Not in Kansas Anymore

Not KansasPhotoshop fun!

…grab an image (even something you think might not work very well); like those shot through the passenger window of a moving car, for example …and run them through the ‘distort’/’twirl’ filter in Photoshop.

Oh my!!!

Twilight Beach

twilight beachTwilight on the Beach

by: Mary Dow Brine (1816-1913)


The crimson glory of the setting sun

Hath lain a moment on the ocean’s breast,

Till twilight shadows, gathering one by one,

Bring us the tidings, day is gone to rest.


Far out upon the waters, like a veil,

The mists of evening rise and stretch away

Between the horizon and the distant sail,

And earth and sea are clothed in sombre gray.


The tide comes higher up the smooth, wide beach,

Singing the song it has for ages sung;

Recedes, and carries far beyond our reach

The freight my idle hands have seaward flung.


Over the white-capped waves the seagulls soar

With heavy-flapping wing and restless cry,

As darkness spreads its deeper mantle o’er

The changing shadows of the twilight sky.


No voice but mine to mingle with the sound

Of ocean’s melody–as one by one

The stars light up the vast concave around,

And live the glory that is never done.


Still higher creeps the tide with subtle power,

And still the waves advance with sullen roar;

But with the last faint gleam of twilight hour

I turn me homeward from the lonely shore.

*Acrylic painting on paper- 9×11

Life is a Highway…

riding the wave2

Life’s like a road that you travel on
There’s one day here and the next day gone
Sometimes you bend, sometimes you stand
Sometimes you turn your back to the wind

There’s a world outside every darkened door
Where blues won’t haunt you anymore
Where the brave are free and lovers soar
Come ride with me to the distant shore

We won’t hesitate
To break down the garden gate
There’s not much time left today

Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you’re going my way
I wanna drive it all night long

Through all these cities and all these towns
It’s in my blood and it’s all around
I love you now like I loved you then
This is the road and these are the hands
From Mozambique to those Memphis nights
The Khyber Pass to Vancouver’s lights

Knock me down, and back up again
You’re in my blood
I’m not a lonely man

There’s no load I can’t hold
Road so rough, this I know
I’ll be there when the light comes in
Just tell ’em we’re survivors

Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
If you’re going my way
I wanna drive it all night long (all night long)

(Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, yeah! )

Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long (Mmmm, Yeah! )

If you’re going my way (your going my way)
I wanna drive it all night long (all night long)

There was a distance between you and I(between you and I)
A misunderstanding once
But now we look it in the eye
Mmmm yea!

There ain’t no load that I can’t hold
A road so rough, this I know
I’ll be there when the light comes in
Tell ’em we’re survivors

Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long (All night long! Yeah Yeah! )
If you’re goin’ my way
I wanna drive it all night long

(Gimme, gimme, gimme
Gimme, gimme, yeah! )

Life is a highway (Life is a highway! )
I wanna ride it all night long (Woo Woo Wooo! Yeah! )
If You’re going my way (your going my way)
I wanna drive it all night long (all night long yeah! )

Ah gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, yeah! )
Life is a highway
I wanna ride it all night long
Yea I’m gonna ride it all night long baby
If you’re goin’ my way
I wanna drive it all night long

“Life is a Highway” written by Tom Cochrane; covered by Rascal Flatts for the “Cars’ soundtrack; as well as by Chris LeDoux and Jerry Jeff Walker.

*Image of highway taken with my infrared camera (through moving car window); and later filterized in Photoshop using the ‘distort”, “twirl” features.

Ducks in a Row

beards in the skywithplane

To get one’s ducks in a row essentially means to ensure all of the small details or elements are accounted for and in their proper positions before embarking on a new project. When a person is fully prepared for any eventuality and has every element in place, he or she can indeed be said to have his or her ducks in a row.

Etymologically speaking, your guess as to the origins of this saying is about as good as any other. There are at least three plausible theories surrounding the origin of “get your ducks in a row,” plus some others which, at least, put up an interesting argument. Some sources suggest the phrase was not even used in print until the late 1970s, although a magazine article from 1932 did suggest “getting our economic ducks in a row.”

The most popular theory suggests that “ducks in a row” came from the world of sports, specifically bowling. Early bowling pins were often shorter and thicker than modern pins, which led to the nickname ducks. Before the advent of automatic resetting machines, these “duck pins” would be manually put back into place between bowling rounds. Therefore, having one’s ducks in a row would be a metaphor for having all of the bowling pins organized and properly placed before sending the next ball down the lane. Many bowling alleys still offer “duck pin” lanes with smaller bowling balls and shorter pins.

