On Topic: Colorizing my past work. A short break from an endless posting of skyscrapers and mannequins.

Russian model on the Spanish Steps in Rome, Italy

 I find it very interesting to see what PhotoShop's Neural Filter "Colorize" picks for color and tonality. For example it seems to have a very limited repertoire for lip color, a very pleasing but narrow palette for skin/tone skin color and a tendency in an open air scene such as this to push blue tones into the background. The steps, as most people who have toured Rome know, are neutral to warm in color and have no blue component. But on the other hand I like the deep blue jacket on the out of focus woman just to our left of the main subject's head. And I especially like that the programming paid attention to the woman just over our main subject's shoulder; again, to our left, making sure the coloration was pleasing on her face. 

I find it odd that the grouping of three people in the upper left of the frame are rendered in black and white/grayscale. 

This image conversion was done in one click. I did not make any changes to the machine selections. It's impressive, at least to me, that the filter does such a good job on a first try. 

So, what are the ethics involved in colorizing old black and white work? I think it all depends on how transparent you are willing to be and what the final use of the images will be. We didn't think of the implications when we were photographing these scenes in black and white in 1995 because we didn't really imagine that a conversion to color from our black and white film stock could be so simple and so convincing. 

If I were submitting images to news magazines I wouldn't step over the line and convert a black and white file to color but for my own enjoyment I think it's fun to take an "image by image" approach. And as one blogger often says, "As long as no one is getting hurt...."

I'd be interested in your comments about this subject. While I no longer shoot black and white film I do have a tens of thousands of black and white negatives from the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s that I'd like to pore through and perhaps scan in enough for a portrait show at my favorite gallery. What are your thoughts?

Iterations are (or should be) an important part of the artistic/photographic practice. How will you know the "best" treatment for an image until you knuckle down and experiment?


I came back to this image of Lou this morning after having posted one version yesterday. I didn't like the automatic colorization of the background in the last image so I selected my subject, Lou, made a duplicate layer with a layer mask, selected the background layer and reduced the color saturation of the background. By eliminating most of the color in the background I think the background is less distracting, and without the color contrasts it also looks smoother. The smoothness of the background accentuates the foreground/subject detail without requiring an increase in subject contrast or sharpening. 

Once I got the image in the ballpark, for me, I also pulled out some of the saturation from the foreground subject/Lou. 

There is sometimes a misconception here that I operate the blog as an art gallery. A place where I show final images to an audience that is here to ruminate together solely about images. It's not. It's really a place where I discuss the nuts and bolts of making photographs and, by showing the progression of post production on an image, I also talk about how perceptions of style change and morph either when my tools change or my tastes change. My idea for the blog, from the very beginning, is that the thoughts and the descriptions about how I work and what I'm trying to accomplish; the words, are more important than the photographs. The photographs exist here because I like them but also because they are examples that reflect what's covered in the written ideas. 

A reader of another blog took a stab at VSL today/this morning by implying, in comments appended to another off topic post about tennis, that the bulk of what I show here is photographs of mannequins in store windows. I wondered if this was statistically true so I went back and checked at my VSL Google Photo Archive that's filled to the brim with images I've posted over the course of the blog's life; since, actually, 2008. 

Turns out that I've posted nearly 20,000 photographs over the course of writing the blog. Of those fewer than 100 have mannequins showcased in them. You can do the math. 20,000 images means you have a lot to choose from besides fun photos of mannequins. Some are work photos, some are from hundreds of live theater shoots, many are portraits done for both myself and my clients, while some are personal images. Travel photos.  And yes, some are of mannequins. 

Traditional photographic blogs are few and far between these days. I'm still trying to deliver meaningful content about the real working life (and hobbyist pursuits) of a commercial photographer working in Austin, Texas. Not London or New York City but certainly not the sticks either. We still discuss which cameras and why. I post images to show concepts and sometimes, as in the image above, just because I like the way the photograph looks to me. I'd hate for the VSL blog to decline into a review site for bidets and a showcase for bowling. 

Yes, you have seen this image in one form or another 9 times over the course of the blog's life. In each showing there were either small or large changes to the image, or both. My work has nothing to do with hewing to straight documentation. The work here is rarely, rarely journalism. Rather it's constructed unreality made to please me or you or clients. Or all three. 

