Thursday, December 10, 2009

My blog has moved

You can now find me at:


Thanks for all your support.

Peace.
Byron
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Friday, November 6, 2009

Bakeneko - or Ghost Cat from the Japanese tradition

I am a lover of traditional folk tales, especially those that involve animals. "Bakeneko" or "Ghost Cat" comes from to us from Japan and is used in Kabuki theater hence my treatment of the subject as a mask.

I've taken significant liberties with the original material subject, mainly in color choices. The overall effect adds more dimension to the otherwise flat image.

Have a great weekend. Peace.
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Monday, November 2, 2009

Water - a study of symbols and calligraphy

Symbols have always interested me. When I was a kid, I would scratch these obscure glyphs all over everything. I'm sure driving my parents nuts when it was into my bedroom furniture.

I've been developing this idea into a black and white series examining calligraphy and basic graphic symbols. In this case, "Water" is the Chinese character over source material from Ithaca Falls in New York. I wanted to use this particular image as water is a very cerebral element to me as well as being calming. Ithaca Falls plummets just below the campus of Cornell University, the epitome of the enlightened mind traveling and gaining momentum.
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Friday, October 30, 2009

Seward's Study and the challenges of HDR

This image is a composite HDR taken from the Seward House in Auburn, New York. The kind people at the facility allowed me to shoot inside to gather material for a commercial renovation project at the Holiday Inn in town.

It was a tricky shot to composite. The sunlight coming in from the window and the incandescent light inside the room were of vastly different color temperatures. As usual, the results directly from HDR processing in the Photomatrix Pro program were a bit soft so layering and painting in Photoshop were necessary to get all the fine detail back. My other negative experience so far is that the blacks will block up coming out of PMP, and I have to do a bunch of processing on darker detail areas to make sure it won't come out in a print.


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Monday, October 26, 2009

Target Wave

Blog Update:

I've been quite bad at keeping up the blog lately. For that, I apologize. I am in the process of converting my blog into more of an image only format that helps me get away from extensive writing, which takes too much time at the moment, and I'm not the best writer anyway.

Thanks for all the continued support!

B

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Two Gates - new to the Reflections Series

Image copyright 2009 Byron O'Neal

This image reminds me of a Navajo rug pattern. I admit a bit of a loud pattern but this is what the image says to me nonetheless. 

My website is now I-Phone friendly thanks to the good folks that host me over at PhotoBiz
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Stormtrooper Graffiti

Image copyright 2009 Byron O'Neal

This one goes out to all you Star Wars fans still out there. 
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Secret Caverns in Cobleskill, New York

On my recent commercial trip to upstate New York, I came across this funky little joint called The Secret Caverns. They have hand painted all of their billboards in the region, and I just fell in love with the throwback style. It makes me think of what road side attractions used to look like before the interstate system was created. More to come, I think I shot about fifteen or so of these. Sphere: Related Content

Calligraphy Burning

Image copyright 2009 Byron O'Neal Sphere: Related Content

Friday, August 14, 2009

Birch Tree Abstract

Image copyright 2009 Byron O'Neal

I didn't need any specialized software to create this image, just a bunch of trial and error shaking the camera a little with a longer shutter speed. 
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Otter Point in Acadia National Park at night

Image copyright 2009 Byron O'Neal

This shot was taken at Otter Point in Acadia National Park just after moonrise. The cloud streaks were illuminated by the moon that was just over the horizon. 
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Otter Point HDR Black and White

Image copyright 2009 Byron O'Neal

Flip through any photography magazine about this time of year and you will likely see a version of this classic landscape. I took this shot, or shots as it were, at Otter Point in Acadia National Park. It is an HDR composite of five different images taken at different shutter speeds. I converted it using Photomatrix software after becoming increasingly frustrated trying to use Photoshop's HDR conversion automation. It's an easy piece of software to learn and their site has links to free tutorial pages to get you started. In this case, I took the closest to properly exposed shot from the original five and added it as a layer in Photoshop over the HDR composite. Adding a mask to the top layer, I selected for the HRD version of the sky and fine tuned smaller portions of the rest of the image. The black and white conversion was done in Silver Efex Pro. You might be thinking,"Geez, that is a bunch of different software." You'd be right. Most of them offer free trials so my advice is plan on trying the HDR capture techniques on your next vacation and wait until you have a little time to play with it after getting home. 
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Thursday, July 30, 2009

