Monday, June 29, 2009

my big gay weekend

The Seattle neighborhood I live in is called Capitol Hill, which is affectionately called "the hill" by locals. It's an eclectic area that grows more and more trendy as the years go by. Immortalized by Sir Mix A Lot, Broadway no longer resembles the place he sang about. Taco Bell is gone, replaced with yet another high rise condo building and there is a dwindling population of the street kids that were so instrumental in the grunge era; however the LGBT community remains a strong force on the hill no other weekend is better to see that influence than the kick off for Pride Month.

The Stranger had a list of activities for the weekend so the tall one and I began wandering around, checking out the Capitol Hill Pride Festival first where I saw the first of many a pair of bare cheeks in chaps. There was supposed to be a 40th anniversary celebration of Stonewall at Volunteer Park so we headed that way, however nothing came of it and we ended up spending a few hours playing with my camera, lounging on the grass and watching the pretty girls. A nap was in order, and then we met up with the tall one's friends for dinner and a movie. It was an excellent Saturday, but honestly I haven't had one bad weekend with him.

naked man
"naked man"

To continue my education of Seattle events, he brought me to the Gay Pride Parade downtown. We pre-funked at his friends car and then headed over to the festivities. I was super, super excited to try out my new camera and it didn't disappoint. The area we decided to stand in was under trees and thus very shaded so as the parade passed the people would wander between the shade and the light making for difficult shooting conditions. I also have no filters yet for my lens since I spent all my money on the darn thing. A polarizer would have been a welcome addition to the day, but I managed to pull out a few excellent shots.

oh my
"oh my"

There was also a bearded vagina wandering around. Wonder if those two ever got together...

rat city ttv
"rat city ttv"

I haven't purchased a 50mm yet, so any ttv for now will have to be fake. Although the tall one did spot another photographer with a contraption while we were up on the hill Saturday. I love how he's embraced photography with me, learning terminology and freely playing with my new toy. Before we go out for the day he'll even remind me to charge my battery and format my SD card. He's so great...I'm gushing, I know.

princess
"princess"

Despite the nudity there were quite a few children there. Every so often the tall one would exclaim "Baby!" and point out the most adorable little ones. Typically I'm incensed when I see children at political events, holding signs that their little minds can't even begin to understand. I wondered to myself why I didn't mind seeing children here, was it because it was a cause I believed in? I think it was more so the entire weekend was a celebration of love, understanding and acceptance. But perhaps I am a little biased.

beauty
"beauty"

If the above one does not show, please click through to the flickr page as there is nudity. Of course the naked bikers were there and since I missed them at the Fremont Solstice Parade I was ecstatic that they were a part of this event. This woman was my favorite, so beautiful and graceful, the light hit her just perfect and I considered converting this shot to black and white but I absolutely love the color of her skin.

I left the post-funking for a quick bus ride home and a long nap. An excellent end to another weekend of firsts.

Friday, June 26, 2009

it has arrived

After three months of research, flip flopping between cameras, deciding on Nikon or Canon, saving money, and waiting....my new camera has arrived: the beautiful, intimidating Nikon D90.

don't you throw that at me!
"don't you throw that thing at me!"

It doesn't feel like mine. It feels like I borrowed it. It feels like it shouldn't be in my hands, but then it fits perfect. I received it at work, not brought to me by my favorite man in brown but he did make sure it was delivered to me first thing.

I had planned on doing a photo walk when I got home from work, but upon hearing about MJ's passing I was glued to NPR. On the drive home I turned it to KUBE and they were playing nothing but his songs. I drove down Broadway with "ABC" blasting from my radio and people on the street were smiling and nodding along. I didn't want to stop listening so I grabbed Casey and we drove around, eventually ending up in Fremont. While at a red light I heard a young couple talking about his death while they were sitting at a bus stop with their three young children. At that moment "Rock With You" came on the radio and I turned it up loud. The lady smiled, cheered and we all started dancing and singing. The light turned green and I waved goodbye with a peace sign. Say what you will about the man, but the music...never question the music. He was my generation's Elvis. Just as the baby boomers lost Lennon and Elvis, mine lost Cobain and Jackson.

lavender
"lavender"

Eventually we ended up at Chapel where we were joined by the tall one and Angel later in the evening. I made quick friends with the bartender and he was kind enough to discount drinks and bring free food.

