Thursday, August 27, 2009

.on the road::michigan bound.

Hello my wonderful friends! Just wanted to send you a little note letting you know that the little one and I will be leaving for Michigan in the morning. We will be on the road for 12 hours with my best friend Joani, to visit her folks. I've known her for like 9 years and have never been up to her hometown. Well, the time has come and I'm looking forward to heading up north. Fingers crossed, I'll have some cool new images to share with you all when I get back! Have a fantabulous weekend!

.within the frame.

Hello everyone! For those of your who are wondering about when I will put my own photos up here, be patient! I will be leaving for Michigan tomorrow morning for 4 days. Honestly, I'm not sure what to expect when I get up there, but be rest assured, I will do my best to get some images to share with you! This may not be the cross country road trip that I had hoped for, but it's still a road trip right?!

Before I go, I wanted to share yet another book with you that has grasped my attention. As those of you who have known me for any bit of time, you will know that here lately, I have been struggling with my creative self. The photographer within has been bogged down with doubt, destructive self-criticism, and paralyzing fear. With the world of photography changing faster than it seems we can keep up, I feel like I've been overwhelmed, swept up by a torrent of pixels, textures, layers, and levels. Maybe it's just me, but sometimes I feel as if the importance of making the photograph at the moment it is captured has diminished some, replaced instead with how well we do in the post-production process. Don't get me wrong. I am not a purist. But sometimes, I wish I was, maybe then, I wouldn't feel so torn. Perhaps, I'm just thinking too much.

When I saw the title, Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision, my hope was that this was not going to be another technical "how-to" book. So, I was delighted to find that David duChemin set out to make sure his book would not fall into that category. Instead, his aim has been to help photographers best portray their "vision" to the world by focusing on the "why" we photograph as opposed to the "what". As an assigned photographer for the humanitarian organization, World Vision, duChemin's role has taken him across the globe, capturing inspiring images of the people and places he encounters. His very humble yet witty personality give his book a very down-to-earth feel, making the connection between writer and reader a pleasant one. Within the Frame is an encouraging and resourceful book for any photographer, amateur or professional, seeking ways to better tell their stories through photographs.

To see more images of his work, be sure to visit his website and blog. Also, he is offering his new eBook, 10, at a discounted price of $5 on

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

.the pace of nature.

Adopt the pace of nature:
her secret is patience.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Some say that immersing yourself in nature has a way of healing your soul. With the world in economic and political turmoil, sometimes it seems impossible to find peace. Closer to home, this is especially true when you're trying to balance making sure the bills are paid on time (or at least before they get cut off), work, home, spending quality time with family, and attempting to nurture your creativity. There are other things that can be added to the list, as I'm sure you have one. While reading Amanda Soule's The Creative Family (she has a new book out by the way) I came upon the chapter that touched on the topic of introducing and encouraging our children to play with natural objects such as leaves, rocks, sticks, etc. That's when I realized little Miss A. and I needed to make a trip out to Radnor Lake, a beautiful nature area right here in south Nashville.

It's probably been a good 7 years or so since my last visit to Radnor Lake. We made it out there around 10am. There was a good amount of people doing their morning walks, shaded by the trees along the trail that ran around the lake. With the little one holding my hand, we started our own little venture. Just a few yards in, we were greeted by some ladies who told us that there was a lot of wildlife around the trail, specifically some deer. Sure enough, just a few more yards away, we saw two deers nibbling away at some foliage. A. was thrilled! Of course, like many other inquisitive, animal loving two-year olds, she wanted to get closer to hug one. Fortunately, I caught her just in time to miss a patch of poison ivy. Fun! We continued on our trail. Flying bugs whizzing by our ears, terrifying the little one, so she ended up on my shoulders during a good portion of the walk. At some point, I realized that instead of slowing down to look at all the things around us, I was rushing through like many of the people who were passing by. That's when I stopped, and as I did, I just happened to look over to my right and saw a deer standing only a few feet away from us. It didn't flee. It just continued to snack away while we stood there and watched. After a little while, the woodland creature began to move on quietly, going deeper into the woods. The entire time we stood there, I saw that most of the passerbys never even noticed the deer. Their focus fixed on finishing the trail. Or maybe they have just become so used to the fact that these creatures are around. On our way back, I made a point to stop and allow A. to soak in her surroundings. She gathered some acorns, played with a furry little caterpillar, picked up a few rocks and sticks. Once we slowed our pace, it seemed as if the trail really started to come alive with even more wildlife. An owl flew above our heads in front of us, landing on a branch close by. Other birds, like red cardinals, made their presence known. Slowing our pace down made all the difference. It's amazing what you see when you do.

