

I've been thinking about this for while now, even before I dove into the iPhone-world...

There is so much to be said (ad nauseam) for 'being in the moment'...and yet so much to be gained from being able to document the day-to-day with such ease...

Perhaps you've heard the expression from Wordsworth--yes, the 18th-19th-c. poet, who spoke of the 'inward eye, the bliss of solitude'...the power of visual memories...

Does constant photographing enhance or diminish our capacity to truly look and remember, to learn how to see? There's the 'professional seeing' that photographers learn...but then there's the purely personal gaze--for one's own enjoyment and thoughts...With the constant distraction of documenting and (over)sharing, are we remembering what we lose when we only think we're gaining? Is our 'inward eye' morphing into a 3- or 4-inch screen we hold in the palm of our hands? When there's only the 'joy' of sharing on social networks, is there any room for the 'bliss of solitude?'

In our world of constant snapshots, we need to remember how to gaze purposefully, not just fleetingly.

Then again, I think of the photographers and artists who are using the medium of smartphone-cameras as a way to visually meditate, to freeze their deep gazes...or to keep them alive...

I'm reminded of the series of paintings that Monet created--the façades of the Rouen Cathedral, and the water lilies at Giverny. Those have become so well-known, clichéd even--but how many people today are able to look at one scene so deeply, over and over again? Obsession is a word that might be used, yes, but not gratuitous...

A couple of years ago, I went to St. Louis for a work conference. It was just a few days, but I had the mornings and late afternoons to myself--I found myself going for runs in the park along the Mississippi River, beneath the Gateway Arch. It's such an incredible structure--despite its visual familiarity, its audacity of form is just amazing--standing underneath its deceptive simplicity--no photograph can translate its scale...
...I did take a few photos, though, with my iPhone...

Recently, I've been going back to those scenes; as I've become more familiar and more comfortable with different photo-apps, I've been wanting to play with them--looking back and seeing the geometry and scale of the Arch and trying to, well, 'translate' the structure in different ways. Call it an obsession, if you want. But Monet's way of seeing--and I'm not trying to compare my edits to his work--but just trying to learn from how he saw...and how, even without brush, palette, and canvas, one can still learn how to see...and how the smartphone-camera can be involved...

(apps used, in addition to snapseed--picframe, scratchcam, laminar, distressedfx)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

"Bici en el Barrio Viejo" in this week's "Apps Uncovered"

This past spring, I went on a photo-walk in Tucson's Barrio Viejo...
...and one of the scenes from that day is featured in this week's "Apps Uncovered" by iphoneographycentral.com:

"Bici en el Barrio Viejo, Tucson"

Backstory/Apps Used: Just south of downtown Tucson, the architectural soul of the city--
Sonoran adobe rowhouses from the 19th-c., unique in the U.S. 
(iPhone5, snapseed, iwatermark)

It's an honor to have this photo in this week's showcase; there is some amazing work in this week's selections!

The "Apps Uncovered" series is such a good place to learn from--the 'backstory' for each image gives you a bit of a behind-the-scenes look into the 'toolbox' the photographer/artist used.

For this particular image, as you can see, the only app I used was snapseed. (iWatermark is just used for my 'signature' in the corner.) I used the crop-tool to make the scene into a square, and then the 'drama' filter allowed me to bring out the texture of the wall. I used the 'center focus' tool just very lightly for a slight vignette. 

New apps keep coming out every week, but snapseed remains my 'go-to' app--even when I use others for different effects, I usually begin and end the process with snapseed.