Thursday, October 29, 2009

New works up on Etsy

I've slowly been adding new images to my Etsy shop, and there are 4 new listings that I am particularly proud of. They feature some architectural details of London that caught my eye when I visited earlier this spring.

Take a look, and while you're at it visit my etsy shop to see some of the other new photos that have been posted.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I am alive, I really am!

Just a quick post to say that one of my photos has been featured on a really great blog:

Jessica Rogers is a very talented photographer (as you can see by the images she has up on her etsy shop as well as her blog), so I am very flattered that she selected my photo to be listed among this week's Photos of the Week.

Thanks Jessica!

Monday, July 6, 2009

So behind in the photo department

Summer (even though it's only just arrived weather-wise in Boston) has me distracted from photography. I even have a new lens to play with and I have had zero time to get out and shoot. I need to dedicate a few hours one weekend to make it happen.

So this is my "I am still alive just not posting" post.

you'd think that with all the nasty weather I'd have plenty of indoors time to process photos, but nope - I've been distracted.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

London: Day One

Tub, originally uploaded by mattallenphotography.

London was, as I think I said before, amazing.

We stayed at a hotel called the Rookery, in an area of London called The City (near Farringdon station on the Circle line, and also near Smithfield Market). The hotel was beautiful. Very old world feeling.

Our first day took us through the east end of London past St. Paul's Cathedral, over the millenium bridge to the Tate Modern museum, east along the Thames to the Design Museum then across the Tower Bridge and back to our hotel to get ready to see a show in the west end.

More pictures to follow, or if you like just head over to my London flickr set to see what I've posted there so far.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Long time no post

Been a bit busy lately, which is why I haven't posted in a while. For one thing I took a brief vacation over to London to celebrate my 5th year wedding anniversary (with my wife, of course). I shot a bunch while over there and I am still going through all the images.

I freaking loved London. Just wandering around the side streets could've entertained me for weeks. It's just a beautiful place to stroll around.

Here's a quick shot I took from within our hotel room, it serves as a bit of a foreward to the whole set of images.

Over the next few weeks I'll put up more images from the trip.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The mystery continues...

Awesome and exciting news arrived in my inbox yesterday. If you'll remember about a month and a half ago, maybe two months ago, I picked up a Kodak Duaflex camera on eBay to try out some TTV photography.

Well, when the camera arrived it had a roll of spent film sitting in it. Here's the original post I made on it: Unknown treasures lurk on this spent roll of 620

Since the roll was an older Kodak film that required special processing (C-22 vs. the more standard C-41 process used today) I had to find a film lab that would handle it. After going by my local lab and finding out it would cost $50 with no guarantee of results I started looking on the web and came across Film Rescue International - an outfit in North Dakota that specializes in restoring and processing old film.

The way it works is you send them whatever film you have that you want either restored or developed, they do their best to get workable images off the negatives (and in my case they process the negatives too) and they create a lightbox on the web where you can preview the images that are deemed printable. Even though my film was a color emulsion they scan the negatives in a way that produces a black and white positive image. This ends up with a more reliable print in the end.

So here's a sample of one of the images that they put up for me to preview.

By next week I should have the negatives and the scanned images to me on CD. I'll put up a gallery on the web in a new blog dedicated to reuniting these images with their family, and with any luck we'll end up with one of those feel-good stories about the power of the interweb.

keep your fingers crossed!

Monday, April 20, 2009

I've been featured!!

You might remember a spotlight I did on Michelle from Urban Junkies Photography a couple weeks back. If you missed it, just click here to read it.

Well, Michelle asked me if I'd take part in her ongoing Studio Chat series, and she just posted the article yesterday.

Head on over to her blog to take a look: Studio Chat with me on Urban Junkies Artist Lounge.

Friday, April 17, 2009

fascinated with camera bags (and what's inside them)

So imagine my interest in a recent post over on Char's Ramblins... blog responding to a post on the Ink on my Fingers blog.