Today's iteration is a case in point. I made a few subtle changes in addition to the colorization and subsequent toning down of the background. I also removed a small skin tag from Lou's right/lower eyelid. It may change the feel of the image for some and maybe not for others but it caught my attention this morning and I used Photoshop to remove it. Were I a strict journalist and if this image was to be presented as "fact" I would not have done so. But it's not. So I did.

My firm belief, once again reinforced by quotes from the Avedon bio book I discussed earlier in the week, is that progress in the quality of both seeing and of also hitting technical targets comes from constant practice. Constant photographing and by extension the frequent revisiting and modifying of the results of one's work. Everything is a work in progress. Everything. 

If you ask a swim coach how to get better the short answer is: time in the water. But the long answer should be: time in the water + the constant practice of correct form (technique). It's one thing to get wet every day but quite another to concentrate on continuing to improve a mindfulness toward, and practice of, your best form. Why bother to practice bad form?

I'll slow down on posting next week because I will be engaged then as a working, professional photographer. We start in earnest on Tuesday. Over the course of the three days of photography I'll have the opportunity to have a constant feedback loop of images going right in front of my eyes. I'll photograph, assess, improve, photograph, assess and so on. And I'll write about it after I get back...

One would think that having done hundreds of similar projects over the years that there's nothing more to learn. But that's a dangerous way to think about a discipline that's always been a moving target. The exercise of photographing hundreds or thousands of photographs in a week is just one more layer of experience in the bank. And it gets mixed with previous understandings about work.

The post production I'll do on the new images from the event will incorporate new capabilities delivered in the past year. Things like A.I. Denoise, new presets, improved firmware in cameras and lenses, new selection tools in post. Everything informs everything else ---- if you let it.

If you walk into a project cold you have to cover all your potential bases. Be ready for an unknown mix. But if you come back to a project having done the same event structure for the same client before you get to fine tune more. You look to refine the project this time around instead of inventing it from the ground up.

Seems like fun to me. Like revisiting this older image of Lou. It's a time to overlay new capabilities and to see how it affects your work. Both commercial work and personal work. 


On Topic: Jennifer. Brilliant Hydro Engineer. Former Assistant and....Ben's Favorite Babysitter.


Like a lot of other fortunate occurrences in my life I met Jennifer at a swimming pool. She was one of two talented swimmers who taught my kid to swim well. He was about two years old when they got started. I met J. at a time when she was an engineering student at UT who also competed in triathlons. She needed some part time income and pretty soon she was working freelance alongside my first assistant, Renae, on photography projects; like the big events we used to do for clients like Dell, Motorola and IBM. Both my assistants were much more competent than I but neither of the them was particularly interested in actually becoming photographers. 

Working in tandem there was nothing that they could not handle. I never had to entertain a second thought about them dealing directly with clients, solving logistics problems or taking care of the talents who came through the studio. 

That both of my former assistants moved on to successful careers, happy marriages and the raising of beautiful children always makes me happy. 

One bonus of having them in the studio was that I had a constant source of people willing to sit for portraits while I experimented with lighting and new lenses. This image was a black and white test for a new Hasselblad lens. At least that's what the notes on the file tell me. Probably that 180mm that was nice and sharp but had such lousy out-of-focus rendering on detailed backgrounds. 


On Topic: I'm always a bit amazed at how well 35mm film holds up in the days of 48+ Megapixel Digital times.


I seem to have been on a jag the last day or two. I've spent time "scanning" older negatives with my film photographing set-up (which consists of a light source, a 70mm Macro Sigma Art lens and a Panasonic S5 body) getting them exactly where I want the tonalities, etc. and then going into the Neural Filters in PhotoShop and applying the "Colorize" command which has the software create colors for the images. And, so far, I have to say that the program does a really good job at hitting color palettes that I would agree with. 

This image struck me in a different way. It started life as a 35mm black and white negative. The film stock was Agfapan APX 100. It was developed in Rodinal with a dilution of 1:50. I have printed the image previously and liked the paper version so I thought I'd try it as a newly revived and adapted digital file. 

But what struck me was the basic detail and image sharpness of the 100+ Megapixel file that resulted from using a multi-shot "scan" from the negative. What you are seeing here is a version of the file that's been reduced from 12,000+ pixels on the long edge to a more manageable (for Blogger) size of 3200 pixels on the long side. And from 16 bits to 8 bits of color information. And from an initial Raw file to a Jpeg file. But it still maintains the sense of detail and sharpness that I saw when reviewing the initial scan. 

