Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Book Review #19


That's right people, I'm bringing out the big guns today with none other then Walt Whitman's Leaves of Grass. I'm sure many of you are familiar or have at least heard of this 19th c. collection of poetry and either hated it or loved it when you had to read it in high school. I read it in high school and I didn't like it, but lucky for literature I don't give up that easily and read it again in college and loved it the second time around.

I love it because it is my country in a poem. Sometimes I feel culture-less in the US confusion of tossed salads (let's face it, America isn't really a melting pot. We hold onto our cultures because it is a complex and identifying part of us all). Whitman grounds me with his thoughts of America, celebration of the senses, and love of the mind and spirit. He wrote a poem that can be read in the 21st c. and that can bring a reader to recognize nostalgically the sounds and sights of American history that can't be found anywhere else.

This poem is especially relevant now with the movement to remind people of their role in nature, rather than above it. So if you feel a part of nature, feel your complex cultural heritage, or just love 19th. c America, read this poem.

A Frame
Poem works best when read in a A-frame cabin. Or in the forest :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Let It Be Raw Song

My friend Eric has a band called Straight Lines for States. I've always been a huge fan and supporter of his music and we have even made music together in the past (Pastel Pasta ridiculousness and a song now forever lost, in which we pretended to be a couple fighting in a restaurant).

He has been there for me since the beginning of my photographic career, willing to pose and be patient while I over checked lighting and had a camera awkwardly close to his face:

Eric B

Eric B Eric Babs

He is a great friend and talented musician. Over last weekend, he wrote a song about Let It Be Raw, which describes in music and verse what Let It Be Raw is about to him with a little history of my photography in it (such as places and formats). I'm not very good at explaining it, but you should listen to it to understand more:

p.s. I'm doing a give away at Little Somethings by Little Lo Hood. Click here to check it out!

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Project, pt. 12 + 13



This is photo 12 + 13 from the current project I'm working on (if you want the details about the project, click here).

I'm sharing 2 today because I'm not sure how I feel about both of them in the project. I was really happy with the idea of the second image with the tree, but I think that the first image works better with the rest of the project.

Does anyone have an opinion about this? There is an option, if I have enough time, to use both.

"Wind" is a lucky photo. The breeze blue and Robin was leaning over and the leaves in the background were moving and click! it all came together. I might crop it differently to concentrate the photo more on her hair and her arm, but I'm worried cropping any more will make it look like floating estranged body parts.

"Tree" I like because Chelsea's arm shows strength like the branch on a tree. She's a part of the tree, and she isn't really looking at the camera which makes here distant in the photo. I really like that aspect of the photo, however I'm not so sure it fits in the project, mainly because so much of her face is showing.

I'll have the entire collection up in a week or two to share on here once I am officially finished.

News for this week:
  • Ready for some color film? I sure am.
  • Mushrooms photos will be here soon.
  • I've been collecting herbs for my tincture and may do a little spiel about my favorite herbs.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving


Gobble gobble!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

(Cat)ch up

My pet pets
(when things get overwhelming, I hang out with these guys)

Hi everyone,

I have been really busy working my brand spanking new job in the holiday rush, trying to make presents, meet up with friends I only see once a year, finish the photo project I have been working on for 3 months, and find some me time.

I have also been using the blog to advertise my shop more for the holidays to see if directing traffic works better that way, but I haven't seen much success and will probably use this blog less to advertise once December comes around. I will still do giveaways and share new things I've made, but I won't be doing it as often. I want to keep this blog more about the photography, not the print shop.

Also, I haven't been keeping up with commenting on other blogs as much as I would like to, but I have been looking and reading when I can!

I'm sure a lot of you are crazy busy as well, so good luck to everyone this holiday season.

Kiley M

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Project, pt. 11


This is photo 11 titled "clouds" from the current project I'm working on (if you want the details about the project, click here).

I always thought that my mom's hair looked like clouds, so I was happy to use this image for the project. I had to wait for a fluffy and cloudy sky and was lucky to have one the day I needed to develop a roll of film.

I wanted to get mainly her hair floating around in the sky with the clouds, so if I have extra time I may reprint this image and crop it differently. This was on of the easiest photos to do! I only did one take and loved it. I only have one more image after this to share XD.

p.s. Hi new readers! How are you all you?

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Project, pt. 10


This is photo 10 titled "foothills" from the current project I'm working on (if you want the details about the project, click here).

Before I get involved with talking about this photo, I want to thank all of you who have been leaving excellent and artistic comments about the project pieces. These comments help give me perspective from a viewers mind, which in turn gives me more ideas in how to continue and talk about this project. Talking about art can be weird sometimes and it can be really easy to be vague and say "that looks great/bad". It helps me when you say more, such as how you feel about the piece, what you think the model is feeling, mood, lighting, themes, if it fits in with the rest of the project, and anything you can think of. It's all a matter of opening up an artistic vocabulary.

Anywho, this is probably the only photo of the project were the nature background takes up more space than the model. Foothills are big, so in making the model look smaller and give the nature it's due size I think works for this image. Hopefully it will fit in well with the other photos. I'm also pleased with the squeezed back muscles because they look like little hills, which fits in with my main theme of nature and bodies imitating each other.

