Wednesday, April 29, 2009

heading in the right direction

A dyptich of the evolution of my blog header.


what it eventually becomes
"what it eventually becomes"

The grass was taken on April 5th, the flowers on April 25th. In only 20 days beauty sprung up from where there was only mud.

Nature is an amazing thing.

Monday, April 27, 2009

first hike of the season

And it begins with two questions:

"Ooh! I wonder where this goes?"

"Um...where did the trail go?"

Saturday night Lucas and I went to see an amazing show called Circus Contraption. They are on their last run of shows after 11 years of performing in Seattle. It was an amazing show and I highly recommend running out and getting tickets to see it...right now! Go ahead, I'll wait.

We made it an early night due to his earlier activities and the soreness it caused so I was able to get a good night sleep in preparation for a nice ass kicking from the trail. I decided on Dirty Harry's balcony because I wanted to go there all last year to search for his old equipment and luckily Panda had taken a trip out there last week and by his great pictures I knew the trail to be snow free.

I made it to the trail around noon, but I hadn't prepared myself for the chill in the air. I decided to run back down to the outlet mall in North Bend and buy a hoodie, and I figured since I was there I might as well grab a new pair of hiking boots. I was back to the trail 30 minutes later prepared to take it on.

I grew up on a large lake about 40 minutes south of Downtown Seattle. One summer when I was young I swam every single day in that lake. Rain or shine, night or day I was out there. My fondest memory was being out on the lake at 6 am, just as the sun was rising and the steam from the warmth of the lake snaked up into the cold morning air. I felt like I was sitting in a giant sauna. The next year I spent maybe a 1/4 of my time in the lake and as I drove up to the mountains today I began to worry that maybe last year was my swim year for hiking. I spent every weekend up in the mountains last season and maybe I was over it. I had driven up to the mountains a few times in the last two months attempting to hike but never getting out of my car, choosing hikes that I knew would be snowed in so I could say "oh, well. I guess no hiking today".

The worry continued as I made my way up the road to the trail. I saw a group of three take a trail right next to the river, but the map I had didn't mention a trail on the river; instead it pointed to a path on the right at a bend in the road. I knew this mountain was littered with trails from Dirty Harry's clearcutting of the land so I continued up a bit and found a trail with a car parked next to it. Assuming this was the one I was looking for, I started up; and up it went! It was a straight vertical trail and instantly I was reminded of the first hike to Mt. Si when Panda and I ended up on the old trail to Si and didn't get off the mountain until 12:30 am.

I came to a clearing and there was a couple guys waiting for me to clear the way so they could start their descent. I figured I was going the right way when I saw them so I stopped to catch my breath. I looked north and it was a shear rock face down to the road below, to the south was also a vertical climb but it was brush and trees so I assumed that was the way to go. That point was the last place I saw an actual trail.

hiking ttv
"hiking ttv"

I continued straight up for about 30 minutes until I saw an opening and a rock cliff. Thinking that perhaps I had just taken the short way straight up the mountain to the balcony I did a little rock climbing and made my way to the top. This was not it. I was facing northwest, not southeast. No matter, I was glad to have a moment to sit and pull out my cameras. I was shaking from the climb up though, and my shots suffered but I'll be damned if I didn't carry that stupid contraption up a mountain and not use it!

holga in poo
"holga in poo"

I also brought my holga so I had three cameras in total on the mountain. I've had film in my holga for over a week now and I've only taken 10 shots. Two more left then I get to see if I actually can shoot with film or if I'm stuck with digital until I can spend the time to educate myself more.

dirty harrys destruction
"dirty harry's destruction"

I decided to walk into the forest to see if I could scout out an actual trail. The shot above is what I saw so I just walked right down the middle through the remnants of Dirty Harry's destruction of the hillside. The ground was very unstable and I stuck my foot through quite a few rotten logs and holes. My new shoes quickly resembled my old ones, caked with dirt and mud.

I figured it was time for me to find my way down the hill and although I couldn't tell where I had came up I had made it this far without a trail, I didn't need one to get down. I found a stream trickling down to the river below and since I knew there was a trail head at the river I followed the stream, straight down about 600 feet through the brush. I saw a trail finally at the bottom of the hill and I jumped out of the brush, muddy and dirty with twigs sticking out of my hair and scared the crap out of two hikers with a couple of dogs. I looked at them, smiled and said "Don't go up that way".