Willard Chapel in Auburn, New York - an HDR conversion

Image copyright 2009 Byron O'Neal

I'm now getting back on my feet and getting the chance to review some of the images from my recent commercial photo trip to upstate New York. One of the highlights of the trip was getting to discover the Willard Chapel. It is the only chapel known to exist that was designed by the Tiffany Glass and Decorating Company. The image to the left is an HDR conversion of six images taken inside the chapel. If you are in the Finger Lakes region, take a little time to drop by the chapel and marvel at the hidden gem of the area. 
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The perils of being a photographer on the road



Everyone I meet says that I have the coolest job in the world. I get to travel around and snap pictures while meeting interesting people and checking out cool places. This is true, I do have the best job in the world but there are always bumps in the road. In this case, I bumped into a rather large tractor. This harbinger of utter destruction was driven by a boy not more than ten years old. I was following along behind he and his buddy when they slowed and pulled over to the side of the road in a little town called Locke in Wherethehellami County in New York. Thinking, as most people would, that this was an indication for me to pass them, I looked down the road and seeing nobody coming moved on by. At this point, the tractor swerved across at the rental car prompting me to inwardly scream like a little girl. I stomped on the brakes and tried to swerve out of the way to avoid the rural version of a monster truck rally. Managing to hit only the tractor's tire the front end was smashed up pretty badly. (Shit!) 

I did my best to keep the kids calm while the driver's father showed up (I'd hate to have gotten that call from my son.) It should be mentioned that the rental car was not mine either but my father-in-law's and no I was not on the rental agreement. (Shit, shit!) John, the kid's father, showed up a few minutes later and considering the situation we had a nice little chat about how beautiful upstate New York is. 

John: You from around here?
Me: Nope, from Oklahoma.
John: First time in upstate?
Me: Yes, it's really beautiful actually.
John: We think so....
Me: Sorry to meet you under these circumstances.
John: Me too. Your car?
Me: No, it's a rental.
John: (Shit) Is that a Toyota?
Me: Yep, I think.
John: (Shit) Aren't they expensive?
Me: Expensive enough, I've never owned one. It's my father-in-law's rental car. (Shit)
John: (patting me on the back) Ouch, sorry man. 

It's all part of the adventure of traveling and as nobody got hurt, makes for an interesting story. Unfortunately, it gives my father-in-law endless opportunity to bring the incident up in front of complete strangers and will be his favorite tale about me for quite some time I'm sure. I'm now christened "Crash" for all time. Ah well.

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Friday, July 10, 2009

Aerial Photography of Salt Pond's Around San Francisco

Photo courtesy Flickr Photostream of Jerry Ting 

Wow! This aerial shot is of salt evaporation ponds around San Francisco Bay. I found the article about it Killer Web Directory. The interactive google maps of the site are a bunch of fun. It makes me feel like I'm a kid again playing with a crayon box. 
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How to create a misleading graphic, brought to you by your government

This site has a bunch of graphics that the government designed that illustrate how a picture can be worth a thousand rather confusing words. Take the example to the left. What is this supposed to tell you? There is a whole series looking at signs like this and humorous suggestions of how they can be interpreted.

For instance: If a door is closed, karate chop it down.

I laughed out loud reading these.
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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Why Do I Love This Picture So Much?

I, unfortunately, can't give a photo credit for this one. I came across it at a weird photo/video blog that I check every month or so and have just fallen in love with the image.  Sphere: Related Content

Michael Jackson Graffiti Stencil

More street art tribute to the "King of Pop," from Kurt Christensen's photostream over at Flickr. Sphere: Related Content

Salvador Dali Chocolate Commerical


Man he was a weird cat. I got a chance to check out the Dali Museum while on a commercial assignment this Spring. If you are in the St.Petersburg are, it is a definite stop in.
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Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Lightning Strike Hits the Capital

Photo copyright Teddy Smith

This is a really neat capture from Teddy Smith. Check out his Photostream on Flicker.
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Sunday, July 5, 2009

Burger King Promotes the New Seven Incher

This thing takes the cake for suggestive advertising. I can't believe that they did this.

Allegedly running in the Singapore markets and not the US, the text of the ad is:

Fill your desire for something long, juicy and flame-grilled with the NEW BK SUPER SEVEN INCHER. Yearn for more after you taste the mind-blowing burger that comes with a single beef patty, topped with American cheese, crispy onions and the A1 Thick and Hearty Steak Sauce.

