Downtown Greensboro Cityscapes, Part 2, Virginia Creeper Wall

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.

Virginia Creeper Wall Composition 3
Virginia Creeper Wall Composition 3

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?

Virginia Creeping Reality
Virginia Creeping Reality

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.

Virginia Creeper Wall Composition 2
Virginia Creeper Wall Composition 2

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.

Virginia Creeper Wall Composition 1
Virginia Creeper Wall Composition 1

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.

Virginia Creeper Wall Composition 1 Black and White
Virginia Creeper Wall Composition 1 Black and White

Thanks for stopping by today!

Cheers,

C. S.

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Downtown Greensboro Cityscapes, Part 1

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.

Elm Street Abstract
Elm Street Abstract

Thanks for stopping by today!  For the best viewing experience, click on the image to view a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers,

C. S.

Fall Japanese Maple Study, Part 2 – 6 pics

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.

Garnet Japanese Maple Detail 4
Garnet Japanese Maple Detail 4

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.

Garnet Japanese Maple Detail 6
Garnet Japanese Maple Detail 6

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.

Garnet Interior Detail Composition
Garnet Interior Detail Composition

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.

Garnet Japanese Maple Detail 5 Abstract
Garnet Japanese Maple Detail 5 Abstract

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.

Garnet Interior Black and White Composition
Garnet Interior Black and White Composition

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!

Garnet Japanese Maple Detail 3 Abstract
Garnet Japanese Maple Detail 3 Abstract

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.

Cheers,

C.S.

 

Fall Japanese Maple Study, Part 1

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.

Garnet Interior Composition
Garnet Interior Composition

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.

Garnet Japanese Maple Detail 1
Garnet Japanese Maple Detail 1

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.

Garnet Japanese Maple Detail 2
Garnet Japanese Maple Detail 2

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.

Cheers,

C. S.

Blue Building Abstracts

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.

Blue Building in Greensboro
Blue Building in Greensboro

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.

Blue Building Abstract
Blue Building Abstract
Blue Building Abstract Monochrome
Blue Building Abstract Monochrome

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version from my portfolio site.  Thanks for stopping by today!

Cheers,

C. S.

Link-Taylor Silo Compositions, 3 pics

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.

Link Taylor Silo Composition 2
Link Taylor Silo Composition 2
Link Taylor Silo Detail Composition 1
Link Taylor Silo Detail Composition 1
Link Taylor Interior Silo Composition 3
Link Taylor Interior Silo Composition 3

For the best viewing experience, click an image to see a high resolution version.

Cheers,

C. S.

Canoe Paddle Composition, Styling Study

Canoe Paddle Composition Black and White
Canoe Paddle Composition Black and White

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.

Primary Colors Canoe Paddle Composition
Primary Colors Canoe Paddle Composition

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.

Canoe Paddle Composition Sepia and Vintage Kodachrome
Canoe Paddle Composition Sepia and Vintage Kodachrome

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!

Cheers,

C. S.

Calabash – Waiting for the Shrimpers, 3 pics

My family loves to vacation in the southern beaches of North Carolina, usually Ocean Isle Beach.  Traditionally, we include a visit to the famous seafood restaurants of Calabash.  The local shrimp boats and fishing charters dock right behind the restaurants, ensuring the freshest seafood.

Waiting on the Shrimpers 1
Waiting on the Shrimpers 1

During our July visit, I excused myself while waiting to be seated to capture a few vignettes of the dockside.  These seagulls immediately caught my eye as they patiently awaited the daily return of the shrimp boats.  They are more than happy to clean up the scraps! I was attracted by the contrast between the orderly grid like shingle textures and the sky.  And, the seemingly random placement of gulls on the orderly shingle grid.

Waiting on the Shrimpers 2
Waiting on the Shrimpers 2

A quick word or two of advice.  First, after your meal in Calabash, make sure to stop in to Callahan’s of Calabash “everything beach” gift shop .   Also, while on the docks, be on the lookout for incoming seagull shit.  Sorry, I meant poop.

Waiting on the Shrimpers 3
Waiting on the Shrimpers 3

Thanks for stopping by today.   For the best viewing experience, click on an image to see a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers,

C. S.

Caswell County Countrysides, 2 pics

Here are a couple of lovely country landscapes to wrap up my series on Caswell County.

Caswell County Countryside Composition 2
Caswell County Countryside Composition 2
Caswell County Countryside Composition 1
Caswell County Countryside Composition 1

For the best viewing experience, click on an image to view a high resolution version from my portfolio site.

Cheers,

C. S.