As I drove away from the trailhead, smelling of dirt and sweat, I realized the worry was gone. Hiking season has begun and I can't be more excited.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

just tulips

I'm exhausted, I'll write more tomorrow...but in the meantime, flowers.

among a field of tulips
"among a field of tulips"









red flower blue sky
"red flower blue sky"










within
"within"










there is always one
"there is always one"

Saturday, April 25, 2009

lightpainting 101

What an awesome friday.

The sun was shinning and everyone was in good spirits. I headed over to the camera shop at lunch to finally purchase a set of close up filters for my 50mm. With my new contraption it's next to impossible to take a good shot without having the correct filters, so it was time. Luckily Lucas was on that route and I was able to get in a few afternoon kisses to hold me over until tomorrow evening.

I was able to get out of work early so I went home to ready my gear for the evening of shooting. I have been following a local blogger for a while and he reached out to me for an evening of lightpainting. I'd been putting it off because I'm not much of a social person and have a fear of meeting new people but he outed me on his blog so I figured it was time.

at night
"at night"

The parking lot was packed, which was strange for a Friday night at almost 10 pm. As we walked into the park we noticed why; there was a film crew shooting something for entry into SIFF (Seattle International Film Festival). There were roller derby girls, little people and the best part; they had huge spotlights lighting up the old plant. score, seriously. I am in love with the above shot.

red man with balls
"red man with balls"

We headed down to the waterfront to practice drawing. Daniel got the hang of it after only a few tries. I only wish we had more LED's, but that's on the list of things to buy and another trip out will be in the works soon.

red man over gasworks
"red man over gasworks"

From this angle you can really see the lights from the film crew. I loved stumbling upon a shoot in the city. I was so used to it in LA, all the yellow signs and huge crew trucks. I had a few other ideas for this hill, but we were both getting tired so there were only a couple more shots to be had. This one is a bit strange to me, almost like it's tilted, but I think it's just the position of the park. I tried rotating the shot, but it never really comes out uniform. I like it anyway.

ghost on a hill
"ghost on a hill"

There was a couple on the top of the hill hula hooping. They obliged us in showing off their skill while under the spotlight. That was a lot of fun, and I even got to try my hand at it, and it made for an excellent shot.

a pirate looks on
"a pirate looks on"

We ended the evening with drinks a huge pile of onion rings at Deluxe. Thanks for a great night, kid. We do this again, for sure...for sure.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

my contraption

With Lucas tied up in buying a house, all fun plans for a contraption to set my Duaflex in has been on hold. Today I decided that I just had to shoot with the darn thing so I took the box from a 12 pack of Fat Tire and proceeded to cut and tape my way to my very first set up.

my contraption

Armed with my new little toy I took a walk around my block which has a cornucopia of little treasures to shoot. There are two gardens, one secret and one on a corner with a little fountain and a bench to sit on. The latter is fun to walk by at night as there is always someone there watching the lit fountain and I've heard many a strange conversations, watched lovers kiss and tried not to listen to a girl crying while talking to someone on her cell phone.

what are you doing
"what are you doing?"

I chose the building across from mine for my first shot. I was just testing the contraption out to see if the light was sufficiently blocked, but shooting through a box must be very strange to look at as I got my very first "what are you doing?" while taking the above frame. I'm actually kind of excited to have people ask because it's one thing to just be out shooting but when you are doing something unique people are more inclined to come up and start a conversation with you.

yellow flower blue sky
"yellow flower blue sky"

I shall be heading up to the tulip fields on Saturday so if you're up there, keep an eye out for the girl in the loud blue car with the funny camera.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

lost?



Just because I'm losing
Doesn't mean I'm lost
Doesn't mean I'll stop
Doesn't mean I will cross

Just because I'm hurting
Doesn't mean I'm hurt
Doesn't mean I didn't get what I deserve
No better and no worse

I just got lost
Every river that I've tried to cross
And every door I ever tried was locked
And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off...

