Sunday, May 31, 2009

Chuck And The Puppy

My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet.

I found a quote from Edith Wharton for this image in "Welcome to the Quote Garden" and thought it was very appropiate for it.

The above is another image captured by Michelle. That is my daughter's leg and by it is her little dog. The dog at the time this image was captured was almost a newborn and just wanted to be carried by her. When she put him down he just curled and cuddled by her leg. Such a lovable image just had to be framed and displayed.

We are getting request like this where Michelle's photographic talents come in so handy. As I mentioned before, she has an eye for capturing the best images and that is not something you learn in any school. Talent, you either have it you you don't.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Vector Artwork

A cool framed custom portrait done in Vector Art by my daughter.
This is going to be on the next exhibition but eventually will find a place on one of my walls at home.

Without a doubt Vector Artwork is pretty cool. This is a vector portrait of my daughter,when she first showed it to me I thought it was the coolest thing and I just had to have it so she sent me the file and I had it developed. I love the cartoonish effect that the image has. The neat thing about this is that you can increase it in size and it does not get distorted, as bitmap and jpeg images which are based in pixels do. As you can see, the end result is pretty awesome. See the following illustration for more on vector artwork.

Example showing effect of vector graphics versus raster graphics. The original vector-based illustration is at the left. The upper-right image illustrates magnification of 7x as a vector image. The lower-right image illustrates the same magnification as a bitmap image. Raster images are based on pixels and thus scale with loss of clarity, while vector-based images can be scaled indefinitely without degrading.

Text borrowed from Wikipedia


Sunday, May 24, 2009

"The Castle"

"The Castle"
Ex Convento Dominico de la Natividad

Tepoztlan Morelos, Mexico
Image captured by: Jose Melo
Frame Size: 16 X 20
Image Size: 11 X 14
Black Frame
Light Gray Mat
$45.00 + shipping & handling
Click on image to enlarge

Rising above most of Tepoztlán's buildings is the buttressed Ex-Convento Dominico de la Natividad. The former convent, dating from the mid-16th century, has a facade adorned with icons dating from before the introduction of Christianity. Many of the walls, especially on the ground floor, have fragments of old paintings in earthen tones on the walls and decorating the arches. It is worth a visit just to see the building, which also houses temporary exhibitions and a complete bookstore with a good selection of books, CDs, and videos.

Text borroed from the Internet. Fodor's

Michelle dubbed this "The Castle". Truth is that when viewed in person from different angles this architectural beauty does resemble a castle. I captured this image on a cloudy day which added a certain gloom to the image. So far it's our best seller.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Jardin Borda Scene

Scene Inside "Jardin Borda"
Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico
Image captured by: Jose Melo
Frame Size: 16 X 20
Image Size: 11 X 14
Brown Frame
Light Yellow Mat
$40.00 + shipping & handling
Click on image to enlarge

(Local Name: Jardin Borda) The Jardin Borda (Borda Garden), diagonally opposite the cathedral, was laid out in the second half of the 18th c. - by Jose de la Borda, the so-called "Solver King" from the mining town of Taxco. The park, restored most recently in 1987, contains terraced gardens, ponds, and an open-air theater. During their brief reign (1864-67) it was used by the Emperor Maximillian and his wife Charlotte for garden parties. The Casa de Maximiliano (restored 1960) in the Calle Galena was the imperial couple's summer residence.

Text borrowed from the Internet. Planet Ware

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

An Aunts Love

During my niece's first birthday party Michelle was commissioned to take pictures of the event. If you know Michelle then you know that there will be plenty of great pictures.

One of the many images captured that day was this one of Maryita lifting and kissing Fernanda. I can't think of anything other than the great love that aunt and niece have for each other. I think the name "An Aunts Love" is very appropriate.

We did this frame at the request of Maryita as she wants to remember this particular moment for Many years to come.

An aunt is someone special to remember with warmth, think of with pride, and cherish with love.

Image captured by Michelle at Fernanda's first birthday party.

*CORRECTION -- Image captured during Juan and Jen's housewarming party.

