A great jigsaw puzzle

I’ve seen advertisements for places that offer to make a jigsaw puzzle from one of your photos.  I’ve toyed with the idea several times and usually turned away since the puzzles just don’t contain enough pieces to be truly challenging.  Everyone needs a good challenge don’t they?  I’ve also felt that the puzzle creation deserved an image that would offer a lot of complexity and user frustration. Back to that “challenge” thing I guess.

I participate in an informal group of digital geeks/photographers here in Portland.  We meet monthly and talk about items of interest and show each other prints from recent outings or our files.  We meet in a restaurant on Mississippi in north Portland and the street offers a wide variety of storefront experiences.  It’s kind of a “NW 23rd wanna-be”. I’ve walked the length of the street several times and have always thought that one store was particularly interesting.  I have to say that it is sure “different”.  I’ve always wanted to take a photo of the window and did just that last night.  Several of our group met an hour early and ventured out onto Mississippi to shoot night photos. Brand new to me but I thought it was the perfect opportunity to get the photo I’ve wanted.  After processing it heavily as an HDR and then working it over in a couple of Topaz filters I think I have a photo to use for the jigsaw puzzle.  Without further delay I present… my jigsaw puzzle.

I know a nice lady in Medford who will get a copy of this puzzle if I can find a company that will cut it up into 500 or more fiendish pieces.  Hey… she likes a challenge…. don’t you Barbara?

We also did some more conventional night shots.  Again, brand new type of shooting for me but I enjoyed being out with some friends and playing with the camera.

And now for something different

My friend Anndee suggested that we get together to photograph soap bubbles.  Given that I’m a sucker for trying new things with the camera I accepted the invitation.  How hard could that be.  Really.  All I can say is that she and I probably entertained the neighbors for a short time as we tried unsuccessfully to create bubbles and photograph them in her back yard.  Not gonna happen.  Being smart people we chuckled and moved everything inside.  Even then, the bubbles were tempermental, the light was variable, the duration of bubble life was all too short and we were quite excited when we actually got some cool colors registered on our memory cards.  We took turns using my 105 macro lens and blowing bubbles.  What a comic scene we were and I’m glad we were inside and out of view.  I learned that I’m a lousy bubble blower but I’m pretty sure I can live with that.

Now that I’ve done a bit of research on how to be more successful creating durable bubbles and photographing them I’m sure that I’ll give it another whirl sometime this winter.  I really do love the vibrant colors and fractal, chaotic designs.

Try to look past the failings of these images and appreciate the patterns and colors.  I’ll bring sharper and more complex ones to the blog in the future.

What to do?

It is snowing harder and there are now 3+ inches on the railing in front of my room.  Looks like I’ll be hunkering down in town unless the daylight shows the roads to be wet…. I’m not counting on that happening but it would be a nice surprise.

I spent some of the evening playing with the HDR files I shot of the Sundial bridge.  Thanks for all the nice comments we got on the three previous files I posted.  I am confident that these files will get processed again when I get on a system with decent color management.  I’m definitely not used to trying to make adjustments with a mouse…. I miss my little tablet!  Anyway, here’s the broad context for the bridge.  You can google “Sundial Bridge” and get a lot of information about its design and history.

Redding, CA

We drove into Redding about 5:00 PM today basking in the strongest sun we’ve seen in months.  If we’d needed to go another hour on the road the AC would have been on. Di was down to a tank top and loving the warm.  We checked in to the motel, got some dinner and headed for the Sundial Bridge at Turtle Bay.  We’d been there one other time but it was mid-day and the light was…… well….. mid-day…. AKA “awful”.  My goal this time was to shoot the bridge at sunset and then after dark with twilight in the sky.  I don’t hold too much hope for the shots from mid-river at sunset but I’ll work them up after we return home.  The following three shots were taken with quite a few people walking by and bouncing the bridge as we shot.  The black and white image is Dianne’s and was hand held.  The other two had the benefit of the tripod but with the pedestrian movement and bridge sway it probably didn’t help as much as it could have.  This structure has such wonderful geometry and angles to work with.  I could probably spend several hours working around the site.  Another time perhaps… off to bed at this point.  Tomorrow night I’ll be in Minden, NV with our friends the Schmidts and Di will be immersed in her yoga retreat and on her way to completing a 6 month effort to gain certification.  Much more to come…

Texture and color

Several years ago my friend JR looked at picture of a peacock that I’d taken and made me promise to pick up any peacock feathers I might find so he could use them to make flies for his fishing habit.  The other day, when Di and I were at the Farmers Market, I saw one booth that had a bucket full of peacock feathers for sale.  JR will be at our house in a few weeks and I’ll give him 3 of the plumes.  How he carries them on an extended road trip in a car is his problem  🙂

I set up to take some closeups of the feathers and some wheat that I collected recently.  All this in the name of collecting images that illustrate texture in another project I’m working on this year.  YIKES… it’s July… gotta get going on these self-inflicted projects!