Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Exploration #19: Found "Paint"

Exploration #19
Found "Paint"
While on your travels, come up with as many things as you can find to use as pigment (adding water if necessary).
Some examples include crushed berries, mud (using different kinds of dirt), crushed leaves, spices.
Alternate: Document an experience using stains.

Since I was in the kitchen, I decided to go with the alternate and document an experience using stains. The "stains" would be made from things in my fridge and pantry. I crushed up berries and spread them around, mixed spices with water and ground them into the canvas. I poured coffee and wine. Surprisingly, the coffee, wine and blueberries made the least color. The paprika and raspberries made the richest color. I have to say that it was the best smelling piece of art I've ever made. When it was done, it smelled like the dough for cinnamon rolls. Mmmm...cinnamon rolls. :)

Monday, August 29, 2011


Last week was a real bust as far as my non-photography goals went. I did manage to sketch on a couple of pages in the 1947 illustrated copy of Little Women that I purchased at last week's library sale but those aren't finished so I can't quite share them yet. I didn't even attempt the next Exploration task or do watercolor lessons. :(

I did get a new book last week while with Lita called "The Art of iPhoneography: A Guide to Mobile Creativity." iPhoneography is really about creativity in the palm of your hand. Shooting images with the iPhone camera can yield unexpected and surprising results. The processing is easier. It's more widely accepted in a group of people because, let's face it, it's a whole lot less conspicuous than a huge DSLR camera around your neck. And the images don't have to be dull and boring. In fact, it can be quite exciting to shoot with the iPhone. Some photo apps, like my personal favorite, The Hipstamatic, is a grab back of lenses, films and flashes. Give the iPhone a quick shake and it pairs a random combo for you. You won't know what the image looks like until after you've shot it. It's like those moments of waiting for a Polaroid to develop...which by the way, you can shoot with the iPhone!

Lita and I had a creative weekend of shooting on Sanibel Island. I had decided that I would shoot mostly with the iPhone, which helped cut the amount of images shot with the D90 down to just 200. Normally, I would shoot around 400 images. That means 400 images to process. The iPhone images are processed on the phone, sometimes instantly. By having less processing on the computer, my tendinitis just might have a chance to heal. I'm all for that!

So, I will share more of our adventure later this week when I have time to process some of the D90 pics but today's post is all about the iPhone so here are a few of my favorites from this weekend. I mostly used the Hipstamatic with the "shake" turned on. After every picture snapped, I would give the phone a shake and get a different lens and film combo. It was so much fun and completely surprising! A couple of occasions ("Lonely  Summer" and "Topless") I chose the lens and film combo myself, knowing exactly what I wanted to achieve and what combo would get me the look I was going for.

Flower Love
Lens: Salvador 84
Film: Alfred Infrared
Flash: Off

Lazy Mornings
Lens: Bettie XL
Film: Float
Flash: Off

Lonely Summer
Lens: John S
Film: Kodot XGrizzled
Flash: Off

Lens: Kaimal Mark II
Film: Ina's 1969
Flash Off

Beach Photographer
Film: Watts
Film: Cano Cafeno
Flash: Off

Sunset Over Sanibel
Lens: Hornbecker
Film: Ina's 1935
Flash: Off

The Wooden Swing
Lens: Melodie
Film: Alfred Infrared
Flash: Off

My creative goals this week will also involve the iPhone. In "The Art of iPhoneography", there are 100 missions to help spark your creativity. I've written down each mission on a folded piece of paper and put them into a jar. Each week I'll pull one of the missions which I will then shoot with the iPhone. Nichole will also be participating in this challenge and I encourage anyone with an iPhone to join us! Let's see what we all come up with! Here's the one for this week:

Mission #1: Visit a farm and explore a worn path.

I think this one will be a piece of cake for Nichole who lives in rural PA and has a whole series of barn images that are amazing! Living in tropical South Florida may prove a challenge. But hey! I'm up for it!

Additional goals this week are to add color to the Little Women pages, do an Exploration task and finish a watercolor lesson. And of course processing all the images I took this weekend. I feel pretty good about the week ahead as far as fitting everything in. I also would like to take a series of iPhone pics of the same image using all the different combinations of lenses & films and make a little flip book for myself so I can have it as a reference guide when out shooting with the iPhone. 

I wish you all a creative week ahead and hope a few of you will join us for the iPhone challenge!

Monday, August 22, 2011

An Inspired Week

What a week! I've finally gotten into a creative rhythm and have figured out ways to fit art and photography into my daily life despite obligations and a new kitten! How long will it last? I'm hoping forever...:)

Somehow this past week I was able to fit in a creative shooting day with both Leanne & Lita. I did some experimental photography and completed another Exploration task. A few shots from my day with Lita:

Dock Reflections


 By Chance


This week in art:
I finished a page in my Doll dreams journal:
 Angel Heart

I finally finished the watercolor lessons on painting skies. Clouds I think I got...storms, not so much,lol.

I even went above and beyond my goals and did a spread in my mixed media journal:

Romeo & Juliet

I even started an Acrylic painting on canvas:

Winter is Coming

I even made time to run 19 miles this week and see Daniel as Pinocchio in the play "My Son, Pinocchio". And finally, inspired by my friend Nichole, I hit the Plantation Library Book Sale and came home with lots of goodies, most that will be disassembled and used in art projects. A few will go onto my bookshelves.

