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September 8th, 2006


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08:43 am - erg...many, many muddy hands

muddy hands

whenever i get an image like this, that i crop:


muddy hands (2)

and then crop again,


muddy hands (3)


it's obvious that i don't have a perfect deal. well, I WANT A PERFECT DEAL. in fact, whenever i go out on a shoot, that is exactly what i'm looking for. i want something perfect -something that achieves its own sort of escape velocity. i am not a great lover of images that require neighbors for context. or of "small" pictures. of course, i have thousands of "small" gems: i have rubies and saphires and emeralds by the dozens. and i stash them in folders on my desktop. sometimes i just throw them out. why? because they're not diamonds.

a month ago when i got the acceptance from calyx, one of the images they chose was an image i have always loved, but don't consider "perfect". it's the image of the one-eyed woman holding the crow. they chose that image OVER one i think is perfect. it got me to thinking of this:

my perfect isn't your perfect.

small things are perfect in their own way; there is amazingness in non-perfection.


i tend to approach my entire life way i approach my artwork. i don't really allow for imperfection. i don't really allow for things like vacations. i want things done correctly right NOW...etc. in my race for the the perfect thing, i miss or squander piles of experiences that add depth and substance to life.

about the image i posted here, what i like about it is the light and the gesture. it doesn't look like a photo to me, but more like a painting. like a modern rendition of a caravaggio...at least in the treatment of the light relations.



I WILL BE 50 YEARS OLD TOMORROW.
:(
the magic moment when we become aware that there is more life lived than left.

(42 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:moonkop
Date:September 8th, 2006 04:55 pm (UTC)
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Happy BD tomorrow Smith :))) May you have many more like the last ones... and spend them in health and happiness. I really like the last photo on this page.... It would make a nice painting in the trend of the old masters.
One more thing please stop thinking about age in numbers, it really does not matter, what matters is your quality of life...... keep that safe!
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 8th, 2006 05:01 pm (UTC)
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i'm a little stuck on the numbers thing, corry. not because they change the texture of my life, but because i'm so scared of dying. :(
thanks for the birthday wishes!!

also, thanks for your vote on which image. i'm between the first and the last.
ttyl.
s
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From:metahara
Date:September 8th, 2006 04:55 pm (UTC)

glad you were born- happy day

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yes, that is a painting like photo
lovely light and the third crop does it for me

faceted stones and cracked mirrors...a buddhist monk in exile from tibet once told me to love the cracks, "they are perfect" he said...I believed him and the world changed around me like Alices wonderful world.

I love rubies...and sometimes a ruby or emerald
or amethyst
or garnet (yummmm, no diamond can quench the hunger for garnet)
is what is NEEDED wanted, loved and desired in all it's perfection...
love your awareness of all that here
must be the wisdom of your age!
Yaye 50! you made it!
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 8th, 2006 05:05 pm (UTC)

Re: glad you were born- happy day

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thanks so much for your words! -i appreciate your vote on which crop. the third one was my first instinct. then i started flopping around.

interesting what the buddhist monk told you about cracks. when i was younger (still working in clay) i did a series of "crack studies" where i implanted objects into the clay before firing to see how the clay would crack. i loved the cracks. they were visually interesting and meaningful somehow.

i love rubies too.
and turquoises. if i lived life by my diamond standard, i might have to throw my rubies and turquoises out.
ttyl.
s
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From:el_jefe59
Date:September 8th, 2006 06:09 pm (UTC)

Re: glad you were born- happy day

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It's a tough decision but I think the third crop is also my favorite. Your model is beautiful and I like the way her face looks, partly in shadow. When I look at this -- and at the photos on your website -- I get an urge to listen to This Mortal Coil. It evokes the same sort of feeling.

Not sure if I am making sense of making a fool of myself but that's the best way I know of (at the moment, at least) to put it.
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 8th, 2006 06:27 pm (UTC)

Re: glad you were born- happy day

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hey, jeff!
i'm going with the third one. it was my first instinct and it seems like most people's favorite.

you are NOT making a fool of yourself. i know "this mortal coil's" music. and i completely agree with what you're saying here.

