the poetry of textures

Today I will discuss something I look for in my photography - TEXTURE.  
I Love textures.    I used to really go overboard on textures and that is the reason I've re-edited some of my old photos.    When the photo is a photo of a texture or when there is plenty of texture in the photograph already it is not necessary to add any texture.    Texture should be treated like a fine wine.    A glass or two is perfect but if you get drunk you become an absolute mess.    Using texture is much the same (in my opinion).     Now I will add a caveat there are times for working on an abstract original a severe or obvious texture may add to the overall composition but these are rare instances.    Generally speaking texture is is like frosting on the cake.   You want some but you also want the cake also.   Okay maybe that's not the best analogy because I'm sure there are readers out there who would argue they could live on frosting alone (you know who you are).   LOL  🙂

I also love poetry.  I love poetry for it's ability to condense feelings, emotions, images, impressions into a few words - no need to write a novel.   At least I don't feel the need to write a novel.   :-).  Textures for me provide that same ability and can change a "feeling" or "impression" of an image just by adding some textures - the same that poetry does for language or storytelling.  
 
My newest texture was created using this photo below.  It is simply a photograph of paint/tar splatter on concrete wall under a roadway where homeless camp out from time to time.   When I photographed this I took the image with an intention of using it as a texture.   I didn't know how at the time but today it all came together.  
In Photoshop is opened the raw file added contrast etc because I wanted the "squiggles" to stand out more.   Then I began to add layers of the photo,  rotating and repositioning them as as what felt right.   Each layer I would either use the "exclusion" or "difference" function.  When I was finished I had a wonderful abstract mess that I could use as a texture.    The original was in color but I also converted it to black & white to use on monochrome photos.  
One of the things I like about textures is that they can bring out the feelings or moods of an image that lie just under the surface.    And I think this can take a bland image from the level of mere representation to "art".     See what you think.   

Below are two photos. The one from an abandoned factory; I haven't posted before because it seemed to be missing something, but when I added the color version of this new texture it seemed to come alive for me.   You can see hints of the texture but again it does not overpower the original image.    It enhances the crusty dirty feeling of what the location was really like.   I almost feel like I can rub my finger across the image and dust and dirt will come off.    

On the Winter scene below - I used the black and white version of the texture.   And to me it gives the image almost a vintage feel.    It adds to the snowiness of the overall scene making it feel even sharper and therefore colder even icy.    
Well those are my thoughts and look into the evolution of some of my images.   What do you think?   If anyone would like a jpeg or tif file of these textures color and/or black and white to use on your own work - use the contact form on this blog and I will email you a copy of the file.   This offer is for a limited time only.   Thanks everyone.  

sunday verses #11

4 haiku for the end of Autumn.


(12/01/21)
Leaves begin their fall.
Colors changing while you watch
autumn's rich pageant.

(11/27/19)
Cold, dark, windy night;
trees shudder; dead leaves unchained 
make fierce their escape

(12/01/21)
Distant in the dark.
Sweet sounds the soft piano.
Music in the night.

(12/01/21)
Chill'd, damp autumn night.
Sleepless bare trees sway slowly.
Unwrapp'd, expos'd heart.

sunday verses #9

HOLES IN MY CITY   (2014)

There are holes in my city
where buildings used to stand.

Empty spaces are all that remain
where factories made my world.

A dream that never was
cannot be remembered or built upon.

There is no foundation 
there is only dust and wind.

Remembrance is only a delusion
sickness of mind and soul
for a community that is trapped
in its struggle to free itself from nothing.

There are holes in my city
where buildings used to stand.

Places where people lived
where the voices of children could be heard.

Now there is silence
even the ghosts don't linger here.

Some say silence is golden
but the same silence can drive a person mad.

There are holes...

happy november

Hello and happy November.   Todays image was just taken this past Saturday 10/30/2021.   To me it is a quintessential Autumn shot with color, texture and the theme of breaking down - the end of life.  Enjoy.    

even bad photos can be interesting

Sometimes “bad” photos can be interesting.  In 2008 I was still trying to figure my way around a camera (in some respects that hasn’t changed) but these photos posted here I still really like.   

we ARE nineteen-eighty-four!

It’s amazing how true this video is. We are experiencing totalitarianism on an emotional level right now and it is bubbling under the surface of society and culture ready to break out on the surface.

Whether it’s the manufactured fear generated by the media that governs politicians decisions as opposed to wisdom.

Whether it’s the ever-present observance and loss of privacy generated by corporations and the government thru various surveillance systems and how that is being used to manufacture paranoia. I’m reminded of something the corporation I work for put out about two years ago which stated, “You should assume, when you are at work, that there is NO privacy. Everything is being watched and can be recorded.”

How long will we continue to accept the degradation of civility and vote people into power and support corporations, media, politicians and religions that will continue to generate fear, paranoia, and control over the citizenry?

