Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

I hope everyone has/had a safe and sweet Halloween.

We made a last minute run to a pumpkin patch today and got two baby pumpkins, which we painted while watching horror movies. What did you do?
Halloween pumpkin board

Saturday, October 30, 2010

just another autumn day

I started off the morning taking a math test in my pajamas. Then I played dress-up. I'm not sure how scandalous I want to dress for an upcoming photo shoot. I can't decide which skirt/socks/tutu combo I want.
dress-up skirt triptych

Then I took a shower, had lunch, and went to forum to watch Dr. Smith be a mad scientist.

It was awesome to watch things ignite in Chris' hand

Plus, I love everything glow-in-the-dark.

After lunch I chilled out for a while and then I talked Doug into going to the playground with me.
Doug playground

Isn't this what every college student does to destress? Oh...
PS: I decided to try out my mini-logo. What do you think?

Thursday, October 28, 2010

play time for grown-ups

Lately my anxiety has been kicking my butt a lot. The best things for alleviating it are playing on the swings, taking pictures, and fiddling around in Photoshop. I decided to combine the three and invite Richard to play with me.

Trying to set up the lighting was frustrating and I am not happy with the swing pictures that I got. Apparently my camera cannot handle my remote trigger and off-camera flash at the same time. The upside to that is I had to get super creative with my set-up for the rest of the shots.
test set-up
Can you spot where the flash is in this test shot?
slide test
How about in this one? (You can, however, spot Richard.)

And while I think our slide photo could have been better, the behind-the-scenes antics could not be funnier.
team slide
As I mentioned before, I couldn't use the remote and my off-camera flash at the same time so I ended up setting up the flash, setting a timer, and having Richard dash like a madman. Richard was the one running because I am slow and would have ended up mostly with shots of the back of my head as I tried to scurry up the slide. There were so many outtakes where the flash didn't fire, or it only illuminated part of the scene, or we slid down too fast... This is is pretty amazing, and not just because we were shouting "for glory!"

We also rode the dinosaur, which was the best part of playing with the flash.
dinosaur surfing

This is my absolute favorite shot of the night:
Yes, his face is so overexposed you can't see his expression. But I don't need to see it to know how epic it is to jump off a dinosaur into a bright burst of light.

I feel better already.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

bouncing around

Since Megan over at Sugary Cynicism already blogged my photos of her, I suppose I really should blog them myself. After all, I am "the purple-haired photomaniac" at the HC.

Yesterday was the homecoming carnival. It was pretty much exactly like last year's, except I wasn't working and could therefore abscond with some cotton candy to play in Photoshop. The only thing I really photographed was the bungie bounce thing and that's only because of how horrified Megan looked and how high Alexa could bounce.

homecoming carnival

Monday, October 25, 2010

pink [I heart faces]

This is a post, but it's also something personal.

tie dye against breast cancer
This photo was taken as part of an event sponsored by our resident student association. We tie dyed pink t-shirts to wear the next week to a talk by a cancer survivor.

I dyed my shirt but I did not go to the talk because I couldn't do it emotionally. I've typed and deleted and retyped the rest of this paragraph again and again but I can't bring myself to hit the 'publish post' button. My words feel too crude and lackluster to describe how strange it is that my grandma had planned to be my college roommate and instead, she died my sophomore year of high school.

I wore my pink shirt the day of the talk, even though I didn't go. My brother, my boyfriend, and I all played in the 2010 Halo Reach Fight Like a Girl tournament to raise money for breast and cervical cancer awareness. (Doug and I even made our armor pink for our first match and then switched back to normal armor with pink star emblems in honor of my grandma for the rest of our rounds.)

I'm considering stenciling a Spartan from Halo on the front of my t-shirt turned halter top and writing "I fight like a girl" on it. She's be holding a red flag with a pink star on it. But I just can't bring myself to do it yet.

You can't see Miguel's face in my photo and that isn't by accident. If I were to show his face, the picture could be perceived as about him. But it isn't. It's about everyone who struggles to raise awareness about cancer; it's for the survivors who share their story and their strength; it's for those who didn't survive who are being remembered. And it's for those who hope that no one else will ever have to be diagnosed again.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

nighttime wanderings

dear home,
I haven't written a proper note in quite some time. I've gotten into the habit of just tossing up a few words to go with the photos and letting that stand. No one answered me when I asked whether my posts were too wordy, not wordy enough, or just right so I'm going with the cop-out answer of "it's my blog so I can write however much I feel like writing." I went to the Halloween Ball Friday night and took some pictures but they feel kind of lackluster to me. I think that's because photography is supposed to be about light (hence the "photo") and the room was so dark that any flash was enough to wash it out. I still managed to get a good photo of our costumes for you.
Halloween Ball
Last night, when I finished going through those photos, I was a little disappointed that I didn't have anything I deemed 'blog worthy' so I took a walk with Richard. As usual, we ended up at the park and I finally got a picture of him riding the tractor/lawn mower/truck/whatever that toy is supposed to be. On the way home, we found a leather couch in front of a dumpster and decided to pose on it. I just hope my yellow couch doesn't feel slighted because we haven't taken her out for a photo shoot yet.
night walk
I don't know that this is really blog worthy either but it was driving me crazy that my top post was a photo someone else took and I edited. I'd like for my work to be the first person someone sees when they look at my blog.