I have a bit of a bag fetish to begin with. I can't seem to find the right camera bag. At the moment I have two - a backpack and a shoulder bag. The backpack is great for when I need to haul everything and a tripod (and it has a laptop sleeve which is convenient). The shoulder bag holds just about as much, minus a lens or flash, but is a bit smaller and therefore better suited for walking around.

Both bags are good, but there are drawbacks to each.

The backpack holds a ton and makes carrying the weight a snap, and it has a holster for a tripod, but what it lacks is miscellaneous pockets for holding smaller things like card wallets, extra batteries, filters, etc. The backpack I have is a Kata R-103. It seems like Kata listened to a lot of the complaints about the lack of extra storage so in their new version of the laptop carrying camera backpack, the R-104, they added removable side pockets that mount on the outside of the backpack.

The shoulder bag I use is a Lowepro Stealth Reporter D300 AW. It holds pretty much everything I need if I am out for a day shooting (walking around the city, etc.) but it screams camera bag. I can load it up with all this and it fits comfortably in place:

  • Canon 30d + battery grip with 24-70mm f/2.8 with hood reversed
  • 70-200mm f/4 lens with hood reversed
  • 17-40mm f/4 with hood unmounted
  • wall wart battery charger+ extra battery
  • CF card wallet from gepe (the 4 card one)
  • holga film camera with a few rolls of film

When it's fully loaded it's pretty heavy, but it all fits.

Now, to what I need...

Even though those two bags can carry pretty much what I'd need if I were out shooting, neither bag works if I am out shooting AND sightseeing for the day. There's really no room in either bag for other stuff like a book, a map, raincoat, etc. etc.

So that gets me back to the posts on Ramblins and Ink on my fingers.

Over on Flickr there are a few groups that contain pictures of the contents of peoples bags. There are even groups that are specifically for camera bags. I've been checking out these groups to get an idea of what everyone else is using for bags and what they can hold.

The 'What's In My Bag' cluster

The 'What's In My Camera Bag' cluster

At one time I had a crumpler bag - the 5 million dollar home I think. It was a great bag for a camera+lens but not much else. Recently I saw a couple shots of the 7 million dollar home and that looked like it could handle what I wanted, so I made my way over to the local camera shop to check it out.

The bag definitely held everything that I had in my current shoulder bag, and it even distributed the load better due to the wider shoulder strap and the fact that I could wear it like a messenger bag, but again, with all the gear in tow I couldn't put anything else in the bag.

I must have spent 20 minutes arranging and re-arranging all the bits and pieces of my kit into that bag.

now, where am I going with this...

...I have come to the unfortunate realization that there is no such thing as the perfect bag. I don't think I'll ever find a bag that can hold my whole kit and still leave room for extras - there's just not a bag big enough for that. And even if I did find a bag big enough, would I really want to lug it around?

When it comes to bags and the things they'll carry I need to remember the mantra of less is more. I don't need to bring every piece of gear I have with me when I'm out shooting. I've been having a lot of fun just wandering around with my Holga and an extra roll of film (no bag necessary), and you can't get much more light weight than that.

So maybe it's not the perfect bag that I should be looking for. Maybe I need to just remember that the important thing about photography is just being there, not being there with the perfect piece of equipment.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday Artist Spotlight - Scarlet Beautiful Photography

I had never heard of TTV photography before I joined Etsy. TTV means through the viewfinder, and it's a style of photography where you shoot through the viewfinder of an old camera, usually a TLR camera with a waist-level viewfinder. The end result is an image laden with all the imperfections of the glass in the viewfinder that is usually cropped square by camera you are shooting through. Russ Morris has a great tutorial on TTV Photography on his site:

So that gets me to this week's spotlight artist.

Tenika of Scarlet Beautiful knows how to make a great TTV image. What's tricky about TTV photography is picking subjects that work well for that format. Because of it's almost antique, dreamy look, choosing the right subject becomes really important.

