Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Piles of Pumpkins (Digital Woodcut)

A few years ago, I posted a posterized photo of piles of miniature pumpkins. Here it is again, this time with a woodcut effect that I applied tonight in Painter 12. Lots of little pumpkins for October 31st.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Manhattan in the Morning (Posterized Version)

Tonight I used Painter to create this posterized versions of one of my favorite photos of New York City, a photo that I took from the train a few years ago. I was headed back to Boston after a trip to New York. (The original version, was posted here on July 17, 2008.) It is hard to get a picture of New York City from that train. There's just a fleeting moment because the train enters and leaves Manhattan through a tunnel. You have to look for it and be ready, and it is very hard to get the photo. This view is one of the few times I got a successful picture of that fleeting glimpse. When I posterized the image tonight, I got some interesting colors and effects, and I think it looks like the sky clearing, and sun after rain. I liked it. It reminded me of a picture that was in the news today, a great big rainbow over New York City.

Monday, October 29, 2012

More Purple Beautyberries

More Purple Beautyberries by randubnick
More Purple Beautyberries, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
Here's another view of the Purple Beautyberries that I saw last week at Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, MA. In this view, the branches are a little wind-blown. This view doesn't highlight the orderly pattern of the leaves and parallel strands of purple berries. But I like the complicated tangle of leaves and berries in this image.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Strands of Purple Beautyberries

This is a photo that I took last week at Long Hill Gardens. These beautiful purple berries don't look real, but they are. The name doesn't sound real either, but it is. (Look it up on Google.) They grow in long strands that look like necklaces. Tonight I used Painter's digital pastel to retouch some leaves and simplify a bit of background, and then posterized the image.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Birch Tree in Nashua (Posterized and Digitally Modified Photo)

This morning we drove to Nashua for a rally for Barack Obama. James Taylor was performing. We were a little late setting out, but hoping to get there in time to get in! (We knew it was first-come-first-served, but we decided to try.) We had never been to Nashua before, and were hoping not to get lost. We parked in a big parking lot near an industrial park in some old mill buildings, and then we hurried up the hill to catch the shuttle bus. On the way to the bus, I was admiring the view: beautiful autumn leaves with the river as a backdrop. But we were in a rush, no time to stop and photograph trees! And then there were hours standing in line and going through security, etc. Hours later, we returned from the rally, happy but tired. Now that there was time to stop and take pictures, my iPhone battery was dead because I had used it to take photos and videos at the rally. So I plugged my iPhone into the car charger. As I got ready to set off for home, suddenly my iPhone powered on, not enough to unplug, but enough to take just one picture from inside the car while my phone was still plugged in. So I took a picture of this beautiful birch tree at the edge of the parking lot, even though I was also getting a photo of two concrete parking barriers and a pole at the same time! Tonight I opened the image in Painter and used some cut-and-paste and some digital pastel to hide the concrete barriers and the pole. Then I did some posterizing and cropping. I am glad we took a chance and went to Nashua, and glad I took a chance on this picture.

Friday, October 26, 2012

October Woods

October Woods by randubnick
October Woods, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
This is a photo that I took last Sunday. We went to Long Hill Gardens here in Beverly, MA. Almost all my Long Hill photos are of the gardens planted on the estate, but there are wooded trails as well. On Sunday, we followed a little path just outside the formal gardens, which gave us a nice view of the woods. That's where I took this picture. The fall colors are amazing, and I am taking lots of pictures of leaves these days because I know they won't last long, especially with a big storm brewing. Tonight I cropped the original photo to get this composition. I think I might try to paint this scene with oil bars.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Autumn Field

Autumn Field by randubnick
Autumn Field, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
Today we went to Long Hill Gardens to pick up our weekly share from The Food Project, our local CSA (community supported agriculture or farm share). Joining a CSA adds work: cramming too many zucchini into the fridge, cleaning and chopping vegetables, scouring recipe books for butternut squash recipes. But it makes cooking more of an adventure, makes me think about food differently, and when I stand in the field picking cherry tomatoes, I feel like a little kid on a field trip. But for me, it's always visual feast as well, seeing the colors and patterns in the fields. So I took this picture to try to capture a little of that. This was the last pick-up day of the season, so it is so long to the The Food Project, at least until May. But we are trying out a winter CSA at a local organic farm, and it starts in a couple of weeks.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Chicken on the Grill

Chicken on the Grill by randubnick
Chicken on the Grill, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
Over the weekend, I worked on this crayon drawing of chicken on the grill. I wanted to use it as an illustration for a recipe on our food blog. If you want to see the blog, go to

