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Photo: Obey the Sign

Obey the Sign — drink water if you are here for a physical

This was the sign at the doctor’s office for mandatory physical examinations for Volusia County job applicants, way back when I started working at the library (2006 November). The great thing since I was fired, is that I pee into cups far less often being jobless. If I want to repeat the experience, it will only be out of choice and for fun of some sort.

Anyway, I’m sure there’s a more tactful way to work this sign. Perhaps, “please be prepared to give a urine sample.” That wording is more general-purpose too. A sign like that could be everywhere, because who knows when it will come up (for the national security of course).

This was Obey the Sign 6 back on deviantART. The 5 before it are junk, so this is now the definitive Obey the Sign. This photo’s funny in a sad sort of way… we don’t even treat our dogs like this. The clinician has to keep his ear to the bathroom door, to make sure you’re not substituting someone else’s urine. That’s a problem so often, you know?

This isn’t an image you have to beat to death. I just converted to black and white, added a ton of contrast, and burned in the corners.

Canon PowerShot A620, 1/15, F2.8, 50mm, ISO50, 2006-11-10T09:39:53-04, 2006-11-10_09h39m53

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: The Last Battle

The Last Battle — a twig vs. the incoming black clouds

The only remaining twig, fighting the last battle against the incoming storm clouds. All the other ones have been washed away, or struck by lightning or something. I ripped this plant life off a bush of some sort in our yard (it’s a jungle out there), because it has a nice shape and pattern of leaves. It fit the bright space in the sky well, so I held it up with one hand while snapping the shot with the other.

It was a bit bluish out; I found the image worked better in black and white. I added a lot of contrast to push the branch to black and the bright parts of the sky to near white, then darkened the dark clouds to add punch. It was late, so I under-exposed to gain a fast enough shutter speed, and because I knew I wouldn’t need shadow detail anyway. That’s why the original image is dark.

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Canon PowerShot A620, 1/100, F2.8, 7.3mm, ISO100, 2007-05-13T19:56:32-04, 2007-05-13_23h56m32

Location: Thripp Residence, Ormond Beach, FL  32174-7227

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Sunset in the City

Sunset in the City — power lines, cars, and a beautiful pink sunset

A sunset near the Wal-Mart in South Daytona, Florida. I couldn’t move away to exclude the distractions, so I made them part of the scene to represent urban life. The colors and cloud dark clouds at the top drew my eye, as did the cars at the bottom. I made the tail light of a car the dot for the i in City, and the headlight the period for the X. in Richard X. Thripp. Creatively incorporating the title into the piece is nice sometimes.

I added a bunch of contrast, shifted the colors from yellow to pink, and brightened the lights of the cars.

Canon PowerShot A620, 1/160, F3.5, 14.93mm, ISO100, 2007-01-19T18:05:27-05, 2007-01-19_23h05m27b

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Barbie’s Day Out

Barbie's Day Out — a beheaded doll

I spotted this doll’s head on the top of the grate of a storm drain. Didn’t even have to stage it. Great ideas just find me sometimes. :xx:

Canon PowerShot A620, 1/60, F2.8, 7.3mm, ISO50, 2006-10-06T17:31:41-04, 2006-10-06_17h31m41

Location: Nelson Ave., Ormond Beach, FL  32174

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Sunrays 2

Sunrays 2 — blue beams of sunshine pierce the clouds

An awesome blue sunset. I saw this while my Dad was driving, so I started snapping photos with a fast shutter speed out the window. By luck, I got the timing just right on this frame, including an interesting white fence and some nice palm trees.

I wanted the fence to stand out, as it matched the white rays well, so I dodged it in Photoshop. Then, I added color and contrast with the curves function, and brightened the sunrays. To color the text with the title and my name, I cropped a portion of the photo, stretched it to the size of the text, added a lot of contrast, and then set it as the fill pattern in PhotoFiltre Studio (I use it for text and borders, because it’s much more intuitive than Photoshop).

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Canon PowerShot A620, 1/640, F2.8, 7.3mm, ISO100, 2007-04-14T19:28:00-04, 2007-04-14_23h28m00

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

More of the Sunrays series.

Photo: Blue Marbles 6: Infinity

Blue Marbles 6: Infinity — armies of marbles converge at eternity

These marbles go to infinity, but not beyond it, because they have proper boundaries… sort of. The two rows of three marbles are diverging, though your mind has to work to decide if they are parallel or otherwise. This represents infinity because it makes you think, or so I hope. I did a lot of trials positioning the marbles; this proved to hold my interest the best. The day’s light was good, helping me to get the dramatic mix of black and blue.

