Wednesday, February 27, 2013

You know how sometimes it takes seeing a person feeling bitter and angry in their life to make you realize how grateful you are for yours? That happened to me today. I am so grateful that I have remained without bitterness the past few months. I am often stressed out, I don't know what I'm doing, I'm scared, nervous, and anxious. But I'm not bitterful. I hope to always try my best to define my weaknesses and work on them openly, instead of letting them backfire inside of me for months or years and grow full of bitterness. I can just hope that right now, with the idealism of a twenty year old.

Just to remember, right now, things that give me joy:

The wide clouded sky
Crisp clear air
90's girl music
Harry Potter
Photoshop shortcuts
Shadows, pure black


I was walking across the parking lot at school, at 11:30, when I realized I hadn't taken any pictures that day. Normally I let it go, but today is the 3rd day in a row. So, here, slightly defeated, are some photo booth pictures of Steele and I at the end of a long day.

Very grainy, dark, and tired. But real. Another long day awaits. 


Monday, February 25, 2013

Today the sky was blue, off and on. I was sitting in my chair in the window corner of my studio, and looked up–when you look up the sky is the only thing you can see out of the window–and there were hazy clouds covering the sky like gauze. It was that washed out light blue of dusk. Like instead of getting dark the sky was just draining slowly of color, and would eventually turn to black.

When we left the school, the moon was rising behind the same gauzy clouds, and it was huge and yellow-white. It looked so opaque and so un-moon-like, it almost looked like someone had just punched a hole out of the world. By the time we got back into the city it had risen quite a bit, and was hidden behind the clouds, lighting them up.


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Well, I didn't take any photographs today, but I did round off my thesis paper to a solid 7 pages. I have to read the first 4 in class tomorrow, we'll see how it goes. It is really hard for me to write coherently for this long. I do much better in short bursts—a paragraph or less. So 7 pages is a bit of a stretch and my thoughts start to get unorganized. Here's hoping I get better, however, because the final paper will need to be at least 12 pages 1.5 space. And that's just a wimpy paper, or so they tell me. 


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Spent today in the studio. Well, a few hours. 

I meant to get up to school earlier, but sleep had other plans. Also, my computer had water spilled on it last night and I had to make sure it was alright. Lots of TLC for my computer. I had the weird thought this morning, while making sure it was okay, that my computer definitely has a personality. 

It just seems different than other computers. More likable. My computer is definitely like me. It feels pretty cool sometimes, but is sometimes plagued with insecurities. But, at the end of the day, my computer's pretty genuine. 

Does anyone else feel like there computer is a person? No shame... 


Yesterday (day 253) was incredibly rainy. So, of course, my day was filled with errand running. I got very wet. But I also got these flowers around the neighborhood. 


Lost a Thursday to my foggy memory.



Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Julia taking a nap & Ali working. 

Tonight I was waiting for the bus, and cars had stopped for a red light, their exhaust puffing out behind them. The light turned green, the car in front pulled away, and for a second the headlights of the car behind it lit up the exhaust and it was like a tiny cloud existed for a brief moment. 

That is all. 


I wouldn't normally post something like this, asking you for money, or promoting a more commercial side of my life... This is a personal blog and it will stay that way.

That being said, this has taken up a HUGE part of my life for the past few months. Here's the short version: As a graduating class, we (the OCAC thesis students) put on a off-campus exhibition. It is our responsibility to fund it, which is where the Kickstarter campaign we launched a few days ago comes in. We're attempting to raise $8,000 by March 20th, and if we don't raise it all, we don't get anything.

I have put so much time and effort into making this happen. This is not something I've done on my own, but I feel fair in saying that I shouldered a bit more responsibility with the Kickstarter than the average thesis student. Those who helped know who they are and should feel majorly accomplished. This campaign has at times seemed impossible, unreachable, and daunting. It's been exciting and a huge learning experience just putting it together. I have been jumping for joy while working on it, and also been crying in frustration.

I hope you loyal blog readers, although fairly silent, will take the time to at least watch the video. Though I didn't film or edit it, I feel so proud with how it came together.

If anyone from this blog donates, I will be profoundly grateful. Like I said, this is a personal blog and will remain that way, and gaining money from it is not the goal I have. This is, like everything here, a documentation of my life.

So, if you have a second, watch the video, and maybe go to the site and check out some of the reward levels. Or just donate $1. Anything helps and anything is greatly appreciated.

Here is a link to the actual Kickstarter page!

(It should be noted though, that the $50 reward level (the ephemera) is seriously cool and also limited in numbers. So far that is what we're selling the most of, and I would highly recommend that level. The catalog, while a bit pricier, will also be amazing, I have been a little involved with designing it.)


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The sky today. 

A little bit inadequate for the day, so let me explain. 

Today was springy. That is to say--chilly in the shade, but warm in the sun. Steele's car was parked in the sun and so when we got in it was toasty, like being wrapped in a blanket. I had to roll down the window. Is there anything more springy than rolling down the window? 

I got to walk to work, and admire the goats in their goat block on SE Belmont and 10th. They were lazing about in the sun. Sun is so brilliant--and so bad for taking pictures in. Unless it's a portrait shot at golden hour, everything is harshly lit. Every photograph comes out stark and bright and straight shadow lines. This is why I love the grey. But the sun is nice in person. If only you could photograph the inside of your eyelids. There's a photograph of the sun I would want. 


Spring is here. 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

After some time spent in a house out of the city, a night with Ali and Julia, a Sunday brunch, an afternoon working on thesis papers, 

a bit of makeshift yoga in the living room, a candle-lit bath, and finishing Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for the zillionth time, 

I feel ready for this week. 
Slightly nervous, for some reason. 

It's probably because every week brings me closer to the end of this year. 
Closer to the end of my thesis. 
Closer to the end of my life (to be dramatic) as I know it. 


Saturday, February 16, 2013

After some un-blog mentionable events last night, I woke up with feeling sort of like someone had dropped a hallow ball down into my stomach and it had bloomed there. My mind has been spinning in circles around itself all morning and into the afternoon. Lots of things, like fragments of poetry, leading me around my own twisted web. 

I practically ran out of the house this morning, and decided to take myself on a pessimistic photo walk. Just trying to find the least cheerful things to photograph, sort of sad pathetic odes to my own mood. Oddly enough, it cheered me up a little. 

It's pretty early in the day for me to post this. I have a sleepover planned with Ali and Julia tonight, and I'm not quite sure what else the day holds for me. Right now it's sprinkling rain, and the sun is breaking through the clouds. The weather is off and on and mirroring me today. 

Hallow spaces always fill back up, and I'm sure this one will too. 


Friday, February 15, 2013

Some blank spaces. Woke up and got in the shower, to wash away the night. Today was brilliantly sunny, and we lazed away the morning and then went on a short bike ride before getting ice cream. I mean, damn, that just sounds idyllic. Of course, now I'm sitting at the front desk, bored out of my mind, waiting to go home to bed, again. 


Instead of going out for Valentine's Day, Steele and I treated ourselves to a new bottle of whiskey (a locally made white whiskey that has a distinctly sweet flavor) some orange bitters, and a coffee liqueur. Strangely, we haven't really needed to buy any alcohol for ourselves because Steele's conveniently been gifted things consistently. We've been staying in more instead of going out though, and ran out of whisky a few weeks ago. Shopping for alcohol is fun, mostly because it's sort of like shopping for glass bottles and nicely designed labeling. I'm pretty pleased with our choices as far as those things go.  

Like a lot of 'important' days, I actually didn't take any photographs on Valentine's Day. These were taken this morning of the flowers Steele bought me. We didn't do big presents, but Steele cleaned up the apartment for when I got home and had the flowers already in a vase on the kitchen table. Valentine's Day is just a day for being extra in love. Also I was the recipient of a rather nice poem by Ali, which is just another sort of love.

I woke up early for a meeting that ended up being cancelled, and had a few morning hours to enjoy. Edited some photographs of a finished thesis piece, read some Harry Potter, and made a smoothie for breakfast. I also had a meeting with Phil, my second advisor, that went really well. I'm not sure when exactly I'll make a thesis-dedicated blog post, but I'm sure it will happen eventually. Anyways, I got home and we went out to get the groceries, had a mild argument just like any other day, and then made dinner and had some new-whiskey drinks.

I like my Valentine.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

From yesterday morning. 
Coffee & cream. 

Yesterday was a crazy day in which, 

I forgot to go to my second work-study job. 
Steele accidentally saw his Valentine's Day present early. 
I cried. 
I melted beeswax and dipped photographs in it. 
I made Nick an awesome birthday present. 
I actually did everything on my to-do list. 


