To my considerable surprise last night my hand-colored photo Blue Diamond 2018.36 got the second place award in the Umpqua Valley Arts Center’s Artworks Northwest exhibit in Roseburg.
Juror Danielle Knapp told the crowd at the reception that 912 works were entered, of which she selected 56.
Even better: The award came with a check for $500.
I shot the photo last year on a cool, rainy day chasing around the southern Oregon Cascade forests with Noah and a bird guy named Lee French, who was guiding us to various Great Gray Owls he knew about in the vicinity. At one stop I was feeling particularly cold and miserable but looked up to see this snag, which was marked by a blue diamond for cross country skiers. I took the picture without thinking too much about it. Then got home and printed it large, and forgot about it for a while, and then one day added some paint — and decided I liked it quite a lot.
We’re just back from a couple leisurely days celebrating Thanksgiving at the Oregon coast. The weather was the best that the Northwest has to offer this time of year: chilly, wet, windy and unbelievably fresh. Had a great holiday dinner Thursday at Driftwood Shores, and spent most of the rest of the time out enjoying the beach and trails.
I’ll be doing hand-colored versions of both of these photos soon.
Just about done with the owl portion of this big (24 by 72-inch) hand colored photo. But I want to put a little more complexity into the background, which, in the original photo, is buttery smooth from being out of focus.
I like the bright yellow eye, which is pretty accurate to how thr owl looks in real life.
Here’s an early look at a large (24-by-72-inch) hand colored print I’m making. The image of is a Great-horned owl that Noah and I encountered at Fields Oasis during our recent eastern Oregon adventure. The bird sat remarkably calmly as we approached around the rim of the small pond. Only when we got close could we see that the owl was hanging on to a rabbit it had caught, which explains why it wasn’t quick to flush.
Here’s another view of the owl, with a clearer look at lunch:
Both photos shot with the 36-Mp Pentax K-1, which gives enough detail to print a single image really big. So I thought I’d crop it down to a wide pano view, as you can see, and try a large black and white print to color. It came out with startling detail, including the interesting texture in the bright yellow iris of the owl’s eye.
This is a test print on cheap paper (it might be shelving paper, I can’t remember where it came from). Which is good, as the printer, which needs cleaning, threw a couple ink splatters. Fortunately they missed the owl, so I can fix them in the coloring process.
I’ve only just begun the coloring, with a couple quick layers of acrylic medium and a wash of ultramarine blue and some olive green on the out of focus background.
On a trip to eastern Oregon a couple weeks ago, Noah and I drove the gravel road that goes right to the top of 9,734-foot Steens Mountain. The most spectacular view is off the East Rim, right near the summit. This time the view was transformed by thick smoke, from western wild fires, that had somehow gotten stuck in the middle of the desert. No wind was blowing on top of the mountain (pretty much a first, in my experience), the temperature suited t-shirts and shorts, and you could barely make out the floor of the Alvord Desert directly below.
The photography was great. Here are three hand-colored photos I’ve just completed from our visit that summer day.