Tag Archives: blue

Do You Have A Dragonfly Yet?

Living in the tropics the amount of insects and other assorted creatures you find is just staggering.   Most of them are not very photogenic.   However, every once in a while you run into the sort of small insect that screams for a photograph.  A dragonfly remains one of the best examples I know.

Thus, I proudly introduce you to the latest in our dragonfly collection. Blue Dragonfly is a portrait capture of a male Pondhawk in all his beauty. That is unless your another insect, for these voracious hunters prey on smaller insects they capture with the their ability to fly at speeds of 30 mph or more.

Adding a little filter action to the scene produces the remarkable orange background. Funny enough, the background for this shot was actually orange. All the filter did was enhance a little more of this amazing color all the while bringing out the dramatic blue.

Blue Dragonfly
Blue Dragonfly

The hardest part of the filter process was the maintaining of those fragile wings.   A dragonfly’s wings have a very thin, almost completely translucent quality to them. Changing the filter to enhance certain colors would invariably end up transforming the unique properties of those special wings. Indeed it was a challenge that ended with some surprisingly pleasant results.

In the end, when this radiant blue dragonfly with it’s gossamer wings resting peacefully on a flower appeared before my camera I took the opportunity to snap it up.   An act I’m confident you’ll want to do too.

 

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Discover the Energy of the Lions

Blue Lion is the first in a dual picture set. Red lion is the other picture offered in the set . Meant to go together side by side, the details and colors of these two lions bring up the energies found in fire and water.

Both elements are clearly lions of the elemental world. They both contain a primal cleansing function and are equally feared by man. Lions represent the sheer force and power of nature in action and these statues summon an example of that ferociousness.

Blue Lion
Blue Lion
Red Lion
Red Lion

With the blue hue representative of the water element and the red hue a symbol of fire, we seek and find an energy balance between these giants of the natural world.

Whether you are seeking to enhance the Feng Shui flow of energy found in fire or water or just seeking a powerful dual statement of protection, these lions will look equally good protecting a doorway or projecting color into a room.

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Before DART: The Texas Electric Railway

For this next piece, Blue Texas Railway,   I took the image of a historical railway sign and added some modern flair.  The Texas Electric Railway was a streetcar rail line that existed in Dallas in 1917.

According to the Texas State Historical Society, “The company operated three routes out of Dallas, one to Sherman and Denison, one to Ennis and Corsicana, and one to Hillsboro and Waco. With a length of 226 miles, the Texas Electric was the longest interurban between the Mississippi River and California.”

The company finally stopped service in 1948. The cause of the failure was the increasing competition of people owning personal cars and trucks. A strange twist of fate because one of the leading reasons for  Dallas Area Rapid Transit or DART is the heavy traffic and desperate need for a metro line in Dallas.

The image of the rail sign and indeed the sign itself  is originally black and white. While this would provide great contrast to the image alone, I couldn’t let it be.  Like a child with a new toy, I’ve been looking for the perfect image to try out a new yellow and blue filter process that would give an image an electrifying tonal change. The stark contrast of the filter applied over a slightly underdeveloped original produced the extremes I was looking for.

Blue Texas Railway
Blue Texas Railway

 

My feeling is that while black and white art is much more traditional and classic, there are plenty of occasions where a burst of color will produce a much more satisfying emotional response in the picture.

 

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George C. Werner, “TEXAS ELECTRIC RAILWAY,” Handbook of Texas Online(http://www.tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/eqt13), accessed April 27, 2015. Uploaded on June 15, 2010. Published by the Texas State Historical Association.

I Didn’t know that!: Photographing a White Pelican

I love to take pictures of animals. It doesn’t matter what type of animal or how big they are. They are natural subjects that the art of photography can take full advantage of in both a scientifically curious way and an artistic way. Naturally, when I got the chance to photograph a group of white pelicans while they were swimming in a small holding tank, I went for it.

This pelican is truly an incredible bird. The white pelican is larger than it’s well known Louisiana cousin the brown pelican. They may look similar but truly, this 14 pound 9 foot monster of the aviary world belongs in a class all of it’s own.

