I’ll be showing how I processed this picture from the garden three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021. Prior to trying out the various effects, I increased the contrast slightly.
The first two show the original and the same picture with a retro effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Retro Lab>Hue 90. This effect blurred the edges like a vignette and cast a green glow over everything. Even the carp in the foreground is green! It’s easy to imagine this as a strange world in a fantasy or science fiction book.
The second two show the original autumn scene and the same picture with a warming filter effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Film and Filters. I chose the Vivid Skin Tones option with an orange warming filter. This effect intensified the foliage color and gravel in the foreground.
The third two show the original and the same picture with a distortion effect. For this image I went to Effects>Distortion Effects>Ripple. The pond in the image ripples as if a stone was dropped into it. The blurred image focuses your attention on the distinct colors, textures, and composition of this photograph.
I remember being amazed on this colorful walk in Portland, Oregon. The colors of the foliage and the structure and layers in the landscaping were so impressive!
You’ll find The The Bend Wall mural on the side of Newport Market, a neighborhood grocery store in Bend, Oregon. The bright painting covers a 100-foot long wall on the side of the building.
This impressive piece of artwork was created by Bend artist, Kim Smallenberg.
The mountain in the center of the mural is Pilot Butte, a dormant volcano. On the right side near the peak, you can see a small fire. On the Fourth of July, commercial fireworks are launched from Pilot Butte, and sometimes, it catches on fire. Our Fire Department is always there and ready.
A large metal sculpture of a bear sits in front of one end. The mural behind the bear shows dogs around a campfire. Bend is a dog-centered town. Many residents own one, or two, or…
The next section shows bridges over the Deschutes River. The solar eclipse is taking place in the skies. In 2017, we had prime viewing opportunities to watch the eclipse here in Central Oregon.
The next picture shows the heart of town. Kim included several local businesses in the painting. Look at the bottom right of the mural. Can you see beer mugs lining the road? We have a couple dozen breweries in Bend.
The last picture shows Mount Bachelor, an outdoor recreation destination. Tumalo Falls splashes down rocky cliffs in the foreground.
If you visit the west side of Bend, be sure to stop by and look at The Bend Wall. It’s huge and amazing!
The Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum in Hood River, Oregon has a large collection of cars from the “Golden Age of Transportation” – the period from the early 1920s through the 1940s. The Museum has a collection of over 130 vehicles from the 1900s to the 1960s. You can get more information on vehicles in the collection by year or manufacturer here.
Cars from the Golden Age and beyond
Artifacts from the time period are on display near many of the cars. Here’s a camping scene.
Storefronts around the perimeter of the building add visual interest to the collection.
The color and design of the cars make them great subjects for photographs.
Here’s a view of the car section from one of the entrances.
You will also see several vehicles displayed near the airplanes. This 1921 Ford Model T shows an example of a car converted into a pickup. Ford didn’t start making pickups until 1925.
The 1925 Ford Model T 1-Ton Truck pictured below represents one of their first pickup trucks . This model sold for $295 in 1925.
Right next to a yellow floatplane, you’ll see a 1941 Chevrolet Master Deluxe Business Coupe. Their lighted trunk and extra storage space appealed to traveling salesmen.
Learning something new…
I learned something new at this museum. Have you heard of micro cars or rat rods?
You’ll see cars you recognize plus some you probably never heard of, like this 1981 HMV Freeway micro car. The manufacturer guaranteed 100 MPG when traveling at 40 MPH in the High Mileage Vehicle (HMV).
The two cars below are “rat rods.” Wikipedia says rat rods are custom cars “with a deliberately worn-down, unfinished appearance, typically lacking paint, showing rust, and made from cheap or cast-off parts. These parts can include non-automotive items that have been repurposed, such as a rifle used as a gear shifter, wrenches as door handles, or hand saws as sun visors.” 😯
There’s a lot to see at this large museum. This post focuses on cars from the Golden Age and beyond. I’ll be featuring photographs of their airplane collection in the future.
