Saturday, July 28, 2012

More hand-coloring - a motel sign

Here's the Black and white darkroom montage print:

But first, as always, the 'whatever catches my eye file':
Hey, guess what? Experience counts!

Photographer explains stunning and unique whale shark image
By: Pete Thomas,

Photo: ©Shawn Heinrichs

A magnificent and unique split-level image showing a colossal whale shark just beneath a small yacht is being passed around on Facebook, with some users expressing skepticism about its authenticity. That's mainly because there was little or no detail about the image, but Shawn Heinrichs, who captured the image last week at Isla Mujeres in Mexico, assures that it's genuine.

Read the rest of the (short) story - that's why i titled it 'experience counts'.
As 3 states mull marijuana legalization, experts warn: 'Beware',0,4151581.story

Beware of what???
Why are we still 'fighting this war' after some many decades??
Give it T.F. UP!!!
Cities Balk as Federal Law on Marijuana Is Enforced
Published: June 30, 2012

ARCATA, Calif. — Faced with growing chaos in the state’s medical marijuana  industry, this city in Northern California passed an ordinance in 2008 that meticulously detailed, over 11 pages, how the drug could be grown and sold here.

Ever notice how new technologies can have a 'backlash' effect?
You would think that w/ streaming online movies, etc etc etc... drive-ins would be dead as a doornail.
But No!

Drive-in movie theaters popular again


Guitar museum travels the US, searching for a home
Associated PressBy KEVIN BEGOS | Associated Press

July 7, 2012
'Blue Highways' Revisited
By Larry Kaufmann

Even with record high gasoline prices and sweltering temperatures, millions of Americans will take to the road this summer to discover America.  Before they do, they should also take the time to rediscover Blue Highways:  A Journey into America, a classic American travelogue written by William Least Heat-Moon.  Blue Highways will soon reach the 30th anniversary of its publication, and in honor of the occasion, two photographers recently retraced the author's  journey and took photos showing what the people and places described in Blue Highways look like today.  Their work has been published in Blue Highways Revisited, a remarkable achievement in its own right.

Read more:


Finding beauty in violent storms

Since 2008, Camille Seaman has focused on producing powerful images of storm clouds brewing throughout the Midwest.

Or go right to the photographer's website:
America's Generation Y not driven to drive
ReutersBy Deborah Zabarenko | Reuters

Say what? You don't want to drive somewhere???
What's wrong w/ the younger generation???
I guess times change, and maybe they are greener than I was at 20+ something... but I gotta lament the lack of enthusiasm.
Double Rainbow
Gene Blevins / Reuters-Landov

July 14, 2012
Searchlight, Nevada
A double rainbow appears after heavy monsoon storms over Nipton Road in Searchlight, Nevada.

I took a few great photos of storm clouds lit by sunset light in Nevada a few years ago:

But this one beats 'em all:

larger image at:

On to some darkroom printing, and hand-coloring!

I think there are 3 kinds of black and white prints, when viewed thru the questioning lense of 'should i handcolor this?'.

1 - Some images are just not right for handcoloring, they work fine as black and white, coloring actually dilutes the effect of the image.

For instance... did Ansel Adams ever handcolor anything? I think not.

Would Robert Frank handcolor anything in his book 'The Americans'?

Nope, not a chance.

One of I'm not sure how many links google will throw at you about the man and the book:

[Now that i remember this, I remember how I first saw it - did your parents do subtle quiet things to 'feed your head'? Mine did. I had a big bookcase just outside my bedroom door when i was a kid. It was filled w/ lots of things - 'Yearbook' type books of the battleships my dad was on in WWII... Reader's Digest books, where i first read many authors for the first time, that i still follow.
Robert Frank's book, published in 1959, was there too. I guess my parents did this so that when i was sick (which was often) i could crawl a few feet to this bookcase and find something that was interesting.]

2 - Some images SCREAM! "handcolor me!" like my previous post of the 'face aglow':

3 - Many other images are fine as black and white, but handcoloring can definitely 'amp them up', put a new spin on them, redirect and focus your attention in a new/unexpected way.

All the assignment illustration work i did from '89 - '97 was handcolored - Art Directors want something as striking as possible, and black and white was just dull. Here's one of them:

And now we come to this recent print of mine, 'the abandoned motel':

Hand coloring this print posed questions - there initially appeared to be several ways to deal with this one.

Do the stars light up, and become colored, and 'descend' on the motel sign?
Or are the stars NOT lit up, and only when they hit the motel sign, they light up the motel sign?
Or some variation of these two?
How transparent is the motel sign, how much of the mountains behind it show thru?
Questions... w/ no easy/simple answers.
So i printed out a few low res letter size prints, and grabbed the colored pencils:

They didn't resolve the questions definitively, but did succeed in illuminating the results of some of the options, when I got to the print itself, improvisation still kicked in. When that stops happening, it's time for me to hang it up, go play cards or shuffleboard with old folks.
I did some small details first w/ the watercolors -
mostly on the sign, the letters 'M O T E L'.
Then it was time for the oils, over all the image.

Then I let it dry down completely....
Then I scanned the hand-colored print, and did some P'shop color, just small details.
Done w/ this one....!

Larger images at: