Thursday, July 28, 2011

Star Trails

Great company, gossip, roaring laughter, road beers, nature pees, 
Whitney Houston (lmao), ridiculous singing,  cheese & crackers, and of course 
photo gear = all the makings of a great photography road trip!! 

We set out last night about 8:45pm and drove about 2 hours to Skalkaho Pass in search of a spot free of ambient light to shoot star trails.  We drove up the winding dirt road past the beautiful Skalkaho Falls and spent plenty of time trying to pop our ears as we climbed to nearly 7200 feet above sea level.  When we finally reached our destination and stepped out of the car I was amazed at the millions of stars clustered together in the sky.  I have never seen so many stars in all my life.  It was beautiful and would have been worth the drive just to see all those stars and the glow of the milky way, though, I quickly found out that I was the only one who was seeing this awesome sight for the first time.  Two of my travel companions are from Montana originally and one is from Colorado and the other one was basically raised in Colorado, so they are used to big beautiful star filled skies.

We set up our cameras in the freezing cold and then climbed in the car 
to wait the forty minutes for our exposures to finish.
When the alarm on my iPhone went off we stumbled around in the dark trying to
locate our tripods and gathered our gear and hopped back in the car.
On the drive home we waited for our cameras to process the long exposure
with hopes that we'd get a good shot of the stars rotating in the night sky.

The following image is what I captured! It's amazing that the world is moving 
around us like that and we are completely oblivious!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Learning is CRAZY FUN

This studio shoot was by far the most entertaining of the summer!  I hope you enjoy the slide show as much as we enjoyed the shoot!!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Site Maintenance

Was never quite loving the layout/background of my blog.  Not feeling this one either.  Is anyone good at this?  Maybe you'd like to help me out and get this set up a little more to my liking.  Let me know!

P.S. thanks Carly for linking me to your blog and showing me how to feature other's blogs on my page as well :)


This groovy shoot courtesy of two very talented ladies, Amy Jimmerson & Carly Reichert.

photo by Amy Jimmerson

photo by Amy Jimmerson

photo by Carly Reichert

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Channeling my "Inner-Cari"

So there is this beautiful, strong willed, funny, smart, talented girl that I know...  
Her name is Cari Canale. 

Cari is an amazing girl who knows exactly what she wants and has a 
photographic style that I would very much like to emulate.  I have been drawn to over 
exposed, dreamy images, with sun-flare for quite some time now but never had the guts 
or know-how to shoot like that.  Cari, on the other hand, has basically mastered this art!  
So for our latest visual studies assignment I shot Cari, in true Cari fashion.  
Thanks pretty girl for being such a good sport and great model!

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

Holga-ish (images from above)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Midterm Slideshow

Two weeks into SI our instructors dropped a bombshell on us.  Not only do you have 
assignments to work on that need to be turned in to all of your classes but now
you have to come up with a midterm project, due at the beginning of week 8.
Twenty to thirty images that fit into a particular theme, set to music.  Then about a 
week after the announcement they dropped another bombshell on us...'oh by the 
way there was a misprint in your syllabus, the slideshow is due week 7!!  
So we all freaked out, just a little (lot) and then accepted it and moved on.   
Fast Forward to today: Group D was critiqued on their midterm slideshow 
from 2 to 6.  If I told you I was impressed that would be an understatement.  
Everyone's images were amazing.  What unique visions we all have.  

I was completely freaked out going into this critique but it turned out to be 
one of the best experiences since I've been here.  Not only because of the great feedback but because I got to see everyone else's work! I was so nervous to show my images but when my slide show finished and Neil said,"wow that was stunning" I about fell out of my chair and was finally able to breathe a sigh of relief! Now on to the final assignment!

Bathroom Art

Evolution of an Idea

My goal is to create a series of these steamed mirror images.  Currently taking word suggestions!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

A Picturesque Town

Philipsburg, MT

A drive up to Philipsburg is like stepping back in time.  Once a booming mining town in the late 1800's this historic town is full of beautifully restored buildings from that era.  Erica and I spent our Sunday afternoon perusing the friendly shops and other enjoyable establishments on Main Street.

The Antique Store

We could have easily spent our entire day riffling through the great 
items this store had to offer.
Each room had it's own unique theme.  Above you can see the 
jam-packed kitchen themed items, but they also had a vintage clothing room, 
religion themed room, wild west room, and more.  Very Cool!

The Candy Store

Treat your taste buds! As you take a walk on Main Street the aroma of freshly made candies is sure to arouse your senses.  I guarantee you will be drawn in to the Sweet Palace where you will find 1027 different varieties of candy from all over the world.  Once inside you'll know immediately that you've never seen anything quite like it before.  The elegance of the Victorian d├ęcor will take you back to another century and the beauty of the place is every bit as intriguing as the homemade fudge, homemade taffy, and huge candy selection. 
No trip to Philipsburg is complete without a stop at the Sweet Palace!!

