First Attempt at Artificial Intelligence (AI)

As someone who has had a life-long interest in drawing and photography, I was excited to be invited to try Adobe’s Artificial Intelligence image generating software Firefly. The program is in Beta format so nothing is “owned” by the users at this point and everything generated under the Beta is restricted from commercial use. I have been using Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop for years and they are top-notch products.

Adobe Firefly Introductory Video

One thing I have come to appreciate about Adobe and their evangelists such as Terry White, is their constant work towards creating a better product and end-user experience. That is why I patiently waited for Adobe’s entrance into the Artificial Intelligence (AI) realm. It is not currently the leader in this field, but I have a strong feeling that they will eventually be one of the best.

I am also excited to be able to learn as I go and provide valid feedback to enable the Adobe team to continue to make improvements and enhancements. To quote Jim VandeHei from Axios, “We’re on the doorstep of a new age — don’t be a bystander.”

With that being said, this is my first attempt at producing a Text to Image picture. I encourage anyone who is interested to give it a try. You will have to have an Adobe ID. Click HERE for complete details regarding how to access the Beta version of Adobe Firefly.



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2023 —

Photography: A Pathway to Creativity

It is hard to explain how fascinating and interesting photography is for me. I have discovered that it is one of the most flexible creative outlets. Most people I meet don’t appreciate the depth and variety of photography and related graphic art forms. For now, let’s not discuss whether or not photography is a true art. In my opinion it is!

This is a photograph I took at Europa Point in Gibraltar. It was a beautiful clear day with one of the bluest skies I have seen. On a day such as this, onlookers can see Morocco across the Mediterranean Sea. It is the closest point between Europe and Africa.

The lighthouse juxtaposes beautifully against the surroundings of the ultra blue sky and Mediterranean Sea. I find it very striking.

The above photo stands alone as a nice rendition of the scene, but perhaps it would be even better if rendered more like a line art painting or drawing.

There is software available the allows the photographer to express his or her artistic vision in a variety of graphic formats. This is a hybrid of photography and painting albeit via digital manipulation.

Perhaps the artist’s real concept of the scene lends itself more to a watercolor.

The landscape has such contrasting colors of lights and darks. Would a black and white interpretation be interesting?

With a bit more training and skill, the photographer can add a slightly different yet compelling artistic vision of the lighthouse.

I have tried to explain how photography has opened my creative flow and I believe it can do the same for others. If you are trying to find a tool to unleash your imaginative powers and that can develop into a passion, you might want to pick up a camera and start creating!


One of the beautiful aspects of digital photography is that the photographer can see the results very quickly. There is no film to send to the developers. A version can be seen on the camera’s LCD immediately (in most cases) and a true rendition later on a computer.

Once I retired, I began to apply myself to photography. It has always been of interest to me and now it has grown into a serious hobby. I am not a professional, just a photography enthusiast.

So…where is Gibraltar and Morocco?

Map Via



Original Photo

File Name: 000029_Europa Point Lighthouse, Gibraltar_0971.tif
Capture time: 12:30 PM
Capture date: May 14, 2018
Exposure: 1/350 sec @ f/5.6
Focal Length: 44mm
ISO: 200
Fujifilm X-T2
18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS

Edited in Lightroom & Photoshop


Check out Jeff’s Instagram account for more interesting photos!

Read more photography posts HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged #please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020

Video: Floored by this Art Form – Beautiful

Rangoli, also known as kolam or Muggu, is a folk art from India in which patterns are created on the floor in living rooms or courtyards using materials such as colored rice, dry flour, colored sand or flower petals. It is usually made during Diwali, Onam, Pongal and other Indian festivals. They are meant to be sacred welcoming areas for the Hindu deities.

See more impressive and even larger examples HERE


More Vide – Ohs

To See additional Interesting Videos #click HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged #please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 –

A Baseball Incident to Remember: Yogi Berra

I am not necessarily a strong believer in fate, but I have to admit that every so often there is an event that makes me wonder if the universe has not conspired to bring all the factors into alignment at a given moment.