To lie sometimes on the grass under trees
on a summer's day,
listening to the murmur of the water,
or watching the clouds
float across the sky,
is by no means a waste of time.
~Sir John Lubbock

.slinkachu & the little people.

If you should happen to be traveling the streets of London, you may want to watch where you are stepping. You never know, you may be walking beside (or ON!) a scene set up by the creative photographer known simply as Slinkachu. The photographs of teeny, tiny, miniature railroad characters set in the midst of London's urban scenery can be summed up in one word: genius! The clever use of litter, these miniature figurines, and close-up photography have made up some brilliant images that forces you to look twice. Just when you think you are looking at a photograph of a rescue team in a boat, over looking a dead man floating in the river, you realize with a second image that it is actually these miniatures set in a puddle formed on a sidewalk. His images are a great mix of satire and humor, and can be seen in his book Little People in the City: The Street Art of Slinkachu, as well as on his website. And if you get a chance, you can also check out his blog here. Now remember: Watch where you're going!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

.a toast to great photography-a video.

Found this video lastnight. Thought it would be a wonderful follow up to my last post. Simply beautiful. I wouldn't mind lugging around the gear just so I could come along for the trip! See the Telegraph article where I found this here. Love the music!

Monday, August 24, 2009

.a new blog.

I think I know what you're thinking. 'You're already having a hard enough time trying to keep this one going, why start a new one?' Simple. I needed to separate my photographic "vision quest" from, what I consider to be, everything else. So. . . if you're curious, please, stop by and visit. :O)

P.S. I want to thank everyone for all your kind comments and your encouragement. Seriously. It's been a rather rough several months, well, more like year and it means a lot that you have made a point to stop by and give me a "virtual hug." From the bottom of my heart, I thank you!

.a toast to great photography.

There are times when I wish, WISH!, I lived in Great Britain. Aside from the fact that my love is from Scotland and he says more times than I can count how he hopes to move back (me too! *wink*), I am truly in love with Toast. Specifically, the photographs that are captured and gracefully placed onto the pages that make up their catalogue. 'If you're already getting the catalogue, why move?' Shh! Have you heard of the Lake District?
Today, I was greeted with a new, much larger than usual, copy of their early fall catalogue. Once again, I was swept away into dreamy scenery and soft light. Don't get me wrong, I love their clothing line. . . but these photos!! So, who can we thank for the brilliant images like those that grace the pages displayed above? Jenny Zarins. Jenny, seriously, I thank you!!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

.world. . . new blog. . . new blog. . . world.

After many months of contemplation, I have finally decided to bring to life a new blog.  Yes, one where I can record this photographic metamorphosis that I have been going through.  This, my friends, is my photoBlog.  A challenge for myself to regain the spirit of the "gypsy girl" and her trusted camera.  And. . . here we go. . . 

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

.light leaks and spartus.