You might be a big fish
In a little pond
Doesn't mean you've won
'Cause along may come
A bigger one
And you'll be lost

Every river that you tried to cross
Every gun you ever held went off
And I'm just waiting till the firing starts
And I'm just waiting till the shine wears off



Come on, oh my star is fading
I swerve out of control
If I'd, if I'd only waited
I'd not be stuck here in this hole.

Come here, oh my star is fading
and I swerve out of control
And I swear I waited and waited
I've got to get out of this hole.

But time is on your side, it's on your side now
Not pushing you down and all around
It's no cause for concern

Come on, oh my star is fading
And I see no chance of release
And I know I'm dead on the surface
But I'm screaming underneath

And time is on your side, it's on your side now
Not pushing you down and all around
No, It's no cause for concern

Stuck on the end of this ball and chain
And I'm on my way back down again
Stood on a bridge, tied to the noose
Sick to the stomach
You can say what you mean
but it won't change a sin
I'm sick of the secrets
Stood on the edge
tied to the noose

You came along and you cut me loose




I am not too cool to appreciate and even completely love Coldplay. As much as they have been lumped into lifestyle music, there are certain songs that elicit a feeling in me that I can't even begin to explain. I've been listening to them all evening while enjoying Jack and Coke and I'm reminded why the one "personality" that I wanted to meet when I moved to LA was Chris Martin. As much as a tool as everyone might think he is, I "monkey fighting" appreciate the effort he puts into each song. It's brilliant, and if I hadn't been exhausted that one day at Hear Music I might have actually said hello to him instead of walking right by. And sure, his wife may be annoying as fuck, but she did a show in Spain with Mario Batali and that's good enough for me.

i wanna go

remember when
"remember when"

I'm not saying that I'm not grateful to be living in this beautiful state or that I'm not happy with my job or my friends here...but I'm ancy. I've been stagnant for a year and I'm ready to bolt. I'm not appreciating things, the blue sky isn't sunny enough, the snow in the mountains is a hindrance instead of a beauty and every time I step out the door with my camera I just want to walk back up to my apartment and curl up in bed.

What frustrates me is the limitations of being responsible. I could just take the next weekend and go down, spend all my money and then suck it up for the next couple months....or I could wait to see everyone in August, fix my car in preparation for the upcoming hiking season and hopefully finally get a new camera. I know it's logical to stay home, but that doesn't stop the inner little girl from saying "I wanna go".

*pout*

Monday, April 20, 2009

just in case you were curious...

in case you were curious...

daydreaming

I've been staring off into space a lot lately. Contemplating, speculating, rationalizing; and then dreaming, wanting, fantasizing. My head is busy as of late so finding the time for photography has been a task that I'm failing at. I'm lucky to have my iphone on me at all times so I can still capture things that I see when I come out of my dream state for a few minutes.

dogwood
"mistaken dogwood"

I know I've mentioned how fun this dating thing is, and I'm really appreciating each little detail and step along the way. Learning about each other, finding out the weird idiosyncratic things, the long talks until morning, the meeting of the friends, and then the parents which happened this weekend. I'm a sucker for this kind of crap. I'm sentimental all the way, so it was pretty cool to meet his family and see where this kid came from. I was only there for a few minutes but immediately I was charmed and can now see where his biting wit comes from.

(rant)
Since I knew my mom loves this kind of crap too, I decided to call her after not having really spoken to her in over a month. I had been watching Gilmore Girls and the few episodes that I had seen were when Rory had quit Yale and moved in with her Grandparents. The strain between the once solid foundation of that mother and daughter team along with the gleam in the Lorilei's eyes anytime there was any mention of her daughter just made me ache for my mom. Chuck used to tell me that my mom would be especially happy the week leading up to one of my visits to Arizona and because of that, my guilt for not talking to mom has been pretty deep lately. I don't want to be the cause of any extra suffering for her, thus the call to her on Saturday. We spoke for 4 minutes before she had another call, when she clicked back over she asked if she could call me back. Um, yeah...ok. I waited 20 minutes before hearing my phone ring again. She told me it was Rusty...RUSTY. She hadn't talked to her daughter in over a month and she gets off the phone with me to talk to the asshole who made her life spiral out of control, who strings her along, who took her out of rehab when it was her best bet for recovery and getting her life back, who didn't even call me when she was in the hospital for a week after attempting suicide. I hate him, and she took his call over mine. The word livid doesn't even describe what I was feeling and I told her as such. I hung up, took a moment to cry, then I moved on. I can't expect her to be the mom anymore so it's not acceptable for me to dwell on her actions. It sucks, though. I sometimes feel like I lost my mom that night last November.
(/rant)

blue house yellow tree
"blue house yellow tree"

Trying not to dwell, but failing, I stayed home on Saturday night but chatted with Amy on IM for a hour or so. I miss her and all my other girl friends in LA but it's nice to know that even though I haven't been there in a year we are all still as close as when I lived there.