What I find most attractive about TTV photographs is the nostalgic mood they elicit. This mood works perfectly in Tenika's images that focus on travel. Her series on welcome signs you'd encounter if you were just crossing a state border work really well in the TTV format:

My favorite travel shot from that series has to be the Kansas one:

The soft antique feel of the TTV photograph also works really well when shooting flowers as Tenika shows in these two images:

Easily the best part of being on Etsy has been getting exposed to wonderful art by members of the Photographers of Etsy team. I recently picked up a Kodak Duaflex II of my own to try TTV photography with, but that experiment comes at the end of a long list of things to do so it might be a while before I get any shots made. Still, it's great to look at work from artist like Tenika to get inspired.

Pay a visit to Tenika's Etsy shop to see more of her great photography.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

it's spring, right?

Nope, not if you live in Boston. It was 36 degrees out today. 36!!!!! What kind of crazy person would leave California weather and return to New England where it's winter for the majority of the year?




In an effort to encourage spring to arrive early, I am posting these three prints up on Etsy this week. Maybe we'll get above 40.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Tuesday was yesterday, so where's the spotlight?

I'm still trying to contact the artist I wanted to spotlight this week, so I think we'll have to take this week off and shoot for next Tuesday for the weekly artist spotlight.

This should teach me that waiting until the last minute to get in touch with the photography probably isn't the best idea.

Stay tuned...

Sunday, April 5, 2009

It's 4am, do you know where your camera is?

So what if I told you I got up at 4am Saturday morning along with hundreds (maybe even thousands) of other photographers from around the word and took a picture?

Well I did, even though I've been feeling like garbage from a cold. I didn't venture far - luckily I had a shot in mind - so I setup the night before and went to bed with my alarm set for 3:45am. I popped up, checked the shot, fired a few frames off and then returned to bed. Luckily the fog I had seen earlier was still around so the shot I had in my mind turned out the bet the shot I grabbed.

The 4am Project is the brainchild of Karen Strunks and you can read more about the project here:

Next time there's a similar early AM project I'll hopefully be without a cold so I can go to a more interesting location than my front yard.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday Artist Spotlight - Urban Junkies Photography

I've said it before in these spotlight posts, but I'm going to say it again. I love travel photography. And I really love well executed travel photography.

This week's spotlight is on Michelle from Urban Junkies photography.

Michelle takes some really incredible pictures. One thing I admire about talented photographers is their ability to make a really great image out of an ordinary situation.

Take for example my favorite image of hers. This was taken in downtown LA and it's of a passing bus. A passing bus wouldn't normally catch my eye, but Michelle's image is striking.

Urban Junkies

The scene itself with the movement of the bus and the vacant sidewalk combined with the perfect composition and dramatic colors make a great visual impact. My eye first picks up the the following cars, then the bold red color pulls me through the scene along with the bus. Movement can be hard to capture in an image, but Michelle nails it.

Another from her downtown LA series is available on her Etsy store. Take a look at WHOOSH!


Here are two more shots from her California travel photography that show off Michelle's great range when it comes to different subjects:


Silver Surfer

And here is another shot, this one from NYC, that I admire. The tension in this image is exactly what I've felt before when riding in a cab through Manhattan. You really get the feeling that you are in the scene. This image is untitled, but you can see it on her portfolio site in the New York City gallery:


Michelle is just as talented inside with portraits as she is outside with her travel photography. A very beautiful study of light and shadows can be seen in her Etsy store. The image is titled "Transmutation" and you can read about her inspiration for the image in a post on her blog.


Visit Michelle's portfolio site and her Etsy store to seem more of her incredible work. The examples in this post only scratch the surface when it comes to the number of incredible images Michelle has made.

You can also find find Michelle on her blog - make sure you pop by and leave her a comment!

Michelle's links
Esty Store:

Monday, March 30, 2009

Did I tell you I'm running a half marathon?

Last month I posted about how I am signed up to run a half marathon in June with Team in Training. While I'm training I am also raising money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for cancer research and other cancer related programs. The end goal being to eliminate blood cancers.