Yogi Berra at age 90
picture courtesy of

I grew up in NYC and like many, I was a NY Yankee fan. I saw many ball games at Yankee Stadium during those halcyon years. Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Yogi Berra were among my heroes.

I just finished reading a book that I can recommend for anyone who loves baseball, the NY Yankees or Yogi Berra. My Dad Yogi by Dale Berra is entertaining and insightful. The focus is on Yogi Berra; a talented ball player and all around excellent human being. There are other family stories as well and fans will be more than happy with the book.

There is one incident in the book, however which I found fascinating. Here is a summary.

Background Information – “George Steinbrenner fired Yogi after just 16 games of the 1985 season when he previously said that Yogi would have his job as manager all season. Yogi Berra, No. 8, said he would not come back to the Stadium as long as Steinbrenner ran the team. He has not come back. He said yesterday he would not be at the first game of this Series, any of the games. The Series thus misses an honored guest. [ed]”

You can read more about the incident HERE

Yogi did not return to Yankee Stadium or have anything to do with the team for the next 14 years. He felt that Steinbrenner owed him an apology and would not consider being part of Yankee baseball until he received one.

Joe DiMaggio, on his death bed, convinced George Steinbrenner to make up with Yogi. When the Yogi Berra Museum was opened, Steinbrenner took the opportunity to mend fences and Yogi Berra agreed!

Now for the unbelievable “coincidence” (Based on the book by Dale Berra)…

  • On July 18,1999 – Yogi Berra Day – A Ferry named the Yogi Berra was re-routed from Weehawken NJ to NYC – to the Harlem River to make it easy to get to Yankee Stadium.
  • Joe Torres was Yankee Manager.
  • Don Larson (the only pitcher to throw a perfect game in a World Series – 1956), threw out the first pitch that day to Yogi Berra who was the catcher during that perfect game!
  • When Joe Torres was 16, he managed to get a ticket to watch Don Larson pitch his perfect game to Yogi during game 5 in the 1956 World Series.
  • Unbelievably, David Cone pitched a perfect game on this very special day AND to top it off, it was Joe Torre’s birthday.

David Cone's perfect game
picture courtesy of

As NY Yankee announcer Mel Allen might have said: “How about that!?”

Phoenix Art Museum – Tire Totem

We are in the weather sweet spot in the North Phoenix area and multitudes of people flock to the desert to find relief from the cooler, colder and drearier environs of the northlands. With this influx of “snowbirds,” a number of our friends and relatives arrive on an annual basis and many of them are repeat visitors.

We often face the challenge of providing interesting adventures for them. One of the places we look to is the Phoenix Art Museum. Compared to other major metropolitan areas, I think Phoenix is somewhat small, but the culture offerings are significant.

Our most recent guest is an artist and art student so naturally we gravitated toward the museum. During this visit, we focused on contemporary artists.

One installation I found particularly interesting was created by Mexican artist, Bestsabé Romero and was titled Columna interminable (Endless Column), 2015. The piece was constructed from rubber tires and gold leaf.

Tire column representing migration of ancient civilizations

The work focuses on the theme of migration which connects well with the idea of tires. There are a total of seventeen tires with various designs representing cultures from “pre-conquest North, Central, and South America…”

A section of the tire column representing the Aztec and Hohokam cultures

The snake in the topmost tire in the photo above is from the Aztec/Mixtec societies of Mexico while the oval shaped symbols just below are from the Hohokam of Arizona.

In the picture below, the dancing figures with headdress were drawn from the Wari or Moche of Peru with the abstract design below representing the Mimbres from New Mexico.

A section of the tire column representing the Wari, Moche and Mimbres cultures

I was intrigued by the use of materials and the beauty they created using an item that has historically populated landfills worldwide. The ingenuity and creativity of Bestsabé Romero is to be admired.

