Thursday, January 27, 2011


"You've got to swim. Swim for your life. Swim for the music that saves you when you're not so sure you'll survive. You've got to swim and swim when it hurts. The whole world is watching. You haven't come this far to fall off the earth. The currents will pull you away from your love. Just keep your head above."

I'm really struggling a lot with my digital art class. Photography is my passion, I live for it and love it with an intensity I reserve only for my family. Sometimes, I even tease them that I love my camera more than them. So when I put my work out there in the world and it gets attacked, it feels like I'm the one being attacked. [I need to remember to keep this post about me and how I feel, not about the way my art class treats me.] The best way to counteract destruction is to create, to swim. When the art majors and the art teacher try to correct my composition because it's not rule of thirds, or they tell me to crop because they don't like the negative space I chose to employ, it sounds to me like my vision is being questioned. The photos in question were blogged previously, so you know it's obvious that I am proud of them. [I almost wrote 'was' instead of 'am', but that isn't right. Just because my professor doesn't like them doesn't mean that I have to stop appreciating their beauty.] My knee-jerk reaction is to stop blogging, to stop sharing on Facebook, maybe to even stop shooting... but I can't/won't abandon my passion, just because someone else doesn't understand. To them, photographs are snapshots to they can remember; to me, photographs are my memories. They construct my world.


This is compounded by being in pain. All the time. This heart problem/chest pain/stress is wearing me down. I don't have it in me to set up complex conceptual shots. If I'm disheartened, what motivation do I have to push myself further? The conscious decision I make every time I take a photo, share it, or blog about it is my motivation. The best advice I've been given concerning my heart is to do what makes me happy and share what I love. It's the only thing that works.

"You gotta swim. Swim in the dark. There's no shame in drifting. Feel the tide shifting and wait for the spark. You've got to swim. Don't let yourself sink. Just find the horizon, I promise you it's not as far as you think."

I was listening to Jack's Mannequin the other night while I was editing because I needed to hear these words. Now I'm telling you because I need you to hear it. Dear home, dear world, dear fans, dear haters, dear mom and Doug and brotherface, dear reader, dear me... "just keep your head above..."

Monday, January 24, 2011

bubbles on the breeze [52:4]

I wanted to put this in the previous post but I Heart Faces specifies one shot per post and I want to be eligible to win.

Saturday, I took 100 photos of bubbles at a charity event. I was stressed out and just needed to relax.
project 52-4-bubbles in the breeze
I feel more calm already.

edited to add: I'm currently taking a digital arts class and we're in the intro to photography portion. I'm having a hard time with my peers taking a picture with no thought put into subject or composition. It's a struggle for me to take 100 pictures of bubbles because I know I'm going to need those shots for a later project, knowing that my classmates are turning in MySpace-style portraiture or snapshots of each other eating. I understand I am holding myself to a much higher standard than they hold themselves but it is majorly disheartening to see someone disrespecting my passion. Photographing the bubbles started as an assignment for myself, building my 'treasure trove' for a piece I am planning, but it ended up being a break from the ordinary. I got to relax and immerse myself in composition. I set my camera once and then just followed the bubbles as the wind changed, capturing the exciting ways in which they floated and changed. And when I got home, I decided that this qualified as soothing repetition and made this my project 52 entry for the week.

chasing bubbles [I heart faces]

This week's theme over at is innocent wonder.

chasing bubbles
Photo taken at a charity event in Abacoa on Saturday.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

magic in perspective [52:3]

This week's theme for project 52 is shades of gray. Being that I currently am full of NyQuil, I decided a play on words was required and opted to focus on the light coming through the blinds (window shade).
project 52-3-dance of shadow and light

I also owe you a before-and-after. I did this last week but forgot to post it in the rush to get the yellow submarine up on time.
wishing flower b&a
It feels a little strange to be peeling back the curtain and showing the 'magic' that goes on between when I trip the shutter and when I post the photo. But this is how I get from what I see in my mind to what the camera sees to what I want the viewer to see.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

back-up plan [52:2]

I had all these amazing ideas of what to do for this week's theme: illustrate a song. But the week just got away from me. I went on an amazing adventure two days in a row and I ran out of time to construct a complicated set. But I had a back-up plan! This was actually my suggestion to Dave but I'm having to use my take on it so I have an entry this week. (I *did* take a lot of pictures this week, after all.)

project 52-2-yellow submarine
"As we live a life of ease
Every one of us has all we need,
Sky of blue and sea green,
In our yellow submarine
-the Beatles

Thursday, January 13, 2011

this counts as homework

This semester, I am taking a digital art class. Between that, I Heart Faces, and my project 52, there may be 3 posts a week. That's an ambitious posting schedule while I'm working on thesis, but I'm trying.

My assignment for this weekend is to take 100 photos. Of course, we took 60 in class. Professor Lemeh turned us loose for half an hour and expected 30 pictures when we returned. Then, she did it again with a 20 minute period. It's rather interesting to see what new perspectives on the campus I can discover when I have a time constraint and a need to be 'creative.' (The images I am turning in are straight out of camera, no editing allowed! I decided to play with a few in Photoshop and post them here because it's relaxing.)
art class diptych
brick paver plant
I was having a minor obsession moment with the texture of Dori's hair and the pattern of her shirt.
Dori hair
leaf's eye view
art class diptych 3
I have a weird sense of humor.
art class diptych 2

Yesterday's photo excursion seemed to hinge on a desire to capture texture and form. I get the feeling this is going to carry over into next week's assignment.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

taking on a new project [52:1]

In the past, I may have announced a lofty project for myself which fell flat on its face because it was just a smidge too ambitious. I lived, I learned,... and now I am taking on a smaller project. I am joining MCP's Project 52 and posting a photo a week for all of 2011. My friend Dave is also participating so we both have someone to hold us accountable.

This week's theme is something around the house. I chose to photograph some mix cds I made a few years back.
project 52-1-mix cd
The covers of the cds are all photos I have taken, as are the liner notes (not pictured).

Monday, January 3, 2011

best face of 2010 [i heart faces]

The first theme of the year over at is the best face of 2010. After much thinking about which photo I should choose to represent the past year, I realized I kept coming back to this one.
I took it towards the end of December as we were waiting outside the Magic Kingdom, waiting to go in. I didn't really plan ahead; I saw the way Cassie was leaning on Doug and quickly adjusted my camera settings to take the shot before we went in. But it's the photo I keep coming back to because it's one of the first photos where even I was taken aback by how beautiful it looked. This is one of the first shots I've taken that I've been 100% excited about straight out of camera. This photo demonstrates everything I've worked for in 2010 and much of what I hope to accomplish in 2011.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


I don't keep a personal journal anymore. I just keep this, a photo blog full of letters home. I don't need words as much as I used to because I have finally gotten to the point where I own cameras I can communicate with. But I want words tonight because I lost my music. I found it and I'm copying it back but when my computer ate it, I thought my heart was going to stop. Someone suggested I have an external hard drive for cases like this and I do; I have an external full of photos because I know I couldn't be okay if I lost my photos.

I would rather have this than music.
But my heart aches just the same for having lost one as it would for the other. I'm copying back everything I can but I had forgotten how much music meant to me. While the rest of the world sees radio silence, I have my headphones. And my camera.