Spinning Widdershins

I thought spinning widdershins would make a good band name. It makes a good title for this post because sometimes I feel like I’m spinning counterclockwise myself. Time is the one thing I don’t have enough of. I’m coming off a busy summer at work and getting ready for a more relaxed fall and winter. I had a little time off because of a minor surgery. I’ve received the o.k. to head back to work tomorrow. With the last of my time off I thought I’d see what I have worth making a blog post about. I realized that I haven’t been to active with my photography hobby this summer, but I have a few pictures and included a few from my restaurant works.

I’ve recently started to take photos of random objects that I may want to use in my composite/digital artworks in the future. Hopefully I’ll hit my stride sometime this fall/winter. Like most of my hobbies there is an ebb and flow to my motivation.

I enjoyed this work related photo. I took a picture of the ketchup reflected on some glass. Added a water overlay. Made a composite with the hand, and added a digital paint stamp to get the water splash around the arm coming out of the water.
Just compositing some photos with a negative filter.
Found this spider friend, I like the natural background bokeh.
This is a tiki from work, I painted over the original photo to get what I was looking for. I wish I had taken more painting courses in college.
A composite for work.
Another composite. I really enjoy this filter I found.
Happened to pass a car show so snapped a few photos.
Day/night, light/ dark thing I was trying.
Had a great picture of my niece,I thought I’d put her on the moon.
Had this photo of a flower so I just played around until I had something interesting.
A simple landscape, I added that filter I really like.
It was getting close to Halloween so I started playing with a skeleton image and ended up with this.

Hopefully it won’t be four months before I can make another post. Only time will tell. Thanks for checking it out.




My newest photo obsession has been creating collages. I found a few websites that will sell you pre cut out images that can easily be used to create digital artworks. These images come with a license that allows you to use them for personal artworks and even advertising. There is small print that says you can’t use them for national campaigns like Coca Cola, but welcomes their use for homegrown ads.

These collages have been great for my creative outlet. It has kept me busy making images even though I haven’t had much time to play with my cameras.

I think this is my favorite. I started with a photo I took of a bookshelf isle at Powells book store. I mirrored the image and then added in some of the assets I had purchased.
This was created from a blurred zoomed background and a funky light fixture.
I got a little creative with a work photo. I was going for a portal look.
I added a little humor for Friday the 13th.
More Friday humor.
A combination of purchased assets and cutouts I’ve made.
This was made entirely from the collage assets. I just started with the orange background and kept adding layers.
I added the horse head to an old photo, then used a distressed filter to make it look older.
I saw these dolls in a second hand store and really liked their expressions so I played around with it.
Just for fun, I created a few images with the Barbie image.
I had fun with this one… I just stared with a floating window and let it take me.
The eye in the sunflower was one of my first collage attempts about 3 plus years ago. I’m pretty sure the original is the header for this blog, I decided to revisit it. I definitely can see improvement. I’ll probably revisit this again in the future gauge my abilities.

I wish I had paid a little more attention in my art classes. I’ve been trying to hand shade some of the photos with varying degrees of success. Practice is the best way to improve though. I’ll keep at it as long as I’m enjoying it. It’ll probably be a while until my next post I have a lot going on in July but once I have enough stuff I’ll make another post.


6 Months

I can’t believe it’s been six months since my last blog post. I just got a notification that my WordPress subscription is set to expire at the end of the month. To be honest I’m contemplating letting it lapse. I haven’t had as much time as I’d like to dedicate to this. There have been some encouraging words from a few people though. If it expires I will lose all the backlog of postings. I guess I’ll have to decide if it’s worth the money to keep the site going.

I wasn’t doing to much personal photography over the Holidays, and ski season. I’ve kept busy doing my work photography though. I added a few of my more creative work projects to this post. You are welcome to follow what I do for my restaurant https://instagram.com/mcmenamins_northbank_kapuhut?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y=.

We were able to take a vacation to Mexico in January, I took way too many pictures. I have included just a few of the stand out photos.

