Early springtime is hitting Sweden as of now; it’s still a bit chilly but if you find the right spots, you can still take of your coat and sit for a while in the sunshine and enjoy the moment. This means that suddenly there’s actual daylight! Beautiful, sunny daylight! That means more hours per day of possible photography.
I really love to photograph people. I can not stress that enough. But I am always terrified of missing the moment, not being able enough, and loosing the shots. So, I’m in desperate need of practice, so that I start feel comfortable with it, you know, to get rid of the nerves.
So this weekend I had the fantastic opportunity to take a few shots of my friend Cecilia, an opportunity for which I am very grateful (Most people I know, while not very shy at all, do not want to have their picture taken).
Just being out in the sunshine was great, a big burst of energy, but also, it was a lot of fun just walking around finding new spot to shoot in, and I really got a lot of time to mess about with the settings on my SLR.
Below are two of my absolute favourite shots. I feel rather proud of them, and this is the reason: I have known Cecilia for ten years. She is a beautiful girl. And I feel that I have a caught a moment when she is feeling happy and beautiful herself. And that’s my favourite part of photographing people.
This post is cross posted at jenandtricks.com
It’s his favourite spot in the house…
In Sweden it’s pretty common to decorate the Christmas tree the day before Christmas eve. That’s what we’ve always done in our family at least. But then Jed said that they do it much earlier in the UK. And I really like Christmas. It’s sentimental, I know. But I really like it. So who am I to say we have to wait? I really need Christmas this year, I need some cheering up. And Jed got us this tree, which I decorated last night. The cat loves it too (he chews on it from time to time when he feels peckish). Also, I made a Halo bauble. And a Day of Defeat bauble (I’ll try and put up a picture later). That’s the upside of being a crafty geek! So, pretty cool tree, all in all, I think.
I’m taking a small photography course right now (Digital Photography and Image Theory), about photographic images in a world of digitalized media. The course is a combination of lectures and theory, but also of practical problem solving and assignments as the course progresses.
The theory is extremely interesting, putting the origin of photography and its development into a historical and social context. I find that the way I think about photography is evolving. But I must say that I enjoy the practical assignments even more!
The very first assignment was to create my own camera obscura using my own home. It’s been something I’ve wanted to try for a while, ever since me and Jed went to Scotland last year and visited the Camera Obscura museum in Edinburgh. We even bought a little pinhole camera kit to try out, but we never found the opportunity to use it.
Anyhow, my problem with this assignment is that usually the easiest way to do it is to black out your apartment, and then project light from the outside world into your camera obscura. What makes it easier is that you have a lot of nice, sharp daylight outside. I didn’t have the time to do this during daytime though, and since it now becomes pitch black quite early in the afternoon, there was no daylight to be seen when I came home from work. So I had to do the whole thing completely within the confines of my home.
Luckily I have a small storage room (well, nowadays it’s my tiny, wonderful, happy-place crafting studio, of course) with a doorway facing my bedroom. Commence blackout!
Jed helped out, of course, being just as interested in the result as I was. Also, he had to pose in the shot so that there was something more interesting in it than our messy bed and balcony window. So, we used a ton of black bin liners and masking tape.
And then some more bin liners in the place where I cut the little hole for the light projection. A small frame was made onto which I taped a thin sheet of oven paper.
Sure enough an image appeared on the oven paper, but very blurry and not so bright. To make it better I needed to get rid of any light pollution, and make the hole smaller and more even. Loads of tin foil was used (I’m sorry, Mother Nature. It was in the name of Papa Science) on the outside of the black bin liners. Also, black cardstock was placed on top of the old hole to create a better one, but this time I made a tiny hole and made it much more even.
And suddenly I saw an upside-down image of my bedroom projected on the oven sheet. It felt sorta cool.
Results really approved. Awesome! So, with my camera on a tripod I could take this camera obscura portrait of Jed in our bedroom. How cool is that? I made a camera from bin liners, tinfoil and masking tape.
I know it’s been done a billion times, even by Aristotle. But this time I did it :)
These last couple of days Pioneer Woman has brought up the subject of sepia tinting your photos. I didn’t just get inspired by the various cool edits of her photo, but also the subject itself. However, as my brain was mulling over whether I like sepia tones in photos or not, or when, and how, I got distracted by the kitty picture and started thinking about my own kitty cat.
