Monday, August 31, 2009

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Christmas Day Jackson Pollock Homage

A photo in the spirit of a happy Jackson Pollock, had he been a happy man. Of course, had he been a happy man, he wouldn't have been Jackson Pollock. Certainly not the abstract expressionist painter Jackson Pollock. Maybe a happy Jackson Pollock chef. Or happy Jackson Pollock cab driver. Which would have been worse for the art world but, most likely, better for him. Certainly better for his wife.

I took this photo (the untouched original is the last image below) on Christmas Day playing on our back porch with my Mother-in-law, a woman who has become more ambitious artistically by the year. Impressive. And inspiring. She invited me on Christmas day to play on the porch with her by ruining some images from magazines with a dissolvant. Sounded like fun to me, and it was. The photo you see is actually of cellophane covering what I know not, probably a smudged magazine image. I can't remember. Then I played with the photo with my software. I love this image. I can't remember the last time I printed one of my photos, but I may print this one and display it in my house. I think it's lovely. I'm more of a form and contrast guy than a color guy, but these colors are so very satisfying to me.

So what you gots here is a bit of the Jackson streaks and lines (below).

And you throw in a dash of Matisse's boldness in color...

And a touch of Kandinsky's abstract swirls (below)...

And you can convert this (below) to what's up above.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Juli's feet at the end of the hall

Chair on black and white tiling

Clown and my good ol' buddy Stephen, to whom I owe a great debt. And how.

Poor poor Stephen.

Of course, if you knew Stephen you'd understand how untrue and unfair all of this is. Technically, it's not a clown but a clown-like figurine. Nyuck nyuck nyuck.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Skeleton and bug (and door)

A composite photo of skeletons, a bug, and, you guessed it, a door. It feels like I've posted it before. Have I? And if not, why not?

upside down sidewalk

Swirling metal

That image came from this one. Much improved, no?

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mr. Hank "The Tank" (Hanky) DeMarea

Hank, oh you're such a good dog!!

Come here, Hank, and give me some love. SUCH a good boy, you are, Hank!! GOOD BOY!!!

(Sorry, got carried away there for a minute.)

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Look Dad: No hands OR feet!!

My dear Stumpy, how you've earned your nickname.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Chicago portraits, pt. 1

Quite the mime, this dude. I like these performance artists you find in the big cities. Their poverty is my entertainment gain, I fear.

Woman picking through the trash for breakfast. When I go to Chicago (for professional conferences) I spend much of my time (while not at the conference) stuffing my face with Dunkin Donuts a la Homer Simpson. My town (blessedly) does not have a Dunkin Donuts, but Chicago has about forty-seven hundred of them per square mile. Which is all to my liking. Homeless dudes like to hang outside of my favorite one, and I've often bought them a cup of joe and a couple of donuts. It's agonizing. I know that I should buy them a warm breakfast, and yet if I were homeless and hanging outside the Dunkin Donuts (which is where I'd hang) it's because I want a donut. I typically would go chocolate with sprinkles, but then I suffered from pangs of conscience prompted by fears that they may think the sprinkles were a little too cheery, a subtle attempt to mock them.

But then I thought, "Sprinkles be sprinkles." Whether you're homeless or whether you're living in a high rise penthouse, baby, sprinkles are happy. Not happy enough to overcome the soul-crushing pain of living in abject poverty. But better than a day in soul-crushing pain of living in abject poverty without sprinkles.

Or so I thought. As I said, it was agonizing. But not agonizing enough for me not to enjoy my donuts.

Oh Dunkin Donuts cake donuts: You are made for me and I'm made for you.

Wish this weren't so fuzzy. I want to title this "caught." Because I think she caught me taking a picture of her. I know this because she came up to me and asked me what in the world I was doing and told me to mind my own business.

Okay, that's what did not happen. Except in my mind. Which is nearly as bad as if it had happened if you know what it's like to be in mind. And you don't, count your lucky stars.

"And for my next trick I will proceed to mesmerize the young ladies with my two....with my 'props.'


Chicago portraits, pt. 2

Taken from the train I took riding from the city north to Kristin's and David's (and Caleb's) place. I enjoyed riding the second story; I found the relative solitariness agreeable, and I found the clackety-clack of the train soothing. I spent my time swimming in a reverie, playing hide-and-seek with my thoughts for a most agreeable hour or so home. For this picture I reached my camera into the middle of the train as far as I could while still trying to be unnoticed. It's not a perfect photo, but I like how it clearly captures a shared moment (if nothing but the passing of the paper) between a couple.

This little rascal was having great fun pretending to be a lion cub. Despite what Justcurious says, this is one instance that I couldn't will the hundred thousand people on the sidewalk away. It would have been a nicer capture without Mr. Businessman.

Oh, the teeming masses going to work in the a.m. This photo is ruined, of course. You know why. And if you don't, I won't tell you. Unless you ask. That's how I roll: backbone of a banana and all.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Presented in the original form. Or not. Here's the original photo. It was an art deco-style wall at the top of the Rockefelle Center in NYC. Yes, another NYC photo. But I converted it to something distinctly un-NYC like.