This week I'm back to eBaying for my clients so that will take up a good chunk of my time. And, there is this gal called Irene moving through the Caribbean, causing me to change all my plans for this week as I get ready for her arrival. Still, I want to stay on this creative roll so my goals for week are to finish the next watercolor lesson (learning to paint water!) and complete another Exploration task. And of course, I would like to fit in a day or two of photography. Full steam ahead! :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Jellyfish Days

Jellyfish Days

Once Leanne's professional shots were done, we decided to have a photo play day at the beach. However, we were thwarted out of the best light due to a white-out thunderstorm that forced us to sit in the car for half an hour. I had brought along my green "seaweed" dress and had planned for Leanne to romp around in the water with it on. However, not hundreds, but thousands of jellyfish put the kibosh on that plan. They were everywhere. Tiny pebble sized ones that tricked you into thinking they were just beads of water and giant sized ones bigger than my hand. They were on the beach and in the water. We were screaming and running and tiptoeing our way through the sand. At one point I was taking a picture of this large jellyfish when a wave came and washed it towards us. We screamed and ran but Leanne lost her flip flop in the water and I had to go rescue it from going out to sea. That was the scariest moment because you can't see where you are stepping or what is floating under the white foam of the waves!

Evil Jellyfish

With the loss of good light (thanks in part to a constant grey cloud cover) and constant movement by both model and photographer (thanks to the jellyfish), the day was not the best in terms of photography. But, that doesn't mean the shots are wasted. Leanne has a classic look which can fit into any decade. So, I decided to process most of the shots with a vintage look. There are a few ways to make your images look aged by using just the basic photo controls found in all photo software programs.

Before Vintage Processing

After Vintage Processing

One of the best ways to make an image seem older is by adjusting the color balance. Adjust the blues and greens to be less and increase the yellows & reds. Remember all those images from the 1970's when color photography was fairly new? Most of those have red & yellow tints. To make the image appear faded, simply lower the contrast until you get the desired look.

Here are three vintage looks that are done with just basic adjustment controls:

 Overlay a texture to "age". Convert to black & white.

Up the contrast and lower the brightness. 

Up the contrast and the brightness. Slightly desaturated. 

Of course, sometimes you just want the shot left as it is, or known by photographers a SOOC (straight out of the camera).

 Sea Beauty

Lovely Leanne

Leanne heads back later this week to begin her third year at NYU. We are planning on trying the "seaweed" dress again in December along with a 1920's flapper themed shoot. Til then, we'll look back onto our Jellyfish days with fondness and laughter!

Friday, August 19, 2011

World Photography Day

Photography has come a long way. Thanks to the digital age, images that were considered poor by the photography elite are now considered art. Sure, there are still purists out there who want a perfectly focused and balanced image but with a digital camera you can experiment with all kinds of techniques, settings and software. You don't have to worry about the cost of film and developing. You can take hundreds of shots and view them instantly. You can think outside the box. You can create art with your camera. In honor of World Photography Day, I spent yesterday afternoon composing abstract mid-day harsh light...with a slow shutter wind...and while moving my camera in a circle. as art! Here are a few of my favorites:

Garden of Light & Motion 

Pastel Journeys


Bromeliad Complex

There are no rules anymore (well, except you still need to have a good composition!) and you can take a chance and try something new and different! I hope these images inspire all of my readers to take camera in hand and experiment! Be bold and have fun!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Exploration #18: Structure

That most sordid of all havens, the corner, deserves to be examined.
~Gaston Bachelard

Exploration #18
Document part of a building that most people ignore (examples include the ceilings, bathrooms, corners, closets and the inside of drawers.) Pay attention to the hidden places. Alternate: Document the corners of your home.

I decided to go with the alternate and document some of the corners in and around my home. And, to make it a bit more fun and creative, I used the Hipstamatic iPhone app. All these were taken with the Salvador 84 lens and using the Dream Canvas film. What did I learn from this exploration task? That I need to dust. :)

In a corner of my bedroom sits a beautiful Orchid which is currently full of blooms.

A corner in my cabana bath. It's decorated with a large old window painted with a beach scene.

Closet Corner

 Art room corner. Filled with books, brushes and inspirations!

 Faerie Corner. A little area of my dining room hutch.

 The doll room

 This corner in the family room has a tall light.

Another corner in the family room has a window with a view of the pool and lake.

Foyer Corner

 This is a corner in the front room. My Georgian Doll house resides here.

 A dirty, cob-webby corner in the garage.

A corner in the Butterfly Garden.

 Guest bathroom corner. Many a previous self portrait has been taken here due to the natural light.

My favorite corner. Located in my English/French inspired guest room.

25 feet up the in a corner of the kitchen are window slices. These have clear, permanent hurricane shutters on them so we don't have to climb on the roof anymore and put them on.

A corner across the lake.

Laundry corner. When I see this it reminds me of how badly I want one of those new colored washer/dryer sets. This old, plain white set ain't cutting it anymore!

 Another favorite corner is this one in the master bath where ivy hangs over my bathtub. It's like soaking in the forest. I have paper butterflies and origami cranes tied to the vine.

 Patio corner. This is where the new kitten likes to be. She hides amongst the plants and bird watches.