Sunday brought dim sum and I dragged Casey out of bed to join Lucas and me in the International District. I'd been talking up this place to Casey and wanted to show it to him, but since I have no idea what I'm eating most of the time I figured it'd be nice to take him with the expert, plus it was a good time for my best friend to meet the guy I'm dating.

dating...tee hee.

Before the call with my mother on Saturday I took a drive up to Snoqualmie. I had planned to hike, but didn't feel like doing anything too strenuous as I'm trying to recover from the plague...or whatever it is I've caught that has made me sick for the last month. I attempted Asahel Curtis, but the road was snowed in still. Instead I opted for daydreaming about the hikes I want to do this summer and came up with the following list:

Peakbagging
-Granite
-Mailbox
-McClellan Butte
-Pilchuck
Monte Cristo - it's a ghost town!
Glacier Peak
-Miners Ridge
-Image Lake
-Lost Creek Ridge
-White Pass
-Sulpher Mountain
(chances are I'll only get to Lost Creek)
Hurricane Ridge
Colchuck Lake
Lake Melakwa - Of course I've been, but I want this to be my first camping trip. This hike kicked my ass the first time I did it. I want another go.

I'm sure I'll be adding more, but this is my short list for the season. Snow melt already, damnit!

Lastly, did you know that Ansel Adams studied to become a concert pianist?

"For several years, I had a very difficult time," Adams said in his 1976 interview with the BBC. "And many of my friends would beg me not to think about photography as a career, because I apparently was a fairly good pianist. And they would say photography is not an art; the camera cannot express the human soul."

I beg to differ, friends of Ansel Adams...and I'm glad he did as well. The camera is the only medium I've found that actually can express what's in my soul.

Friday, April 17, 2009

beauty


Timescapes Timelapse: Learning to Fly from Tom @ Timescapes on Vimeo.

Captured with a Canon 5D Mark II during winter and spring 2009.

I was skimming through this list of 50 great photographers "you should know" and Florian Ritter caught my eye. When I went to look at the portfolio I was pleased to see that he/she (haven't figured it out yet) spends half their time living in Seattle (the other half in Germany). I found it interesting that it was the only photographer out of 50 that I actually checked out the link for their portfolio.

Have a great weekend everyone, it's supposed to be beautiful. I'll be hiking so expect pics :)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

i heart pho

and as of late I heart my bed and kisses.

i heart bed

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

dodgeball and the presets

As I mentioned in a previous post I have a new obsession for a band called The Presets. They were coming to town and one of the great things about my job is that I can most of the time get on the guest list for shows in the area, and this one was no exception. My plus one for the evening was Casey. With his love of house music and all things techno, his DJ'ing days were what helped turn me on to this genre so it was a no brainer that he attend.

While waiting for him to get off work, I indulged myself in a little prefunking and some DMB. Their tour kicked off at MSG (Madison Square Garden) last night and they offered up for free download the first single off their new album that will be released in June. From the first note of "Grey Street" I was hooked again. I watched the Gorge show and relived that great weekend with my friends in one of the most beautiful places on earth and before I knew it I was dancing in my living room.

"There’s an emptiness inside her
And she’d do anything to fill it in
And though it’s red blood bleeding from her now
It’s more like cold blue ice in her heart
She feels like kicking out all the windows
And setting fire to this life
She could change everything about her using colors bold and bright
But all the colors mix together - to grey
And it breaks her heart"

I remember feeling this way. It's heartbreaking to live like this everyday and it reminds me how wonderful it is to feel as happy as I do now. "Funny how it is that someone's broken heart becomes your favorite song". Hmmmm...music. It's my salvation, my church, my life, my heart. It's pretty freakin' awesome :)

just a little bit of...
"just a little bit of..."

