Sunday, August 30, 2009

Lisa's Ant

One day recently, my Chicago friend, Lisa Faron, stepped out the back door of her house to find a black ant, seen below, busily moving a feather across the sidewalk. She sent me the pic via email.

Wow, I thought, "Another inspirational metaphor coming out of Chicago!"

This is a Poster Image in my book; a small black creature, undaunted by the gravity of his task, grabs ahold of a huge problem. You can almost hear him saying "Yes We Can." And he does.

I keep the image of this brave creature on my desktop. I consult him at the beginning of each long day of work. He sobers me up a bit. Thereafter, the load remains great, but the spirit is lighter ... and determined.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rescuing Frozen Beans

Ever since we went to see the movie Julie and Julia, I've been able to perform kitchen magic. And I suspect I am not the only one to have come out of the theater with some extra mojo. But I am quite happy in the kitchen these days and this rescued bean dish is one of my silly, but tasty, accomplishments at the stove.

The overly frozen snowball of green beans I rescued from the freezer had to be saved. But how? And to what avail?

Herein lies a true beauty of photography; it records. You don't have to write down the recipe. Just make a snapshot and refer to it later after you've had a chance to clear your palette.

Clicking on this snapshot, you can see all the wonderful ingredients I used whilst ridding the refrigerator of neglected foods. This is better than a trophy fish photo. Isn't photography wonderful!?

It's easy now to recall how this cooking challenge started. Butter, olive oil, garlic and onion coated the pasta and flavored the pan. Thinly cut chicken breast with teriyaki marinade were heated until a dark sugary bottom emerged in the pan.

How much like the old fashioned liquid darkroom; cooking evokes magic!

Empty the pan, throw in the frosty beans, add more oil, garlic and onion. How about a few mushrooms; delicious! Build the juices, let it simmer. Oh, Julia!!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Not so smart, not so fast

Some days we are not as smart or as quick as we imagine ourselves. Do you know what I mean?

Well, for a very short time yesterday I was neither too smart nor too quick. Here's what happened that caused many of you to receive a blog posting from eyes that hear containing not much more than a blank rectangle.

Yesterday I thought to test a new banner for a web site by dropping it into this Blogger posting application. I didn't know if the banner I made in Photoshop did, in fact, contain the necessary html code to send a clicker to my web site. So I, not so smartly, laid the png file into my blog's posting page.

I accidently published the banner only to find that I am slower than Google. I deleted the posting, but not fast enough. Google won, Gerry lost. And you got the empty rectangle in yesterday's posting. Sorry about that. I'll try to be smarter today.

To answer your question: No, the banner does not contain the necessary html code to bring you to my web site. You'll have to click on the title above while I go back to banner school.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Three Abstractions

Streetcar is one of dozens of experiments conducted in Amsterdam last year. Streetcar is also one of my favorite digital experiments conducted there. The easiest way to get to Amsterdam's many fine art museums is to take the streetcar. Here my trusty Kodak camera was set at a low ISO and the shutter was snapped while boarding and swinging the camera toward the subject.

Once imported into Photoshop the picture seemed only to need a bit of a color tweak. +35 green was added to bring out the form of the red headed passenger in the streetcar. Now it feels like Amsterdam.


Bosnia is an abstraction of another ilk. You may recall Bosnia and the mass graves; I hope so. One day when working in Photoshop with body images and listening to the news, I realized that the negative image of the body stretching across my monitor screen looked like a grave. It seemed a fitting memorial at the time, so I filled the apparent grave/graben with bodies.


A third kind of Photoshop abstraction, Panty Raider, came out of a self-devised exercise in digital manipulation. Starting out with a pirated image from one of the sex industry sites, I manipulated the pixels by duplicating, folding, erasing, painting, and essentially massaging out the pixels that I didn't want to see.

What I love about this kind of a manipulation exercise is the surprise of resulting colors and forms that emerge.

Panty Raider

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Red Skies at night, Sailor's delight

The red life guard shack at Siesta Key Beach seemed to spill color into the skies Friday night.

As usual people crowded to the beach to see the sunset. Someone must have been kicking up some dust in Texas.

Sunset, a great time for gathering at the shore. A sweet little stroll to end the day.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Digital Manipulations

I've been told that the work I show on my web site is about as far from photography as the commenting photographer could imagine. That's OK. This explains how so many angels could fit on the head of a pin.

In my book the point of Photographic study is to open the imagination. You see, the study of light and form is not only about what is seen with the eye, it is also about what can be seen with the mind's eye.

Here is a sampling of Photoshop manipulations I've done in the name of Photography throughout the years.

Siesta Nest Eggs was one of the first digital manipulations I performed with Photoshop 2.5 many years ago. It is essentially a clean up and color enhancement exercise done from a digitized transparency. Just a few items were painted into the picture.