So as a way to raise money during my training I decided to donate anything I make from my Etsy store to the LLS from the start of training up until race day. And, since I just listed one of the Holga shots I got in Boston recently I thought I'd post this note up with an update on how things are going.

So far the training has been good, although I am definitely ready for some warm weather to arrive. Yesterday's training run was 7 miles in 36 degrees with a rain. It wasn't pleasant. It was however the longest I have ever run, so even in spite of the weather I felt like I had accomplished something.

The coach and mentors from Team in Training have been great. The chapter I am part of has some long time TNT veterans with a lot of races under their belts, so I am learning a lot. And above all that the money I am raising is going to a really great cause. The Leukemia & Lymphoma society has invested more than $600 million in cancer research, a large part of that amount coming from the money raised by Team in Training participants.

So if you are interested in helping out the cause, and you have a bare spot on your wall that could use a print or two, visit my Etsy shop and place an order. 100% of the profits will be donated.

Visit my Etsy shop!

And for more info on the race and my training up dates, visit this page:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

One week down... two to go

Last week I mailed my roll of phantom 620 film to Film Rescue Int'l to see if they could find any images on the at least 30 year old roll. The turn-around time is typically 3 weeks, so I am nearly at the 1 week down mark with two more to go.

Cool thing about Film Rescue Int'l is that they'll scan your negatives once they are developed and put them on a site where you can preview them and decide if it's worth getting prints or not. Since I do my own scanning I'm going to use the scans to decide whether it's worth it or not to have them mail the negatives back to me.

All in all it's a pretty cheap experiment. It'll cost $17 to get the negatives processed and around $8 to get them shipped back if they turn out worthy. It cost me about $5 to mail the roll out with delivery confirmation so if this whole thing works out I'll be out $30. If the negatives have no images on them, or they're so bad I can't get a decent scan it'll still only have cost me $22. That's way better than the $55 I was quoted at the local lab.

And to top it all off the guy I've been dealing with at Film Rescue (Greg) is a super swell dude. Very nice and easy to work with.

I know this sounds like a commercial for the service, and it sort of is, but rest assured that I'm not getting any special treatment for advertising these guys. I'm not a fan of blogs that post up positive reviews of services or products when they're benefiting from the company that provides them. It's very disingenuous. So let me repeat that I'm not getting any special treatment here - just giving some info on a company that so far has been great to work with.

2 more weeks and I'll write a post on whether this experiment produced anything of interest.

It'll be here before you know it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

arts and crafts

I've been neglecting my digital equipment. I've also been neglecting my Yashica Mat. Only the Holga has been getting use lately. Well, that is about to change I think.

Here's a shot I took the other day with the Yashica Mat. I love the look I get out of this camera. Why oh why does it have to be so expensive to shoot 120?

I think the Yashica Mat is going to be joining me to work once a week from now on.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday artist spotlight - Monica Shulman, Ciao, Chessa!

99% of the photos people take while on vacation are taken just for them. Because of that it can be hard to look at someone else's travel photos and really get a sense of what it was like to be there. But, when a photographer travels it usually means that the photographs they take are taken not just for themselves, but for others. When a really good photographer travels and makes images, the photos stand out because of the way they pull you to the location, the way they bring you there even if you've never been there. A good photographer can make you think you've been to a place you've never visited.

It was Monica's travel photography that first struck me. She's a very gifted photographer on a variety of subjects, but her travel photography in particular has an inspiring ability to tell a story and make you feel like you were there.

you pick the place and I'll choose the time

Take a spin through her online portfolio and you'll see images from France, Italy, Argentina, Mexico, Cambodia, Thailand and beyond, not to mention locations around the US. She captures incredible street scenes, beautiful landscapes and everything in between with a fantastic eye for detail and timing.

Walking From the Past

Street Stories

Monica also has a great eye for what makes a great image. Everyday objects are made interesting through her craft.

Hot Purple Lips

Monica lives in NYC, and if you're in the area she's got a show going on in Brooklyn right now until at least late spring. Swing by Le Chandelier Salon to see some of her work in living color (or black and white).