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sunlight on Bright Leaves

Sunlight on Bright Leaves by randubnick
Sunlight on Bright Leaves, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
Here's one last look at these beautiful leaves in the bright late afternoon sun. Tonight I used iPhoto for some gentle retouching and a little cropping. So this is the image pretty much as it came out of my iPhone camera.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Amazing Leaves (Posterized Photo)

Here is another view of the amazing leaves I photographed last Thursday at Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, MA. I still don't know what kind of plant this is, but I love the colors and the patterns. It almost looks like a tropical plant! I also liked the way the plant with the highlights and shadows of the late afternoon light. Tonight I did some retouching and posterizing in Painter 12. I was intending to crop the image, but decided that I like this quirky composition just as it is.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunlight on Autumn Leaves (Posterized)

On Thursday, we went to Long Hill Gardens to pick up our farm share from the CSA. (It was one of the last weeks.) I was admiring some of the autumn leaves on shrubs near the fields. They looked great in the strong afternoon light so I took some pictures with my iPhone camera. When I loaded the images into my computer, I noticed that one of the pictures was washed out at the edges with very bright light. I decided to see what I could do with it because it is fun to solve problems like that, and sometimes posterizing a photo can create amazing effects with diffused light. So I cleaned up the image with some retouching in iPhoto, and then opened the image in Painter. I did some cropping to focus on the leaves and in the process, eliminated some of the white areas. Then I posterized the image, and here is the result.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Bright Red Leaves (Posterized Photo)

Here's one more image from my photo shoot of the beautiful autumn leaves in Lexington, Massachusetts. I loved the bright red leaves of this maple tree. Tonight I cropped this image out of the original photo. Then I used Painter 12 to posterize it , and cropped a second time to get the final composition.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Red and Orange Leaves (Posterized)

Here's another image of red and orange leaves. This started with a picture of a beautiful tree that I saw yesterday when I was in Lexington, Massachusetts. Tonight I cropped the original image to focus on the brightest red leaves. Then I used Painter 12 to simplify a bit of the background, and then posterized the image. Finally I cropped it again to get this composition.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Golden Leaves

Golden Leaves by randubnick
Golden Leaves, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
I was in Lexington (Massachusetts) today. It isn't far away, but further inland so the weather is a bit different, and the trees there usually turn earlier than here in Beverly, MA. I saw some gorgeous trees today, so I got out my iPhone and took some pictures. This was one of the best. This tree was backlit by the sun, which produced an amazing golden light.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Bend in the Road (Digital Pastel)

I made this quick sketch tonight with digital pastel (using Painter 12). The trees are turning beautiful colors of gold and apricot. There are many views like this on country roads around here, but what I really had in mind is closer to home: a little piece of roadway between a major street and the nearest shopping center. The curve of that little road is beautiful, a great view in every season, but I have never taken a picture there because I am usually driving right through, with traffic behind me, and there is really no good place to park. Of course, I saw it today, and the colors were amazing. So tonight I did this little sketch from memory.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

First Red Leaves (Burning Bush Shrub)

I took this photo during a walk back on September 29, during a walk at the Cummings Center. I think this shrub is called "Burning Bush" and it's usually the first to have bright red leaves in the fall. Great color! Tonight I used iPhoto to retouch and crop the original image.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Pink Mums (Digital Woodcut)

Pink Mums (Digital Woodcut) by randubnick
Pink Mums (Digital Woodcut), a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
Here is the third (and last) version of my pink mums. I used Painter 12 to apply a woodcut effect to my photograph. I think I like this version best of the three.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Pink Mums (Posterized Photo)

Yesterday I posted a photo of some pink mums that I recently saw on display in front of Green Meadows Farm. This is another version of the same image. Tonight I used Painter 12 to adjust the focus and contrast to make the lines a bit sharper. Then I posterized the image. I also created a version with Painter's woodcut effect. I plan to post that version here tomorrow.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Pink Mums

Pink Mums by randubnick
Pink Mums, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
Something simple, just a photo that I took last week, pink mums on display in from of Green Meadows Farm. Tonight I used iPhoto to adjust focus and exposure, then cropped the original version to get this composition. Tomorrow I am going to try posterizing this image. That usually works well with a soft focus.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Composition with Peppers

Composition with Peppers by randubnick
Composition with Peppers, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
Yesterday was pick-up day at The Food Project (our local CSA). I saw a bin full of beautiful peppers. So before I picked my peppers, I took a quick picture with my iPhone camera. Tonight I used iPhoto to do a little retouching and then cropped the image to get this composition. This might be a good image for our food blog.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Butterfly and Flower

