Open With Caution

The digital competition assigned topic at last night’s camera club meeting was ‘Creative Images (Enhanced/Manipulated)’ with the definition being: Use your creativity and think out of the box for this one. Show off your talents using software to create effects that make your photos something more than just a photo. You may combine several images into one but all the components must be your own photographic work.

Since this is not the type of thing I normally do I had to work at coming up with a concept from photos in my collection. I looked at some images on the web for inspiration. Then I looked through several of my images asking myself the questions: ‘What could I do to this to make it more creative? What could I add or combine this with?’ I pulled a few images and began to play with them and after a few tries I came up with the concept below. I shot the trunk last summer in the shed at an old abandoned house. ‘What could be coming out of that trunk? … some eyes? … a scary clown?’. The eye of a toad close-up, which I also use as my avatar here and elsewhere quickly came to mind. I isolated the eye, copied it and flipped it making two eyes which I then blended and feathered. I made a path around the opening of the trunk so the eyes could fit nicely inside, deleting the portion outside the box I then blended the form into the darkness of the opening. My last step was to create a cast shadow from the edges of the box onto the form. The image received a nice reaction from the crowd (including surprise and chuckles) and I was happy to be awarded second place for my latest creative endeavor!

'Open With Caution' © Denise Bush

Welcome to Fonthill

Back in March two friends and I went on a field trip to Fonthill Castle and the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works in Doylestown, PA. Each equipped with a camera we had a fun time catching up with one another while shooting the weird but wonderful former home of Henry Chapman Mercer and adjacent Tile Works. Built by Mercer during the height of the Arts and Crafts Movement, it is uniquely constructed from poured concrete and decorated throughout with elaborate tiles. There are 44 rooms, 200 windows, 18 fireplaces and 10 bathrooms. Both Fonthill Castle and the Moravian Pottery & Tile Works are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The tour of the castle interior was quite interesting but photography was not allowed. In addition to the odd cement construction and story-telling tiles throughout there were many prints and other artifacts once collected by Mercer on display. After the tour we went to the Tile Works where we were allowed to photograph indoors. Handmade tiles are still being produced here in a manner similar to that developed by Mercer who directed the Tile Works from 1898 until his death in 1930. I have chosen a few of the many photographs shot that day and processed them in an effort to reflect the strange quality I found in the place.

'Welcome to Fonthill' © Denise Bush
'Fonthill Tree' © Denise Bush
'Entering Fonthill' © Denise Bush
'Fonthill Detail' © Denise Bush
'Fire Starter' © Denise Bush
'Kitchen Still Life' © Denise Bush
'Tile Works View' © Denise Bush
'No. 187510' © Denise Bush
'Departing Fonthill' © Denise Bush