Take Me to Abandoned Warehouses to Show Me Our Love is Real

Want to win my heart?

Scout out an abandoned warehouse, because you know I will love it and will want to take pictures there.

In the tiny little village of Colon, MI, there is an abandoned warehouse filled with porcelain, furniture, sewing things, mirrors… It’s crazy. There is a room where the floor is covered with Red Book and Better Homes and Gardens and Women’s Weekly magazines. There is so much to find, and I was fortunate enough to have a wonderful partner who found this place for me, talked to the owners, and won me an afternoon there.

Since the place was so dilapidated, I knew I wanted to do something that went past the usual “urban decay” aesthetic that everyone loves so much (and what I find to be boring…) I was brainstorming my life away, bouncing ideas off my mother at 4AM, and a body of work formed in my head.

Abandoned warehouse + virginal clothing = MUCH ART. VERY STATEMENT. WOW.

Seriously though, this place was amazing. I found two rolls of Kodak film from 1965, which are more likely toast, but whatever– I have a roll of Verichrome and that’s all that matters to me.

I also brought my Voigtlander Brillant V6, hoping to get some more vintage looking shots, but thank goodness I brought my digital camera with me because my film didn’t turn out so hot. Here are just a few that came out neat– they are nothing like what I wanted, but they are still cool and worth sharing.

Weirdly enough, the markings on the paper that is on the 120 film ended up on my negatives. Light leak? I haven’t the slightest clue, but it looks awesome.

I’ve been at this photography thing long enough to have seen enough decayed buildings to last me for the rest of my career. But man, this was a special place. It is currently owned by an Amish couple (I think? Maybe a lot of Amish folks own it, idk,) and they sell the antiques that are currently in the building. It’s a really neat set up.

That’s all for now. Go forth and shoot creatively in abandoned buildings!

Happy Shooting!

 

Nightmares Curing Nightmares?

I’m done with nightmares. Well, photographing them, anyway.

As I mentioned in previous posts, these images were made using a view camera and shot on 4×5 sheet film. I have mad respect for photographers of the past, because these things are heavy, awkward, and sensitive, and loading the film is a feat in of itself. Try loading your film into a film holder without scratching it. Go ahead, I dare you.

(Actually I don’t dare you because I’m pretty sure it can be done, but man, I tried really hard and still got scratches. MAIS C’EST LA VIE MES AMIS.)

But enough of the romanticizing of photographers of the past. Here are my last four images for my nightmare series:

mynightmares_15If you’ve paid attention, you would notice that animal masks are a common motif. This is not on accident. I had a nightmare about a year ago now, where I was dead and everything was bizarre. When I woke up, I was so nervous and frightened and impressed. So, I wrote the nightmare down immediately, in full detail. Because I did this, I remember that nightmare above all others. There was a lot of content to exploit, and c’mon, animal masks are neat-o.

While creating this series, I noticed some changes. Before throwing myself into the dream theme (that rhymes in an annoying way,) I wasn’t having many dreams, or at least I couldn’t remember them. But as soon as I started on this, I’ve been dreaming almost every night and even during naps. As for the nightmares, it’s a little different. I’m not having any nightmares, despite focusing on them.

Maybe it’s because of the series. These are all my nightmares, and even though I looked up some symbolic meanings behind my dreams, I never really confronted them visually. A few people directed to me to Jung’s interpretation of dreams, and when I looked back on the images, I saw possibilities and connections in the images that I didn’t think about before.

Perhaps I’m not having nightmares because I am able to find meaning, and by finding meaning I can establish a solution to the nightmare, or what the nightmare represents in my waking life. By finding solutions, I will stop having similar nightmares, because my conscious self will have recognized what the unconscious (or subconscious, idk I don’t study oneirism or psychology,) was getting all fussy about.

Getting all fussy. How scientific of me.

Well the fuss (now an official scientific term,) manifests itself as a nightmare, because apparently even though the unconscious wants to help you out, it’s a bit sadistic. If this is all true, the unconscious is pretty stellar besides the sadistic part. Well, according to Jung, anyway.