Sooo, Casey meets up with me and we wander over to Neumos and see that the band doesn't actually go on until 11:30. He's hungry and I want to drink a little more, but I'm stupidly broke right now so we head to the store. I grab a tonic and then three little bottles of Jameson. We walk over to Cal Anderson Park so I can concoct my little potion and just then a cop car pulls up next to us. My heart gets the fun little racing adrenaline and I pull out my phone to act nonchalant. Apparently they were just looking for the car that had pulled up into the park near the fields. It was a nice little rush though.

in the waiting line
"in the waiting line"

The dodgeball game was in full affect this evening so we headed over to watch. I've been wanting to shoot them for the longest time. Sometimes there are costumes, but this evening it was just a bunch of guys out having fun, throwing giant balls at each other's heads. I had my iphone with me, so I played with my toycamera again.

i'll take you all on
"i'll take you all on"

This kid was killin' it out there. He was taking everyone down and none of the adults could get him. The taunts from the line up was great. The whiskey was hitting me by now and I was feeling great. I even broke my own rule of texting people when I'm with someone. It's my biggest pet peeve, and Casey is the worst offender but he knows it drives me nuts so he doesn't do it with me. However he forgave me for my texts to the tall one I think because he's appreciating the fact that I'm totally digging this dating thing.

waiting to get hit
"waiting to get hit"

I love flare.

We decide to head over to the venue and the place was all but empty. The DJ started off slow, but was great and before I knew it I was bobbing my head with a big smile. The place started to fill up once The Golden Filter took the stage and soon I was surrounded by beautiful women who were gazing upon the lead singer with awe. She was beautiful, that's for sure, but her bangs laid on her face like a sheep dog which kinda turned me off. That and their music was...well...retro is a word to use I guess. Electro synth pop maybe? Their myspace lists their genre as Pop / Disco House / Death Metal. Whatever.

presets
"presets"

The Presets took the stage and the light show began. The crowd went nuts and by this time it was a packed house. People were shoving, jumping, dancing and waving their arms in the air. Before I knew it I was in the center of the crowd and Casey was no where to be seen. No matter, I let the music take me over and began dancing with everyone. It felt good, I haven't danced in forever and the smiles on everyone's faces and the reaction of the crowd to the music was like a giant hug all around me.

the presets

I made it about 4 songs I think before I had to step out and find Casey. We walked to the side of the stage and they began to play "If I Know You", which was the song that introduced me to them. It was around 12:30 by this time and I was ready to head home.

I love being able to walk home after a show, I love that I was watching dodgeball in the park just a couple hours before, I love that I saw the stars above the Seattle skyline, I love that my best friend lives only a couple blocks away, I love that the guy I'm hanging out with lives on the hill, I love that I had an evening filled with music and it didn't cost me a dime.

Life is good...damn good.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

passion

A lot of links today and some rambling...

NPR did a story on a show that is part of the MoPLA (Month of Photography, Los Angeles) called Behind Photographs.

"Although the photos are recognizable, the people hiding behind the lens usually aren't. Mantoani wanted to pay homage to the creators of some of the most iconic, timeless images. It was a mammoth endeavor, not only because of his subjects -- all photographic giants -- but also because of his equipment choice. There are only six of these 235-pound, five-foot-tall, 20 x 24 Polaroid cameras in the world, and Mantoani used one of them to take his portraits. It's an homage, then, to the photographers, to their photographs, and also to a dwindling photographic medium."

With my recent obsession with older format cameras, I was drawn to this show. Mostly because of the camera he shot with, but also one of the things I love about photography is that this is something I can (and will) do for the rest of my life. When you see the faces of the people who have shot these iconic photos the passion for this creative outlet is apparent. My grandma sent me a shot of her photography club in Monument Valley, AZ and my heart swooned for them. 47 retirees out in the desert enjoying the freedom of shooting away to their hearts content. I want to be one of them when I'm older and seeing that shot I've never felt closer to my grandparents.