One often wonders when looking at images from the latest, high dollar, digital camera sensors, just how well film might have competed with --- basically --- thirty year newer technology. In the past most of the film to digital comparisons I've made were between digital and medium format film scans. It's eye-opening for me to see just how well 35mm film stands up. A reminder that film was, in the mid-1990s, a very advanced and evolved medium. 

Of course it doesn't hurt that this negative was birthed from one of the top lenses of the day and additional created in a camera with an exceptionally flat film plane. And under highly controlled electronic flash lighting. It's hard to compare apples to apples when things like motion and speed of use are also involved. But for static portraits I think film was close to being comparable to new digital. And certainly better at holding highlight detail --- tenaciously. 

Sometimes, generally after making and image like this from older negatives, I wish I had the patience and budgets to switch back to a workflow completely centered around black and white film, medium format cameras and traditional studio lighting. But, I guess doing enough of anything all the time would be boring. 

I keep remembering that what makes a photo succeed or fail nearly always depends on what you and the subject were able to accomplish together. A shared rapport. An interaction. A performance. 

ON TOPIC: Job prep took a break for the "big" eclipse. The planning now revolves around "which camera and lenses to take" intersecting with "what's my flash strategy?" and bolstered by "what clothes should I pack?"


It's just about impossible to go wrong with a white, cotton, long sleeve button down Oxford shirt.

There was an eclipse yesterday. We were in the path of "totality." We are currently working on a pop song called, "Totality." I hope to have it performed by Lady Ga-Ga and produced by Pharrell Williams. But that's a whole different thing (yes, joke). We watched the "totality" from the swimming pool, alternating with a pleasant and unhurried workout swim. We did pause from time to time to look at the partial eclipse and then we paused for a few minutes when the moon totally blocked the sun and everything got dark....for about four minutes. The folks in Montreal probably had the best shot at seeing a nice eclipse. 

But then I got back to pre-shoot logistics. 

My client added a day to the  event schedule for next week. It's a conference for a major banking group. The board of directors is converging at the event and there was a request for a board of directors group shot. We'll shoot that in the morning on the day when all the attendees arrive. The schedule originally called for just a reception that day, from five to seven pm, and my plan was to drive in from Austin in the mid-afternoon, get situated in my hotel and then meet up with the production team and marketing team in the late afternoon. Photography to follow.

With the new request added to the schedule I requested a hotel room for the night before so I could scout for locations well in advance and also to get a decent night's sleep and not have to worry about early morning traffic both in Austin and San Antonio. It's a good idea not to have to rush into the B.O.D. shots at the start of the whole event. Nothing like a sweaty and anxious photographer running late to ruin the vibe...

Now my schedule is M-T-W and a half day on Thursday. I'll head back to Austin after the event wraps around one p.m. on Thursday. Unless...  If the client needs a lot of files right away, instead of being able to wait a few days, I'll ask to add a Thursday night hotel stay and go straight from the show back to the hotel to dive into file editing, post production and fast delivery. More fun to do that at my hotel with availability of room service. And no distractions.

The event is an upscale mix of meetings, speeches and receptions but also includes some light-hearted social events and entertainment. As well as one afternoon of activities outside the scope of the core conference. Like skeet shooting. So wardrobe needs to be varied. Coat and tie for the B.O.D. group portrait session. Just to get things off to a good start. Those participants will all be in suits and the women in formal business wear. I figure I should look like I belong. Dressing well always worked for Richard Avedon...

 Then business casual for the opening reception in the evening. 

I'm packing a navy blue suit, a blue sport coat, a black sport coat and lots of nice dress shirts to match. Pants? Of course!

I think we have this all covered and since I've worked with this client over the past few years I have very good idea of the vibe and also of what the prevailing dress codes will be. 

Photographing event stuff requires a pleasant smile, a camera you don't mind having in your hands for a long day, a medium/standard zoom lens and a good flash. My primary camera will be a Leica SL2 fitted with a 24-90mm zoom lens. I've sourced two very good condition Leica SF-58 flashes and I've been testing them with the camera and lens most of the week. Fresh Eneloop batteries arrived last week and are on their third round of discharge/recharge to properly form them. There are also a couple of Metz Mecablitz 58 AF-2 flashes in the back-up bag; just in case. Same form factor. Similar menus. Same batteries. As well as two off camera connecting cords.