If you're not in NYC or Brooklyn you can find Monica at her Etsy shop, on her blog, and even on her portfolio site.

Make sure you stop by and say hello!

Monday, March 23, 2009

the start of something?

With my holga in hand I went out to brave the cold and get some lunch. I spied a door in an alley from the counter at the sandwich place so I decided to take a photo of it after I was done.

I noticed another door further down the alley so I took a shot of that too, then another on the way back. I think I have my theme for the photo book. I'm going to see how this next batch turns out, and if it's good I'll plan on using the doors in the alleys as my theme for the SoFoBoMo project I'm signed up for.

old buildings, you're being overtaken by new buildings. sorry.

Another from my "walking around Boston with my Holga" series. Today is a bright sunny day, so I'll make another trip around the city at lunch and see what I can get with the plastic beast.

Friday, March 20, 2009

smoke on the asphalt (steam really...)

Walking into work last week I couldn't help but stop and get some shots of the steam venting out of this manhole. I had to play in the street while the traffic was stopped so I was a little worried about getting run over.

I wish I had the focus closer to the steam itself, but with the Holga it's pretty much a guessing game... and when you're dodging traffic and trying to estimate the distance between you and what you're shooting and then trying to translate that to the focusing dial on the holga well, you basically just take a stab at it and hope for the best.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

walking to the lab, one frame left, what to shoot?

guess the bridge (hint: it's rusty)

It's like christmas morning every time I get some film back. Sometimes I scan in an image and it's like I just opened the G.I. Joe aircraft carrier. Other times I scan it in and it's like opening a pack of tube socks. I feel like I get one decent frame out of a roll of 12 from the Holga. I really have a lot of learning to do on this camera.

Here's this was one image that wasn't complete garbage. I'll post more up either later today, or maybe tomorrow.

I've got two more rolls in the bucket ready to go out, and another roll halfway through in the Holga and the Yashica. I really really really need to get a tank and some chemistry to do the B&W at home... these film costs are getting a bit rich.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tuesday Artist Spotlight: Eduardo Cervantes

Tuesday already!? You know what that means!!! It's Tuesday Artist Spotlight time!!

Eddy has talent. There's no doubt about it. A quick browse through his portfolio at immediately shows you that this guy has a great eye for making images that stick with you. I bumped into Eddy not too long ago while I was learning the ropes at Etsy. I've mentioned it before, but even if I can't make any money selling prints at Etsy, I can at least appreciate the incredible network of helpful, like minded people who have their stuff on there. Eddy is one of those guys. He's the best kind of gifted photographer - he's the kind that loves to talk about his art and help you understand how to become a better photographer by either sharing techniques, giving helpful tips or even just acting as an inspiration through the art he creates.

The first image I saw of Eddy's is what initially got me interested in a method of photography called TTV - through the viewfinder. It's a process of shooting top down into an old TLR camera where you're adding the mirror and the glass elements of the old camera in front of your lens. Shooting through the viewfinder creates a great frame and retains the dust, scratches and other artifacts that appear on the viewing screen and lens of the old TLR camera. The antique look that shooting through the viewfinder adds works really well on some photos. Eddy's not only mastered the execution, he's also proven that he knows what works and what doesn't with TTV photography. Just browse through his shop and you'll see.

Here's the image that first caught my attention. It's titled "Rest Stop":

Another of Eddy's great TTV treatments is an interior titled "Cold Hot":

Once I was through browsing Eddy's images on Etsy for the first time I made my way over to his portfolio site. Here's a tip: don't go there unless you have a LOT of free time. The amount of images and more importantly the diversity of images on Eddy's portfolio site is amazing. In particular I found myself gravitating to his travel photography, of which you can see some great examples if you just stick to the Etsy site.

One section of his portfolio that I find myself coming back to is a set of galleries from 2007 of images made on a 2007 visit to Bodie, CA. Bodie is a ghost town just east of the Sierra Nevada mountains near Mono Lake which is now a state park. It was built up in the mid 1800s during the California gold rush and gained the ghost town status in 1915. Check out the galleries by clicking on these links: Bodie 1, Bodie 2, Bodie 3, Bodie 4, Bodie 5.