I noticed these whimsical doors in Tumalo, Oregon while visiting a pod of food trucks. The Bite currently hosts five food trucks. You can get an assortment of beers on tap inside the main building. There is comfortable seating inside and out.
These paintings were done by local artist, Nicole Fontana. There are more pictures of her work at The Bite here. She even included her whimsical take on things in the signs for handicapped parking spots. 🙂
Here in Central Oregon, homeowners can take steps towards fighting future fires for free. In the spring, you can dispose of yard waste for no charge. In Bend this year, the free disposal runs from April 30 through May 15. Here’s a link showing dates at all locations. The landfill also takes yard waste for half price in early November.
You may wonder why the local landfill is taking yard waste without charging the usual amount. Central Oregon is in the exceptional drought category, according to U.S. Drought Monitor.
We have received some welcome precipitation over the last few weeks, but local reservoirs are at historically low levels. Here are photos of Prineville Reservoir, 30 minutes east of my home in Bend. Can you see the horizontal lines along the shore showing previous water levels? The reservoir level is at 31% capacity. Crescent Lake, another local reservoir, is only 11% full.
Look how far the boat ramp is from the shore!
We have a range of habitats in this area. At my house, western junipers grow between sagebrush and bunchgrass. Our annual precipitation is 10 inches or less. On the west side of Bend, ponderosa pines tower over the landscape. The elevation increases and more precipitation falls as snow. Wildfires can affect both environments.
Fighting fire with fire
Wildfires have increased in size and severity. During the 2020 Oregon wildfire season, more than a million acres burned. We use prescribed burns to burn the undergrowth prior to the fire season.
How Central Oregon is fighting future fires for free
After a couple of devastating fires near Bend in the 1990s, a local fire marshal thought about what could be done to prevent future Central Oregon fires. An insurance company considered donating a new fire engine, but the marshal had a better idea. The FireFree group created guidelines to educate homeowners on how they could protect their property from wildfire. They recommended creating 30-100 feet of defensible space around houses. Recommendations included trimming or eliminating brush and trees near structures.
FireFree came up with a plan to help homeowners fight future fires for free. They picked up yard waste at individual homes at no charge. The program switched to using landfill space a couple of years later. FireFree notes on their website, “The total amount of yard debris collected during FireFree events since 1999 is 444,605 cubic yards. This is enough yard debris to fill almost 44,500 dump trucks.”
We collected groundcover weeds and tumbleweeds (three kinds) from our 2.25-acre property this spring. The giant tumbleweed, with me standing behind it, was 7 feet 6 inches across.
This year, we trimmed low-growing western juniper branches to prevent fire from reaching the tree canopies. Juniper trees often split as they age, and we cut down a large splitter growing too close to our house.
We have taken nine loads to the landfill so far.
I visited the landfill on the first FireFree day this year. Local news stations had been advertising this well-organized event.
Trucks and cars lined up to dump their loads.
The city often recycles yard waste into compost which you can purchase at the landfill.
FireFree is a great program other fire-prone communities should consider!
A couple days ago, we went on a Lower Crooked River drive. We were there early in the morning, attempting to avoid an incoming storm system. I remembered I had been there about a year earlier for an afternoon drive. How would the lighting differ in the photos taken on both trips?
This post highlights the 8-mile section between Prineville Reservoir and Castle Rock. See map at the end of the post. On this drive, the curving lines of the road and river contrast with the straight lines of geological features.
A morning drive
As we drove north from the reservoir, shadows covered the east side of the road. The morning light cast a warm glow over the canyon lands.
Basalt columns looked pretty in full light…
But took on more character in the shadows.
The Bureau of Land Management notes, “The most significant contributor to the outstandingly remarkable geologic resource are the unique intra-canyon basalt formations created by recurring volcanic and hydrologic activities.”
Chimney Rock was shrouded in shadows. Rays of sunlight snuck through the cloud cover to cast light near the butte’s base.
I have hiked the 1.3-mile trail to the base of Chimney Rock. You get 360-degree views of the landscape and, in the spring, you’ll see stunning desert wildflowers in bloom.
