Chasing Balloons

Today I did an impromptu photo shoot with my friend, Alison. We went to the dollar store, got 40 black balloons, and went to the vacant lot near my house (y’know, the only place around here that sort of looks like nature. We take what we can get in the suburbs.) I really had no ideas or concept, but as usual, a narrative fell into place as I worked.

While we were at the field forest lot place thing, we came across this little fort. It’s in one of the pictures above. It was kind of funny, kind of weird, and definitely made for some teenagers up to no good. We explored it a little, I climbed a tree… The usual business.

I shot 35mm film, Fuji Superia ISO800. I remembered how much I liked the 800 speed film in that field the first time I shot film there, and I wasn’t disappointed. I ran out of my roll, and even though I was done, there were two more moments that needed to be documented. So, I pulled out my handy dandy iPhone to save the day for the second time this week.

It’s great to gauge how far I’ve come this past year. Last December I shot my first roll of film on an automatic SLR. Now, a year later, I’m shooting with a fully manual SLR and I can read light on my own to pick out the best possible shutter speed and aperture without the need of a light meter. I make mistakes, but dang, I’ve come so far. Practice makes perfect, and this past year I’ve been practicing almost non stop.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone!

My Christmas Eve ended with a beautiful sunset. My relatives live by the lake, so we took the scenic route home- and I’m so glad we did, because I have never seen it look so gorgeous.


I had to take the photo on my iPhone, but it was better than nothing. It was one of those times where I kicked myself for not having my camera. Moments like these motivate me to carry it around 24/7, but I have yet to do it. One day there will be a picture perfect moment and I will actually have my camera with me!

Today, I woke up early and unwrapped presents with my family. I made out like a bandit- I got a Fuji Natura Classica and a Fuji Instax! I’m in love~ and I can’t wait to try them out and fall in love with them even more.

After gifts, we went to my Grandpa’s house for dinner, and I brought my camera with me (y’know, since I’m still kicking myself for not having my camera with me for that sunset…) I wandered around the house I spent a lot of my time in as a kid, taking pictures of whatever I felt. Some pictures were purely aesthetic, others were nostalgia induced.

The first picture is of a Jesus painting that has scared me since I was a kid- no idea why, maybe it’s just the way it was lit up by the lamp. Happy Birthday, Jesus.

The second is of the shelves in my Grandma’s sewing room. Man, that woman could sew anything. The odd thing about those shelves is I don’t think any of those things have been touched since she passed away in 2004. Time stands still in that room.

The third picture is of the wall in the hallway. All of those pictures are of my aunts and uncles (my daddy-o is the top left dude.) The drawings all around the pictures are what me and the other grandkids drew for Grandma back in the day. Mine are the weird flower thing and the rainbow lava-lamp pattern thing.

The fourth is my nephew Charlie playing with some beads I found in the toy box. I was fiddling with them and he came over to help me organize them. He did a good job.

The fifth and final picture is of just a lamp. I used to play in the curtains behind it and get in trouble.

So, yeah, nostalgia. My Grandma is a major part of why I am an art major today, since she encouraged my curiosity and always made a big deal of whatever craft thing or drawing I made while at her house.

Yeah, totally didn’t intend for this post to be a trip down memory lane- but hey, it’s Christmas, a time for family and reflection. Thanks for letting me share with you all. I hope you had a lovely day, whether you celebrate Christmas or not. (:

Backyard Beauty

Today I did a shoot that took longer to get ready than it did to actually take pictures. My sister, Natalie, was the model for me and she spent about an hour and a half doing her hair and makeup. It took me five minutes to shoot.

“That’s it?”

“Yepp. That’s it. Let’s go inside.”

The best part was it started to rain half-way through her getting ready process. I was not about to cancel the shoot, so I had to go all classy on my camera equipment: plastic trash bags are not just for taking out your nasties. So here we were, in my backyard (which is pretty junky…) in the freezing rain, trash bag over my camera, Natalie in a robe and sitting in a hair-dryer chair I found at a thrift store, with my dog sniffing around.

It was a good time, even though it was about five minutes.

Field Study #9

Time for something kind of different!

I did a project for one of my classes with the theme Environment. I had to locate a space and find a way to bring a sense of the place into the classroom. So I did a mock field study. Using the Lomochrome Purple XR film and my imagination, I created a purple forest. As a field scientist (as a pretend field scientist, rather,) I documented my stay in the Purple Forest through journaling, taking samples, sketching, and making sound recordings. I tried to bring a sense of my imaginary place into the classroom my using 4 of my 5 senses: hearing, touch, smell, and sight.

So this is what I did: I went down to the river on my campus, to an area that has no trails and isn’t frequented by students. I took pictures, made sound recordings of the birds and the river, and I took leaves and berries from the area. I altered the recordings I made to include choral, heavenly sounds. I took the leaves and berries and I put them in jars with colored water, to give the effect that the leaves were purple or pink. I also took strawberry extract and said it was a “river water” sample, so my imaginary place smelled like strawberries.

Here is my field guide that I put together.

My handwriting is a little hard to read, but no worries: it’s typed up and ready to read in the Undergraduate Work tab.

As usual, things didn’t go as planned. My first roll of film gave me a world of trouble. My camera refused to rewind it. So I had to do it the old-fashioned way (turn off all the lights hide under numerous blankets and use a pair of scissors to ease it back into the camera…) Because of this, a lot of my roll got over-exposed and turned magenta. I scanned them in and did what I could to salvage them, but they just weren’t to my standards. I printed them on normal paper and pasted them into the field guide, and moped. And moped. And moped some more. Then I got mad, grabbed my camera, and re-shot another roll. And they turned out beautifully.

I’m super bummed I only have 2 rolls of the Lomochrome Purple XR left. I’ll need to order some more soon.

In other news: my blog is a year old! Yay! It’s incredible to look back and see how much work I’ve done this year. It’s inspiring and humbling all at the same time.

Well, that’s all for now. Now that my finals are over and I’m on break, expect more blogging from me!