Recently I found some royalty free illustrations that I can use for some collages and photos. It has added a new element to mess with and fuel some creativity.

Getting creative with a backlit foggy tree.
This was one of my favorite work related photos I made.
More work fun stuff.
We visited two of the pyramid locations on the Yucatán Peninsula. I was able to climb to the top of the one pictured. You can’t climb the larger more popular heritage sites.
Some fish from one of the Cenotes we visited. I really like the way this feels like a painting.
There were some cool looking cathedrals and monastery’s. It’s too bad a lot of them were built on top of existing ceremonial sites.
This felt like it needed to be in black and white.
I really liked this door the red really pops out at me.
Chichen Itza was amazing. I had to remove a bunch of tourist that were standing in the field to get the picture I wanted.
Messing with my insta 360 camera.
On the beach. I really turned on the HDR for this photo. It gives it a surreal look.
Palm trees.
Way too much HDR, but with the twirling cloud added I thought it had a surreal painting look to it.
Back to work… I liked this one.
I made about 10 different photo/digital art images for a friends band. This is just an example of things I came up with
I made this from a photo of the Jesus statue that resides up at Big Mountain ski resort. I used a fractal generator for the background and added the ghost image on top. For not being religious I sure am drawn to creating and photographing religious materials. Probably because they invoke reactions in people.
Some mushrooms I found on a hike.
I’ve driven by this sign a few times. I finally made an effort to stop and take a picture. I had about 10 versions of this photo, this was my favorite.
From one of my ski trips. I used a painting filter on the bottom half of the picture and added a northern lights image to the top.
Here are a few of those royalty free images that I bought a license to use. I feel they will come in handy when making collages. I can’t wait to see what fun ideas I can use them for… this is one I did for work
Another one just for fun.
I found this creepy doll at an antique store. I wanted to take it home but I don’t think my significant other would appreciate it. I added a real eyeball to the doll to make it more creepy. Maybe this doll will turn up in future works.

Thanks for checking the blog out. You can always check out my photos on my artworks Instagram @in8ape.


I always think I don’t have anything to share until I start one of these blog posts.

I was able to get out with my camera a few times this past month. I drove to a covered bridge and took some photos in the rain. I also went for a hike to some waterfalls. Unfortunately I lost my drone while taking a video. I tried to retrieve it but it was up a tree that was overhanging a cliff side. I made a valiant effort but ended up covered in mud and returned back to the safety of the trail once things got a little too dangerous.

I’m starting to gear up for ski season but in the meantime I’ll try to get some more autumn photos before it’s over.

This is a composite I put together to see what I could do.
I ventured out to this covered bridge in Albany, Oregon just to get my camera out. The rail road tracks definitely caught my attention.
I liked the road trailing off.
Work photo using the same composite technique as the first photo.
Messing around to see what I can create.
Stained glass shot.
This is a composite, I added the tractor and birds with a painting like filter.
More photos manipulation.
I was feeling bright that day. This was taken just before picking up Voodoo Doughnuts. Quite possibly sugar rush inspired.
I saw something similar to this done so tried it for myself. I was able to use an overlay to create the effect. I’m on the lookout for a procreate/photoshop brush and colors to do this next time…if anyone knows of a good one send it my way.
Because autumn.
Stairway on hike to waterfall where I lost my drone.
My niece put on a scary mask and tried to be creepy. Just a little photo manipulation to finish the effect.
Abstract fun.
Getting in the Halloween “Spirit.”

Thanks for tuning in. I hope everyone has a happy and safe Halloween!


Bring on Autumn

I finally found time to update my blog. Summer has kept me pretty busy at the restaurant. There has been a steady flow of new faces and challenges keeping the restaurant afloat. I’ve continued to make photography projects for their social media. I’ve improved my photo skills of beer and burgers. I’ve also dabbled in videos, logos, and branding (work in progress).

I was able to take a little time off work recently and started some of my own projects. With Autumn quickly arriving I’m hoping to get out with my Nikon and start creating again.