I like being able to bounce flash off ceilings. Even really high ceilings. If it's a big reach I'll go as high as ISO 1600 coupled with f4.0 to make it work. Depending on the color of the existing, ambient light, I'll lightly filter the flash to get at least halfway from daylight to the color source of the ambient.  And I'll make the flash color the dominant color balance. The background aim point is usually 2/3rds of a stop darker than my main subject's proper exposure. 

As back up for the zoom lens I'm packing a trio of Sigma L mount lenses. The 35mm f2.0, the 50mm f2.0 and the 90mm f2.8. I'm also taking one of the original SL cameras as a back-up for the SL2. The third camera I'm taking along will be the Leica Q2. I hope to use it for several exterior events where the leaf shutter and high shutter speed flash sync are just the right thing. Bonus! All three cameras take the same batteries!!

I'm packing a separate light kit for the B.O.D. group shots. Two light stands, two Godox V1 flashes, a Godox/Leica flash trigger, two white umbrellas and a small but quite handy tripod. I'll use that gear on Tuesday morning, repack it and then leave it in the secure backstage gear area for the rest of the show.

I thought about taking a longer lens for shots of speakers at the podium but at the last show for the same client I was able to get close enough to the stage to get the shots I wanted. My usual plan for podium shots (always with NO flash!!) is to use the the zoom at 90mm and set the camera to shoot in APS-C mode. I end up with a 135mm focal length and the resulting file (Jpeg) is still a healthy 22+ megapixels. 

All of the active event photographs, small groups shots and live entertainment will be well taken care of with the zoom and a good flash mostly bouncing off the ceilings. I'll bring along the Q2 for those times as well and try it out with some "odd characters" from my collection of zanier flashes; more for entertainment value than need. 

The nice thing about working in a good hotel, and only 70 miles from home by car, is that I can bring along a lot of stuff, make good use of bellmen and essentially make my hotel room an office away from home for three or four days. With someone else to straighten up after me. 

Back-up cameras, back-up flashes, back-up clothing choices and a pocket full of batteries. A shiny new laptop.  Just right for a nice event project.


Having too much fun playing around with Neural filters...


Another colorized "Lou" helps me to fine tune the colorization of older, black and white negatives and points out (at least to me) how well the "scanning", combined with multi-res imaging, works.


I am, at once, happy with my lighting. Happy with my composition. And happy with my portrait subject's strong gaze. Fun with film and fun with imaging. Fun making portraits. 

I think I've finally nailed getting nice skin tones. Finally.


Lou. In the old studio. 

A favorite black and white image of one of my favorite assistants, automatically colorized by Lightroom's Neural Filter: Colorize.

I have been blessed through my entire working life to have had wonderful, brilliant and joyful assistants. People who were always ready for some zany new adventure. People who kept me on the right track. 

I always valued how straightforward Renae was to me. She would never hesitate, on the morning of a shoot, to take a long look at my clothes and my shoes and ask me, point blank: "You're really going to wear that?" Followed by, "Did B. see what you picked before you left the house?" Whereupon I would sigh and go back in the house to change into something more...approvable. 

An occasional addition suggest sometimes followed... "And while you are in the house maybe don't forget to clip those nose hairs...." 

Perhaps having a painfully honest, much younger assistant, is the key to a photographer's chance at success. 


Portrait of B. from a day on the lake. 1983.


Time passes so quickly. It seems like just yesterday that I met my best friend but really...it was in 1973. We got married in 1985 after working together, side-by-side for a few years, at our advertising agency. I guess this month we're coming up on 39 years of married life. It's been heaven. 

Of course she is far, far smarter than I. Has more University degrees and is much better at things like...common sense. 

She is the APO Summicron of spouses. Just thought I'd get a bit sentimental and share.


ON TOPIC: Say what you want about Richard Avedon but he raised the bar financially and artistically for every working photographer and artist. And his biography by Norma Stevens and Steven Aronson is a wonderful romp through high end art circles. And an insightful look at a master.


We all showed up for swim practice at eight this morning only to be greeted, right on the hour, by a huge flash of lightning and an enormous peal of thunder. The too near sudden flash of brilliant electricity was a profound motivator for clearing the pool of the seven a.m. swimmers who normally lollygag in the lanes after their workout. We often have to dive over them to start our own workouts. Not today. Nope. The seven a.m. crew hit the sweet spot, got their hour of swimming in, and then escaped to breakfast or work right on time. The threat of quick death at the hands of nature was quite a motivator. We eight o'clockers weren't so lucky. 

