Category Archives: Discovery

My Photographic Journey Continues…

Studio Session-008-Edit

My focus has changed once again.  I have started the new semester at school and am now very busy with class assignments and projects.  This term I’m taking a Studio/Portrait class where I hope to become friends with my on & off camera flashes as well as their cousins: the studio lights and strobes…ah..so much to learn!  The other class is Color Photography where I’ll not only learn some color theory but how to calibrate my computer monitor for best color printing.  Also will be getting lots of lessons on Lightroom and Photoshop.  This photo is one of three required that I might turn in tomorrow for the perception of color assignment.  Pink.  Doesn’t it just scream pink but in a sort of subtle way?  I think so.  I just love my Epiphanie camera bag.  Can you tell?  hahaha  Comments and critique greatly appreciated!

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Playing with Polaroid Negatives

I call them polaroids because I shot the film with my Polaroid 220 Land Camera. But as Polaroid is no longer available I am using Fuji FP 100c instant peel apart film. With the first photo I posted last week I was happily amazed at how brilliant the color was. This photo here is not that great (other than the little boy who I adore is in it) but it gave me the opportunity to play a bit with it. The out of camera shot is the first one, next is the digitally scanned ‘negative’ and last is the Photoshop edit I did on the scan.

SOOC

Scanned 'negative'

Photoshop scan

How did I get a negative????  The wonderful people at Freestyle Photo clued me in on how to get a negative from the film.  After taking the shot, waiting a couple minutes for it to develop I then peeled the print from the backing paper.  I let the paper/emulsion dry and then I taped  it emulsion side down on glass and sealed all edges.  Next I soaked a paper towel in chlorine bleach (Clorox) and wrung it out (wearing gloves) and laid it flat on the paperbacked  ‘negative.’  I waited 10 to 15 minutes before carefully wiping the bleached soaked paper.  The black paper came up easily.  I let the whole thing dry and when I removed it from the glass I had a color negative from the Fuji print.  Next I scanned it and finally did some editing in PS.  Of course the negative isn’t high quality and I’m sure there are blemishes on the negative.  For artistic and creative purpose I think it may find it’s way into my bag of tricks.

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Polaroid 220 Land Camera and it Works!

Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA
Polaroid 220 Land Camera

Woke up to a beautiful sunny southern California Saturday with no real plans for the day.  So, we had our morning coffee and then headed out to Los Angeles for the day.  Our first stop was Freestyle Photo to pick up some supplies.  Last month I bought a Polaroid 220 Land Camera off ebay for $24, free shipping.  I’ve been wanting to test it out but film for it is not so easy to find.  Freestyle had the battery I needed and Fuji instant film.  This is the first photo from the film pack taken just outside the store on Sunset Blvd.  I can’t wait to plan a photo day with my ‘new’ vintage camera!

From there we headed to the Fashion Garment District where I had a shopping spree at Michael Levine Fabrics.  Oh, I’m going to make lots more aprons!  Our last stop was for drinks to help wind down our day.  Great fun today!

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Scanning Negatives

Albuquerque, NM

Yesterday I went to visit my friends at the college photo department.  The darkroom was busy with students enrolled in the winter session learning analog photography and printing.  I took my negatives from the roll of Kodak Ektar 100 that I shot in Albuquerque, NM last month.  The TA for the department is always so helpful and taught me how to scan my negatives using the high end scanners at the college.  I came home to play with the files and was quickly dismayed at how they looked…..a very ‘blue’ cast to the scans.  I tried to ‘fix’ it but was not happy with my results.  I then did a little searching/researching on the internet and found a Photoshop tutorial that explained why they looked like this and where to start my editing of the scans.  So much to learn!!! But I ended up happy with both of these photographs.  I hope you like them too.

Albuquerque, NM

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Childhood Memories of Crystal Cove and a sketch

Crystal Cove 12

After weeks of a wonderfully mild summer, the heat slammed us yesterday with temperatures of 108 and high humidity. There was no option but to pack up, stop for picnic supplies and head to the beach.