I have a few surprises up my sleeve in the near future. I can't wait to show them to you and to Rock n Roll Bride. (Hint: that might mean something, but nothing related to an engagement or wedding.)

Friday, October 22, 2010

fix-it Friday [i heart faces]

Over at , they have an awesome feature called "Fix It Fridays" where someone posts a straight out of camera shot and asks for the community to play with it in Photoshop.

This week's before is super cute but just feels a little dark.
Fix-It Friday #75

My goal was to create an after that made me feel like the little boy was flying. Don't ask me why; my brain works in silly ways.
fix-it 75
MCP under exposure fixer @ 96%
MCP urban lake @ default with light it up layer turned on
vintage SX-70 trick from a tutorial over at MCP actions (which I saved as an action on my computer to expedite my laziness)
slice like a ninja @ default (from Totally Rad actions)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

adventure, cosplay, and Jimmy Buffett

My paper is done and turned it. I am finished going through the photos. I am barely mourning the fact that I had to drop out of the zombies game. And so, you get to see an abbreviated version of the annual Honors College Islands of Adventure trip.

The "crazy Halloween shoot" I alluded to in my last post did not take over the day like I expected it would, for which I was kind of glad. My roommates decided to wear their Halloween costumes and cosplay. Brooke was Tohru, Rachael H was Kyo, and Rachael P. was Saki (from Fruits Basket).
Universal cosplay
Tohru and Kyo were recognized all day and total strangers even asked if they could take a picture. It was super awesome. We took a few pictures to use as promotional material for Anime Club (and my photography portfolio) but mostly we just had a lot of fun goofing off.
Universal cosplay diptych
We also tried out my off-camera flash trigger...
Universal cosplay diptych 2
...which fell off the rock we propped it up on right after those shots. Oops. So much for a new toy.

The majority of the trip was very relaxing and I didn't take too many pictures. It sounds like the perfect counterbalance to my last trip to Islands of Adventure. The only place I really took a lot of photos was Jurassic Park, and that's mostly because I finally got to play in Camp Jurassic.
Camp Jurassic
The awesome cavern with the cool lights was where I took the awesome cosplay photos with the off-camera lighting. I loved the mist and the purple lights the best.
camp jurassic cavern

And yes, Doug did try to make himself into a baby dinosaur in the Jurassic Park education center.
making baby dinosaurs
I feel like I should save this to show our future children as an explanation of why the other kids think they're so weird. Considering I immediately grabbed my camera to capture the craziness, I'm partially to blame.

Doug and I continued our tradition of having a relaxing dinner at Margaritaville. We had cheeseburgers in paradise--albeit not following the song properly--and I had a delicious drink because it was five o'clock. (Ok, it was closer to six by the time I got my drink. But I was still amused.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

gearing up for battle

In the next few days, I will be writing a midterm essay exam, followed by having a crazy Halloween photo shoot at Islands of Adventure.
Starting on Monday, the majority of the Honors College will be playing Infection and I will be attempting to photograph the crazy zombie tag attacks without getting killed myself. On top of all my school work, of course.
I have a paper to write next week and the Fight Like A Girl Halo charity tournament next weekend.

Today, my Cactus flash trigger is going to arrive and try to tempt me. (I've been tracking it as it slowly shipped from Ohio to here.)

In case you are wondering why I am telling you this, it's because this post is tagged as 'apology'. As in, I know I've been neglecting the blog and I promise I have a lot of cool stuff to show you but first, I need to get around to doing it.

However, I can show you Doug's zombie hunting uniform:
gearing up for battle
He wouldn't be nearly as effective without the Jayne hat.

Monday, October 11, 2010


birthday cupcake
This is what it looks like to be twenty-two. It's funny because I don't feel any older. But then I read my previous post and realize I've become more mature and introspective since I started this blog at age 20.