Delicious Photography

 Cupcake Craze
Listening to Moira and Carly talk longingly about chocolate cake evoked
the Betty Crocker in me.  My favorite cake hands down is out of the box,
whip it up, throw it in the oven, do-it-yourself style!  So I went home and 
got cooking!!! (and photographing)
I used chocolate on chocolate for Moira...
And cream cheese on chocolate for Carly!
Of course I made enough for all of group D 
(in case you didn't know our group is AMAZING) 
and even our wonderful instructor Eileen Rafferty.  
The cupcakes were a huge success!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Visual Studies Assignment V

"I find I always have to write something on a steamed mirror."
-Elaine Dundy

So, you may have noticed that I didn't post my assignment for Visual Studies IV, don't 
worry I will.  Until then though, here's my assignment for Visual Studies V.  
The project was based on incorporating text in pictures.  I found a quote and 
decided to create the image that came to mind.   

My Vision 

The above photo was the image I turned in for critique, it has a white border 
and at the bottom I added the quote by Elaine Dundy. 

The Critique

Eileen Rafferty, my instructor, liked the idea of photographing a quote.  
She didn't, however, like the words directly on the photograph or the white border.  
She suggested a thin black border with the quote below as a caption.  
Hence the above reconfigured photograph. 

Which one do you prefer?

P.S. try photographing a word on a steamed up mirror - it's extremely difficult

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

A Hint of Home

At the Apartment 

So after a rough week four it was nice not only to have a break but to spend it with my hubby!  Relaxation and quality time was the name of the game this fourth of July weekend.  

In Spokane WA

We started off the visit with a quick stay in Spokane WA.  The photo above is of the Steam Plant Stacks that powered all of Spokane until 1986.  Now it's a restaurant with a cool vibe but not so hot food.

Night Time Assistant

 He was a huge help with my night photography project and has since informed me that he was very happy that I wasn't out shooting this particular assignment alone! 

Arlee, MT Pow Wow 

On day 2 we checked out the Arlee MT Pow Wow, which was very festive, but lacked the traditionalism that I expected.  It had the feel of a state fair or something, vendors, 
crowed arena, chaotic... But we had fun nonetheless!

Flathead Lake

After finding the Pow Wow a bit mundane we decided to check out Flathead Lake which 
really made me want to be out on a boat with my friends and family, possibly on Cheat Lake with the Knuth's or Deep Creek Lake with the Fosters.  Instead, we settled for a few drinks at the lakeside park and people watching, which proved to be equally as entertaining!

Kootenai Creek

On Mark's last day in Missoula we decided to take a picnic style lunch up to Kootenai Creek and hike up the trail head at the dead end of N. Kootenai Creek Road.  We finished our chicken, mashed potatoes, biscuits, and cole slaw and then headed up the trail head to work off our lunch.  It was a moderate hike with breath taking views.  
Definitely well worth the 45 minute drive.

Out With A Bang

No Fourth of July visit would be complete without a grand finale!  Mark and I
finished off his trip with butterflies and fireworks.  Which, in our opinion,
is always the cornerstone to any good relationship!   

Sunday, July 3, 2011

A Change Will Do You Good

In an article titled, My Advice For Aspiring Photographers by Cheryl Jacobs Nicolai, I found myself relating to three key points.  The following are things that I find myself struggling with and I've realized it's time to make a change!

- Learn to say "I'm a photographer" out loud with a straight face. If you can't say it and believe it, you can't expect anyone else to, either.

- Never compare your journey with someone else's. It's a marathon with no finish line. Someone else may start out faster than you, may seem to progress more quickly than you, but every runner has his own pace. Your journey is your journey, not a competition. You will never "arrive". No one ever does.
- Embrace frustration. It pushes you to learn and grow, broadens your horizons, and lights a fire under you when your work has gone cold. Nothing is more dangerous to an artist than complacency.
Another bit of advice that warmed my heart came to me on Friday after I posted my frustration with my photography on this blog.  A fellow student, wonderful photographer, and all around great guy took them time to shoot me out a message full of advice and empathy.  He told me that he too was in the same boat and let me in on what he was doing  to combat the negativity.  I've listed my favorite bits of advice below.  Thanks David, I really enjoyed your message, and I needed it!
First, if I keep talking myself down then that's the direction I'll go - so I decided never to write negative things about my photography again.
Second, I realized that I see things in my own unique way and decided to enjoy how I see, follow it, explore it, experiment with it, discover it... in short I decided to stop comparing myself with others and enjoy being me.
- ...keep going.  Only you can be you