Thursday, January 30, 2014

Pacific Sailing.... Holgaish

Recently one of my friends went through a class and can now rent and take people out on a sailboat on her own! Yay! So last weekend we went along with her and some others to the Pacific ocean from Marina del Rey for the day. I'd been out on a variety of boats before, but never a sailboat, so this was a new and exciting experience for me. The winds weren't too high, the sun hid most of the day and there was a little rain, but we still saw plenty of animals including all sorts of birds, sea lions and dolphins and we all had an enjoyable time. On the radio we kept hearing reports of a baby blue whale near San Diego. The sailboat itself was a completely new experience to me, with the generous space down below the deck and plenty for all passengers to help out with up on top.

One thing that I guess became more apparent to me as I looked at these pictures is that so many things in life are these weird balances of boundaries and freedoms. In a boat, even if you can swim, the boundaries are defined by the boat. When you're done swimming, you want, or more like need, to get back on that boat eventually. And the freedom and openness feels like it's all that is around you, just not the exact spot that you are at the moment. You know there's tons of life just at the surface of the water, let alone in the 50 feet below you, although none of them live like a human, walking and requiring desalinated water. The landscape surrounding you is so monotonous, yet freeing with a giant open sky and miles of visiblity up and down the coast and away into the openness of the ocean, a deep contrast to the crowded freeways, buildings and stores on land or that bustling world within the ocean itself. You occupy a tiny space of the boat for the experience of that freedom brought by the human-life-unfriendly, yet human life sustaining, environment. For a period of time while on the boat, I leaned back, inverting the locations of the sky and ocean, letting myself get lost in the movement. And when I got home that evening, I simply had to close my eyes to see the vastness of the ocean, now confined to my head, once again.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Palos Verdes, part 1 - Holga

The low tides in Southern California are currently at some of the lowest levels they reach for the year. This means it's an awesome and unique time to visit tide pools since you have more area to explore and different creatures and life is visible. A couple weeks ago we took a trip down to Palos Verdes Abalone Cove Nature Preserve. After a short, but somewhat intense hike down to the beach, we arrived at the rocky shore and explored the life. I wish we could have gone during the week, as I expect there would have been fewer people, but it was still fun. I was a little disappointed by the kids that were collecting star fish in a bucket and the people that kept poking and stabbing animals. Boo.

(no we didn't fly there, but I happened to take a photo of Palos Verdes while in the plane recently. The spot we visited is that distinct "C" shape along the shore line under the tip of the wing)

Friday, January 24, 2014

Double exposing: walls and others

I sometimes like to make arbitrary rules and limitations with art projects. Although I often like arts, crafts and photography because of the freedom and creativity that they allow for, at the same time I understand that rules can help enhance creativity. Limitations force you to come up with new solutions instead of always seeking out the first thing that comes to mind or using only the "correct" solution. Sometimes this comes in the form of "I'm going to finish this project with things I already have on hand". Other days it's even a finer limitation of using only a subset of tools or techniques to achieve something. Other times, it means making up a new set of rules along the way. Of course, this idea isn't completely new - there's a whole list of surrealist techniques that pretty much are their own, unique sets of rules/guidelines that help bring about new and different result.

Anyway, last weekend I was walking around near my home doing errands, when I decided to shoot some photos with my Diana camera. I noticed a window that was interesting and at that point decided I would do a series of double exposures, with windows/walls consisting at least one of the exposures.  I also kinda forgot I had the 16 exposure mask on in the camera, which meant I accidentally cut some edges off that I thought would be there. Ooops. Regardless, this is my resulting set. I decided to post all of them vs. picking through. I sometimes feel like I'm kinda living on the edge by only taking single exposures with my film cameras (For the love of God, bracket!!!!!!), but at the same time, unless you shoot the film completely one time and then reload the film and shoot it again, it would be difficult for double exposures to be "bracketed". So, yup, that's what you get. I really like some of them, some were a little "eh". I do think some would have been better with a 3rd exposure. So, I think I might try the surrealist "triptography" technique at some point. I also think, based on the last photo, it might be fun to do a series where the same photo was shot as a double, triple or quadruple exposure with only camera rotations each time.

Friday, January 10, 2014

10 on 10 - January 2014

I know I had all sorts of ambitions last year to do 10 on 10s with different cameras. I kinda did it... I think I hit 3 different cameras. I also shot way more 10 on 10s than I ended up posting here. Life happened and the moment passed, I suppose. When looking at this first set for 2014, I was somewhat surprised by the consistent themes and repeating images. Sometimes I get stuck in these repetitious eye ruts where I see the same thing around me over and over all over the place. This then inspired visions of doing entire sets on themes (especially abstraction!), but we shall see how that goes. Anyway, it was a work day with window looking, working and self-transporting. And then I came home for the weekend & got a chance to look at my last roll of film from Burning Man that I developed last night. WHAT EXCITEMENT!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pasadena Dreams

Pasadena dreams.... fill in the blanks.




Holga, shot in the early summer of 2013 in Pasadena, CA.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

To a Gelli New Year!

I just got home from vacation last night & it was sad because during my trip, I kept thinking about making Gelli prints and my stash of print making materials all over my kitchen counter and table. I gave one of the plates to my sister for Christmas and got a little bit of my Gelli-printing out when I demoed some techniques for her and my mom, but still, I'm looking forward to making some now that I'm home. These are all prints I made before leaving on my trip.....

See other people's Gelli prints!