Monthly Archives: January 2009

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{my kind of cake}

A layer cake is necessary for birthday celebrations.



and there you have it.


I am leery about falling for the latest fad in the photographic world.  Some things get so popular and everyone jumps on the bandwagon.  What was once cutting edge is suddenly cliche.  It is rather predictable.  It is no different than fashion.  I was slow to finally get Ugg boots, too.

With that in mind, I am a complete sucker for the look of Lo-Fi photos.  It has been an ongoing obsession for the past years.  And, I am strongly influenced by the Lo-Fi look when I am using my very very Hi-Fi equipment. For instance, I love love love the look of a Holga.  But I just can’t go to film after being spoiled with digital all these years.  I know and love my Nikon.  I want to take cool  photos with my Nikon.

One of the recent Lo-Fi-look techniques I have been resisting is called ttv – or Through The Viewfinder.  You use your hi-fi equipment to take a lo-fi looking photo through the viewfinder of an old camera.  The technique is quite simple and cheap and the images are still digital.  It is very popular and I dragged my feet for quite a while using the ‘fad’ excuse for not bidding on ebay for the appropriate old camrea.  I was finally hooked when my friend Jill shared her gear with us during a recent creative photo gathering.  I went home and bought a Kodak Duaflex the same day.

It just showed up and I am in love.  YAY!  so cool.



Thanks again, Jill!


why is it that just about any photo taken with a Holga is COOL?

Here is an old fave from the archives.  I have not touched my camera in the cold rainy crud today.  Bleh.


{conjure some inspiration}

Ok, I am not going to lie.  This is the hardest time of year for me.  My body wants to go dormant in the cold but my brain is uninspired and restless.  I become a freak clock-watcher waiting for time to pass and just hoping that my feet will warm up eventually.  The mid-afternoon is the WORST.  The hour of one pm might last for 5 hours during January and February.  Honestly.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Sometimes you have to conjure a little inspiration.

{surround yourself with the things you love}

I actually got a piece of paper out and just started writing the things I am good at, creatively speaking.  Like I need to write it to figure it out.  But I am a right-brained kinda girl and sometimes it helps to look at the words on the paper.  It can give me some new and fresh perspective.  I started digging in my piles of old photos that I printed in the past but just ended up in a pile.  I crawled into our attic (the one warm place in this drafty old house) and pulled out my bulletin board.  And, I selected some of the things I find most inspiring and put them on my new inspiration bulletin board.

Yanno, I might not have all my problems solved.  But I am doing something.  And, that truly helps.  In the end I believe that I have the general idea of the design problem I have been trying to solve in the back of my head all week.  Lots of details to fill but having a starting place is VITAL.  I think the key is to surround yourself with the things you love and eventually it will all come together in the end.  Having this visual reminder on my board will only help to solidify the ideas I have started to churn.

Here is one of my favorite quotes by the amazing Pablo Picasso:  “To my distress and perhaps to my delight, I order things in accordance with my passions.  What a sad thing for a painter who loves blondes but denies himself the pleasure of putting them in his picture because they don’t go well with the basket of fruit!  What a misery for a painter who detests apples to have to use them all the time because they harmonize with the tablecloth!  I put in my pictures everything I like.  So much the worse for the things – they have to get along with each other.”


sia and glass of wine are optional but highly recommended.

{tip tutorials trial and error}

Ok, so my favorite Muse has been encouraging me lately to go a new direction – branch out, add to my repertoire, help others struggling to find their way.  And, I think she has quite a point.  So I am going to start adding some cool tips and tutorials to my blog.  There are just some things you learn from fumbling your way for a few years and you forget how valuable that experience is.  So here goes…

My first tip is simple yet twofold threefold as this is my new project and I will just test out the waters.