Trip like I do....

through the eyeballs. The world is so visually freaky freaky and funky funky, there's no need to take drugs.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Oh, behold the Whopper. And it was good.

Here's my effort for a title: "It was Thursday August 13, 2009 at 8:20 pm when Michael B decided to throw caution to the wind by starting a small cultural war right here on his blog. Just another one of his brilliant ideas."

Signs in dreams

Monday, August 10, 2009

My days in 'Nam

Ladies and gentleman, I invited a special guest writer, my wife Juli, to contribute the following story. Enjoy.

"Some of you, like Andy D, are begging professormikey for a more personal look into his life. I just want you to be careful what you wish for. Flashback with me about 12 years to our pre-children lives. At that time, professormikey had a pretty constant soundtrack in the house of his precious Doors, Led Zeppelin, and Jimmy Hendrix CDs. He also had a habit of, whenever seeing a vivid shade of green, commenting that "This is the green of Vietnam." He was an avid fan of Full Metal Jacket and Deer Hunter. Apocalypse Now is a movie he had memorized and one we watched monthly (or maybe it just seemed that way). During one average ordinary run-of-the-mill evening at our house, I actually had to emphatically exclaim "You are NOT a Vietnam War vet, remember?" I think I startled and upset him a little with that. He laughed it off....but I'm sure he was trying to figure out what else could account for the flashbacks and PTSD that we all were suffering through with him.

This is actually a picture from a bamboo forest in Alabama. But don't tell professormikey that. We don't want to upset him."

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Freaky weather

This cell caused property damage a few miles east of us. It did not, however, spoil the Bloomin' Onion we ate at Outback that night. We were hungry, having driven that day some 13 hours or so.

(Note: My wife Juli says that the contrasts on the video were washed out when I posted this and there's not that much here to hold your interest. She also says that the music is, um, "repetitive." She says I need to tell you here to be sure to watch until the end where you'll be rewarded with a cool lightning strike. Not where you are in the chair. On the video. My wife is usually right about these things, so I figure I'd follow here advice.)

Trouble ahead

Friday, August 07, 2009

Wormhole of Death, or, Safe Again

Technoprairie--I wasn't sure whether you were offering one title or two, but decided to combine them. I like how opposite they are.

Several of y'all have told me before (off the blog) that you enjoy knowing what I do to create the image. My dirty confession: I actually don't like sharing this information on the blog because I think it unnecessarily colors (and prejudices) your own interpretation of the photo. That interpretation should at first be unmediated and only then informed with external commentary. You should be entitled to see a photo as it is without considering, say, its toiletness--unless the photo itself, undirected by a narrative or commentary, compels your mind in that direction.

This photo? I layered four photos to create this image. Two of balloons. One of pancakes. One of bubbles. I added the "stars" with my photo software.

So there you have it.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Ode to Georgia O'Keefe: My 800th post

This post did not work out the way I had originally intended. Natch.

The photo above I quite like, and I worked on it for a good long time--longer, in fact, than I spent on the photo in the last post. It's very painterly, and it vaguely captures either a cross, or a landscape, or perhaps something altogether different in the style of Georgia O'Keefe. I like the colors, but I juiced them up a bit much, perhaps.

The next two photos all came from the same ur-photo from which I made the image above, but I was less successful with them in capturing anything of note. I included them here only to show y'all the crazy malleability one has to create images (or distort them, depending upon on how one looks at it) with even a rudimentary photo software program such as the one I often use.

Chimp in the china shop that I am, I failed to save the ur-photo that produced these three other images. The third photo is the closest to the original; I only changed the color scheme by converting it to its negative then turning it sepia-toned. It's an image of one of the oversized spotlights that lights up our city's trademark, the clock tower. The untouched photo below is another (different) photo of the same lamp, and I include it here to show you the coloring of the ur-photo.

Y'all ready for a non-sequitur coda?

I find non-sequiturs, especially narrative or emotional non-sequiturs very amusing, and they're right at the core of this blog, baby.

Like this. See what I mean?

See how you're floating in a bizarro-world of self-referentiality? It feels good, doesn't it? Especially the part right before your head explodes. Poof.

Oh, on second look that blue oval is hypnotizing. I can't look away.




Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Mr. Taylor's Mirage

I worked with this image for....well, I won't tell you for how long. A long time. A lot of distortion and added "scrapes" and spots and whatnot. I was going after a look that I didn't quite capture. I was trying to create the sense of a cool oasis, the blue, in a hot hot desert of reds and tans and yellows.

You're probably thinking I should get a hobby. But then were I to tell you that this IS my hobby, you'd frown, furl your eyebrows, and deeply regret your suggestion. Here's the original photo which generated the above.

It is a milk jug as seen through a big pickle jar filled with rainwater on Mr. Steven Taylor's porch. Another photo should make sense of it all. Here.

As Dave Barry once said, and I paraphrase, it's but a fine line between hobby and insanity.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Cloud Gate

I can't help it. It's my favorite place in the world. I can't stop taking (or posting) pictures. I think I'm finally through with my Chicago trip.

I've done a lousy job of catching y'all up on Rome. In my defense, AMD, I have in fact posted a billion of photos of Rome already. I just haven't labeled them as such.