Upcoming Tutorial on Cross Polarization

7 09 2009

Now, I won’t get paid any more or any less for announcing this but, since I’ve been working on it for awhile (thus neglecting my blog), I wanted to share an excerpt and this announcement. This tutorial will be appearing at tutsplus.com within a week or so.

Here is an excerpt so be sure to check it out at the link above. The link will be updated as soon as the tutorial is published.

STEP 4: How to Compose the Shot

Composition is always a serious issue in photography. My advice here is to ‘tighten’ your image by moving in as close as you can. This rule can even eradicate/eliminate light contamination. Check your saved shots regularly to ensure your composition is what you want.

When taking your light reading you must take into consideration whether your background is to be white or black. For a good black background, take your light reading from the lightest part of your subject (low key). If you’re going for a white background, take your light reading from the darkest part of your subject (high key). Be careful of the high key approach as it often causes loss of detail in the brighter parts of the image.

Plastic Goblet in Cross Polarization

Plastic Goblet in Cross Polarization

Text and Photo © 2009 Kathleen Bjoran

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What Should I Have Done

30 08 2009

Foreword: This poem was written in 2002 when my husband believed that Max was too wild to fit into our household.

When I came to you,
Thought you were sad,
I stood to hug you, to kiss you, to cheer you.
What should I have done?

When I threw my toys through the air,
I made you laugh so I asked you to join in.
You hid my toys from me or yelled at me.
What should I have done?

I saw you sit on the couch.
Your smell, your essence, became part of it.
Wanting to understand and be close to you, I climbed up.
What should I have done?

Running those crazy-eights while I was outside,
Gave me release of some energies.
Yet, you called at me, “Hurry up, Max!”
What should I have done?

You were all I had.
You were my entire life.
I loved you.
What should I have done?

Afterword: The photo depicts before and after the poem. Needless to say, Max (now eight) is still with us. It takes a great deal of love to stay together.

Max Beore and After

Max Beore and After

Photos and articles © 2009 Kathleen Bjoran





Et Tu, Mr. Dumas?

25 08 2009

As I sit and sip my absinthe—and pass my duck confit from one side of my plate to the other—from the all too familiar outdoor café, I see the tall dancing Turkey Oak trees in the distance. Many areas of the majestic Pyrénées Mountains are dappled with brilliant yellow patches. As Mr. Alexandre Dumas peers at me from his stony perch, I am aware that he realizes he has finally found what he was seeking. In those cold eyes I can see a tender and warm soul. The dark stone of the statue resembles his mixed heritage—not in mockery but in profound respect for the man. His rotund stature pulls all light toward him. He has been perched for far too long. The statue that has held him in memoriam has grown smaller for now the man has stepped down. I see him crossing the Garonne with arms open reaching to me as the oaks reach to the sun. His stony arms embrace me as he greets me with a cool kiss on my raised hand. He warms as his stony skin absorbs the sun. I can feel the warmth even though the embrace has loosened. Has he found inspiration to write yet another romantic novel…as the others have? Will I be mentioned by name or will I be a dutiful simile…as others have done? Would I remember tomorrow the images I see today?

Alexandre Dumas

Alexandre Dumas

Story © 2009 Kathleen Bjoran. Photo public domain





The King

21 08 2009

There are dogs and then there are Dogs. Max (as in Maximus) is definitely my Dog. He’s one gorgeous Dalmatian and he knows it. He’s a great source for creative photography and loving loyalty.

Just a quick look into his eyes, you can tell he is a master of communication. He has the eyes of a philosopher. His vocal communication is also quite effective. He loves every human he meets but is not quite so welcoming when other dogs come in. Max is my diplomat and negotiator. When a rescue comes into our home, Max and Charlie are the first to meet the newcomer. After both of these guys have assessed the new guy and are comfortable (usually 10 minutes or less) Marlowe, the Boxer, gets to meet the newbie. Once Marlowe knows that Max and Charlie are okay with the new pup then Marlowe automatically accepts the addition. Ah, doggie dynamics.

Max rarely plays with Charlie because Max is a big dog fan. He will keep Marlowe occupied (playing) for hours.

One word of warning about Dalmatians: You MUST love dogs in order to make it through the first 3.5 to 4 years. Hitting a Dal will ensure a nasty adult dog. Those mean Dals you’ve met, just look into the eyes of the original owner for they are the reason the Dal is mean. You can teach a Dal every trick in the book but before that 3.5 year mark, they are called Dumbmatians. They are NOT dumb! At 4 years old, they will perform every trick ever taught them and a few they made up on their own. They are a true reward for patience!

Max

Max

Photos and articles © 2009 Kathleen Bjoran





The Love Sponge

19 08 2009

To any who own or who have even just met a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (CKCS), you already know the love sponge of which I speak. This tribute is to Charlie…my little love sponge.