How cute are they!? My grandpa is the fourth one from the left in the red cap and my grandma is right next to him, under the guy holding his cowboy hat. My grandpa is beginning to suffer from Alzheimers and my grandma has been taking it pretty hard. She said he did very well out there for the three days and judging by the smile on his face I would say he did as well.

rosebud
"rosebud" iPhone, toycamera

Saturday night Casey and I wandered the Hill trying to catch up with Mr. Kool and his girl, but each bar we hit up we missed them. This shot was taken at Rosebud with my iPhone and the program toycamera which is one of my favorite applications I've ever downloaded. It's getting me used to my switch to film which I'm both frightened of and so freakin' excited for. Once you take the shot there is no control over what process it will go through. Black and white? High contrast? Lomo? Vintage? You never know until it processes the shot. It's too much fun to play with.

I've been in research mode and haven't really been out shooting, although I do have a couple interviews today that may give me the opportunity. I'm trying not to let the weather get me down, but long stretches of gray suck. I need a blue sky soon.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

wrapped in piano strings

what might have been lost
"what might have been lost"

Behind my desk at work is a video wall. I choose the music I listen to on a daily basis and most of the time I listen to our Modern Rock disk from Rockamerica. There was a song that kept sticking in my head every time it played so one day I turned around and watched the video in it's entirety. It's strange how I never thought of watching videos before I stared this job and now when I see a good one it becomes an extension of the song.



I hear this voice that's reminiscent of Interpol, but with an industrial techno beat and I turn around to watch the video and immediately recognize downtown LA. It begins on Hollywood Blvd, flows to Echo Park, then sweeping views of McCarther Park. With subdued colors, bokeh traffic, light flares and stark cityscapes it brings you finally to a drum circle on the beach swirling around a fire with kids dancing like tribal people performing a ceremony. It's beautiful and exactly what I would film if I shot in LA. It made me miss it more that I can ever explain. I ache for that town, for my friends, for my family. I don't want to live there, but I want to see them so bad that I dream about it. The video is above, if you are so inclined...tall one, I think you may enjoy them. Can we go to LA now?

duaflex
"duaflex"

I have begun to explore ttv with my duaflex. It's scary, creating photos naturally without the help of photoshop. My first shot, which is down below, was shot through the viewfinder of my duaflex, with a +4 close up lens stuck on top of a +2 close up lens that was held up to my Canon 350d at just the right focal point. No contraption to block out the light. It's a pain in the ass, but once I have a contraption built it should be much easier to shoot out in the daylight. I will finally either have to purchase my own close up filters to sit on my 50mm or buy adapters for Panda's filters and never return them. He doesn't need them anyway ;) I guess if you don't understand the complexity of a ttv then the shot below isn't that interesting, but if you knew how hard it was to capture you would be in awe!

first true ttv
"first true ttv"

Still, I have an easier time creating ttv through photoshop. I guess that's the crux of knowing that program so well...I can create what I see with older format and film cameras. All that changes now as I've purchased not only my duaflex, but also my first 120 medium format film camera. My Holga should be coming next week, and while I hyperventilate at the idea of the investment I'm about to make in film, processing and my own education in this format I'm excited at this opportunity to completely lose control of my photography and let the camera guide me.

your biggest fan
"your biggest fan"

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

action / reaction

Since all actions create some sort of reaction I find that when I'm tired like I am now it's best just to sit still and let it pass. So I'm going to.

Actually, the title of the blog comes from a song. I couldn't think of what to name this post so I just pulled one of the first songs off the list and it's by a band called Choir of Young Believers, which is an awesome name.

I am kinda grumpy though. I'm not sure if it's just that I'm tired of being sick, or that the weather is schizophrenic but a little creeping doubt is coming into my mind. It's strange how I have to fight my own head sometimes. Like the rational Stacy fights with the stupid girl Stacy and then I'm all confused as to who I am, who I'm talking to...where am I again? Bah, I'll chalk it up to PMS.

tattered
"tattered"

There is a secret garden near my home. At the height of spring you can hardly walk through it as the bushes, trees, flowers and leaves are so plentiful that they block out the sun at times. As spring is just beginning I was able to walk through it and look up to see the prayer flags strung across the space.

long road
"long road"

I had planned to use this shot as part of a dyptich, but I really love the colors and the lines. I may change my title bar picture to this shot, but I'm not sure yet.

finding blue
"finding blue"

Anytime I'm out shooting and I get a call or a text from a friend asking me what I'm up to I always say I'm out "finding pretty". It was used back at me the other day, asking if I was still out finding pretty and it was about the cutest thing I'd ever heard from a man. Apologies L for saying you're cute, but damn did it make me smile.

