Monday, March 29, 2010

A Few of My Favorite Things

Here are a couple of recent polaroid shots that I took this past week. I feel a bit more comfortable with the Artistic TZ film than the 600 film - in part because I have to remember to put the filter on the film pack. Initially I forgot, and of course, the photo I shot was quite light.

Twisted Tree

These Chains

Those two are Artistic TZ film. I just love those chains - who knows how long they've been there? {at least 2 years} At Wilson Park in Chicago there is this beautiful, twisted tree (first photo above). I have never been brave enough to photograph it, because I felt I wouldn't capture it's essence. The photograph isn't perfect, but it makes me happy. {giddy, even}

Dreamy Bastet

This is one of my 600 shots - not at all what I'd intended! I've taken three shots so far, and none is very good. This is my favorite, despite it's odd coloring and all. In fact, I'm thinking now that I'd like to photograph my memories with the SX-70. I'm a bit giddy thinking about taking more photographs with film! Yes, I've still been using my digital camera - but mostly to photograph my toddler (he's really too fast for the SX-70 and manual focus).

Ok, I'm off to make dinner. We seem to have come down with season-change colds, and my son (who is speaking VERY loudly behind me) kept me up most of the night. That might also explain why I've felt so forgetful today.

*I have a few more camera bags to post about! I realized that I completely forgot about Etsy sellers - and there are a few interesting options there.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

But I Don't WANT an Ugly Camera Bag

Ok, so you don't want a camera bag that looks like you're toting a camera. I have one of those - I bought it back in 1994 or 1995 for my first SLR. I rarely carried it anywhere. I was a teen, and it was black, ugly, bulky, and looked like a camera bag. It was fine for storing my camera, but not so fine for actually carrying with me. I know - defeats the purpose, doesn't it?

I have to admit that my Epiphanie Bag purchase was an impulse buy. I didn't do much research before jumping at the chance to get in on the first round of these bags. But, like I said - I LOVE bags of all kinds. Sure, I like the one I got, but now I'm lusting after some of the other options. Here's what I've found out there (in case you're looking):

Epiphanie Bags - Here's a link to my last post on Epiphanie bags, since this post is loaded with photos without re-hashing. I still think these are great, fun, stylish bags. There are currently three options - Belle (aquamarine/blue-green), Ginger (brown), and Lola (red) - all are $165, but are slightly different sizes and styles. I must admit that I might have bought my bag mainly because I like Maile - and these bags are her babies.

*Emera Bags - Wow, these are really lovely! Love the black quilted tote option. If you're looking for something sleek, stylish, and more business-like - I would say this is a great option.

Check out how gorgeous that bag is! It's 15"x12"x7" with a 10.5" strap drop (which means it should work well on the shoulder, too, depending on how bulky the very top of the bag is).

This grey canvas version is also lovely. Slightly smaller than the quilted, it's 15"x11"x6."
I want to buy something from *emera just because of the above photo they have posted on their website gallery. Check out what they've stashed in the bag - I see a Holga in the center and a Polaroid packfilm camera on the left. Awesome. Ok, these bags are $169 for the Quilted, and $149 for the Canvas versions. Canvas comes in either grey or navy.

Kelly Moore Bag: These bags are stylish, but refined. Made out of water-resistant polyurethane, these have magnetic snap top closures. The strap is adjustable so it can be worn messenger-style or as a shoulder bag. These are 16"x11"x4" - so a bit tighter fit for your camera and lenses, but it is a less-bulky option than others. So many colors, too! Grey, black, brown, purple, fuchsia, cranberry croc or jade croc.Honestly, though, I am a little confused at the snap top closure, since I'd be even more concerned about the safety of my camera in a minor drizzle of rain. I know - zippers aren't fool-proof, either. The Kelly Moore bag is $199, for pre-order shipping in May.

Jo Totes - These are a much less expensive option, at $79 each. At 14 1/2" x 10 1/2" x 4 3/4" these totes are also fairly compact. Current color options are black, olive, or scarlet, and these are high-quality faux leather. So, again - none of these options are leather (including the Epiphanie).

Jo Totes have a zip top closure, a removable cross-body strap, as well as shoulder straps (drop length is not given, but it looks about 10" or so). I really love the fun interior fabric designs on these! Despite being less expensive than the others, they have a simple, classic look.

jill e. designs - A few years ago I discovered these leather camera bags and thought they were absolutely lovely. I really loved the small red leather bag - and these are still ok. These, however, look like camera bags to me. Or really boxy purse-like things. jill e. has both leather ($170, small; $240, medium) and nylon camera bag options ($139).

The small camera bags are 14"x7"x8" - short and bulky. The medium bags are 14"x9.5"x8." Below is the red medium leather bag with an interior shot. I am not a fan of this particular design, to be honest. The pink patent small, shown above, is so much cuter! I'm not big on pink, but it's really cute. I especially like the brown straps with the pink patent.