As we rounded another curve, I saw the dark gray palisade formations in the distance that always catch my attention.
An afternoon drive
I remembered seeing them a year before, driving from the opposite direction. The afternoon light was starting to shade the palisade formations near Palisades Campground.
Parts of the road were in full sunlight, while distant hillsides were shaded.
The columns of basalt appeared to bend in the midday heat.
Near the northern end of the Lower Crooked River drive, where the scenic part begins, rimrock formations emerged from smooth hillsides. They serve as a gateway to the Lower Crooked River, where dramatic landforms reflect the light and absorb the shadows.
When taking pictures, you might want to think about composing your photo in thirds. What?
According to the Digital Photography School, the rule of thirds “is a compositional guideline that breaks an image down into thirds (both horizontally and vertically) so you have nine pieces and four gridlines. According to the rule, by positioning key elements along the gridlines, you’ll end up with better compositions.”
While browsing my photos, I realized horizontal layers are more important to me in composition. Do my pictures always follow the rule of thirds guidelines? No, it’s okay to bend the rules.
SLR Lounge notes, “Of all the “rules” in photography, the rule of thirds is one of the easiest to successfully break.”
My photo in thirds examples (with layers)
This sandhill crane is in the upper third corner, but the differing textures and colors of the plants catch your attention. This photo has four layers.
This pronghorn is near the lower third of the picture. I could have cropped it more, but I didn’t want to cut out the misty mountains in the background. This photo has five layers.
Mount Bachelor, in the upper third of the photo, blends into a flat overcast sky. The foggy forest and flat lake are also muted in color. The “stars” of the picture are the multi-colored rushes and sedges in the foreground. This photo has five layers.
The swans in this Summer Lake scene are near the center line. The dust storm is in the upper third. Both elements are interesting. This photo has a lot of layers – sky, mountains, dust storm, rushes, water, shoreline (with white alkaline deposits), and greasewood shrubs.
The last picture shows a fallen juniper tree in the foreground and the La Sal Mountains in the background. The twisting branches of the juniper are in the bottom third. This photo has four layers.
I don’t always pause to compose a photo in thirds, but I think the last photo comes closest to meeting the rule’s guidelines.
Remember, it’s okay to break the rules! Be spontaneous when taking photos and edit later.
I often look at bird photos I’ve taken later and find out they’re slightly blurred. Fortunately for me, the Bird Weekly Photo Challenge this week is “Blurry.” I’m highlighting funny bird moments to go along with the Lens-Artist Photo Challenge of “Humor.”
This American robin looked kind of mad that I interrupted a private moment with its Ring-necked Dove friend. Ooops!
Is this an ad for Subaru? Look a little closer to spot the Mountain Bluebird admiring its reflection in my mirror. It was quite taken with itself.
I was trying to get pictures of these fledgling Barn Swallows for a while. At one point, one fluttered above its nest mates and turned to laugh at me.
We were so busy looking at these mule deer that we almost overlooked the two Burrowing Owls in the foreground. They tried standing still and imitating sagebrush stems but their heads kept swiveling in our direction.
I saw a Western Tanager in my yard once. Really. I did. See, here’s the picture I took to prove it. 😁
You never know when you’re going to capture funny bird moments with your camera.
Terry’s Hanger Shop is part of one of the displays at the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum located in Hood River, Oregon. This large museum features airplanes, automobiles, and other artifacts. This shop is one of the many storefronts featured around the perimeter of the building.
Did you notice the sign showing the hours they are open? “Gone Yesterday Today and Tomorrow.” Someone has a good sense of humor. 😉
I saw this gorgeous red Indian paintbrush at Great Basin National Park in Nevada. This park doesn’t get as many visitors as others nearby, but it’s definitely worth a visit. We enjoyed our drive up to the the 10,000 foot level of Wheeler Peak. We drove by ancient stands of singleleaf pinyon pine, Great Basin bristlecone pine, and curlleaf mountain mahogany covered with a dusting of spring snow. These brilliant wildflowers were near the beginning of the 12-mile long Wheeler Peak Scenic Drive.
