Monday, March 23, 2015

Favorites 2014

Well, it's March... 2015. I guess that means it's time for my annual blog entry... ha ha... lately I've been more interested in doing this again so we'll see how that really goes.

Every year I like to gather my favorite shots of the year. I used to be able to embed a slide show here but since Yahoo! took over Flickr, it's become a crap show. So here are a few shots from last year. I'm still attempting to shoot on film. It's a fun hobby. I scan the negatives myself to save money. Apparently I've been scanning them all at too low a resolution, so in the future I'll see if I can notice the difference.

The beginning of the year started off with a fun photo adventure day my friend Chris set up, going around to several 'donut' shops in L.A. I used a roll of Lomochrome Purple in my Nikon for the first two, the third was taken with my Diana F+, and the last one was taken with my cell phone.

My friend Ky had been organizing walk/hikes almost every week which was a lot of fun, and somehow made me get out of bed and be somewhere by 9am on a weekend... probably because I turned them into a photo walk for myself. We completed all of the entries in "Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles" by Charles Fleming. Later in the year I joined one of the walk/hikes the author organized and took his photograph. He is planning on writing a flat walk book next. Even though I was familiar with a lot of the neighborhoods that were in the book, it was great to see areas I hadn't walked around, and to have that sense of accomplishment finishing the book.

This is a house called "Witches Whimsy". It was along the Los Feliz Griffith Park Loop walk.

This is the "Ennis House" designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, also on the same walk.

This view I shot with my cell phone and was seen on the Beachwood Canyon walk.

Charles Fleming on the Happy Valley & Montecito Heights walk.

I bought the Lomochrome Purple 35mm film - it came in a 5 pack. So far I've used it once in my Diana and twice in my Nikon. I didn't really love the way it came out with my Diana. I'll probably give it another try and see if I can do better. I seem to like it best when shot in really bright sunlight. I love the color variation on these tulips.

Using my Nikon for those purple rolls, got me to use it more often in general... meanwhile my poor Diana went slightly underused. I have some fun accessories for the Diana, so I think I'll make it a point this year to experiment more. So back to the Nikon... I have a few rolls of B&W, and brought one of them to Angeles National Forest where my imagination saw things like "tree face" and "dragon".

At one point during the year, I was fortunate enough to find myself holding a tiny praying mantis.

I made a trip to Yosemite with my friends Chris and Linda. Lots and lots of picture taking and one very hard lesson about borrowing a camera and not realizing the entire roll of film you shot over several beautiful and far locations did not advance at all. THAT is a real bummer. What is great though, is returning to one location for a re-shoot in time to catch an amazing rainbow. Also - another go around with Infrared Film, this time with 35mm, hence the camera borrowing. My Nikon has an IR sensor, so I can't use it unfortunately.

Tunnel View

Bridalveil Fall

Merced River (Infrared)

Mirror Lake

Bodie, California (Infrared)

Mono Lake

In the summer I received a Polaroid as a gift from my friends Bill & Patty. It's an old Polaroid ProPack, which takes peel apart film... so not nearly as convenient as the Polaroid film we grew up with, but still fun none the less. I haven't used it nearly as much as I'd like to. I have so many cameras to choose from now, that I have actually gotten a lot more selective in shots I take. I really want to utilize this camera more - I'm excited to see what else develops! (ha ha...) I also learned how to save the backing negative. It was a bit messy my first go around, but I love that I can keep the negative with just a bit of tape, water & bleach gel.

The giant rubber duck is The Rubber Duck Project by Florentijn Hofman. It raises awareness of ocean currents and trash. It's pretty interesting. I got to see it in San Pedro, California. I heard about it from my friend Harmony who saw it in Pittsburgh. I would've liked to see it there.

Around Halloween, my friend Heather and I went to go see The Rise of the Jack O'Lanterns at Descanso Gardens. It's thousands of carved pumpkins. Really pretty and extravagant. I got one really nice picture there.

I also went to a bunch of concerts. The following photos aren't favorites of the year, but since I'm at it... I saw several favorites which was real nice.

We Were Promised Jetpacks whom are from Scotland and I adore their song Pear Tree.

Leslie & the LYs whom my friend PJ loves and his wife couldn't join him so I did. She is amazing and hilarious. Check out her YouTube videos.

