Monday, December 10, 2007

Sharp contrasts, shadows and light...two black and white images

My Monday Mission is to be creative with Photoshop. I imagine creative in this case is rightly interpreted to mean funny and clever, but I'm sticking with the traditional and open interpretation.

I've been working on a black and white series for our master bedroom. Below are two prints from it. Originally they were full color, but when I began looking at the image, I saw the sharp contrasts, shadows and light. I adjusted it to black and white, worked a bit on the brightness and contrast, and ended up with an image I really liked.

I'll mat and frame it, probably ending up at a final size of about 16x20.

A while back Stephanie asked me about my art and photography. Sadly, it's fallen to the wayside. Factors: time, both my digital cameras needed repair, and then I was robbed in Boston. As of last week, I have a digital camera again. Thankfully.

The photos are from our recent trip back up to Boston.

It seems like another life, the days that we lived there.

Before kids, this park was a place we went to often. It was more or less just across the street from my husband's office. I'd usually leave my office before him and I'd walk from Cambridge to Fanueil, by where he worked, and meet him and usually some other people, too, and head to one of the popular restaurant/bars nearby. It was usually fun, and we were usually running to catch the last train home.

But I preferred the nights when we went to Cambridge, instead. My experience of bars and restaurants in this area of downtown Boston were suited people always on some sort of make, sizing up, aware of labels and whether leather was real or fake. Cambridge was more relaxed, students and business casual sorts. You could ease back and be yourself, not worry too much about simply wearing a pair of chinos and company tee (with the dot com label of the moment) in Cambridge.

In Cambridge, it didn't seem to matter too much where you were from since so many were from elsewhere. In Cambridge, you hung out at pubs rather than Ooh La La Wine Bars, and the tables were often so close that the lines blurred about where your group ended and the next one began. I always met the most interesting people in Cambridge.

Sometimes I had a backpack with me. It was okay to have a backpack instead of a briefcase, in Cambridge. But it did often get me mistaken for a student, which wasn't wrong for a while, since for a while, I was one. I'd pretended I was going to get a Master's at Harvard by applying myself diligently in a writing and editing program, but quit when work and life got too hectic, always with a promise to go back and finish. Famous last words. The engineers at my company were nearly 100% MIT grads and they couldn't withhold their disgust that I'd chosen Harvard. Some of the debates could be quite hilariously fierce.

I did always prefer the more laid back, down to earth vibe I felt in Cambridge. Downtown financial district Boston was all $15 martinis, and Cambridge was a couple of bucks for a pint.

Or maybe mind games are just easier for me than social ones. I'm sure it's all subjective.

As is art, as is creativity, as is interpretation of a Monday Mission. ;) Click here to go check out the rest.

Copyright 2007 Julie Pippert
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Sober Briquette said...

First the rockin' party and now the cool decor in the bedroom.

Julie, I am coming over.

Rebecca said...

Gorgeous photos! I recognize the setting from my recent trip to Boston. I like what you've done with it.

Blessed be!

Christine said...

oh julie--those pictures are breath taking.

and i know what it is like to pine for a town that way.

Professor J said...

Lovely photos, Julie. I am awfully fond of Cambridge, as well. And Amhearst--have you ever been there? It rocks.

painted maypole said...

very nice. and as always, monday missions are meant to inspire you to do something a little differnt than your usual postings... and I love when people take them in a different direction. I do tend to go silly with them, but that's just me. :)

Julie Pippert said...

Prof J, have indeed been to Amherst! We logged many miles all over MA while we lived there, much on foot LOL.

I even went to the Jack Kerouac museum.

I thought the adjacent textiles exhibit was more interesting, though. ;) (Also, check your email.)


Christine, thanks sweetie.


Rebecca, thanks! I figured it's a pretty recognizable spot and plenty of people would know just which park it is.


De, you are completely welcome here anytime. We can do a trade: you here winter, me there summer. :)

SusieJ said...

You are a wonderful photographer. I wasn't as creative as Painted Maypole -- but I was able to restore a torn photo via photoshop.

You do very well.

Kathryn said...

Gorgeous photos!
I love black and white pics. There is such emotion in them.

Suz said...

For a while, I was doing some work in Boston and really loved the city. It was Fall, and a really perfect Fall with a precise crispness to the air.

we_be_toys said...

beautiful photos! I have to envy your lone digital camers - the one I have just isn't cutting it for me anymore - I want to take huge pictures of tiny things, and my zoom is verschticken/kaputt. i am hoping that Santa will think I've been a good enough girl to bring me a nice new, bells and whistles, camera...!!