In this quest for "new worlds" to explore, I find myself in a realm of analog film and plastic lenses. Thanks to some wonderful photographers out there who aren't afraid to shoot film with their Polaroid, Holga, and Diana cameras (to name a few) I've been inspired to join in on the fun! So until the day I bust out the 120 film, I will enjoy my recently received copy of Light Leaks magazine. I first heard about this publication through a blog entry by Andrea Jenkins of Hula Seventy. The quarterly magazine is dedicated to the art and love of lo-fi photography. In this specific issue, several different photographers share their best photos taken during a trip on the open road. For some reason, images of the all-American family, station wagon packed, cutting through the scorching, Southwestern landscape comes to mind. Is anyone else thinking National Lampoon's Vacation? Can YOU recall some fond, or not so fond, memories of your family roadtrip? Past or present? Do you still have photos from the journey?
So which camera shall I use to capture my lo-fi photos? Well, right now, I will attempt to try out this Spartus Full-Vue camera. It was given to me MANY years ago by a friend of my Mom. At the time, I was grateful, and yet. . . being honest, I was like, "What is it?" Because it was not considered a "serious" camera, I never thought any more about it. So it was tucked away in a closet at my Grandfather's home until just the other day. I've searched online for more information about this camera and what I'm finding is limited. Most of the images of the actual camera itself is far different from the one I have. There is no date on the body to show me what year it was made. Although I do know that the Spartus cameras were made between 1948 and 1960. I'm anxious and terrified to try this little guy out! It's extremely basic having only two shutter speeds. Instant and Time. I can already tell this will be a truly experimental camera. If it doesn't work out to my liking, at least I know it'll look cute on my shelf!

Monday, August 17, 2009

.some days.

Some days. . .

. . . I don't know what to say. My mind is cluttered with so many things to tell you, I just don't know how to get them out to make any sense.

. . . I struggle with myself.

. . . I wonder if I'm doing what I'm meant to be doing. . . if I'm headed in the right direction.

. . . I'm terrified of what others are thinking.

. . . I want to cry but I'm too angry to. I don't want to feel anything.

. . . I wish I wasn't so tired.

. . . my heart needs to just open up and air out.

Monday, August 10, 2009

.ahh. . . crème brûlée.

It is another case of blogger meets French cuisine today. No, I will not be tackling the recipe for bœuf bourguignon as Julie Powell has done. Rather, I'm going to cater to a much sweeter appetite. The image of Audrey Tautou's character Amélie, with teaspoon in hand, delightfully breaking the caramelized top of a crème brûlée, vividly comes to mind. And so, I bring to you today a very simple, yet oh so decadent, recipe for this creamy French dessert. Bon Appètit!

Crème Brûlée

8 egg yolks
1/3 c. granulated white sugar
2 c. heavy cream
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 c. granulated white sugar (for the caramelized tops)

Preheat oven to 300˚F. In a large bowl, whisk together egg yolks and sugar until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is thick and pale yellow. Add cream and vanilla, and continue to whisk until well blended. Strain into a large bowl, skimming off any foam or bubbles. Divide mixture among 6 ramekins or custard cups. Place ramekins in a water bath (large pan filled with 1 or 2 inches of hot water) and bake until set around the edges, but still loose in the center (about 50 to 60 minutes). Remove from oven and leave in the water bath until cooled. Remove cups from water bath and chill for at least 2 hours, or up to 2 days. When ready to serve, sprinkle about 2 teaspoons of sugar over each custard. For best results, use a small, hand-held torch to melt sugar. If you don't have a torch, place under the broiler until sugar melts. Re-chill custards for a few minutes before serving. Serves 6.

Recipe courtesy of
For the adventurous, java lovin' types, try this recipe.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


A.'s first official photo & self-portrait
Hello my dear friends! I hope today finds all of you well and enjoying the last few weeks left of summer. Before anything else, I just wanted to take the time to thank you all so much for all the wonderful words of encouragement and support. Seriously, you all ROCK!! I cringed reading that last entry as I hate to sound so pathetic. But I did need the time away to do some "soul searching" and get productive. So where am I with it all today? Much better. Thank you.

As some of you may know, some may not, I am trying to pursue my photography more seriously. So, as I had mentioned in an older blog post, I have been working on my website. It's not perfect. It's quite bland I think. But for now, it'll do. I guess you can say it's my online portfolio. I've been working on getting some shoots together to build it up more. If you are interested in taking a little gander at this thing, you can see it here. So many ideas running in my head. SO many things to do, like open up an Etsy shop and just getting out there to shoot! It'll all come together in time.

Well, I'm off to bed! Again, thank you, thank you!! I promise I won't be a stranger as much anymore! Goodnight!