I recommend a trip to the Phoenix Art Museum if you are visting the Valley of the Sun. They have paintings from nearly every genre of art including the masters. There are numerous galleries that are sure to satisfy almost all guests.

Read more about the Phoenix Art Museum HERE

PSThey have one of the best art museum gift shops I have seen and I have seen quite a few!


NOTE – All photographs were taken with an iPhone 5 and represent works by the artists named in the stories. All work is copyrighted by their creator and is presented here strictly for educational and illustrative purposes.

Read more miscellaneous stories HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017 –

Finding and Developing

Your Artistic Genius and Vision

“The Earth has a soul. I record the moments when it expresses itself in ways that move me.”
— Karen Hutton —
Photograph by Jeffrey B. Ross


For those who have followed my photography posts, I have some information you may find of interest and motivational. In any creative endeavor there are several factors involved. I would like to quickly address just two of them.

Tools of the Trade – If you are a musician, sculptor, quilter, painter, stain glass artisan, etc., you understand that there are tools you will need to be successful. Having the correct tools, however is only a start.

You could place a piano in front of me, even the best, most expensive piano available, and I would not be able to play it. I might be able to learn to play it eventually, but I couldn’t do it on my own. I don’t know the difference between the white keys and the black keys. I am aware that there are pedals on the base of the instrument, but I don’t have the faintest idea of what they do.

You could cajole me, bribe me or threaten me, but no matter what, I just couldn’t do it. That is because I haven’t learned the tools of the trade. I haven’t learned how to apply and use the means of the craft.

The first essential element for any creator, therefore, is to completely understand the tools required and how to use each one of them to their fullest. That is perhaps why Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers, suggested that 10,000 hours of deliberate practice would be necessary to achieve expertise. There is much argument about the number of hours and how Gladwell derived this theory, but suffice it to say that much practice and study would be needed to become an acknowledged expert in one of the arts. And much of those hours would be practicing to effectively use the tools and potentially even inventing new ways of applying them.

Vision – This, in my opinion, can be the more difficult part. Many art students begin by copying the drawings and paintings of the masters and after some time, they become proficient, almost perfect copiers. This, however, does not make them an artist.

To become an artist, one must develop their own unique vision of the world. Once that vision is understood and realized, then it is time to take the tools of the trade and apply them to create their style through their art so the world can appreciate, recognize and enjoy their craft and unique signature.

If this has piqued your curiosity and you are interested in photography or any creative endeavor, then let me suggest you follow Karen Hutton’s series “The Everyday Genius of Your Artist’s Voice.” I admire Karen and I have been following her blog for a while. I find her posts very motivating and insightful. Some of the concepts will be “fuzzy” at first until you have tried to apply them to your own creative universe. After you begin to apply them and really think hard about them, the clarity should evolve.

While Karen focuses on the vision and art of photography, the same advice can be applied to most creative undertakings. Once you get to her blog, you will realize how diverse her background is and why she is able to guide people through this process.

I will make it easy to get started. All you have to do is follow these links to the first set of articles in the series. Once at her site, subscribe and you will receive the rest.

The Everyday Genius of Your Artist’s Voice: Part 1

The Everyday Genius of Your Artist’s Voice: Part 2, Preparation

The Everyday Genius of Your Artist’s Voice: Part 3, Appearance

The Everyday Genius of Your Artistic Voice: Q&A



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

Photography: What Was Old Is New Again

I have to confess that I am a bit of a hoarder. If you asked my wife perhaps she would snicker at the phrase “a bit.” This trend carries over to my digital life, but let me jump in here to profess that it isn’t all bad either.

In going through some of my old, make that ancient, photographs taken with cameras that were considered nearstate-of-the-art when four or five megapixels was considered good resolution, I came across photos that could be enhanced these many years later with the available technology. Yes, Lightroom (Lr) and Photoshop (Ps) can help breathe new life into old images.

Just examine this ho-hum photograph, for example, taken with a Canon PowerShot AS590 IS. There really is very little saturation and contrast. It is a nice scenes and the composition is fine, but it is rather flat and dull.