Family Adventure said...

Love the pictures, and love the stroll down memory lane.

I've never been to Boston, but it is high up on my list. Everyone I've spoken to who's ever been to Boston and surrounding area loves it.


Karen said...

those are great! so glad you have a camera again - can we see more soon?

Mad Hatter said...

They are beautiful, Julie.

liv said...

beautiful! i've been working on a b&w series of kid shots for my hall. the kids adore looking at them. that is plenty reward.

Kyla said...

Those are great photos, Julie!

niobe said...

Love the photos. But I was born in Boston and I don't recognize the place.

Emily said...

Oh, I love those pictures. Beautiful! Perhaps you'll post a picture, someday, of them on your wall.

Cambridge sounds like where I'd have spent my time, as well.

Anonymous said...

Those are terrific! I can't believe you made me homesick for Boston - I was barely even there.

anne at

thailandchani said...

Very nice photos.. and of course I also understand what it's like to pine for a particular location. :)

Lawyer Mama said...

I love those photos, Julie. They're great. And I hope to see more of them!

I know what you mean about the comfort level. I always feel a bit out of place anywhere too posh.

Leslie said...

I lived in Cambridge as well - some of my fondest memories - my husband and I were dating and eventually shared an apt off of Harvard Sq - Sunday brunch and a trip to the Yale coop for the book sales was one of our favorites...

Photos are lovely... my daughter spends half her day studying visual arts at an Arts magnet high school - she's taking a B & W portraiture class this semester and using real film, learning how to process, etc... she's doing some great stuff and really enjoying it!

Thanks for sharing...

Julie Pippert said...

Leslie, I am flat out blanking on that AWESOME and HILARIOUS hamburger stand across from Harvard, behind Harvard T. Things like the Al Gore burger (just meat and bun).

WHAT IS THAT CALLED? It's been there forever!

We loved going down for the crazy sidewalk performances, and then browsing the book shops.

flutter said...

Absolutely lovely

Julie Pippert said...

LM, it's because I am afraid my white trash side will suddenly pop out and THEN WHAT?!?! LOL


Chani, thanks.


Anne, well fair trade: you make me LMAO and I make you homesick. Wait, that doesn't sound so good. LOL


Emily, I probably will post my wall. First, it needs trim. And paint. Then I need to print the photos, mat and frame them, then hang on wall. Check back, a year LOL.


Niobe, down by the waterfront Marriott. Columbus Park is the name, yeah? By Long Wharf.


Thanks, Kyla. :)


Liv, I low B&W, especially of kids. I bet they love that. We have a sepia series of the kids in the entry (makes sense color wise and Hubs likes sepia) and they still notice, a year later.

You should post if you can.


Mad, thanks!


Karen, I often post shots of mine on my blog. I haven't put the art-y like ones up in a while. If it fits in, I will.


Heidi, it is a must see, must experience, IMHO. :) It's just...there's so much to MA, more than just Boston. Give it a year. Your next family adventure. :)


We, that's the Nikon I want. It's zoom is to die for, and FAST. God, so fast. Pant pant drool drool. My zoom is pretty sweet and I can do some micro work but...not quite to my wishes.


Suz, oh does that. Sigh.


Kathyrn, I so agree! Thanks!!


PM, thanks for the seal of approval. I always think these things ought to be fun, and this was, but it was also more serious. I know I ought to be more open-minded.


Susie, I thought yours was great!

Laura said...

What wonderful photos! Kudos!

halfmama said...

Your post made me think about nights at The Cantab, listening to Little Joe Cook sing those ridiculous songs... I miss Cambridge. *sigh*

Lawyer Mama said...

Dude, that's totally what I'm afraid of too. I'll get nervous and start blabbering on about my grandfather who was married to two women at the same time, or the fact that my family tree doesn't fork, or maybe even the time my cousin got arrested at my grandmother's funeral.

Babe, we are soul mates.

Mrs. G. said...

My first time here. Your photos are lovely. I particularly like the second one.

Cecilieaux said...

Read a whole bunch at once. Coulda said a thing or three about names and changes in childhood. Been busy because ... I am in love and she is too!

Shavings Off My Mind

Scribbit said...

I loved the short time I spent in Boston, but I didn't have near the scope of experience you did. I'd love to go back though.

Jenn said...

oh, beautifully done! the 2nd one (under the arch) is just gorgeous.

I've never been to Boston, but it has been on my list forever. No particular reason, just must visit one day :)