Tag Archives: urban

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.

 

Why not start your own artistic journey ?  Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!

 

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.

Our Feature Today is Behind Closed Doors

Many people adore gates because of their hidden meaning.  Gates represent both protection and unknown opportunities.  What is more compelling than not knowing what is behind a closed locked door?

After I started the process of determining what pictures to show in the gallery, I noticed that my mind had changed about this image. I discovered that I fell in love with the contrast of the image and the balancing act they do to make an entire quality piece of art.

The most compelling and notable contrast is the colors.  The door face was deep in a shadow due to the sun blazing on the other side of it.  This creates a cool blue tint to the wood and further enhanced the alluring black knots that penetrate the pieces of lumber.   The amazing contrast of lighting and color not only rely on the blue shades of the wood but the powerful warm reds and oranges found in the beams at the top of the door where the sun is revealing itself.

Consider the lines of the gate.  Let your eye follow the natural wood boards as they travel from the bottom of the door to the top.  Now, in the middle of the frame there is a bar that crosses the pattern of the up and down lines.  This contrast is even more real when you discover the bluish-gray cold iron handles that highlight and in fact, compliment the up and down lines found in the wood.

Not forgetting, we also have the lines created at the bottom of the door and the multiple warm sun-kissed beams at the top.  This creates a seductive framing of the door and provides it with the characteristic rectangle pattern that we naturally assume a door to have.

Overall, the effect generates powerful and mysterious questions.  What is behind the gate?  What opportunities lie on that mysterious path?

Can you imagine what it feels like to not know of our next adventure in photographic art?

Why not start your own artistic journey ?  Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!

5 Reasons to Enjoy Cacti

Growing a cactus is generally a love it or hate it part of the gardening world.  They make some of the best plants to grow and it’s even possible to plant varieties that produce fruit and eaten.

Some of the advantages of cactus in a garden are:

  • Low maintenance –  You really don’t need to worry about watering them everyday.  In the Texas summer when the temperature reach 105° in the shade, the heartiness of  a cactus plant is well suited to the dry and drought  conditions of August.  You do want to generally avoid tall-growing cacti such as a Sedona like cactus due to the intense storms that can roll off of the Great Plains.   A tree branch being torn from a tree in a 70 mph wind gust is bad enough, but an entire cactus with spines?  That’s a little frightening.
  • Little trimming –  Generally, you can let a cactus plant grow as it wishes however, if a cactus ever needs trimming make sure to use heavy work gloves and a good pair of garden shears.
  • Go long periods without nourishment  – Cactus can survive in desert climes with little water and little minerals from dusty and rocky soil.   Miracle-grow isn’t a necessity.
  • Cacti put out fruit that used in various candies and jams –  I learned this 1st hand when I was a student in archaeological field school.  Along with learning how the Native Americans cooked turtles, not for the weak of stomach, we foraged for prickly pear fruit during our time off.   It’s full of moisture and is just the thing when your hot and thirsty.
  • Security –  One of the most overlooked reasons for having a cactus garden is security.  Placing cactus strategically under windows is a great deterrent to a burglar.  Also, you can plant them as a border for other plans in a garden.  They serve as a natural defense against animals like dogs and coyotes.

 

There are some down side to cactus in a garden.

Cacti that receives too much water too much can start to rot and become an invitation to rodents and insects.

The largest deterrent to a cactus garden is pets and small children.  The curiosities of pets  or children child under 10 years old are generally not compatible with cactus.  These critters need to be trained about these plants so that a painful trip to an emergency room or veterinarian is not necessary.

Here is a good website with some further information about cacti:

http://www.thecactusdoctor.com/CactusCareTips.html

http://www.thecactusdoctor.com/Educational_Videos.html

Why not start your own artistic journey ?  Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!

 

Delphiniums: Reds, Whites, and Blues

When I took this picture I saw several things.  The first was a really cool blue stalk with gorgeous white and blue layered flowers.  The second was that the stalks of flowers  silhouetted against a field of pink and reds.  The color is so vivid and alive.    However, the plant is a mystery to me.

I admit that I’m not much of a gardener.  Living in a rather urban setting, there are few opportunities to practice growing anything more than an odd tulip now and again.  I should say that between tornadoes, hail storms, and the oppressive drought or summer heat from May to October, it is difficult to grow long-term plants that don’t end up looking like they had a 3 round fight with a weed-trimmer.

There was no sign telling me what kind of plant I was looking at.  Therefore, I did what anyone would do.  I Googled it.  This hybrid flower is one of the 300 species of the Delphinium plant.  It is a perennial found in many gardens throughout the world.  Gardeners are fond of the large spires of flowers and the unique color combinations that are found.  I discovered that they are only grown outside of the comfort zone of a cool climate like Alberta and Colorado as annuals.  Otherwise, they remain classified as perennials.   They remain a favorite with butterflies and hummingbirds.  However, it’s best to keep dogs and toddlers away from them as they are quite toxic and can make them very ill.

I’d imagine the Texas heat in July and August would melt them which would explain why I hadn’t seen this type of flower being grown around Dallas before.

I found this website gives good information on the different types of Delphinium available.

Why not start your own artistic journey ?  Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!

http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plant-dictionary/perennial/delphinium/

Why I Take Pictures of Machines

I love taking pictures of inanimate objects.  When I deal with picture of artificial objects, my ideas are very different.  I deal with fellow creators and their designs.  It’s that paradox of structure in a free-flowing universe that fascinates and motivates me. I want to see a brilliant engineering feat.

I investigate the way man has tried to copy nature to manipulate the environment around him. I want to capture not only his success of angles, glass and light, but also the monsters of machinery, the decay of forgotten days and failures we made in the hopes of out doing our surroundings.

Then I want to take that perfection or failure, that mathematical formulation of color, contrast, shape and form and place its picture on a wall.  Let the magic of the design dominate the room or blend in with the trappings of humanity that people find in their houses. When you pick an industrial or historical decor for your room or office, it only makes sense to work with art that highlights that aspect.

Why not start your own artistic journey ?  Sign up to be a friend of A&A Photographic Arts today!