I only have 2 or 3 more to share! My little creative baby is growing up.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Project, pt. 9

"sun flare"
sun flare

This is photo 9 titled "sun flare" from the current project I'm working on (if you want the details about the project, click here).

I haven't actually developed this print yet. I'm saving it for last because I'm scared to do it. It looks fine now scanned from a negative, but I know it's going to be difficult. The exposure is all funky because I was pointing the camera directly at the sun and tried to compensate for the brightness by guessing.

It's not obvious that this is supposed to be about the sun, but I'm hoping that the ring of sunlight along with the straight round posture will be enough to get the point across. I think this is also the first horizontal photo I'm using for the project so far. I purposely shot another horizontal for this project that I'll share later so it wouldn't be alone and stick out like a sore thumb in a sea of vertical photos. Getting this collection together requires a lot of fore-thought and detailed planning.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Flickr Favorites #19

This weeks Flickr inspiration: storms



redemption after the thunderstorm

1. Bobby Hutchinson
2. Terra Kate
3. J L Butler4. Jens-Uwe Köhler

Storms and the sky are always entertaining to photograph. Especially if you're really brave and weather the storm yourself with a camera to capture natures exciting moments.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Behind Let It Be Raw: the photography progression

Hi everyone,

I started this blog of February 28th, 2010 (to see the first post, click here). The chronology of my photography begins with the year 2005 until present. I'm happy to have kept up with rediscovering some of my older work, seeing it in a new way, and remembering what happened during the time of that photograph. Reorganizing everything was hard work. If you start from the first post and move forward, the progression of my work and how I have seen the world are very interconnected.

Example: from the first roll of film I ever shot

Eric and Banjo

I went through many different stages during my photographic progression such as:


Road Trip

black and white development

Water Spirit


long exposure
Midnight Wharf

Kitty Bank

medium format


black and white projects
Tight Arm II

Ingrid and Odie

graphic design

home-made studio work
Halloween Portrait 2

black and white portraits

It is easy to look at those photos and see they're different, but as the photographer I see how I have been influenced by these stages along with a connection between each and every photograph. I see a "raw" film essence that I have claimed as my own style and signature to my work.

I'll be doing more segments like this to give you a better idea about who I am and what I do as a photographer. For most of you I've only existed for 1-4 months and I thought now would be a good time to share something more from the day to day stuff.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Book Review #18


This weeks book review is of The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image by Anne Baring and Jules Cashford. I love mythology and folklore and have been waiting to read a book like this because it is a fantastic overview of how the Goddess myth has changed and why throughout the ages.

If you've taken a mythology class, studied different religions, or know a lot of history, there is a noticeable lineage of the goddess that seems to move in and out of focus throughout time, along with a shift of focus from the cosmos to humanity. This shift of focus is of the gods and goddesses, who were once forces of nature (and did not separate humanity from nature) in the past are now much more human and divine (separation from humanity and nature). That's a mouthful, but I want to get the point across that the connection between humanity and nature is directly linked to the popularity of the goddess.

This book is a lot to take in and has a lot of history and myths I'm not completely familiar with. I read a little every day if I can, and occasionally look up the myths I'm not sure about. It's like my own mythology class centered around the goddess. If you are looking for some more information of the goddess or and in depth tour of western mythology, this is the perfect book.

Mythology definitely effects my story telling in photography.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Project, pt. 8


This is photo 8 titled "bark" from the current project I'm working on (if you want the details about the project, click here). I already started to run out of time and people who could model for me. So many of my friends have moved and I didn't really have a diverse group of willing people to work with. This is a bummer for me because 1) as you may have noticed so far all of the models are mainly white 2) I had to use the same model more than once (Nick) because of time and availability. I just developed my last roll of film for this project and I have only 4 more pictures to share after this one.

I'm both excited to have an entire collection together, but bummed that I didn't have enough time to gather all the people/resources that I needed. It won't be perfect, but the theme will be clear and I will have 12 prints.

In this photo I asked the model to grab onto the bark to look like he was hanging off it as a branch or leaves. The three textures of nature, skin, and hair are present, but not perfect because the background adds a 4th texture. I like it and it will work for the project, but it isn't everything that I want it to be.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Etsy inspired Fungus

I'm a huge fungus fan and amateur mycologist. The rainy season is just beginning to pick up in the South Bay (CA) and, as my favorite rainy saying goes, "when it rains, it spores!"

I haven't gone foraging yet, but I will soon be crawling around the Santa Cruz mountains in early foggy mornings. I've had mushrooms on the brain, and have been spending too much time on etsy looking at fungi-fied things, so I thought I would share some of my finds with those of you that are as excited as I am to forage.

1. Woodland Forest Wild Mushroom Ring by ranawayMushroom ring. Need I say more?

2. Mushroom Vinyl Wall Decals by singlestory
I would love to have little shroomies decorating my walls!

3. Verdigris Brass Mushroom Necklace by Saout
This is pretty classy fungus.

4. Organic Mushrooms print by bishopartToo cute! And they're all edible and labeled.

I'm really excited to start taking photos of mushrooms. I have lots of notes last year for ideas that I never got to do because I didn't have enough time to forage. This year I'm going to make the time. Do you forage for mushrooms or something else like herbs, fruits, and veggies?

