Category Archives: Judy Dykstra-Brown photos

Chaos Theory

I just completed a mixed media assemblage titled “Chaos Theory,” but living up to its name, I forgot to photograph it before I took it to the gallery.  In lieu of it, please click on the first photo to enlarge and read the story of all of these other examples of chaos!

If you’d like to read the poem that goes with the Donald Trump pinata, go HERE.

CCY Challenge, May 12, 2016: Landscapes


I love the detail and the unhurried, sleepy quality of this Mexican scene.  I’m not sure whether the amount of detail removes it from the “Landscape ” category or not.



(When I walked the Ajijic malecon with three good friends yesterday, I came across these friends frolicking in the lake slightly below us.  They were having such a glorious time and I identified completely, since all the swimming I did prior to my twenties was in stock dams (and occasionally the river) back in South Dakota. I have no better memories of childhood and I’m sure these children will feel the same way.  A little water to splash in, something to investigate along the way, sun and your friends––what more is needed for a perfect day?

(Click on first photo and then on arrows to see full-sized photos.)

I’ve done so many posts on the subject of friendship–at least five in the past year, but please go HERE to see a post I made two years ago that most of you probably haven’t seen before.

Passing Time

IMG_1162Detra de las Puertas Cerradas (Behind Closed Doors) One’s own living room can become entirely too comfortable. Shutting the drawers to the past may open the doors to the future. (retablo by Judy Dykstra-Brown)

Passing Time

The means of our escape from life are numerous and various,
and there is nothing wrong with getting thrills that are vicarious.
Movies, sports and novels are fine for entertainment;
but if you’re only viewing, there is no sense of attainment.

Looking back on your own life, like opening a book,
isn’t really living life, but just having a look
at the life of someone who you no longer are.
You aren’t really living life by viewing from afar.

Escape is necessary and our choices for it vast,
but there’s no satisfaction in living in the past.
Life is to be spent, not to be hoarded and rethought.
Better just to live the rest of the time that you’ve got!

Fond memories are something that I’m sure none of us lack,
but there’s no time of life to which I’m yearning to go back.
The only thing to do with time’s to live it and to love it.
I have no wish to turn back time, I only want more of it!

The Prompt: If you could return to the past to relive a part of your life, either to experience the wonderful bits again, or to do something over, which part of you life would you return to? Why?

Moving Focal Point: Cee’s Rule of Thirds––Compose Yourself Photo Challenge

Moving Focal Point: Cee’s Rule of Thirds

Version 2I’m trying to figure out why the rule of thirds doesn’t seem to work in this photo.  I think it is because most of the elements are lined up to the left.  If the bottom elements extended over to the right margin, I think this would work better.  Below is the original., which I prefer.  Which do you prefer?
IMG_8964IMG_7106In this photo, cropped from the larger photo below, I followed Cee ‘s rule which says, “. . . divide your view finder into a gird with nine boxes  . . . .  you should place the subject of your picture on one of the points where the lines intersect.”   I much prefer the version above, where the larger “belly button” it placed over the upper left intersection line  to the busier original version below.

IMG_7106 (1)

Cee’s Compose Yourself Photo Challenge: Diagonal Lines

                                                                       Diagonal Lines

Okay, I’m going to invite you over for a playdate. After everyone left on Thanksgiving evening, as I was cleaning up/clearing up, I got to looking on the diagonal, thanks to Cee.  I snapped a few pictures of what was available and then later started nudging and seeing what happened.  Want to come along to see what I discovered?

IMG_8774I quickly found out that almost everything is more interesting and artistic if there is a diagonal slant to it.  Intuitively, I think this is usually how I set up my shots.

IMG_8775 (1)In shots where there wasn’t a distinctive enough diagonal element, I started just spinning the picture a bit, but I quickly spotted a problem.
Version 2Version 3As I did this, any vertical elements started to look as though they were about to topple over!  Version 4A solution was to just crop to get rid of that vertical element.

I then decided to try to set up some vertical shots.  I lined up the liquor bottles I’d brought in from the bar set up on the terrace, but you can see how poorly that turned out in this shot:IMG_8795Yech!  Just too terrible.  Too contrived.  Makes my teeth itch!!!!IMG_8800And this one is even worse!!!  Cancel this image in your mind!!!!

Version 2The original was better.  The table edge accounted for the diagonal and there were some natural if somewhat haphazard other diagonal lines, but about that ugly pile of used napkins, not to mention the fuzzy ghostlike area over the desk to the back right.  I think it was caused by smoke from the candle.

IMG_8755Sharpening and brightening and boosting the color still didn’t help that unsightly item to the front of the picture, so––
IMG_8754I cropped a bit more.  Better, but still no cigar.

Version 2Then I started to get silly, using my very limited cloning tool to cover up the lump of napkins and give the illusion of a bigger  crowd or at the very least a thirstier one.  An interesting effect, but waaay too much going on in the picture!
Version 2 So, once again, cropping to the rescue.
Version 2This wonderful sculptural vase made by my friend Julie Mackie seems to be getting a good deal of pleasure out of all my nudging and clicking.  Julie was my sidekick when I set up shows at the art center in CA, so I can imagine her getting a kick out of my late night adventures in placement.  IMG_8769I think we need another angle on Julie’s wonderful piece as well.  But, as you can see, nudgin’ ain’t gettin’ the dishes done!!! Better angle on the picture though, don’t you think?IMG_8775And look at how nice and straight that bottle is.  And a diagonal to boot!  IMG_8762And–more Julie guy, slightly out of focus. He looks a bit drunk, or sleepy, as I am.  I also need a swim before I sleep so I guess the photo shoot is over!  If you didn’t learn anything, I hope at least you were amused.  If not amused, then what are you still doing here?  I’m off to the night pool–crickets and frogs call.  Happy Diagonal!!!