The rule of thumb is that we have to wait 25 minutes after the lightning or thunder for the "all clear." To get back in the pool. But we also collectively bring out our smartphones (not me, I don't carry one to practice) and huddle around looking at the app that tracks lightning strikes by their distance from us. The news didn't look good and one swimming influencer metaphorically tossed in the towel and headed back to her car. The rest of us caved and followed suit.

I muddled around the office all morning. I replaced the lost diopter on eyepiece of a Leica M240. I experimented with a small flash on an equally small Leica CL camera. I wrote several business letter for one of the non-photography businesses we own. I talked with B. about the bid to paint the exteriors of the house and the office and then, after lunch, with the weather still gloomy and unpredictable I decided to take the afternoon off entirely to sit in my favorite chair, next to a set of double doors that look out over one of the gardens in order to swill coffee and to continue my second reading of the above book about Richard Avedon's life, work and art. Damn. That man had incredible energy!

I've written about Avedon before. He's the reason I decided to pursue portraiture as a profession. I believe he was among the top five artists of all kinds in the 20th century. And beyond.

Some of you have commented when I mention Avedon's genius that you "hate" his work or that he was "just a fashion photographer" and I would say that you have horribly misjudged. Or you lack sufficient information.

The first time I laid eyes directly on a show of his prints was at the opening of his "In The American West" show at the Amon Carter Museum in Ft. Worth. That was the museum that initiated the entire project and at which the show premiered. The year was 1985. It's one thing to see the images from that show reproduced small (and usually poorly) in a printed magazine or on a website but I can assure you that it was another thing entirely to walk into a perfectly lit gallery in a first class museum and be confronted directly with a compelling image printed up to eight feet by ten feet on perfect photographic paper and mounted onto solid steel panels.

I had been working in darkrooms for years by that point and had also seen many portfolios by masters like Steiglitz and Steichen and Ansel Adams and Paul Strand. And when I say I "saw them" I mean I went to the fourth floor of the Humanities Research Center at UT Austin, in the depths of the Gernsheim Collection and had the exciting pleasure of museum curators handing me white, cotton gloves, inviting me to sit at a large table, and then to have them physically hand me print after vintage print for my own close and unhurried inspection. I was no virgin at the time when it came to looking at prints. 

But the Avedon show floored me. It was amazing. It was beyond comprehension for a working photographer like myself. Not just the quality painstakingly distilled from big 8x10 inch black and white negatives and printed to perfection, but also the content of the images themselves. There is a connection in the prints between the subject and the viewer that is so personal and so incisively seen that it made me hang up my camera for a while and recover my shattered ego by working (penance) in the advertising business again for a handful of years. 

And that same evening I got to meet Avedon and his team at the reception in the museum and he was magnificent. Shorter than me but charged with an energy that makes me jealous even today, some forty years later. 

Most people who haven't spent the time following the arc of Avedon's long and highly productive career tend to only know one part or another of his work and make a quick evaluation after looking at that one tiny corner, writ tiny, in a poorly printed substitute for the real prints, the real images. Or worse, having prints with almost unlimited detail reduced to 640 by 480 pixels on a crappy computer monitor. Or worse, a phone. 

It's like reading about a steak. Seeing a poorly printed picture of a steak, and deciding that you hate steak with all your heart even though you've never tasted one. Never eaten one. Never smelled one cooking. You just read a small article, looked at a photograph of some meat and then declared your ambivalence. Unaware that the steak was only a small part of a perfect feast...

Maybe you think fashion work is overrated and a ruinous construct of capitalism. Okay. So don't consider Avedon's groundbreaking work in fashion, done over the course of sixty years. Let's look at portraits and art and his nod to journalism. The reach and quality and diversity of his work has never been equalled and, given the trajectory of modern photography, probably never will be. 

But, since I don't have a financial stake in Avedon's work why the heck do I even care? It's because he set standards for himself as an artist, producer, photographer that we could consider emulating if we really want to achieve wonderful work. The hell with an audience. We should want to emulate his control, ability to be inspired, etc. in our own work even if our audience is just me. Ourselves. You. 

