Thursday, December 4, 2008

I will be chasing your starlight until the end of my life.

Have I talked about how much I love slow shutter speeds yet? As I'm too lazy to go check, I'll say it now (or again). I love them. There's something about capturing movement in a photograph- it makes me all warm and fuzzy.

Now I remember. My last post was about this. Oh, Hayley Williams. 

Alright. Here's the other side of slow shutter speeds. Maybe there's no movement, but when it's dark out, how else are you going to capture a moment, than to leave that little flap open so the light can take it's precious time coating the film? Er, sensor. So. When it's dark out, slowing the shutter gets a beautiful image, one that normally you wouldn't see- and it makes light look really, really cool, too. 

I took these really late one night, or early morning, rather. It was the Perseids meteor shower, on August 12th. I headed out at around 2 in the morning to see it (I'd put my telescope together in my room, so as not to make too much noise) but when I got out... there was fog. Everywhere. I couldn't see the sky anywhere. I started feeling pretty dejected... but I wasn't tired in the slightest, so I left. I grabbed my tripod and camera and just... drove. I went down Trabuco Canyon and turned somewhere, randomly. I mean, it was pitch black except my headlight beams which I could totally make out in the fog, how could I see where I was turning?

So I'm on this road, and I realize pretty quickly that it's actually a huge hill I'm climbing. A huge incline. If it wasn't the popping in my ears, or my body leaning all the way back in my seat against my will that clued me in, that moment when I broke the surface of the fog did it- it was like resurfacing after being underwater just a few seconds too long. That first breath, gasping 
and looking around at the world in all it's clarity and splendor- that's how my sky looked. It was magnificent. God must be proud, knowing he made it so amazing. 
I wish my images of the sky had come out, but sadly- I need more practice at shooting the night 
sky. I did stumble upon something I found interesting though, through the trees. I think I really just love light. I could go on and on about how interesting I find it- but I won't. Another day, perhaps.

This was written in December, apparently I forgot to post. Oops?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Screaming... Hallelujah.

Time for something old!

In light of the.. er, light photo, from my last post, I thought I'd share some from a concert I went to 
with bestfriend, where the lights were particularly beautiful. 

I was shocked that I could get these, because it was so dark, but for these, darling Hayley stayed still, as did my hands, long enough for my shutter to open and close. In 
some, however, I wasn't so lucky. But I think they came out amazingly anyway, if I do say so 
myself. (not that I'm 
trying to "toot" my own horn here)

But seriously, how did her face stay in focus but her hair is all crazy blurred? Awesome. I love i

And I should take this time to mention, Hayley Williams, and Paramore altogether, are awesome in concert. They were exciting and were obviously having a great time up there, which i think just makes the experience better for 
everyone (and did for me, anyway). 

So yeah. Awesome concert. And I learned a new thing- a lot of Paramore's lyrics have christian themes. And not in the gross way you can turn any love song into a worship song, but seriously. 
The lyrics to My Heart, for one thing, as well as Hallelujah. I mean sure, they say the word Hallelujah, but that doesn't automatically mean it's about The Lord. I'm pretty sure Fall Out Boy wasn't singing to Him, but that's not the 
point. I knew it was for Paramore, because as she sang, she literally was on her knees, praying. It was moving, in that way. 

Then I had to go and be awesome, and take a cool motion shot of it. :)

Monday, November 10, 2008

And the lights from the buildings and cars...

This stemmed from a random trip with bestfriend's family to an upsetting UCLA football game. Though I'll be honest, it wasn't all disappointing. The Solid Gold Sound of the UCLA Marching band was wonderful, and both aurally and visually appealing. I'd love to show a picture of that, but I was forced to check my camera before entering. Ridiculous.

The day wasn't a total loss as far as photography is concerned, however. I was reunited with my loving Rebel, I had missed her so. I got an awesome shot of this random girl jumping in the air, she was crazy. She had these pom-poms, blue and gold obviously, and was dancing around in them. She was wearing a really cute hat, too. 

