NOT JUST talking garden to plate. That and so much more! Going from feeling like dirt to feeling delicious. And then there is the creative process, going from the seed of an idea, to connecting my thoughts with my visuals. Sometimes a bit random but always getting back to deliciousness.
“Emergent ” , my temporary art installation for INFLUX Cycle 6 has been installed since early April . Wow time flies. INFLUX 7 cities temporary art installation project that is in it’s 6th year around the Phoenix Metro are. I am so happy to say I was chosen this year by the Scottsdale Public Art to be one of 3 artists to create art to cover the exterior of 3- 5×8 Ft windows in the gallery district of Scottsdale AZ. If you are in the area anytime until end of November 2016 you can find it inside the courtyard at Marshall Square ( 7077 E Main St ) on the west side of the Expressions Gallery.
The Influx Bike tour and Influx Bus tour were great opportunities for the artists to talk to folks in person about our pieces . I promised folks I would write up some tech notes for the pixel peepers and consistent to how I do things… poof…. I got caught up in other things . Not great marketing,and so much for priorities.
I would like to share some back ground story on the piece. When I applied I was asked to submit 5 images of work, along with a BRIEF reason why I would be good for this project and my bio. What was wild is that when you apply you have NO idea what city or property or project you are applying for! I had no idea when I applied I would be asked to produce a photo this large, that was it would be displayed outdoors in an area where the viewer was very close to the image . Add to that the piece was to be on display for 7-9 months in Scottsdale AZ heat and sun. I was not looking for billboard quality printing here. I wanted people to feel they could walk up and see the detailed resolution. Artisan Colour was spot on with helping me make this happen with their quality output . You can read more about some technical aspects of the project at a blog at their site:
I really do want to tell you more, and am overdue on this blog of mine.. and really and truly have written an outline for this blog some time ago,but considering it is now June 17… I am posting this and will write more on another blog at a later date 🙂
I think it best for me to introduce myself again . As I wander through this project of learning word press and all the side bar issues that come with having a functional blog I live and learn ( hopefully like all of life) . I recently got introduced to Word Fence plug in and now wondering who are these “people ” that keep trying to log in as administrator to this site ? How distracting life can be when we attempt to make delicious stuff and reality sets in and we have to deal with the dirt of life. Sound familiar? I guess I need to understand better how to create my sign up so you can introduce yourselves to me! With that said I would love if the subscribers or any visitors that feel inclined post a response : How did you get here and what are you ideally looking for from this blog ? I started this blog knowing full well that the mavens of marketing and blogging and blah blah blahhhhing say focus on a few topics in your blog site. SO what is the fluid evolving reason for this blog site? Connecting my art ( both photographic and Chakra healing paintings as part of my Chakra healing project ) to my writing as I focus on other of my life passions : organic gardening/sustainability, creating delicious recipes, finding new ways of healthfully getting out / staying out of feeling mind /body dirt and being more delicious! I have a lot to say and more to show. Where this site goes is fluid . Professionally I have been a photographic artist for decades. I have within the past 4 years years started working with abstract acrylics and working on creating the Chakra Healing Exhibition Research Project . More on that another time. I am looking forward to the exposure this blog has as a venue leading to support of my projects and also assignments, purchases , exhibition space. There is no shopping cart set up here ( yet) nor amazon connection ( yet) but I am considering them as options in the future. Thank you for being here. I would love to know what brought you here and what you would like to see more of and well… more about you!
NOW, please introduce yourself 🙂
I can remember all too well many many years ago finishing up photography for a Plastic Surgeon that included over 2 -14 hour work days. The doc proceeded to look at the designer/art director and me after those long days ( and of course it was in the middle of the summer in Phoenix , yeah even better) and wanted to start negotiating a trade for services!…. yeah, LOL. The part about aging gracefully and laser , botox, and varied other nips and tucks never really seem to be too congruent to me… but…… maybe my next photo should include the spider veins on my greens! That does humble me .
First, the photo above is ironically one of the last photos of the day. But what is important about it is my first time with a GoPro Hero 3 ( yep I confess I am a late adopter on too many things that involve new tools.) My friend Neil graciously let me borrow it for the day to test it. HMMM without a view finder,or anything to attach it to me while hiking the test changed focus ( sorry can not help myself ) . I wondered what quality still photo I could expect. Well I still have not gotten through the manual to see if I could have gotten a larger file but the jpegs that came out of the camera were only 2.4 MB… so these are smaller than my iphone 5s which are running around 3.6 and being they are not Raw files that I prefer I do not have big expectations on how I can tweak them. BUT /AND they both satisfy the the purpose of getting a small image into LR to make nice for you to see here 🙂 With that said I would be happy to have anyone who is really well versed in shooting still and video on both formats chirp in and comment . And that most likely would be my friend Frank who is the GoPro master.
