Black Widow

Black Widow

My newest painting is titled, The Black Widow.  My goal was to create a painting showing a bunch of people at a funeral, and the sexy widow is already hitting on a guy at the funeral.  I was explaining this to Elizabethe and commenting how I want there to be some indication that she’s the black widow.

Elizabethe came up with a great idea.  She suggested I paint her wearing a black bolero with a red shell under it.  The bolero is buttoned in the front and the jacket forms two converging triangles creating a red hourglass shape.

Bingo!  She nailed it.

I started working on it while we were at Focus NY, and today I spent hours getting it to a point where I’m seeing it all come together.

Catching Up

I spent half the day catching up on work I couldn’t do while at Focus NY.  It’s funny, I’ve heard people comment how the conference is such a great deal.  Well, let’s see… There’s the drive there and back, the hotel, meals away from home, oh… and time away from your business.

I figure it cost about $12,000 to attend.  If I bring this up at the next meeting it might wake them up as to the actual cost.

Hmmm… workshop… Now we’re talking about $14,000-$15,000.

Continuing Education

Continuing education isn’t cheap.  Photography isn’t just owning a camera, it’s huge investment of time and money.

 

 

 

Dud Hotel

Dud Hotel

I’ll never book through booking.com again.  The Penrose is a dud hotel.  The  I booked my room several weeks ago.  We arrived at the hotel to find out the elevators (all of them) are broken.  (Plus, the lobby kind of smelled bad too.)  So, the guy at the front desk tells us the lowest floor would be the 8th floor!

First, there is no way Elizabethe can climb 1 floor of stairs in a high rise, let alone 8 floors.  He offered to have a bell hop carry our bags.  Right.  Are they going to carry Elizabethe too?

We started calling around and discovered about the best we could do would cost about 3x as much as this hotel.

Now, a good customer service oriented company would have said, “I’m sorry, our elevators our out, but we have made arrangements for you to stay at Hotel XYZ at the same rate.”

The guy at the front desk offered 20% off the room if we were to stay.  Yeah.  That doesn’t help if someone can’t climb 8 stories.

The hotel we are at is very nice, and about 1/2 mile from the temple.  It also has in/out privileges for parking.  That’s the good part.

Workshop

My workshop ended today.  It went very well and my students did some great work.  Of course, I painted some of the same subjects as they did.  Here’s my rendition of sunflowers.

copyright 2016 db walton - dud hotel
Sunflowers by db walton

 

 

Show and Teach

Show and Teach

I’m a show and teach kind of teacher.  I was attempting to explain to a model how to pose a certain way and so I mirrored what I wanted her to do.  Jokingly I then commented that I should have been a model and added that I have the figure for it.

What she said in response was the sweetest comment.  It was to the effect, “You could be a model.  It’s what’s inside that counts.”

Everyone in the class smiled and I thought this is one of the sweetest professional models I have ever worked with.  While she models professionally, her desire is to become an actress.  It was refreshing to work with a model who is not so into herself that she makes others feel uncomfortable around her.  I hope I get to work with her again.

After the workshop I went to copy the files.  I personally shot 840 images during the workshop.  I think that is a record for a 3-hour workshop.  I’ll definitely be repeating this workshop.

Elizabethe and I drove the model back to Rochester for her to catch her bus back to New York City.  We were both exhausted and so we simply stopped for a burger on the way home.

While driving home Elizabethe asked what I was going to make the missionaries for dinner tomorrow.   I threw out a couple of suggestions which she didn’t think went the salad she wanted to make.  Finally, I said, “Omelets.”  (I figured that was the least amount of work and as tired as I feel, I want to keep things simple.)

Workshop Day 4

Workshop Day 4

It is Workshop Day 4 today.  Tonight is the banquet which means it is going to be a long day.

Here’s what we did in workshop today:  http://www.dbwalton.com/wp/2015/07/23/day-4-with-michael-barton/

At the banquet we had a nice dinner that consisted of some good BBQ chicken, sausages and pulled pork.  Now, that’s my kind of dinner.