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Old Lady

The Old Lady
Image captured by: Jose Melo
Frame Size: 16 X 20
Image Size: 11 X 14
Brown Frame
Light Yellow Mat
$40.00 + shipping & handling
Click on image to enlarge

In May of 2008 I went on a trip to Mexico, my first time back there since I left at the age of 13 years old back in 1973. It was to be a trip of rediscovery and going full circle. We visited the small town where both my parents were born and visited family that I had not seen in over 30 years. It was a wonderful time and of course during this trip I had to take as many pictures as I could.

We left the small towns and spent the last four days in Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico. Cuernavaca is a small city rich in history. It was during one of those touring days that while taking a walk in the downtown area I saw this old lady just sitting there. Normally you find women like this selling little packets of gum or pan handling but this lady just sat there looking at piece with herself just taking in on what was happening around her. I captured this image from across the the street and to this day is one of my favorite images from that trip.

This lady captivated me and I thought it would be a great example of what our common people of Mexico look like, poor but honest. I am really happy with the way this frame came out. It was very well received during our first exhibition.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Pretend Winter

Pretend Winter
Image captured by: Michelle Duckworth
Frame Size: 16 X 20
Image Size: 8 X 10
Silver Frame
Dark Blue Mat
$45.00 + shipping & handling
Click on image to enlarge

Michelle's style without a doubt is pretty unique. In this capture, she placed the camera on the floor and took an otherwise plain and boring street scene and through the magic of Photo Shop just by altering the image's colors she created an awesome looking photo. The colors she used give the picture the effect of a cold winter day although in Phoenix where this image was captured cold winter days are few and far. It was well received during our photo exhibition and I am sure some one will bring it home very soon.

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Monday, May 11, 2009

Learning The Hard Way

Original frame and artwork not pictured, this is just a sample of what happened to mine.

Today we took two more images to be framed, we are experimenting with a 12 X 18 the biggest image in our inventory, also I'm framing another of Nikki's works. Those two I won't see until after the 21st of the month. It takes them a while to custom cut the mats but I don't mind waiting it adds to the excitement.

However, I did buy a separate smaller frame and mat to do one myself, so far I have done about four and they have all come out pretty good, well this one would have not been an exception but when I finished and turned it around I noticed that there was some adhesive streaks on the glass and they were in the inside. So, I took it apart again and very carefully I washed the glass and dried it with a towel. I was being careful not to cut myself and also I didn't want to leave finger prints all over the glass. I put the glass in the frame and it felt as it went into place right away... Not! I looked like it was inside but there was an edge that was still half way and when I put the mat and picture and pressed I heard a pop and I knew then that my glass had broken.

I will have to go and buy another glass and I know that they will tell me, "That's why we do them for you here". lol Well, I have to try and learn to do at least some of them myself, it will save on time and on money too. Where I take them the assembly is free and it makes total sense to leave them if the mat is being custom cut, but in those cases where I find pre-cut mats I will have to just keep trying until I learn to handle the glass.

It's all in a days work.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Our New Logo

Our resident designer had the task of coming up with a logo and she was up for the task. It didn't take her too long to take the name we chose and shaped it into the logo that now is on top of this blog. Both Michelle and I liked it immediately and we will use it from now on.

What do you think? I knew you'd like it. Thanks Nikki, it is pretty awesome.

Our Frames Find a Home

What an amazingly cool feeling to start seeing our frames being proudly displayed in different houses. As you remember from last week Nikki was presented with a portrait of Ducky and as soon as she got home she hung it on the wall and share a couple of pictures with us. I still say it looks lonely, the frame was a 16 X 20 but alone in the wall it looks small. No worries Nikki you can now buy a couple more from us.

Ducky now hangs in the living room of Nikki and Loyiel's apartment. The image was captured by Michelle and is one of my favorites.

My mom chose this image from a big file, we had the opportunity to visit this Cathedral in Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico last June and she loved the colors and composition on this image. Now the frame hangs in her living room. I too loved this one, I believe it was one of my best captures during our trip.

Now hanging at my mom's house. The Cuernavaca Cathedral is a constant reminder of how beautiful Mexican architecture was. They don't make them like they used to anymore.