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Row Boats in Maine Fog

Image copyright 2009 Byron O'Neal

This wide shot has a 2:1 ratio that I am falling in love with. 

We were cruising around Seal Harbor on a foggy afternoon with little man napping in the backseat when we came upon this series of row boats tied to the docks . Fisherman and boaters use them to get out to their larger boats moored in deeper waters. The fog was rolling around quickly, obscuring and revealing great shots almost too quickly to respond to. Not wanting to wake the baby, I steadied the camera on a guardrail rather than try and snatch the tripod out of the back of the car. 
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Thursday, July 2, 2009

How to make a flower pot out of a broken camera for clumsy people like myself


Photojojo has a funny article up on how to convert your camera or lens mishap into a flower pot. I wish I could say that it has never happened to me, but I'm just too clumsy for that. Mine was a Nikon D100 that went into a half frozen water trough in Cades Cove just before Christmas a few years back. 

The offending water trough is below. Arghhhhhh!




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Happy Fourth of July Weekend Everyone!

Happy Fourth of July!

I'd be happy to give a photo credit here if I had one. I did a Google search for fireworks images and here you go.
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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

High School Yearbook Pictures Enlarged on Trash Bins

Some cat with a sick sense of humor is posting enlarged high school yearbook pictures on trash bins about town. Glad I'm not from around here. 

Taken with my I-Phone. 
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Michael Jackson Graffiti Mural in Tulsa

I found this graffiti mural of Michael Jackson yesterday at the local hang out, the vacant building next to Mad Dog Liquor. The artist appears to be "Big N." The spot is frequented by local graffiti artists because the owners are passive, if not outright encouraging, about its frequent use for the purpose. The collective get together on weekends to refresh and practice their technique.

Coordinates: 36.148332,-95.871356
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Monster's of Rock" concert roof collapses in Novosibirsk, Russia

Allegedly collapsing from too much gear, this Monsters of Rock show featuring Alice Cooper came to a screeching halt this past week in Russia. That's the official story anyway, I'm thinking a stage pin might have been left out for such a clean pinch in the center of the truss.

Whatever the issue, I've been there when a stage collapses and it isn't any fun. 

More on the story at Mosnews.com
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Friday, June 19, 2009

The Greenest of Green Art from Edina Tokodi

Edina Tokodi's newest work to the left is a portrait made of succulent plants. How's that for Green Art? Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Picasso does light graffiti

This is a great set of images from Life Magazine of Picasso doing the original light graffiti in 1949. If you are interested in digging a little deeper into light graffiti check out my boy Rezine. He's cool even if he is French. Lightgraff also has some amazing stuff at their site.  Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Support the Barrel Monster

I found this post today over at Wooster Collective who found it at Autoblog and wanted to share the message.

From Autoblog:
A student at North Carolina State University has been arrested and charged with larceny for swiping some of those bright orange construction barrels from the road and creating what has been dubbed the "Barrel Monster". Joseph Carnevale, who also went by the handle "U Live and You Burn" before he was caught and his real name revealed, has made barrel art before (see gallery below), but none were so brash, or so big, as the Barrel Monster. Aside from being an artist, Carnevale also does graffiti and is an "Urban Explorer", which basically means he trespasses in all those cool places that citizens aren't supposed to go like construction sites, sewer drains and abandoned buildings. More here.... 
 
He is asking for sympathetic folks to write the prosector on his behalf:

Wake County Prosecutor C. Colon Willoughby, Jr.
Tenth Prosecutorial District
State of North Carolina
8th Floor, Wake County Courthouse
Post Office Box 31
Raleigh, N.C. 27602-0031
telephone (919) 792-5000




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Kim Jong Il in an eHarmony commercial

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Iranian media purportedly adds people at pro-Ahmadinejad rally

As you can see, Photoshop doesn't always fix everything. Taking a page from Kim Jong Il, allegedly this poor photo retouching was done by the Iranian media to add numbers to a pro-Ahmadinejad rally. Oops, you got caught. Sphere: Related Content

Vamp - a new image to the Reflections Series

Image copyright 2009 Byron O'Neal

I really wanted to title this something else but Vamp just kept coming to mind. It does have that touch of the menacing to it. 
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Monday, June 15, 2009

The bizarre photo constructs of Erik Johansson

Image copyright Erik Johansson

Eric's work is hard to describe. It is easy to say that he is a photo artist and equally simple to say that he's extremely talented. I tended to think of Escher while looking at his portfolio of work but that falls short of describing how cleverly he tells stories with each image. The work is fun, whimsical, and reminds me of being a child with the world not quite so rigidly defined as it is as an adult. 
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Friday, June 12, 2009

Great photo set from the Presidential Elections in Iran

Photo credit Ben Curtis/ AP Photo

This is a really interesting photo set from the Boston Globe covering the Presidential Election happening today in Iran. I am hoping along with many others that Mousavi wins, hopefully allowing for a better dialogue with the US and other western countries. 
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The Facebook update that you never want to see...