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From:el_jefe59
Date:September 8th, 2006 06:45 pm (UTC)

Re: glad you were born- happy day

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You mean I actually know what I'm talking about? Amazing! ;-)
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From:pondhopper
Date:September 8th, 2006 05:12 pm (UTC)
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What wonderful photo paintings! Caravaggio is a master of light and shadow...picture 3 is ideal for that.

Ah...50...that was almost 4 years ago for me and I REFUSE to feel old except when I feel creaky. Too much to see and do out there in the world.
I just want Manolo to get better so we can enjoy stuff together again.

I´ll be 54 in 9 days.
:D
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 8th, 2006 05:17 pm (UTC)

HELLO, VIRGO!!

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merciful heavens, i don't feel old at all! my number is just big! -but not as big as yours!
:D

i'm sorry manolo isn't well. i may be mis-remembering, but it seems like he's sick a lot. that is sad. i hope his prognosis is good and that you guys at least get to play on your birthday.

thanks for your vote, donna. and i'll catch ya on the flip-flop!
s
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From:pondhopper
Date:September 8th, 2006 05:30 pm (UTC)

Re: HELLO, VIRGO!!

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Virgo is right.
Check out my latest post if you feel like it..it´s almost all Manolo-health related.
:(

And I´m glad you don´t feel old. Just don´t let the number scare ya.
;)
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 8th, 2006 05:44 pm (UTC)

:(

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::sigh::
i just read your last post. it made me sad. and it made me realize something. i have always taken my health for granted.
ya'll take care of each other.
if you were in front of me right now, i could hug ya.
s
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From:pondhopper
Date:September 8th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)

Re: :(

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No, don´t be sad! Manolo has finally decided to do something about how bad he feels. I mean he was going to the gastro lady since last year but he got worse again over the summer so they really need to find a Plan B. We always took our health for granted, too, and this has been difficult. That´s the bad part.

Yeah, I´m worried and all those nasty what-ifs keep overloading my brain.
But at least he´s doing something positive about it!

I´d take those hugs if we were anywhere in your vicinity.
:)

From:clairenolen
Date:September 8th, 2006 05:26 pm (UTC)
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hey there woman...;-)
did you try those in b/w?
funny how you do " real" colours now and i have problems even looking at them, because my tendency goes towards
monochrome these days.
perhaps it's my flat monitor, but the contrast looks awfully harsh ( through my greyscale-eyes).
I like the second one the best......LOLOL
muddy paws seems to be your summer theme....*g*
i played around with the second pic and gave it my "current treatment" in PS. If you want to see it, let me know and i send it via email. If not that's perfectly okay too......
i just wanted to find out whether i can make it look the way i saw it inside.....
LOVE
mia
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 8th, 2006 05:39 pm (UTC)
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the contrast IS harsh. very harsh...but i kinda like it that way...it reminds me of something but i'm not sure what.

it looks like it is taken in moonlight. i like the way the light only defines a small portion of the image: the gesture (and the ground in the top one) and i like the clarity of what IS visible.

why would you NOT send me something; it's hardly like you to keep yer mouth shut!! actually, you can post it right here if you want to. sent to email goes into the vast sea of "clairenolen" letters. -put here, it has a home with others of its kind)

s
From:clairenolen
Date:September 8th, 2006 05:48 pm (UTC)
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if you only knew how often i do keep my mouth shut......LOLOL
last time i tried to quote a picture in a comment it didn't work.
i'll send it to you and you can post it here since you obviously know how to do it....;-)
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 8th, 2006 05:51 pm (UTC)

WHAAAAAAAAT?

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if you keep your mouth shut, i'd hate to see ya let it rip!!
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 8th, 2006 06:22 pm (UTC)
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here ya go, beautiful woman...the image you sent me. when you get this letter in your mailbox you will see how it's done. i think you already know how to do this, tho. you're much more astute with internet and computer than i am!!



i guess what i would say is that i like what you did. but i like it equal to what is already there. and i kinda dig the color. for me, it adds a surreal aspect that i really like.
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From:el_jefe59
Date:September 8th, 2006 05:27 pm (UTC)
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Beautiful!