Some background story to this post: I am very grateful that after more than 2 years of being out of an activity I love so much I have slowly built up the capability to hike again and testing the waters of carrying some camera gear again. It has not come easy . I must say it was quite depressing to go for a 15 minute walk in my hood to find my back was in too much pain to walk more.My treasured hikes with or without camera gear were, needless to say too painful to do and in another way and bluntly probably as painful,my fragile ego was having little identity crisis. Ok, that may be more information than maybe I should be sharing but for any of you who know what it is like to loose any kind of your mojo… it is tough stuff.
So I have already digressed from the purpose of this blog entry.
This past Sunday I was hiking with a small group of my hiking buddies . We drove down to Tucson to the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area where we set out for Seven Falls. This is approximately a 7.5 mile round trip hike, and by the time we got started on our hike on Sunday April 19…. it was already very sunny ( no kidding it is Arizona) and kinda hot ( all relative really it is not summer!) Seems like my body does not deal with hiking in heat as well as it used to. If if ever did.
When I finally arrived to the “destination” of the Falls I was very hot, tired, shaky, and honestly worn down . Of course it would have helped if I had a good night sleep the night before . Oh well. After trying to relax a few minutes , snack on some salty nuts and dried fruit and inhale yet more water I was reminded how unfortunately pressured on time we were to get back to Phoenix. Hmmm, thus I internalized tension with little shooting time… I barely had time to review the entire scene when I found a little shady nook I wanted to explore trying to focus mentally and physically on for a photo . I was way too shaky and short of time to explore the upper level of the “Falls” . I write “Falls” that way and not Falls because I do not call dribbles real falls! ( again I digress)
So there was a sweet young college age looking Asian couple sitting where I wanted to be and they invited me to join them in their quiet space on a very well worn by the water, slippery rock . We all sat silently as if in partnership with the calming of the space. I used the rock wall behind me to help my arm brace my monopod as I kept searching for a photo that best represented the meditative feeling that I truly wanted internally and in my image. I have been shooting these zen like water photos whenever and where ever I have found them for many decades… but with a tripod. I like to shoot them at 1/8 to 1/15 of a second. But here I was without tripod . Hey remember taking this hike was huge accomplishment for me and I had chosen not to bring my little Canon G9 ( which had depressingly become my go to hiking surrogate camera for a while ), nor did I want to use the iphone I had with me ( honestly had forgotten about it ) , or the Go Pro that I had borrowed that day from one of my hiking buddies that was there . I wanted to shoot a “real ” photo. I had shlepped my Nikon D700 and resolved I would only bring my 60 macro with polarizer filter and a monopod that could multi task as a walking stick. I resolved to do whatever I could. Of course I knew that camera and lens was an issue for my neck and back depending upon how I was wearing it or carrying it and all day long I was CONSTANTLY readjusting my body and holding patterns.
I could hear my Physical Therapist Elizabeth as if she were standing next to me. “You keep doing things that work against all the progress we are trying to make ! You have a lifetime of muscle imbalances that have taken their toll on top of everything else that your back and neck has gone through. ” ( ok so I digressed again )
So more back story (pun intended) WOW, it was in the 90’s that I had done this same 7.5 mile hike alone. I am not talking about long extended back packing like in the story WILD. It was a day hike but…. carrying my own water, along with rented 4×5 view camera with multiple lenses , heavy 4×5 tripod and a pack of negatives in their glass holders . I wanted so much to create beautiful 4×5 landscape imagery. FYI I do not now , nor did then have a good back packing size body . There are specific recommendations made by the back packing gurus as to how much weight a person should carry in relation to their body mass. ( HMM, another time for that topic!)
But this Sunday I was actually humbled by the memory of myown past! Amazed at how strong I HAD built myself up to be back then. I had created the HABIT and COMMITMENT to deliberately workout regularly for this purpose specifically. I also had younger hormones. I was consistent in my training physically probably more than photographically ! But honestly the hike was no fun back then. I had looked around me and watched as people were frolicking in the water and enjoying each other’s company. I was lonely, tired but determined. When I reviewed the film after the shoot I came to an epiphany. That was not what I belonged doing nor wanted to be doing. I did nothing with the photos. So what if I got there . I did not feel the love in the images. I doubt I threw them out. They are there in my filing cabinets of film that have not been touched for years,decades. Dare I spend the time trying to figure out where they are ? I would love to see them now for one particular reason. Climate change. I am pretty sure the “Falls”” looked different then.
So here I was in 2015 and I was trying to get a digital image to create something in my digital world. Early afternoon sucks for shooting landscapes. Nothing has changed that in relationship to photography. Basic photo concept. But rules are made to be broken, and I honestly have lots of history of not following rules. And digital processing has made cheating too easy. Do we really have to be on location at the crack of dawn anymore? Hey there are filters , right ? Ugh.
Trying to focus. Tired. Shaky. I wanted a nap. I wanted to create a zen like photo but was not feeling very zen like. I needed to meditate. I needed to check out. I needed my nappy. I was shooting variations of the scene with varied exposures with the complete digital mindless approach to photography…. take lots of shots and work it later in processing. And hope I got something worthwhile.
Honestly. What has happened to me ?
