Archive for the Monsters Category


Posted in Art, Buildings, Color, Fear, Fine Art Photography, Hope, Monsters, Need, Photography, TV, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on 01/22/2014 by wooddickinson

TSH Window-3Fear has been with us from the begging of our existence. Fear is a healthy response to places, people and situations that could lead to injury or an untimely death.

The funny thing about fear is the fact that in real life we shun it but in our fantasy life we embrace it. I have a lot of friends that tell me they can’t wait until the next slasher movie comes out. They read horror novels, watch television programs designed to elicit fear and terror in viewers not thinking about the true horror that runs through our daily lives.

Things like school shootings, airplanes coming close to diving off a cliff when landing not to mention the blizzards and extreme temps we have been experiencing this month. Weather can bring out the worst in people as they fight for supplies before the storm arrives.steps c copy

As an artist I’m charged with some responsibility to at least try and make some sense of this irrational conundrum. Fear is fine as long as it’s not real or it’s not me. Cross either line and all bets are off. I’m not going to delve into the psychology of this. I’m going to offer a couple of pieces I’ve done recently that, for me, pick at that boundary between the real and not so real.

Stay warm. Hope you have gas for your generator and some bread to eat.

During the Time of Shadows

Posted in • Wood Dickinson Sites, Book, Faith, Fear, God, Hope, Monsters, Robin Randle Stories, Trees, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , on 01/02/2014 by wooddickinson
tower22 copy

Black Tower

I was closing on the tower.  It was round with a pointed roof cap a good four stories above me.  It was completely black but not like dirty stone streaked with ages of dust storms and polluted air, no it shined in the tepid moonlight reminding me of obsidian.  No, it was obsidian and the glass surface was covered with ancient words.  As hard as it was for me to believe, the tower looked to be one single piece of stone carved into this shape.  As I approached, it loomed overhead emitting black like the natural glass it was.  This tower had been forged in the heart of a volcano and born perfectly formed just for this purpose.  The writing had been etched with painstaking accuracy onto the tower’s glass surface then fused with a power that made the words glow with light.  Different colored lights passed through the letters as they gave power to these ancient words.  This language was born deep in the mists of my memory.  It was when the ancient gods of the chaos had laid their plans to hold power over all creation.  These words were as old as the wretched seven words of pure magic.

Energy streaked around the tower first in the color of white lightning but then fading to blood red giving way to a pale blue glow.  These sparks of lightning shattered the night as they wove the wicked north wind that was leaving my hands numb.

The trail played out near the base of the tower.  I wanted to keep my distance from the wretched object but that wasn’t happening.  I couldn’t imagine touching this horror.  I found myself in awe of the hopelessness held by this monstrous bit of Wormwood’s handy work.  The wind had taken on the bitter smell of almonds and the frigid air swirled around me like snakes, crushing me with the power of a language I could no longer understand.  It was spinning the terror of the unknowing.  The terror of this tower’s unknowing.  This tower should not be.  Yet, here it was.  I had to do something to get away from this freakish, malformed cold.  I could only hope this chaos wasn’t living inside the tower as well.  I forced my feet into an awkward stumble as I made my way around the tower’s base only to fall face first onto the ground of the redwood forest.  As I spit dirt and pine needles from my mouth I forced myself to get up off the molding ground.  It was then I saw it.  A problem designed to pull the last bit of hope from my heart.  The doorless opening for the tower was a good fifteen feet above ground level.  I just had to be short right?

Words like the ones on the tower

Words like the ones on the tower

Guest Blog

Posted in 100 in 365, Abstract, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Book, Faith, Feature Film, Fine Art Photography, Monsters, Photography, renegade pictures, Telly Awards with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 08/29/2013 by wooddickinson


My recent interview at my-addictionbooks.blogspot by Nadine Maritz. Thanks Nadine. Follow the link below:

Broken Wall

Posted in Abstract, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Buildings, Color, Fear, HDR, Kansas City, Monsters, Photography with tags , , , , , , , on 07/18/2013 by wooddickinson
Study of a broken wall.

Study of a broken wall.