This picture of an ammonite fossil up close shows their beautiful spiraling structure. In ancient times they were called “snake stones” or “serpent stones.” The stones were thought to have healing and oracular powers. Fossils of these once abundant, now extinct, marine molluscs are popular with collectors.
Here’s a pencil drawing I did of a peregrine falcon guarding its prey. I have been fascinated by falcons ever since I read accounts of Genghis Kahn hunting with them. Some of my earliest crayon drawings are of mounted riders carrying falcons. This site describes the 6,000-year old Mongolian tradition and features photos of falconers on horseback.
On our trip to Ireland in March 2020, we looked forward to participating in the Dingle Falconry Experience in County Kerry. Trained owls and hawks briefly perch on your gloved hand before flying to the next participant.
This photo shows their peregrine falcon feeding after its flight. The falcon was only handled by the trainer, Andi Chewning.
In this video, you’ll see Andi working the bird by swinging a lure over her head. Once the birds “tag” the lure, the trainer rewards them with food they provide. When falconers hunt with their birds, the falconer takes the prey they catch.
As you can tell by the sounds coming from the participants, watching the falcon in action is an impressive sight.
Here’s a closer look at Andi with the bird on the ground while it’s feeding. My daughter, Chani, filmed this part.
Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.
When I drove the highway west of Cody, Wyoming, I saw stories unfolding in rock formations along the road.
The short paved trail in the photo below takes you to a place of wonderment along the North Fork Shoshone River.
Stories unfolding from a distance
The rock formations along the ridgetop are a village of homes with a view carved by the common folk. At one time, the richest man in town lived in a round home atop the tallest tower. He bragged about his wealth to anyone who would listen. One day, he danced with glee around and around inside the house. It fell to the ground, but he survived. From then on, he lived a humble life in a square home and he never danced again.
Sheep Mountain is a distinctive landmark about 15 miles southwest of Cody.
Predators kept chasing bighorn sheep herds grazing in the Absaroka Mountains. One ram, larger than all the rest, laid down to keep watch atop a mountain. His immense size frightened the predators away, and he stands guard to this day.
Traveling farther west, you’ll notice a sign for another attraction. This is Chimney Rock, one of several places by that name in the United States.
Stories with a closer view
The best chef in the land baked a luscious layer cake of soft and hard rock for a special celebration. She told everyone not to touch it until the party.
Unfortunately, a hungry, mischievous child cut off a slice before the big event. Uh oh!
This appears to be a peaceful scene of multi-colored mountains bordered by trees growing near the river’s edge. Do you see the rock fence on the left side of the photo above the thick stand of green trees?
If you look a little closer at the “fence” you’ll see where an angry giant tried to rip the earth apart, forming a deep rift. Stories unfolding in the rock are not always what they seem.
The Palisades stand like elegant castles alongside one section of the road.
The royals wanted their people to have a comfortable place to live. Each shelf on the towers serves as a home for scaled, feathered, and furred residents. The grateful residents tend the gardens growing next to the towers, providing food for all.
Today I’m sharing a photograph of a Lost Forest pine tree processed three ways. The Lost Forest is a geographically isolated forest in the High Desert of Central Oregon. A visit to this unique forest inspired me to write a short story.
I’ll be showing how I processed this picture three ways with Corel PaintShop Pro 2021. Prior to trying out the various effects, I increased the contrast and vibrancy slightly.
The first two show the original and the same picture with a box camera effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Time Machine>Box camera. I was pleased how this effect enhanced details of the tree’s structure.
The second two show the original Lost Forest pine tree and the same picture with a warming filter effect. For this image I went to Effects>Photo Effects>Film and Filters. I chose the Warm earth tones option with an orange warming filter. This effect made the tree’s red bark stand out. The puzzle-like bark of ponderosa pines is one of their most interesting features. This effect also highlighted the bare branches better than other effects I considered.
The third two show the original and the same picture with a brush stroke effect. For this image I went to Effects>Art Media Effects>Brush strokes. I changed the Softness setting to 20. This artsy effect shows off the shapes and color of the tree and background sky.
