Irises, my way

Irises, Bridgewater, Connecticut © Steven Willard

I have been experimenting with some different photo apps on the iPad, and one of the ones I have found very pleasing is Waterlogue® which renders a watercolor style effect. Used alone it works pretty well, but I find it removes too much of the detail for my taste, so I use another app called Image Blender® which allows me to blend the watercolor effect with the original image file using a slider to get just the effect I want. With this particular image I then went to Photocopier® for a little tweaking then into Snapseed® for a bit of selective adjustments.

I know there are some photographers who take exception with the very idea of messing with a photograph in order to make it look like something it isn’t. And I can appreciate that there are watercolorists who might take issue with my methods, and wonder why I don’t just paint the thing in the first place. To the first I say phooey! We all want our images to satisfy our own vision, and in this instance I was thinking of Monet’s paintings from his garden when I made the photograph, and that was the image I was after. To the second, I admit that I am not a painter, and must do the best I can with the tools and skills I possess. Be content with the fact that I don’t claim to be anything else. Does the world really need another bad watercolorist?

Olympus OMD EM1 with 40-150mm f2.8 zoom.

This old house

This old house, near Millerton, New York © Steven Willard

There was a time I revered Bob Villa. Some forty-odd years ago I was in the process of “fixing up” an old house in midtown Atlanta, and I watched “This Old House” with something like religious zeal. As a novice, I paid close attention to his solutions to problems that were often similar to mine. But over time I watched as Bob and his crew got farther and farther away from the kind of projects a homeowner might tackle. “It’s all shot, Bob. It’s all got to go”, was one of our oft-quoted lines from the show toward the end. We longed for the days when Bob, or one of his men would show how to replace the wax ring under a toilet. I wasn’t interested how to jack up the whole house and move it to another lot. Bob just got carried away and I stopped watching.

All that was going through my mind as I walked around “this old house” on a hot summer’s day. Now I live in an RV, and my carpentry tools have all been given away. Things change.

Olympus OMD EM5 with 14-42mm kit zoom. Processed using PhotoCopier, Stackables, and Snapseed on my iPad Air. Oh, and I used an app called Fixel to remove a couple of distracting objects. My goal, after all was to produce an image that looked like an old lith print, and telephone wires just didn’t fit in.

White fence

White fence, Woodbury, Connecticut © Steven Willard

A simple little image. I was taken by the way the fence stood in such stark contrast against the dark green siding. I also like how the lone window pane on the right is outlined in white. What’s that you say? What about the ornamental maple? It’s nice too I suppose, though it nearly spoils the photograph.

Olympus OMD E M1 with 12-40mm f2.8 zoom processed in Snapseed.

Asemic Images

Asemic #9, “War and Piece”, Washington, Connecticut © Steven Willard

According to Wikipedia the word asemic means “having no semantic content” , or “without the smallest unit of meaning”.  The term asemic usually referes to artwork which mimics writing, but in fact the symbols have no meaning. Doodleing while on the phone might be one example of asemic writing at its most basic.

In asemic writing the artist uses familiar shapes and lines to create something that looks as if it has meaning. In my asemic images, however, I am trying to creat art that has no meaning out of familiar reality.


And another thing

Did I ever mention that I actually went to a Joni Mitchel concert? She’s Canadian you know. Well I went to see her at the University of Georgia in Athens and she wasn’t half bad. We sat there in the auditorium like a bunch of old hippies, bald or grey haired white folks with a sprinkling of Blacks or African Americans looking like raisins in rice pudding. What a sight, especially when we all got to swaying to the music and waving our Zippos in the air. It was a good thing, too because until then the smell of patchouli was starting to make me nauseous.

What I’m trying to say is that, see, I like Canadians just fine

Okay, look here

I seem to have said something that may have been taken poorly by our friends to the south… know, Mexico. See what you may not know is that I grew up in Texas, and some of my friends were Mexicans. Well, technically they were Texans, or maybe Americans even, but the point is, they were my friends. At least I think they were, although sometimes they were speaking Spanish. See, that’s the thing. They lived in Texas, went to Texas public schools, even spoke English-sort of-but we could be friendly. They lived there in Texas, but managed to hang on to their culture, whereas we Texans had no culture at all! We were positively un-cultured with a capital U!

So my point is this, just because I say I like Mexican food doesn’t mean I think any less of Mexicans. Don’t jump to conclusions! Hell, I ate so many beans as a kid I’m still full of them.