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Monday, October 10, 2016

Seemingly Ordinary Doorknocker Morphs into...

Griffin Doorknocker, Venice Italy

I'm not a celebrant of Halloween so I was wondering how I could celebrate without coming off as a sorehead.  I like sometimes to dress up my photography and art images so I thought I would give it a try.   I shot this gremlin doorknocker in Venice, Italy several years ago with the aim of becoming a cool looking photo.  (Footnote:  If you are ever fortunate enough to go to Venice realize everything is squished together because there are no roads.  Because of the lack thereof the streets are mostly narrow so backing up to get a whole building in a camera frame is impossible.  Sometimes it is impossible to get a whole door in a frame.  This is a place you would be very grateful to have a wide angle lens.)

OK, not a gremlin you say...more like a griffin on a Medieval church - peephole and all.  I think I exceeded my expectation since I added a message which gave a different feeling...


Bah Humbug Un-Halloween

I love when I can add fonts and a quote from a character in a favorite book I grew up with and change the mood. It has the power to create another place and time with the possibility to make something inanimate come alive...and...yes...talk.  I know you must be shaking your head but let me explain:  Photographs are rarely perfect.  In the process of editing the image I had to straighten the doorknocker so it became smaller in a sense, but the face SEEMINGLY BECAME LARGER!
  
Jacob Marley A Christmas Carol

Now that the doorknocker is bigger it has taken on another persona (wonder who?!!). You guessed correctly, Jacob Marley in Charles Dicken's iconic Christmas tale 'The Christmas Carol' (your right answer qualifies you to become part of an elevated group that recognizes with just a mere whiff of suggestion all things Dickens!)! Ebenezer Scrooge's deceased greedy business partner.  The doorknocker not only can speak - it has something Scrooge-like to say.  Marley would applaud (if he ever applauded anything) Scrooge's quote; they were in all practicality, twins!
Next time you see a doorknocker don't think it is only there to let the person inside know you are on the outside, singly instrumental in getting their attention.  Think again.  If it talks back don't be surprised because you have been forewarned!! Especially if it says something you are not expecting like "Bah Humbug!" on a day when you are dressed up celebrating. Take it in stride and be open to the next door knocker you meet.  It may surprise you. You never know who you may run into...

Monday, July 27, 2015

A Humorous Take On Poldark



The new BBC period drama series Poldark is great to watch.  I really like the quality cast, the acting and love the costumes. It's atmospheric and feel like I am watching people living in the 18th Century.  I have found some light humour in the BBC One stunning photography that was not originally intended! Just for fun I have changed the meaning of what the characters are portraying in some of the images.

So are you ready?  Here goes...


      That Awkward Moment When...


Great, you got the part in Poldark but you will have to eat pilferage (sardine) pie at the Christmas dinner!

That Awkward Moment When...
They told you you would be the new clapper boy...

That Awkward Moment When...
Aunt Agatha tells you what is REALLY going down!

That Awkward Moment When...
You are told ALL the ingredients in the main dish...

That Awkward Moment When...
They just told you they are going to take your picture but you aren't ready.


That Awkward Moment When...
You just realized you are in the wrong place at the wrong time!

That Awkward Moment When...
Everything you said about that person has proven to be wrong!


That Awkward Moment When...
They just told you there is no more room in the carriage...


That Awkward Moment When...
You realize he really meant it!


That Awkward Moment When...
You realize all the time they were taking pictures of YOU!


That Awkward Moment When...
You realize they know more of the script than the cast and can play the parts!

That Awkward Moment When...
You realize all the while they wanted to take your place!

That Awkward Moment When...
You realized what those dance lessons couldn't do for you!


That Awkward Moment When...
You realize they left you high and dry and in the dust!



THE END



Monday, July 13, 2015

How Snow and Ice Effects Were Created for Dr. Zhivago and Reveal of a Hidden Building


The frigid look of the Dr. Zhivago movie sets has always fascinated me because it looked so real (all that ice and snow effects were pre-computer generated, no CGI; in other words there were no computers used for designing backdrops.  The sets were handmade).  After some research my curiosity has now been satisfied and I am still impressed.   