Aside from crazy jumping and twirling girls, I had some fun with slow shutter speeds and light. I don't know what it is about these kinds of pictures, but I totally love them. Must be the abstract lover in me. 

Till next time kids. :)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ahhh photograms.

So one week, when I had some down time in the lab, not only did I have one of those life altering moments of beauty, I got to do something new creatively. I tried making some photograms. And let me be the first so say... they are amazing! I totally adore them. Or rather, the idea of the photogram itself. Mine are cool too, though. 

I really like the sunglasses in this one. I think they are amazing looking. The way they are graded I mean, how cool is that?

And the one above is really just... all my jewelry. I mean I have more, but that's everything I wore that day, except that circle with the multiple chains. That I brought in case I decided to do this, which i did! I wish it was bigger, the pearls have the same effect as the sunglasses. Oh, well. 

Oh, and I have one more of these and will probably make more, so I'll save it. Till next time...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Random, but I'm pleased.

So now that I've posted things that should have been posted a long time ago.. on to bigger and better things. 

Turns out, it was a phase. I actually do have some semblance of talent. Maybe my first time developing film wasn't perfect but, my second.... was. Totally perfect. I mean my film... i developed it perfectly. No splotches or anything. It's beautiful. Th
e pictures aren't so exciting but whatever, the assignment was boring. The next will be the same... 

Look over here. See the splotches? They're gross. At the top. It's a place on the negative where I didn't develop it properly- I put it on the reel wrong and as a result, the developer couldn't reach the film and it didn't develop. Aside from that... nearly all the photos are so over-exposed I can't get a decent print- could be because of the photo taking, but most likely, it's because I also didn't develop long enough. Anyway. When I developed this, I was visibly upset. I felt like a failure, I couldn't do this one thing, and it's one of the most important aspects of photography. It got me down for over a week. Then I realized a few things. 
1. Everyone in my class screwed up their first film. As it happened, I even screwed it up less, so that was kind of nice. 
2. Contrary to popular belief, (with me anyway) I don't have to be totally perfect at everything I do. 
3. Developing my own film? Not so important. I can just as easily have it processed. Sure, I have more control if I do it, but it's not necessary.

That being said, you should know what happened this past time, my second film developing endeavor.  Well okay, i already gave it away. It was flawless. Good enough to make prints from... even a contact sheet!! Here, revel in it's amazingness. :)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not the best day

When I started photo 1, I did well. I don't mean to brag, but I did. My first assignment brought some of my favorite pictures ever- that I've taken, I mean. I didn't have to try, put much effort in. Photo taking came so... easily. Everything flowed seamlessly. 

I don't know what changed between then and now, but it's not easy anymore. It's hard to develop my own stuff. I messed up the film, I mess up my prints... Now I have an assignment I can't even bring myself to complete. I hope this is just a phase, something I need to overcome. I'm so used to everything being easy and I need to actua
lly put some effort in now, so I'm running scared. I can get over it and learn, if that's all this is (which I think is the case). 

Turns out, I meant to post this a very long time ago. I didn't, obviously. Oh well. :)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Blast from my awesome past.

So, in leu of losing all my photos- the originals, anyway, I set about today taking back pictures from places I'd posted them on the internet. Some facebook albums here, photobucket there, and maybe a live journal or two in between. I also had some on CD's, though not nearly as many as I'd have liked. I found a couple today I took not long ago, though it was before I'd ever taken a class in photography. I really like them, though. Borderline love, actually. 

Oh, and if you were wondering who this little cutie is, her name is Miss Kitty, or that's what I call her, anyway. She's my cousin's kitty (she calls her Dee Dee, but I like my name better). She's the cutest thing since little baby Jesus.

Friday, September 19, 2008

A lesson for you.

