Wednesday, April 28, 2010

tough acts to follow

After the magic moon phone call and the gorgeous pre-dance photo shoot, how am I supposed to follow up with photos from the spring formal? Especially since I did not stay the entire time. I much prefer air conditioning and my computer to overheating in a tent.

Most of the spring formal really wasn't all that awesome to photograph anyway. Group dances like the Cupid Shuffle photograph mostly like a crowd standing in formation on the dance floor. I try not to capture the type of dancing that I always assume leads to teen pregnancies. So what's really left to shoot?
spring swing dance
Swing dancing!

A few of the members from the dance club convinced the DJ to put on a swing song and took to the floor.
spring swing dance 2

I spent pretty much all my time at the spring formal watching this display in awe.
spring swing dance 3

I still like the portraits better though.

a magic phone call

I was working on putting together a post with some dancing pictures from the spring formal when I got a phone call from Cassidy, telling me to go outside and look at the moon. The magic words "big" and "yellow" were uttered, along with the promise of some beautiful clouds.
magic moon 2
The next thing I knew, I was standing in the grass with my tripod set up and my remote in my hand. This is magic, people.
magic moon
Apparently it is now Cassidy's automatic response to call me when the moon/stars/clouds look amazing. And just for that, I am willing to post two posts tonight.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

smiles and bunny ears [I heart faces]

I wanted so badly to include this in my last post but I knew I needed to wait. This week's theme over at is smiles.

spring formal Sarah&Ben
I really wanted to get a good picture of Sarah and Ben. They told me that their parents did not have too many photos of the two of them together, which I took to be a challenge. The only way I could seem to get genuine smiles from both of them was when I told them to put bunny ears on each other.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

all dressed up and no place to go

Friday night was the spring formal here at the Honors College. It is the one night of the year in which the girls either go classy or go uh... the opposite of classy. Prior to the dance this year, we had a lovely sit-down dinner and my friends and I ended up at the 5 o'clock meal. In my life, time to kill between dinner and the dance roughly translates to photo shoot adventure time.

Obviously my friends are classy ladies and gents, especially these two.
spring formal
spring formal 4
Cassidy and Melinda just ooze charm and appropriateness.
spring formal 7
spring formal 8
Not to mention, they both picked absolutely lovely dresses.
spring formal 10

Melinda also has a male partner-in-photos. She and Denis are absolutely adorable together. I did not pose any of these shots at all.
spring formal 2
He totally mimicked Melinda's leg-lift-during-kiss, unprovoked.
spring formal 3

The most fun to be had was as a group. We brought major amounts of sunshine and cheerfulness to Abacoa. Melinda, Denis, Sarah, and Ben were enough to trigger some major flaregasms. (I take no credit for the term 'flaregasm'. I picked it up from reading the blog is found.)
spring formal 5
Once Cassidy was added to the mix, the craziness was off the charts.
spring formal 6
Other than being mistaken for high school seniors going to prom, I think those faces were perfectly appropriate. Then again, I see no problem with making my friends stand in planters if I think it'll make an interesting shot.
spring formal 9

We totally brought some rad to Abacoa. We're certainly not the Beatles, but I think we may just be cute enough that we can get away with this:
spring formal 11
Ok, maybe not. But we're still allowed to sing and play in traffic, right?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

you've got a friend in me

Made for the collage theme over at

you've got a friend in me

When I saw this sign in Hollywood Studios, I knew I wanted to make something for my mom and her siblings. For as long as I can remember, 'You've Got A Friend in Me" has always been linked to my Auntie in my mind. Mom, Auntie Juj, and Uncle Steve have always been close and are three of the best friends a girl can have.

In trying to make this, I realized I don't have too many photos of Auntie and Uncle Steve, especially ones of just them alone. I need to work on this.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

demolished theater

I got it into my head that I wanted to take Marjorie for a walk and photograph the stars. It was cloudy and Abacoa has an ungodly amount of light pollution, especially when events are going on. Tonight had both a baseball game and something in town center so I decided to take advantage of the 'ambient lighting' and photograph what's left of the Abacoa movie theater. I posted about it once before here.

I brought Doug with me, partially for the company and partially so the police couldn't falsely accuse me of trespassing/loitering/doing something illegal. We stayed on the sidewalk across the street and did not disrupt anything. But you can never be too careful when walking around after dark with a camera.

Abacoa movie theater 1
Abacoa movie theater 2

This just blows my mind. There is metal framework hanging out of half-demolished concrete:
Abacoa movie theater 3
Abacoa movie theater 4

Abacoa movie theater 5

I really wish they had salvaged these lights. I think they're beautiful.
Abacoa movie theater 6

I still regret not being about to explore inside before demolition started. But it's most likely for the best, since I have no idea what it was like inside.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

highlights from Hollywood Studios

I was going to give you a much more wordy play-by-play but I just spent an hour and a half uploading the photos to Facebook one by one so I'm a tad burnt out. Instead, you will get some of my favorite moments. And amazingly, there is not a single Doug photo in the set.

