Archive for Halloween

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.

Happy Halloween

Posted in Black and White, Monsters with tags on 11/01/2011 by wooddickinson


Posted in Abstract, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Color, Fear, Fine Art Photography, Kansas City, Photography, Trees with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on 10/24/2011 by wooddickinson















In keeping with the season.


Posted in • Wood Dickinson Sites, Clouds, Faith, Fear, Home, Hope, Kansas City, Need with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 10/17/2011 by wooddickinson

What a wonderful October day. Sun wispy clouds being blown by a gentle breeze. I feel that cutting knife in the wind cold and deadly but if I just relax it doesn’t cut so deep. Not like it will come November.

Using a wonder of invention, the iPad to hunt and peck my way along. Just as I’ve been dwelling on the destructive nature of these devices. Cell phones, texts, email, Facebook. What little good is there in any of this. Keeping a journal is fine. Thinking the rest of us care is narcissistic. Does anyone care your at the dry cleaners? Really now is it so important that I’m at my grand kids soccer game to post it along with photos on Facebook followed by a tweet?

I think not. Once there was a time we reserved our efforts for those true masters. e. e. Cummings wrote,

i carry your heart with me(i carry it in
my heart)i am never without it(anywhere
i go you go,my dear;and whatever is done
by only me is your doing,my darling)
i fear
no fate(for you are my fate,my sweet)i want
no world(for beautiful you are my world,my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you

here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life;which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that’s keeping the stars apart

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)

How could I say this any better? Tweet I’m at Tommy with my wife of 35 years?

I suggest we create a day devoted to no use of communications thecnology. No cell, text, computers; nothing that requires more than a pen and paper or face to face communications. Yes. Freedom. What peace there would be on that day.


Posted in Abstract, Art, • Wood Dickinson Sites, Black and White, Fear with tags , , , , , , , , on 10/09/2011 by wooddickinson


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