My favorite from those galleries also happens to be available for purchase at his Etsy shop. The image is titled "The Kitchen":

If you want to see more of Eddy's work, head on over to his Etsy site or his portfolio. On his portfolio contact page you can also sign up to get more info and be added to his mailing list for updates.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Unknown treasures lurk on this spent roll of 620

A few weeks ago Shari over at posted about buying a camera and finding a roll of film still in it. Well, imagine my surprise when the Kodak Duaflex II I bought off ebay arrived with an old roll of Kodak 620 film in it all used up. You can read about Sheri's discovery here, and you can see the results of the film she got back from the lab here.

The film that Shari found in her camera was at least 20 years old (they stopped making Kodacolor VR back in '86) and unfortunately no images were visible on the film when it came back. Kodacolor-X 620 film stopped being produced a decade earlier in 1974. My roll has been sitting in the body of that Duaflex II for at least since back then, so I am not really hopefull that anything will come back off the negatives. I'm still going to try though.

The kodacolor-x film uses an old process for development - C-22. I am going to a local lab today to drop it off and they'll be mailing it out. Turn around time is about 3 weeks they said, and it's not cheap to develop. It's gonna be a long 3 weeks.

I'm hoping that we'll find some old pictures of the fake lunar landing soundstage, or maybe see who the second shooters were on that grassy knoll, but if anything does come back it'll probably be Jimmy's 4th birthday or some artsy night photos of ferris wheels... wait a minute!

If you're interested in what 620 film (on the left) looks like compared to 120, here's a photo (iPhone quality, so please forgive me):

The lab wanted $55 to send it out and get it processed. That's a little steep. Gonna scour the web to see if there are any alternatives. All I want is negatives, no prints. If you know of a place, drop me a comment?

Shari over at posted a couple links in the comments, one of them with options for labs that might do C-22 processing. So I sent a note to film rescue and it looks like they'll be able to process it for $17 and they'll even scan the negs and let me preview them over the web before sending them back. The return shipping is $8 so if the negatives come back with images on them it'll only cost me $25, if the roll is bunk I'm only out $17. Only down side is that the turn around is probably 4 weeks, but for that savings ($25 vs. $55) I'll wait. Thanks again Shari!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Drive By Holga

So I've been playing with the holga for a little while now, but one thing I have not been all that great about is keeping notes on what I shot with it and when, and also what I was doing with the camera at the time. So, since I have no idea how to re-create anything I've shot I have decided that the camera will from now on be loaded with ISO 400 film of either B&W or Color variety and I will use it in a Shoot-First-As-Questions-Later fashion.

I did get a tip from my friend's father who is a professional photographer that shooting slide film is a better way to go with Medium Format, so I think I'll try to pick up some of that in the near future knowing full well that my exposures will be tighter, but so be it.

Anywho - here's a pair of images I shot on the way home one day when the sky was warming up with the sunset:

As part of my goal of shooting more this year I have started carrying the Holga around with me wherever I go, for the most part. I'm hoping that I'll get to use it more and figure out how to exploit its little quirks. It's a fun little camera for sure.

I've been featured!

The Photographers of Etsy are an Etsy team with over 800 members. The talent in the group is pretty astounding. Just head on over to Etsy and search for POE and see what comes up. It's all pretty amazing stuff and there are quite a few members who continue to blow my mind with their work. In fact I featured a POE team member yesterday (in case you missed it just click here or just scroll down to yesterday's post).

So, when I was asked by Ann Wilkinson if I would be interested in being featured on the POE Blog I couldn't respond with a yes fast enough.

Here's the link to the feature: POE Blog Spotlight on ME!!

I know this is a blatant self promotion post, but I figured that given the circumstances anyone reading this would indulge me. It's not often I get featured by a photography blog (in fact this is the very first time) so I figured it was worth a post.