If you need a bright color for spring, consider the jill e. small yellow nylon bag. Isn't it adorable?

If you are looking for a small bag, you might want to consider the Acme bowler bag, available through Amazon or Photojojo. It's 6.25" x 7" x 3.5" - and no, it's not a shoulder bag.

Photojojo also has their new camera bag - the Sloop, which is certainly fun, although definitely not something that looks professional. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, by the way! Fun stripes have their place, indeed. If you're looking for something fun, check out the Sloop for sure.

I have also heard there are inserts you can get for your own tote bag - I can't find the link for the ones I looked at the other day, though. Let me know if you know where to buy those.

Phew! So, if you're looking for a beautiful camera bag, those are a few places to start. I hope this helps you wonderful, stylish photographers out there!

***please note that the photographs used here are from each of the above websites - they are not mine. (except that first photo of my very own Ginger Epiphanie bag with my SX-70 land camera, of course).

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

33 Things {About Me}

photo by Dick Lord

I am continually in chaos.

In fact, I used to think I was chaos incarnate.

I kid you not. I called myself “eris,” goddess of discord.

Back in the 1990s I became addicted to “talkers” on the internet - and I’m sure most of you have never even heard of such things.

I fell in “love” with someone (many someones) on these talkers.

One spring break in college I flew out to MEET one of these crazy people. Turns out I couldn’t stand him irl (in real life).

Can I just say, DUH?

When I was ten years old I wanted to be either Nancy Drew or an archaeologist. I have been an archaeologist, but have yet to become an 18-year-old detective. A girl can dream, right?

I went to grad school for five years, but failed to finish my master’s thesis.

But I still love archaeology (but, just so you know, it can be boring to dig and dig and dig and only find potsherds - you really have to love the dirt).

I’m just not very motivated.

I can knit. I just don’t do it very often. I have been making a scarf for almost a year now.

I am a kitchen dunce, and almost always use recipes.

Drives my husband crazy, since he never cooks with recipes.

It took years before I appreciated the western United States.

Then I moved away.

I desperately miss the mountains.

And cities aren’t as great as I once thought.

Since I was young, I’ve also wanted to build furniture.

Or carve wood.

I have done neither.

I love cheese - as long as it isn’t melted.

I HATE melted cheese - the smell, the sight, the taste. Makes me nauseous.

Yes, I know that’s weird - but I’m sure you have some odd food quirks, too.

In fact, I can’t deal with anything gooey or stringy. Like caramel. Or that nasty okra goo. Use your imagination - if it seems gooey or stringy, no I will not eat it.

I love bags. Of all kinds, I’m not a snob. If it’s a bag, I can find a place for it in my life! But not necessarily space for it in my house (and my husband will be quite upset if another one lands in our house anytime soon).

I used to tote around my toys in grocery bags, so this love is long-lived. My son seems to have picked this up. Which might be unfortunate, as men do not carry purses.

I love photography and have way too many cameras, including a Holga 120, a Blackbird Fly, an old Canon Rangefinder, two SX-70 land cameras, a Polaroid 250? 320?, a Canon Rebel SLR and dSLR, a Nikon FE, and a Canon point and shoot.

Not all of them work.

I rarely wear dresses, skirts, or high heels.

I love browsing shoes, but I am quite picky about comfort.

Sometimes I write in a journal. But I censor myself. (why? because I'm a snoop. think about it.)

And last - I'm very honest. Sometimes, too honest!

{inspired by Elise and Cathy}

They Made the Impossible, Possible.

The Impossible Project has produced film for SX-70 and 600 film cameras! Amazing, amazing! So excited to try out the new PX Film, despite my minimal polaroid-shooting abilities. Film will be available for purchase THIS THURSDAY, March 25, 2010.

Later this year, color film for both SX-70 and 600 film cameras is expected, as well as film for Spectra cameras. Someone suggested to me that I might still be able to get an inexpensive Spectra. I guess I'm quite suggestible, and I got a bit overzealous and bid on a few. Well, I guess I won one of them, so I hope it works!

Here are my last few SX-70 photos taken this past Friday. It was such a lovely, warm day! Saturday, it snowed (on the first day of spring).

Friday, March 19, 2010

Am I Worthy?