When I was a little girl my dad would take us to Treasure Cove several times over the summer. The whole area is now Crystal Cove State Park, but in those days it was just a horse ranch on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean along the Orange County coast. My dad would wake us before daybreak announcing to all that it was a beach day and get ready: which meant put on your bathing suit, your Keds and get into the big green Buick. We’d arrive just as light was dawning where my dad would jump out and unlatch the gate into the ranch and drive in to a small parking area. Years later there was a bucket at the gate and he would deposit a dollar for the parking. Many times hands were out with the horses and would wave hello as we kicked up dust along the dirt road. The road is paved now, the ranch and horses gone. Yesterday it cost us $15 for day parking.

Getting down to the beach was a big ordeal which usually included tears. My dad would carry my little sister and brother while my other sister and I followed along behind him on the steep narrow trail. I don’t remember how my mother got down there. I was too scared to pay attention as to how she got down. My parents, and I, didn’t know then that because I only had vision in one eye, the climb down was treacherous as I couldn’t (and still can’t) judge depth perception. Most of my climb down was on my butt and in tears. Now there are stairs and handrails to guide us down.

Once on the beach my dad would prepare us a feast. He’d hand us a warm tortilla filled with eggs, beans and chorizo while my mother poured us milk or juice. Once our bellies were full and we’d warmed up, off came our sweaters and Keds and into the ocean we ran. I remember only coming out for lunch or to explore the tide pools at low tide. This was OUR special beach and when we’d run into family friends there I always felt as they had come to visit us at the beach. It didn’t occur to me that they might be there just to enjoy the beach for themselves!

Our last family outings there were in my teen years where it became more important to be wearing the cutest bikini and eyeing the cute boys on the beach. In those days I would set my towel far away from my family and turn up my transistor radio to the most popular station on the AM dial. It was a pink radio…so cute.

Yesterday Rudy and I went down for the evening. We splashed in the surf and walked along the beach. We watched the sun go down while eating a luscious dessert of cheesecake with cherry topping. It is still my beach and I can still see my family there on the beach. I see my dad blowing up surf riders for us kids and my mom under her big hat and umbrella. I see my sister and I up on top the big rocks getting our sneakers soaked. I see the red coleman cooler box with our lunch and the little grill where my dad fixed our morning breakfast and evening hot dogs. And on the cliffs above I see the little girl I was; clinging to the rock cliff as she makes her way down. It was a beautiful evening.

crystal cove

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Art Weekend Captured in Artist Journal

My dear friend Dianne (Desireé) invited me to tag along with her to Long Beach this past weekend. She was going to be busy with a quilt show so I had lots of time to myself. On the way there we stopped in Laguna Beach for the Sawdust and Arts festivals where we sat at an outdoor booth to do a monoprint. I had a wonderful weekend and am blessed to have such a good friend. Thanks again for dragging me along!

Laguna Beach Arts Festival

monoprint

Scan

molaa....

Scan 2Scan

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Inspiration

Eureka Lemon 2

My creative soul ebbs and flows in no particular fashion.  I might spend months exploring a new medium or just hours.  I will let a passion sleep while a new one awakens in me.  So goes it now.  I’ve cleared out the sewing nook and filled it with my watercolors and papers.  Happily I find myself re-discovering the fluid properties of watercolor on paper and pallet.

Along the way it’s little things that inspire me to move in new directions.  It might be something I see or read about.   It could be the colors I see on a pineapple sitting on my countertop.  How do I make the colors sing like that on paper?  Traveling always inspires me.  I am constantly  hoping to capture the essence of what I see with a camera or paintbrush.

I saw a post last week about Cathy Johnson’s new book Artist’s Journal Workshop being available as an e book.  I wasn’t sure about an art book read on the computer but I was delighted to find that I could read it easily and see all the beautiful images included.  Along with my current explorations into watercolor and the desire to put some of Cathy’s ideas into action, I made a new watercolor sketchbook filled with 140# cp Kilimanjaro paper from Cheap Joe’s art supply and Ingres antique camel brown paper.

This first entry into the artist journal is my ‘get over the first page’ jitters sketch.  I picked a loved and familiar subject and gathered my art supplies to sit under it’s shade while I played this morning.  Enjoying the journey!

 
Eureka Lemon

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