Thursday, July 30, 2015

:pause for effect:

Currently on vacation, such as it is with my salary, but making the most of it and not wasting it by staying at home. I was out all day yesterday, which is why I didn't post on Wednesday as I usually do. Spent most of the day (and night) up at infamous Hampton Beach, NH, and started the day at this indoor "sky diving" place in Nashua. Basically you're in a wind tunnel. It was only for five minutes, but I still hope to do the real thing some day. I find myself sore today from holding the position that you have to keep to "fly" properly.

The beach itself is one that I've gone to ever since I was younger, then with my family, so part of the returning is to see what's changed and what hasn't. There is still a shooting gallery, that now costs a dollar. It could use a serious dusting and some repair, but it still has some nostalgic value. There are still arcades with a fair amount of classic games, although more and more "ticket" games are crowding them out.

Also amusing to see, beyond the unlimited people-watching, is to see what's in the t-shirt shops this year, whatever trendy phrases or characters are in vogue. It looks like the Disney princesses have been turned into tattooed hooligans this summer. I say hooligans because there were other shirts that showed them in mug shots. Ariel got arrested for jaywalking.

Another highlight of summer for me is the nightly light show that is sunset, and doing my best to capture it when I can. It's just not the same when the sun sets at 4 PM in winter. I'm in no hurry for that to return.

Haven't created anything new this week beyond photos, but still keeping myself in the creative way. I'm still researching other printing methods, I received a metal print in the mail this week, and am waiting for a glass one. You need to see it in person to really appreciate the reflective qualities. I definitely plan to try this again.

Also a quick little "doodle" with Photoshop. I hope I don't have to caption this one.

Tomorrow I take a visit out to Boston Light, a 299-year old lighthouse in Boston Harbor, so I daresay it's the oldest in the country.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

:open eyes:

The camera, or whatever device it may be attached to (and it seems like everything has a camera attached now), still appears to be my creative instrument of choice. Non-photo ideas are trickling out, but nothing that would make sense to anyone but myself at this point, so none of that to show you for now. Summer is supplying better vistas, either at the ocean, or what appears to be a new light show every evening at sunset. Sometimes the camera does it justice, sometimes not.

I keep my Holga with me in the car as well, but that film roll isn't completed yet. Still no word if my previous shots with it have been accepted into a gallery show yet. I obtained an old Polaroid camera from my family, to see what I can do with that. As of right now, nothing, as it requires film that is no longer in production. Initial searches have revealed scarce supplies, and not always well-priced. But I've gotten instructions as to how to convert it to be able to use more obtainable film. Skimming the instructions, it's very possible that I could break the camera in the process. We shall see.

Something photographic that is "trending" right now is "Deep Dream," released by Google, it uses a database of code and images to interpret other images, mainly through Google's image search. The results are quite trippy and sometimes horrific, and before it required some sort of coding knowhow, but now there's a site where you can just plug in your own image and create your own nightmares. It already seems to have a distinctive look at times, for example it seems that the world around us is made up of dogs more often than not (you'd think with the internet being the source that it'd be cats instead). It's shaping up to become this decade's magic eye paintings. That said, I ran one of my sunset photos through just to see what would happen:

Next week I have a much-needed week off from the day job. Sadly, said job still doesn't pay me well enough to travel far away like I should be able to, so the search for better continues. But I won't stay at home the entire time, no, so I hope to have something interesting to share at least. I keep my eyes open, even in my own back yard.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

:new dusk fades:

Trying to keep moving forward. Some things are stalled, like the website and Kali picture, and the job search for a bit - I'm still in "research" mode for the latter, so maybe I can fine tune my search for jobs that are more specific. But I'm always having thoughts of other creative ventures.

I still always have a camera with me (not counting the one in my phone, which you know I don't really count as a "true" camera anyway, unless it's for Instagram), which was good when I visited Horseneck Beach in Massachusetts this past weekend. I take many pictures of the ocean and beach when I can, but I have to find a better way for them to do it justice. It just looks so much smaller and unimpressive in the cropped rectangle of a photo. Still, I try to be inventive. And it may be weird while being on a public beach, but I try to have as few people in my shots as possible.