Originally, I had intended to post about worthiness last week. I delayed a bit, and here we are - late as usual! I am feeling rather un-worthy this week. This year. These past few years. I'm sure I'll snap out of it at some point. I can't say that hormones help with my feelings of worthiness. When I think of being worthy, I am reminded of Alanis Morissette's song "That I Would Be Good."

that I would be good even if I did nothing
that I would be good even if I got the thumbs down
that I would be good if I got and stayed sick
that I would be good even if I gained ten pounds

that I would be fine even if I went bankrupt
that I would be good if I lost my hair and my youth
that I would be great if I was no longer queen
that I would be grand if I was not all knowing

that I would be loved even when I numb myself
that I would be good even when I am overwhelmed
that I would be loved even when I was fuming
that I would be good even if I was clingy

that I would be good even if I lost sanity
that I would be good
whether with or without you
(lyrics by Alanis Morissette)

Money and beauty are not what make us worthy (or happy, for that matter). I understand that in my head, but my heart does not always agree with the logic of the argument.

What if...

I am a terrible cook? completely disorganized? an inadequate mother and wife?

I am lonely? without friends? forget birthdays, and send holiday cards too late?

And what if, like today, I don't realize my kid is sick? I took him out to the park, took a bunch of photos, just thinking he was a bit tired and he'd snap out of it.

He really enjoyed the birdies and squirrels that were out and about in abundance, enjoying spring.

You know, I think we'll be ok. I think we're ok now. Even if I have to spend all night holding him in a chair to get him some sleep. Even if I don't get any sleep tonight. Even if those polaroids I shot today aren't super awesome. Even if I don't get the dishes finished before falling into bed. Even if I sometimes talk too much, say too much.

I'm feeling more worthy already.

Wouldn't you know it, but my Epiphanie Ginger bag has a Polaroid-sized pocket. See that pocket right there? Yep, great place for those photographs I shot today.

Friday, March 12, 2010

My World, Modified

These are a few of the shots I managed to take with my Polaroid SX-70 Land Camera with Artistic TZ film. I had some difficulties with the camera at first - the picking mechanism was not working, thus the photos not ejecting. It was so upsetting - so much anticipation... waiting for sunny skies, to be alone - only to run outside, snap a shot... noise, then no photo! Thank goodness I found this the next morning.

So, how bad are they? I know they aren't perfect, but to me there is still something magical about them. The top edges have been exposed to light slightly due to the removal (multiple times) of the film pack. Hey, I didn't know what I was doing - what can I say?

What I love about these is how different they are from my reality. None of them came out exactly as I expected. But that's ok. That's what makes life (and polaroid) fun.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Project: Cut the Chaos

This is my desk. Yes, I'm quite serious! Scary, isn't it? Don't you just love the chaos?

Um, yeah. Me, either. Oh, sure, chaos is good for some things. Family gatherings, for instance. When do those ever go as planned? Chaos can be exciting! However, on one's desk it is quite distressing.

This week my task (if I choose to accept it) is to clean off this desk! I've cleaned it off before, but due to attempts to keep small items out of small toddler hands... I tend to throw stuff up there and never find a "home" for it.

To keep me accountable, I will post a photo of my desk by Friday afternoon! There we go. Guess I'll have to accept my task.

In other news - I am SO excited to try out my new Polaroid SX-70. Really hope it works (my last one had light leaks and squeezed goo out of the photographs as it pushed them out of the camera. NOT cool). Hopefully I will have fun photo news on Wednesday.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Check Out: Epiphanie Camera Bags

I know I promised my first thoughts on my new camera bag:

This is Ginger. I haven't used it much yet, and I am not a professional photographer, but it is lovely! In fact, I'm a bit concerned about how much it looks like my real purse (which is a Cole Haan from who knows what year that I scored on eBay). The Epiphanie bag is synthetic, rather than real, leather, but is plenty soft to the touch. Does it feel exactly like leather? Not like my other purse, no. The zippers are not quite as smooth as the Cole Haan, and I do like a good zipper.
One of my major pet peeves is dark-colored interiors. As you might glimpse above, the interior is a lovely bright shade of blue. My other purse? Yeah, not so much - it's dark brown and so difficult to see inside. Ginger has some really fun zipped pockets along both ends - I just LOVE the extra pockets.

What else is great? It isn't especially heavy (leather can be very heavy, not always a great thing with a heavy dSLR, don't you think?), even with my camera and three lenses inside. The straps on Ginger are long enough to hold the bag on your shoulder, even with the width of the bag (a full 8" wide at the base). There is a long shoulder strap included, and so far, I really like being able to carry the bag with the extra strap.

Lola (red) and Belle (teal) are the other two models available right now. Belle is very awkward to carry on the shoulder due to the smaller straps (a true handbag, can be worn on the forearm), however the long shoulder strap can be used across the body. I love the details on Belle, the color is so fun, but I personally like the versatility of Ginger and the way it feels on my shoulder. Much easier for me to carry. I don't want to always need the cross-body strap.

I'm thinking of doing a video review to better show off the bags and show you how they compare to my regular purse, and maybe even my ancient Tamrac camera bag!