FIRST —  just because the weather is crap and you don’t feel motivated to create new photos, never stop going back into your archives and playing with your old photos.  Just as your style and taste will morph over the years, so will your eye and technique.  Sometimes you find that you were better than you thought you were.  Sometimes you find you were worse than you thought you were.  Today I was trying to get myself working as I have been a slug lately.  I looked back into my archives and found this fantastic photo from almost a year ago.  At the time I had taken like 400 photos and this gem slipped through the cracks.  I remember that I was trying to achieve a ‘look’ and somehow had my eyes closed to the fantastic work I was producing instinctively.  How silly for me to have been trying to emulate someone else’s style.  YIKES.  anyhow, it goes to show that what i was looking for in my photos a year ago is much different than it is today.  And, this photo jumped out at me and smacked me in the face for the first time this morning.

but there isn’t any eye contact – big iris’s!!!  How can it be?  ILP!  BARF!  Funny how I finally DON’T CARE!  :)


So I took the photo and applied my regular bag of tricks and voila, it is a PRB.

That is my secret.  SHHHHHHH…..  don’t tell.  Yes, it is true.  I, essentially, do the same thing to every single photo with some rare exceptions.

So the second tip.  With all the possibilities in the pandoras box that is photoshop and all the fabulous third party actions on the market, it can be very overwhelming to know WHAT to do to each photo.  Make it simple.  Do the same thing to every photo.  Not only will it ease your photo-processing, but it will also create your own personal signature.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  Don’t think I am BATCH processing…..  big difference.  I work each photo one by one because I feel each image deserves my special hands-on touch.  However, I have a bunch of little tweaks that I add that give my photos a look and a feel which I love.  And, I do those same little tweaks again and again.  Not only does it take the question out of my processing, it also makes my look recognizable.

One afternoon I spent some time writing a photoshop action that compiled all those cool little tweaks and adjustments I love and made them one big action that I can trigger with a keyboard hot key.  Now I just press my hot key and sip on my coffee as PS goes to work.  It goes through each little step and adjusts in the same order and at the same opacity that I tend to choose, again and again and again.  No more laziness to sharpen at the end.  It is built in.  I added snapshots and stops along the way so I can go back and change anything at anytime.  The process is actually quite simple once you have decided which little tweaks and actions you want to add.  I will not add a tutorial today.  But it is just an important thing to do  —  create a work flow. Once you have selected a work flow, try not to change it.  And, then, block out all those people trying to get your attention to sell some filter or action or preset that will make your photo EVEN BETTER than the last.  Seriously.  Shut them off and block them.  Pretend they don’t exist.

And, third fabulous tip —  DON’T TRY TO EMULATE SOMEONE ELSES WORK. seriously a silly waste of time, an act of futility, and really rather lame.  And, frankly ilp just sounds like a bad word.

to be continued:  next post…..  how to not be a (hush) MWAC……

{it could always be worse}

I know the weather is crap and things are slow after the holidays, but it could always be worse.


get some {fresh} air

aka {pure terror}????


{prb at CRUX}


My image Here. Now. on display at the Mayer Fine Art Gallery at Waterside.  It is included in the CRUX exhibit and will be on display until the end of the month.



please visit my etsy shop or contact me directly to purchase PRB images in my new Notecard Series


{resolution: observe}


observation vista [insert photo here]

most times when you go to a famous spot, historic building, breath-taking vista, there will be a game of average people waiting their turn to [insert photo here].

The challenge is to observe.  Go ahead and take the obligatory snap.  But then go back and observe.  You might see something new.

By the way, I don’t believe I have ever seen anything so Oh My God beautiful as this point in Yosemite Valley.  Awe-inspiring beauty.  I can still feel the cold, crisp air.

ETA:  the guy who wrote the book on javascript told me that I have made JSON.  Things that make ya go HUH???

{in the crowd}






Please come see me at CRUX!

My photo, ‘Here.  Now.’ has been selected to be a part of the CRUX juried exhibit. It will be on display at the Mayer Fine Art Gallery at Waterside January 11-31.  There is a gallery opening reception at 7:30 on January 10th. I would love it if you join me.

This is actually a very exciting time for me. This is the very first time I will be showing my art. I have been planning it out and saving it up. I am nervous to put it out there, on display, for once! Let this be the beginning of a new and exciting chapter of gallery work for me. Cheers!

I also want to give a shout out to my friend Sara for creating such an amazing design to represent this exhibit.  I love it, Sara.  Fantastic work.  :)

{resolution: ideas}

I have some wonderful ideas.  Now is the time to act on them.


{resolution: community}

there is strength and inspiration in numbers


{resolution: conservation}

Creative repurposing