Thursday, March 29, 2012

just one [self-portrait]

I was inspired today by the work of Elizabeth Messina.

soft window self-portrait
Shot in front of a north-facing window using available (sun!) light.
28mm, f/4.5, 1/50 sec, ISO 200
Processed to simulate film

I went for a soft and slow approach. I needed it. Today was kind of rough.

Monday, March 26, 2012

film stories

Today was a rough day for me physically and emotionally. This is relevant to the story only because I was really, really down and needed a bit of a pick-me-up. So I was driving to get my brother when I got a phone call from Richard Photo Lab. They had a hard time reading my handwriting on the order form and wanted to get billing sorted out so they could get my prints out in today's FedEx pickup. Hello, pick-me-up! Also, hello amazing customer service.

These photos span over a year. I don't even remember what some of them are from anymore. I've been carrying around Ida in my bag forever. Where I can, I'll link back to the digital/original posts with the rest of the photos.
film scans triptych 1
film scans triptych 2
film scans triptych 3

This one is from Layla's wedding.
Layla wedding film scan

library cloud reflection film scan

These were taken as part of my whirlwind Salt Lake City adventure.
Utah trip film scans triptych
And this... this is my heart and soul. This is the only shot that I could not wait to see. I did not think that this would come out because it was dark in the Venue and I was trying to shoot ISO 200 film on a 1950s camera. I'm a little crazy sometimes but it's so worth it to say that I photographed Jack's Mannequin's soundcheck on a camera that has also photographed the Beatles.
Jack's Mannequin sound check film scan

film scans triptych 4
film scans triptych 5

These are from our Valentine's Day Up photo shoot.
film scans triptych 6

film scans triptych 7
film scans triptych 8

There were shot on my Holga. The broken one that the back fell off of when I was taking the top left shot of the sun rise while I was on the plane to Salt Lake. I'm only slightly upset about that. The rest of the photos are closer to home.
film scans Holga quad 1
film scans Holga quad 2

The best part about these scans? They're instant gratification for now while the prints are on their way.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

new lens, new love

Yesterday I was on a quest for a new camera bag that doesn't hurt my back. I found one that I love but it isn't carried locally. And somehow, I managed to come home with a new lens. It's a 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Canon love machine. For those of you who speak gear, the technical specs can be found here. For those of you who aren't fluent in camera, let's just say that it's a sexy lens and I love it.
My favorite feature at the moment is the focus. Basically, I can autofocus and then make minor adjustments manually (without breaking the lens). The image stabilization was also a huge selling point for me but I haven't really had much of a chance to try it out yet. I did one test shot today and I can see a difference already. A girl could get used to this.
I was going to take my new lens to Chapel Trail but they closed early today. My test run around the neighborhood wasn't quite as exciting but I'm still impressed.
new lens grapevine before&after
springtime fern curl
new lens airplant before&after
new lens tree silhouette before&after
dreaming on the lake shore
wide angle palm trees
new lens image stabilization test

The only 'problem' I've found so far is that it's a little darker than I'm used to so I need to get into the habit of overexposing slightly from how the camera meters the scene. But then it will be so perfect.
end of the day birds

Saturday, March 24, 2012

puppy love

I was at my aunt's house last night for a party for my cousin. When things calmed down, I decided I wanted to take a picture with Sophie.
We were having a little too much fun.
puppy love triptych

Monday, March 19, 2012

March madness [project 12]

Project 12 was supposed to be a very non-committal photo project: 1 theme each month for a year. After struggling a little with the deadlines for Project 52 last year, I was excited to have a little less stress and a little more breathing room. My life doesn't always give me time for my interests on someone else's timetable.

When the once a month thing just wasn't enough for the community, they decided to up the ante a little. Now there are four challenges for the month (one per week) but they're not on a strict deadline. This is exactly the compromise I wanted/needed and I know I'm not the only one.

I started writing this post the day I started in on March's challenges. I'll be adding the photos to the post and the group photo pool on Flickr as I finish them but you won't be able to see this post until I've finished. I'll try to explain a little something about each photo I've chosen and why I feel that it fits the theme.

Take a picture from a high vantage point, from above your subject
I took a Polaroid of my shoes on a walk to send to my friend Lauren. Then I put the Polaroid on my shoes to take a photo (much like she does).
project 12 - 1 - Polaroid shoes

Capture a photo using natural light.
I was driving home from work during the golden hour when it started to rain. There is something so magical about sunshowers.
Project 12 - March - 2 - sunshower

Express the following word in a photo: Transition
Winter turns into spring and tiny ferns uncurl their stems and unfurl their leaves.
[Note: I only used one for project 12 but I'm posting all 3 here.]
curly fern 1
curly fern 2
project 12 - March - 3 - curly fern 3

Create a "guess what" photo – this is a photo that is so close up that the subject becomes abstract.
I have some sparkly blue stress putty. When abstracted, it looks the sea. It reminds me of the Sea of Galilee in Israel.
Project 12 - March - 4 - Sea of Galilee

Sunday, March 18, 2012

a burst of inspiration

"The camera does not record emotion... The job of a photographic artist is to work with the camera's image, to create the drama and add back the emotion." -David Fokos

I found that quote this morning when I was reading Rangefinder (a photographer trade magazine). That sums up the way I feel about editing: I'm working to bring in the way I see the world into the shots my camera saw. Choosing camera settings isn't enough to make the final product representative of the way I envision it; I also spend time poking around in Photoshop to get it just right. More often than not, I know how I'm going to edit a shot the second the shutter clicks closed.

I'm a little hesitant to share these before-and-afters because I feel like the before images are raw and unfinished. But I know that it's important to share how much is technical and how much is inspiration.
headphone cord and sneakers before&after
sunflare peeling tree before&after
air plant flowers before&after

I don't have before-and-afters for these. This is how I saw them in my mind and it took a few clicks to 'finish' them off.
drinking duck diptych
air plant disco ball
tree face 21

Friday, March 9, 2012

just one shot

tree ant
Shot in manual mode, f/5.6, 1/200 second, ISO 160

Monday, March 5, 2012

breakfast with the Lorax

Doug and I went to see the Lorax on Saturday. I have been waiting my entire life for this. I loved it.

On the way, we stopped off at IHOP for some truffula tree pancakes.
Lorax IHOP diptych 1
Lorax IHOP diptych 2

And of course, we had to play with the menu.