Ouch! Sphere: Related Content

Images of the world's dirtiest rivers and lakes over at Treehugger

Image from Kristen Underwood

This is an interesting, if disturbing, slideshow of the world's most polluted waterways. Pictured to the left is the Citarum River in Indonesia. You will notice that you can't see any water for all the garbage. Yuck!
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Friday, June 5, 2009

Interesting Article on Light Painting Photography

Look at the Photostream on Flickr after you read the article. The Light Painting folks are breaking new ground in shooting at night and their unique usage of lighting.  Sphere: Related Content

Thursday, June 4, 2009

World of Warcraft Mountain Dew ???

This is really strange. I guess Blizzard is engaging in some bizarre cross promotional stuff but do we really need Game Fuel? I saw a huge end cap yesterday at the grocery store and to answer the question to all that know me, I didn't buy it. It must sound weird, but I am trying to live a little cleaner and stay away from things that are "citrus cherry flavor" or the like. I can't remember when I last played WOW either which isn't such a bad thing. Sign of the times I guess, off to work on business stuff.  Sphere: Related Content

Finally a camera for the rapper with too much money- Pentax LX Gold

Now, Snoop and the Princes of Saudi Arabia can look cool at the family BBQs. Enter the limited edition Pentax LX Gold. That's right, this puppy is plated in 18 carat gold. Reportedly, only 300 were produced so if you are just filthy rich then buy some of my work because this thing is old school and beyond your ability to operate.  Sphere: Related Content

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Graffiti abstract on plywood

Image copyright 2009 Byron O'Neal

I'm rather pleased with this abstract found on a piece of plywood down by the tracks. It's a really busy piece for me but the combination of elements are a lot of fun. I think the plywood was just a place that folks opened their cans onto before they did any real tagging.
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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Clown laid to rest by fellow Shriners

Staff photo by Marshall Gorby for the Springfield News-Sun

Here is a very clear example of the unique ability of a photograph to tell a story with no captions needed.




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Ferrari for Hire

No words to describe this! Maybe it is an elaborate joke? One can only hope. Sphere: Related Content

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Oddities from NASA's Image Archive from Wired Magazine

Check out a cool series of images over at Wired Magazine from the NASA Archives. 

To the left, seven original Mercury astronauts trying to corner the market on desert fashion having made clothing out of pieces of parachutes. For a survival exercise, tres chic. 
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Barack Obama -The Freshman an Exhibition by Lisa Jack at M+B Gallery in Los Angeles

Image copyright Lisa Jack

I wish I could get out to this exhibition of black and white photographs of Obama as a freshman at Occidental College. He should definitely revisit the afro he had back then.

Held at M+B Gallery in Los Angeles from May 28 - July 18. 
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Saturday, May 30, 2009

Hasselblad Masters Awards

If you haven't popped over to Hasselblad's site to check out the running for the 2009 Masters Awards, you should. Images are presented by the top 100 finalists for the ten  represented categories.

Shinji Watanabe in the Fine Art Category is my personal favorite.

< -------- See left
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Friday, May 29, 2009

Surviving the World by Dante Shepherd

Clearly Dante has some words of wisdom to share. Go check out his chalkboard.

Lesson #5 to the left is all too true sadly.
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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Another hit from graffiti artist, Doink, in Asheville

I think this rounds out the stuff I found from Doink. All the larger pieces were within a quarter mile of each other other along with a series of larger tags on a wall that had to be sixty plus yards long and a few what I think were granaries in the past.

It was nice to collect some stuff from North Carolina, some of which will likely go into the 50 States Graffiti Project that is still more of a glimmer than a reality. I think it will make a nice book someday.
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Monday, May 25, 2009

A little graffiti from Rio de Janeiro

This took some time and vision to accomplish. No pun intended! Sphere: Related Content