Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Free Crappy Portraits

No book review this week, but I will continue next week with something by Virginia Woolf. For today, I have a silly portrait done by the kids at FCP.

This is the original I sent in with a small description about how I love cacti and Nick:


And this is what they sent back!


Needless to say, I am very pleased with how they reinterpreted the Polaroid. More cacti are always a good thing! Get your own at their blog by clicking here.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Pressing and Drawing

I am and herb and California native plant enthusiast. To learn about these herbs and plants I have read books, gone on nature walks, photographed plants, eaten things I foraged for in the wild, taken classes, and grown specimens, but I have not drawn. Drawing is a fantastic way to learn about pretty much anything because you have to take time when looking at something and observing every interconnecting detail.

I love details, but I'm not so great at the drawing part. I have been practicing and starting out with easy to draw plants that are mainly long, thing, and have little to no flowers or leaves on them. My friends that draw or paint say to me that it takes practice (though after seeing their beautiful work it is hard to imagine the practicing part). But they're right. I wasn't always a good cook, but then I practiced and got better. I can make some decent Jewelry now, and I practice that. But for some reason drawing has never been something I thought to practice at. I always assumed people who could draw were born with the gift. I'm not sure how I came about that assumption, but I decided that I would draw to learn plants, and in doing so eventually become better at drawing.

Chives and Flowers
The chives went to seed, so I tried to draw a chive flower. The other two flowers were two I picked from the garden because I wanted to press them in my notebook. I just thought they might look nice pressed.

Lavender
And lastly here is some lovely Lavender that is making my notebook smell fantastic. I took the most time on this drawing, and am pretty happy with how it came out.

I'm curious; there are a lot of crafters out there in the blogging world and I was wondering what it is that you have been trying to learn or practice lately?


Saturday, August 27, 2011

Summer Medium Format

I use my medium format camera sparingly, and have been taking my time with this last roll of film. It spans from the beginning of July to Monday of this week. The camera still needs many things, like a new battery for the light meter and some sort of janky home-made UV filter for the lens. I'm still figuring out the details... Anyways, let's start from the beginning of July.

Ryan + Alexis

July 5th was my cousin's wedding. I took advantage of how well dressed my brother and his girlfriend were so I cold add some cute couple pictures to my portfolio. Aren't they cute?

This picture is kind of funny. I think it's the sunglasses that makes this image look like a "hey, we're cool" kind of thing, but really we were at the beach and it was really bright out.

Trees

More camping photos from Memorial state park. The first is of an uprooted tree that was near our campsite, and the second is of the sun setting in the trees.

And lastly, these two images are from Sunol Regional Wilderness. My friend Lev and I hike all around so he could research for his geology thesis. I learned a lot about rock and land falls that day. It was awesome.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Flickr Favorites #8

This weeks flickr inspiration is: expired film! I can't seem to get enough of it.

1.
expired 13

2.
b7ae21ed7c4954b7a18a176b8a0833c531ec6b

3.
seitseminen neg 3_006 _more beautiful

4.
Neatness

1. Jeanine Caron
2. Gavin Thomas
3. Joni Tapani Lähdesmäki
4. Hatti Bailey

p.s. Remember this Owl?

DSC00849
He is now available here, on Etsy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Book Review #8

(I found this image here at io9.com)

This weeks book review is White Noise by Don Delillo. I reread it recently, not having read it for a few years. It's a book that puts me in a strange and critical mood that makes me want to go to the supermarket and investigate consumer products.

It's that kind of book. It based around consumerism, people distancing themselves from death, children being more prepared for life than their parents, image, and an air-born toxic event. It's a book that reminds me to be critical of my surroundings and the way in which advertisements affect me. But most importantly, it's a book that is critical of American culture and the underlying problems and issues faced by Americans in a consumerist world. Do Americans and other people hide behind the things they buy? Do we feel safer when we're shopping or when we see the news on TV of distant disasters?

But, in the end it is only a book. Like anything I read, I take what I want from it and apply it to my life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Planning For Fall

I'm not yet ready for Summer to end, but I can't help thinking about projects and plans for Fall. The air will be crisp and I will be able to photograph rosy cheeks and mushrooms!

ZAC!

Paul, Eric and John

Nick and Jack

Blog Projects for Fall

  • Jewelry Tutorials (I have one for this Thursday!)
  • Sleepy Time Tincture Tutorial (I made some for friends a couple years ago and they turned out OK. This year they will be better.)
  • Mushroom foraging and photography
  • Recipes to share (I might have one for next week). I can't photograph on an empty stomach! That would be unheard of.
  • A give away possibly? If people are interested, I would love to give stuff to them.
  • More black and white photography
I know that list isn't very long, but each item is a lot of thought at work. Do you have any plans for Fall?

