June in Review: New Art and a Vacation
Self Portrait at Bryce Canyon National Park
I can't believe the month of June went by without a single post to my blog but it was a very busy month. Following is a review of my activities for the month. I'll write later about the drive crash that delayed this update.
It began with my return from the International Space Development Conference in Orlando FL. I arrived at the conference hotel on Wednesday and departed on Sunday with my only excursions out of the hotel being to grab some fast food as a low cost alternative to the hotel restaurants. At the conference I gave a formal presentation on space solar power and an informal presentation about the National Space Society to a group of students from India. I also was a participant in the conference's space art show. That show was a terrible disappointment to me. There were only a few artists participating and we were hidden in a back corner of the exhibit room with no signage indicating that there even was an art show or that space art was on display. There were also other problems which I won't go into detail on here. I did take a number of photographs and submitted a selection of them to Ad Astra magazine for possible publication – several of which will appear in the magazine's next issue.
The next week was spent playing catch-up and preparing for a two week trip to Arizona and Utah. While in Arizona we visited my Mother and did a number of jobs for her around the house. We then took off for a quick tour of three national parks. Our first stop was the Grand Canyon. From their we proceeded to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah and after a couple days there headed south to Zion National Park. So which was our favorite national park? A poll of the family afterwards gave the award to Zion National Park with Bryce coming in second and the Grand Canyon bringing up the rear. I will write in more detail about my experiences at each of these parks at a later time.
Upon returning home, it took me some time to catch up with email. I also went back to work on my web site. In addition to making a number of minor cosmetic changes to the site and correcting some previously undiscovered errors, I spent some time doing SEO (search engine optimization) work. Earlier in the month I had purchased the book The Truth About Search Engine Optimization by Rebecca Lieb. I'm only half way through the book but am quite impressed with what I've seen so far and am using its advice to improve my own site's standing in the search engines.
In addition to the aforementioned site maintenance, I've also added two new art galleries. The first is a Computer Art Gallery featuring art that combines elements of algorithmic art with freehand digital painting. All the art in this gallery will have been created using interactive algorithmic software of my own design.
The second gallery is a Space Art Gallery featuring art that commemorates human space exploration. I previously had a Space Art Gallery that contained astronomical art. All of that art, depicting astronomical scenes including planets, moons, nebula, and stars, has been migrated to a new Astronomical Art Gallery.
I also prepared an application and submission package for participation in a corporate art gallery program. My inclusion in that program is a long shot as none of the artists in that program are digital artists nor does my artistic style match that of the other artists. However, nothing ventured nothing gained.
The picture I used to illustrate this post is a self portrait taken at Bryce Canyon National Park. This photograph was taken about an hour after sunset. With my camera on a tripod, I set my camera to its slowest ISO speed and the lens aperture to its widest opening. Opening the shutter for a 13 second exposure, I had ample time to amble around to a position in front of the camera after several seconds of exposure had already elapsed. I remained in the field of view for several seconds before exiting the scene. The result was the ghostly effect seen in the photograph.