Friday, November 11, 2011

Flickr Favorits #18

This weeks Flickr inspiration: geometric



Rainbow Laguna (or Condor)


1. Photon Thief
2. Ann Wayman
3. Captain Tenneal
4. Eric Einwiller

I'm a huge fan of the geometric beauty of nature (and sometimes architecture) and it is where I gather a lot of my design inspiration. Patterns are really fun to photograph and look for, kind of like a scavenger hunt. Something about the symmetry is very soothing and pleasant to look at.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Project, pt. 7

First, I would like to say that I did a guest post for Annika of A Sweet Release. Check it out by clicking here! Hopefully it is up today and I didn't get the date wrong :/

Back to the project...

This is photo 7 titled "leaves" from the current project I'm working on (if you want the details about the project, click here). This wasn't a planned photo. So far for the project I imagined a person with a specific nature background and posture with stick figure that I drew in a notebook.

Nick and I where walking around his parents place where we came across this droopy looking tree that I thought would make for a great background. This is partly why I have so many pictures of Nick. I asked him to droop his head forward to mimic the tree. I really like the different textures of the leaves, hair, and skin. That kind of combination of 3 textures keeps popping up in this project. It was an unexpected theme, but I like that it happened.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Book Review #17

(I found this image here)

This weeks book review is one of my favorite books that I just began rereading: Robertson Davies The Deptford Trilogy, which is three books in one; Fifth Business, The Manticore, and World of Wonders.

In short, the trilogy is about characters from the same Canadian town that are all connected by a secret, as well as affected by the decisions and actions they take. It works kind of like a memoir, because the trilogy is told mainly by man named Dunstable Ramsay as he looks back over his life. It's not a memoir though, it's fiction, and you have to read about each character to even understand the full story and the reasons behind many of the characters actions.

I like that this book uses characters lives to explain other character's actions, because I feel affected in the same way by the many people, friends, and family that have played and continue to play a part in my own life. The Deptford Trilogy is a great read, it's Canadian, and I recommend it highly.

Here is an image of someone who has affected my life in many different ways:

Old Boy
My good friend Eric.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Some of you may have noticed the NaNoWriMo button on the left column of my blog. I mentioned a quick blurb about it last Wednesday during a book review. If you're a part of the group of insane people like me trying to write a 50,000 word novel during the month of November, please feel free to click the button to check out how behind I am.

I'm using today to catch up, which I almost have as of last night. I'm excited about doing it this year, because this is the first year in the 4 years I have been participating that I have actually been sticking to the plot I began with. This is much more difficult than it sounds, trust me. I often want to write about other things just to get in the amount of words I need each day (which is 1,667).

It's hard work and it is going to eat up my blogging time, so I will probably not be updating photography every day for the sake of my sanity. Just to show you what I've been up to for those of you not participating, here is a short unedited synopsis and excerpt:(Example of a duplex. I found this image here.)

Synopsis: A woman living alone in a neighborhood of duplex homes becomes obsessed with the actions of a neighbor living in a duplex next door and begins to unravel a strange mystery involving mirror lives and imitations.

Excerpt: "Between the slits of the blinds she was not a person; only an image. I hardly ever saw her face and could give no detail to save my life. Now that I think about it, if I had seen her outside at the time I may not have even recognized her to be my mirror neighbor. All that separates us are two walls and an eight foot gap that is the driveway. From the window, I can only see what she looks like from the waist up. Her hair, which I guess is brown, is always up in a bun. One thing I can tell is that it is tightly put up because she never touches it, never pushes a loose strand back and never adjusts what she has done. Maybe her hair would reach her waist, or maybe only her shoulders. Maybe it’s not even her hair at all, but a wig that she wears every day."

It's not too late if you want to write your own novel! Check out National Novel Writing Month to find out more.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Project, pt.6


This is photo 6 titled "wood" from the current project I'm working on (if you want the details about the project, click here). This is one of my favorites so far. The posture of his hand and neck and the texture of the wood just hits me the right way. I like the way his hand mimics the knots that happen in wood and his skin and hair mimic the smooth grain.

I really did not like the b side for this photo. It was one of those shots that right after I clicked the shutter I knew it wouldn't work. I hate when that happens. Sometimes, rarely, I'll look at a photo I hated a year later and then like it. I doubt that will happen this time, but it is a better thought to have then thinking about wasting a frame. Does anyone else do that?

Friday, November 4, 2011

Flickr Favorites #17

This weeks Flickr inspiration: light leaks


Light Leak

Light Leak-O-Rama


1. Lisa Wu
2. rdtanesco
3. Drew Taylor
4. b r e e

Light leaks are one of the many accidents film users come across that can make or destroy an image. Most of the time, someone opens the back of a roll of film accidentally (or on purpose to experiment) and something magical like the above pictures happen. This is one reason why I love film: accidents and experimentation.
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