Calendar

October 2017
S M T W T F S
« Sep    
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293031  

Categories

free counters
Free counters!

Photo Art-A work in progress

Here’s my latest photo art project, which I’m still working on. I’m not nearly satisfied with it, so I’ll continue to tweak it until I feel OK about it. I’m thinking of entitling it “Dancing at the Demon’s Crypt” or some such thing. The boy at the front is Nai’s niece’s son, Leo. I’ll keep working on it and get the final version posted here soon, I hope.

dancing at the demon's crypt

Leo having some fun.

Vientiane Boat Racing Festival

Today is the annual Boat Racing Festival in Vientiane. Too bad I won’t be attending. While virtually every other institution, (schools, government offices, banks, embassies, as well as restaurants and other businesses) is shut down, our school, Vientiane College, has decided, as usual, to remain open.

I really enjoy going to boat races in Laos, but I’m not going today because I have to work later. Although my lesson plans for this evening’s classes have been made, I’m not going down to the race area to enjoy a few hours of the races. It’s sunny and warm today, so I’d just end up getting sweaty and smelly, and, then, I’d have to motorbike back to the house, take a shower and get back to school. Not worth it. I really like spending the whole day at a race, not having to worry about being somewhere else later.

The school always gives some flimsy excuse for not being shut down. There was a post on the notice board advising teachers to tell students that the school is not being culturally insensitive or unaware, but the reason for remaining open is that authorities don’t give the school enough advance notice as to when the race will be held. That’s pure hogwash! We received the 2018 school calendar a few weeks ago and it shows that the boat race next year is on October 25th, which, fortuitously, coincides with the beginning of the mid-term break next October. That’s more than a year away. Not enough advance notice? Bull crap. If any of my students who show up tonight ask why we’re open, I’ll just tell them to ask the school administration. I’m sure as hell not going to give them the school’s excuse of “not enough advance notice.”

Now, having said that, the school is still, usually, a great place to work. It just gets under my skin (and is depressing) that we’re one of the very few institutions that are open today, and that the school, since I’ve been here, has never closed for this particular holiday. Ah, well, next year, I guess.

Photo Art – Gateway to the Underworld

Here’s my latest creation, “Gateway to the Underworld.” I took the photo of the entryway itself at the nearby Cultural Park, an exhibit of traditional Lao houses. One of the houses was built on a rocky mound and it had a couple of lower floor doorways to an area that could serve as a basement or storage cellar. As soon as I saw these entries, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with them. Here’s the original photo.

Entryway

Lower entrance to the basement or cellar.

So, I then desaturated the original, added some images I found on Pixabay, applied some textured layers that came with the Photoshop Artistry course, and experimented with adding light and color gradients in Photoshop. Voila! Gateway to the Underworld.

Gateway to the Underworld

Enter, if you dare.

Photo Art – ‘Til Death Do Us Part?

My latest, somewhat gruesome, creation — ‘Til Death Do Us Part? The photo I based this on was taken in Nong Khai, Thailand, at the Sala Keoku (approximately pronounced sala kaw que) sculpture park, a fascinating place to visit just outside of Nong Khai.

Below is the original photo, followed by the new creation.

skeletons

In Sala Keoku sculpture park near Nong Khai, Thailand.

'Til Death Do Us Part?

The new creation. Added some grunge layers, colors and text.

Ok, back to work. Not only working on some more photo artistry (though it’s more like play), but also back to work at school, after a five-week break. Breaks are nice, but they’re unpaid, so gotta make some more money. More later.

Photo Art – Steppin’ Out

My latest offering is of a photo I took in Boca Chica in the Dominican Republic about ten years ago of a few of my baseball academy students with some of their friends. I threw in a few textures and some other things, played around with the lighting and blend modes, and, voila.

Steppin' Out

These guys and their friends are going for a cruise around the area in a car that one of them rented for the afternoon.

The school has been on break for about a month now, but we start up again next week. My time is going to be limited, so I’d better try to put out a few more pieces of art before then, so, as always, more later.