Friday, October 8, 2010

the big picture

"The little things piling up is what stops hearts." -Ryan Marshall, Pacing the Panic Room

I don't want to chronicle my struggles with the little things but I really wanted to share that quote. I can relate a lot to the context Ryan was sharing it in because I want nothing more than to be that photographer who is so in love with their work that all I can talk about is the love. When I bounce around, full of glee and giggles at my own photos, people take notice and talk to me about photographing them. That is the big picture. But the little things (balancing school and photos, trying to start a business, not always valuing my work what it's worth, etc) lurk in the back of my mind and sometimes make me panic. Photography is supposed to be fun. It's the love of my life. If I ever had to go completely without a camera, I think I would be miserable because it is such a huge part of what makes me happy. I'm working at not letting the little things pile up and get to me; I'm trying to take lots of tiny steps towards where I am going. And I am really freaking happy about it. I refer to it as "chasing a simple dream" but really, I am just highlighting the aspect of my identity that I am most passionate about.

I wandered around the Greenway today with Doug and did not take very many pictures. But those I did take are going to be part of a series I am putting together for myself.
dinosaur dragon tree
In case you don't see it, the top tree reminded Doug of a dragon and the bottom one looks like a dinosaur.
I also indulged in some environmental geekery by swearing loudly at the invading Caesar's weed and then posing with the one I uprooted (which sadly has probably propagated further).
greenway Caesar's weed
Doug and I even took photos for our Christmas cards, but I don't want to ruin the surprise.

This is what I love. That is the part of the big picture that I want people to see. My heart is in a lot of things, but photography has the largest part these days. I want whomever is reading this--whether it is as soon as I publish it or years down the line--to know me better and understand that I am willing to struggle to end the day grinning from ear to ear as I blog that day's photos.

"Well, is it your fear of being buried that makes you so afraid to speak? An avalanche of opinions like the one that fell that I'm now underneath. It was my voice that moved the first rock, and I would do it all again. So I mean, it's cool if you keep quiet, but I like singing." -Bright Eyes

[For those of you who read regularly, do you like when I am candid? Do you want more photos and less words? Please let me know.]

Thursday, October 7, 2010

yesterday and today

The past two days have been a series of ups and downs. Amidst the difficulty that is coping with bad flare-ups of my anxiety, I got to see sun flare. I also got to celebrate my 'baby brother' turning sixteen, discover a landmark has burned down, and watch a moth try its hardest to fly into my sunlit room.
beautiful day flare
road reflection
burnt down Grifs
window moth

I've found that creative endeavors such as making photos and decorating shirts make me feel better so that's what I worked on today. I'm really excited to turn my tie-dye shirt into something more amazing.
tie dye

The promise that tomorrow will be better hangs over my head. And Sunday, I will turn twenty-two, ready or not. Things are going to keep looking up.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

a glimpse into my heart

This is what love looks like. Forget being "patient and kind"; it's messy and awkward. But it's mine. I would only make it better if I could.

(Since we can't communicate telepathically or cure anxiety, let's just call it perfect and get on with our lives.)

chasing a simple dream

I apologize in advance for how many photos there are but I am so excited to share them.

In my last post, I mentioned how excited I was to finally be able to shoot at the sign I've been gazing at longingly for years. Honestly, I am kicking myself for not doing it sooner. I sent out a text message randomly yesterday around noon, asking if anyone wanted to do a photo shoot. I got three ecstatic responses, several people lamenting having previous plans or obligations, and not a single no. My heart was skipping like a rock across a pond. My friends, who get shoved in front of my camera mercilessly, not only were willing to take part in my crazy half-planned idea but they wanted me to flush it out more and to plan more shoots. It's still hitting me now: this is my life.

sign 2
sign 3
sign diptych
sign 4
sign diptych 2
Cassidy diptych
lifeguard stand dance
beach gothic
beach pose diptych
beach walk
beach pose diptych 2
beach dance 2

The ring pop proposal was totally their idea. I didn't even know who was proposing to whom until I had my camera trained on the dry patch of sand.


While I was waiting for it to be time to head out (aka waiting for the golden hour), I posted a link on Facebook to the fabulous Boudoir Divas shoot that gave me the push I needed to just grab my friends and go shoot. While she was doing her makeup, Cassidy discussed the shoot with me and was teasing me about doing a shoot sort of like that. I feel that we did, albeit without a lot of the kick-ass styling. Next time, we will plan something out in advance and have an amazing time.

beach pose
waves roll in
beach pose 2
beach pose flash diptych
beach pose 3
wave dancing
beach shower diptych
beach shower

One of the funniest moments of the shoot was me trying to get Melinda into the pose I wanted. It was easier for me to hand off my camera to Andy so I could get into position and show them what I wanted... and then I got splashed by a wave and Andy took a shot and I look quite silly and wet and happy.

me posing

I 'planned' this shoot to be able to practice back-button focusing and fill flash (before I attempt to take my flash off-camera) but it certainly ended up being more of a workshop on communicating my ideas effectively and confidently. And it feels so amazing to be able to walk up to someone and say "hey, this is what we're doing and it's going to be amazing" and have them believe that it is because that's how I imagine it. This is pushing me one step closer to going pro.