About Jason Patz

I'm trained as an industrial designer, but I like doing lots of different things. I use my blog to discuss stuff I've made and stuff I like.

Black Eye Halloween Series Four


Here is the final image in the black eye series (series starts here).  This person was the inspiration for the black alien eyes in the first place.  I have wanted to photograph her like this but dressed as the White Witch from the Chronicles of Narnia.  That is why I gave her black lipstick too.

If I don’t post any more spooky scary pictures before then, happy Halloween!

Black Eye Halloween Series Two


I like the juxtaposition of the creepy dangerous eye with the casual fun expression.  Since this picture was from a high-key glamour shoot, the highlights in her eye are prolific.  It is really cool to me that the super reflective eye picks up the different textures of the reflectors.  One is a crinkly silver and you can distinctly see that if you look very closely.

Part two in a short series that starts here.

Black Eye Halloween Series One

JPatz_20140503_JPatz_140503_00020-blackeyecomparo_WebI was doing some picture editing this morning and I thought that this was a nice portrait of Melanie. Like the composite I did recently, it has a Halloween feel to it so I thought I’d finish it up for the season. Then I thought I could take it over the top and give her creepy X-Files alien eyes so I did that too.
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Fire Girl Composite Image

JPatz_20140930_StandingFiregirl1_WebI’ve done composite images before but they have always been utilitarian.  It is usually stuff like changing a lamp shade, fixing a smile on someone’s face, etc.  This image is the first one that I’ve tried to do as an artistic endeavor.  Thanks to Aaron Nace, for the guidance.  He and his company do great work.

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Tree Tower Tree House

TREETOWER3My brother bought a farm a year or so ago.  He’s been adding fruit trees, chickens, fences, and all sorts of other improvements.  He has five kids so I’ve been pushing for the addition of a tree house.  They want to use the property as a retreat for people (they actually already are), so I’m hoping to convince him to save his money and then build the tree house as an actual living space.

I had all of the kids draw up what they wanted in a tree house and I tried to incorporate as many of their ideas into my plan as I could.  Below is my first pass at what this thing might look like.

1.  For safety, maintenance, expandability, livability, and durability, the tree house was designed instead as a free-standing tree tower to be located among the trees rather than in it.
2.  This design is based off a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood.  The tower is made up of three 8′ squares.  Walls are 8′ tall per floor.
3.  The tower is located in a wooded area with tall mature oak trees and almost no ground foliage.  The area is in a slight depression that can get a little muddy when it rains a lot.  The bottom of the tower should be elevated above driveway height by about a foot.  This will put it one to three feet off the ground.
4.  Walls to be made of 2″x6″ lumber, insulated.  Outside would be cedar shakes or Hardiboard painted about the color of the tree bark.  Inside would be Sheetrock painted white.
5.  Roofs to be standing seam metal construction.
6. Built-in furniture and floors would be semigloss polyurethaned oak.
7.  Windows to be painted rust red or orange.
8.  Lower deck could be made into a screened porch with permanent, removable, or retractable screens.
9.  Second and third floors are accessed via split-rung ladder recessed into wall.
10.  Second and third floors have trap door to cover ladder access hole to reduce the chance of people fall through that hole.
11. “Bedroom” areas can accommodate a queen-size bed and may be used for sleeping, or putting in a table for eating and board games.
12.  Areas above windows in “bedrooms” contain storage shelves.  These shelves could have LED lighting installed underneath to light the space.
13.  Concrete footings need to be engineered to support this tall narrow structure and keep it stable under max wind loads for that region of the country.  A soil survey may be necessary to ensure the design provides the necessary stability.
14.  Upper deck has access to a tree stand/platform (more like a traditional tree house) via suspension bridge that is not attached directly to the tree tower (in case the tree falls over, we don’t want it pulling on the tree tower).  The tree platform has a rope ladder for second means of access.
15.  Install two-piece A/C system for comfort and to avoid musty, moldy camp bunkhouse situation.  A/C system includes a wall mounted blower, a single wall penetration for coolant lines, and a ground-based compressor located outside.  No ductwork needed.
16.  The railing around the second story deck would probably be open wood (standard looking railing) or painted metal to give it a more open airy feel, but I was too lazy to model that for this concept.

What do you think of this design?  What should be changed?  What have I forgotten?


Mount Davis


The high point is the marker cemented to the top of the rock on the right.

This past weekend we were happy to have the opportunity to travel to Pittsburgh for the wedding of my old friend Bill and my new friend Tricia.  After the wedding we wanted to do a little tourism before we headed home.  You’ll be getting a few little articles on those various things over the next few days.

Today we take you to the highest point in Pennsylvania – Mount Davis.  For those that don’t know, Melanie and I like to hike the US state high points.  Almost every time it a surprisingly similar experience.  You travel up a 1-1/2 lane two-way road through beautiful landscape, you see practically no one else, and it is very peaceful and relaxing.  We have found it a great way to see places that we would have never visited otherwise.  Mount Davis was par for the course.  Even though the day was very overcast and hazy, it was a beautiful drive.  On the approach, you’ll pass a mountain lake that I could definitely vacation on.  I think we saw about five other people on the road once we were within 30 minutes of the summit.  There was absolutely no one else in the park itself.  We didn’t even see a car as we drove in or left.

We had limited time since there were a few other things we wanted to do before our flight home that night.  This meant as soon as we got to the summit, we took a few pictures and got back in the car.  It would have been really nice to hang out there for 30 minutes or so enjoying the solitude and stillness.

Getting there is simple.  Just type “Mount Davis” into Google Maps and you’ll get a paved road route right to the gravel parking lot.  From there you probably walk 100 feet to the “summit.”  It is a weird high point.  Sure, you definitely notice you are driving uphill but it doesn’t seem that much higher than all the area surrounding it.  At the top it is relatively flat and the actual highpoint is a boulder sitting on top of this mostly flat area.


This tower is very close to the parking lot and the high point (it's that big rock in the background).

This tower is very close to the parking lot and the high point (it’s that big rock in the background).

You can see some turds tried to remove the marker.

You can see some turds tried to remove the marker.

Creature from the Black Lagoon

JPatz_20140810_creaturefromtheblacklagoon_WebToday I had the pleasure of meeting Ricou Browning, the man who played the Creature from the Black Lagoon in all of the underwater scenes (which were filmed not all that far from where I live).  He wore a diving belt to help him stay underwater and had to hold his breath for long periods of time because scuba equipment could not fit in the suit.  He is the only actor to play one of the Universal movie monsters that is still alive and I noticed that he enjoys egg salad sandwiches.

Thanks for the heads up Cindy!

Nice Niece

JPatz_20140717_3J8A3937-Edit_WebMy niece came to visit for her Golden Ticket trip a few weeks ago.  We did a photo shoot that I’m turning into a composite image.  I still need to shoot the background and the effects so that one will be seen in a while.

In the meantime I tried out the ring reflector again.  I liked this picture because I think it captures a lot of true things about her but am really sad that I missed the focus.  My finger must have slipped and the camera must have refocused on the closest object which was her fingers.