An English teacher's blog about his travels and his digital art.

Month: November 2022

Finger Exercise-Autumn on River

Here’s another finger exercise. For an explanation of what that is, click on this link to go to an earlier post about the subject.

This one is a photo of the Blackfoot River in western Montana (or a tributary of the Blackfoot-I seem to have forgotten) that I shot back in 2007. Here’s the original photo:

And here’s the quick exercise I did, along with the layer stack in Photoshop:

Layer Stack, from bottom to top:

1. Original image, which I duplicated and made into a Smart Object. Then I ran it through the Filter Gallery—Palette Knife.
2. Added an orange colored Overlay and lowered the opacity to 51% with a soft light blend mode
3. Added an orange colored Texture and lowered the opacity to 50% with a lighten blend mode.
4. Then I merged all the layers (CTRL-ALT-SHIFT-E) and ran the composition through Boris FX and used a neutral density filter at the bottom of the comp.
5. Back in PS, I merged the layers again and ran the comp through ON1 Effects, but I didn’t care for the results, so I came back into PS and added a Color Lookup adjustment, using the Filmstock look.

And that was it. The whole thing took about 30 minutes and though the result certainly isn’t great, finger exercises don’t have to have a professionally perfect (whatever that is) look. They just have to get the creative juices flowing and they should be fun to do. I’ll put up some more of these exercises later.

Vientiane Graffiti, Bars and Signs

I’ve done a few photowalks around Vientiane lately, mainly down by the Mekong, and found a few new signs outside various businesses that I haven’t photographed before. I also found some new, interesting night life spots that were interesting, so here are some of the shots that I took.



“Weed” spray painted on a door leading into . . . hmm. No idea. I didn’t try to open it. Marijuana is, of course, illegal in Laos, so this is probably a statement of some kind.

Weed spray painted on a door

There is quite a lot of graffiti in Vientiane, but never on walls that are part of businesses, only on abandoned buildings, and there are a lot of abandoned buildings if you look for them. Here’s one; I’ve got more graffiti photos which I’ll put in another post soon.




“Oh My God.” Quite a name for a bar. I looked for it on Facebook, and there was a nighttime video of the goings on there. It was quite busy with a good number of patrons partaking of their favorite beverage. It looked like a fun spot, so let me know if you give it a try.

Oh My God bar in Vientiane

Interesting name for a bar.

Another view of “Oh My God.”

Oh My God Bar in Vientiane

Another view. Are you lost? Just follow the appropriate signage.

Here are a couple of shots of another establishment near the river. I couldn’t get the whole place in because of security bars, as I recall, so I had to shoot between the bars. Looks like another fun place. Again, let me know if you visit it.

Photo of a bar in Vientiane

Philip Bar. Looks like it might be an interesting place to enjoy a quick beer.

And the other half:

Photo of a bar in Vientiane

Here’s the other half. I had to take these shots viewing through some security bars, so I couldn’t get a complete photo.

Here’s my potential favorite spot. This reminds me of what an improvised beach bar might look like, except there are no beaches in Vientiane that I know of, but I suppose you could find a small, sandy spot along the Mekong that might be a poor substitute.

Ramshackle put-together bar in Vientiane

This might be a fun place when it’s open. Or not.


Finally, here are a few business signs that I find interesting. I’ve got many more that, again, I’ll post later. Don’t want to inundate a single post with too many photos.

Sticky Fingers is a good restaurant near the river, but their name is rather evocative of other activities. Maybe this sign would go well with the “weed” door above.

A restaurant sign in Vientiane

Sticky Fingers restaurant in Vientiane. Good place to eat.

This is part of the signage around “Tully’s Irish Pub,” a now-abandoned building since Tully’s moved to a new location. I don’t think I’ve ever drunk stout, so I looked it up. Wikipedia states that one of the variations is oatmeal stout. Hmmm, maybe it’s OK to drink for breakfast. What do you think?

A sign advertising "stout."

“Stout” is available at the former, now empty, site of Tully’s Irish Pub.

I haven’t bought any bread from here. Wonder if it’s really good. I like the bread “emojis.”

Good Breadshop sign

Hungry for some “good” bread? Try here.

Lastly, this text on the wall near the entrance to 2sister restaurant and bar. Words to live by? More later.

Writing on wall of restaurant

2sister restaurant and bar near the main entrance.

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