It’s Launched

Posted in Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Black and White, Fine Art Photography, Homeless, Kansas City, Monsters, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 11/12/2012 by wooddickinson

Today was the launch event for the 10th Anniversary Edition of Kansas City Voices. This is a publication of Whispering Prairie Press. I was able to talk for about ten minutes about my photographic work and there was a lot of interest in my approach to creating my art. The cover shot used for this years edition was my picture called Herman. Herman was a homeless man who lived in a junkyard on the east side of Kansas City. I feel the photo speaks for itself or maybe it is better to say, it tells the story. I noted that I took the photo with out the aid of flash, reflector or an assistant. I shot pictures as he was being interviewed and then worked with the image in my digital darkroom until it I felt it was finished.

I talked briefly about my process at getting to the heart of a photo. One example I used was a very recent work called Ghost. It has garnered a lot of comments. What I started with was a shot that at fist I felt it was just a blown shot. You can see it here.

To me it was a trash shot until I noticed my step granddaughter peeking out from behind my daughter who is trying to get a costume on another one of my granddaughters. It’s Halloween just before the trip out for trick or treating. Her look intrigued me so I started with Lightroom cropping and composing the piece as I wanted it. I took the shot with my old Nikon D70 and it was a RAW image file so I had a lot of options open to me. The first draft of the piece ended with this version:

I used tools to adjust the bokeh. This was a difficult task given the apparent flatness of the image. After several attempts I got what I wanted and went on to bring out the “ghost” that I was seeing in the image. She’d done a good job on her makeup so I went to various tools (I call them toy tools) until I settled on VintageScene to start the finishing work. Once I was done I brought it back into Lightroom where I used Photoshop to clean up things and tighten adjustments. I use Lightroom as my tool to keep track of photos and files so it is important to stay with my workflow process.

I ended up with the piece below:

This is my piece I call Ghost. The important part here is that I caught this and created it from a throw away shot. Sometimes you don’t really know what you photographed until it sits on the shelf awhile. So be patient.

As to the launch event, It was great fun and a chance to meet other artists and writers from Kansas City. Buy a copy of this publication and support them with a donation.

Trolling for Truth

Posted in Abstract, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Black and White, Color, Fear, Fine Art Photography, Holga, Monsters, Photography with tags , , , , , , , , on 11/05/2012 by wooddickinson

Trolling. Sometime the essence of a photograph (the truth of the matter) is obscured by poor photography, a missed shot or a misfire of the camera. When using the digital medium just about anything is captured and lots of it isn’t any good. But there are times when you glance at a blown shot and something catches your eye. It’s then that I go trolling to see if there is a speck of truth in the poor image. That’s what brought this photograph into existence.

It is still a work in progress but I’m looking for comments then I’ll show you where I started. Please let me know what you think.


Ray Bradbury is Dead

Posted in Amazon, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Book, Fear, Fog, Fossils, God, Humility, Monsters, Music, Need with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 06/07/2012 by wooddickinson

This is a tragic day for all of us who love the masterfully crafted story. Ray Bradbury passed away Tuesday night June 5th, 2012. With his passing so passes the greatest living american author. He was born in Waukegan, Illinois on August 22, 1920. He graduated high school in 1938 and never went to college but he never stopped learning. His first published short story was “Hollerbochen’s Dilemma.”

He wrote such amazing stories like “Fahrenheit 451“, “Dandelion Wine” and “The Martian Chronicles.”  One of my favorite books (one I read over and over) is “The Halloween Tree.”  Another amazing novel that I have read more than once is “Something Wicked This Way Comes.” This novel was made into a movie but the filmmakers didn’t even get close to painting the wonder and mystery presented by this story. Bradbury was one of those rare writers that wrote prose that read like poetry. I haven’t read this novel in several years but I can still see and feel and even smell the lives of the boys involved.

I think his most amazing short story is “August 2026: There Will Come Soft Rains.” He wrote this in 1950. This is an amazing story that doesn’t have a single person in it. It is a poetic glimpse into an apocalyptic world where only the machine keep trying to do their jobs even unto their destruction. I read this story often. If you have never read a Bradbury story read this one. The writing is just not human.

Ray kept working right up to the end of his life and I am so sad that he is gone. He is the kind of person who points out the things we should be paying attention too while we are mired in chaos. “Soft Rains” gets it name from the song by Sara Teasdale.

There Will Come Soft Rains

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

Sara Teasdale
If you have never read any of Bradbury’s work, read this one short story and you will see how he magically transformed a short story into poetic art. Ray, I will miss you. God bless you and thanks for all the wonderful stories you have left behind.
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