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A Couple More

So my mom really liked the frame of the Ex-convento Dominico de la Natividad or as my daughter calls it "The Castle". My sister bought it first so they didn't want to have the same image in both houses so my mom saw this beautiful picture of the Cathedral in Cuernavaca and said she wanted that one instead. I had liked that image since I took it and I knew it would look fantastic once framed, I was right and so was my mom. All these old Mexican churches are protected by the state and it is against the law to alter them, all that can be done to them is restore them but they have to remain original. They are all beautiful if you ask me.

Cuernavaca's Cathedral.

Mike our gardener liked the "Rocky Point" sunset but wanted the darker frame. So we customized one for him to. Here is the end result.

There is the original at the left.

And this is his special order one.

All I know is that this is fun and I am enjoying it.

If You Build It...

OK, that worked for Fields of Dreams but in my fields of dreams when I put it together a few came but in the end it was a fun time for those who came and a good day for Michelle and I because we did sell a few of our frames and got a few custom orders too.

It wasn't until 6:30 pm that my sister, my niece and my mom came in. Before this I was thinking no one would show up. A few minutes later my other sister and my other niece came in. Hey not a total bust, then my sister in law, her two daughters (my nieces), and a friend of theirs showed up, and lastly Michelle's best friend came in.

My gardener got a private showing as he was here doing my yards and he was quite impressed with what he saw that he wanted to buy one on the spot, then he told me he really loved a certain image we had but wanted it on a darker frame to fit the decor of his house, needless to say he placed the order and we are already working on it.

How amazing that we can make some money out of something we have always done for free. If you know my clan we are all always carrying our cameras, a hobby passed down to all of us by my dad. So, without further ado here are some of the photos I took from last night.

Elegant and inspiring, this limited edition collection is mostly filled with one of a kind original images captured by either Michelle or me. We put a lot of love in the process of framing the images. These are perfect for mother's day and also as casual gifts. For any questions plese do not hesitate to contact us.

"The Angel" my sister in law snatched this one right away as she really loved it. This is one of Michelle's images.

Our artwork on display.

The church in the photograph which my daughter nicknamed "The Castle" was bought by my sister. The Angel was bought by my sister in law.

At $50.00 the frame of the Rocky Point Sunset was the most expensive picture on display. Michelle's friend liked it so much that she bought the print only and paid a pretty good price for it, she wanted it in B&W and it came out really nice. She picked it up at the show and was very pleased with it.

"Rocky Point Sunset" won a first place out of over 800 images in a Internet photo contest on, "The Old Lady" and image I captured last year in our trip to Mexico was a favorite. Everyone that sees it seems to fall in love with it. The little frame holds a regular size photo and at $20.00 dollars is our best buy.

These two frames belong to mi chica and obviously are not for sale, however the concept was. The frame in the left showcases all of our grandkids in a fun collage. The one in the right is a picture of my daughter Nikki as she photo shopped it and made it look pretty unique.

Three images featuring water.

Definitely a pair of crowd pleasers.

This is the Dominique ex-convent of the Nativity in a little town named Tepoztlan in Morelos, Mexico. View from afar it totally resembles a castle so my daughter named this "The Castle".

One of Michelle's favorites works, she calls it "The Pretend Winter", my mom fell in love with it but wanted the image to be bigger, then she opted for two different ones.

So, there you have it. All in all we had a good show, only a few people showed up but it made it for a more intimate gathering. Once everybody got here I put my camera down so I could answer whatever questions they had and I had no chance to take pictures with people in them.

My niece Alex whom also loves photography has asked us to please include her in our next exhibition. This will bring an added variety to the two very different styles from Michelle and I. I am excited to work on another one, now I just have to find a new volunteer to host it in their house.

My daughter Nikki does a lot of our graphic designs. She created the wonderful invitation for the exhibition, and currently she is working on our logo which by the way came out really nice. She is doing the final touches to it. So, for her help Michelle and I presented her with a surprise frame of "Ducky". I believe she loved it (Click Here) and it now hangs in her leaving room. It kindda looks lonely so baby you need to buy some more frames from us. lol