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PIXelations 30

Something Different…

by fotofinish , 07-17-2010 at 05:02 PM (732 Views)

Well, this is my second attempt at visual art. I’ll show the first one some other time. Anyway, this second one, I spent 2 months of labor, 8 attempts, about 20 layers, and a gig and a half of size. I’ll post the image first, and the complete explanation of what I was trying to do at some other time. It is called “Daintree Reclamation.” Here’s the intro:

This project for me evolved out of my recent Australian rainforest visit. This was my first rainforest and I was shocked at learning the vital secrets it holds for humankind. Rainforest Rescue is a non-profit organization whose purpose is to promote and protect the world’s rain forests. The Daintree rain forest is the oldest on the planet. One of Rainforest Resue’s projects is buying back land from private landholders and adding this land back to the protected tracts of land in Australia that are part of the World Heritage locations.

My project is simply an attempt to symbolically represent this valiant endeavor.

If you click on the image, it will take you to one of my websites with various sizes. Click on Original to see the large version. Does it work for you??

Pandora’s Box

by fotofinish , 07-25-2010 at 09:48 AM (994 Views)

The creation below is actually my first attempt at visual art. It was an idea I had based on our recent travels. This one also has taken several months to get to this point, also about twenty layers in CS5. I call it “Pandora’s Box: the Bats of Cairns”. Here’s the intro:

While visiting Cairns, Australia, some time ago, one of the things that most impressed me about the town was the drama that occurs at dusk every evening. As soon as the sun begins to set, large numbers of fruit bats, usually the Spectacled Flying-fox which has a wingspan up to three feet in diameter, begin to fill the evening skies. This action causes the resident bird population to begin protesting loudly as they seemingly cower in fear within the limbs and leaves of the trees for protection in certain sections of the town. Occasionally, some of these bats would make runs through these trees looking for nectar and fruits, much to the other birds’ dismay. Bats, of course, have stimulated human imagination in the past. My image is just another example of this.

If you click on the image, it will take you to one of my websites with various sizes. Click on Original to see the large version. Does it work for you??

Celebrate India 2010

by fotofinish , 08-19-2010 at 07:35 PM (1483 Views)

I was asked again by someone i work with to be one of the photographers to shoot the festivities for Celebrate India 2010. The proceeds for the day went to the D.F. School for the Bind Children in Kolkata, India. This was a chance for me to give back something to help out a worthy cause. It also was a lot of fun! The kids and the costumes were very colorful and creative as well as traditional. Here are a few examples.

You can see the rest of my series here.

Great photos mate… Have you tried taking pictures in India’s Kumbe Mela Festivals? There’s lots of interesting things to capture in the event. Its a yearly event of India’s holy men, so If you are interested, perhaps I can meet you there… C U.

JerryGrasso 2.0

by fotofinish , 09-07-2010 at 06:20 PM (1010 Views)

After much thought, I have decided to rebuild my main website, The reason I chose to do this is to announce my artistic direction change from photographer to visual artist. From this point forward, my works will begin to move away from general nature and landscape and toward some aspect of abstract expression. What this means to me is that my images will try to primarily emphasize shape, form, or texture in an effort to evoke some thematic idea or mood. All of my works will be photography-based, incorporating previous images of mine that have been harvested from past shoots and then composited. Or, these are my single images which emphasize shape, form, and/or texture. I primarily work in color, but I let the image tell me whether color is an integral part of the abstraction. If not, I will use black and white to showcase the abstract elements. My goal, as you can read on my Mission page, is to stimulate you to use your imagination. I hope you enjoy my new direction!

The Photo Essay

by fotofinish , 09-24-2010 at 05:15 PM (1715 Views)

I am at a point in my art right now where I am finally happy with my digital darkroom setup (computer, software). I am also happy enough with my Lightroom 3 database loaded with just about every picture I have ever shot (only 25,000, a drop-in-the-bucket compared to others). I am even happy enough with my art tools (cameras, printer, etc) for the moment. (I always have my eyes on new toys, though!)

