Monday, August 23, 2010

Manipulating Photos = Innocent fun?

When I show people this altered "sign" I get the laugh I wanted.

Easy to do. No big deal. Right?

The joke is the viewer's acceptance that such a sign "could" be hanging somewhere.

Or that it's just too silly to be real.

But wait - what if it appeared in a newspaper? Or on television...presented as an actual - though unusual - posted sign.

Not so funny if people believe the fake is real.

I used software to quickly change text on this sign but rather simple steps on the computer make it possible to put one person's face on another body. That could be funny. Or misleading. Or even political.

An historic photo of President Lincoln in formal clothes is fake according to a recent article on photo manipulation. It IS his head but it's been superimposed on the body of a nattily-dressed John C. Calhoun.

Another example shows General U.S. Grant in a composite scene that includes his head pasted on another person astride a horse in front of a Civil War camp lifted from a third photo.

Here's another example of a picture that is not really real.

Oh, "ALABASTER." the albino alligator, is real at the South Carolina Aquarium but not this picture because the glass acted as a mirror. The lighted room reflected back and I was not able to get a good shot at this particular angle.

So, I removed reflections. I "cloned" actual parts of the scene to cover shiny areas I wanted to eliminate. No harm, no foul. I had no sinister motive here.

Hey, the camera doesn't lie.

(Click on the gator for more details. Probably see my edits better. And read the article. Fascinating! Thanks.)

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

How 'bout A Balloon Hat?

It was billed as an "Old Fashioned Ice Cream Social".

The residents, staff and families were all invited to have some treats at Sandpiper, my Mom's Nursing & Rehab Center in Mt. Pleasant.

Great turnout.

I guess I didn't expect to see a clown.

He was making balloon animals - and hats - and was a spry funny-face man in baggy trousers with very large floppy shoes.

I quickly figured out his name was "Sam."

Raising my ever-present camera, I saw him start to freeze into a pose.

"No, Sam, ignore me and just be yourself."

And Sam Drummond, a retired former clown with Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus, did what clowns do - he made people laugh.

The ladies and the gentlemen.

The boys and the girls.

And the children of all ages.

Thanks Sam.

[The "best" camera is the one you have with you. A photo opp can happen at any time.]

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Friday, August 13, 2010

A Shirt I REALLY Liked....

I'm about 16 years old in this photo.

Sophomore in high school at Bishop England so it's probably 1954 or 1955.

This was taken downtown on the peninsula in Ansonborough back when the area had just about "bottomed out."

We - and all my friends in the neighborhood - were renters.

Maybe one family owned their home but the rest of us had landlords.

Cousin Leslie, visiting down from Camden, snapped a picture and, recently, she came across it and sent me a print.

I actually do remember that shirt.

Looking at the scene, I wondered if I could take a picture from the exact same spot.

So, here it is 55 years later.

A friend from Chicago is a good photographer so I challenged him.

Holding the original picture and his camera, he had me move closer, step back, move right, little to the left....hold it. Then he snapped the shutter.

Of course it's digital now instead of Kodak film.

And the tall palm tree is new. And the buildings are cleaned up, painted and very expensive.

None of my friends still live in the borough. I live in Hanahan.

My photographer buddy Ron is also very good at manipulating pictures so I asked if it were possible to copy-and-paste so I appear to be wearing the same shirt.

He did a great job!

My cousin Leslie was impressed that I still had that shirt.

[Of course Photoshop was used...or maybe Ron did it with WIMP.]

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Sunday, August 08, 2010

Miscellaneous Music ...

I don't think John Hiatt is ever considered as a musical etc.

If John were to see this, I hope he understands my comment.

In the sense that his May 11 concert at the Charleston Music Hall has not been mentioned in my blog, he is among the miscellaneous.

Top of the list of course.

This is the third time I've seen him and the first occasion my camera was allowed.

He gives a terrific high energy performance.

And I still marvel at the beautiful venue we have there on John Street.

A completely different setting would be Eye Level Art on Spring Street.

I was aware of outdoor movies being presented there "on the green" and knew it featured local artists' work hanging on the walls.

But I had not ventured to the downtown cinder block warehouse structure until last month with an out-of-town guest.

We heard about TIMBRE, a classical harp-led musical group and we both were curious so we found the studio.

This was June 20th and large fans were moving air around but I think my next visit probably will be in the Fall. It actually was the heat AND the humidity.

But the music was great and the young audience really was taken with the harpist, the group and the two opening acts: Joel Hamilton followed by The Soil & The Sun.

A few nights ago, at Fiery Red's Home Team Bar-B-Q on Sullivan's Island, I watched Scissormen, down from Nashville, Tennessee.

Ted Drozdowski roamed around, stepped in and out the front door and then stood atop the bar as he played a mean Blues guitar.

He had to duck his head beneath the low ceiling but he deftly avoided two spinning fans that flanked him.

Don't want to suffer TOO much for your art.

(Three acts and my camera was accepted at all three. Wow. Click for details.)Thanks.

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Wednesday, August 04, 2010

Clap .. But Don't Spill The Popcorn

I got to see Eric Clapton again last week.

In Summerville.

It was the July 26th Eric Clapton 2010 Crossroads Guitar Festival concert.

Actually, It was taped and I saw it the next day on the big screen in air conditioned comfort. Good way to avoid standing all day with 27,000 cheering Blues fans in muggy Chicago.

Eric, Buddy Guy, Robert Cray and many other leading great Blues stars were up there bigger than life inside Regal Theatre in Azalea Square in Summerville.

FathomEvents taped the all-day live show on Monday and then streamed a 2-hour edited version to 475 theaters in 47 states on Tuesday evening at 7:30pm.

It was like roaming around with a VIP Back Stage pass.

I knew that "live" opera could be seen in selected movie venues around the US but did not realize that other popular music events also were available.

The Regal was the only place in Charleston presenting this annual concert - gorgeous in High Def - and was one of only 5 in all of South Carolina.

California led with 71 locations, followed by Texas with 48. Florida was next with 36 and the home state of Illinois beamed into 25 places.

Rhode Islanders and people in Vermont each had only one site.

I still prefer live concerts and don't mind standing and clapping the whole show. But, I'll keep an eye on this site to see who's coming to town.

Check it out.

(No, I did NOT take any pictures in the theater. Pictures-of-pictures seemed kind of dumb.)

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