I won a $100 gift certificate for retouching services.  Elizabethe commented, “But you do your own retouching.”  Yes, that’s true, but if I can off load some work when I get busy that will be nice.  And, if I get too busy, I may off-load all of my retouching.  (Oh, how I hate when people call it editing.)

Just for grins… here’s some responses…

Q.  What do you use to edit your pictures?

A.  (While holding up my index finger) This.  I just press the delete key.

Q.  Did you edit this picture?

A.  No, the edited pictures are in the trash.

Q.  Can you edit this?

A.  Why?  Don’t you like it?

In fact, I think do a session with some old 4-by proofs and when someone asks, “Can you edit this”, I’ll just tear up the picture and say, “Okay.  That’s done.”

Editing images, to me, is culling the bad ones out of the good ones.  Retouching is what you do in Photoshop and programs like that.  I know… this is one of my pet peeves.

By the time I got out of the banquet it was about 9pm.  It went on a bit long.  Tomorrow is the last day.

Day 3 with Talise

Day 3 with Talise

Day 3 with Talise at workshop.  Yes, Talise went with me to workshop.  This meant having her get up bright and early.

As we were about to leave, I suggested we set off a smoke bomb.

copyright 2015 db walton
Smoke Bomb

I think I need to work on the positioning of the model and the smoke.  Yeah… you can come to your own conclusions.

Workshop went great.  Talise was a great model, and then she helped out with the child models who were there.  She did a fantastic job helping keep them happy and focused.

copyright 2015 db walton
Talise with one of the Child Models

Michael Barton had a great time photographing her too.  He spent most of the morning photographing Talise.

I handed my camera to another photographer and asked him to get a picture of Talise and me together.

 

copyright 2015 db walton
Talise and Me

Michael also brought in a bunch of flowers for us to photograph.  So, after lunch we photographed flowers.  ( Talise had a blast with too.)  Talise also picked a few flowers outside on campus to add to what Michael brought.

I had fun playing with my LED light and using it to light the flowers.  I’ve discovered that LED lighting is a very high temperature (like 11,000K) and I’ve got to learn how to set my camera for the right temperature when you don’t know for sure what it is.

However, color aside, I got a very cool black and white of the flowers Talise arranged this afternoon.

 

copyright 2015 db walton
Flower Arrangement

I love the textures and tonality I was able to get with my LED lighting.

You can see my photo blog at:  http://www.dbwalton.com/wp/2015/07/22/day-3-with-michael-barton/

Now for Day 2

Now for Day 2

And now for day 2 of workshop.  It was the same routine of leaving the house at 7:30am, but this time, I had to go straight to the temple after class.

Class today consisted of photographing Mrs. New York America.    (see http://www.dbwalton.com/wp/2015/07/21/day-2-with-michael-barton/ )

At the temple tonight I was assigned to go to the first session.  It was hard to focus as my brain was racing with concepts we learned about in workshop today.

Note to self:  Next year, get a substitute on temple night.

While I hate missing my night at the temple, it is hard to concentrate on what I should be doing at the temple while my brain is digesting the new knowledge received in class today.

 

NPPPA Presentation

NPPPA Presentation

I did my NPPPA presentation today.  It was a fun group.  They provided a young model for us to work with and it went quite well.

copyright 2015 db walton
Teaching my Workshop

because we had a model, we were able to take some reference pictures for the students to work on.

copyright 2015 db walton
Model: Brianna

It is amazing how quickly a day goes when you are teaching.  Before long it was lunch time, and after lunch it wasn’t long before class was over.

We started the long drive home.  I kept thinking we’d find a place to eat and pull off the freeway, eat and continue on.  However, when it is drizzly you can’t really see what’s off the freeway exits.

Before long we were about 45 minutes from home and I had to eat so I pulled off and looked for a place.  We found a little Chinese take-out/dine-in place so we ate there.  We joked at how the pictures and menus looked like Happiness Garden.  Even funnier, the place was called Happy Garden.

Workshop 2014 Last Day

Workshop 2014 Last Day

Workshop 2014 Last Day is today.  We spent time working on painting our composite.  Of course, we didn’t complete it in the 3 hours of class today, but we got a start.

