Friday, September 26, 2008

Today I entered a competition based on the theme of "Water" online. This is one of three images I was allowed to enter. Each image was taken with my Canon XTi camera. I really like this version of Canon's Rebel line of cameras. It is a 10.1 megapixel camera. Which is more than sufficient for my needs.

This was taken on a road trip up to Hatcher Pass near Anchorage, Alaska. Our family up in Alaska generously allowed us to visit them and paid our way for us, if they had not we probably would not have been able to go.

I was able to get many photographs of the Alaskan landscape. We went on a couple of road trips and the scenery was very beautiful. Awe-inspiring vistas, rivers, mountains, and we got to see a young Moose by the roadside. Though bears are plentiful we did not have any run ins with them. We did see some salmon that were protecting their eggs after spawning, but did not come during the salmon runs which we were told about as amazing.

The South Central part of Alaska is a wonderful place to visit. We had a great time.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Guitar Montage

Here is a montage I did using Corel's PhotoPaint. The 12-string guitar in the center is mine and this started out as a photo of it.

I found various guitar pictures and blended them in using object properties Multiply to get the transparency look.

I just finished doing an audio CD of 16 of my Toneport creations, along with some songs that I covered using only the microphone and Audacity.

I Covered "Danger" by JJ Cale and Eric Clapton;" River of Light" by Gordon Lightfoot; and "No Mistake About It' by Gordon Lightfoot. Not using the Toneport made a drastic difference in sound quality. The TonePort pre-amps everything wonderfully and makes for a rich full sound. The recordings without it sound anemic.

I plan on sharing with my family and friends. Those that will listen to my efforts anyway, makes for a nice audience.

One thing I did do was demonstrate how I 'build' a song. I placed 3 versions of one song I named "Redeye Blues" about wanting to get home on a midnight flight and got get some real sleep in a bed. This along with some experiments with following a drum loop, which was like playing to a metronome but were samples of real drums.

Melodies and Lyrics are the hardest part, putting together chords is not that difficult. In some cases I used the 'Drop D Tuning' with the lower 'E' string tuned down to 'D'. It is great fun to use different tunings like that including DADGAD tuning. A real challenge.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

On my way to Publishing a Cute face Came

This is the way I wanted to begin my new blog. A cute face and a friendly smile. The photograph is of my great, great niece, whom I recently visited. She is a joy and a natural Ham, loves to have her picture taken and will pose anytime.

I am currently testing out new hardware and software from Line 6 products. It is a Toneport UX1 with Gearbox software. It allows recording music to the computer. I play 12-string and 6-string guitars and do vocals. The software is like having a large selection of amplifiers for both vocals and guitar. It is very versatile.

I am using the free program Audacity to do the recording and creating of mp3s. I find it easy to use and very friendly.

The combination of these lets me push my creativity farther in the way of songwriting and styles of music.

My visual art is set aside for a while as I create music and try, try, try to make melodies and lyrics. I will be sharing more visuals as I can and perhaps post some of my older works here at a later date.

Combining drum loops, rhythm guitar, and beginning lead guitar is challenging and rewarding at the same time. I have been playing and singing since I was thirteen years old and I have never been the best lead player, more of a stylized rhythm guitar player. And I don't play bass so my pieces are without a bass line. But I am enjoying the opportunity to learn and create.

I don't want to be a star, I just do this for myself and family and friends. So don't expect anything in the way of my publishing my music, sorry!

I will use this blog to post images and perhaps some background on their creation and the tools that I used to do so. Along with my photography efforts I hope you find this to be an interesting read.