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Tag Archives: digital art

A few weeks back, right before the digital photography class I was teaching was about to start, there was a sudden power outage in the room. Try has he may, the building maintenance “guy” was unable to fix the problem so I simply moved my class to the lobby of the building. While it’s not the most lovely of places, the suspended ceiling just happened to be covered with more than a dozen strands of colorful garlands made up of origami paper cranes. Neat! 🙂

“Soarin’ ” (Origami Paper Crane Garland) Nikon D300, 120mm, F/5.3, 1/160s, ISO 3200, Built-in Fill-Flash w/Gary Fong “Puffer” Diffuser, -1.0 EV, Nik Silver Efex Pro “Infrared Film Soft” Filter w/Selective Toning & Vignette

Not one to miss an opportunity for intriguing subject matter, I instructed my students to shoot the birds (with their cameras, of course 😉 ) and look for angles and patterns that create interesting compositions. I also joined in the fun, playing around with different camera settings and switching back and forth between shooting in color as well as in black and white.

Those shots remained completely forgotten until today when I came upon them while scanning through my media cards. Turns out, I preferred the compositions I’d taken in color except for the stained drop ceiling tiles in the background (which I thought would have faded away with the shallow DOF I was using). 

So, I popped on over to Nik Silver Efex Pro to see if one of the trusty black and white filters could diffuse that not-so-great background and perhaps, bump up the contrast to make these birds really sing. A few clicks later and that’s an affirmative on the background and the contrast but now, I missed the color. 😦

Hmmmm, lemme think. Welllll, it was the orange bird who caught my attention in the first place soooooo let’s give him the spotlight and see if that does the trick.

Click, click, click – Boom! One fun abstract image! 🙂

Just kidding! 🙂

Although I’m definitely a fan of the mouse, I’m not so far gone as to think an animated character is qualified to lead the free world. But, if I think about the current list of presidential candidates, eh, we could do worse. 😉

While perusing the shelves at “The Yankee Peddler” in the Magic Kingdom’s Liberty Square, I became fascinated with the rows of trinkets for sale and how the items appeared as little soldiers in some sort of bizarre mouse army.

“Ice, Ice Mickey” (Mickey Mouse Pepper Mills, The Yankee Peddler, Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom Theme Park, Walt Disney World, Florida), Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 13.8mm, F/4, 1/20s, ISO 1000, Photoshop CS4 Inverted

Back home, I decided the resulting images could use a tiny bit of creative assistance which was easily achieved via Photoshop CS4. For the first photo, I simply inverted the colors to transform what were once rows of Mickey Mouse Pepper Mills into glowing glass sculptures in blue and white.

“Pop Art Mickey” (Best of Mickey Mouse Kitchen Timers, The Yankee Peddler, Liberty Square, Magic Kingdom Theme Park, Walt Disney World, Florida), Canon PowerShot SX40 HS, 13.8mm, F/4, 1/25s, ISO 800, Photoshop CS4 Posterized, Level 2

Since the colors and composition of the Mickey Mouse Kitchen Timers were already reminiscent of pop art, I decided to simplify things even more by ‘posterizing’ – which essentially means, converting a normal photograph into an image consisting of distinct, but flat, areas of different tones or colors.

Luckily, this effect isn’t as difficult as it sounds and only required a single click of the mouse ( 😉 ) and a slider adjustment to achieve.

Oh, why can’t selecting our next president be as easy? 🙂

For years, I’ve been fascinated by the squiggles the cucumber vine tendrils form in my garden. Simply put, I just think they are fun and once I began to focus my lens on all the different shapes, I then found them to be quite beautiful.

Now, I rarely do collages. However, in this instance, grouping of the various shapes came about as a natural progression. On their own, each squiggle appeared static, but as I began to put them together, the photos suddenly eruptedwith a sense of movement. 