I am not happy however with my ability (or lack thereof) to generate project ideas. I seem to be stuck in “drive-by” mode. I cannot consistently come up with project ideas; some sort of tangible methodology that will work for me. Until I do, I am going nowhere fast.

It is with this in mind that I decided to take another photography class with my friend Mallori Ostrowitz. This one is about the Photo Essay. We are supposed to pick a photo essay photographer and give a brief report about how this person creates and uses the essay as a means of artistic expression. We are also to create our own essay by the end of our classes.

My hope in taking this class is that it may provide a way to stimulate ideas for building a series. I stand here with a bag full of tools, a powerful digital darkroom, and years of frozen moments in time, and still I have no methods for putting all of this together on a consistent basis.

What to do with all the pics has long baffled me too. Photo Essay could be the way to go. Everyone enjoys a good story. Keep us posted.

Thanks, Skippy. I’m having some fun!

PDF Publishing

by fotofinish , 10-23-2010 at 09:08 AM (1726 Views)

I have been intrigued by the fine quality of output that Adobe pdf’s offer the photographer for showcasing a project, so I decided to give it a try for myself. I have recently started subscribing to the Extended Edition DVD of the magazine LensWork. Within this DVD are marvelous pdf’s (among other things) that allow the featured photographer to fully explore a project. The image rendering is surprisingly good and allows for textual notations and hyperlinking.

As a result, I borrowed my friend’s DVD which he bought through the magazine, a workshop entitled PDF Publishing. In this, Brooks Jensen, the magazine editor, describes at length how to create pdf’s like those shown in the Extended Edition. Basically, you create your pages in preferably Adobe InDesign, but you can use Photoshop. Also, once you have finished your pages, you do need Adobe Acrobat Pro to package these into one pdf (this includes embedding all of the images into the document!). Acrobat also allows you to add linkages to forward through or back within your document. This is different than a slideshow in that there is no automation or screen effects. But that is what I like most: no distractions to the viewer of your work! You can allow the user to enter full screen mode with very little loss of quality, use the zoom button to showcase the finer details of your image, and allow the user to linger as long as the he wants on each image until the clicking the next page button. Very slick presentation!

You can view my links page here. At the bottom, right-click on the link to my “5 for Five” project and select “Save Target As..” to download the 21mb file. Let me know what you think. Enjoy!

My Latest Projet

by fotofinish , 10-30-2010 at 05:33 PM (992 Views)

My latest project actually comes as a result of a class I am taking about the Photo Essay. I call it “Cross-sections: the cogs in the machine”. It is a satire on cubelife in a corporation. If you are interested you can go to my Links page here. Scroll toward the bottom and right-click on the link titled above and “Save target as…” to your desktop or wherever you like. Double-click the pdf file name when you have it on your computer to start it up. It is a 10 megabyte file, so it will take time to download it. If it doesn’t start up, you will need the Adobe PDR reader. You can download this free program here.

The pdf is best viewed if you click on the Fullscreen option at the bottom. Use the vcr-like buttons at the right corner to navigate as you like throughout the document.

Our teacher is trying to put together a show for us sometime in December at the Manchester Community College library. If you view it, drop me a line and let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Lake Tahoe

by fotofinish , 12-06-2010 at 05:53 PM (784 Views)

Recently,the second week of November, Jayne and I traveled to South Lake Tahoe for some vacationing/shooting. What a wonderful location for shooting! It probably would have been better at the beginning of October with the Aspen in full color, but we still had a few stands of color viewing, even that late in the year. I was hoping to catch some weather shots with the changing of the seasons. We were not disappointed.

As is the typical Grasso luck, the best sunset was the first night we got there. People in the photo galleries across the street from where we stayed later commented that that was the best sunset they had had in months. Unfortunately for us, we were just pulling into our destination after a long trip out there so we missed out. But I still managed to capture a few sunset shots on several other nights there.

