In the halls of UMBC Visual Arts


It’s disconcerting to run into an oversized facsimile of my own stylized face in the halls of the university. Giving my talk on Saturday evening. Super nervous! But looking forward to it, and seeing the illuminations of Light City around the Inner Harbor.

This morning broke sunny and slid into grey


Here’s a little sketch I did, sort of thinking out a vibe or mood for an illustration. It’s soft, whimsical; feelings that are a little out of reach for me at the moment, despite that Spring is trying to emerge, bit by bit. The gloom of winter is still upon me. I’m feeling stuck, creatively. Distracted and disjointed.

Have you tried the the Nik Collection for photos?

Brugge canal houses
Brugge canal houses: A photo from my Canon Powershot with some curves applied in Photoshop. This is what I used for testing out the Nik Collection; it’s a lo-res version of original image).

Google has a set of photo filters that are really pretty powerful. There are loads of presets, and with ranges of layers that can be selectively controlled.

They say the filters work with Photoshop, Lightroom, etc, but you’ll see that they are installed as stand alone apps; I presume they draw upon Photoshop‘s engine to work their magic.

You will suffer from option paralysis!

Below are a few samples, with names of filters within each set. Captions note which are presets, and which have been modified. One of the most impressive tools in all of these is the integration of control points, with which you can affect specific areas of the image, when a global change isn’t optimal.

Analog Efex

Classic camera 2 [preset]
Brugge canal houses
Classic camera 4 [preset]
Silver Efex

Classic camera 5 [modified settings] Continue reading

Observationals near the end of March

How quickly the year moves forward! Already a quarter of 2017 has blurred by out the passenger window.

From the archive: an outboard motor and a few lines

A vector illustration that was used for a poster a number of years ago, around the same time the poem below was written.

An outboard motor,
its rotors dull and pitted,
hangs from a century-old beam
among the rafters.
The darkness up there
would be forbidding,
were it not for the string
of lights ‘round the mirror

Which smudged reflection
is filled with faces,
flickering in shadows
Of candles
and various states
of inebriation.

The man behind the bar wears a smile
He flashes it often,
but only at targets, and only
when warranted,
like any conscientious
man-at-arms.

(@JimO)