I've been searching for a shot like the one above, a nice pastel blue sky with white blossoms and I think I finally found it. I think I may be done shooting the blossoms. The tree closest to my house is starting to wilt and I'm starting to see petals fall from the branches.

I mentioned to the tall one that I didn't remember this many cherry trees in the city before I moved to LA. He said "but they're all over", and the funny thing is that there is so much that I don't remember about this city. I think it's more that my eyes are now open to how beautiful it is here, I'm excited every time a new season turns because I want to know how the city will look. What flowers are going to bloom, when will the snow melt, how will the transition to summer be, will the sunsets look the same as in the winter? I guess I'm looking at things with a photographer's eye now...which is pretty darn cool.

Thanks P.

looking on
"looking on"

Had drinks with Casey and Justin last night. My two friends who I spent the most time with before I left, yet we hardly hang out anymore as a group. I see Casey all the time, but the three of us haven't hung out since seeing "Che" a few months before. Still, sitting there with the two of them razzing me in the silly way that they always had I was reminded of the fun we had before I moved away. I'm just a little more thick skinned now :)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

random sunny evening shooting

It was too pretty to stay indoors when I got home from work yesterday. I decided to put off cleaning up my apartment and grabbed my camera for a quick walk around the neighborhood. Music guided me, so I thought I'd share some songs I was listening to while wandering.

cinnamon
"cinnamon"

Sun through the curtains, I gave you a sign,
The birds were all quiet, you were so quiet,
Some hear a call, some are the messengers,
I thumb through the pictures, and know them all

read between the lines
"read between the lines"

The glove compartment isn't accurately named
And everybody knows it.
So I'm proposing a swift orderly change.
Cause behind its door there's nothing to keep my fingers warm
And all i find are souvenirs from better times
Before the gleam of your taillights fading east
To find yourself a better life.

blue blossom
"blue blossom"

We can move on forward
Don't worry
The best we've known is yet to come
We can move on forward
Don't worry
The worst won't get the best of us

Some memories are crippling
Don't let the disease bring us down
There's nothing else to know
Just let it go
Yeah, we'll do without it somehow

harmonious
"harmonious"

The tall one had this word on his fortune at dinner and I liked and told him I would name a photo after it...so I did. The word, not the dinner or that picture would have been called chicken teriyaki...which is just weird. But now I want to do that. Damn.

when you look at me that way
"when you look at me that way"

Please forgive me
If I act a little strange
For I know not what I do.
Feels like lightning running through my veins
Every time I look at you

One of my favorite concert moments was with that song. We were at the Wiltern and David Gray was closing with this song, which he almost always does. There is a quiet part where he sings the above lyrics. The tempo drops considerably and the LA audience just sat quietly while he played, but not me. Oh no, I jumped to my feet and started clapping my hands fast, loud and hard like his fans normally do as his live shows. The industry people seated next to us looked at me like I was nuts, but I knew there were other fans in the audience who wanted to do the same thing as me and as soon as I started it was like a wave. People started standing up, clapping along and soon all those industry people put down their blackberry's and were up on their feet. It was great.

under the sun
"under the sun"

Is this not enough?
This blessed sip of life,
Is it not enough?
Staring down at the ground
Oh, then complain and pray for more from above,
You greedy little pig

Come sister, my brother
Shake up your bones, shake up your feet
I'm saying open up
And let the rain come pouring in
Wash out this tired notion
That the best is yet to come
But while you're dancing on the ground
Don't think of when you're gone

My second favorite concert moment is a silly one. Dane and I drove up to see the Dave Matthews Band do a free show at Golden Gate Park. It was a great scene and we were one of the first people there so we were very close to the stage. However, that meant we had to sit around for quite some time. It was a bright sunny day and people were starting to get a little restless close to show time. As you know, when a show is about to start the house lights go down and the stage lights come up. All the sudden a shadow came over the front of the crowd and everyone started cheering, thinking it was the start of the show as we're so used to the lights going down. It was just a blimp passing over, blocking the sun. Der.

