15-06-07 Vivid 2

Chicken, TV, dinner
6 minutes on defrost, 3 on high
Beer to wash it down with then another
A little whiskey on the side

It’s not so bad alone here
It don’t bother me that every night’s the same
I don’t need another lover
Hanging ’round, trying to make me change

Fish swim, birds fly
Lovers leave by and by
Old men sit and think
I drink


The challenge this week is vivid

First attempt is right here.

Second attempt

(inspired in some weird way by the accidental cootchie mama’s‘s father’s day campaign)

is right below here:


More vivid visions:









15-02-05 Playtime

Then a crowd a young boys they’re a foolin’ around in the corner
Drunk and dressed in their best brown baggies and their platform soles
They don’t give a damn about any trumpet playin’ band
It ain’t what they call rock and roll
Then the Sultans
Yeah the Sultans they play creole, creole

Mark Knopfler

I felt a little off when I got home and decided to just mess about in Photoshop for a bit with one of my current favorite pictures while listening to The Sultans of Swing on auto repeat..

This is the original:

RSJohnson_Hudson_ 110612-2

This is after working it in Lightroom:

RSJohnson_Hudson_ 110612-2-2

Moved into Photoshop from the edited Lightroom

RSJohnson_Hudson_ 110612-2-Edit

I have no idea if I like what I did. That is going to have to wait until tomorrow but I had a good time.

3-4-14 Not All Plans Work

I went to an all day seminar on Photoshop at the Javits Center today. The Javits is New York’s convention center and it is one of the more unloved buildings in the city. It is way too small to be a convention center in a city of 8 million people, one of whose major industries is tourism. It is unattractive, badly designed and not well staffed. It is on 12th Avenue and overlooks The Hudson River.

The seminar was good and when we broke for lunch I figured I would wander the center and find some interesting angles to shoot the river. Get a new perspective on my old friend. After wandering for about 20 minutes and asking several staff, it turned out that there was only one place in the entire building that had a river view you did not need to pay for and it was covered with screens.

Sigh. I walked the block to the river to eat my dirty dog and commune with the water.



And here is a link to pictures of Andra’s Natchez Trace walk today. http://andrawatkins.tumblr.com/post/78593437727/to-live-forever-an-afterlife-journey-of



7-31-13 (Just Kidding) 8-1-13 The Past Is Prologue

Today, I thought I would start off with a prophetic musical interlude from 1974…

I am taking a one week intensive Photoshop class which has not left much time for picture making or well anything but Photoshop.

August always makes me want to look backwards to see what rushed by so quickly so I have been going through the archives of our various travels over the years.  This may be my favorite picture ever of Katherine and Abigail even though  – to be blunt – I screwed up the framing badly. We were waiting for a water bus as evening fell in Venice.  And yes, since you ask, Abigail is wearing a hoodie.

Waiting for the bus

Ah well time passes…

2-17-13 Travel Theme: Mountains

Ailsa’s theme this week is mountains

Mountains come in many shapes and sizes both in reality and metaphorically.  Metaphorically I ran into a mountain today when I finally installed Photoshop CS6 only to discover that my computer’s graphics card can not handle it and Apple tells me that I cannot upgrade the card.  That was a mountain to conquer to get today’s images.

Reality?  The first shot is from 2009 on our way to the Newburgh to Beacon Hudson Swim looking over West Point and the Hudson…


The next three are from the hike to the Boiling Lake in Dominica

Travel Theme- Mountain-1

My guide

My guide

Boiling Lake

Boiling Lake

1-10-13 It’s Not The Vision I Had

Due to a wealth of computer problems that don’t interest me so I am sure would not interest you, I was chased from Photoshop back to Photoshop Elements 10, which is a lovely program but can’t recreate what I did yesterday.  However after much play I enjoy what I came up with. It certainly is NOT the vision I had but getting there was fun.

I know some of you have read the title of this piece in the blog before but it is such a perfect statement for any part of life that I must repeat it now and again. I like it for many reasons but the biggest one, beyond the truth of it, is that it is neither a positive or negative statement. It just is. We set out to do something, and no matter how successful we may be, it is never the vision we started with. Sometimes better, sometimes not, but always different.

The Chair of the Pomona College Theater Department had this on the wall of his office when I first met him. It has always stayed with me.

Behold! The “vision” I did not have!



1-9-13 Big Idea – Little Reality

I’ve not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work – Thomas Edison

I have been playing around with Photoshop a lot recently and had several ideas in mind for a composite image  to post today. I spent several hours working on it. I wasn’t satisfied but figured I had three hours before I had to post so…no problem.

Unfortunately, a computer crisis arose and I had to exit quickly. As happens to the best of us, I hit the wrong key on my way out and “evanesco!” – POOF the photograph and the work vanished. So, tonight has been like a dream for me. Here and then gone.

Somewhat like the experience this gentleman had a few days ago. I spoke with him around Noon, he was waiting for a friend to arrive and then they were off to have a good time in the city… and when I came back around the park…

To Sleep-1

12-18-12 Cliche?

“It is a cliché that most clichés are true, but then like most clichés that cliché is untrue.”

Stephen Fry

Sometimes you see a shot you just have to take even though you know it has been done…and done…and done.  Some might even call it a cliché. The time I most felt that way was when I drove around Ireland. I kept stopping the car to get these really great shots and would put the camera to my eye and realize that I had seen this before, only the colors had been greener and the sheep more picturesque. I do believe that Ireland may be the most photographed country in the world per square inch. It is very hard not to shoot postcards there.

Be that as it may. I have that feeling about this picture. But you want to make your contribution.

34th Street-10

This next picture is for fun. I felt like painting.

For the technically inclined…

ISO – 1600


1.6 seconds.

Rough adjustments in Lightroom – saturation and white balance. Then curves and gradient in Photoshop.

34th Street-11


1-21-12 Two Views

We had a little snowstorm today. Not much to talk about, unless it hadn’t snowed all winter (or actually since mid-fall, 10/29/11).  Little kids had a great time, older kids wondered why it wasn’t a blizzard on a school day, the mayor remembered to get the plows on the street and not to go to Bermuda for the weekend, and Monday is supposed to be between 45-50, or as I like to call it, the new normal.

This is the 2nd weekend of my intensive Photoshop class at ICP.  Great teacher, Kathleen (Kathy) Anderson (Hit the link. Check out her work).  You won’t be seeing the results of the class here for a bit (I don’t think – never say never, right?). I want to play before I publish!

Bryant Park - NYC as we always imagine it in the snow

Cathedral Parkway - NYC as we usually see it during the snow

1-21-11 A view of the Palisades below the GW Bridge

As it happens several of my favorite blogs are mining their pasts this week. At the same time, I have been listening incessantly to Joan Jett and The Blackhearts, and The Runaways (parts of my past), so I beg your indulgence…