We did, however get to experience the first measureable snow of the season there, so my main objective was met. I was able to capture some wonderful shots the next morning. While photographing at Logan Shoales, we saw someone with a view camera shooting. The day before we visited the gallery of Jon Paul, one of Lake Tahoe’s most respected landscape and wildlife photographer. He and I had a pleasant conversation about the lake, some spots to shoot, etc. If you ever go to South Lake Tahoe, be sure to stop into his gallery. It is well worth the visit.

One of the things I do to research before we go to a location, is to find what are considered the best hiking trails. I bought a book or two, read the trail descriptions, and went armed with preselected hikes with backup hikes as needed. Well, because of the snow, the peaks got over a foot of snow. Although we were dressed for warmth, we only had hiking boots, not snowshoes, so hiking the peaks was out. I don’t think we would have been in shape enough to handle 25 pounds of equipment on my back at 8500’ elevation. But we did other hikes that were not as aggressive and seemed to work out well.

We also went out on the lake for a tour in an old steam paddle boat. I didn’t expect much since the boat went out at noon, but some snow squalls moved into the peaks and I caught some interesting black and whites.

And of course, where would I be without my abstracts. I had a ball shooting some blurs and shooting some strange textures as well.

Jayne and I had a wonderful routine of hitting the outdoor hot tub with a few beers. It was very relaxing. Unfortunately, I believe my illness when we came back may have been due to bacteria in the water, although the doctor wouldn’t confirm that. I ended up with a bad case of shingles in my mouth and face, along with a severe case of facial cellulitious within 3 days of our return. I started feeling like I needed to see the dentist while out there, but by the time I got home, it felt like a constant state of “root canal” accompanied by severe shooting/stabbing pain in the top of my head. Things got so desperate, I was hospitalized for three days right before Thanksgiving. This was my first hospital “slumber party”. I had never been overnight in a hospital before. As it is today, I just went back to work but I still am in pain and in need of my meds. Not too pleasant at all, but I am slowly improving and I hope I will be better for Christmas.

You can see the rest of my series here.

One Way To Photograph North America

by fotofinish , 01-12-2011 at 02:21 PM (1414 Views)

If you are a landscape photographer, or just like enjoying those kinds of pictures, you simply must read the above named article by Marc Adamus, a regular contibutor to Nature Photographers Online Magazine.

Although the article is very long, it is well worth the fascinating read to appreciate what lengths a professional landscape photographer will go through to keep his art and his business alive. You can read the article here. Enjoy!

Wow, I read the entire article! A long one as you stated, but well worth it. My hat is off to the author/photographer Marc Adamus for his forays into the wilderness.

Took me all morning between chores to read it, but it was so interesting. Reminds me of the life of Stephen Lyman. Thanks Jerry.

Glad you guys enjoyed it! Quite an experience Marc had!

Our Photo Essay Show

by fotofinish , 01-22-2011 at 10:17 AM (834 Views)

In spite of a morning snowstorm, our photo essay show was still held last night. Four of us displayed our work at Manchester Community College in Manchester, CT: Peter Bodo, Debbie Staley, Stan Marchut, and myself. This was the result of a class about the photo essay we took taught by our mentor and friend, Mallorie Ostrowitz.

You can see the show pictures on my Facebook page here.


by fotofinish , 01-30-2011 at 09:48 AM (801 Views)

Will it ever stop snowing? Time for some wine from those sour grapes! Sometimes, you don’t even have to leave the house to have some fun.

Might as well try to make the best out of what you are given. Spring is only a few weeks away!


by fotofinish , 02-05-2011 at 11:18 AM (825 Views)

Have you ever wished you could become more creative? But you thought this was something you had to be born with? Well, check out this video from John Paul Caponigro called YOU’RE A LOT MORE CREATIVE THAN YOU THINK YOU ARE. This video is 20 minutes long and he goes quickly through an enormous amount of information, but he certainly gives you a lot of food for thought. The info presented here is very similar to the info JP presented to us in his five day Creativity workshop which I attended in 2009. This was a great workshop, by the way, and well worth attending if you hear what you like in this video. Take a look at my blog entry here. And while you are at it, check out some of the other amazing topics on TEDx Talks. These talks are presented by some of the brightest minds in the world!


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