Saturday, August 20, 2011

More Expired Film - the most damaged part of the film

I have three more pictures to share from a roll of expired film that I took last week. I posted most of the images from that roll in this post. I saved these last 3 for today because they are my favorite from the bunch. The end of the roll was the most damaged, but the effect the damage had on the images was really fascinating.

Sand and Tide
Mollusk in the sand.

Erosion
My favorite of the most damaged images of rocks and erosion at the beach.

I also have an August Break picture to add:



August 12th
August 12th
Soft tumbled beach rocks.

Expired film is really fun to experiment with. I've used other rolls with dates starting from 2005-2006, but I haven't used older so I don't really know how the effects change images. A lot also depends on how well the film was taken care of over the past 5 or more years because sun and heat can do a lot of damage. But, if you have expired film, I say go for it! It's a lot of fun in not knowing how your images will turn out, if at all.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Flickr Favorites #7

This weeks flickr inspiration: Forests

1.

2.3.


4.


1. angeles peña
2. Andrea Brandtner
3. Randy P. Martin
4. Robert Moses Joyce

The forest was very inspiring during my camping trip (as was the fresh baked artichoke bread). I love photographing in the forest. Where is your favorite place to photograph?


p.s. I've added some new images to my Etsy! I would really appreciate some feed back. You can check it out by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Book Review #7

(Found the artwork for this book here)

Shel Silverstein was (and still is!) on of my favorite poets. He made me feel like it was more than OK, but expected to be silly, to play around, to experiment, and be creative as a child, teenager, and adult. That is saying a lot for a poet who can effect all ages of my life, even now. I still pull the book down from my self occasionally and flip open to a random poem and giggle out loud.

Silverstein is the king of using different perspectives and views. Each poem is a different voice and story and inspired imagination. If I get stressed or feel uncreative, I like to just take a deep breath and make something fun to relieve the tension. One of the ways in which I do this is by painting on polaroids. It reminds of the pictures from children's books and gives me away to combine reality with fantasy.

gemini

zoe

Jessica and the Magical Night

It's really easy to do if you have polaroids around that you're not really excited about (or ones that you do like but don't mind painting). I used cheap-o acrylic paint from a craft store. When you want to mix colors, it's good to do that before the paint dries, but if you want strong lines between colors it is important to let the colors dry. Also, if you make a mistake you can can wipe the paint away with a damp cloth. What do you do to re-energize your creativity?

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Expired 35mm film and some August Break

I had very wonderful and relaxing camping trip with my partner as we celebrated our 4 years together. We went to Memorial State Park by Pescadero, which is right off of highway 1. We really lucked out with weather there and were able to do one of my most favorite things in the world, which is creek hiking.

Basically, creek hiking entails wearing shoes you don't mind getting wet and hiking up a creek. I just love walking around in water and examining rocks and watching little fish and water bugs swim around me. We also made decent fires (without lighter fluid or starter logs! It's harder than it sounds, at least for us), had delicious bbq dinners, and ate copious amounts of roasted marshmallows. On our last morning there, we were lucky enough to watch 3 baby racoons play around in the forest (You can see a picture of the three little rascals here, as well as some other pictures from the trip that Nick took).

These are my pictures from the trip (some of which I took for August Break, which are at the end) using expired kodak film from 2006. I have to say I am pretty happy with the way the expired film came out. I wasn't going for anything artistic really, I was just having fun taking pictures!

Bridge
A tree bridge.

Forest View
I love staring at the tops of trees when I'm in the forest.

Keds are water shoes Keds are water shoes
Keds make for great water shoes.

Creek
The creek we hiked around in.

Focus
I have no idea what this was. The end of the roll was in pretty bad shape. I think nick is in the middle, and the circle is probably a sun flare.

Stretch Back Portrait
Nick, enjoying the warmth of the day.

Now, to catch up with some August Break!



August 9th
August 9th
There is something very funny in this picture. Do you see it?

August 10th
August 10th
I am in love with expired film.

August 11th
August 11th
Drying the creek shoes in the sun.

Reviewing these pictures makes me want to go camping again.



Friday, August 12, 2011

Flickr Favorites #6

This weeks flickr inspiration: monotone

1.
2.
lilly

3.4.
T O E S

Monotone is unitary color, a beautiful and effective way to photograph. A lot of the time monotone is used to describe black and white or sepia photography, but it applies all the same to color. The similar tones can convey plenty of emotion, and tends to portray to me sadness or melancholy in darker tones, and happiness or curiosity in light tones. What do you see in monotone?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A place that influences me: Uvas

Uvas canyon county park is a very inspiring place for me for it's hiking trails, creeks, trees, and fungi. It's close to home and a beautiful place, so I go there a lot to photograph, write, and think. I have had many wonderful an in-depth conversation with close friends while walking around the park. In all, it is a very important place to me because I use it to exercise creativity, refresh, and create strong bonds with friends and nature.

Uvas has influenced my photography far more than any other place. Does anyone else have a place like that? A place that is important and close to your heart?
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