painting and photographic works


Highlights of the Week

I might say the highlight of my week was getting back to the easel working on a painting – but it was just a little work and did not result in anything to share. I will however share some of my favorite photos from the last week (if you follow me on Flickr you may have already seen some of these). I am still without my Nikon so all of these works were taken and processed with an iPhone 3GS

Guard Rail

and by applying the TinyPlanets app to the previous image we get:

Guard Rail Planet

Another abstraction resulting from the TinyPlanets app


This next photo did NOT involve the TinyPlanets app. I took a picture of a burr lieing on the path I often walk. I enhanced the saturation of the image and then applied the fisheye feature on the CameraBag app:

Planet Burr

Finally a photo of a larges slushy puddle in which I just pushed the saturation and cropped it a bit:

Technicolor Slush Puddle

Exploring Tiny Planet

I’ve been seeing some neat abstract photos recently but was unsure at first how they were being created. I discovered an iPhone app called Tiny Planets is the tool. Today I have been exploring the creative possibilities of that app and here are some of my results (along with the original photo):

Spiral Stairs

In addition to the Tiny Planets app I also used Photo Shop Mobile to enhance (or remove) color and contrast and for cropping before or after transformation

Abstract 110407-b

The results can be quite unpredictable. Here is what a tire track in the mud can turn into:

In this following example, I used the fish eye view on the CameraBag app in order to accentuate the circular form of the Tiny Planet transformation.

Finally I took a simple photo of a sidewalk, curb and snow.

With a little color saturation enhancement I achieved this result:

Just Follow This Sidewalk


Ice in the Morning (Undersea Dreams)

At this time of year (early spring in Edmonton) there is a daily thaw-freeze cycle – by noon snow and ice are melting, running and sometimes collecting in puddles. With the below freezing temperatures overnight, that water refreezes so that  in the morning there are some delightful patterns to be found in the thin layers of new ice. This photo set is all about the ice.

Abstract 110405-2752 (Ice Shards)

Abstract 110405-2769

Abstract 110405-2767

That previous photo reminds me of oceanside waves and I am amazed at how many others of these photos somehow remind of something I’d expect to see underwater.

Abstract 110405-2756

Does this last image look familiar? It is the color version of the first photo in this set.

All of these photos were taken and processed using an iPhone 3GS. PhotoShop Mobile and CameraBag were the two main apps I used for manipulating the images.

Do you have any favorites from these images? Is so, please leave a comment to let me know.

More of my photos can be seen on my Flickr Photostream.

Would I Fool You?

Could I fool you even if I tried? It is April 1st as I write this, the traditional day of trickery and practical jokes. I have to share with you today 5 photos from yesterday. All of these  were taken and processed with an iPhone 3GS. I am back to iPhone photography for two reasons: 1. my Nikon D80 failed on me a couple of days ago and is going to need to go in for repairs and 2. it has finally warmed up enough in Edmonton to allow me to wander around outside with bare hands, which are necessary to operate the iPhone touch screen. I do also really like the creative possibilities of the iPhone apps.

I like that photos often are not what they first appear. I like that whole element of discovery with a good photo – the longer you look the more you see and the more you see the more possibilities that open up in the mind.

Unknown Peak and Glacier

Ice Crystals

Ice and Leaves

Air Under Ice

Snow Urchin

So anything thereto fool anybody? Probably not, only a couple of cases of titles to lead the viewer in a “false” direction. The first image is not a lovely mountain scene but a  pile of dirty roadside snow after a bit of spring melting. The last photo is not of something called a snow urchin but just a clump of burrs from a burdock plant.


Funny How the (my) Brain Works

First impressions – what do you see?

I took this photo but when I looked at this image I must say I was baffled. My first impression was it was the face of some creature from a fantasy movie (or out of a nightmare).

Part of the reason this image looks the way it does is because I took the photo with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone, using the Salvador 84 “lens”.  That lens applies a certain mirror imaging effect to create a a “Dali-ish” surrealism.

However the my biggest block to perceiving the reality behind this image was just that I had turned it 90 degrees.

This is what the original image looked like (just turning the top image back 90 degrees clockwise) :









Pretty obvious now eh?

Is it just me (and my brain) or did you too have trouble perceiving the top image but easily make sense of the bottom one?