Because he is already sort of grayscale….
And if you turn the photo into black & white, he is still, well, a grayscale kitty:
So I thought I’d try and make him sepia. Just to see if it suited him. Seem like he pulls cute off in any tint and colour. I think I prefer him Original SOOC kitty though.
So, it’s almost midnight and this weekend will be over. This is the ass end of a weekend. No big accomplishments this weekend. I didn’t save the world and I didn’t win a billion dollars. There were no zombies to fight. But we baked bread:
It was very delicious. Two loafs for no money at all, healthier and tastier. Only problem is that you eat it all in two days. So, you end up eating more bread than you’d usually do. Less inexpensive and less healthy. Although life quality increases by 12 points. At least.Points I could really use, there’s way to much stuff going on.
In a desperate attempt to relax I had a dip in the jacuzzi and a spot of single malt. It worked very well. Until the single malt wore off. But if I go to bed now I get almost 6 hours of sleep, if I’m lucky, so, I leave you with this rendition of Sixxten as a dubious (or constipated) detective. Night!
I had a boring day. That’s all I have to say.
Sixxten is all settled in an enjoying his (our) new home. He has clearly stated that it is his domain. Not in the club? Tough! I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it, but he has a cat phobia. For real. Dogs are sort of okay, as long as they don’t mess about. Other cats? Noes. Not welcome. There are no other cats in Sixxten Land but Sixxten.
Of course, it’s not really likely that another cat would sneak in through the main entrance, push the button for the lift, go up a couple of floors, ring our door bell and let itself in. Sixxten does not understand this. I have tried to explain it to him. Honestly. But the boy doesn’t believe me.
And he does not believe that the cat in the floor length mirror is actually himself. During daytime he’s mostly confused by this mirror and a bit weary. At night… he hisses and growls at it. Very. Loudly.
It’s not very restful to get woken up by an angry cat every night. Silly little cat person.
Except for my books, crafting supplies and some odds and sods that will stay in storage for another week or so, we’re pretty much moved in. Yay! We were in pretty bad shape after a couple of days of Logistics Extraordinaire, whole body aching and general tired-brain-confusion, plus getting the sniffles. But we did it.
I was worried that the cat would be freaked out from all the change lately. And the first day he was; he followed us around everywhere, not being used to not seeing us all the time (new place is a bit bigger than he is used to). But as soon as we got the couch set up, he was fine. I think he’s settled in much faster than we have. Comfy Couch Cat.
In the midst of all the moving trauma (Boxes everywhere! Too few boxes! Bank loans!) I took the time to do a quick photo challenge for this weeks theme for the Swedish Flickr group Fotosöndag (Photo Sunday). This week the theme was “Samlad”, which could be translated as “Collected”. It took me a couple of days to come up with an idea. All I could think about was that all my earthly belongings were collected in a storage unit down the free way. And I wasn’t very inspired by the thought of photographing an entire mountain of brown boxes. But then I started thinking about how people collect things they think are beautiful, like different specimens of colourful butterflies and such, and I wanted to recreate that somehow.
This was the end result, that I posted on Flickr:
Collected: Best Friend
Click to enlarge picture
This is what you need to take this picture:
- Best friend who doesn’t mind to try and help with your rather fuzzy and crazy visions
- Also best friend is very crafty and can make pretty antennae from pretty paper
- Understanding boyfriend who doesn’t mind getting kicked out of his work space because it happens to have a glass door
- Leafy overgrown flower bed outside your door where you can steal some greens
- Frilly white kiddy umbrella from the toy store to tape on your floor lamp in futile attempt to create some sort of diffused lighting
- Also, every type of movable light source you can find in your entire home
It really wasn’t an easy shoot for a happy amateur like me. The rain was pouring outside, there was little natural light, getting any sort of focus through the glass was hard, and so on. But we had a lot of fun, and that’s the best thing about all this! I have so many funny shots of Sara, she makes the best facial expressions! Here is a another shot I really like:
Other themes for Photo Sunday: