Heading Out

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Isn’t it interesting how one word or phrase can mean so many things?

I’m heading out today…

… for my morning hike.

… for my usual workday.

… for a trip to Ohio, to visit my grandmother who is ill.

All these things, all true, one phrase.

I don’t know how much I’ll be connected while I’m gone. It will be a time focused on family, but I plan to take walks in the woods where I can. Hopefully, I’ll get to walk in the same woods my father walked when he was young, in rural Ohio. I get my love of being in the forest from him, and I’m going to where he first spent time among the trees. It should be a special place.

I wonder, will it feel like home?

One Week Left!

There’s one week left in the open call to artists in mobile photography. This is a great opportunity to liberate your art out into the world and share your work with a new audience. Have you submitted yet? Don’t delay! Deadline is June 2.

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Expanding Vision: The Contribution of Mobile Photography

 
What: Call for photographs made with mobile devices (phones or tablets)

When: August 21 – September 28, 2014

Where: The Arts Center, Main Gallery, Corvallis, Oregon

Deadline to Apply:  June 2, 2014

How to Apply:  Online

Artists have embraced technology as an art-making process since photography became available in the 1800s. Each new technological advance increased the tools available for creativity and artistic expression through photography and mobile photography is no exception.  This method of image making has the potential for the greatest widespread influence of any type of photographic innovation. People who would never have considered themselves an artist, or even creative at all, now have the means to be just that with mobile device camera technology at their fingertips.

We are looking for the full breadth and depth of what mobile photography has to offer. While the chemical darkroom allowed some latitude for expression, the digital darkroom increases the possibilities for manipulation of images even more dramatically. Mobile devices have a myriad of programs and apps–all on the device itself–that give the photographer an incredible opportunity for creative expression. Mobile photography ranges from the representational to the abstract, from street photography, still lifes, portraits and landscapes to fully abstracted impressions. We hope to see examples of all these approaches, highlighting how mobile photography contributes to the expanding artistic vision of photography.

Eligibility:

  • The Call is open to all individuals using a mobile device to take images.
  • All images must have been taken in the last two years.
  • Work previously exhibited at The Arts Center will not be accepted or presented to the jurors.

Terms and Parameters:

  • The original image must be created and edited in its entirety on a mobile device, either phone or tablet.
  • The submitting artist must be the owner of the image.
  • All submissions must be via digital image uploaded via the submission form
  • The $10 application fee must be received by the deadline. Applicants may submit up to 5 images for this amount.

Painting with Photographs

There is nothing like a new challenge to spur creativity. My morning hikes have been wonderful, and giving myself the goal of creating and sharing one photograph per hike has given me the motivation to try something different.

In recent months, my photographic style has been very spare, with lots of open space. I love the simplicity and peace that space brings to an image! But open space is rare in the forest. Western Oregon’s forests are dense and verdant, so I’m learning to fill the frame again. I’m retraining my eye to see lines, color and space a new way.

I’m also playing with new processing techniques, on mornings when I have a little more time. My latest favorites have been created by blending multiple different photographs together. Maybe an app or two to shift colors, but otherwise created by layering and blending multiple photographs to create a rich tapestry of forest impressions. Here’s the first, called “Can’t See the Trees for the Forest.”

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And, after several attempts that haven’t quite gotten where I want them, this morning I created another piece with a similar feel, called “Left Light.”

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This technique is new. It’s as if I am painting with photographs. It’s not just altering the photographs with painterly techniques, which I’ve certainly done plenty of times, but using the photographs as the structure; the paint with which the final image is created. Layering them and combining them to create something new and unique. Look close and you will see the bits and pieces of the individual photographs. From far away it’s an impressionistic whole.

It’s a whole lot of fun, and frustration, at the same time. It’s a new way of approaching the creation of a finished piece. And this creative challenge comes only because I’ve given myself the goal to go out and hike, and capture and share a photograph of the forest each day.

Where are you challenging yourself these days?

Morning Hikes

Hiking season has begun! Sunrise is finally early enough I can be out in the woods most mornings for a three to five mile hike before I head off to work. Yay! I’ve missed my hikes.