Take a look at the post, read through the interview, and when you're done make sure you take a look here:

-- Ann's blog and Etsy store
-- The Photographers of Etsy team page on Etsy
-- A handy link I created for you - just click here to automagically search Etsy for POE listings

Thanks again to Ann for the opportunity!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Tuesday artist spotlight - C. Wade

I am a sucker for night photography. I love shooting at night and I especially love looking at photographs taken at night. It was while browsing through some night photography on Etsy when I first saw some photos from C. Wade - you can see all of her stuff by clicking on this link or her shop banner below.

Photography in general isn't tricky. Technically it's pretty easy to make an image. But what separates good photography from ordinary photography is the photographers ability to make an image that holds the viewers interest and tells a story. It's always amazed me how two people can take an image of essentially the same subject and while one image may be mundane and simple the other image might be dynamic and inspired. Defining what makes an image work is hard if not impossible, but when you see an image that works you know it immediately.

Take for instance this night shot of Cait's titled "Loiterers" (my favorite of her night shots):

Within a nanosecond of looking at that image I know this image works. I might not be able to say specifically why it works - but I know it does. That, to me, is the hallmark of a good artist.

I don't want you to think that Cait is a one-trick-pony only able to crank out stellar low-light and night photography though. She's just as talented at making great images when the sun is up. Take a gander at this beautifully toned cityscape titled "Rooftop Surrealist":

When I first saw this image it just clicked in my mind. I immediately got this abandoned feeling - apocalyptic almost. Something strange is going on atop that parking garage, and the mood that image strikes in me is perfect. I don't know if I can put my finger on exactly what it is about the image that makes it work with me, but I just know it does.

In addition to being a great photographer Cait is also a musician. You can sample both her photography and her music on her blog M45: A Nebulous Conglomeration of Music and Photography.

And just because I love night photos, here's another of Cait's that I really really enjoy titled Southbound:

So please head on over to Cait's blog and leave her a comment telling her how much you like her stuff (because I know you do). Also check out her Etsy store which you can find here: And if you're into the whole twitter thing, you can find Cait on Twitter here:

Monday, March 9, 2009

My photo got selected!

Each Sunday over on the M45 blog C. Wade runs a bit of a contest. The theme is Sepia toned images. For the past few weeks I had been forgetting to enter, only to be reminded of the contest Monday morning when I saw her blog post appear in my reader.

Well, this week I have been working on a little feature post on C. Wade that's set to appear on the blog tomorrow so there was no way I was going to miss entering her weekly contest. I ended up treating one of the images from my lantern triptych and submitting that (you can see the triptych here: paper lanterns ). The image was already pretty well toned, but to achieve the antique look I was going for I brought a bit of the saturation down to age it.

You can see the other images that were entered as well as the one I put up here: Sepia Sunday!

And stay tuned for a posting tomorrow on C. Wade's art - and don't forget to visit her blog!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

JPG mag is back, with a new partner

So JPG Mag will be saved after all. Good news for amateur and semi-pro photographers alike as well as anyone who is a fan of photography.

The new owner is also introducing some new ways for the magazine to gain revenue, but it isn't entirely clear how the first of those new ways is going to work. Adorama has been signed up as the Premier Community Partner - not sure if that means increased social activities on the JPG mag site, or something in the magazine or what, but at least it'll help keep things floating. I'm sure Adorama will gain advertising from the deal and in return provide some funds to 8020 media.

Here's a little blurb:

Your outpouring of support--whether on Flickr forums, blogs, or to the world (along with the investment community) that JPG is simply too special and unique to vanish. Our new investors agree with you--and believe strongly in the potential of JPG as a business. So I'm looking forward to working with them to creatively drive revenues while enhancing the quality of the JPG experience. I'm also looking forward to working with our Premier Community Partner, Adorama, to develop wonderful opportunities for all of you to reach a broader audience as well as better engage around the photography equipment you use and love. More on that to come!

and here's the original blog post:

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Let's start something new (for me anyway)

Once in a while I'll stumble upon some photography that really catches my eye. Lately I've been finding a lot of incredibly talented photogs through Etsy. The other day I was browsing around Etsy and found just such a photographer.

