Sunday, April 26, 2020

Rain Puddles

Yesterday dawned sunny and still and I took my socially distanced walk. There were lots of puddles on the streets. Some with mirror-perfect reflections of trees. Click to enlarge.
It was, as E.E. Cummings would say, "puddle-wonderful."
There is an entire stately old tree in this puddle, and part of a house, perhaps with people inside drinking coffee and looking out the windows. Dogen Zengi once wrote "Although its light is wide and great, the moon is reflected in a puddle one inch wide."
A cherry tree.
A huge old cracked trunk that looks like it should not fit in a gutter.
A vignette in the middle of the road.
A branch that's about to evaporate.
And a watchful rabbit.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Twirling Nature Photos

Here's what can happen with time on your hands and Photoshop on your computer. Click to enlarge this abstract design made from a unique palette of colors.
These colors! The unique palette of colors in this photo of three domestic geese on a pond. Would you like to see that again? 
All these lovely greens and creams and blues.
Are from this portrait of a peregrine falcon among evergreens. See where I'm going with this?
 Have Photoshop? Would you like to make this pattern? 
Start with this. You can find and watch the twirling method in lots of videos on YouTube. Here's a condensed version. Open a photo in Photoshop and make it a Smart Object. Pixelate it with the Mezzotint filter however you like. Then Radial Blur it three times: draft, draft, best. Distort with the Twirl filter until it looks nice, maybe to 120. Duplicate all of that. Then click the Twirl Smart Filter on the upper layer and change it to the opposite direction, in this case -120. Change the blend mode to Lighten, Darken, Pin Light or whatever pleases you. Be warned that this can be addictive.
Wonder what this bunch of heather would look like twirled?
Beautiful, right?
And you can duplicate and flip them and come up with lacy fairy things.
And every larger and more complicated images.
This paper wasp on goldenrod becomes...
this pretty abstract.
A daffodil in sunlight.
If you don't change the second twirl to the opposite direction it can look like the brush stokes of an oil painting. I love these colors. 
And here is the daffodil image complete with an opposite twirl.
You are not limited to twirling nature photos, of course. I made this one from...
this Negroni cocktail that I photographed in a dark bar in New York City the last time I was there, a few months ago. I am looking forward to the time when I can go back and have another. Maybe something blue that will twirl well.

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter

Time for some new yellow goslings.
And pink peach blossoms. Click to enlarge.
Time for more rabbits.
And a bunch of fuzzy ducklings. Easter time.

Despite everything, spring continues to unfold. And Easter Sunday has arrived on schedule. Here's an apt quote from Ending Easter (Amazing Adventures of Harry Moon), by         Mark Andrew Poe

 “Even without church walls, or doors or sconces, Easter had come. Even without altars or crosses, Easter had come” 

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Just Squirrels

The eastern gray squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis.
It's a common backyard bird-feeder raiding rascal.
Wasn't me! Click to enlarge.
And a Halloween decoration marauder.
And it nibbles garden plants.
I thought this was for me. (It's some zoo animal's breakfast.)
They are nevertheless cute.
And often adorable.