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

From waiting at the bus stop and my walk to work. In the crisp almost spring air. I have the urgent need to back my computer up. That is not a poetic something to go with this images. That is just real, boring, life. 

Today I wore a black and white striped shirt, and black and white striped socks. 


More memory traces, from yesterday. 

Neurons connecting. 


Sunday, February 10, 2013

A lovely Sunday which involved cleaning the apartment in the morning, a raw file workshop at Newspace, and most importantly, Sunday brunch with Ali and Julia. (A night brunch. With pink champagne.)

Julia took the image on the left, so I'm posting it as reference to the night only, and not as a photograph that I took. I took the image to the right with Ali's iPhone. 

Love these girls. 


Steele and I just got back from Art on the Vine, which is the annual art auction that OCAC hosts. Every year each department is awarded a student commission. The student is commissioned to make a piece of art that they then auction off. (The money goes to scholarships.) This was the piece that I made.  A photograph titled "Sky/River (9 a.m.)" The top image is a photograph of the sky, the bottom a photograph of the river. I shot it with a Mamiya and blurred the focus so that the subject plane became an abstract color field.  

I am actually so grateful for this commission, not just because of the money or the auction, but because this summer was spent looking at skies and this project inspired me to notice everyday the color of the sky and to be happy for it. Especially when it's grey, a grey sky is my favorite. That perfect Portland greyblue. 

So. I am on an art high right now. I just sat at an art auction and watched a photograph I made be auctioned off. I don't know how many times I turned to Steele, today, and in the past few weeks, and said, "What if no one buys it?" Sometimes it's just hard when I'm here on this little blog, to imagine or know that what I'm doing is actually worth something. Worth money. Worth acknowledgment. And so tonight I just got pulled up out of my bubble as the amount of money people were willing to pay for this photograph climbed higher and higher and all the way to $4,750. (Granted, it was a large well framed print.) 

I was completely overwhelmed by the amount of people who seemed genuinely interested in what I was doing. Completely overwhelmed by the amount of people who who seemed shocked, and curious, and intrigued when I told them that yes, it was a photograph, and yes isn't it beautiful what the color of the sky does to the color of the river? I didn't even get started about the specific times of day. But oh a 9 a.m. sky is so different from a 3 p.m. sky. So different. Anyways. Back to the bubble. So I was pulled up out of it and in this less than 3 minute time span, this photograph went from being a photograph to being something that people would pay money for. Something that people found valuable. What else could be better than that? I'm walking on air. 

And then, when it was over, and the auctioneer had finally pronounced it sold, There was clapping and cheering, and I got up with my hands in the air, and Arthur DeBow came and kissed me on the cheek, and I accepted many congratulations and felt like a rock star, as it should be, for tonight. 

Here is a very bad image of AJ holding up my piece while it was being auctioned off. See the auctioneer in the background! This was actually taken from a video Steele took. I will have to consult the video on any occasion during which I'm feeling lousy.


Friday, February 8, 2013

Today was not good.
(Although, it did start out good.)
Somehow it's sad when the best part of your day was the morning. Like at the end you look back across the whole day and doesn't it sort of, just for a split second, feel like a waste?
I know it's selfish to waste a single second, or even worse, to think any second is a waste.

But knowing that doesn't stop me from doing it sometimes.

And it wasn't bad for any reasonable reasons.
For the stupidest of reasons.
Like, sort of feeling like a loser when I walk through the Nordstrom makeup counters. (Even though I left the house feeling like I looked good.)
Like just letting shallow insecurities pull me down a little and a little and a little until I was resting at the bottom of a pool of self pity.

And being stuck at a desk doesn't really help.

Anyways. There are some real, completely ridiculous thoughts. The kinds of thoughts I would delete, but I really do want to be more honest here. And these are the things that sneaked their way into my head and whispered to me all day.

So there you have them.

Just to challenge myself, a list: 

Good things about today:

Steele's hand reaching for mine 
Friends who notice when I'm down
Wavy wrapped headband hair
Big bottle of Orangina


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Strings pulled taught. 
And shadows. 
The things that pull you into a photograph. 