SO there I was finally starting to really see beauty and flow and composition, getting my compositional groove on , but I am still feeling shaky. Trying to brace my arm against the rock wall to make my monopod and me more of a tripod, when I hear
” Linda , what exposure are you using with all that harsh light and shadow .”
I ignored my hiking companion’s question. But the second time it was asked, I LET my train of thought shift. Why ? Well I was not alone. I had CHOSEN to hike with others. To be social. SO….I move away from my spot and go into teaching mode, helping mode. Ugh. I was trying to be nice! Monopods do not stand on their own 🙂 I was on a mono pod. I lost my train of thought. I had not completed my image. I lost my focus.
When I reviewed my images the next day in Lightroom my shooting process was obvious to me. The image with the composition I liked the most was the one I was interrupted on . But I had not given it the time it needed to shoot several times in hopes one would not show the rocks moving from camera / operator shake. I allowed this person’s desire to make their images better more important than my being in my own zone.
What I needed was a better way of not loosing my focus ( literally and figuratively) before I offered to give a little mini class. Rocket science . No. Just reality check for myself.
SO the take away…
1) When you know you need to not be disturbed because you do not have the mental bandwidth to recoop after an interruption … find a way of politely saying.” I will talk to you after I finish” and hope you are not too flit brained to have that interaction derail you ( or them) and then be sure to get back to the person if it matters to you to do that.
2) When you are seeing someone photographing (or fill in the blank as to doing anything else quietly on their own) . PLEASE be considerate and wait till they are obviously done to request advice or distract them with questions about anything or if you know them well find a way of disturbing them without disturbing them. Good luck with that. Ha, I am sounding like Miss Manners here.
2 days after hike:
1) My neck hurts from carrying the camera too much of the day around my neck either cross my chest or hanging from either shoulder. … so when will I stop? I hear my PT’s voice. FYI , looking at the images,was worth it?
2) So I tried using photoshop’s filter > shake reduction on the image that had the composition I really liked and that I ended my shooting with .
I have always gone by the “old ” digital adage “garbage in garbage out ” when people think software like Photoshop, can fix everything. Matters . What do you want? How bad you want it? What is your idea of awesome? How good is your skill set with post processing and how much time do you want to give to make the image sing. Kind of like lots of things in life!
So to complete this blog about patience, and pixels and photography I have included 3 versions of the photo that had the composition I like with the horrid lighting and the moving rocks. By no means am I saying these are art. I would not choose to blow these up . I am only sharing them in light ( pun intended ) of sharing as a teacher. There is just so far the photoshop filter will go with their deshake filter and HDR filters are not the be all end all. And this was not the kind of shot you could take 3 exposures and really work them with merging in HDR either. Not exactly garbage in garbage out but … well pixels are in the eye of the beholder.
You know all those “awesome” photos you see on facebook etc. by anyone and everyone with a phone/ point and shoot/ any camera. Have you ever wondered what they would look like as print larger than 4×6? Yep, I am so old school.
Photo with PS deshake filter then HDR filter … just wondering . There ended up being some very weird pixally jagged dewatanabees. (technical term for caca).
So much to say and show from the past week. But this for now …
I am so grateful that yesterday I was able to up my hiking distance and carrying load . I am NO where near where I was several years ago. When we look at our lives I feel at times how tricky it is for the mind to know when to say GO FOR IT, and when to say…. REALLY ARE YOU NUTS? I am reading WILD and humbled by how insane the author was to push herself the way she did. Today I am grateful I was able to be on a 10 mile day hike with temps ONLY getting into mid 80s are spring flowers galore. No it was not flat and yes my back and neck was able to once again allow me shooting with a “real ” camera. More photos and posts to come.
How can we not take anything for granted? It is so hard to remember to be mindful of that when our bodies and minds and lives are able to do what we ask of them. And when we are not able to do what we want when do choose to resolve to move on and say … that was then. And when do we strive to push towards goals that we had. Just pondering and open for conversation.
I keep experimenting to see what REALLY works for me in life. Been doing it as long as I can remember.
When I see what works for someone else I can not help but wonder if it will work for me too.
I plant and see what happens.
I get caught in the process when I am really into it and loose track of time.
I keep working on growing deep roots
I am so grateful when the results I am working for actually happen
I keep trying
I guess I am too foolish and obstinate to know when to give up. More on that later.
Despite how much certain aspects of the work seem to be hard on me or/ and for me … I keep trying a way to either ignore it, find a work around, or just keep complaining about the pain and keep doing the work … right and not just find someone to pay to do it!
I know if I have all these thoughts…. others do as well.
These lemons are just a few of oh so many I have harvested from our neighbor’s tree . Really not the best image for this analogy?
Thanks to our dear neighbors there has been lots of lemonade, and varied dishes using the lemons…. and art as often as I can think to take the time.
Wondering when the lemon tree we planted last winter will bear fruit. Just covered the ground with more home grown compost and lama dung. ( another post), and free wood chips before the big rain hits.
OK- photographically…. I found that workflow for this image in Light Room to On ONE did not give me the quick and easy results I had hoped for where LR to Photoshop worked much faster for the clean up .