SEGUE INTO LESS COMPLICATED THINGS

For easier accessibility, and because I know that clicking through my site to find the other images is too time-consuming for most people, and because all that dream talk made people sleepy, and because I’m a sucker and want everyone to see my work, here is the finalized Nightmare series:

The view camera, despite how much effort it is, is a new favorite process for me. Setting it up, moving the bellows to make certain effects, and processing the film are all exciting for me. This may be because I’m new to it, but man, I want to be more than proficient at it. There are so many things you can try with a view camera (like put things in the bellows!) I can’t help my curiosity.

And y’all know that I love to play.

Happy Shooting!

Nightmares and Mistakes

The series of nightmares continue. This time around, I made some mistakes when I went out to shoot. Two of my films ended up fogged, and one of the images I was really looking forward to sharing. Mais, c’est la vie. I’ll most likely re-shoot it. But the fogging worked decently on the one image, so not all was lost. Remember kids, if you screw up, pretend you meant for it to happened! One of my favorite excuses: “It was an artistic decision.”

I also forgot to load film into one of the film holders and “took” two pictures. I would say you should have seen my face when I made this discovery, but you wouldn’t be able to anyway because I was in the dark room getting ready to develop the non-existent pictures.

I’m going to pretend they were going to be the best photos the world has ever seen, and because of that they were not allowed to exist. Pity.

So, I have this sort of habit with film where I want every shot to be perfect. It’s a noble pursuit, but let’s be real, even Ansel Adams didn’t get a perfect shot every time. As an artist, odds are you will never be satisfied with a shot, or a painting, or a story, or whatever. Because if you were satisfied, you would stop creating. With some of my pictures, I feel that I accomplished what I wanted to accomplish with the tools and skills that I had at the time I took the photo. That doesn’t stop me from critiquing it and possibly exhibiting it, but it just goes to show that you can be proud of your work and at the same time be critical of it.

I’m going to share the photos now, but as a disclaimer the last image of this batch of four makes reference to sexual violence. If you are sensitive about the subject, I don’t recommend taking a look.

That’s all for now. Keep checking back for more, as the series is only half-way finished at this point.

And no, I am not worshiping that grave stone.

Happy Shooting!

 

Allow Me to Share My Nightmares with You

I’m not a lucid dreamer. But, I am a writer turned photographer, and when I wake up from a dream that I remember, I rush to write it all down. However, I’ve discovered a trend to this method- I don’t write down my good dreams. I only record my nightmares.

Nightmares were and still are a huge deal to me. I had terrible night terrors when I was kid. I was hysterical frequently, either because I saw something “scary” and didn’t want to see it again in my dreams, or from waking up from a particularly bad dream. They barely made sense, they seem silly when talked about, but for me, they were horrific. Nowadays when I have a nightmare, I usually wake up, realize I had a nightmare, and then fall back asleep. Because I’m overtired awesome like that.

When we recall dreams, they are like snapshots. Bits and pieces. So, with B&W film, I decided to recreate some of the snippets I saw when nightmare-ing. Don’t judge.

They probably don’t make sense to you. Because they’re from my head. Just statin’ the obvious, unless I have a mind-twin somewhere and we share the same dreams… but other than that, these are mine. It’s a personal series that I alone know the story for each image. I’ve been thinking a lot about narrative lately, wondering if there is something beyond being able to look at an image and get a story. My nightmare snapshots could be narrative images, but the narrative will never match mine, unless I reveal the terror behind each and every image.

But where’s the fun in that?

I had a blast with the view camera, tilting it and moving it in certain ways to get a blur or a distorted effect… It was so so so great, and I can’t wait to shoot more. And, the images are gorgeous in tonality. I’m in love. There will be 20 images total in my nightmare series, so keep an eye out.

Also, that black space beneath the “black white black…” photo is the result of not taking your dark slide completely out of the camera before exposed. Whoopsies.

Oh, and I developed film for the first time today. About time.

Happy Shooting!

Memorial Day and How Hot Air Balloons Exist

It’s Memorial Day in the United States, which means it’s a holiday weekend! This weekend I did quite a bit in the way of photography, so here it goes!