This is one of the logos for my restaurant. I wasn’t provided a logo image from the company so I created my own from the logo they had printed on their T-shirts. To create this I took a photo of one of our T-shirts cut it out and created a sticker. It has come in handy when creating stuff for the restaurant. This is just an example of many I have created with different backgrounds and text over the images. If you want to see what I make for their social media feel free to follow McMenamins Northbank on facebook or on instagram.



This is the entrance to the tiki bar. I was able to find a public domain picture of a suspended bridge and integrate it. The cocktail at the end was kind of a holy grail reference.
I found a slug slithering on a window and got a snapshot. This is what I ended up making out of the photo. No slugs where hurt in making this image.
Stop and smell the flowers.
The sunlight was coming through just right, I hardly had to edit this one.
Again only minor edits. I was using the figurines for product photography.
This is where I can go when I start deep diving on a photo. I liked the neon outline effect.
I found this great stain glass window in a coffee shop. After messing around with it for a while I added it to the tree leaves. The colors blended well. I may try this again with a single leaf once they start falling from the trees.
I tried to get a good photo at a Koi pond I visited. Nothing turned out like I wanted, the fish wouldn’t cooperate. So I created my own image.
I saw this great lamp in a shop and took a quick snap. I was able to quickly add the fairy cutout that I have used before.
While down in Ashland I took a quick picture of the playhouse with it’s Shakespeare time period resemblance. I don’t know where I got the shadow man, but the lantern is from the photo with a fairy in it from above.
I’ve also been dabbling in video. This one was sort of interesting.
I learned how to make something float in a video.

Hopefully I’ll have more time creating now that the summer is over.

Thanks for tuning in.


All Work & Little Time For Play

It’s been hard to find the time for photography let alone writing a blog. I think in my last post was 2 months ago. I had just renewed my wordpress subscription for the year and said I would try for monthly updates. It’s a work in progress but still the goal. I have a few photos to share so thought I would throw something together.

One of the main reasons I’ve had little time is that I’ve been working a lot of overtime. As most of you know I work in a restaurant. The Pandemic really has not been kind to the service industry. The restaurant industry is still having a hard time hiring. The establishment I work for is now closing it’s doors once a week in order to give it’s employees some time off. I never would have seen that coming.

Here is just a collection of photos over the last two months. I included a few of the better work related photos.

I saw these raggedy Ann and Andy dolls and it brought back some nostalgia feelings. So I added some glow and detail to this photo.
This is just a beer photo for work but I like the way it turned out.
I took my 360 camera out to a field of daisies one day and ended up with the circular photo above. I added the window frame and some cut out bees for more interest.
Another work photo.
Also work… I cut out the floor and ceiling to give it a surreal vibe.
A flower I ran into along the way. I really pushed the HDR details, and colors but thought it ended up interesting.
This is an old house with boarded up windows and fire damage I pass on my way to work. I changed the sky and pushed the filters to come up with this.
I took some photos at an abandoned house. I had 10 different versions of this creepy door and decided to share this one with the 1986 filter vibe.
This guy was in my yard when I went to get the newspaper one morning.
This is purely me just experimenting with what new things I can do. The photo was just of a plain cage clock. I used a toxic filter for the greens, then blended a peeling paint photo and lastly used a drawing app to draw the leaf trail.
Baby feet!

Thanks for tuning in.


Quick Photo Excursions

It’s been quite challenging working in a restaurant during the past few months. In Oregon restaurants opened, went to 75% occupancy. A week later back down to 25% occupancy, then shut down indoor dining and reopened it all again. This all happened in the last 5 weeks! Staffing for such fluctuations is a nightmare. Many experienced restaurant workers have taken the time to reflect and have chosen to move on. Hiring and training has taken on a whole new level. I’ve been putting in lots of hours at work. I did however take the opportunities That presented themselves to take some photos.

I took a mini trip to the coast and took some photos of an often photographed bridge in Florence. I also took a day drive to take photos of the Niagara Heights water wheel. I had run across some great photos of this roadside attraction and thought it would make a nice destination for a photo excursion. I was disheartening to find it was destroyed in last years wildfires.