Casey loved the frame rate, and at 4.5 FPS who could blame him? I was worried about the frame rate from Nikon verses the 40D, but it blew away any misconceptions I had about Nikon in the hands of my dear friend. I'm planning on putting together a time lapse video once I figure out Capture.

daisy in the wheat
"daisy in the wheat"

Dearest Panda,

When I first put this camera in my hands I knew exactly what to do. I knew the terminology, I put it up to my eye and knew how to read all the numbers and meters. I read through the manual with excitement and understanding. I do all of this because of what you taught me. Had it not been for you I would have never picked up this passion of mine, I would have never found the love for photography that I have now. I would never in the world have thought of buying a $1200 camera and investing hundreds of dollars on glass. I look at this camera and I say to myself "I can't believe I know how to use this!".

I don't know if you come here, if you still follow my progress, or if I'm still relevant to you...but I want to say thank you. A million times thank you.

Always your,

kobna

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

a quick run to the ledge

I'd like to keep a running tally of my hikes, so I thought I'd mention I took a run up to the ledge on Sunday.

Then again, I plan on it being a regular weekday after work hike...so do I count each time I go up to the ledge if it's for exercise purposes as a hike?

Help me out here.

My camera is in Iowa right now....slowly inching it's way towards my favorite tall one in brown who will hopefully be the one to deliver it or I may have to explain kissing my normal driver, Randy. The irony of the name may play a part...

























"shadow of Si"























"cedar butte from the ledge"

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

the camera is just another tool for an artist

me: I can't believe I'm cameraless now!
tall one: you have a camera, your film one.
me: oh...yeah. hmm.

I hear all the time that it's not the camera, it's the photographer. On the eve of spending the most I've ever spent on a hobby (ok...passion) it's the last thing I want to dwell on, but I can't help it.

daisies and radials
"daisies and radials"

After my hike last weekend my knee has really been bothering me. Tuesday I tried to do the stairs at the water tower at Volunteer Park and I really knocked it out of wack. On the way back home I was trying to take my mind off the pain by thinking about the shots I would take when I finally got my new camera. I came across the scene above and swore I would be back to capture it. But as the tall one reminded me, I do have a camera, and I also have an iPhone with lots of fun applications on it!

1+3=5
"1+3=5"

I brought my holga along with me and used my iPhone as a sort of light meter and viewfinder. It's a crap shoot with a Holga, the viewfinder is not attached to the lens and doesn't even show the field of view that the lens has, it's fun like that. I found myself really enjoying the simplicity of the shots and as another photographer passed by me, wondering what I was doing on the ground shooting a tire, I didn't miss having my SLR at all. It was freeing, in a way. It reminded me why I really got into Lomography in the first place. It's simple, interesting, spur of the moment, and you have absolutely no control over the outcome except your own eye.

It's my instrument.

and when my story ends it's gonna end with him, heaven or...
"and when my story ends it's gonna end with him, heaven or..."

When I sit Casey in front of the piano or hand him a guitar, he can play me the most melodic and beautiful sounds. I feel like an artist behind the lens of a camera is the same thing. You can give anyone a camera and they can take a picture, but it takes a real eye to create something thought provoking and interesting. However, that being said I do think there is something to the camera that you are using. I also think a healthy working knowledge of the technical aspects of photography is very important, but I see too many people getting wrapped up in it.

Sometimes the best shots come by accident, when you aren't even thinking about it.

Kind of like love...

Monday, June 15, 2009

lake serene / bridal veil falls

Back in March I took a drive to Stevens Pass to check out the road conditions and stumbled upon Mt. Index and the trail for Bridal Veil falls. I had mentioned that I would go back the next weekend...and three months later I finally made it out there.

