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re design coming

working on a re design,,,, out til then.

Looks like this may take longer than planned. I am wanting to re design this blog and take it out of the limited free template island. I just finished a very successful blog for a client and will now start on a new design for myself. Look for it sometime at the beginning of the year.

Happy Holidays!

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Traveling without my camera

This morning was very odd. Regular programming was interrupted 15 times in 10 minutes to warn of a fast moving thunderstorm that was producing abnormally high lightening strikes. Each radar pass resulted in hundreds of strikes. Little fancy bolt shapes completely covered the traditional yellow, green and red computer generated rain fall. It was set to reach Brentwood by 9:10 am. The heavy rain came, but not the lightening, and the weather man continued to droll on about the heavy strikes. This was the first odd.

The second came as I was driving the back roads into town just after the storm passed. In the distance I could see condensation rising off of the hillside that would get caught  by the passing front and dragged into the distance. I was actually watching clouds being formed.

The final odd was a brief glimpse of deer nestled among the trees. The light was the most beautiful that I have seen in quite a while. Sunlight filtered through the cold blue gray  clouds, bouncing off the green and brown ground cover which illuminated only about the first 8 feet off the ground, then faded to a dark green as you looked up into the tree canopy. The deer frozen in stance,  weaved between the tree trunks in a surreal way. They were a gorgeous shade of brown that seemed to glow from the almost unnatural atmospheric light. I passed by at 35 mph and the moment was gone, but forever seared in memory. 

I do wish I had remembered to travel with my camera……..

 

penn

Electronic smart glass in place of a traditional aperture device

A question in a forum that I read asked why the aperture mech. needed to stay in the lens, and could it be moved to the film plane? This got me thinking about the nature of current digital design and that we still use the standard bladed aperture to limit the amount of light entering the the camera body, which is often a powerful little computer device. I do understand the aperture’s role with the optics, but could the opening be more technological not unlike the current smart glass that turns opaque with the flip of the switch?

Enter the electrochromic smart window. Electrochromic windows consist of two glass panes with several layers sandwiched in between. It works by passing low-voltage electrical charges across a microscopically-thin coating on the glass surface, activating an electrochromic layer which changes color from clear to dark. The electric current can be activated manually or by sensors which react to light intensity. One advantage of the electrochromic smart window is that it only requires electricity to change its opacity, but not to maintain a particular shade. Could developers not design this to leave a circular opening of clear glass that would vary in diameter depending on what f-stop was chosen by the photographer? Would there be an advantage to this? I would guess the the size between the full stops would not be dependent on 1/2’s or 1/3’s. Could an f64 or smaller be achieved in a DSLR lens? 

Just thinking………… Where is my caffeine beverage?

 

penn

Thinking about toners

I have always loved to work with toners, either pre-packaged or the formulary route. The hazardous nature alone is enough to satisfy my inner child, you know, the one that mothers complain about. I feel deviant while working in this manner and will perform the task under the dim safe light to round out the experience. Years ago, a friend of mine stored selenium toner in a jug marked orbit bath, and orbit bath in a jug marked selenium toner. He is still alive and will often grimace now just as he did years ago when he realized his mistake. I wonder, what weighs heavily in his blood? It would be truly ironic if heavy metal was his choice in music.

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Ashley © penn boysen

In your honor Rob. It is just as much fun now as it was back then.

It’s getting close

Summer has almost arrived for me. For many in the world of academia, the summer marks a time where personal interests can be pursued, or better yet, a more relaxed lifestyle can be led. 

For years I have attended workshops and classes as part of my summer professional development, but this year I am choosing to work on making a change in direction with my art. Photography has served me well over the years, yet I continue to struggle with how my creative voice speaks through this medium. Recently, I came to the conclusion that my work, or voice, was being confined by the inherent nature or structure that is fine art photography. It has become increasingly difficult for me to stay within the parameters without sacrificing the message in some way. The ground work is in place for me to make a proverbial leap off the safe confines of the photographic cliff into a new abyss. 

Working off the crazy quote of disgruntled art patron while looking at a series of photographic images, “it aint art unless it has paint on it”, I am planning to create a series of paintings and photographs and have them coexist in the same gallery space. This new direction feels very natural, and I feel like a kid again with a renewed passion for discovery. I am looking forward to the growing pains….

 

penn

Chamber Punk?

I just finished listening to one of my talented students exhibit another side of creativity with the cello. He is already an up and coming ceramist, but he chose to play a piece on the cello for senior convocation. I was blown away. In kind I did a search for cellists to add to my collection of music and ran across Bonfire Madigan, a described chamber punk artist.

“Bonfire Madigan, AKA Madigan Shive, is one of my favorite musicians of all time. She clutches her cello like a life-raft, singing in gorgeous yelps and hums. It doesn’t really matter if you like the kind of music Bonfire Madigan sings, because she does it so soulfully and gracefully, you can’t help but stand there openmouthed, gawking at her vocals and cello.”—JS The Mercury Portland, OR

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A must have for any collection……

What I am listening to,,, today

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Laura Veirs

 

Lets just say that I have worn out The Sundays (a favorite of mine since 1989), yet my love for Harriet Wheeler’s dreamy voice continues. Each new female indie pop folk voice that I come across is instantly compared to hers and I have yet to find a replacement that  satisfies me like she can. I stumbled upon Laura Veirs, a Seattle-based singer/songwriter that has a talent for weaving lyrics and music into a visual journey that leaves the listener wanting more. She is worthy of deep consideration and comes close, in a contemporary way, to filling the Harriet Wheeler void.

 

penn