Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Old Bottles

The use of glass bottles goes back millennia. Archeologists having been digging up old glass forever. I felt like one of then as I was rummaging through my photo archives recently. Back in 2009 I had visited Fort Pulaski near Savannah, Georgia and gotten over a hundred photos. Three of then show old bottles in a display case. Here they are as they came out of the camera, full frame and without any post-processing.

Savannah 074-800

Savannah 075-800

Savannah 076-800

As you can see, the first two are a rather bland, the right end bottle in the first, and the left end bottle in the second photo lean unpleasantly. Neither photo shows good composition. The third photo has more colorful bottles, but they really are grouped with too much space between the pairs. This third photo, however, made the cut for further processing and the other two images sank into the depths of my archives.

Indeed the “painterly” processing, and especially moving the bottles closer, made this a nice image. Back in September of 2011 it became part of my first “café art” collection, introducing that term in my post Café Art. It even made it to the cover of my first “café art” booklet on Shutterfly.


One little thing in the image kept bothering me, that front edge of the glass shelf at the bottom, mostly at the left of the picture. So when I had a bit of idle time on my hand I revisited the image. Here is my more recent effort. The bottles are not moved together as closely to maintain a wider aspect ratio. The image is less “posterized” looking.

Old Bottles

But back to my archeological dig. Microsoft recently updated Image Composite Editor and when I saw those to old neglected exposures the idea occurred to me that stitched together the resulting composition would be quite nice, especially with some perspective correction so the leaning bottles would not be a distraction.

The resulting image turned out better than I expected.

In fact, I liked it enough to add it to my portfolio at Fine Art America. Why yes, that does give you a chance to add a genuine Ludwig to your art collection Winking smile.


© 2015 Ludwig Keck

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Visit to a Gallery

What better inspiration than to go see the work of other artists, be they photographers, painters, sculptors, or even engineers. I have often taken my visitors here to places where art and crafts are exhibited. Not so long ago it was the Norcross Art Fest, the Carlos Museum, the Southeastern Railway Museum, even an exhibit of quilts. A couple of my posts covered photo techniques, but one can get lots of ideas form places like an art museum or the Delta Flight Museum.

Closer to home you might find galleries that offer art by contemporary artists. Recently I attended an exhibit opening for works by a European artist, Pietro Piccoli, at R. Alexander Fine Art. It was a most enjoyable display of captivating scenes from around Italy.

Well, it was so inspiring that I processed photos from the event as “café art”, somewhat in the style reminiscent of the artists work, with all due apologies. The portrait below is Pietro as seen through my lens and post-processing tools.

So now I too have had a exhibit of my work. Hope you enjoyed it!


Sunday, January 25, 2015


My Christmas Cacti – Cheer and Challenge

We have two Christmas cacti sitting by a south-facing window. This time of year when the oaks in front have shed their leaves, the sun pours in and the plants flower for weeks. That provides a lot of joy for us. It also offers tantalizing opportunities for photography, and endless images for manipulating into “café art”.



I have photographed these plants with various lighting, subdued window light, flash, and direct sunlight streaming through the window. I like the direct sunlight best. The blossoms are gorgeous. There is just one little problem. As you can see, the blossoms face downward. I have some nice images in down and side views. Shooting up is rather inconvenient. Lying on the floor with a camera is just too hard for my old bones.

I tried using a plain mirror. That does not work well at all. The angle is fine, but the image is not. With an ordinary mirror you really get two reflections, the main reflection from the “silvered” side on the back of the glass, and another one from the front of the sheet of glass. In photos this is really noticeable and bothersome.


Yes, it makes you blink and rub your eyes.

I answer to my complaints an online friend said she turns the whole plant on its side. Why hadn’t I thought of that!! Turns out that this is another challenge in its own right.

I tuned the pot to its side and the lanky blossom-carrying segment just flopped over to one side or the other, presenting a side view. I worked with it for a long time, trying to prop the pot with books at just the right angle. Then turning the whole cart to get the sun just right. When I thought I was there, the sunbeam suddenly disappeared. The sun had gone behind the trunk of one of the oaks out front. I moved over to the other window. By the time I was set up and ready to shoot, the sun was shining happily again through the first window. Well, I got a lot of exposures and a couple of good shots. Here are a small collection,  a couple from today, several from before, even last year, and some of my café art.



Cactus Flower

Cactus Blossom

Christmas Cactus

Christmas Cactus in Ice

Study - Cactus Blossom

Thanksgiving Cactus

Beauty in Glass


© 2015 Ludwig Keck

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Santa comes to the Corners

A quick look back at the Christmas In The Corners Parade, Peachtree Corners, Georgia,  November 22, 2014.


© 2014 Ludwig Keck