Photo Art – Buddha Pranksters

Here’s my latest offering of photo art, a composite of some photos I’ve taken in a few of the nearby Buddhist temples. Now, let me say right at the start that this creation is not meant to be sacrilegious. As a matter of fact, the monk statue on the right, along with a half a dozen others like it, has been standing for at least a couple of years in a temple near where I used to live . Whether it was “dressed” by the monks in the temple or by local people, I don’t know. However, it shows the whimsy sometimes inherent in the culture. The monk statue on the left was given sunglasses by yours truly.

I found the big laughing Buddha in an out-of-the-way temple that was half in ruins and overgrown by vegetation in some areas. Parts of it are attended to, and there are also some repairs being made to the main building, though it didn’t look like anyone had worked on it for a while.

The Buddha is not in the main building, but is in a smaller outbuilding, and when you first come upon it, it’s kind of a surprise. After a few seconds, it’s hard not to laugh or at least smile at the expression on it’s face.

I’m not quite satisfied with the art yet, so I’ll probably tweak it some more and post the results here. Enjoy.

Buddha pranksters having fun in the temple.

Having fun in the temple.

[EDIT] Version 2: Made a few changes to the monk on the right so that it doesn’t have such a “pasted in” appearance.

Buddha pranksters having fun in the temple.

Having fun in the temple, v2.

[EDIT] Version 3: I put the right hand monk behind the Buddha to give the composition a bit more of a 3D feel and I gave it a bit lighter look.

Buddha pranksters having fun in the temple.

Having fun in the temple, v3.

Photo Art – Homeland

This one is part of the Weekly Challenge series from my Photoshop Art course. This is the Week 2 Challenge. I won’t go into all the constraints of the challenge. The focus is to create something using minimum resources and using specific techniques. In this one, I had to use a couple of specific textures, only two of my photos, an edge effect, and a few other items.

The photos I used are a shot of Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park and a photo of a young Native American from a visit to a pow-wow near Flathead Lake in Montana. I think I took both of these in 2008.

This one I’m titling “Homeland.” Hope you like it.

P.S. Once I get enough of these photos completed, I’ll set up a Gallery page for them.

Photo Art Homeland

Another Photo Art composition: Homeland

Photo Art – On the Beach

My latest Photoshop Artistry course image is called “On the Beach.” This photo was done for a weekly challenge, of which there are many, but it’s the first one I’ve done (Weekly Challenge One). For the challenges, you are given a set of guidelines on what to use in your composition. For example, in this one I could only use one or two of my photos, and I had to incorporate a couple of textures, another specific grunge texture file, and a vector file, all free course content (and royalty-free). I also had to use a “Painting With Light” technique in Photoshop.

The two photos I used were from a vacation in Thailand several years ago. One photo is the beach scene (beach, chairs and ocean) and the other is the background island. I’m really having fun with this, but there’s a long way to go and lots to learn. Enjoy.

beach_chair2web

Photo Art – Buddha Statue

Here’s my newest photo art composition. It’s a photo I took in Luang Prabang, Laos, back in 2006. Here’s the original.

img_4620web

The remake, so to speak, includes a background image of part of the Pleiades star cluster. I downloaded this image from Pixabay, a stock photo website that offers free downloads of royalty-free images. Great site. Here’s the photo art. I think the title should be “Buddha in the Cosmos.” What do you think?

buddha_in_the_cosmos2

Of course, I’m still learning about all of this and I have a long way to go. But, it’s a life-time course, available at any time. I hope to have several more art photos, at least, in the next few weeks. Let me know what you think. More later.

Photo Art–Mamounia Hotel

This is my second try at creating photo art from learning sessions at Photoshop Artistry, which I wrote about in my previous post. This is the famous Mamounia Hotel in Marrakech, Morocco, a shot that I took back in 2005. The first photo below is the original, which is kind of bland. The second is the “artistic version.” The clouds were added from a Laos photo I took earlier this year. I added some background texture from the PA course, and I did a little tweaking in Photoshop. I’m still such a beginner at this stuff; I’ve got a lot to learn. The beauty of the course is that I have all the time I need–it’s a lifetime membership. We’ve got a 5-week break from school coming up beginning next week, so I’m really going to be spending a lot of time with this. I’ll have some more art to post later.

Mamounia_1

mamounia_4web