I was fortunate to have arrived pretty late in the afternoon and stayed to catch the sunset on a peninsula close by the beach. Judging by the number of people there as well, it must be a popular thing to view. I can see why. The colors of the sky changed fluidly as the sun set, and the sun itself transformed into a red sphere as it disappeared sliver by sliver into the horizon.

As ever, more shots on my flickr page.

I remember going to this same area nearly 20 years ago and seeing the Milky Way in the night sky for the first time (usually there's too much city lights where I usually am). I would've liked to see it again, but it was not getting dark quickly enough, and I hadn't eaten since breakfast, which seems to happen sometimes on the weekends for some reason.

While the website progresses slowly, I did add some more work online, this time a collection of illustrations on my Behance page. I liked seeing the progression and improvement, however, I wish that I had more "client" work to display. I'm still not very marketable.

In good news, however, a piece of mine got accepted into a forthcoming gallery show! It's the photo below. It's at Uforge Gallery in Jamaica Plain, MA, opening July 24th. Check it out if  you want to see it in person, or maybe even buy it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

:rocket's red glare:

This past weekend being July 4th, the USA's Independence Day, gave me an obvious source for creativity, mainly fireworks. I saw a smaller display in Weymouth on the 3rd, but went to the major one in Boston on the 4th itself. I got closer to them than I ever had before in previous years, probably because I found a good spot and stayed there for two hours previous to the lighting of the fireworks. Next year I'll see if I can't get on the water itself for this or other firework displays.

They are notoriously difficult to photograph well - I saw a few "crappy" fireworks photo contests online, actually - but after messing around with the settings on my point and shoot, not my big camera, I felt that I got some good shots. A tripod would've been ideal, but I used a railing to steady the camera instead.

I continue to map out my job search strategy, but I find that I can't completely put the creativity aside while I do so, nor should I. I've entered artwork in two gallery shows so far, but no word as of yet if they've been accepted. One is for toy camera photography, and I've started using my Holga again. I also received an ancient Polaroid camera that I knew my family had buried somewhere. If I can track down some film for it we'll see what happens there. I'm hopefully having a photo shoot next month with my favorite model, if not others as well.

There's also another one of the annual art exhibits at work; hopefully this will be the last one that I participate in.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

:tired until hired:

The need and urge to get a new day job is at the forefront of my mind right now, so much so that I feel I have to put as much of my other activities aside until I solve this problem, the sooner the better. The main issue, as with most other things, is time management. So I hope I can "fit in" my creative pursuits as well while I'm doing this, but the job thing must take precedence. And also try not to hate the whole concept of money while I'm at it, and how we can't pursue all that we want to without it. It can really drive you mental if one thinks about it for too long.

I usually read for pleasure, but I'll have to put aside my fiction books for awhile and finally finish the job books that I bought at the start of the year. One is this year's edition of "What Color is Your Parachute?" I bought last year's edition too, but never finished it. Pathetic. I won't let that happen again this year. The goal is a new job before summer's end.

I managed to get to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts this past Sunday. No real reason other than I hadn't been there in a few years. You definitely need a whole day to see everything, and I managed to do pretty well. I still wish that it had later hours on Saturdays. It was a rainy day, so many other people had the same idea, but thankfully not as many there as when they have their free admission days.

I found myself drawn to the Indian and Egyptian art at first. I hope to see some of both in their actual countries of origin some day. My Kali artwork research continues.

Not being much of a painter (yet?) I found much to be impressed by in the older works on display. I seem to prefer realism to more abstract works, although I appreciated the Picassos more than I did when I was younger. Primarily because he was such a trail-blazer. I still wonder if anything new is really possible, art-wise.

Amidst all this turmoil, I managed to submit artwork to another gallery show, this one concerning photos taken with toy cameras. I've only used my Holga once, but chose shots from that. I hope to take it out again this summer.