As with most of my natural subjects, it’s amazing to do a little research and discover little known facts about them. While I was already aware that they catch fish with their large beaks by skimming the waters, I was unaware that they migrate.Pelican

I grew up thinking that pelicans were mainly seabirds that you would have to go to the ocean to see. I didn’t realize they could be found as far north as South Dakota and Minnesota during the summer months. When the weather begins to cool, they start their southerly migration like many other birds.   They use lakes and rivers and marshlands for brief stops along the way.

Their winter destination is usually the Louisiana and Texas Gulf Coasts. But they also travel to areas as far south as Tabasco and Veracruz, Mexico.

Seeing these birds in flight is amazing. They are so big that they rarely like to flap their wings and prefer to coast by soaring on the air currents. In the air they remind me of some type of feathered pterodactyl with their bent wings and huge misshapen heads.

Our recent work Pelican, gives you some idea of the size of those wings. This beautiful bird was swimming around a small fishing dock looking for fish and chasing other pelicans for an opportunity to steal a catch. Its large wing is wet and you can easily see the water glistening on its edge. Also, this magnificent bird is sporting a growth on his bill that advertises his maturity and availability to mate to member of the opposite sex.

The one thing that always strikes me about this image though, is the crystal cold ice blue eyes that it has. I often have an artistic habit of looking for areas of deciding contrast in my subjects.  I feel that it brings the artistic nature of the natural world into view.

It’s that simple love of the contrast between the blue of the eye and the orange of this bill and shaded white of his feather that really caught my attention. It truly is a beautiful bird that deserves a portrait of its own and a place to hang in your home or office. Enjoy!

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Sources:

Hall, Kristin. “American White Pelican Tracking Map: Migration 2012-2013.” AecGis American White Pelican Tracking Map: Migration 2012-2013. Audubon Minnesota Conservation and GIS, 21 July 2014. Web. 06 Nov. 2014. <http://www.arcgis.com/home/webmap/viewer.html?webmap=da25d277bfbc42d0946f4b6b953a60b8>.

Tin: Victorian Decoration Gone Insane

This photograph of a blue door with a tin wall was a first for me. The faded blue door itself was little more than two pieces of painted plywood being held into place by a set of old rusty hinges. There is no telling how long this building has sat in disrepair. Even the latch where the lock once held the doors had and been long forgotten.

The door was being held shut by a thin beam of wood, showing a lot of weathering from the dry alpine desert conditions and the bushes were overgrown all around the place. Overall the door provided an interesting view into the history of this old dilapidated building

However, the most striking feature by far was the brightly colored tin wall panels attached to the decaying adobe exterior. It is the first time I ever saw decorative tin used on the outside of a building to such an extent. Normally,  tin a decoration used inside of a building.   Of course, this does not mean it’s never used outside, but I’ve never heard of it being used on the outside from ground to roof. Surely the use of it as a full outdoor wall covering is a very rare event.Blue Door 2

In the 1800’s during the Victorian era, the use of decorative tin for ceiling tiles and other cosmetic features was very popular .  Even today, it is often used as a decorative and easy to clean back-splash for a kitchen or wet bar area. So the using tin is not that unusual in the decorations found in some very old buildings.

I’ve seen decorative tin tiles lining roofs and even used as wall hangings on the outside of a building. They usually appear as stars or decorative shapes that give the building a distinct character.

Indeed, there are hundreds of designs and patina available for walls, separate wall framing and ceiling covers. They are still a favorite decoration used while  restoring 19th and early 20th century homes and farmhouses. On the outside of a building though, you might see only a few decorative pieces displayed as a garden fixture or hanging on a barn door or wall but never in the measure as this photograph suggests.

So, even though it’s a mystery you walk away from this piece with two known facts. The owners really wanted to stand out in their community.   I mean, look at that use of tin and of course the color!   The second is that this door with it’s faded blue and white really give contrast to the bright red of the tile, making this a unique piece of art worthy of any wall.

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