I went to Vegas with my friend Katie and our friend Liz hooked us up with seeing Guns N' Roses. I didn't really have many expectations going in, but holy cow, Axel can still sing.

I finally got to see Lana Del Rey! I was so bummed I found out about her after she had just a few months before played at Hotel Cafe, which is a really small singer/songwriter venue. Then she wasn't in LA forever... I know some people don't like her, but I love her songs. So freaking good. Also, originally from Lake Placid, what's up NY!

BANE released their final album and I still really like them a lot. They're a fun band, but I forgot what it's like seeing them again. The last few times I've seen them has been a bit of a disappointment. I think the singer is too used to people singing along so he only seems to sing about 1/2 the song or less. It's a major disappointment for someone like me who hasn't seen them in years. I remember the beats really well, but not so much the lyrics. Bring back the singing!

I saw Rocky Votolato again, this time accompanied by his brother Cody, who is in The Blood Brothers - one of my favorite bands, which I'll fortunately get to later... Rocky has a new album coming out. He's written a few great songs and has a wonderful voice. I'm particular to Montana, because of these lines "You know my dream has always been a freight train leaving town. I grew up small town, but I always knew I get out of that somehow."

On 4th of July I went to two concerts because I seem to be crazy. I saw Phantogram again (more on that later) and then joined my friends to see Steve Martin at the Hollywood Bowl. Paul Simon even came out to join him for a song. It was fun, and there were fireworks!

FYF - oh man - I was so excited to be able to see one of the reunion shows for The Blood Brothers. They make me lose my mind. Seriously love this band and they were so. on. point. Perfect. The only thing that sucked (and I kind of expected this) was that I had gotten pretty close to the front before the set, seemed to be stuck behind three people who, no joke, had been smoking crack, wanted to get just one picture before being throw to the side, but before that could happen people went nuts and I immediately knew I had to move out - getting my ring caught in some chick's hair along the way - whom didn't seem to care, then by the time I found a place to enjoy the show, it was not in a great picture taking place. Either way, they were still ridiculously good - perfect way to cap off my love for them.

Hustle Roses - I've been following Ollie's music since she was in The Oohlas who were so good. She has a new EP coming out next month so be sure to check it out.

Interpol - Oh how I love Interpol. I got to see them at FYF as well, but I'm so so so glad I went to this show in Pomona. They played 'The Lighthouse' which I adore. This band makes me jump & dance!

I saw Phantogram a zillion times last year. I love this band so much! I don't find bands that I seriously love too often, so I was really happy when they went on tour again, since I had just missed them last go around. Plus, they grew up about an hour away from where I did, so somehow that makes it a bit more exciting.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

LomoChrome Purple

Last year, I bought 5 rolls of 35mm LomoChrome Purple. I finally shot the first roll with my Nikon N55. Unfortunately, I can't adjust the ISO with that camera and the Purple ranges from 100-400 ISO. So, from what I can tell with my camera, if the film isn't DX coded, it defaults to 100 ISO. The colors seems to really come out the best in bright sunlight. Some side by side shots...

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Favorites 2013

My heart has not been into blogging lately (as you can probably tell from the 4 total posts in 2013)... but I finally got faster internet (our country has a serious problem with the internet) so maybe I'll give it another go.

I feel swamped with all the photos I've been taking and I tend not to edit them down much. I use my camera phone like crazy. I use Flickr like one giant photo album, which may not be a good thing. I should be more cautious of what's public/private or just the volume of photos I post. It's kind of out of hand, but I love it. I wish Flickr's platform was a little easier to view. Their new page is supposed to feature the photographs more, but I feel like it's a little harder to look at. It's just one long continuous scroll. I hate continuous scroll by the way... and I tend to organize all my photos into Collections - which they don't even have a tab for at the top of your feed - you have to find it in the sub menu that is shown by three dots - people are not going to look there. I can't choose the size of my photos to view on my page. It just seemed easier before when there were a certain number of photos per page. Anyway... I could bitch about that forever.

A collection of my favorite photographs I took in 2013. Flickr has a bug where I can't embed the slideshow video (they keep fucking with everything - even the slideshow has pans across your photos now, blah. And you can only view it in full screen - their slideshow before was lovely.)...