I got a new camera. Kaiden and I went to a couple flea markets and I scored a Sears KS-1 camera with a fixed 50mm lens. The camera is semi-automatic and I can only set the aperture. The camera sets the shutter speed. So, it’s good for when I’m in a hurry. I also scored a Promatic FTD4500AF Hot Shoe Flash- which I am SUPER HAPPY about because I’ve been wanting a flash for my analog cameras but hadn’t gotten around to it. Now I can play with gels and TUNGSTEN FILM I AM USING ALL CAPS BECAUSE I’VE BEEN WANTING TO SHOOT TUNGSTEN WITH A YELLOW GEL FOR ABOUT A YEAR NOW AND MY TIME HAS COME.

So that was pretty great.

Sunday morning was the more intense adventure. My boyfriend and I woke up at 3AM to drive two hours to see a hot air balloon launch in Frankenmuth, MI. For those of you who have been around for a while, my hot air balloon attempts from last year ended with two good photos of the balloons on the ground (one of which is being published.) I’ve started the hot air balloon season with determination, and I was not disappointed.

I was, however, deeply confused.

I’m new to this whole hot air balloon culture. All I know is that they are pretty and they fly and I want to photograph them. Last year, I always went to evening launches, where there would be a giant roped-off field and crowds of people sitting around it waiting for the balloons to blow up and get flyin’. Since every evening launch I went to ended with no balloons, I did some research and found that the balloons are more likely to fly in the morning. I’m not a morning person, but it was a “challenge accepted” kind of thing.

We got to Frankenmuth.

Nothing.

No one.

There was a field, but no people.

Imagine my tired confusion.

I took to the interwebs and found that they were not launching from the designated field, but rather from different backyards in the area, and that they were going to meet over a nearby air field. The hunt was on. We found the air field, but saw no balloons. On our drive though, we saw some balloons being inflated. So we waited.

The sky was dotted with balloons within 15 minutes. We parked the car and started walking, looking for a place to see the balloons more clearly. We got to an open field where there was a clear shot to the air strip, where the balloons were congregating. Pictures ensued.

Thank goodness I brought my zoom lens, because those balloons were a bit too far for 80mm. They are a bit back-lit, but that couldn’t be helped because, y’know, I can’t control the sunrise. I got a little lens glare as a result, but c’est la vie. Live and learn, as always.

I’m not super pleased with the photos, but I am excited I got to see balloons in flight. I’m going to more launches this summer, and I’m hoping that I’ll get to go to an evening launch, where the balloons will be a lot closer and hopefully not back-lit.

I took a picture frame that had a stock image of a hot air balloon in it with us because I had an idea for an instax picture, but we ended up using it for more than just that. Some of my favorite pictures are from messing around with it.

And that’s the hot air balloon adventure.

Our adventures on Sunday did not end there. We went to the beach to see my family and ended up going on a nature trail. I had my Minolta X-700 with me, but it randomly stopped working, so I was out of luck. I had my Minolta Weathermatic A with me, but it only had 6 shots left on it and it was quickly filled (but I can finally send it off to get developed!) I had to resort to using my iPhone, but I got a few pretty shots.

It was an excellent weekend for photography. I’ll have a double-exposed roll of my hot air balloon and beach escapades, but I have to finish the roll. And, speaking of double exposures, I’m still taking submissions for my double exposure challenge. Follow the link for more details and email your images to owensbydanielle@gmail.com. I’ll be posting the submissions by the end of the first week of June.

That’s all for now- I’m looking forward to seeing more submissions! Happy shooting~

 

Photos in the Pool

It’s been a while, mostly because I’ve been sick and poor. I went to Chicago at the beginning of the month, and none of my photos came out. ): Major sadness. My heart was crushed. I didn’t know how I could possibly go on… And then I got over it and figured I’ll probably be in Chicago some other time. C’est la vie.

SO ANYWAY. I took a really silly and cheap little camera to my friend’s swimming pool for some fun. I was impressed with the results the camera yielded, for being such a cheap piece of- ahhh. You know those disposable underwater/all weather type cameras people take on vacation? Well, it’s like that, only non-disposable. You can find them on ebay. So I took this camera and some old sheer curtains of mine and kind of just winged it. At one point I just told my friend: “I don’t know, just go underwater and just do something I don’t know.” Sometimes even artists have no idea what’s going on and they just pray to the art muses to “let them win.”

Here are some of the results. Be sure to check out the rest in the film work tab!