“I believe all artists, if they are not lying to themselves, must believe that the best part of their work, or even their life, is in front of them. To look only to the past and to say ‘those were the best years, when I was young’ is to say that in the future there is nothing.”  – Jan Saudek

I know I want to make some changes to this blog, but I’m not exactly sure just what that will be. Not so much in content, but rather in its overall look, feel, and appearance. Its been this same format since it began, pretty much and I’ll soon be on my 3rd year of trying regale you with my musings. I think it is indeed time for a change. Part of it will be looking at some new Blogger formats, but I want to make sure I know what I’m doing before I go altering HTML code too much. I’ve done a subtle code adjustments on this blog, but nothing that really gets your attention, analogous to getting a hair cut and telling the barber, “Just a little off the top, please.” Its also good that people have found my blog again. My numbers dropped off significantly after I changed the URL for Photo Anthems. Visitors dropped off below that of my website around this past October, but now, my blog has twice the viewership of my website again. That’s about what it was before I made the change. 

I bought a small Wacom4 Intuos graphic tablet a few months back and I gotta say, its pretty good. Its still taking some getting used to however, but its changing the way I do my edits. I waffled back and forth on the small 4×6 vs. medium 6×9 and finally settled on the small. For one, there was a huge price difference between the two, something like $140. To me the added features just didn’t justify. At the most, I could see an additional $50 – $75…maybe. But not $140. I also think I like the size. Had the medium been cheaper, I think I may have jumped on it, but the small is okay. The smaller version takes up less room in my work space and its much more portable. The total dimensions is 8×12, so when I say 4×6, I am referring to the actual area available for pen use for editing. Its still way different from using the mouse and you still have to keep the keyboard handy for adding text in your edits. It has a nice sleek black design and very ergonomic, built for both the right-handed and lefties. The biggest advantage the medium has over the small is the illuminated ExpressKeys and wheel. I still have to play with it at times, to recall what ExpressKeys my alt or control functions are on. Any of these tabs can be programmed to any function you wish which is cool for customizations. I like that. So if you get the small, be prepared to have a label-maker handy for a while. It also took me a while to remember I had it. When not in use, I store it behind the monitor. Several times I’d start on on edit and get 5 layers deep before I remembered I should be using my stylus rather than the mouse. So like I said, it takes some getting used to. 

Elizabeth, Darkroom manip

The Sensual 7 Seconds blog, run by Karl from somewhere near San Fran details some of his escapades while he’s away in Rome. I first saw U.L. post about his trip and when you visit his blog, you get greeted with some excellent travel photos that leave me in envy. One shot in particular that I was most inclined to had nothing to do with the art deco, architecture, or Italian landscape. Rather it was of an Italian couple walking hand in hand in the rain as seen from behind. I like that shot. I need to get back on the road myself. Since my visit to NY last August, I had made several plans to visit spots of interest around the US, but…..that was when I was gainfully employed. So well done, Karl. 

Another blog of interest is one that I’ve been following and REALLY appreciate is One Pix Art headed by the famous .mosa out of Cali. (His Blog & deviantArt profile). I had been following his work every since I saw a shot of his done with the venerable Goovacious K. My jaw dropped and all I could do was star at it. For me, he has a style that fascinates me in the way of Jan Saudek, the Czeck photog. When I first switched over to digital only a few years ago, I was hesitant to do so because I respected the artistic craftsmanship that came with film. At the time, unless you were a graphic designer, using a computer to manipulate shots just usurped the craft from the trade. One of my influences was .mosa who demonstrated that craftsmanship did not have to be a trade-off in the digital art. I made a recent comment on his blog that I had been following his work but had yet to at least say hello and give the man his props. I’ve even taught my own kids to give credit to those who have some impact or influence on them. So let me take some of my own medicine. Here’s to .mosa! Much props, my brotha… And you know he’s a good man because he likes Miles Davis.