No picture today. Why, you ask? Well, I learned an important lesson today. When you have important files, do not, I repeat, do not, trust any single amount of technology to keep them. Back. Them. The. Hell. Up. Seriously. I'm a primarily digital photographer, and most of my stuff wasn't backed up. My computer crashed and it's all... gone. I had folders of categorized photos, special entries I had planned... but they're gone, too. 


I'm in mourning, for a time.

I'll be back soon, though. I have to chronicle my first time developing actual film. Sound terrifying? Oh, well it was. 

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Be strong, Believe.

Knock knock.

"who's there?"

September 11th.

"September 11th who?"

You said you'd never forget.

I don't want to forget. Multiple times today I would have a moment of realization- Oh. Hey. It's 9/11. Damn. This is not a good day. Or rather, not to be remembered as such. One of the most atrocious things that has happened to our nation happened on this day- it happened in my lifetime. I remember where I was, what I was doing, what I was feeling. It was one of the most utterly terrifying moments of my life, and unequivocally more devastating for countless others- others that were hurt, or lost loved ones. The event didn't effect me directly, but it had an impact on me- on every American, I would think. It deserves to be remembered- those people especially, who sacrificed themselves to save others, deserve at least a moment of thought, care, and prayer. A silent thanks, for their immense courage.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Take control of the atmosphere.

It's been a while.

I've recently gotten into black and white photography- and not the easy "take a digital picture with your awesome new DSLR and edit it in iPhoto so it's black and white" way, but the old fashioned "use strictly b&w film in your dad's 30 year old completely manual camera" way. I swore by the first way a year ago but now I'm in love with the old-fashioned way. I have complete control over my shots- I decide how long the shutter stays open, how wide the lens opens- all me.

Today, I got another glimpse at how amazing that control over my photos is. Not only do I control how the image is taken, I can develop it- control how much light reaches the print, how contrasted it is- it's amazing. Today was my first day developing in the lab. I had to check out equipment- an enlarger (number 3 is mine), lens, filters for contrast, and a negative holder, among other things. I focus the image, use a test strip to find out how long I want to expose the paper to light and begin the developing process.

After I've turned on the light and exposed the paper to the image- I take it to the developer, place it in the liquid and give it "constant gentle agitation for 90 seconds." The best part of the 90 seconds happens between the 7th and 9th second- the white sheet of photo paper melts into an image, my image, a photo I took (like the one of Aidan, just above this. One second, nothing, and the next... I can see this one moment in time that I happened to capture on film. Nothing feels like it. I created that. I made it exactly what it is, and I couldn't be prouder.

My day was a little hectic at first. The first image I developed was nearly perfect which surprised me, I didn't think I would get it on the first try- no one else did. I showed my professor and she said I was free to go. We'd been in class for 45 minutes and had a little over 2 hours in the lab left, until the lecture at 5. So I picked up my film and came back to develop my own images. I spent 2 hours in that lab- testing the light, using different filters... creating images of people I love out of nothing at all. After a while, everyone had finished their images and had gone but I stayed. I had my iPod, the gentle tones of Andrew McMahon, Flyleaf, and The Shins to keep me company. I can't explain how wonderful it felt- being alone in a huge lab- I could have developed till I dropped... and I did. And I felt full, accomplished. It was a good day to be alive.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Drawing... with light.

The word "photography" has it's roots in the Greek Words φως (phos) which means light, and γραφίς (graphis) which means paintbrush or γραφή (graphê) which means representation by means of lines or drawing. Together they mean "drawing with light," which I find beautifully appropriate.

I'm using this as a sort of updated version of my journal. I graduated again. Gone are the days of lj and photobucket. Gone are the angsty, whiny posts about how horrible I think my life is. I was wrong. Life is a gift, a beautiful wonderful gift that I want to cherish and enjoy. In an effort to do so, I'll attempt to capture some of those fleeting moments of beauty- cause once they pass, photographs and memories are the only way to preserve them. But memories fade, and digital photos will last as long as I keep them backed up.