Most of the filming for Dr. Zhivago was done on a studio set.  Thankfully it seems only some large crowd scenes were filmed outside in 80F+ degree heat which was for the most part in Spain.  You can image how the actors and extras were feeling, dressed in Russian winter woolens.  The actors had to have their faces dabbed every two minutes.  Thankfully, there must have been much cooler temperatures in the indoor studio sets.  



Production designer John Box and his crew transformed the Zhivago estate into an authentic Russian winter landscape.  Everything was built and created by hand, even the house.   For snow/ice effects inside and out (using the same building) all the architecture, chandeliers and furniture were sprayed with hot white wax, cold water was poured over everything and then sprinkled with marble dust.  The the effect was that of a frigid, glistening ice palace.  I would image giving a somewhat similar feeling of icy-ness as the Ice Hotel in Jukkasjarvi in Sweden.  They are scenes I will never forget, even after 55 years!




At Sharif's passing I wanted to create an image portraying the movie as a kind of memorial.  Thinking I would like to create a digital work of the Zhivago estate in a snow scene, I took the movie set image of the house and put it into my photo editor to take a look  



In playing with the image I discovered another building emerging to left of the estate!  I was somewhat surprised this other building was not completely blocked out.  It probably wouldn't happen today just knowing what digital editors  are capable of.  In some instances it could be a little unsettling to suddenly have a building emerge in the background!  It can faintly be seen in the original image.  It reveals the countryside was not the vast view it shows in the movie.  Look closely at the first image below to the left of the Zhivago estate and then the second image below it with the yellow circled area.  If you can see the building in the first one your eyesight is excellent, no need to get glasses!  







I added the movie title to my image so now you have a choice; with or without the title.









Friday, July 10, 2015

Omar Sharif and Dr. Zivago

With the passing of Omar Sharif I have to admit I have forgotten the story behind Dr. Zhivago, the movie starring Sharif who will go down through the ages for his wonderful portrayal of the character with the same name as the title. The movie stills are still lush looking bringing back memories of my childhood in the 60's and fashions that are having a revival and seem as fresh today as they were back then. Everything old DOES become new again when you have been through the cycle once or twice!
It is definitely true for fashion, go go boots from the era are now in style and can be bought new or old.  Coats with fitted long princess seams running down the front and back with large collars are popular also.  Bell bottom pants have been a mainstay for some years.  Women wear long straight hair with a center part and Twiggy style short hair cuts are being worn like the "old" days.

I have uploaded images from Dr. Zivago and fashions inspired by the late 19th century time period of the movie and Russia.  Some of the Russian inspired clothing I would also term as folk or culture clothing which are becoming very popular today which I love.  I feel I have already been introduced to the style and have a renewed interested especially when seeing beautiful images.  
You think, Wow, I am tired of those old styles I will never wear them again!  Poof! here the ads come with wonderful visuals and you are caught up in the fashion style machine once again!  Then I think who wouldn't want to dress in an earlier time and culture with gathered fabric on the sleeves and skirts with vests and bodices, very romantic!  Although I think I am transcending fashion somewhat having seen a lot now pick and choose the styles I want to wear.  Don't think I'm not grateful, there is a lot style-wise to choose from being offered today with something for everyone.

As someone so aptly suggested on Twitter, let's all watch Dr. Zhivago tonight and remember Omar Sharif in one of his best roles.  Note; his son Tarek Sharif plays the part of young Dr. Zhivago, Yuri standing at his mother's coffin at the beginning of the movie. It's nice to see a family member alongside Omar in the movie when so many articles say he was lonely and living alone in hotels, although I think at the end of his life his family apparently took care of him.  The last article I read he had been living with family.  Good to hear his family was supportive.  He apparently lived alone for many years by choice.