7 Favorite Photos

Here are seven of my favorite photos taken in the last week – the end of January into the first few days of February. Over these days the weather in Edmonton has changed from wind chills below -30C to mild sunny days with temperatures of +5. On the cold days I had no choice but to take photos with my Nikon DSLR but on the warm days I was able to break out (and most importantly operate it with my bare hands) my iPhone.

Cold and Busy

China Gate Lion

Blue Shakes

Golden Horizon


Puddles in the Alley

Light Arc

January Color

With the temperatures warming (-5C) yesterday  (2011/1/3) I had a chance to pull out my iPhone and take a few pictures in the downtown area. I enjoy the simplicity of a small mobile phone and the creative tools that can so easily be applied. These colorful images were mostly taken near the  Convention (Shaw Conference) Centre in downtown Edmonton.

Traction Abstraction

Sunset Looking East

Viewpoint Sunset

Tracks in the Snow

Flame in the Sky

Silver Winter Nights

We’ve had a couple of days of warmer weather recently (I’m talking about the minus single digits Celsius) so I was able to do some outdoor iPhoneography. I have been doing photography with my Nikon in recent weeks since I can operate it with gloves on my hands but I’ve kind of missed working with the iPhone. The challenge of course is that the iPhone screen (on which the “virtual shutter button” lies) can only be operated with an ungloved finger. I can’t leave my hand exposed for too long but at these temperatures I can pop it in and out of the pocket of my parka just long enough to get a photo.

I’ve been exploring a new (to me) app: CameraBag. It features a number of treatments of photos which reminds me somewhat of  what I can do with the Hipstamatic app. The big plus  with CameraBag is that treatment can be applied to an image stored in the library and one can easily flip through the  different filters after the fact.

One CameraBag treatment I’ve grown to like, particularly for winter nighttime photos is the “Silver” option.  This option does offer a number of color tints but I like the blue for these winter shots. Here are three photos from last night (2010 Dec 14), in downtown Edmonton, in a moderately heavy snow, using CameraBag Silver:

Winter Fence and Shadow

Snowy Street

Tree - Trunk

I did adjust the contrast and brightness a bit on this last photo using PSMobile after taking it with CameraBag

Patterns – more iPhoneography Explorations

I continue to explore the Salvador “lens” on the Hipstamatic app. I haven’t yet  got it figured out to the point that I can predict what the image will look like but I came up with some interesting images today. All of these have strong symmetry thanks to that Salvador lens.

These images may look like they came from some exotic carpets but they are all from outdoor photos taken a dark grey day. I used the PS Mobile app to increase the color saturation and image contrast.

It’s Hip to be Surreal

The last few days I’ve been exploring  a new add-on to the Hipstamatic application for the iPhone. The new “Salvador 84” “lens” pays homage to the surrealistic art of Salvador Dali. I’ve been taking many photos and trying to figure out what  exactly this app does so that I can control and use the effects for my creative purposes.

All of these images were taken from a single exposure, just one push of the “shutter”, The application obviously created a 2nd image from the original and superimposes it over the original. There is a degree of rotation between the two images and there does seem to be a delightful element of randomness to the process.

Here are a few of my early explorations of the “Salvador 84” “lens” :

Salv Portrait

City Hall Clock/Bell Tower Reflected

The first 2  photos shows a vertical “reflection plane” straight down the middle of the image.
With other images things aren’t so simple. In this next image you can see  a slight rotation (maybe 20 degrees) and an offset between the original and secondary image.

Street Corner


“Pyramids” looks like it could have been composed of  3 or  4 or 5 images but again it was just a single shot. It is clear in this photo that the app has created a second image which has been shifted diagonally down but with no appear any rotation between the two. This image is the only one of this posting for which I used the DreamCanvas “film” that is packaged with the Salvador 84 lens.

Split Pigeon

“Split Pigeon” was an interesting, surreal surprise in that the crack between the paving blocks seems to go over and split the front bird.

Go - Don't Walk

This final image “Go – Don’t Walk” is simple enough to show the original and duplicate image with a change in size, intensity and a significant rotation between the two – but interesting.

In all of the images in this post I did do a bit of post-Hipstamatic-processing in terms of adjustments to contrast and color saturation

This is a fun add-on to the Hipstamatic portfolio that can certainly yield some creative results – I just want to learn better how to predict and/or control what happens. Next I intend to experiment with taking multiple photos of the same scene to see if there is some random variation in the way the application processes each image.