Bringing the same picture into Lr to add a bit of contrast, bring out the shadows, enhance some of the colors, etc. provided more of the feel I remembered from the experience.

One element in the photograph above that I find problematic is that big white cloud in the upper-right. It has a tendency to draw the eye away from the focal point of the river extending into the mountains.

Now understand I am not a Ps expert. As a matter of fact, I have only been using Ps for a couple of months. I gladly bought an online course from one of the photographers I follow and it covered everything from beginning to end. I realized that some of my photographs didn’t render the way I saw the scene and I also wanted to extend my creativity.

So…into Ps, the picture went and I reduced the size of the cloud to make it look as natural as possible with my current skill set. Is this an award winner? I don’t think so, but it is a way for me to present it at its best. I equate this to putting on the last touches before going out on an important date. Let’s all take opportunities to look our best.


File Name: 8673.jpg
Capture time: 10:19:27 AM
Capture date: August 16, 2012
Exposure: 1/500 sec @ f/4.0
Focal Length: 5.8mm
ISO: 80
Canon PowerShot AS590 IS


Readers of JBRish probably enjoy my daily quotes and here is one that sums up the idea behind this post:

“Creativity is making marvelous out of the discarded.” – Unknown

Have you had this experience, i.e. making something good out of an item targeted be discarded? Why not share in the comment section?



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

Video – What Might Have Been – Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows

Just the other day a few of us were pondering some of the unknown. We were theorizing about how many times we might have met someone who was in relatively close proximity to us, but a connection was never made. Implied in this thread was the change in our lives that might have occurred had we actually met that certain individual. What impact might they have had on our lives?

A tangent to this line of thinking is how many close calls we might have had in life, but never knew because they never actually happened. Waiting an additional two seconds at a red light might have prevented us from being the victim of a reckless driver or perhaps getting on a subway a stop or two after someone with a disease coughed wildly and spread sickening germs might have spared us an illness. We will never know of course, but it is something to contemplate.

The video below from the Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows offers similar thoughts about this philosophical realm.

Moment of Tangency: A Glimpse of What Might Have Been

    If two lines are truly parallel,
    it means they’ll never actually meet.

Quoted from the YouTube video of The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows:

Making this episode was a joy, but naturally took forever to find shots that paired up. Sifting through hours of people’s Super8 and 16mm home videos was one of the sweetest wisftully painful pleasures I’ve ever had. If you ever get tired of what the world has come to, browse around on Vimeo for old movies like this. Even just the soft grainy color of the film stock will make your heart ache.

Video – Now that is Entertainment

When I consider my life experience, I have to appreciate that I was born at a most advantageous time. I am not going to wax philosophical here about economic outlooks, moral changes or political shifts. What I am referring to is the plethora of creative inventions/options that have been brought forth during my lifetime. There are more ways for people to express their creativity than ever before.

The first movies I saw as a child were not even in movie theaters. They were in an open field on temporary benches broadcast on a makeshift screen. If it rained, no movie. In some cases the movies weren’t even black and white. They were sepia toned. One film was blue and white; now that was weird!

Today’s creators have so much power under their control and with the burgeoning field of computer-generated imagery (CGI) rolling full speed ahead, the consumers of entertainment have much to anticipate and should be excited.

Let’s not forget, however, some of the mesmerizing effects of legacy processes like the Phenakistoscope, Zoetrope, the flip book, etc. In their day, they were entertainment.

In the video below, L’illusion de Joseph, Pask D’Amico creates a most mesmerizing piece of entertainment based on a modernization of old school techniques. I found these particularly alluring, but I have to confess, I am also a sucker for Kaleidoscopes, which may seem like a non sequitur, but watch the short film and you will get what I mean. You are going to like this; I can almost guarantee it!

Oh, did I say that the music is captivating too?

L'illusion de Joseph from Mr.Klesha animation on Vimeo.