Here are some street scene vignettes I found interesting during my recent expedition around downtown Greensboro. The shapes, textures, tonality and lighting seemed to all contribute to a nice composition. I hope you enjoy!
Found this cool abandoned garage on E. Lewis Street, about one block over from Elm St. The patterns, shapes, lines and textures all contributed to an excellent composition opportunity. I really felt this subject worked well in both black and white and color.
Regarding color, I often find I need to give my eyes a break when judging color. Yesterday, I spent a lot of time tuning the color in the composition below. This morning, just before posting, I felt the image was a little too green, and, I had lost some of the teal color in the garage door. A couple of quick adjustments, and, done. Glad I slept on it.
I appreciate you taking time to view my blog. For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view the high resolution version from my portfolio site.
After driving by this decrepit, but rather cool wall covered with Virginia creeper vines, I ended up going back for several visits. The wall, on E. Washington St., runs east to west. As such, I found both early morning and late afternoon offered excellent light. The first image below was captured in the late afternoon. Here, I was attracted to the transition of sun to shade, the vine structure and the juxtaposition of the contemporary sculpture to the decaying old structure.
The next image is an interesting study of the contrast between sun and shade, or light and dark. This would be a good image to view in higher resolution by clicking on the image. You’ll better observe the styling approach – “what’s happening in the absence of light?”
The Virginia creeper is a woody, deciduous vine native to the southeastern United States. It is often confused with poison ivy, but closer inspection of it’s five leaf star shaped compound leaf structure makes it easily distinguishable. As an aggressive grower, it can quickly get out of control and is often thought of as an invasive species.
One desired attribute is the brilliant range of red, scarlet to orange fall foliage. It can also be used as ground cover to help control erosion. But one must be vigilant to keep it from climbing nearby trees. At least twice a year, I do battle with a Virginia creeper vine growing along my backyard fence.
Most of the color compositions were processed to emulate vintage Kodachrome slide film which compresses the saturation of yellow tones and leaves a bit warmer tonality. Shown below is the black and white version of the image above. I bumped up the luminosity of the reds a little to help create some separation of the leaf forms. Still, the foliage remains a bit abstracted and busy, but somewhat contained by the silhouetted foreground figure.
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Now that I’m working in downtown Greensboro, I’ve started taking the opportunity to walk around the Elm Street area before work, during lunch or after work. I expect this to be similar to my explorations of Winston-Salem the past several years. When you make your living outside of photography, you have to “shoot where you are”. Fortunately, the area is rich with photographic opportunities! So here’s the first in a series featuring mostly the downtown Elm Street area.
Thanks for stopping by today! For the best viewing experience, click on the image to view a high resolution version from my portfolio site.
Part two of this series continues my visual study of this grand Garnet Japanese Maple specimen at Greensboro Arboritum. The color variability in this cultivar (which stands for cultivated variety) is quite striking. As shown in the composition below, I found sections of the tree where color varied widely in a small contained area. This could happen even at a sub-branch level.
Conversely, other sections appear more uniform in display of color over a much larger area (see below). As mentioned in my earlier post, the Garnet is of the Acer Palmatum form know as dissectum. The beauty and drama in the dissectums comes from their deeply divided “toothed” leaf lobes and branching structures.
The interior view below features the beautiful branching structure of this stately old specimen. As such, mature dissectums are also prized for their dramatic winter branching silhouette. Back in the spring of 2016, I was inspired by a dissectum at the Biltmore Estate to research, write and post about the amazing branching structures found in nature – An Elegant, Intelligent Design.
As part of this study, I experimented with some extreme processing techniques and filtering to achieve an abstract feel. The composition below was processed in Filter Forge 7.0.
Despite the dramatic color available in my compositions, I wanted to try to display the tree’s features using black and white tonality. I experimented with several luminescence settings in the reds, yellows and greens. A slight bump in red luminosity and a moderate bump in the greens seemed to promote a broader range to foliage tonality. I found it particularly challenging to maintain the a range of tonality in the lighter tones. I’m tempted to look at it again tomorrow.
The final image is another dramatic styling approach applied to a “busy” image. This “styled” process includes some pen strokes along edges, which helps a little in defining the foliage. But, its still quite busy!
I appreciate you taking time to visit my blog. These compositions are best viewed by clicking on the image to see a high resolution version from my portfolio site. Hope folks had a lovely Thanksgiving.
Back in 2001, I built a Japanese water garden in my backyard. During the planning phase, I quickly became a fan of Japan Maples, Acer palmatum. This fall, I was determined to capture the spectacular colors on display at Arboretum Park in Greensboro, as well as my own backyard. This first post features a gorgeous Garnet cultivar at the park. I stalked this tree, which I estimate to be close to 100 years old, for several weeks; waiting for the leaves to reach their peak color.
The Garnet cultivar featured in this post is of the dissectum or “lace leaf” form, which are commonly featured as accent planting or specimen plantings. Named after its gemstone like deep reddish orange spring color, the Garnet originated in a Dutch nursery and is known for its larger dissectum leaves. Of course, its also well known for the breathtaking display of fall color.
Like us, Japanese maples are especially appreciated for their uniqueness. Popular cultivars like the Garnet, have been carefully propagated through decades, and even centuries, of various grafting techniques.
Thanks for stopping by today! I have more lovely Acer palmatum photos to share in upcoming posts. For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version.
Greetings, I’ve been away from my blog the last six weeks or so, working on a few portraits projects. I hope to get back in my regular photo post routine.
Since I started working in Greensboro a few months ago, I’ve wanted to photograph this cool nearby building. I finally brought my camera to work and shot these images last week.
For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version from my portfolio site. Thanks for stopping by today!
Part of the Dixie Furniture Company (founded in 1901), Link-Taylor brands manufactured quality hardwood office, bedroom and dining room sets. Dixie Furniture became Lexington Furniture in 1987. Like textiles, furniture manufacturing has declined significantly due to lower cost overseas manufacturing. These buildings are now part of the local abandoned manufacturing landscape.
For the best viewing experience, click an image to see a high resolution version.
This paddle composition has been on my backlog for a several months. I finally got around to working on it earlier this week. As I started my typical workflow, I had a black and white treatment in mind. The white balanced color view didn’t seem to offer as much, so I also tried a vintage Kodachrome emulation treatment with Alien Skin’s Exposure 7 and liked the results. Some additional tweaking in Filter Forge resulted in the image below.
I decided to also try a mashup of the color image with a sepia treatment. I’ve used variations of this approach several times in the past. In this treatment, I allowed a little more color in the paddles. It’s a cool effect, but is comparably a little flatter image.
I like the black and white, but am leaning towards the color, because of its rustic feel and bolder primary colors. If you have a preference, please let me know. For the best viewing experience, click and image for a high resolution version. Thanks for stopping by today!