Erotica-1gz emerged from the digital darkroom during a session with some web porn that came across my email box. The chief crime of pornographers is that they attempt to kill imagination with banality. Starting with the original color pixels, I merely rearranged them until a sense of mystery returned to the sacred act portrayed.

Computers and digitalization offer us countless variations of visual scenes. Variation is the key word here. Kitty Kat was originally launched as a study into the variations offered by duplication. The computational ease of cutting, folding, duplicating and transparency offer formal design possibilities that can stimulate imaginations these days.

Working with a 2mb digital camera never slowed me down in the early days. The little Kodak always brought home something to work with. The possibility for post production work in Photoshop remains nearly limitless. This Bahamian Church offered an interesting compositional problem and solution. Rub-a-Dub in Photoshop: Voila! The church stands out from its background.

Ed's Closet is pretty straight, early digital photography with an addendum of blue background and words. All easily available in Photoshop. I post this image to remind myself of the magical ingredient in all documentary photography: subject appeal. After viewing any photograph I like to ask myself what it showed me and where it took my thoughts and emotions.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

100 Postings

This is my 100th blog posting. Google counts the postings and I believe them.

I want to thank all you readers, fictitious or not, for taking this journey with me. I may be moving my blog to a new site soon: the crassly commercial web site.

I am now selling my off beat photo art prints, photo art wall clocks and photo art note cards. Many of my photo art themes may be classified in the world of censorship as adult material. OK, I can live with that.

Warning: if you don’t like to look at photo renditions featuring the human body, don’t visit my web site at You will be offended. Go off somewhere else and have a good day.

If you do visit my new web site, you can register in the Guest Book to win a free photo art wall clock (see below) and receive an occasional photography newsletter in which I will update you on my latest photo thoughts and images. The newsletter is likely to become a photo history tour of sorts. But not all old work.

EyeEyeEye, a photo art wall clock

Web site visitors: Be sure to register in the Guest Book for the drawing. EyeEyeEye, an original Gerry Zeck photo art wall clock, will be presented to a random choice winner of the drawing to be held on September 14, 2009. The winner will be announced in the blog on site.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Moon Rise

Some scenes are worth returning to capture.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

For Michael and Rachel, Pepper Fans

The Pepper Roasting Recipe
See July 26 posting

Thanks Michael and Rachel. You win the coveted Pepper Roasting recipe
learned from the Gourmand (in the French tradition) Joe Kady.

1. Coat the bottom of a large roasting pan (or two) with extra virgin olive oil.
2. Set the oven to bake at 350 to 400 degrees. [Hotter means checking more often.]
3. Slice three or four red peppers, yellow and/or orange peppers into 1/4 inch slices. I use only sweet red peppers if no others are available.
4. Cut the 1/4 inch pepper slices into 1-3 inch lengths. Throw peppers into the oiled pan and move them around the pan to spread the olive oil.
5. Slice a sweet yellow onion into 1/4 inch or smaller slices. Scatter amongst the peppers.
6. Sprinkle peppers and onion with olive oil again and salt lightly with sea salt.
7. Dice 3 or 4 good sized garlic cloves and sprinkle amongst peppers in pan.
8. Slice and dice a nice fat shallot and spread amongst peppers in pan.
9. One variation of the weekly pepper roast includes adding two or three sliced tomatoes.
10. Sprinkle the entire pan with coarse black pepper.

At this point you want to use a pancake turner and turn the onions, peppers and garlic until they are thoroughly coated with olive oil. I usually use two pans and spread the veggies evenly.

Set the timer for 45 minutes if roasting at 350 degrees and at 30 minutes if roasting at 400 degrees. When timer rings, take pans out of oven and turn peppers over a few times.

When you place the pans back into the oven, place the original top pan on the bottom shelf and the bottom pan on the top shelf. Set timer for another 30 minutes. You may want to do a visual check again in 15 minutes.

When the smell becomes irresistible, check your pans. As the onion carmalizes, you know you are nearing roasting climax. Slightly blackened peppers mean take them out.

Thereafter, I place the peppers into storage containers, put them in the refrigerator, and dig into them when I want to sweeten up chicken dishes while cooking it, almost any tomato pasta dish [chicken or burger], and as a topping on home made pizza.

Warning: You must guard against nibblers drawn to the kitchen by the smells.

Photographic Failures and Peppers

Not all attempts at making photographic art are successful. Let me illustrate with some recent pix that may show the difference between intent and result.

Here's an attempt that fell between the cracks.

This is a picture of a hoot owl whooo got away.

These scenes are from my Saturday afternoon pepper roasting orgy.

It's just a cheap little Kodak camera, but it's ever ready to get to work.

I ask myself: Is it possible you have a pepper fetish?
I don't know, but I love roasting peppers.

And I'd love to see your peppers, too!