Tag Archives: photography

A derelict (Salton sea) motel sign = a blank slate.

motelbw

The darkroom montage print was done w/sky/clouds at top, dodged smoothly out to 0 about 1/3rd down from top. The cactus was exposed much the same way, except from the bottom up. Leaving plenty of room for the motel sign in the middle.

saltonmotelsignneg

This one was multiple choice – there are several, perhaps many, variations, two areas that could be done several ways.

The sky – could be very blue, or muted, the stars could be white, or perhaps colored.

The motel sign could be colored in a number of ways, too.

The cactus at bottom pretty much has to be green/cactus.

I did a couple of quick/large area Hue /saturation layers to get some basic color going on, then printed out 2 copies on letter paper, and went to work w/ colored pencils. Illuminating indeed.

sketchmotel

Then I moved on the the final print. I decided the sign needed to be more colorful, and the swooping arrow too, and kinda split the difference between the sketch’s color for the sky. I thought the stars needed to affect the sign, which hasn’t been lit up in a while. Perhaps the stars want to give it some help, breathe new life into it. As usual, water color first, especially the letters in the sign, then on to oils. After scanning, a good hit of Hue/Saturation.

motelhc-anddig

BTW, i used the sign once before, a long time ago, a rather wild and crazy print:

vacant

And if old/vintage signs pique your interest:

http://www.pinterest.com/celebhotspots/retro-motel-signs/

http://www.pinterest.com/explore/vintage-neon-signs/

http://www.pinterest.com/explore/old-neon-signs/

Please stop in and check out my books:

‘California Beach Trip’:

On Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1364579138

‘Desert Trip’

On Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1367900190

‘Seeking the Vibe’

On Blurb:

http://www.blurb.com/b/6834807-seeking-the-vibe

Previews of all at:

http://www.bobbennettphoto.net/BB_Books/index.html

Desert Time

First some shameless self promotion, for my three self-published books:

‘California Beach Trip’:

On Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/13645791389

(CBT is all B&W, the other two are about 40% hand-colored images)

‘Desert Trip’

On Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/1367900190

‘Seeking the Vibe’

On Blurb:

http://www.blurb.com/b/6834807-seeking-the-vibe

Previews of all at:

http://www.bobbennettphoto.net/BB_Books/index.html

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Now on to this month’s image, ‘Desert Time’

Whenever i do a montage print, i ask myself the same question, paraphrasing Shakespeare: ‘To hand-color or not to hand-color, that is the question.’ Sometimes the answer is a clear ‘leave it TF alone’, sometimes it’s ‘definitely!’ and sometimes it’s ‘well, it might be interesting, let’s give it a try’. I’ve always scanned the B&W, so even if i have only one print (and i usually have more than that) by coloring, i have nothing to lose.

Here’s a B&W montage print, ‘Desert time’.

deserttime2

It definitely got the ‘well, it might be interesting, let’s give it a try’ opinion.

deserttimehc

Here’s the hand-colored version (above), some watercolor for details, the roman numerals on the sundial, and on the spindly pine tree. Then on to oils for larger areas. I wondered whether the hand-coloring was a bit over the top, so i scanned it (I always do, i have access to a nice ( but rather old – does it make a difference?) Epson flatbed, 12×17 image area) and then did a desat layer, just for the hell of it, for comparison’s sake.

deserttimehcdesat

Glad i did, i think the HC w/ no desat. is just fine – the more vivid colors make the whole image ‘rock’, everything pulses in juxtaposition to another color, the green of the pine and the prickly pear underneath the sundial against the yellow of the numbers, against the warm rich raw sienna of the desert rocks. As John Lovett used to say “that’s the ticket!”.

Never be afraid to walk out on a limb – back yourself up w/ scans. add’l prints/ etc. … but walk out on that limb! you will be glad you did. Nothing ventured, nothing gained.

That’s the larger advice from this post – ‘walk out on a limb’ … and ‘what doesn’t kill you will make you stronger’.