Photo of the Week - January 27, 2011

Fog January Morning on Budd Inlet with the Olympics in the background
Swantown Marina
Olympia, WA

Photo of the Week - January 23, 2011

Sunday Entertainment - Olympia Style 
Fertile Ground Guest House
Olympia, WA

January 23, 2011

Fertile Ground bills itself as 'Green Lodging for people who care". Their mission is to show how eco-friendly practices and sustainability can co-exist with tourism. In addition to their bed and breakfast, Fertile Ground also hosts a large urban garden adjacent to their 1908 Craftsman style house. The house and garden are across the street from the downtown Olympia Timberland Library and, as such, attract quite a bit of friendly attention from passers-by.

In addition to updating their chicken coop, Fertile Ground has added a sidewalk bench encouraging the community to stop and enjoy their garden. Ingeniously, they have also added a vending machine for chicken feed, which serves the dual purpose of having the girls earn their own keep and discouraging people from feeding the girls inappropriate food.

Stop by when you are in Olympia. Fertile Ground is located at 311 9th Ave SE

Check out Fertile Ground Videos

Photo of the week - January 20, 2011

Hammering Man at Dusk
Seattle Art Museum
Seattle, WA

January 20, 2011 5:00 PM

I don't get to Downtown Seattle much these days. I am either passing by on I-5 or heading to a friend's at South Lake Union. It was truly a treat to enjoy the bustle of rush hour commute as I waited for my concert at Benaroya Hall.

from Seattle Art Museum's Website:
General Information
Jonathan Borofsky, American
Hammering Man, 1992

48' x 30" x 7"
hollow-fabricated steel, aluminum mechanized arm, electric motor, and black automotive paint.

Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs 1% for Art, city of Seattle. Funding provided by the Virginia Wright Fund in honor of Prentice Bloedel; Seattle City Light 1% for Art funds; the Museum Development Authority; and PONCHO (Patrons of Northwest Civic, Cultural and Charitable Organizations).

There are numerous Hammering Man sculptures of different sizes all over the world including New York, Los Angeles, Germany and Japan. Seattle's is 48 feet high and weighs 26,000 pounds. Each Hammering Man is marked with a unique number. Seattle's is #3277164.

The Hammering Man's arm "hammers" silently and smoothly four times per minute from 7 am to 10 pm every day. It runs on a 3-hp electric motor set on an automatic timer. Hammering Man rests its arm each evening and every year on Labor Day.

The sculpture was fabricated by Lippincott, Inc., North Haven, CT and installed by Fabrication Specialties, Seattle, WA.

About the Artist
Jonathan Borofsky was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1942. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon University in 1964, he studied at Ecole de Fontainbleau in Paris. In 1966 he received a Master's degree from Yale School of Art and Architecture. Having lived and worked in New York and Los Angeles, he moved to Maine in 1992 to return to his roots on the East Coast. Over the years he has created a wide range of works in diverse materials but at the core of his endeavor lies the act of "Counting from One to Infinite," which he began in 1969 and continues to the present. During the 1990s, he completed over 20 public art installations, including a 100-foot tall version of "Molecule Man" for the Allianz insurance company in Berlin. He has had a one-man exhibition at the Whitney Museum of Art in New York as well as at other important museums in the world. His major monumental sculptures can be viewed in Los Angeles, Kassel Germany, Basel Switzerland and other cities.

Artist Statement
"People in Seattle don't live to work; they work to enjoy their lives." Kirsti Jones, National Geographic

The Hammering Man is a worker. The Hammering Man celebrates the worker. He or she is the village craftsman, the South African coal miner, the computer operator, the farmer or the aerospace worker-the people who produce the commodities on which we depend. This Hammering Man is 48 feet tall. It is constructed of steel (hollow-fabricated) and weighs over 20,000 pounds. A structural steel base-plate is bolted to a cement-block footing below ground level so that the architect's chosen material for the plaza can be brought up to flush to the feet of the sculpture. The Hammering Man appears to be standing (and working) on the plaza without a base in between. The black silhouette of the figure is, in fact, 30 inches wide: body (10 inches), arm (10 inches), space between arm and body (10 inches), as well as an extra 16 inches width at the top for the motor. The motorized hammering arm will move smoothly and meditatively up and down at a rate of four times per minute. Electricity runs from the motor down inside the sculpture and under the plaza to an on-off switch location. The Hammering Man is set on a timer and rests during evening and early morning hours. The sculpture has been sited so that the many pedestrians and drivers moving up and down First Avenue can enjoy the animated form while contemplating the meaning of the Hammering Man in their own lives.