To my surprise the tall one awoke early and with childlike excitement exclaimed "let's go hike!" I believe that was all the energy he could muster that early in the morning as he went downhill quick. We grabbed a quick breakfast from Noah's and headed out of the city and into nature.

vintage bridal veil
"vintage bridal veil"

The trail head was packed with cars and as we made our way up to the falls it was easy to understand why. The first 2 miles is extremely easy, with approximately 800 feet elevation gain I think we made it in about 45 minutes. The spur to the falls has a sign that states only 2 miles up to Lake Serene. I have no doubts that the day hikers and random people out for the day who aren't really prepared for a hike see that sign and think "wow, that first two miles was so easy. The hike to the lake should be a piece of cake".

Um...it's not.

The trail has 23 switchbacks up 2200 feet in approximately 2 miles. The entire trip is 7.2 miles round trip. The new trail took two years to complete, and it's a doozy. The stairs replace the slippery and dangerous rocks that once comprised the trail, but they did a number on my knees up and back. At least I know now that I'm nowhere near close to the condition I should be in to climb Mailbox Peak.

let me get this for you
"let me get this for you"

Of course the tall one, who delivers boxes all day while I just sit on my ass, was not swayed by the stairs nor the elevation gain. Other than sweating like crazy from the humidity, he patiently waited while I stopped to catch my breath more times that I would have liked. Even leaning down to grab a few breathless kisses.

We finally reached the lake, which was still frozen over giving the air a nice chill, and headed to the lunch rock which was just as filled with people as Rattlesnake Ridge would be on a sunny Saturday afternoon. And dogs, did I mention all the dogs on this trail? Tons of them. Had it not been for the scenery I would have really disliked this hike. It has all the makings of a great hike: waterfalls, an alpine lake, sweeping views and a kick your ass workout but it's become like Mt. Si or Rattlesnake Ridge. Do it once, but I wouldn't recommend it as a regular hike. Way too many people.

run off
"run off"

The hike down went quick and we tried to stay up beat and positive for the people coming up, letting them know how far it was and encouraging them to make it all the way to the top. We met one family sitting on the very log that I almost started crying on, who was so close but was about to pack it all in and go back down. I hope we convinced them to continue on. I also rolled my ankle something awful on the way down and seriously, my legs were like jello. This was a hike where my energy level completely dwarfed what my body could actually do.

dykes vs queens

The tall one napped on the way back but I hit traffic on the way into the city so my rest was delayed. I dropped him off and then drove the couple blocks back to my place to shower. The day had been warm, so I left the windows open. I could hear cheering and a voice over a loudspeaker faintly in the distance and wondered what it was, however the call of my shower was louder so I jumped in to let the warmth sooth my tired muscles.

Even though he was tired, my sweet boyfriend still walked over to Bimbos to grab us a couple burritos and in the process found out where the noise I had heard earlier was coming from: Dykes vs. Queens softball. I couldn't bring myself to wander over there, but luckily a fellow hiker/blogger and friend took some GREAT shots. I'm really proud of how far his photography has come. Check them out here!

Waking up on Sunday morning, I was a little sore from the hike but I had some lady time issues going on that required the help of some ibuprofen. Again, the adorable one was kind enough to go to the store, and when he returned not only was there pain numbing medicine but all the fixings for a yummy breakfast which he proceeded to cook for me. Awesome? Yup totally.

i shoot film

angry sky
"angry sky"
Holga w/ Fujicolor Pro 400H ISO 400



From Mr. Kool's wedding, all shot with my Holga and Kodak Tmax 100 black and white film. I'm holding off on my favorite so I can give it to him as a wedding gift. The photo shop I took my film to did a terrible job of scanning the photos to disk so I will be returning to the shop to have them redone. If you look close you can see the dust.

I'm really glad to know that my knowledge of lighting and film speed was spot on with these shots. They could have turned out really well if I had the chance to get these two to pose for a shot, but they were being run ragged by family and friends. I was lucky enough to get the shots that I did without being to intrusive. I learned a lot though and I'm excited to go through the rest of my film.

no, you are beautiful
"no, you are beautiful"

I don't want my burger!
"I don't want my burger"

the bride
"exhausted bride"

Friday, June 12, 2009

last friday

I do remember taking these pictures...of course, I forgot until I found them in my purse.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mary Ward

Says a member of Ward's order, now known as the Congregation of Jesus and made up of 4,000 sisters, "She had a vision of the equality of men and women before God and a vision of the capacity of women to do good and to work for the kingdom of God...She had this at a time when universities were still discussing whether women had souls."

