Thursday, August 29, 2013

travel thursday: ode to sabrina

ode to sabrina
in the midst of jr high drama,
the quest for friends,
first-time make outs,
out of school suspensions,
and second-hand thrifted finds...
i began to study the language of love.
as chouette yvette who like le numero sept
i dreamed of a day when i would wander
through the streets of paris
eating chocolate and baguettes.
there are two sabrinas
audrey hepburn, julia ormond
one a chef the other a photographer.
although no one can get enough of audrey,
i prefer the later version with julia.
she finds herself on the streets of paris
with camera in-hand.
i know what that feels like
that was my story too.
with french rolling off my tongue
and constant camera in-hand
paris became part of me and i became part of it.
the photographer greats have wandered these streets...
atget, cartier-bresson, doisneau... to name a few
have immortalized the streets of this magical city.
and now me.
my name may only be known by a select few
but the images i created at that time in my life
will always be monumental to my artistic journey.
"paris is always a good idea."

stravinsky fountain, 2004, paris

Thursday, August 22, 2013

travel thursdays: at the palace

at the palace
a lot has happened since i was at the palace...
like kate and william and george.
i have a son of my own now too
and have been married almost 4 years...
i can't help but think back on what life was like then,
as i traveled through europe and slept in hostels.
we watched les mis while we stayed in london
and i was so incredibly moved that i cried.
we visited museums, ate food, rode the tube.
one day i will return
and stand at the gates of the palace
watching the guards
thinking about a princess who is experiencing
the same things that i am...
a young mother, a new son.
we are more alike than different.

london guards, 2004, buckingham palace, england

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

greg & shinika

my younger brother just left for basic. i'm proud of his decision to join the army. it's a noble thing to want to do. just before he left i had the pleasure of photographing him with his girlfriend.

Friday, August 16, 2013

carolee's photo tip of the week: a white-balance challenge

so last week i started to introduce the concept of white balance. this week i'm going to explore it in greater depth. hopefully with today's tip you'll begin to see light in a different sort of way.

have you ever noticed how light can have different color casts? for example, is there a color that comes to mind when you think of fluorescent lights? if not an exact color than what about temperature? do fluorescent lights make a room cooler or warmer? maybe you've never noticed this but if you're interested in becoming a better photographer it's about time that you begin to pay attention to the various temperatures of light. even though, when shooting in raw, almost everything is manipulatable post-capture, i still firmly believe that you'll always get the best results if you know everything you can about controlling every single element possible from the get-go. my philosophy? to make the necessary adjustments in-camera first.

so what's the challenge? the title of this post will lead you believe that i want you to do something to grasp this concept. that is true. if you're up for it, go ahead and pick an object in one particular light setting. and then you're going to photograph it in each of the various white-balance preset modes. in the end you'll have the same photograph of the same object with different color-casts. this is an important exercise because it will help you to see what each preset was designed to do. if you know this basic concept already, you can still take the challenge for fun.

the idea here is that our eyes are excellent at doing what they can to balance out the color of what we see. the goal is to have a very neutral color palate. one where blacks are black and whites are white and every color in-between are true to their hue. if you're shooting with the wrong white-balance or if you don't understand this concept then it's possible for you to capture the color black with a strong blue hue (or some other color) to it.

how does this whole concept of white balance apply to film photography? well, if you're talking black and white film it obviously doesn't apply at all. unless, of course, you're using various filters that enhance specific color waves. but we won't get into that. so then what about color film? well, color film is its own magical world of light and color temperatures. but understanding how the lighting you're using plays into what your shooting is still extreemly important when you're shooting with color film. there are even various filters which can be used to compensate for specific color temperatures when shooting film (example: a magenta filter)... but i won't go too much into that right now either.

so get out there and start shooting. remember to switch up your wb modes while photographing the same object. you should get a series of photos that look like this:

next week i'll explain more about each individual mode and what you should know about it. if you have any questions while you're photographing this week, feel free to leave a comment here or to send me a message!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

travel thursdays: enroute to london

enroute to london
early 20's and traveling through europe
no smart phones
limited email communication.
a few days spent in manchester and chorley
inbox full, unable to confirm and connect.
a purchased train ticket
with a never-before visited destination north of london
and the hope that he would be waiting at the station.
i say goodbye.
there's a small delay and a change in trains...
anxious, i arrive at bury st edmonds,
and he is there.
only knowing what day i would arrive,
he spent the day waiting at the station.
contemplating the crazy events
that transpired as my brother and i traveled through europe,
i can't help but wonder at our fortune,
or was it dumb luck?
whatever it was, we went on faith and it all worked out.
and then we left for london.

london tower, 2004, "love, holga"

Monday, August 12, 2013

the kindness project: the halladays

after recently loosing his wife to a fierce battle with cancer, this sweet man surrounds himself with family. the purchase of beautiful purple flowers was a small token, but one that made a small difference.

Friday, August 9, 2013

carolee's photo tip of the week: white balance intro

what is white balance and why is it important?
have you ever seen these icons?

what do they mean and how do they affect your images?
white balance is essentially the color temperature of your image. and it is super important to be aware of all of the time! here is an illustration that shows what each of these icons mean:

if this is the first you've heard of white balance then you have most likely been shooting on the "auto wb" mode. this is fine, but in certain instances it can cause some heartache for you. here's why: even though it is fast and easy to use it can be fooled easily especially when there's a large quantity of one particular color in the image. you might wonder... when would that be? well, let's think about it for a moment... have you ever tried to photograph a sunset and it just doesn't look quite like you wanted it to? or after taking a portrait have you looked back at the image and felt it was too blue for their actual skin tone? were you confused with what the color looked like? color photography is an art in itself. and so often i see pictures that show a terrible understanding of proper white balance and color temperature. this is especially easy to spot when looking at portraits.

over the next couple of weeks i will be exploring in depth the different white balance modes and explaining when you would want to use which one. by the end of this small series of tips, you will hopefully have a greater understanding of how to get the right color for your photos.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

travel thursday: oh italy

oh italy
i remember sitting in florence
staring at the doors to dante's inferno
eating canoli's
surrounded by students
margarita pizza
with a brother who spoke italian
and no where else to be.

tuscan hills, italy 2004, "love, holga"

Monday, August 5, 2013

the kindness project: the going to bed book

what happens when you stop by to visit an old friend, just to find that they moved. you knew they were going to move but spaced it. so the random act of kindness turns into giving the new tenets a book for their little boy. random? yes! kind? yes!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

travel thursday: champs d'elysees

champs d'elysees
it was the chinese new year of 2004
and i found myself on the champs d'elysees
watching as the parade passed by
the juxtaposition of cultures intrigued me
a double exposure replaces the memory

champs d'elysees, paris 2004, "love, holga"