This sculpture is the second largest Hammering Man on the planet. A taller version is in Frankfurt, Germany. My goal is to have several different Hammering Men placed around the world-all working simultaneously. Other big outdoor versions of this work are in Japan and Switzerland. In the U.S. there are Hammering Men sculptures in New York, Minneapolis, Los Angeles and Washington D.C., among other places. It is a concept which helps to connect all of us together and yet gives each specific Hammering Man site the potential for its own personal interpretations. The State of Washington is known for its aerospace, electronics, timber, fishing, agriculture, and gold mining industries-people working with their hands. Let this sculpture be a symbol for all the people of Seattle working with others on the planet to create a happier and more enlightened humanity.

I want this work to communicate to all the people of Seattle-not just the artists, but families, young and old. I would hope that children who see the Hammering Man at work would connect their delight with the potential mysteries that a museum could offer them in their future.

At its heart, society reveres the worker. The Hammering Man is the worker in all of us.

Jonathan Borofsky

Photoshop Darken Blending Mode

How to blend two images where one image is a silhouette

  1. Open both photos in Photoshop
  2. Make the silhouette image your active image
  3. Select > All
  4. Edit > Copy
  5. Make your other image the active image
  6. Edit > Paste
  7. Make sure the silhouette layer is on the top of your layers panel
  8. In the layers panel, change the blending for the silhouette layer from Normal to Darken. Darken shows the darkest pixel of the two layers.
  9. Save your work

What does the f in f-stop stand for?

The f in f-stop stands for "focal length". Focal length is the length of a lens (18mm, 50mm, 200mm, etc.)

The notation f/4 is a shorthand notation for the diameter of a lens opening, where focal length is divided by 4. F-stops show a ratio of the relationship of focal length to lens opening.

Here is Ansel Adam's explanation, from his book, The Camera:
“The lens aperture is simply the diameter of the lens opening, expressed as a fraction of its focal length. Thus a lens of 4-inch focal length with a diameter of one inch has a relative aperture of 4/1, or 4. The aperture designation is expressed as f/4, indicating that the aperture is the focal length/4. Another 4-inch lens that has a diameter of 1/2 inch would be an f/8 lens.”
Adams, Ansel. The Camera. Boston: New York Graphic Society, 1980: 46.

Some examples:

A 200mm lens whose aperture diameter is 50mm has an f-stop of f/4
200/50 = 4

A 200mm lens whose aperture diameter is 25mm has an f-stop of f/8
200/25 = 8

An 18mm lens whose aperture diameter is 4.5mm has an f-stop of f/4
18/4.5 = 4

All f/4 lenses let in the same amount of light, because the ratio of focal length/diameter is the constant.

Photo of the Week - January 13, 2011

Moon Jellyfish
Swantown Marina
Olympia, WA
January 13, 2010

Manipulated and collaged using filters in Photoshop CS4

This photo was taken off the public boat launch at Swantown Marina in Olympia. The day was pretty murky, so I really boosted the contrast when I brought the images home into the computer.

Moon Jellyfish (Aurelia labiata) are native to the West Coast and common in the waters of Puget Sound. They are named for their translucent bell shape. According to the Monterey Bay Aquarium,
"The coloration of a moon jelly often changes depending on its diet. If the jelly feeds extensively on crustaceans, it turns pink or lavender. An orange tint hints that a jelly’s been feeding on brine shrimp."
To see Moon Jellyfish up close, make a visit to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium in Tacoma, where they have a terrific exhibit of Jellyfish and other Puget Sound Residents.

Original un-manipulated jellyfish photo

Photo of the Week - January 11, 2011

Short lived January Snow
January 11, 2011
Olympia, WA

gone by morning

Photo of the Week - January 02, 2011

Ice Crystals on Bracken Fern Frond
McAllister Community Park
Lacey, WA
January 2, 2011

McAllister Park is a 60 acre native oak woodlot and meadow which was purchased by the City of Lacey for a future park in 1994. The park, located in the 8700 block of Marvin Road SE, is a great place for a walk.

On January 2, it had been below freezing for several days. The wetland portion of the meadow was covered with wonderful frost. The crystals had built up over several days. On close examination, I was amazed at the geometric, crystal structure of the ice.

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