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Saturday, April 16, 2011

Works in Progress: Piedmont Avenue

In my neighborhood in Oakland, California, the closest shopping district is Piedmont Avenue.  It is an historic street dating from the 19th century, developed into a robust business district starting in the early 20th century.  At one end, Piedmont Avenue is anchored by Mountain View Cemetery designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and final resting place of many of the San Francisco Bay Area's most famous citizens. You'll find buildings designed by the famous architect Julia Morgan. A Mexican restaurant, J's, is housed in a building that was part of the historic Key System commuter railroad's Oakland terminus. Piedmont Grocery has been serving the neighborhood in the same spot for more than a century.

Yet much has changed over the decades.  Buildings have been replaced.  Businesses have gone and come.  So I decided that one of my 2011 art projects would be to photograph elements of the street today.  But I decided I wanted to try something different, something that would capture a distinctive vision rather that just pictures.  For lack of a term, I call the emerging results photodrawings.  First, I take digital photographs.  Second, I enhance them to highlight colors, architectural details, people or objects.  These saved images are, third, converted into computer-generated drawings to which I may make additional enhancements. Finally, I merge and blend parts, or all, of the original photographs with the drawings to bring out details that I want in the final image.  Below are some works in progress.  Comments are invited.

All Images Copyright by Tom Debley, 2011
All Rights Reserved

Mille Fiori

Baja Mexican Food at Night

4200 Block

Zatis Restaurant
(Julia Morgan Building)

French Cleaners
Classic Neon Sign

Lo Coco's Ristorante

Fenton's Creamery

Rooz Cafe

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