After class I administered the Certified Professional Photographer exam.  Two students were scheduled, but one was a n0-show.  The CPP exam is a 100 question exam that tests the candidates technical knowledge about photography.  It’s not an easy exam, and it is coupled with a 15 image review.  Once the candidate passes both, they are awarded their certification.

—–

Now that workshop is over, I want to comment on some stuff I heard on the radio while driving to and from my class.

First, there seems to be this overwhelming attitude in the media and entertainment that sex and love have nothing to do with each other.  Yes, sex isn’t love, and love isn’t sex, but they ARE emotionally and spiritually connected.  I’m sooooo tired of the entertainment world leading their audience to believe that it is okay for two people who just met to have sex. Save sex for marriage and you’ll live a much happier life.

I was reminded of this when listening to a song from the 60s.  The lyrics talked about kissing.  That was it.  Kissing.  The same station then played a song about some guy who just met a girl, she’s naked, and he wants to know if she’ll “text him” tomorrow.  Huh?  How socially irresponsible and sick is that?   Yet, it seems to be a way of life in the entertainment world.

Second,  I’m tired contradicting standards presented by the media and entertainment.  On one hand, they lead you to believe one is at liberty to change their gender, while on the other hand people can’t help it because they were “born that way.”   Then, when someone decides to alter (disfigure) their body, all of a sudden they should be called “he” and not “she”, or “she” and not “he”.   You see this in news reports even.  All of a sudden a female soldier decides she wants to be “male”, and the media immediately starts calling her, “him”.  I’m sorry, her DNA still says she is a she.

Although I don’t care much about how they decide to live their lives, but there are social ramifications.  Name a civilization that has been sexually deviant for centuries and is leader in the world today?  You can’t.

On the other hand, repeatedly in the Bible we see examples of what happens when people ignore God’s commandments.  When many people in a society ignore the commandments, the consequences affect society as a whole.

I miss the day when people remained chaste before they got married.  People cohabitating was called, “Living in sin.”    Sex was reserved for a man and a woman who were married.  Anything outside of that was considered to be wrong.

How did society become so depraved?

Workshop 2014 Day 3

Workshop 2014 Day 3

Workshop 2014 Day 3 was a demanding day of image manipulation.   We’re still working on the same image, but today we started building the background.

copyright 2014 db walton
My Background

Of course, it looks kind of funky now, but other elements will be added, colors changed, etc.

copyright 2014 db walton
Other Elements Added.

It is a slow process, but it also requires an attention to perspective and angles.  You can’t have something below that it appears you are looking up at it.  Light must come from the same angle for all elements.

This class will change the way I take photos when on vacation or traveling.  I’ll have to carry a list of items needed for compositions and be watching for them.

—–

While driving in today, I passed this field on Route 21 in Manchester.  I had to stop and take a picture…

 

copyright 2014 db walton
Hay Rolls

Normally I don’t like the button-push filters, but in the case of this image, it actually works.  Yes, anyone can push a button, but not everyone can compose, expose and shoot an image well.

Workshop 2014 Day 2

Workshop 2014 Day 2

This is workshop 2014 day 2, and it is an informative and interesting class.  Basically, we’re creating a collage using little bits and pieces of various images.  We warp them, bend them, rotate them, shade them, and manipulate them to fit our theme and image.  When we are all done, this will become the basis for our painting.

This sort of work falls in to the fair use category of the copyright laws… well, providing our use of the snippets are modified enough that we just aren’t simply copying someone’s image.  Believe me, we put a lot of work in to every little piece.

PPSNYS Workshop is a 5 day school offered every year by PPSNYS.  It is for professional photographers to better their skills.  Some of the other classes being offered are based on portrait retouching, and another one on outdoor photography.  This aren’t “camera club” type sessions, these are serious photographers who make a living doing this stuff.

Workshop 2014 Day 2
Work-in-Progress

We took the instructor-supplied photo from yesterday, and we’ve been adding elements to it.  This picture, when complete, will be added to a larger picture comprised of other elements I’ve built.