I enhanced the contrast, and used Photoshop’s spot healing brush on the mess of specks that are permanently affixed to my subjects.

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Canon PowerShot A620, 1/15, F7.1, 7.3mm, ISO50, 2007-01-18T14:11:46-05, 2007-01-18_19h11m46

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

More of the Blue Marbles series.

Photo: Blue Marbles 5: Diagonal Bias

Blue Marbles 5: Diagonal Bias — a line of marbles, turned to the side

This, following the first, is the best in the series. I got really close here, so you can see the terrifying details of the marbles. This also gives very shallow depth of field, so the ones far back become quite blurry. Turning the camera to the side is another stab at creative composition, but I mainly did it to keep the edges of the yellow table out of the frame. The blue colors in this one turned out perfect; not too dark nor too bright.

How come I didn’t notice all the dust and hairs on the lead marble when I shot this? It was a pain in the neck to remove, but after that, all I had to do was add a splash of light and color.

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Canon PowerShot A620, 1/3, F2.8, 7.3mm, ISO50, 2006-12-22T16:49:43-05, 2006-12-22_16h49m43

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

More of the Blue Marbles series.

Photo: Illumination

Illumination — a scary face lit up on black

My self portrait. Where there’s light, there’s darkness, and that darkness, surrounds me. I lit this with a bunch of cheap flashlights, using my camera’s timer. This is how I look after journeying into The Night of Eternal and Unrelenting Darkness. They’re really the same photo, if you look closely.

I removed blemishes, darkened a lot and added contrast, burned the edges of my face to make it more round, re-centered my face in the bottom-right third, and finally converted to black and white, with a bit of blue. The XY coordinate (512,332) in the above is RGB (18,16,21) now, where it should be (17,17,17) for black and white, for example. This adds subtle coldness, which is the best type, anyway.

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Canon PowerShot A620, 1/15, F2.8, 7.3mm, ISO50, 2007-01-29T17:19:17-05, 2007-01-29_22h19m14

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Liquid Suspension

Liquid Suspension — water droplets floating in a spider's web

Tiny raindrops, levitating in a spiderweb. Most people don’t realize it’s a spider’s web, but if you’re observant, you can figure it out from the stray dirt and threads. I shot this in January 2007 with my old Canon A620 (this is the first release here); I focused as close as it would go (one centimeter) for this, as the drops were really tiny. To increase the depth-of-field, I closed down to F7.1 (the range on the A620 is F2.8-F8). I kept taking photos after this, but disturbed the web mistakenly, causing all the drops to fall. This one, while dull at first, came to life with my editing. The reflections in the drops are my favorite element, each representing a microcosm of the world we know and love.

If you haven’t figured it out, spider webs aren’t pretty. There were pieces of dirt and dead bugs strewn in the web. My purpose as an artistic photographer is to present a realistic ideal of the world, through whatever means necessary. My job was to remove those, both from the web and the droplets’ reflections. I only did this in a couple; in the other droplets, I decided that the reflections pass for branches or leaves above or around the web. I used Adobe Photoshop CS2’s spot healing brush and clone stamp to take out the offending elements, while double checking that there were no smudge marks by making the image much darker using the Levels tool, followed by checking the integrity of the highlights. The last step was to crank the contrast into overdrive (curves), because the scene was really dull to start; it was a dreary, overcast day, after all. It all came together in the post-processing stage.

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Canon PowerShot A620, 1/320, F7.1, 7.3mm, ISO50, 2007-01-18T13:16:43-05, 2007-01-18_18h16m43

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

Photo: Bubble in the Sea

Bubble in the Sea — an ant, trapped underwater in an air bubble

These are some Loquat fruits that my Dad was washing off (for their cancer-fighting properties). When I looked at them, I saw this going on: an ant, trapped in an air bubble, with another ant outside the bubble, already drowned. The ant in the bubble was moving around, trying to escape. I ran to get my camera; used my small digicam, as it focuses this close while the lenses I have for my DSLR won’t, and captured this scene.

Ants are people too! Actually, they aren’t. They type here is red imported fire ant, which we have far too many of in Central Florida.

I removed some specks of dirt (can’t have dirt on my fruit), plus added contrast to liven things up. I burned in the corners slightly, and dodged the blue areas so they can better play off the yellow and orange bits.

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Canon PowerShot A620, 1/2, F2.8, 7.3mm, ISO50, 2008-03-18T15:52:18-04, 20080318-195218rxt

Download the high-res JPEG or download the source image.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License. Credit me as Richard X. Thripp and link here.

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