No good photo is made by reading about it.  Grab your camera and let a bit of serendipity happen.  It has just rained here in Northern California and photos are out there.  From my First Rain series:

Rain drops on red grape vine leaf 'Roger's Red' (Vitis) fall color

One of my favorite photographers Jay Maisel said “If you are out there shooting, things will happen for you. If you’re not out there, you’ll only hear about it.”

Every year when the first rains come I make a point to have a photo day.  In this summer-dry climate the earth is sleeping until the rains come, and almost immediately after the first measurable rain the earth wakes.  A corset is loosened – we all breathe more deeply.

Red grape vine leaf 'Roger's Red' (Vitis) fall color

Red grape vine leaf ‘Roger’s Red’ (Vitis) fall color, rainy day.

So it was when I photographed this red grape leaf on my back fence.  It really had nothing to do with the rain, other than my own senses were glad, open, and receptive – and I had my camera with me.  I saw the red like a lightning bolt and wanted to make something of it.

I played with all sorts of compositions – thinking, looking, responding to the joy of feeling creative.  What I ended up with was this square silhouette which I used for my Tiles, using a Photoshop filter to add a painterly feeling.

Before and After Slider


The Tiles are are square illustrations, silhouetted PhotoBotanic extractions that can be printed in my Café Press store on anything from pillows to coasters.

Original cropped file was reduced to 1024 so that the Oil Paint filter could have strong effect. Then topaz remask, then sampled up for printing (Which created the woodcut look), then PS clone tool to clean up wispy edges

I have begun making tiles from all sorts of images, imagining them grouped together in kitchens or bathrooms.

But when I am taking the pictures I don’t plan on making tiles, I only want to get out and see what photos are to be had.

Today’s Tip ? Let serendipity happen.  Go take pictures.