Another theory comes from the world of nature. Mother ducks often corral their young offspring into manageable straight lines before traveling over land or water. Any stragglers or escapees would be noticed as long as the integrity of this line is maintained. The idea of getting all of one’s ideas or ingredients or team members in one organized line would be similar to a mother duck getting all of her literal ducks in a row. One concern with this theory is the use of the word ducks, since baby ducks are more correctly identified as ducklings or even chicks. The common expression suggests adult ducks, not necessarily younger ducklings.

There are also sources which argue the “ducks in a row” element refers to a carnival game or two. One popular carnival game involves the player using a small caliber rifle or air gun to knock down moving targets. Quite often these targets are in the shape of ducks, and a conveyor belt system makes sure the duck targets are aligned in a consistent row. It is possible that the expression came from the benefit of having all of the targets (ducks) arrive in a predictable and organized order.

It is also possible that the expression came from the natural flight formation of ducks as they move through the sky. The most efficient arrangement is a V-formation behind the leader, which allows each duck to take advantage of reduced wind resistance. Having all of one’s metaphorical ducks in a row would be just as efficient and logical as flying in such an organized formation.

Info found on

“Ducks in a Row” – is a digital collage; original acrylic painting with digital imagery including infrared photography

“And the day came…”

fairy lee with trees

And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom. – – Anais Nin

I got a new book!!

Surreal Photography: Creating the Impossible“, by Daniela Bowker and its loaded with fun, fairly easy instructions for creating some ‘impossible’ photography.

Photoshop is such a great tool but sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming – for me anyway. I am NOT a technical photographer.  AT ALL.  My method of shooting mostly consists of: 1) aiming and 2) pressing the shutter button.

Not exactly highly technical stuff.

So you can only imagine what having thousands of post-production options must be like for me!  My post-production workflow (to date) is mostly basic stuff.  A typical workflow is tightening up the sliders in Levels, boosting the exposure (or not) in Raw, and, or maybe, tweaking  the Clarity slider.  That’s about as far as I go usually.

But I have ALWAYS, always, ALWAYS wanted to be able to create my own little fantasy worlds that conceptual photographers like Natalie Dybisz and Brooke Shaden create.

I realize I am NO WHERE NEAR this level yet but the book has helped me realize there just may be a light at the end of the conceptual tunnel!

And this image is a first attempt – it was late last night but I was anxious to try it out…and these were three images I already had on hand.

And yes, that’s me… 

What??…doesn’t everyone have images of themselves in fairy costumes??

Warm and Fuzzy


Wouldn’t it be fun if we could see the world through warm and fuzzy filters?

This image was taken with my cellphone and the Roidizer app…then run through Photoshop’s Oil painting filter (aka the warm & fuzzy filter).


Btw…(if you’re into this sort of thing)…this is a new(er) variety of coneflower (to me anyway) called “Pink Double Delight”.  The bloom head is just as big as the picture shows. No manipulation was done to alter the flower itself.

Beautiful, isn’t it!

Into the Quiet


Infrared image; handheld, Canon G10 converted camera.

Mason Dixon

mason dixonI love how one thing leads to another.  Here is an encaustic painting I finished just a little while ago…it made me think of the Mason Dixon Line.

And my curiosity being what it is – I looked it up and here is what I found out. I was a little surprised.

Maybe you will be too.

Most Americans know the Mason-Dixon Line as the divider between North and South; freedom and slavery. But the line’s origins have nothing to do with slavery and actually predate the United States.

The line is, in fact, the result of a bloody land dispute between proprietors of Pennsylvania and Maryland when the country was just a collection of British colonies.

Yet the very stones that mark this infamous boundary are weathering, damaged, vandalized or missing altogether. For the last ten years, two surveyors, Todd Babcock and Dilwyn Knott, armed with a passion for American history and a Global Positioning System (GPS) are locating and documenting each and every stone laid by Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon more than 200 years ago.

“We’re losing (the stones) at an increasing rate so it’s very important that we obtain the precise location of each stone so we can go back and repair damaged stones and replace lost ones,” says Todd Babcock, president of the Mason-Dixon Line Preservation Partnership (MDLPP).

“I think Mason and Dixon are lost in the history. Something that we hope to do, is to tell people a little bit about Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon,” Babcock says. “They weren’t some senators who debated slavery on the House floor. They were surveyors and astronomers.”