“Bounce” (Abstract Collage/Cucumber Tendrils) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4, 1/320s, -1.0EV, ISO 400, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.7EV, Color Efex Pro Bi-color Filter

In the first collage I see chaos, like the pent-up energy of a Wham-O Super Ball released inside a room. Your mind wonders if the boxes will be able to contain them or are they destined to explode outward and onward.

Then, as if in complete contradiction, the second collage emotes a sense of calm, like the gentle ebb & flow of the sea or, perhaps, a wisp of smoke as released from a cigar and illuminated by the flame of nearby smouldering fire.

What do yousee?

“Undulation” (Abstract Cucumber Tendrils) Nikon D300, VR 105mm F/2.8G, F/4, 1/320s, -1.0EV, Built-in i-TTL Flash w/Gary Fong ‘Puffer’ Diffuser, -1.3EV

If interested, all were shot in color, then converted to B&W with a bi-color filter added to accentuate the natural twists and turns. Enjoy! 🙂

“Twilight Terror” (The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/22, 1/320s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

Some very wet weather outside has me digging through the photo archives today. There are still so many photos I haven’t posted from our last trip to Walt Disney World!To match the doom and gloom raging outside my window, it seems appropriate to take a tour of ‘The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror’, an attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Although I’ve ridden the “ride”, turns out I’m not a fan of being dropped down an elevator shaft. 😉

So while guests rushed passed me to access the queue line, I strode leisurely along, soaking in all the extraordinary details of the run-down exterior, lobby and, yes, even the basement.

Our tour begins outside. This is one of the few images shot in color, where the sky was a brilliant blue and the gorgeous Florida sun shone beautifully, lighting up all the architectural details. Hmmm, doesn’t exactly conjure up a feeling of terror, now does it? No worries. A quick pass through Nik’s Silver Efex Pro was all I needed to pull forth the uh, ‘terrifying’ mood.

“Concierge of Terror” (Concierge Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 56mm, F/5.6, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

Walking into the hotel lobby, we are first greeted by the concierge desk. I’m sure someone will be along shortly… 😉

“Cuppa Terror” (Tea Cart, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

 
 
 
 
 
While we wait, lets take a look around. To our left, a spot of tea can be enjoyed while taking part in a game of Mahjong. Although I’m quite impressed with the lush furnishings and elegant finishes, it appears housekeeping is not a high priority here. I must speak to the hotel manager about this.

“Check-in to Terror” (Front Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, 45mm, F/4.5, 1/10s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

 
 
 
 
 
 

Weary from my trip and tired of waiting for the concierge to return, I move towards the front desk.
 
Once again, the place seems deserted.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Perhaps the desk clerk is helping the gentleman who left his topcoat, hat and folded newspaper behind?

“Interrupted Terror” (Front Desk, Lobby, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios) Nikon D300, 28mm, F/4.5, 1/5s, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

“Super-intended Terror” (Basement Office, The Twilight Zone Tower of Tower, Disney’s Hollywoood Studios) Nikon D300, 35mm, F/2.8, 1/30s, -0.3EV, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter

 
 
 
 
 

After waiting impatiently for service, I begin searching the hotel for any signs of staff, eventually making my way into the basement level of the hotel.

Here, the Superintendent’s office and maintenance areas yield more of the same: neat, orderly, yet completely covered in dust and cobwebs, as if quickly abandoned and frozen in time.

“Hidden Terror” (Maintenance Shop, Basement, The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Nikon D300, 28mm, F/2.8, -1.0EV, ISO 640, Nik Silver Efex Pro ‘Solarized Border’ Filter


 
 
 

The hidden Mickey is a nice touch and instantly reminds me that indeed, I was never in any danger what-so-ever.

“We hope your stay at The Hollywood Tower Hotel has been a pleasant one. And please… do come back and see us again.”

Happily, I step back out into the bright sunshine, thankful I didn’t become a permanent resident of “The Twilight Zone’. 🙂

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