“When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.”

What? Another game of Hammerschlagen, you say? Wabi Sabi, if you are looking to get hammered, there are tastier ways to go about itMargaritas leap to mind.

No alcohol. No actual hammers. I hate to drag this fine old aphorism out once a month or so, but it is quite applicable to today’s blog.  Let’s go with “metaphor” as today’s weapon of choice.

A couple of weeks ago, I bought some photo paper in a new size: 8.5″ x 25″.  Suddenly I am looking at all sorts of pictures and cropping them to a long and narrow look with, I must say, some very interesting results.


I did a couple of buildings in that fashion, then two long and skinny doors that are truly arresting printed large. Now when I’m processing my pictures on the computer, I’ve been looking at them with a fresh eye: find the sweetest spot and crop everything else out.  And, instead of limiting myself to more standard photo proportions, give long and skinny a whirl as well.

The two pictures in today’s blog came from barn photos I was going to toss because roof, sky and foreground were thoroughly nondescript. Trimming away all the extraneous material left two shots I was pleased with. 


Softening hard lines and and muting the colors were the finishing touches.

Glad I found that new paper size. It’s nudging me into looking at my work from a different perspective.

  1. Lignum Draco says:

    These do work well as panoramas. It’s good to change perspective every now and then.

  2. Marjorie says:

    Very exciting way to push perameters. You could consider pushing the push all the way to unrecognizable shapes and forms….toward abstraction. Only if you want to explore the world of mystery and ambiguity. Happy to see you have energy left in your day for new work!

    • I do that–but mostly for my own enjoyment (and probably due to your influence!) Once again–if I was a painter, I would use those crops as starting points.
      As far as energy goes, working with my pictures revs me up (or at least WAKES me up!)
      Otherwise, I would just stand in the pantry and graze until it was time to go to bed.

  3. Jeanne says:

    This cropping you are experimenting with will work nicely with that project I was proposing.

  4. I suppose because I was thinking Hammerschlagen, I used the term this morning in class–something about making the Olympic Hammerschlagen Team. And, immediately a student said “Hey, my mom plays that. It’s a drinking game!”

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