And Happy Birthday in advance!
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 8th, 2006 05:39 pm (UTC)
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thanks, jeff!
From:amatorah
Date:September 8th, 2006 05:56 pm (UTC)
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Happy birthday tomorrow Smith. Krystal's is on Wednesday, she'll be 16. Talk about feeling old, I have a 16 year-old. :X
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 8th, 2006 06:25 pm (UTC)
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thanks for the birthday wishes. i didn't know krystal was a virgo, too!! you know virgos and tauruses are supposed to be compatible signs. :)

also want to thank you for posting the results of rockstar supernova. you are the only human i know in portland who is watching it. so your lj's been an opportunity for me to connect with others on that.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO KRYSTAL!!!
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From:jazzmo
Date:September 8th, 2006 08:17 pm (UTC)
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when i feel like i am not seeing the light (literally, thank you)
i head for the art gallery and look at paintings.
it’s sort of illumination therapy for me.

i am drawn to the third one, though i would do a little
burn on the highlights – i find doing it in an overlay
adds a bit of ‘sculpting’. smithcolour?
perfect may be in the eye of the beholder,
but the creator makes the final cut.

do try to ignore the numerical aspects of the ½c point
(somewhere there is a self-photo i took when i turned that age,
in portland even.)
much joyousness and good stuff on your birthday!
as far as gems go you is one big diamond m’dear.

really.

fer’sure.

oxo
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 9th, 2006 03:16 am (UTC)
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"DOING IT IN AN OVERLAY???" you're way beyond my skill set in photoshop, i see... how do i do this "overlay" thing? is this the same as "layers"?

LET'S SEE THAT SELF PORTRAIT, JAMES W!!!! c'mon, cough it up! if you do it right here in my lj, i'm the only one who will see it!

thanks for the birthday wishes. i have already gotten a lot of kewl stuff in the mail! :)
i am glad you think i'm i diamond. mostly, i think of myself as quartz.
:)
ttyl
s
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From:jazzmo
Date:September 9th, 2006 04:30 am (UTC)
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ok, grab onto yo’ mouse and let’s boogie . . .
(i think it’s the same in cs as with the crap version i use)
1. create a new layer – the layer will be selected by default
- i’ll assume you have an image open (-;
2. change the layer type to “overlay”
3. fill with 50% grey – edit-fill . . .
you can see this on the layer thumbnail (nothing will happen to the image)
4. switch to the brush tool, start with a nice soft edge brush
and set the opacity to around 20% to start
5. use black to burn, white to dodge (select at the bottom of the tool bar . . .)
6. start painting on the overlay. yo!
7. use the layer opacity to attenuate if too intense
8. you can also use the gaussian blur filter to soften the effects . . .
kewl, eh.
after you play with one it’s easy.
tomorrow we selectively add filters using the alpha channel (-:


ok, since it’s your birthday dear . . .
you may regret asking


http://jazzmo.livejournal.com/57037.html

&hearts

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From:kat_manson
Date:September 9th, 2006 04:37 pm (UTC)
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OMGGGGGG!! WELL, BESIDES THE CONTEXT OF THE IMAGE ITSELF ("what a dork" -says under breath) you are NOT funny looking. WTF, james??? you were supposed to be funny-looking!!

i'll try that process...but not today. today i'm all about playing. it's m'bday! also, thank you for taking the time to write it, jim.

ok.
&hearts
s

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From:paperdollhearts
Date:September 9th, 2006 02:29 am (UTC)
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first of all, i like the crop. putting the subject out of center is always veryh comforting to be and also aethetically pleasing.
second, 50 years! you have embarked upon a most magnificent milestone. do you consider yourself to be in the age of the crone? i am fascinated by these life transitions. although, i must admit, staring 30 directly in it's three-decades-eyes kinda scares me. i've danced my way, spinning and singing the whole way, into the age of mother, waving a loving goodbye to my maiden years. so natually, i am now intrigued with the thougth of my life's next milestone/big change. i sit back and watch my mother, aunts, friends as they embrace and perfect it so damn well. in conclusion of my ramblings, happiest birthday wishes and love yourself today! let it be filled with decadence and beauty and all that is right in this crazy world!
aubrey
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 9th, 2006 03:21 am (UTC)
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hiya, aubrey! man-o-man, my 30's were the best time of my life! i got sober when i was 30. it was like being born all fresh!