This little guy has a Boxer and a Dalmatian to contend with in our house. The Boxer (the thief of toys) is Charlie’s big brother. Marlowe will play with Charlie at the drop of a hat. Max (the Dal) has an attitude with Charlie but it’s just because he doesn’t need little dog love. If Charlie was a Great Dane, Max would love him.

All Charlie ever wants is to be near me and/or my husband. He looks into your eyes at every opportunity and tries to draw out a smile, a hug, a kiss, a laugh, or a cuddle. When my laptop isn’t in my lap, Charlie is. He is probably one of the most effective cuddlers I’ve ever met.

I have learned that, if he truly wants a toy to be his, he will protect it with raw, unadulterated aggressiveness against anyone (unless human) who tries to take it. This is one reason why the Boxer ends up with most of the toys I bring into the house…they’re not Charlie toys. Charlie LOVES the AKC toys (yeah, he’s an elitist) because they’re stuffed animals with squeakers. He protects them with great vigor.

The CKCS is a dog for people who want a gorgeous dog and a dog that appreciates human companionship at a whole new level. They are not watch dogs and they most likely would not attack invaders. But, if you want a love sponge, oh…this is your breed!

For all my loyal readers: I may go several days at a time without posting only because I own my own business and am often caught up in the demands from my paying clients. I may end up working this blog into the demands a photographer/graphic designer faces but I’m not quite ready for that.

Charlie

Charlie

Photos and articles © 2009 Kathleen Bjoran





Tribute to My Boxer

13 08 2009

When our daughter was little, my husband and I loved to participate in her excitement over new toys. Christmases were spent playing with every toy she got. When I would go out Christmas shopping, I would spend so much time thinking about the fun her dad and I would have on Christmas Day. She’s grown now but, I admit, when I buy her a game for her Wii, I long for the days when we would play that game all day long.

Now we have a Boxer. Though he’s five years old, his exuberance over a new toy is so reminiscent of our four-year-old little girl. If it squeaks, that makes it the perfect toy. As I sit here and write this, he is pouncing on his new toy that I gave him (well, not really him) two-and-a-half hours ago. He puts it in the lounge chair and jumps on it consistently to make it squeak. He brings it over to me occasionally, lays it on the couch, and nudges it against my leg with his nose to insist that I throw it for him. I throw it, which grants me another twenty minutes of uninterrupted writing. I can guarantee that he will be sleeping with that toy tonight.

Anyone who has a Boxer should recognize their dog in this blog. Boxers are dogs for people who want constant playtime. They tend to keep you young and VERY happy. They get this weird look in their eyes and faces sometimes that warns you that they are going into overdrive play mode. Oh…watch out because your uncontrollable laughter is merely fuel for that barrage of play!

Tomorrow I’m writing a tribute to the pup I actually bought the toy for. So, if you’re a fan of the ‘Love Sponge’ breed, be sure to check here tomorrow.

Marlowe

Marlowe

Story and photo © 2009 Kathleen Bjoran





The Eyes Have It

10 08 2009

I got a phone call from an ‘art’ aquaintence wanting me to create an iris (of the eye) that everyone could recognize. Now, I told him about Photoshop and how the majority of my artwork is photography, airbrush w/acrylics, and pencil & ink. Oils only hold a fascination to me if the work can not be completed otherwise. I could tell he was dismayed.

Art has changed over the years but photography has been in the (proposed) forefront since about 320 BC. Aristotle and Leonardo Da Vinci were both fascinated by it. This is where great minds met in unison. The Camera Obscura was theoretically devised to capture elements of nature (mainly light) onto a medium sensitized to light. As we now know that VERY few mediums are NOT sensitive to light, we can record on almost anything.

I don’t preach what art is (as do many of my ‘artsy’ peers) but I do understand ART. Drawings and watercolors have been used throughout the years to make scientific observations (just look at Pierre-Joseph Redouté’s works) that are now made solely through the camera. These earlier observations are now considered ‘Art’ because the reasoning is that the scientist had to understand and record his subject. This is what a photographer needs to do today.

Let’s kill the ramblings of my ‘artsy’ friends who create the same thing over and over. Branch out into nature and technology and live the experience. Please, just KNOW your medium.

Here are a few of my creations anyway. Photoshop and know-how go a long way.

Blue Eyes with Fish

Blue Eyes with Fish

Brown Eyes with Fish Tattoos

Brown Eyes with Fish Tattoos

Green Eyes with Fish

Green Eyes with Fish

Green Eyes with Fish Tattoos

Green Eyes with Fish Tattoos

Red Eyes With Fish

Red Eyes With Fish

Rainbow Eyes with Fish Tattoos

Rainbow Eyes with Fish Tattoos

Story and ART © 2009 Kathleen Bjoran