Saturday, May 15, 2010

Visiting the Garden

I can't garden. Seriously, I kill stuff. Once, back in college, I got a job taking care of plants for genetic research. Sadly, although I was interested in genetics, I had no plant-raising skills, and the job did not last very long. I hope I didn't do too much damage to the plants and research.

Perhaps due to my lack of botanic skill, I am fascinated with gardens and gardening. Photographing trees and flowers! Animals in captivity are less exciting than plants in captivity. I've been to the botanic garden here at least a dozen times since I moved to Chicago. I have visited the zoo once {my sister was intrigued by the length of the zebra's... well, that's another story}.

I only brought the Spectra camera and the dSLR - you know, one already feels like a pack mule when bringing a toddler anywhere. Here are a few of my favorite shots {all digital - I am not adept at the use of the Spectra and was underwhelmed by the results}:

14 May 2010

garden landscape

14 May 2010
{wish that couple were wearing something colorful!}

yummy flowers


Sorry for boring everyone with more botanic garden photos! Believe me, it will happen again {probably soon}. Hope you are all enjoying your spring!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Fade To Black...

I'd seen some really great images during 'Roid Week 2010 on flickr made with Fade to Black film, and I felt that I should try it out before I lost the chance. Distressing to find out the very last of the film is being sold before you've had the chance to try it out {oh, wait, that happened to me with 600 film also}.

So, today, I managed to take some awful photos with PX100, a few terrible Spectra shots, then I had to pick myself up and decide whether or not to even try one more photo! I took a couple selfies {ok, I'm not even going to say "portrait" because they are also very bad}.

Poor tulips really should've been photographed... but here's what I came up with instead:

His and Hers

I love it. It's exactly what I was hoping for - ok, no, it's actually better. Of course, this is before peeling it, so who knows what it will look like when I'm finished. Fun!

No, I am not scanning the faded selfies. Unless I suddenly look gorgeous in faded form. Not going to happen. I am going to go hide all evidence of other photographs taken today.

I truly hope other people have frustrating moments when they want to throw out all recent photographs. It almost made me pull out the digital camera.

Friday, May 7, 2010

seeking inspiration, wishing to See

Here are my photos from Day 4 of Polaroid Week:

Canon G-III QL

burn like hell {rawr!}

As you can see, I'm a bit low on inspiration these days. I have some ideas that would involve either myself or someone else... but alas, I don't have a timer on the SX70.

When in doubt, photograph one of your vintage cameras. Right. And then throw in a plastic dinosaur (courtesy of Photojojo, actually).

I am pleased with the light and shadows, the focus (on the camera shot), and um, that's it. I need a larger prop to tote around. Like a gnome, maybe? Too kitchy perhaps. I'll think about it. {wait. am i that goofy?}

I have found some polaroid photographers who have seriously impressed me this week. Perhaps made me feel small and crazy for thinking I could take photos at all {i am prone to this sort of behavior/thinking}. I haven't found my niche yet. I'm still learning.

I might add, though, that one of the things I've always found difficult in photography is its tendency toward art and design. I feel that I don't have an "eye" for art or design {or fashion, but that's not what this is about}. Digital photography and photoshop make photography even more about the post-processing "art." How do I learn to do this? I'm not sure what exactly makes a photo wonderful rather than just so-so {although i am usually acutely aware that my photos are in the latter category}.

I love using PX100 and PX600 (and oh, that old Time Zero is what got me wanting to use Polaroid cameras years ago; alas I've never had a pack). I enjoy how those films change reality into something mystical, beautiful, or dreamy, when reality is so mundane. Is it easier to take a photograph when the film does so much work? I find Spectra and 600 film.... less fun. More work.

Photography isn't just about practicing - especially if you aren't sure what others find enticing about photos. Much like many talents - you either have it or you don't. You can certainly learn the technical aspects - but how do you learn to See?

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Impossible Reflections

I love reflections, love the way water reflects the light and mirrors what we see. So beautiful, so ethereal. On Monday I attempted to find something wonderful to photograph for Polaroid Week {I might be stressing myself out over something that is supposed to be fun}. Here's what I found:

forest reflections

I took one photo on Monday. That was it. I turned into the short road going to a forest picnic area, glimpsed the water in a clearing reflecting the trees, stopped the car, jumped out, framed the photo, pressed the button... and hopped right back in the car. Honestly, I was absolutely thrilled with the results. It's not exactly what I'd planned to take in the forest. The orange hue was not what I wanted, either, but it was warm outside, and that's what PX600 does. But, oh, that reflection...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Polaroid Week is Here!

So, hello, and Happy Polaroid Week to you. Get out there and shoot some instant film, people! I must admit I was enjoying myself the other day trying to get some lovely photos at the Botanic Garden. I was also quite frustrated, as my plans for perfectly exposed px100 and px600 shots were foiled by sun and heat. Using a bag exacerbated the heat issue, I think, and one of the px100 photos was a big, muddy brown mess. Here are my two Day 1 submissions:

Memories of Springs Past


Both of these were shot with PX100 film with my SX-70 Model 2 at the Chicago Botanic Garden.

I am astounded at the wonderful submissions for Day 1. Already so much to look at and ponder. And wonder why I even bother some days...

My absolute favorite of the day {and many others' favorite as well it seems}.  It's good crazy. And you know how I like a bit of crazy.

Click here to check out the Polaroid Week 2010 pool on flickr. But know you might get stuck browsing for hours on end...

I am not sure how long my energy will last - I don't have a stockpile of unscanned photos, as I haven't been at this very long. I took one photo today. Yep. Well, these photos are expensive! I'm a bit jealous of all the great color photos in the pool - I don't have much color film to use. Oops. Just got sidetracked looking at this photo. You should also check out this fun one.

Off to sleep. When does Day 2 start anyhow? Hope I can manage to find an appropriately wonderful {i would like cosmic, but i don't think that will happen} subject for some polaroids tomorrow.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

oh, happy spring tulips!

Field of Tulips

Crabapple Tree Flowers

Pink and Yellow Tulips

Pink Tulip

Just a few shots from the Chicago Botanic Garden yesterday. Weather was lovely (although a bit windy), and I've still got a headache from the whole thing. School is now over, and summer craziness will set in soon. In case you don't know - that's when you think it's going to be relaxing, then suddenly it's August and you forgot to do all those nice, relaxing things.

What's on the agenda? Visiting my in-laws. Maybe, if we can find someone to watch the cats. And quickly, as I'm not sure how much time my mother-in-law has. I suspect that trip (if it happens) could be... taxing. My husband will definitely be going. Then, he's got a trip to check out some archaeological sites. My youngest sister is graduating from High School, but I suspect I won't make it for that. June we'll be moving across town. Maybe we'll have a visit from my mom (which would be both awesome and stressful because that makes too many strong personalities in one house). Then there's a trip to Boston (again, archaeology-related, and not for me). Then, my toddler is turning TWO. And then, suddenly, it's August and we're back to the school routine. It's going to fly by, isn't it?