Every time I read this book I find something new that captivates me. In fact, I'll share one thing that I came to myself instinctively but which noted curator, Adam Gopnik, relates in an interview with the authors of the biography. He's discussing Avedon's workshops for aspiring, young photographers at his studio or at his house on Montauk. I'll let his words do the heavy lifting. Go Adam:

"Dick organized a fantastic weekend for the class at his Montauk place, where the assignment was for them to take portraits of each other. I have the one that someone or other did of me where I'm glaring and black-handed -- I was coming from the grill where I'd been roasting soft-shell crabs for the multitudes. For those three days Dick communicated --- hammered home--- his essential truth: that portraiture was not lighting or framing or anything but the exchange between two people, and that the portraits the students make would be exactly as good as the insight and empathy they possessed for each other. "Create a little theater of two-ness" was, I recall, a phrase of his that weekend. Of course, the delicate choreography of two-ness that was second nature to him-- approach, avoidance, seduction, and formality, with a necessary selfishness on the artist's part; it was his picture, after all -- wasn't something that was truly teachable. But he gave them at least a sense that composing the picture and pressing the shutter were the least essential things you did, and connecting with the subject -- in love, anger, appetite -- the most.

I try to embrace this idea in every portrait sitting that is meaningful to me. 

Avedon showed us over and over again that "artists" didn't have to mean "starving artists." That being photographers didn't mean you have to give up control to clients, editors and art directors. That even art bows a bit to the compounding of interest of time. That total ownership is also part of the core of true art. 

To say that you saw a photograph of Avedon's which made someone famous look "bad" and so you throw out the relevance of thousands and thousands of images across multiple genres is so simple minded as to be ---- disqualifying. 

Dive deeper into Avedon's work. And sit down and really read the book to understand just how much Avedon accomplished. You owe it to yourself to leap over whatever hurdles to appreciation that your younger self may have set up. There are prizes on the other side. And new awareness about photographing.

Just a few thoughts over coffee on a rainy day accented hour by hour by choruses of thunder interspersed with flashes of lightning. And, via this book, flashes of invention and genius which photographers should acknowledge. 

If you want to leave a comment basically just trashing Avedon, don't bother. It will get stricken. If you have something smart and insightful to share I'd love to read it even, EVEN if I don't agree with you. 

Thanks for getting this far. 


More random photos done during my headache addled haze while recovering from a sixth Covid Vaccine. Nothing coherent here. Just colors.


There is a weird corner at Sixth St. and Brazos that seems to be ground zero for weird street art. Every time I pass by there's something new to look at. While it may not be so obvious here I was pretty much transfixed with the contrast of the hot colors in the left hand street art and the cool, cool blue of the panels under the adjacent window. Nothing "art historical" or academic to say, really. It's just a nice effect for my brain. I also like the odd perspective of this angle.

I don't particularly care that this was sponsored by Coca-Cola and that their beverage isn't particularly healthy. The amount of work and the attention to the whimsical patterns and op art references are enough for me to enjoy the visuality of it all. If you concentrate too much on the brand messaging then I think you've lost the ability to be adequately seduced by color and various mod art references. And that's kind of sad. Digging the Lego reference in the center bottom of the work...

I met the artist. He was very cool

Don't know if I ever showed images of the living room floor after installation.
It all went so well. The odd shape near the back of the frame on the floor is 
B.'s yoga mat. A fun place to do yoga before we put furniture back in. 

In the late 1990's and early into the 2000's I would use our living room as a studio when I needed more space. I'd hire an extra assistant and task the two of them the day before to remove all the furniture. If the weather reports were favorable they could put it on the screened in back porch. If rain was in the forecast the furniture would end up in two of the bedrooms in the house. It was great to work in the space because behind the camera position in this photograph, and up three steps, was a dining room which allowed me to get up to fifty feet from a subject for those odds shots where it was necessary. 

We did a lot of work in here but it was always a priority for the assistants get everything packed out and the furniture moved back in as quickly as possible after the shoot wrapped. We do live here...

Take a closer look. I've manipulated the image to make the background darker, smoother and less detailed. It's become an almost automatic response lately.

I still think that's too much to pay for lunch. 
Especially too much beef for lunch...

No idea. Just like the poster and the background together. 

If I owned Voodoo Donuts downtown Austin location I would be so
ashamed at how filthy the front door is. Just gross. And for a food establishment!
Nasty. I'm pretty sure no one in their company will read this but if they do 
I'm betting my chances of scoring free donuts just vanished. Ah well. 
I buy my weird donuts at Salty Donuts. The products are good and, dammit,
they know how to keep their doors clean. That's a thing. 

going full circle on a walk. A different perspective. More blue.


And exhibited to the public at no charge. 

All images done with a Fuji GFX 50Sii.

The one I've decided NOT to sell...