I liked the way the architecture all lined up in this photo.
More architectural appeal.
The lilies add a nice foreground touch.
I pushed the colors and details really hard here. I was pleased with the outcome though.
Wide angle lens view.
I did a few night shots… I couldn’t quite get what I was looking for. The graininess of the photo distracted me. I added the flying birds as a last minute way to save this photo.
These doll heads were in a coffee shop. I really enjoyed the way the photoshop filter brought out the colors here.
I couldn’t help but mess with the doll head picture. It reminds me of stuff I wanted to do in the darkroom back in the 90’s.
I saw this lone dead tree surrounded by snow and had to get a photo. I should have spent more time here I only had a handful of snapshots to work with.
This is what’s left of the Niagara Heights water wheel. You should look up the before pictures on the internet. Unfortunately the iconic shed that was attached was consumed in the fire. There are some great rustic feel photos as well as long exposure photos of it in the winter when it was covered in lights.
Red always makes a great color splash photo. I wanted it to stand out against the dead trees.
The tulip bulbs in the planter box that was next to the shed survived. I was going for an ethereal glow in this picture.
They are still hard at work removing the trees damaged in the fires. I was in the right spot to capture this logging truck.
I feel like I don’t use the vintage filters enough.
I thought I would throw in some of my more experimental stuff. Sometimes I just mess with my photos to see what I can come up with. This is a composite of 4 different photos. I know this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I have fun seeing what I can come up with.
More stuff I’ve been playing with.
This is a picture of the Willamette river right by my restaurant. Sometimes I forget to look up and enjoy it. Side note this is the lowest I’ve seen this river this early in the year. I’ve watched this river flow by for 14 years now and it usually isn’t this low until the last week of August just before the rainy season. I really hope Oregon doesn’t have another extreme fire season this year.

Has It Been Three Years Already?

It’s been two months since my last post. The restaurant has reopened for indoor dining and work has kept me pretty busy with little time to devote to photography. My annual bill for wordpress just came due and that reminded me I haven’t put anything on my blog lately. I was tempted to cancel the blog but decided to give it another year. It has kept me focused on moving forward with my hobby and I like having somewhere to share my photos. I have been adding them to Instagram as well, you can follow me @in8ape if you’d like. So here’s to beginning year three!

I have continued to run the social media for the restaurant. This has been good at keeping me active with photography. I have a set photo shoot once a week. It also forces me to come up with new ways to make product and restaurant photos interesting. I asked about getting paid a little extra for this work and my company said yes and even gave me a retro check for all the work I had done since November. It never hurts to ask about getting paid for what you think you are worth. A bonus is that I can add managed social media it to a resume if I ever need to.

I just looked through my photos for the last two months and these were my top picks.

I took this waterfall scene in February but never got around to posting it on my blog. There is an app for the IPhone called Spectre that makes it really easy to get the blurred river effect. You can also get this effect using a tripod and a ND filter.
I made about 6 edits of these bamboo shoots before I ended up with this one. It almost has a painted feeling.
I had snapped a photo of a donut I was eating. I liked the colors and was messing with the photo. It never was quite right, so I tried it in a composite. Not really my best work but it was kind of fun to experiment with and it gave me ideas for future projects.
Deep edit on my cats eye. I did quite a few different versions. I figured one was enough for the post.
I was trying out some distressed filters and liked this one.
I try not to put many of my work photos on here but I got a little creative with this one and thought it was worth sharing.
This was also for work. I really liked how this one turned out.
Spring is in the air and things are in bloom. I used an app called spektrel art to create this one.
This photo ended up blurry because of the angle I was shooting it. I like the composition though. I was able to compensate for this using the spektrel art app. It ended up being pretty cool.
One last example of the spektrel art app.
Back to basics.
I wanted to get my Nikon out so I took a few short hikes to play with my cameras.
If I ever go back here I think I’ll try an even longer exposure to make the water swirl more. I’m kind of thinking lady in the lake idea.
I found this little cairn on a log by the river. I took a bunch of cool pictures from different angles but this was my favorite.
This photo also worked well with a pastel filter.