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Today things got hectic and lots of progress was made and also some mistakes, mainly not saying a proper good bye to Steele before he went to work, which sounds like not that big of a deal, but is, both personally, and also because he told me some important info that would have prevented another mistake, but since I did not say a proper good bye to him, I did not get said info, and another mistake was indeed made. (Run on sentences are sort of like my brain right now.) Also just shelving a lot of responsibility on my shoulders, and there is even more responsible things that are going to need doing in my near future, and I have a feeling some of them will be placed on the stack growing on my shoulders. Oh yeah, I also started a second job today (Granted it's a work-study job, and only 2 hours a week, but man those hours add up.) So there's that. 

Memory traces.

Some thoughts: 

And what happens when we follow these paths[memory traces]: we begin to build a life. Equipped with a single image and our memories, we can construct an endless narrative. The most meaningless things are noted, and the wildest jumps are made between time, and relationships, and space. This is what’s happening when we look at a photograph. Each image is a whole galaxy in which our autobiographies are contained. 

This is how she looks at him

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

This past weekend I had the pleasure of shooting engagement photos for a dear friend AJ who's fiancé Jon was in town for the weekend. I've gotten to spend some time with them together before (he lives a state away so they're long-distance until she graduates from OCAC) and really enjoy it so much. I love AJ, and Jon's a funny (and sweet) guy, so it's a good combination.

Honsetly I'm not sure whether engagement and wedding photography is something I want to pursue in the future, but doing it for people I know is awesome. I have seen how this relationship affects AJ and so to be able to document something for them is really amazing. 

This is how she looks at him. They are so in love, she is like a person transformed when he is in town. You can tell how much pressure being in a long-distance relationship puts on everything she does, not only the relationship itself, and it is so nice to see her so happy when he's here. I can't imagine being so far away from Steele for so long, especially with all of the stress from school, and money, not to mention the stresses of navigating a serious relationship. I really admire AJ for how she deals with it. 

(Not all the images for the shoot were black and white, these are just my personal favorites, and I like how they go together. :)


I was a hound today with the iPhone, so these are all instagram photos. 

I think I have finally decided which camera to buy. The Olympus OM-D E-M5, which is a mirrorless micro four thirds camera. It's been a tough decision for me because I always assumed I would upgrade to a full frame DSLR, but the way my shooting style has been going, I think it's more important to have something small that I can take with me everywhere. The Olympus is smaller than my DSLR now, and I use an entry level Nikon that's pretty wimpy compared to the likes of a D800 or 5D Mark ii. 

I can't imagine lugging one of those cameras around with me. 

So even though it means sacrificing resolution, I think this is the right choice for me. I won't deny that the really well designed body reminiscent of old 35mm cameras helped quite a bit. It's also cheaper, which doesn't hurt either. 


There's my camera spec rant. Probably the only one you will hear me give. 

If you guys have any thoughts and/or experiences about micro four thirds systems, feel free to leave me a comment, I am super interested. 


Oh Goodness Monday, where did you go?


Monday, February 4, 2013

This morning I went over to Julia's for brunch with her and Ali. It was really nice, peaceful and calm. I've really enjoyed spending more time with them the past week and I'm looking forward to weekly Sunday brunches. Julia made us thin pancakes, I brought over some orange juice, and had a few cups of coffee. Then we hung around in her bed looking out the window and watching bad movie trailers. 

I also (finally) did laundry, and watched the second half of the super bowl with AJ and her fiancĂ© Jon who was in town for the weekend. (I have another blog post about that, I took some engagement photos for them and want to post a few.) 

I think this week is going to be really productive, so it was nice to have a lazy Sunday before hand. 


Sunday, February 3, 2013

Some images from our studio today. The two on the top are Julia's side, so I can't take credit for any of the things in them. :)

The bottom two are from my side. My curling calendar, and a new project that I just started.

It's very white. Julia just took all the stuff of her walls, and I took all the stuff off of mine last week. It's a fresh start for a (somewhat) new semester.

In reality there's not much time until my thesis show, and less time until my orals, so I will try to soak up all of the fresh starts as I can.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Well, hi, February. 

Today it is sunny. It is not day 232, that was yesterday. I was a bit grumpy because I had gone out the night before, and then worked at Newspace, and then went out with some friends. (Albeit shortly.) Did not bring my camera, and then Robin began playing the piano. (With a light pointing directly on her face, and her brothers face pointing out towards hers.)

So, it's moments like that that I am really grateful to have access to Steele's iPhone. Even if it's not the best image. It is still an image, made with light, that I have now. A little time capsule.