Monday, April 06, 2009

searching for tulips

Excellent weekend, I must say.

Some favorite quotes and texts from the last two days:

"I know it's not like riding a bike or hitting your first grandslam on a tee ball mound! You know the meaning behind the curtain! Keep it reel! Motion picture! LOL!!....I'm wasted"

"I told you for the last time, I like the pussy!"

"I'm totally going to sing walking 'round in women's underwear at a gay bar someday"

"You've inspired me and now I'm taking pictures all artsy-fartsy"

and my favorite: "A beer in one hand, you in the other, medicine running through my veins, a belly full of dim sum, and BSG on a projector: Best Saturday Ever".

We got through season one and although I had seen it before it was nice to have a refresher and even though I knew what was going to happen I still was shocked at the season finale! The projector was awesome and after Lucas left on Saturday Casey came over and we watched Tropic Thunder. I kicked him out around 12:30 and fell asleep on the couch watching Dollhouse. The verdict is still out on how I feel about that show. They had an excellent opportunity to showcase the funny side of Joss in "Echoes" but there was just something missing. I'll keep my opinions until the season is over and the show is picked up for another.

crooked man
"crooked man"

By Sunday I was feeling a little better and decided to venture out to grab some things I had been putting off getting because I loathe the mall. As I got to the exit I found myself driving right past and knew that my calling was elsewhere, namely tulips.

for acres
"for acres"

I had been following the bloom map and although they said that the tulips hadn't started blooming yet, I wanted to see for myself. Besides, the daffodils were supposed to be out of control and boy were they ever. I stopped at one patch and as I was taking pictures a family asked me to take a shot of them with their camera. I always do two when randomly asked; one with the subject in the center and one following the rule of thirds. It made me wonder about professional photographers and what they think when someone asks them randomly to take a shot. Do they shoot a quick family in the middle type shot? Do they get technical and take a well composed photo? Do they giggle to themselves like "these people don't even know how lucky they are".

mount erie
"mount erie"

I drove around the different fields and with no tulip sightings I only had the daffodils to focus on. I love the above shot because you can see Mt. Erie in the background. The Skagit Valley is such an interesting place. Nestled between the sea and the alps of the north Cascades, the ecosystems are so different looking east to west that it's just breathtaking. With the sunny skies and a temperature around 68, Sunday was one of those days that reminded me why I love living in Washington so much.

baker over red barn
"baker over red barn"

This may be my favorite from the day. Mt. Baker was peaking through the hills at me all day and I was happy to capture it finally. I'm aching for a new camera. I see these shots in my head, I take them with my camera and see them small in the viewfinder thinking that I got photo I wanted, but then I upload them and there is always something off. Not sharp enough, no definition, I can't exactly put my finger on it but there is something missing. I know it's my camera. I see other photos taken with the exact same set up and the quality is infinitely better. It doesn't stop me from going through my normal thought process though:

1. It's my fault.
2. I don't know enough about photography to take the shot I wanted.
3. It's the camera
4. It's the lens
5. I suck
6. Oooh, that shot is nice
7. Well, if I just crop that in and add a texture
8. Damn, I'm good.
9. See, other people think I'm good!
10. Now I don't like that shot...I suck.

looking through
"looking through"

I received my Duaflex in the mail. I'm going to play with it tonight and hopefully have some decent shots to post tomorrow. Lucas and his engineering mind is working on a contraption to block out the light so for now I'll have to stick to the indoors, which means I'll have to buy flowers...darn.

Friday, April 03, 2009

weekend yay!

rainy drive home
"electric tunnel" iPhone

The weekend is about to begin. I have a projector to watch BSG all gigantic on my wall, an adorable man to share my evening with, two days of rest, and warm weather to look forward to over the next couple days.

If I could just stop being sick now...please? I'd like to get my drink on, yo. DAAAMN.

Clearly the cold medicine has kicked in.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

waiting

my camera should be here any day, but I can't stop playing with the fake way of creating the shots. Of course, now I'm worried that I will be able to create better pictures in photoshop than I could naturally but such is my nature to worry. I have to stop that...damn.

daffodil ttv
"daffodil ttv"

Thanks to Panda today for letting me have a girl moment. Much appreciated.




needle through the blossom
"needle through the blossom"






homey
"homey"