Archive for the ‘glass’ Category


I wanted to go back to my glass pics from the Chihuly exhibit at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix. My intent was to just manipulate a few and crop them to post. I hadn’t really intended to do lots more to them. Until….

I chose this one with the purple glass. Here’s the original.

Not a bad photo, but too much distraction. The amazing glass mimics the ripples throughout the cactus. It is truly spectacular to see. I wanted to emphasize that part of the picture, but then there’s all these shadows and people in the background. I know about the cloning tool to remove unwanted things like lampposts, but I decided to go the whole way and remove the people. The more I did, the more I learned – where to sample and make it appear like there were more cactus. I started creating cactus beds where there weren’t any, and they looked natural. I discovered that I could increase the size of the photo until I was almost at the pixel level, which gave me much more control of the cloning/removal process. The signs went away, the people went away, shadows I didn’t want went away.

I found I wasn’t satisfied, because the photo kept looking better and better! I worked on the columns. I love the adobe orange and wanted to lighten the dark more. I tried some brushes, after sampling some colors – it was okay. Then with the “move” tool I clicked on the black shadows of the cactus, jumped them to another layer, and lightened through an adjustment. The ground became lighter, without sacrificing the work already done. I did that 4 different times to get shadows lightened. Then I looked at the columns again, jumped them to a new layer, same process, and smoothed out some of the cloning strokes. Lots of previous learning just snapped into place. Here’s the “finished” look at Chihuly glass:

As always comments are welcome! I know many reading this are experts at Photoshop. I’m learning, and enjoying at the same time. You can look back some of the very early posts to see how far I’ve come!

Earlier work:
Hawaiian Surf
Orange Fabric
Seasons 1
Moon Series

Glass, Glass, Glass!

What a gorgeous two days! And Suzan, WE had the better time – so there! We headed north to the Botanical Gardens in Phoenix to visit not only the Gardens but the Chihuly glass installation. Wow. Very simply, wow. We strolled for three hours through immense, incredible desert gardens of numerous cactus, punctuated by amazing glass sculptures throughout. This is what greeted us at the entrance, after walking under a mandala-type roof that cast a wonderful shadow on the sand, thinking you could walk in a circular labyrinth forever, if you wanted.

I cropped out unwanted people, but I kept the blooming cacti for added depth, to see just how large this sculpture was. It was noon, and the light was still what I would call “morning light,” but ready to change over, so this was quite bright. Here’s a close-up.

This is just immense. And the way it fits with its surroundings is wonderful. As we continued through the Gardens, every piece (except for one, in my opinion) fit the surroundings and echoed the lines of the various cactus. I love the various greens, because from New England to the desert, the variety of greens in spring speaks volumes to the design of Mother Nature.

To our left were these amazing red spires, very much like the blooms on various types of aloe each spring. They are dramatic from a distance, but close up you can see the “veins” in the glass work, and as the sun changes the effect you get also changes.

Here’s a close-up – these pictures just don’t do the glass justice.

I’ve been pondering on my fascination with glass. I know I could never work with it as a medium because of my lack of depth perception. However, I am fascinated with the whole process. I think I first saw glass blown at Jamestown, some 25 years ago, using sand right off the river beach, much like it had been done thousands of years ago. Since that visit, any time there is a glass-blowing exhibition, we are there. I had heard about Chihuly, and when we had our trunk show in Scottsdale at Textures several years ago, I saw some of his bowls. Talk about color!!! We have a glass studio in Tucson that we visit whenever they have open studios, and I could sit for hours watching the process. I guess I will always watch from a distance, and then hopefully own some glass at a later date.

More photos to follow!

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