Some highlights of the year though... I was a bridesmaid in Athena & Brad's wedding; I went to some awesome concerts; I got a nice new computer; I developed color film for the first time ever in my kitchen; I took a trip to Oxnard & my car took the opportunity to blow out a part. Always fixing the car it seems (not now - knocks on wood). I have been doing these stair hikes/walks almost every week as my friend Ky goes through her Secret Stairs of LA book. It provides lots of interesting views and is a great way to explore neighborhoods - although I am familiar with many neighborhoods we've been to. I worked a bunch. I went to San Francisco. I went to CT & NYC. It was a nice calm year.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Lana Del Rey

Lana Del Rey. I had been familiar with her name, but last fall I actually looked up one of her videos after hearing "Blue Jeans" on the show Misfits (awesome show btw). I really liked the song & thought it would be something my sister would be interesting in, so I found the double album cd & gave it to her for Christmas. I have a feeling she's only listened to it the one time, but I have been listening to it a ton. I'm obsessed with this album (Born To Die). Every song is so good, and I feel like that rarely happens. Lyrics get stuck in my head. The subject matter is kind of romantic, tragic, trashy, and drug infested, but I see it as a persona instead of a bio. I suppose if she's really out there getting her crystal meth on, that's unfortunate. It took me a couple listens, but it's a passionate album. I haven't listened to the album Paradise as much, but it's growing on me as well. I've heard her songs on a few commercials. I'm bummed I didn't get into her earlier since she's played LA a few times. She reminds me of someone straight out of a David Lynch movie.

T Minus 6 Weeks

I am a bridesmaid. The wedding is in 6 weeks. I have once again actively got excited & thought - yeah! I'm going to get in shape for this wedding. The bride was even gracious enough to hook us up with some free Pilates Reformer classes. I've gone twice. Last spring. First time - I overextended myself, pulled a muscle and waited a couple weeks to go back. The next time I managed to get myself to go alone & it was HARD. So exhausting. Since then every excuse comes out..... it takes a half hour to get there in decent traffic; I'm working and don't want to go after - all understandable, valid reasons but really - I have had so much free time to go & it's basically free. I think the thought of driving across town for exercise is killing me. I have a hard time getting motivated. I want to get in shape, I need the exercise, but it's just so hard to get in the mindset of actually doing it. Having a work out buddy would probably work wonders for me.

Last year I did manage to lose over 10 lbs. It was really great. I was inching up to 150 and it may not be obvious to everyone, but I really could feel it - mostly all around the waist. I felt like I was sitting in a tire. That phrase spare tire really is, sadly, accurate. I think I hit 135 at one point just before the holidays & I got so excited. I could start to fit into my tee shirts again. I have to contribute that weight loss to just eating better portions & cutting out more junk. Then came the holidays. Back up to 145. Terrible feeling. I felt like the entire year it took me to lose weight was for nothing. But luckily, once I got back from visiting family & into my normal life, the weight has come down a bit. It's still lingering around 140, but at least it's not pushing 150 again.

So, with 6 weeks to go before I have to wear that bridesmaid dress (which is very tight in the waist) I am going to force myself to exercise. Not my favorite thing to do. Today I started with doing arm exercises w/ weights. There is a good series of free, short, 2-3 minute exercises on Hulu (look up Resolution Solution). I could feel it & I got a little tired, but it's a step forward. I was going hiking quite a bit last year & I'd like to continue doing that when I can. At least wandering around outside feels like fun. I'm going to attempt to go to Pilates twice a week until the wedding. I swear, if that class was closer to my house I would have been going a lot more. And hopefully I'll start taking a lot more casual walks. I would love to take walks around my neighborhood, but I always feel weird walking by myself. I think I have slight social anxiety. I used to get all worked up about walking down to the library. I don't get it. I'm trying to put myself into the mentality of being more active & hopefully that will translate into actually being more active.

Favorites 2012

Blogging has not been a real interest lately. I'm going to attempt to write more often. I think if nothing else, it's a good way to exercise my thoughts. So here I present my favorite photos I took last year. I think I'm really loosening up on what qualifies as a favorite shot as some of these aren't the best. I am still actively taking film shots as well, but they are fewer & farther between. I still have a roll to develop from last year. I did manage to buy a film scanner last fall, so I'm hoping it pays off.