I've been thinking about what to post on this blog in between fits of editing and waiting for negatives in the mail, so I decided I'd start a weekly tradition of highlighting a photographer who I think makes amazing images. This concept is by no means unique - a lot of photo blogs have a weekly or monthly feature, and it's a great idea. Photographers love exposure (no pun intended) so why not?

So, first up in this series (gotta come up with a catchy name) is a photographer who has an incredible talent of making ordinary objects beautiful. Her use of selective focus is never overdone, and in fact the out of focus areas in her images are as important as the in focus elements. Her shop name is Tea & Brie and has a it has very poignant subtitle: "explore. observe. discover."

Here is an example of an image I love of hers that clearly has a focal point but also uses the out of focus background as balance (click to see it in her Etsy store):

Beyond the ethereal images she also makes great object images:

Outside of Etsy she maintains a great personal blog that is a mix of candid photography, fine art photography and wisdom. On top of being an incredible photographer she's an excellent writer.

Here's a link to her blog:

So if you get a chance, swing by her shop on Etsy, or her blog and browse through her work.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

gotta get my creative juices flowing

A really close friend of mine (Seth Gooby @ is currently involved with this project called the RPM Challenge. On the most basic level it is a challenge to musicians around the world to put together an album of all new material during the month of February. He's doing this with his band Breakfast Song (which is a duo between himself and his girlfriend Isis).

This is the third year Seth has been involved in the challenge. I've always admired the way he's been able to jumpstart his creativity through this month-long record making process. I've been struggling lately with trying to figure out what I want to shoot, and have been trying to come up with concepts and things to make images for, but I've been only half heartedly doing it.

So imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon a post at the Online Photographer blog about a very similar challenge for photographers. It's called the SoFoBoMo (Solo Photo Book Month) and it's an open group event where photographers from around the world spend about a month (31 consecutive days) putting together a photo book of their own images. The rules state that you should include at least 35 images, all of which need to be shot during the "fuzzy month" that the challenge is happening in.  

Here's a little spiel from the website:

SoFoBoMo is short for Solo Photo Book Month - a group event where a bunch of photographers all make solo photo books start to finish, in 31 days, at more or less the same time. It's modeled loosely on NaNoWriMo, where participating writers all write novels in a month, and NaSoAlMo, where musicians write and record solo albums in a month.

So far 168 people have signed up for SoFoBoMo '09. View a list of all SoFoBoMo '09 participants

For SoFoBoMo, the goal is to make the photos, write any needed text, layout the book, and produce a PDF image of the book, all in 31 days. Rather than confining it to a single calendar month, we use a 'fuzzy month', where you can pick any contiguous 31 day period inside a two month window - this makes it a bit more flexible and encourages broader participation.

Sounds like a pretty sweet concept, right?

So between May 1st and June 30th of this year I will be putting together a photo book. Given the time constraint I think I'll rely on the trusty digital camera for this one instead of film, but I am toying with the idea of only using images taken through my 50mm lens. I think constraining myself with that might help me actually piece something together.

I'm encouraging any of you photogs out there to join in on the fun. Just visit for more info and start thinking about a subject for you book! I'll plan to post up a progress report of sorts on here from time to time.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Finally posting the last from the winter series

I added what I hope is the last of the winter shots to my Etsy store today. Last only because I'm ready for spring to show up. I'd like it to arrive tomorrow. Tonight would be even better.

It's not so much the cold that bothers me, or the snow, it really comes down to the fact that I don't want to wear a big coat anymore. I'm ready to wear a spring jacket now. Strange reason to want winter to be over I'm sure, but that's about all I got.

Here's the image I posted to the store (you can click it to go to the listing):

It's a 7.5"x17" image printed on 8"x17.5" paper. It's the balance between the trees and snow on the left, and the negative space on the right that I find appealing in this one. Does it work?

So yep, that's the last of the winter scenes I shoot for the season. Next up is green and color. I hope.