MontanaRon

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

Category: photos (page 1 of 31)

Digital Art–Requiem for a Lost Civilization

My latest creation is called “Requiem for a Lost Civilization.” The ruins and the landscape are from photos of mine taken at the ancient Roman ruins in Volubilis, Morocco. The other elements are “stuff” I have from the various digital art courses I’ve taken from Photoshop Artistry, which I’ve recommended before and I’ll continue to give it a huge thumbs up.

I added some textures, some adjustment layers and some photos from the Ultimate Universe Creator by Skybox Creative, then ran the whole thing through Nik HDR Efex Pro 2. Finally, I added a Color Lookup adjustment layer in Photoshop.

requiem digital art

Digital Art–Taekwando Nightmare Dream

Vientiane lockdown has been extended for another few weeks, up to June 4th. At the rate people are still showing up with the covid virus, this lockdown will never end, it seems. The school is scheduled to open on June 10th, and I certainly hope that happens. The administration was kind enough to pay everyone for the month of May, though we didn’t do any work, but if the same lack of work extends far into June and beyond, I’m fearful that there won’t be any income for a while. Got my fingers crossed.

So, what to do with all this time off? Create some more digital art, of course. Here’s one I’m calling “Taekwando Nightmare Dream.” I was originally just going to practice creating displacement effects in Photoshop, but my Muse had other ideas. All the photos are mine, except for the fellow delivering the flying kick on the right side, which I got from Pixabay; they were taken when I worked in Andong, South Korea way back in 2005, and they’re photos from a phys. ed. student demonstration, except for the photo at the upper left. That’s one I took of my former taekwando master showing off. I added some textures and a few other bits and pieces. Enjoy.

digital art

Vientiane Still in Lockdown

Yes, we’re still on lockdown until at least May 20th, but the way things are going it’s going to last longer than that. Though Vientiane had only one case yesterday, we jumped to 14 today; way too many for the city to end the lockdown any time soon. So, if it goes on, there will be no school re-opening any time soon, so no pay, either. Gotta watch my expenditures!

Haven’t been doing a lot with artwork lately, though I have been keeping up with tutorials. I’d also like to learn how to draw, so I found a couple of free websites that look very interesting–Draw a Box and Ctrl+Paint. I’ll have to give one or both of them a try.

I messed around a bit with painting ideas in Photoshop and Topaz Labs this morning and came up with this, made from a photo taken in my favorite place on earth, Glacier National Park in Montana. Enjoy. More later.

glacier national park

Saint Mary Lake, Glacier National Park

Pi Mai Lao

Happy Lao New Year! That’s what Laos celebrated last week on the 14th, 15th and 16th. The holiday is also celebrated in Thailand as Songkran, and it’s based on the traditional Laos New Year, which occurs in April, the hottest time of the year here. The dates have been standardized, so the holiday is always at the same time. I’ve posted about it before, so just go to the search box and type in pi mai–you’ll find plenty of posts about the holiday.

Of course, with the pandemic still screwing things up, the celebration was somewhat subdued. I went out to The Farm, where I used to live, on Thursday to join in the festivities, but there really wasn’t much going on. Compared to past years, it was quite calm with only a few other people visiting Nai’s sister’s house. His sister Nui and her husband Noi were present, a few nieces and nephews also visited with some of their children, and a few of the neighbors also came over to drink the ever-present Beer Lao and eat a bit of Lao food. So, I didn’t take that many photos, but here are some of them.

friends

Pahng, Nai’s niece, and Vee, his brother’s wife, get ready to dig into some grilled fish, one of my favorite Lao foods. Gotta have some Beer Lao, too.

Friends

A few neighbors also visited, including Noy, on the right, and an unknown man from Luang Prabang, down for the holiday.

Leo

This is Leo, one of Nai’s niece’s boys. I’ve got other photos of him from previous years. Just do a search for Leo.