Mason was an astronomer employed by The Royal Society in Greenwich, England. He spent his time observing the stars and the moon, and establishing lunar tables that could be used to determine longitude.

Dixon was a surveyor from Cockfield in Durham County in England, and was educated by John Bird, a renowned maker of high precision astronomical instruments.

In 1763, Mason and Dixon landed the monumental task of resolving an 80-year property dispute between the Calvert family of Maryland and Penn family of Pennsylvania, and were asked to lay stone markers indicating the boundary.

The boundary began at 15 miles south of the southernmost tip of the city of Philadelphia and followed a constant latitude west to a point between western Pennsylvania and what we now call West Virginia. GPS measurements taken by Babcock and Knott, a member of MDLPP, reveal that the line was off the mark by as little as one inch in some places and never more than 800 feet.

Mason and Dixon used the stars to calculate this path through the wilderness and mark out the 233-mile-long boundary line between Pennsylvania and Maryland, and the 83 miles long north-south boundary between Maryland and Delaware; the effort took five years.

The stones—huge blocks of limestone between 3.5 and 5 feet long and weighing between 300 and 600 pounds—were quarried in Southern Great Britain and shipped to America.

Carried by wagon to their final resting place on the line, the stones were placed at one-mile intervals. Mile markers were decorated with vertical fluting and a P on the north face and M on the southern face; every fifth mile along the line the stones were engraved with the Penn coat of arms on the Pennsylvania side and the Calvert coat of arms on the other.

Towards the end of the line the terrain got more hilly so Mason and Dixon did not lay markers, but erected large rock groupings or cairns instead. Later, additional surveys done by the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey in 1901 and 1903 replaced the cairns with leftover markers.

Since the last inventory in 1980, several stones have been destroyed or damaged by vehicles. “I took a picture of one stone in October and three months later in January of 1996 a snowplow hit it, broke it and pushed it down into the farmer’s field,” Babcock says. “It had been on the line for over 200 years. Now it sits in a farmer’s barn.”

Some damage is due to vandalism. “A lot of times we’ve seen places where people actually shoot (the stones) with a rifle. You can see marks on the side where they shoot it with a gun,” Babcock says.

Although there is nothing scientifically groundbreaking about the calculations made by Mason and Dixon, creating a boundary with almost constant latitude was “a logistical achievement and represented hard core science done under harsh conditions,” Knott says.

“When you walk the line you get a better feel of the conditions involved in hauling huge granite monuments 132 miles across hostile terrain,” Knott says. “Up, down through streams, through marshes, through all kinds of weather conditions. It’s not an easy task for anybody.”

At minimum it took a couple of weeks to make each set of observations. “They would be up at night taking their astronomical observations of the stars in temperatures sometimes 20 degrees below zero,” Babcock says. They would essentially lie on their backs and look through a six-foot-long telescope measuring the angles between stars and the meridian, the due-north line.

Mason and Dixon actually used instruments made specifically for this project. The zenith sector, designed by Dixon’s mentor John Bird, was the most advanced instrument of the day for determining latitude. Bird said it was accurate to within 100 feet.

Babcock and Knott photograph each marker they find on all four sides, and record its color, condition, weathering and the state of the coat of arms.

It is not just the historical importance that drives the team. “I feel a kinship with Mason and Dixon and every time I come out I learn something new about the methods that they used and I have a greater respect for what they went through,” says Babcock.

“Cream of the crop of their day,” says Dilwyn Knott. “Few people at that time could accomplish what they did.”

“Mason and Dixon were surveyors and astronomers, very well educated men of their time and we hope to have credit given where credit is due,” says Babcock.

Babcock and Knott have been documenting the stones for ten years. Of the 230 stones that delineate the Pennsylvania and Maryland border, 80 to 90 stones lack GPS coordinates. Although Babcock and Knott say it is a little embarrassing that their project has taken twice as long as the original Mason-Dixon Line they emphasize that this is a hobby for them and that Mason and Dixon were paid.

Saving the Mason-Dixon Line by Bijal P. Trivedi, National Geographic Today, April 10, 2002.

What do you do?


I’m a photographer.

“Oh!” “Do you do weddings?”




“Well, what do you take pictures of?”

I photograph doors and chairs.

“Oh... (uncomfortable silence) …really.”




Doin’ the Math

I’ve been sub(s)tracting again…


And thinking…

How can I inspire you?

(Encaustic monotype ‘substraction’)