What will you do and continue to give up in order to live? And is that really living? People may say “Oh, It can’t get that bad.” but that’s exactly how it does happen. The lie that causes people to let down their guards and accept the small changes that lead to the complete transformation. The lie becomes the truth. There is no difference.

Now some may argue that this post itself is manufacturing fear.   I want to be very clear my intent is NOT to manufacture fear.   I do not want people to be afraid.   I want them to WAKE UP! I want all my readers to be ALIVE AND AWAKE not the walking dead.

Music for Summer 2021

Last year my album for Summer 2020 was Toya Willcox’s COURT OF THE CRIMSON QUEEN.

This year I am unable to limit my selection to one artist. So you get one plus a bonus. Yay! Everyone likes a bonus! LOL .

The first artist has released her first solo album of original material. She is part of the Manchester Soul scene in the UK. Her name is Josephine Oniyama although she shortens it to just Josephine. She was born into a rich broth of Jamaican and Nigerian cultural heritage. Her album PORTRAIT is amazing and beautifully showcases her versatile voice. At times she sounds like Janis Joplin “I Pray That I Move” and Annie Lennox “Original Love” and other shims she has a pop acoustic feel similar to Tracy Chapman. But those are just first impressions. Her music traverses the wonderful and lush soundscapes of country, pop and soul with some jazzy inflections. She has previously released a few singles and was a featured vocalist with UK Jazz trumpeter/composer Matt Hallsal and his Gondwana Orchestra. It will be interesting to watch her career as it moves forward. Enjoy the following three tracks from her debut album PORTRAIT. You may purchase or download via BANDCAMP https://josephineoniyama.bandcamp.com you may also want to check out her website http://josephineoniyama.com

So, let’s get on with the music (some videos may be only viewable on YouTube – but it’s worth it.

Portrait (title track)

WHAT A DAY

https://www.youtube.com/embed/MKrLJ31qRFA

ORIGINAL LOVE

https://www.youtube.com/embed/6jfBewgMSdY

The bonus artist for my summer music playlist is Canadian soul and jazz singer Dominique Fils-Aimé. She was born/raised in Montreal, Canada to Haitian immigrant parents. She recently released her third full-length album. This gal is ambitions and I say that because she jumped out of the gate with thematic trilogy with her first album being the first entry in the trilogy with each album exploring a different area of African-American music. The first album NAMELESS focused on Jazz. The new album THREE LITTLE WORDS is the final installment of the trilogy and is very much a Soul album. The title of the album is so named because each song is titled using only three words.

Her website is https://domiofficial.com/en/ and you may also purchase/download on Bandcamp at https://singwithmi.bandcamp.com

LOVE TAKE OVER

https://www.youtube.com/embed/R4mUkkpNx6U

THREE LITTLE WORDS (title track)

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/9D_8AEjCs08

WHILE WE WAIT

https://www.youtube-nocookie.com/embed/tlEzGEpQ3mQ

Metallica & Flamenco?

If you’ve never heard of Rodrigo y Gabriela you have been missing out on something quite interesting, inventive and magical. I first heard them while I was working in music retail and their eponymous first album was released. I’ve been following them ever since.

This duo’s background is in heavy metal, which is the music Rodrigo’s band played and Gabriela was more-or-less a “groupie” that followed his band. Then they started dating and playing acoustic guitar. They found they had a real chemistry and explored their cultural roots in flamenco. They stopped dating when they discovered that the relationship was getting in the way of the music they wanted to make. And that’s when their music really started to take off. They began by “busking” around Ireland and Europe which is how they were discovered which would lead to their first recording. Several years and several albums later they released their most recent studio album Metallovution which won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Album.

Over the years, in addition to writing their own material, they have covered many rock legends like Led Zeppelin, Slayer, et al, with their acoustic flamenco guitar style. These song selections always allowed them to leave one foot firmly grounded in heavy metal while continuing their acoustic style. They have, in recent years also been delving into jazz. their most recent EP is a 3-song cover of contemporary jazz covers by Snarky Puppy, Kamasai Washington and legendary tango composer Astor Piazzolla.

Todays video is a wonderful live video that was recorded at a 2014 show at the historic Red Rocks Amphitheatre, Colorado, USA where they perform an instrumental Metallica medley. Now aside from Metallica’s “Black Album” I’ve never been a big fan of the group. But this video is wonderful to see and hear the type of energy the music contains without the ear shredding vocals, drums and searing electric guitar. As an added bonus they are joined by one of their idols, Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo. So enjoy this medley of 4 songs by Metallica: “Orion” “For Whom The Bell Tolls” “The Frayed Ends of Sanity” and “Battery”.

Much of their work is available through Bandcamp at https://rodrigoygabriela.bandcamp.com. And check out their website at https://www.rodgab.com

Have a great week everyone! 🙂