Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Color Your World

by Leigh

My name is Leigh and I'm a coloraholic.  I need my color fix everyday just like I need my caffeine. Everyone's got a favorite color.  It's the one you find yourself photographing over and over again.  It draws you in every time.  You spot it and your eyes light up, your mood instantly lifts and a smile washes over your face.  Most of the time my go to color is green, but looking through my photos from the past couple of weeks I'm seeing a new trend.

My photos have been full of pinks, purples and blues.  I hadn't really planned for that to be my summer flower color palette….I guess subconsciously that was my plan all along!  

I could go into various aspects of color theory, but it's difficult to summarize in a blog post.  Color combinations create a visual harmony.  Harmony is defined as a pleasing arrangements of parts, whether it be music, poetry or color.  In visual experiences, harmony is something pleasing to the eye.  "It engages the viewer and creates an inner sense of order, a balance in the visual experience."  At one end of the spectrum, when something is not harmonious it appears boring or so bland that the viewer is not engaged.  At the other extreme is a visual experience so chaotic and overdone that it overstimulates the brain.  The viewer can't stand to look at it…almost as though our brain rejects what it cannot organize or understand.  Color harmony creates not only a sense of order, but there is an ease to it that engages us and makes the viewer want to look at it longer.  "Harmony is a dynamic equilibrium."

What color combinations create that harmony for you? 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Venturing Out

By Carol

Although we didn't get too much snow this year in the northeast, it's been a long grey winter anyway - or at least we feel that way since we are still getting 45 degree days here in May (!) I started itching for some adventure somewhere close to home. Who ya gonna call? - my photo buddies! Michele (who has written here and is now blogging and teaching at Art of Intuitive Photography in NYC) and Janis, (who is part of our photography family here) are always up for anything, and they did not disappoint! They suggested a day at Coney Island, and since they were willing to drive this country girl there, I was on board!

Of course the park has been world famous since the time of flannel bathing costumes, which by the way, were recommended wear since salt water swimming was still very suspect in 1876. The dress code called for loose fitting and conservative cover, and pamphlets warned ladies of hysteria if they went in too fast. The park has a long and varied history, but a major event occurred in 1893 when George and Mary O'Donnell honeymooned in Chicago at the "World Exposition" and saw the first wheel made by George Ferris. Seeing it as a huge money maker, George came home and raised money to build one on Coney Island. The largest ferris wheel in the world was delivered in 1894 and spurned concessions and steeplechase rides and freak shows ever after. The Coney Island we know from the movies was born

Can you imagine an apartment under the coaster??

The day wasn't as sunny as we had hoped, and we knew we would be fighting blown out skies in our pics, but I love to see a new part of the world - especially an iconic place I had heard about all my life!  (Yes, I realize it's only about an hour and a half away, but I told you - I don't do city and turnpike driving well!) I was surprised at how much smaller Coney Island looked than in the movies. The old Woody Allen sagas, and more recently "Brooklyn" make it look as big as the Jersey shore boardwalks that I am used to, but it is actually very intimate now. However, it more than makes up for its size with icons that have been around since the 1930's. Tillie is looking over you everywhere you go. We saw the parachute jump ride. And then there was the Cyclone -the oldest wooden roller coaster. I cannot believe people ride that thing - but Michele says she does every year. (some comfort zones are not made to be walked out of - at least that's my excuse....)

The park mascot "Tillie" was a "frightful funny face with  44 grotesque teeth." Considered scintillating, it  hinted at impropriety!

The early rides sometimes made ladies ankles show in the wind - a big thrill for the park characters!

The Parachute Jump!

Although we saw the original Nathan's Hot Dog joint, we opted for the equally famous Wahlberger and OMG! - worth the trip right there! Original recipe sauces, pickles, and freshly thin sliced onion rings from red onions! We got an adorable waiter, who couldn't have been more Brooklyn if he was from a movie cast.

We caught some dapper gentlemen, and elderly couples sunning on the benches, and some of the usual boardwalk characters. We came across the Coney Island Freak Show School where you can develop some new hobbies and talents! I loved the sign - "LOOKA_LOOKA !".

Looka Looka!!!

With full bellies and happy smiles, we headed home! Once again, I encourage you to take a vacation near your home and see what this varied country has to offer right in your own back yard. A few hours can make you feel miles away from home and routine!  Do it this week! And send us some postcards in our gallery!

Friday, May 20, 2016

Focus on You

This month we are continuing on with our theme of Texture.  And this amazing capture by Suz Bolton absolutely jumps out from the screen.  (Not literally thank goodness!). Seriously though, the color is just amazing and Suz's brilliant focus brings out the finest details in this little guy's eye.  Such an awesome capture!

We still have one more week for you to explore texture in your photography.  We would love for you to share your images with us in our Flickr pool and/or with us on Instagram using #focusingonlife.

Thank you to everyone for continuing to share your beautiful art with all of us!

© Focusing On Life