Go, Ohm, Savan and Leo

Nai’s niece, Go, with her three boys. From the left are Go, Ohm, Savan and Leo.

Ohm, Savan and Leo

Here the three boys are lying down for a short nap. From the left are Ohm, Savan and Leo.

Pink Invaders?

We’ve had a lot of rain recently, leaving the area back of the house with several inches of water. I’ve noticed that on the cement wall in back there are these weird-looking pink “things” that have been clinging to it. What the heck are they?, I thought.

Apple snail eggs

These are apple snail eggs, pink “aliens” clinging to the low wall in the back of my house.

So, I did a search on Bing (I don’t like using Google, for various reasons). Are they animal, vegetable or mineral? I eliminated mineral, so animal or vegetable. The word mollusk popped up in my mind, so I did an image search for pink mollusk. Bingo! Got it right away. These appear to be the eggs of the apple snail, which lays its eggs above the waterline, according to this Wikipedia article. Mystery solved. Thankfully, they’re not space invaders.

Stormy Weather!

Wow, we had a heckuva storm out my way yesterday afternoon. It started rolling in about 4 p.m, and I was thinking it would be nice to have a breeze and maybe a bit of rain. The clouds looked pretty benign, but the full force of the storm hit around 4:30 and it was anything but “nice.” I swear we had a mini-tornado. The winds were coming from all directions and they were extremely strong. The roof of my house was being lifted a few inches and dropped back down, more than once. The neighbors’ trees, large and strong, were being bent to about a 60 degree angle, debris was flying through the air, and the rain, only about 15 minutes worth, was fierce!

After it was over, about 30 minutes later, I took a walk around. Our house was OK, but the neighbor in front of us had part of his roof blown off, much of the roof of the karaoke across the road was destroyed, and a small pavilion in the rice field behind our house was torn up. Their was sheet metal all over the yard, and I don’t know where it came from. Plus, the power was knocked out for about 3 hours. This was a bad one, and had me a bit scared. Below is a photo of the pavilion and of the neighbor doing repairs to his roof. We’re supposed to get more storms again this afternoon. I certainly hope they’ll be nothing like yesterday’s.

Pavilion after storm

The pavilion behind my house after the storm yesterday.

Neighbor roof repair

My neighbor repairing part of his roof.

Finger Exercise-Taekwando Master

Here’s a shot taken way back in 2004 in Andong, South Korea, of my taekwando master, Mr. Kim, chopping his way through 9 or 10 slabs of marble. He did this in front of a large group of younger students and their parents, and he was quite nervous. He had never attempted to do this many slabs before. As you can see, he was successful! I created this with the Sandstorm action from the set of Artistry4 actions I recently bought from PhotographyBB. Again, I did some tweaking to the overall effect.

Taekwando Master

Finger Exercise-Boy Power

Here’s a new finger exercise I’m calling “Boy Power” that I created with the help of Grungeart Glow from Artistry4 Actions, a new set of actions I bought from PhotographyBB. The tweaks you can make with this action are endless. Fascinating to work with. (The boy is my partner’s grand-nephew, Leo.) In this one, I changed the background color to black and tweaked some of the scratches and splatters.

Boy Power

Finger Exercise–Life is Beautiful

A quick finger exercise this morning, called Life is Beautiful. It combines a couple of murals from downtown Las Vegas with a color lookup and a texture from the Photoshop Artistry course.

Life is Beautiful

Life is Beautiful

Finger Exercise-Nai on Train

Here’s a quick finger exercise I did this morning, though I’m still not quick at these things. I explained finger exercises in an earlier post. They’re not supposed to be anything special nor perfect. Their purpose is to get the creative juices flowing before working on a more elaborate composition.

This is a photo of my partner, Nai, as we head back to Laos on the overnight train from Bangkok. This was taken almost 14 years ago, in the summer of ’06. Time flies.

Nai on train

Finger Exercise-Nai on Train

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