Life: I don’t have a monotype printing blog (yet)

However, I have a smartphone photo blog, where I sometimes post photos of monotype prints. (Pretend that is meta.)

This is just a reminder that I post images at mobilelene.blogspot.com more frequently than I post book reviews and rambles about coffee here. I’ve been posting there since 2008 with my fancy new iPhone 1, exported my Google+ posts there (buggily) when that service shut down, and then kept on keeping on.

You may already know that I like skies, flowers, and buildings, but that blog provides PROOF.

Life: Following Tangents (theme: mines)

My Cousin had an issue loading a satellite image of the Nevada desert. He showed me a glitchy version of an image that looked like the same image wallpapered across the screen. He said the land looked painted; that he wondered if what he’d seen was being censored; and he showed me a dark screen grab of what looked like an open pit mine.

My brain went down several different paths.

Satellite images of resource extraction: I wanted to know if he had also been looking at mining or drilling sites more generally, because many of them don’t make sense to me. The day before, I’d been looking at oil wells I used to pass on 101 north along the Salinas river. I’ll never really understand why the wells are where they are (it looks like many sites are high up, though I was led to believe the oil they are looking for is quite deep, so this would be making their drilling job harder, I would think.) That image happened to be on my desktop:

Via Google Satellite just south of San Ardo (Google Satellite link)

Art depicting open pit mines: there are some interesting (and extremely unfortunate) open pit mines around the world with remarkably colorful soil. My Cousin mentioned that he might have been looking at images of the Goldstrike Mine. So I went looking for images of Goldstrike, and wound up asking him if he had been looking at this geometry-themed site and open pit mine ART (you read that right) by Antonio Gutierrez:

Art depicting Nevada bombing ranges: my mind turned to an art book about the government’s destruction of wide swathes of Nevada, including the contamination of private land, and the documentary photography project on this theme by Richard Misrach (fraenkelgallery.com). Yes, of course I have this book.

Art depicting toxic Landscapes (including mines): Another photographer based in my area, David Maisel (davidmaisel.com), has a body of work and a book called The Lake Project, which I never managed to obtain. It is one of several by him on similar themes, and includes extraordinarily vivid images of toxic waste that are beautiful and abstract. It’s painful to know what they depict, however.

His website is lovely:

There is a great article with many illustrations from several of Maisel’s toxic landscape projects in the Design Observer (designobserver.com), so I shared this article with my Cousin, since it was also on this theme.

Eventually, my Cousin was able to find the satellite image he wanted, and showed me the painted-looking ridge that had captured his attention, which is visible if you zoom into the center of this Google map:

He is an EXCELLENT Cousin, so he both shared the ridge when he finally relocated it AND hadn’t minded the speculative, mine-and-art-themed detour I took him on. It’s good to know that my Cousin ALSO wanders through the deserts of the American West virtually.

Now I’ll wait until he starts also wandering the most remote islands of the Pacific Ocean, and take him on another tangential virtual adventure. 😀

Book: Earth: Bernhard Edmaier Colors of the Earth

Gorgeous cover of the gorgeous through and through book by Bernhard Edmaier

Earth: Bernhard Edmaier Colors of the Earth
by Bernhard Edmaier
published by Phaidon
2013

Edmaier’s aerial photography work is justifiably famous; Phaidon is my favorite photography book publisher; this oversized photography book combining what I appreciate about each is a fantastic work, especially for those of you who enjoy geology.

This book is FULL of geology. Geology which is composed beautifully and makes me think of the abstract paintings I am so fond of.

This isn’t JUST a book of beautiful photography which happens to be organized by color: it is also filled with scientific explanations for the colors and forms in the images. I hereby give a special shout out to iron oxide, for all the magic it does around the world!

Before you ask: OF COURSE there are images of volcanoes, volcanic cones, and LAVA. And oceans, and coral reefs, and icebergs that have just turned over and are glassy and clear, and glowing blue pools of meltwater, and…

One of countless remarkable images of the natural world, so skillfully captured by Edmaier.

You’ll learn something new about how crystals or mountains formed; you’ll want to fly to remote islands and volcanoes to see their remarkable textures; you’ll have a new appreciation for all the colors a glacier can feature. My tiny, low-resolution teaser images won’t do this heavy, beautifully produced book justice, but I can say that I recommend it with great zeal.

You likely could have guessed this, but Bernhard Edmaier has a fantastic website, which reveals that he did study geology, and which features other books of his, some of which I don’t yet own. (Oh-oh.)

Enjoy the beauty of the natural world, and especially its geology, through the work of this talented photographer.

News: Smoke Darkens Sky Across California

We had a dark day on September 9th, and I’m still seeing amazing photos of it. My own neighborhood was covered in fog, so I couldn’t see far in the orange twilight that dominated the day, caused by smoke high in our atmosphere.

Others beyond the fog line did a lot with the view! I’ll share some of their great work, linked back to the source.

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What #SanFrancisco looks like almost 2 hours after sunrise. #CaliforniaFires pic.twitter.com/KD6t39ctV1

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Life on Mars 🪐#OrangeSky pic.twitter.com/Yptmgd9qQf

And video:

Digital Art: Seoul Triangle

Seoul Triangle

Would you believe I’d been planning this particular image for days and days and days? I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but I’m happy with it. (It is based on the same photo as the prior two images.)

Digital Art: Seoul Tree (Light Burst)

Seoul Tree (Light Burst)

I worked late again this evening, and then got out my old Chromebook and started digitally manipulating photos to make unrealistic effects.

I’m a rather strict photographer: I don’t edit photos very much, due to analog habits. I try to capture things as I want them to be, so I don’t have to spend a lot of time “in post,” editing after the fact for hours on a computer. It just isn’t much fun – especially if I COULD have photographed it correctly, and gotten good results WITHOUT extra effort.

But this isn’t intended to polish a photo for regular consumption. This is PLAY. This is about making the photograph LESS realistic.

PLAY is FUN.