Well cheers to three years! Thanks for following. We’ll see what the rest of 2021 brings.

Long Road Of Recovery On The McKenzie

Photography is a medium that can tell a story. The photographer can show others their perspective through the framing of the world around them. Every so often you may come across a subject that can elicit strong emotional responses. I feel it is the responsibility of the photographer to respect the privacy and property rights of one’s subjects.

In the latter half of last year, Oregon experienced unprecedented forest fires that wiped out whole towns and communities. The Holiday Farm fire engulfed 173,000 acres and more than 4000 structures in Lane county. It devastated the community of Blue River. Many homes and businesses were destroyed as the fire quickly engulfed everything in it’s path.

I recently drove through the devastated area. Six months have passed since the incident but trees are still being removed and there are unstable structures along the highway. On my drive through the area I witnessed overwhelming destruction. One location in particular caught my eye and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. On the way back I had to stop. I wanted to be respectful of people’s property and loss. I didn’t touch anything and quickly took my photos. After editing the photos I knew I wanted to share but wasn’t sure about posting anything on social media or here on the blog. I ended up making an Instagram post and a friend who lives in that area reached out to me saying she knew the owner of the truck was in one of the photos. I feel it was serendipitous that I was compelled to visit that particular site. Through reaching out to that mutual friend I was able to get permission to use the photos. The losses are staggering. It’s going to be a long road to recovery for this area and the many people affected.

The impact of the Holiday Farm fire is still being felt. Families continue to struggle to recover from losing everything. The initial outpouring of community support has subsided, but many are still displaced. If you can contribute please do https://gofund.me/7c169ed2 .

When I arrived the sun had already set and it was raining hard. I liked the way my headlights shined on the truck.
This was a second edit where I just kept the rust colors. I ended up with quite a few photos and various edits. It was hard to limit it to just a few that I really liked.
I really liked the way the rain was reflecting in my car headlights. Other then the rain falling there was a dead silence in the area.
It must have been crazy how hot the fire was here. I’m pretty sure this truck was in a garage at the time of the fire. Everything was engulfed but the concrete slab it sat on and the car frame that didn’t melt. I liked the matte effect for this photo.
My heart goes out to those who lost everything.
While driving through the devastation, chimneys and foundations were the most common structures still standing. I colorized the brick in this photo.
Metal objects that survived the fire.
This is Goodpasture bridge. I have stopped by here to photograph it before. It was almost engulfed in the flames. The fire devastated most everything on the far side of the river. Thanks to many firefighters this historic covered bridge survived.
They added pink glowing lights to the bridge and I like the way it looked.
I have some other stuff that I’ve been working on. When I post it here it clears my mind so that I can move on to the next project. This first one was taken while on a ski excursion. I’ve been working with replacing sky backgrounds and really liked how this one turned out.
This began as a picture of an onion. I used an texture app to give it that fuzzy feeling, then pushed the colors and shadows.
This was from my prior lighthouse trip. I’m working on how to give my photos a surreal feel. I transformed the house a little and really brightened the colors as well as replace the sky and add a sun flare.
I was just messing around with the house photo.
I’ve started collecting pictures of windows. I feel like there is something I want to do with them… this is a first try, stay tuned.
I was going for surreal here. This is a very commonly photographed waterfall. I took the photo at the same spot every tourist that passes by this roadside attraction. I used a new app called Spectre that makes it easy to take long exposure photos like the blurred river. Normally to get a photo like this I would have to set up a tripod, and add a dark filter to my lens to allow for the correct exposure while keeping the shutter open for a few seconds to capture the blurred river scene. The Spectre app calculates what is in motion and what is still and makes it easy to capture a blurred river photo.
This photo should have been in my last blog post but somehow I missed it. I just wanted to add it here.

I want to extend my deepest sympathies to those affected by the Holiday Farm Fires. I hope that the community will recover with time. Please donate if you can.