hey, is that you in the icon? YOU LOOK SO CUUUTE!! yup, i know you're a mom. i don't know how people do that; i've never had that instinct. sometimes i wonder what it would be like to have an adult daughter, but the diapers=thing and the "terrible twos" -i don't think so. :) i leave that up to you!!

thanks so much for your comments, aubrey! i'm glad we met.
s
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From:paperdollhearts
Date:September 9th, 2006 06:00 pm (UTC)
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it is me in the icon, thanks!
yeah, diapers are no fun, it is all the other good stuff that outweighs that sort of thing.
and i am glad we met too :)
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From:whatifitworks
Date:September 9th, 2006 10:49 am (UTC)

WOOT WOOT WOOT HAPPY BIRTHDAY & I'll say it again tomorrow

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I like the third one. The light looks more natural and less electronic...

YAY, so birthday! What are you doing? Birthdays are so lovely. You are older, you;ve made it though another year and you get gifts and good wishes and lovelyness.

I really wish I could have sent you the dinoflagellates on time now. I didn't know it was really going to be your birthday so damn soon. I will try and find out who took 'em (more than just a name I mean) and if I can get a real print....

hugs for tomrorrow
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 9th, 2006 04:39 pm (UTC)

Re: WOOT WOOT WOOT HAPPY BIRTHDAY & I'll say it again tomorrow

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to me, they all look electronic. to be honest, that is part of what i like about them. they look like comic book pix to me.

wow!! a real pic of a dinoflagellates? how kewl is that????

thanks for the birthday wishes, nicola.
&hearts
s
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From:whatifitworks
Date:September 10th, 2006 07:29 am (UTC)

Re: WOOT WOOT WOOT HAPPY BIRTHDAY & I'll say it again tomorrow

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Yes. A very big happy birthday.
Hope you had a good day.
I'm so glad to have run into you here :D
nicola
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From:kuru93
Date:September 9th, 2006 12:46 pm (UTC)
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happy birthday.
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 9th, 2006 04:40 pm (UTC)
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thankee, kevin!

i'm old.

yikes.

s
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From:xrayzerase
Date:September 9th, 2006 01:38 pm (UTC)
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
:)))))
manY ~hugs~
andrea
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 9th, 2006 04:41 pm (UTC)
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back at ya, woman!
not the birthday wishes...the hug!
s
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From:mcsweeneyfiend
Date:September 10th, 2006 06:53 am (UTC)
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happy birthday!

xox
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 10th, 2006 07:06 am (UTC)
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i thought you disappeared!!! there was a line through your name on my friends list. i was so sad you left without saying goodbye. but look!! here you are!

thanks for the birthday wishes/
s
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 10th, 2006 07:07 am (UTC)
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oops!
that was me.
From:dimsumkitty
Date:September 11th, 2006 08:38 pm (UTC)
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This is a litte late, but...Happy Birthday Smith!!
I always love reading your blog.
xoxo
From:(Anonymous)
Date:September 12th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
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HI AMPARO!!!!! IT'S ALWAYS NICE TO HEAR YOUR VOICE! OMG!! YOU SHOULD COMMENT MORE OFTEN. IT FEELS GOOD TO KNOW YOU'RE STILL KICKING IT OUT THERE!

if you get a chance, let me know how it is going for you at george billis. has he sold any of your stuff? do you think he would want me?
:)
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From:kat_manson
Date:September 12th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC)

woops!!!

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that was me
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From:goondockjeff
Date:September 14th, 2006 07:32 am (UTC)

Happy Birthday Cool Hep-cat person you!!!

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Sorry im late, but happy B day none the less!

Looking forward to dropping in to see ya this term!

The new images:

Love the anonimity of the second one (first crop) but I also love the three fingers just edging their way into view on the right.

PS did you take these with your new digi?

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