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Last fall, I stopped hiking regularly when Daylight Savings time ended and I went back to work full time, which happened nearly simultaneously. Without the morning hours free, I just didn’t have enough light to hike anymore. I thought that would change when I was able to go back to work part time again, but now I’ve got a new position at work, a promotion I’m very excited about, and I’ve made the choice to stay full time.

So… That means resetting my own expectations along with my schedule. It leaves less morning time for everything I like to do in the AM hours: journaling, creating art, blogging, hiking. I’m learning to adapt. Rather than feel constrained I’m going to make my choices work together.

From a photography standpoint, I’ve decided to do a Morning Hike series (#morninghike on social media) of photographs. I would like to create one finished photograph from each hike I do in the forest. I often photograph on my hikes but I don’t always share because they may not be exactly what was inspiring me creatively at the time. That’s a luxury I won’t have going forward… I want to hike, I want to create photographs, I don’t have all the time in the world… I need to bring these two things together.

Today’s photograph is from yesterday’s hike. Nice, huh? It was a gorgeous morning, and the photograph captures the feeling of it perfectly. It shares the optimism of spring; the promise of a new day.

I think this commitment is going to challenge my photography, and I will learn to express myself in new ways. But most of all, I will be combing two things I love more strongly, hiking and photography, rather than feeling like I am trading off one for the other. I love the feeling of “wholeness” that brings.

Spring Cleaning Celebration

Aaaah, breathe deep. Do you smell it? That’s the scent of clean. Spring clean.

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We’ve gotten the spring cleaning bug in our house. It started as the need for more space in our garage, for my growing pile of art fair booth stuff and for my husband’s new model train modules. So the rearranging commenced. But you can’t rearrange without some reorganizing and cleaning. And that sorting and organizing and downsizing has spread its way into other areas of our house, including my art supply cabinet.

And guess what I found in there… Items that I purchased when we were living in Italy, to giveaway on my blog! Apparently I never gave them away while there, they were shipped home from Italy with all of our stuff almost three years ago, I stashed them in my cabinet and forgot all about them. Yikes!!

So guess what I’m doing today? I’m finally giving these away! Plus, I found the Photojojo lens set that didn’t work out for me, and I’d love to see these go to a good home, where they might be used.

Here’s what I’m giving away by random drawing to four lucky winners:

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One lined journal, covered in my favorite Florentine paper design.

One set of gorgeous Florentine cards and envelopes.

One blank notebook, with “C is for Camera” and vintage camera imagery on the front.

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One set of Photojojo lenses and case. What’s included is what is shown: Telephoto iPhone lens and cover to attach it to an iPhone 5/5S, a set of three Photojojo lenses (FishEye, 2x Telephoto and Macro. I’ve lost the wide angle lens and cover that screwed onto the macro.) plus magnetic rings for attaching to any camera, and the Lens Wallet to store them. These are used and come as-is.

All you need to do to enter the drawing is leave a comment here by Monday, April 28 at 12:01AM EST. I’ll draw the winners at that time and announce them on my blog on Tuesday, April 29. Please, only one comment per person and indicate in your comment if you can use the Photojojo lens set. I want to make sure that goes to a person who can use it, so if your comment doesn’t say you can use it, you won’t be eligible to win it.

Thanks for your help in getting these items out of my house! Spring cleaning seems awfully fun this way, doesn’t it? More like a celebration than work. :)

Seeking the Heart

Maybe I think too much. Sometimes I’d like to go through life without a care in the world. Happily flitting from one attractive place to another, like a butterfly.

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But that’s not me. I sit and ponder. I think. I like to know the “why” behind things. I like to understand the connections and interrelationships. I love that “Aha” I feel when I’ve connected two new dots. That takes observing, thinking, and experimenting with ideas.

The outcome of all of that thought is often new ideas and ways of looking at things. In my photography, it’s new ways of approaching an image. Today’s image, Seeking the Heart, is an example. It’s borne out of blending experimentation last fall, visiting art museums in DC over Spring Break, an excursion to the tulips last weekend, an epiphany on a hike this week and more experimentation this morning. It’s the result of thinking about the art I love to look at, and thinking about how to create images that have the same elements and visual impression.

I love this.

Huh. Maybe I don’t think too much, after all.