Butterfly and Flower by randubnick
Butterfly and Flower, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
I took this photo today at Fields of Flowers at Long Hill Gardens. Today it was free to cut flowers because a frost is expected. While I was wandering around cutting the tall zinnias, I saw this beautiful butterfly, who was quite content to be photographed and didn't seem to mind the iPhone looming overhead. Tonight I did some retouching and cropping in iPhoto.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Afternoon Fog at Lynch Park

I took this photo on October 3, just one week ago. Even though the weather didn't seem very cooperative, we stopped to walk the dog at Lynch Park (here in Beverly, MA). This isn't a prime-time view of the beach: no sun, gray water, low clouds, and seaweed all over the beach. But I liked what the foggy weather did to the scenery, and even liked the way the seaweed looked, so I took some pictures. This is the best of the bunch. Tonight I used iPhoto to do some straightening and retouching, and then cropped to get this composition.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Sunlight on the Nasturtiums

Sunlight on the Nasturtiums by randubnick
Sunlight on the Nasturtiums, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
I took this photo on September 27th. That was a Thursday, pickup day for The Food Project (our CSA -- Community Supported Agriculture). Although the CSA will keep going for a few more weeks, this was our last chance of the season to visit "Fields of Flowers" (also at Long Hill Gardens) where you can pick your own bouquet. Although there are lots of tall zinnias and dahlias and mums, the nasturtiums are my favorite. You might miss them because they are low to the ground, and the blossoms are half-hidden behind the leaves. But I love the patterned leaves and the bright red-orange flowers. That day, the late afternoon sun was playing on the leaves, and I couldn't resist taking a picture. Tonight I used iPhoto to do a bit of retouching, and then cropped the image to get this composition.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Purple Mums

Purple Mums by randubnick
Purple Mums, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
This is a photo that I took last week at Green Meadows Farm in South Hamilton, Massachusetts. It was about 3 PM and we are already getting that late afternoon light. I liked the way the light was playing on the purple flowers. Tonight I used Painter to do a little digital touch up on a leaf or two, and then cropped to get this composition.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Wooden Walkway (Bradley Palmer State Park)

Here's another photo that I took during a recent walk at Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield, MA. This is near the Willowdale Estate, where there is a raised wooden walkway near the water. I liked the dappled light on the boardwalk and the touch of yellow in the leaves, so I took a picture. Tonight I used iPhoto to adjust the shadows and crop to get this composition.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Into the Woods (Path at Bradley Palmer)

Here's another photo that I took yesterday during a walk at Bradley Palmer State Park (in Topsfield, MA.) Tonight I used iPhoto to adjust the shadows, and then cropped the image to get this composition. I like to paint this kind of scene. Maybe I will. . . .

Friday, October 05, 2012

Autumn Reflections

Autumn Reflections by randubnick
Autumn Reflections, a photo by randubnick on Flickr.
This is a photo that I took today during a walk at Bradley Palmer State Park in Topsfield, MA. (We had a trip to the vet, located near the park, so it seemed like a great opportunity to do some local "leaf peeping" like the tourists do.) We went back to the area near the Willowdale Estates where there is a raised wooden pathway right next to the water. I used my iPhone camera and took some pictures of the fall foliage. I think this was one of the best pictures I took today. Tonight I did some editing in iPhoto, just cropping and adjusting the shadows.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Field of Greens (Kale at The Food Project)

Today we went to The Food Project, our local CSA located at Long Hill Gardens. Thursday is the day we go to pick up our share of farm share. It was raining so I didn't take any pictures. But here is a photo from last week. I liked the patterns in these great big kale leaves, so I took a picture. Tonight I used iPhoto to do a little retouching.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Sapphire Berries on the Branch

This is a photo that I took on Monday during a late afternoon walk at Long Hill Gardens, here in Beverly, Massachusetts. The berries on the sapphire berry tree were bright blue. I took some pictures with my iPhone camera, and this was the best of them. Tonight I used iPhoto to do a little bit of retouching and cropping.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Chicken Collage Day 28 (October 3, 2012)

Today I went to the studio and worked on this project, a collage of a chicken made up of patterns. I dreamed up this idea one day while I was at Long Hill Garden, looking at the real live chickens and admiring their feathers. Today I adding a bit to the wing, and closed up some gaps. Now I think that the body of the bird is just about finished. I might do something to make the legs look sturdier. This has been slow going, but I am almost there. I have decided to name this chicken "Patience".

Monday, October 01, 2012

Morning Glories in Essex, MA

I took this photo last weekend, of morning glories on display in front of a gift shop in Essex, Massachusetts. We were looking around until it was time to head for the boat for our ride on the Essex River. I couldn't resist the bright colors on such an overcast day. Tonight I did a little editing in iPhoto, cropping the image and using the retouch tool on one of the leaves.