London Bound!

It’s finally time! I’m packing my bags and taking off to London for six weeks!

I’ve been planning/saving/plotting for this trip for over a year now, and it’s nice that it is finally becoming a reality! Ever since I visited last March, I’ve been itching to go back and take some more pictures. I have a lot of series in mind, over half of the participants on my study abroad are willing to model, and I’m just so gosh darn excited I can’t handle it!

But. Really. I have so much photography equipment coming with me it could be seen as obscene. How do photographers travel with so much? I remember two years ago I was at a lecture by Steve Winters from National Geographic, and he was telling us that he had 16 cases of photo luggage when he went to India to photograph some snow leopards. Wow.

And here I am, with one suitcase, one backpack, and one camera bag, thinking: “Is this too much?” I say NOPE. Until I have at least 17 cases of photography related luggage, I’m gonna go with that.

Here is a list of all my goodies that are tagging along on the trip!

Cameras:

  • Canon XS Rebel DSLR
  • Minolta X-700 SLR
  • Minolta Weathermatic A
  • Instax Wide Camera
  • Fuji Natura Classica
  • Horizon Pefekt
  • Cheap Underwater Camera
  • 3D Camera
  • Twin Holga

Films:

  • 11 rolls of 35mm 400ISO Fuji Superia
  • 8 rolls of 35mm 800ISO Fuji Superia
  • 7 rolls of LomoChrome Purple XR
  • 5 rolls of Revolog Special Effects Film
  • 1 roll of 35mm Tungsten Film
  • 1 roll 35mm Red Scale Film
  • 1 roll of 110mm Red Scale Film
  • 1 roll of 110mm Color Film
  • 5 packs of Instax Wide Film
  • 6 rolls of 1600ISO Fuji Natura Film
  • 1 roll of Infrared Film
  • 1 pack of Impossible Project Color Film

Anddd I have some accessories, like a small tripod, hot shoe flashes, gels, and filters. I have a problem. I admittedly had a difficult time packing it all, but I somehow managed. Somehow. Plus, in my defense, I will be gone six weeks- imagine all the photos I can take in that amount of time! I also packed some props for said shoots but I’m still convinced I don’t have a problem.

I’m excited to start this adventure, and I’m looking forward to sharing my results with all of you. Wish me luck, and happy shooting!

P.S.- My tungsten slides will be developed on Tuesday, so bummer on that. I’m going to have someone scan them in and send them to me though, so keep your fingers crossed!

June’s Photos

Since I’m leaving for London the day after tomorrow, I figured I’d finish up my film roll for the month of June and get bloggin’ about it. So, here are my favorites:

June was a busy and interesting month for me. Most notably, I moved out of my childhood home and into a new townhouse.  I couldn’t resist photographing some special moments, like my best friend Kaiden lounging in the plastic bags of clothes we threw down the stairs. He managed to get some pictures of our friend, Ian, “helping” us move the bags from the base of the stairs to the adjacent corner…

I had clearly lost control and needed to sit down from laughing so hard.

Moving to a new place is weird. I’ve been extremely spoiled all my life, having lived in one house. Change is a scary thing. I’m also pretty happy I did my photo series, Home Sweet Home, when I had the chance. My old home is now permanently documented. Once our new house is all set up, I may do another series, but I’m not sure what that would look like. We’ll see.

Side note: I say this a lot, but I have awesome friends. I had friends drop everything they were doing to come help my mom and I move out. They did things like endure dust and cat hair, carry extremely heavy things, wake up way too early for a Saturday morning, and drove long distances just to help me out, not asking for anything in return. So, not only do I have friends who want to help me with my photography, but they’re pretty rad at other things, too.

That’s my month of June! I shot a roll of tungsten film today that’s getting developed tomorrow, so I will hopefully have some more goodies before I leave for London in TWO DAYS. TWO DAYS PEOPLE. TWO. THAT’S LIKE. THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW.

I’m so giddy thinking about what’s in store the next six weeks… Until then, happy shooting!

“I Will Not Be Your Toy.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about women. I’ve been thinking about how they are smart, strong, determined, and beautiful. But there is something going on with women today that is on the forefront of everyone’s minds: how they are portrayed by the media.

We get it. There’s the Dove campaign, YouTube videos of models being Photoshopped, clothing companies suddenly using “average” sized models for their clothing. Awesome. Great. I really am happy about this.