This bridge with a view takes you to the entrance of the Portland Japanese Garden. The bridge’s glass walls bring you closer to the natural world beneath you. Straight lines contrast with the curves and textures of the surrounding forest. When you ascend the stairs and exit the path, you’ll enter the Cultural Center. With its minimalistic design, it stands out yet blends in at the same time.
Today I’m sharing photos and a short video related to the Guinness harp. The emblem is based on a 14th century Irish harp known as “O’Neill” or “Brian Boru.” Guinness has featured a harp image on its beer labels since 1862 and trademarked it in 1876. The logo consists of the harp, the GUINNESS® word, and Arthur Guinness’ signature.
Here’s another harp outside the entrance where visitors can take horse-drawn carriage tours.
Harps inside the Storehouse
Visitors to the Storehouse can get a glimpse of the Downhill Harp. Cormac O’Kelly of Ballinascreen made this harp in 1702. Blind harpist, Denis Hempson (or O’Hampsey), played this harp for many years using traditional techniques.
The Guinness emblem has changed over the years, but the straight edge is always on the left side. Here’s a more colorful image.
Fun Fact: In 1922, the Free State of Ireland adopted the harp as its official national emblem when it separated from the United Kingdom. Since Guinness had previously trademarked the harp, the government flipped the image so that the harp’s straight edge would be on the right side.
Visitors to Guinness Storehouse get a free sample, but if you’re still thirsty, go to The Gravity Bar on the seventh floor. There are five bars and restaurants in the seven-story building.
These glasses of freshly poured Guinness stout feature a harp image.
Newly remodeled in March of 2020, The Gravity Bar offers scenic 360-degree views of Dublin. Prince William and Kate visited the redesigned bar for an event a couple days prior to our visit.
The images above this harp show a few of the various versions of harps used in advertisements over the years. This is no ordinary harp.
Visitors, even those with limited musical ability like me, can “play” this harp by running their fingers through its laser strings. Enjoy your St Patrick’s Day today and your Guinness beer any day of the year. Sláinte!
This is a beautiful piece of stilbite up close. Specimens like these, from the stilbite subgroup, can be found near Mill Creek, Polk County, Oregon. The crystals on this mineral are gorgeous, but I also like the parallel lines surrounding the cavity in this piece.
It’s time once again for fun with photos. Welcome to Photo Bloopers 5! This is what I do with pictures that don’t quite fit in or turned out weird looking. They needed a few words to make them more interesting. Hope they entertain you!
This Sisters quilt mural is located in Barclay Park in Sisters, Oregon. This work by local artist, Jerry Werner, celebrates all that makes this town a vibrant community. In the past, Jerry worked as an illustrator for Walt Disney. His artwork includes murals, fine art, paintings, illustration and graphics, and sculptures.
The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show bills itself as the world’s largest outdoor quilt show. More than 1,300 quilts are hung outside along the town’s main streets and visitors use maps to find them all. The quilts are amazing and show so much creativity and skill!
I did this Nanday Conure embroidery on a denim shirt for my brother when he had one as a pet. When I created this piece, I had never embroidered before so I used a running stitch throughout. Since the shirt was badly wrinkled when I took this picture, I dressed up the image by framing it. 😉
The next pictures show the birds in the wild. They used to be considered a type of parrot, but in 2005 additional research indicated they should be classified as a parakeet. They are also known as Nanday Parakeets or Black-hooded Parakeets. The Nanday Conure is native to South America but birds kept as pets and released are well established in parts of California, Texas, and Florida.
According to this article in The Spruce Pets, nandays are affectionate and intelligent, speaking up to 20 words. However, they can be loud and have a strong beak so they shouldn’t be kept in an apartment or around small children. Nanday Conures are known for being mischievous and may try to escape. Escaped birds pose a threat to native birds and, because of this, they’re not allowed as pets in many parts of the United States.
Do you have artwork you would like to share? Be sure to include the First Friday Art tag.