Fantasia landscaping
This is for my mother, the 'home' I frequently address my posts to. She loves the Sorcerer's Apprentice and most likely wishes we could landscape our lawn like this. Obviously, she likes these too:
Sorcerer's Apprentice

My grandpa (who may or may not read this blog) used to take me outside and dance with me, every time it stormed.
Singing in the Rain
"I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain. What a glorious feeling! I'm happy again..."

The Tower of Terror was completely creepy but so photogenic.
Tower of Terror
We rode it twice: once when we got there and then once around dusk. (Doug won't let me say "around twilight", 'lest we accidentally summon sparkly vampires or rabid fan girls.)

This perhaps sums up my experience the best:
Hollywood Studios Balloons
Movie sets meet balloons meet beautiful weather to make a second childhood.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

the world is my playground [teaser]

As I am going through the photos from yesterday's trip to Disney Hollywood Studios, I keep coming back to this shot and just laughing. I'm taking that as a sign that I need to show it to you.
the world is my playground
We were wandering around the Honey, I Shrunk the Audience playground when I saw the roll of film. I contemplated whether I was too big for the slide. Doug told me to go for it and offered to to photograph me sliding down. I set up the shot (framing, manual focus, ISO) and handed Marjorie off.

While I was waiting in line, a kid exclaimed "we're in a giant soda bottle" and I tried to explain what a roll of film is. Then I realized the kid was born after 2000 and probably never heard of film before. So I did what any good camera addict does... I slid down the slide and then went and hugged my camera.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

fireworks and magic

Dear home,
I'm going to Disney Hollywood Studios tomorrow. I promise I will take plenty of photos for you. In the mean time, I finally managed to run into the housing loop in time to catch the fireworks.
fireworks over Abacoagolden fireworks

PS: Does a composite of two shots qualify as magic? If so, I present to you proof that I should have gone to Hogwarts (and/or gone to bed two hours ago).
combined fireworks

Sunday, April 4, 2010

abandonment issues

The other day, I saw an abandoned gas station and I wanted to go exploring. Desperately. I've seen other photographers take their cameras to cool places (Liquid in Plastic and the image is found are the first two that come to mind) and this weekend, I thought I'd check out a few places on my list.

First on my list is the Abacoa movie theater, which is currently in the process of being torn down.
Abacoa movie theater storyboard
I've been trying for a while to find out who to contact about getting inside to shoot. I guess now I never will.

I also tried to shoot at the two closed gas stations on Okeechobee Boulevard, in West Palm Beach. The one that was easy to drive up to was posted no trespassing. The other was fenced off, so I parked in the lot next door and stood on a tree stump to shoot over the fence.
gas station storyboard

On the way back, I tried to check out this amazing closed restaurant but it too was chained off and posted no trespassing.

This is where I run into what I am calling 'abandonment issues'. There are signs that say I cannot be there without permission but no signs to tell me who to ask. I know it is easier to ask forgiveness (if caught) than to ask permission but I would rather not get arrested for trespassing or breaking and entering. I wish I knew how to be an urban explorer without getting charged with a misdemeanor.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

confession: I have a calling. I think.

Confession: I read a lot of photo blogs. I spend about an hour a day just pouring over them because I love photos and stories.

Interestingly enough, many of the photographers whose blogs I read compulsively are strongly religious. They talk about having a 'calling' to photography and I am beginning to understand. At this instant, all I want to do is go shooting. I want to photograph someone, anyone, and just give them photos so they can see how amazing they are. My last post talked about the magic of my f/1.8 lens but honestly, photography in general has always seemed magical to me.

I'm sitting at my desk in my dorm room, wondering how I can take this love of mine and make it my career. I have fears about my anxiety preventing my from being able to do my job. I worry about not being able to run a business or pay my bills (ok, our bills and I know Doug is going to understand completely). I genuinely worry that if I become a photographer by trade, it will lose some of the magic and will just be a job, not my love and my life.

But then I remember one of the defining phrases of my identity: my camera is the love of my life.

More specifically, my cameras are the love of my life. I have 10 cameras within easy reach at the moment. Marjorie gets the most use because she's digital and I can afford to go crazy with her. But I also have various film cameras ranging in complexity from a 1953 Kodak Signet (Ida) to a mid-80s Minolta Maxxum SLR (Batman). I don't know that I would feel right if I didn't have such an intimate relationship with my cameras.

Dear home,
I miss you. I wish I knew for sure that I can do this but the only way to find out is to try. I'm going exploring to see what I can shoot today. I'll try not to get eaten by a kraken until after I become a household name.
Love, me

PS: In honor of both mushiness and April Fools' Day, I present my periscope! Er... my flash.
stealth flash