But what I am unhappy about is the brutality women are still facing at the hands of their perception of their physical appearance, despite these campaigns. There are still girls starving themselves to be thin. There are still girls hurting themselves because they can’t be perfect. Girls are tearing each other apart on Facebook, Twitter, through text messages, and through whispers because they have been taught to hate one another. When women hate themselves, it’s only natural for them to hate others.

So, I did a shoot.

Tear apart the vision, not the victim.

For this shoot, I used Revolog‘s Streak film. I had never used it before, but I’m so glad I did. The texture really adds another element to the series, and to be blunt, it reminds me of self-harm scars.

So, about those barbies… I got them at the thrift shop for 67 cents each. I was getting a lot of sideways glances while I was standing in check out, but hey, I have done weirder things for the sake of photography.

That’s all for now- happy shooting.

A Recipe for Psychedelic

So, who here has heard of “film soup”?

Film Soup is something you, well, do to your film. You can stick a roll of film in actual soup, like chicken noodle, or you can put it through the dishwasher, or you can take what’s in your kitchen cupboard and make a concoction to soak the film in. Once dried and shot, the roll can reveal some interesting effects.

I made a roll last summer and finally shot it yesterday (better late than never?) Here are my results!

To make your photos look psychedelic like these, you’ll need a few things:

  • 1 cup boiling water
  • silica gel (at least one pack)
  • 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp of pure lemon juice
  • 1 cap-full of laundry detergent

First thing you do is boil some water. While your water is heating up, you take the silica, apple cider vinegar, pure lemon juice, and laundry detergent and put it all in a Tupperware container. Put your film in there as well. Once your water is boiling, CAREFULLY pour it into the Tupperware container with the other ingredients. Put the lid on, and swish it around! Leave your film in the container anywhere between 3 hours to 3 days- the longer you keep it in, the more intense the effect will be. I had mine in for 24 hours, and on some prints the effect was so intense you couldn’t see my exposure. I recommend no more than 12 hours.

And that’s how it is done! To develop my roll, I just went to the lab (Walgreens) and told them I wanted all the prints no matter what they looked like, and that if the roll looks really weird or ruined, don’t panic because that’s what I wanted. They processed it with no problem, but they did crop the prints all wrong. Be sure to check your prints (if you got prints,) before you leave and make sure you are happy with them.

This is just one recipe- you can try whatever you want! Go crazy! Follow your film-stewing dreams!

That’s all for now. Happy shooting!

 

Double Exposure Improv

Over Memorial Day Weekend, my Minolta X700 quit on me. I found out that my battery had finally died, but this was after I shot half a roll on the camera, re-wound it, took it out, and examined if anything was wrong on the inside. Oh well. I put my roll into my Sears KS-1 and took it with me to the zoo. So, I have photos from my trip to the beach superimposed with my pictures from the zoo. Check it out!

That peacock standing on the lion was a total accident but it was too funny to not include.

I kinda threw my roll in the Sears KS-1 because I thought my Minolta was done for. As it turns out, I got some nice results from my panic. I’m in love with the last picture, with the girl at the aquarium with the seal super-imposed.

So, the Double Exposure Challenge was a bit of a bust, but that’s okay. I’ll try a different challenge in the far off future, maybe when I have more readership than I do now. C’est la vie! Life goes on!

In happier news, I found out that the Grand Rapids Art Museum will be hosting my series, Home Sweet Home for ArtPrize 2014! I’m super excited because this is the biggest exhibition/event that I have ever been a part of, and it’s such a huge honor my work will be shown at the GRAM! I look forward to updating you all on the process! The exhibition at the GRAM will be from September 17th to October 12th, so if you’re in the Grand Rapids area, be sure to check it out.

That’s all for now. Happy Shooting!

May’s Photos

For my new readers: since January, I have been challenging myself to carry a camera with me everywhere I go. Too many times I had seen a picture-perfect opportunity but didn’t have a camera with me, so I finally said enough is enough and I don’t go anywhere without one. I carry my 35mm Fuji Natura Classica with me, and fill up a roll every month.

The month of May was killer for photographs. I was worried that because I wasn’t at school and on a routine/walking everywhere, I would slack off, but it turns out the opposite happened. I’m super excited to show you… So here they are!

That picture of all the hair on the ground? I got a super-haircut earlier this month, and that’s all my hair! Well, it was my hair, anyway.

And that last picture? That’s my boyfriend, conducting some middle schoolers at a band concert. I had to share because I’m so proud of him (cue: awweee!)

Well that’s all for now- happy shooting!