I'm always amazed at how interesting humans are. We once thought the world was flat, we once debated whether women had souls, we once thought that a white person and a black person could not marry...and one day we will have "once" thought that people of the same sex could not as well.

I'm not a proponent of organized religion, but I do love stories like this that show we are ever evolving. Seeing as the closed mindedness of radicals and supremacist (who, let's face it, are domestic terrorists) still continues to this day makes me question how much they really know about their chosen cause / god / belief / religion. It should make you, my dear reader, question your own if you are also blindly following...don't be complacent. Strive to always understand why.


Feminist Nun Promoted for Sainthood


While you're at it, please read why the Iranian election is so important. thanks :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Ansel Adams: HDR pioneer

I'm stealing this from another blog, but I just love it.

"He manipulated the work tremendously in the darkroom. He always said that the negative is the equivalent of the composer's score and the print is the equivalent of the conductor's performance, and the same piece of Mozart is conducted differently, performed differently, by different orchestras, different conductors, and Ansel performed his own negatives differently."

This blew my mind. He manipulated his negatives the exact same way we manipulate our RAW files in photoshop now.

Monday, June 08, 2009

so wordy

purple sunset polaroid
"purple sunset polaroid"

I like this one...it reminds me of a comic book.










my claddagh
"my claddagh"

I couldn't sleep and I saw my ring on my bedside table bathed in light...fun with textures ensued. It's not my favorite photo, but it's pretty.

mr. kool got married

The first problem with film is that after a weekend of shooting I have nothing to show for it come monday morning. I have three rolls of 120 film waiting to be developed so as soon as I do a post will be coming. My first with film, I'm scared that not a single one of them came out. I have to remind myself that even with digital I can take 100 shots and maybe only 5 will be great...we shall see.

Friday, although details are still sketchy, found me with Casey and Angel at LoFi, Neighbors and the Cha Cha. I remember last call, but after that...well, let's just say I guess I tried to sleep on a sidewalk and then fell in love with shrubbery. I awoke to twigs in my bed at noon on Saturday morning so the wedding shower for my cousin was out of the question.

I was a wreck by the time I picked up the tall one. He held me tight in the afternoon sun and I trembled in his arms, the previous nights festivities still seeping from my pores. He laughed because the last thing I said to Casey as the tall one left us the night before was "I'm not going to get home at 3 am tonight, right?"

After a quick stop at Glaziers (heaven) for film, we headed over to Mr. Kool's wedding. It was a small affair at his home, with around 80 people in attendance. It was a beautiful set up, but we were warned there were not enough chairs. The tall one and I headed over to grab a seat and noticed that along with the Chinese lanterns that were decorating the yard, there were skull and crossbones on the inside of the wedding tent which we later found out was at the insistence of the bride.

Mr. Kool was dressed in jeans and a white button up, the bride in a beautiful short strapless summer dress; both wearing his trademark Converse. It was adorable. We were all quieted and "My Girl" started playing over the speakers. An older woman with a glass of white wine in one hand and a cigarette in the other walked out of the house and into the front row and she began singing. Not meant to be part of the wedding (but was funny nonetheless) Mr. Kool looked down at her with disdain and told her to put the cigarette out...awesome.

The song started over and the bride walked down the isle. We all stood during the ceremony, which worked out well as although they were the center of attention, it made them look less on display and more like all of us were involved in this moment. The bride had the attack of the giggles but Mr. Kool was looking so intently at her that I could feel the love radiating off of him. It was really beautiful. That trend continued after the wedding. He would see her from across the room and he couldn't take his eyes off her. "Isn't my wife beautiful?" She was, she really was.

I got quite a few pictures of the wedding and was able to shoot them while they signed the marriage license. After, Mr. Kool got to spend a little time with me and the tall one, whom he promised to play dodgeball with. Before we took off, I got the approval from Mr. Kool about my boy and the tall one reciprocated once we got back to my place which made me feel great...hangover not withstanding.

A nap was a must after the wedding as we had a birthday party later that night. Three hours wrapped in his arms was amazing, but I didn't sleep a wink. 10 pm came too soon and we headed down to the Crescent (after food and a quick change at his place) to meet his friends. I was exhausted, but attempted to stay cheerful. There was karaoke to provide entertainment and I discovered that the tall one is very liked...and I mean very...by gay men. I mean...wow. Hands, hands in all sorts of places. I felt the need to defend a couple times, but after that it was just funny.

His friends are great and have welcomed me into their little group, which proved to be a relief when his ex showed up. She's friends with everyone too, so I knew there were bound to be run ins, but it was nice that there wasn't a "choosing sides" kinda thing. She came up and introduced herself when she first got there and said goodbye when we left, no drama but there was some genuine curiosity and a bit of passive aggressiveness that I recognized, but it's par for the course and I was prepared for it. However, it was exhausting and I was ready to go not too much later. The best part of the evening was seeing the tall one sing along to the bad karaoke. I'm so grateful that he loves music. His tastes are so wide ranging that it puts mine to shame. It's awesome.

Sunday, after dim sum we headed over to Pacific Place to watch "Up"..in 3D!! Such a beautiful movie, I can't recommend it enough. We ended the weekend finishing season 2 of BSG over pizza and vodka. Hmmm...I adore him :)

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

milk was a bad choice

It's warm, eh?

I'm gearing up to buy a new camera and my poor little 350d is tucked away as I've obsessed so much about the new one that I can't bear to pick it up. I see so much in my head that my sweet XT can't grasp. It's ok...I've decided to give it to a friend, but she doesn't know it yet. It'll be a nice little gift, me thinks.

Because of this, I haven't been posting but it's such a beautiful night I thought I'd write a little something. I noticed that lately I've been staying in a lot, even on the weekends. Mostly that's because I can't seem to bring myself to leave the bed the tall one is in...hmmm kisses...but also, where as I used to be excited to go shooting or see the sunset after work I've been staying home, reading or working out, then sleep. It's been bringing me down, and with the recent accident of a friend I've been missing my peoples in LA so much that I'm guessing it's starting to weigh on me.

I was having a conversation today with a co-worker who I talked into buy a Nikon and we were discussing photography and it dawned on me that my recent bummed out'ness was because I'm obsessing. I haven't been out shooting, instead I've been getting to know the tall one, spending time with him and beginning to let this new person into my life. He's pretty much the first guy that I rationalize through my thoughts with before acting. Sperling's sister always called it "Contain the Crazy" and I loved her for it. Basically, I want to react but I stop, think about it, wonder why I'm having that reaction: is it based on previous relationships? Am I projecting past situations on to him? Casey once told me that he wished he could put me into a machine to erase all the bad memories of my ex's, and sometimes I wish I could to. It's amazing how my past dictates a lot of what I do now, but so far I haven't scared him away...so yay me :)

The great thing about a new relationship is that it's a clean slate. It's big and empty and ready for you to fill with experiences, memories, good times...sometimes bad times...kisses and lazy Sunday afternoons. I know a lot of people who forget that, but I'm trying not to. My last relationship had so many expectations, it was doomed to fail. That weighs on me a lot too. I really miss my friend and as the warm weather returns it really pisses me off that I can't hang with him.

Sorry to be "tall one specific" as of late, but since I haven't really had a boyfriend in a while I'm working everything out in my head. Because I'm like that...no shut up, I'm not going to stop...no you...no YOU!

In any case, this evening was perfect. We met in the park, I put my feet in the water and watched the hula hoopers, puppies, tightrope walkers and listen to the drum beats of the ninja's. The sun began to set and the clouds turned a beautiful shade of orange and pink with the moon peaking through. There was dodgeball and kickball and Rainer beer and a full band playing techno music! It was a typical night on the Hill...and there were kisses.

The title of this particular blog was inspired by Saturday night; the tall one invited me to a friends party where I was serenaded by a SeaFair pirate and pirate in training. It was awesome and dirty...I loved it. However I learned a lesson that I should have already known from years of watching Heathers: never mix orange juice and milk...bad, bad, bad.

ok...

/random blog post :)