23 March 2007

More fractals

OK, this is truly distracting. I've found that it's harder than I thought to come up with beautiful fractals by playing around randomly with the parameters. But here are a couple more I made today after learning about how to manipulate the color gradient and messing around with other parameters in the explorer.

I think maybe I've been inspired to do these cool multicolored abstract art works by my friend Jayne's new hand-dyed yarn shop.

22 March 2007

Exploring fractals

I’m overwhelmed with everything I’ve been learning in Photoshop every day. I’ve been watching one lesson a day of the Adobe Photoshop CS2 Fundamental & Advanced Techniques training DVDs by Julieanne Kost, published by Software Cinema. They are excellent and are filling in a lot of the gaps in my self-taught knowledge of the program. But it feels like I’m exploring a fractal. Every time I fill in a gap with more details, I see that there’s much more in there to discover. I wanted to try to post a photo here that would illustrate how I feel about learning Photoshop, so I Googled "fractal photography" and that led me on a rabbit trail to a fun new art tool (not photographic, but what the hey) called Ultra Fractal 4. Here's my first creation with it:

The cool thing about fractals is that you can zoom in on them ad infinitum and keep seeing more and more interesting details (kind of like learning Photoshop, or learning anything about anything on the Web, or -- and here's where I get back to being relevant to my blog theme -- learning about and getting to know God). Here's another image I made of an enlargement of one portion of the above fractal:

19 March 2007

Welcome to Washington!

Sorry for the absence again. I had to get my final project done for my web portfolio class. It's not quite done yet actually, but I hope to be bringing it online soon and letting you know the web address. Also I've been away on Galiano Island again for a few days.

I thought it was time for some comic relief again. I've been working sporadically over the past couple of years on a project which might become a book someday: a series of photographs showcasing the incredibly threatening highway signs that assault visitors to Washington State upon crossing the border from Canada, along with some that you only see when you venture further into the state. I think Washington is one of the nicest states in the US on the whole, but if you read the road signs, you'd get the idea that the government wants people to be scared that the police are out to get them, hiding behind every bush. Washington also seems to be obsessed with telling people what the fines are going to be, and with getting motorists to tattle on each other. Here are a few of the friendly gems (there are more; this is just a sampling; I don't want to scare you off from visiting Washington):
Our Drunk Driving Laws Strictly Enforced - Report a D.W.I.  1-800-22 DRUNKLITTER AND IT WILL HURT - REPORT VIOLATORS - 1-866-LITTER1
Don't worry, Washington State driving is really not all that hazardous, nor do you get tickets any more often than in other states. The threatening signs are just an attempt to compete with the scariness of the "other Washington" I think. Also, Washington apples really are edible -- honest. They are one of the state's greatest exports. I guess it's only the homegrown ones that have apple maggots. Yuck!

05 March 2007

I'm going out to play in the snow...you come too!

Dog footprints in the snowMy dog's footprints on the back steps from one of our recent (and unusually frequent, for Vancouver) winter snowfalls.

04 March 2007

This is the pepper which Peter Piper picked a pickled peck of...

We used to have a game we played in our family when I was a kid called "This is the pepper." I cannot find any reference to this game anywhere on the Internet, so we must have been somewhat unusual. But I'm quite certain we didn't make it up. Anyone else ever heard of this game? You play it seated around the dinner table. Someone starts by taking the pepper shaker and passing it to the next person, saying "This is the pepper." The person receiving it asks, "The what?" The passer replies, "The pepper." The response is "Oh, the pepper!" Then person 2 passes it on to person 3 in the same manner. However, by the time person 3 asks "The what?" person 2 has already "forgotten" what it is and has to turn back to person 1 with "The what?" The answer is passed back around the table ("The pepper...The pepper.") to person 3. And so it continues around and around the table for as long as you can stand it. The heads turn back and forth rhythmically to face the people being addressed, making the whole thing a rather dance-like routine. To add extra fun and complication, you can get another pepper going around in the opposite direction, and see if you can keep from getting confused when it's time to pass the pepper to one person while also saying "The what?" to him about the other pepper he just passed to you. You can actually play the game with any object you want, but it's always "the pepper" no matter what you're passing. Very silly indeed. And somewhat of a tongue-twister, or brain-twister. As if our brains weren't twisted enough already to have played a game like that for entertainment...

Now what does all this have to do with today's photograph? Oh, the pepper! I'm no Edward Weston, for sure. But I love the colors and shapes of bell peppers. The red, yellow, and green ones always make me want to buy one of each (they actually come in a traffic-light trio package at my grocery store). I guess it must be because I like traffic lights. But also, their shapes conjure up all kinds of fun creatures in the imagination: elephants, etc. I'm glad they leave the big schnozzes on in the grocery store. They are lovely to look at, not to mention the fact that they make great handles.

Piles of produce in the market are always inviting to photograph, but particularly peppers. It's hard to get the resulting images to look as appetizing as the originals. I mostly like to play with the reptitions of shapes, and come in close. Here is another photographer's take on the theme, at topleftpixel.


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