Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Daily Shoot



Have you seen the Daily Shoot? It's a daily photo challenge posted online each morning and then collected through twitter hashtags throughout the day. The deal is that you take a picture, then tweet a link to the picture to @dailyshoot with the hashtag for the day's assignment. A hashtag includes the number sign and a word or letters. On twitter you can search for a hashtag and see what everyone has to say about that particular topic. It's neat and something I'm just figuring out how to leverage to get the most information from a variety of sources at one time. But aside from that techie stuff, today's hashtag is #ds52 (I guess there have have been 52 daily shoot challenges, but I've only done a few over the past few days). I've been using to prod my thinking for the 365 photography project I've undertaken.

This morning I told my students about the 365 project and they suggested I take a picture of my home-made light-box. Of course, they didn't say home-made (they said ghetto light-box), but that's because they know about the old pillow case I used to make the sides and the left over white spray paint I found in the garage that I used to coat the interior.

You see, I created the light-box last month, so that I could take pictures of my artwork (mini-collages) in order to post them on Etsy to sell. I need some nice, clear pictures of my collages and thought I'd like them against a white background. So, I looked up how to make a light box online. I, of course, call it a light box, but according to my research and reading the real term is light tent. .

Though I didn't like the picture of the light box for today's 365 photo, I did want to write about it. For today's 365 picture I used another shot. While playing with the lights to set up the shot of the light box, I discovered that the little quartz light that came with a "real" light tent that my Dad gave me for Christmas makes cool light patterns on the wall, so for today's 365 I used the image of shot of the quartz light.

I love the real light tent gift that Dad gave me. I think what I love best about it is that he noticed. He noticed I was working at doing something, something creative, something photographic (a talent of his) and he gave me a gift that would help me do it. I haven't quite figured out the real light tent yet and it doesn't quite fit on the shelf like my home-made one does, but I know I'll be using both of them and learning a lot about light in the process.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My 365 Project: A Year of Art Stories



I've been thinking for quite a while about doing a 365 photo project. I loved seeing Diane Cordell's daily photos come across Plurk last year. Her photos took me to the 365 project pictures on flickr for inspiration. So why not? After reading several tips & hints from Langwitches', Silvia Tolisano, I decided to jump in.

I joined 2 flickr groups for the project: Ed-tech365/1020 (education/technology folks) and the Shutter Sister's 365 (artists, photographers, mothers, women). Unlike the ed-tech folks, I won't be shooting with an iPhone. I will stick to whichever camera I have with me, likely a Cannon Elph or Nikon SLR.

I thought I'd try and focus my 365 project on my art. I'm not sure that I'll stay focused there, but we'll see. I thought I would take the opportunity to not only capture images related to my art, but also to tell a few of my own art stories. I don't think I'll blog the photos, but I may. Yesterday it was just easier to post my picture of the day to flickr and jot my story in flickr's description box. I will likely continue thus, especially as time will be a luxury once vacation is over. So if you want to see the pictures with the stories, you'll have to visit them on flickr.

I love taking pictures. My thinking changes when I when I see things through a lens. Diane Arbus once said that "Taking pictures is like tiptoeing into the kitchen late at night and stealing Oreo cookies." All art is that to me--a delightful sneak into something sweet. My 365 project will give me one sweet, sneaky moment away from work each day. It will be my treat. I'm so looking forward to it!

Friday, January 1, 2010

End of an Era


No one ever told me that a voice could take you back. Back more than 20 years. Back to pre-game. Back to the stadium. Back to waving at players at half-time. Back to my youth. This afternoon I watched most of the Gator Bowl and thought back.

In 1985 I bought two tickets to the Gator Bowl and gave them to my Dad for Christmas. I was 19, Dad 51. I was a sophomore in college. He drove us up to Jacksonville in the Porsche 944 he'd gotten for his 50th. I remember flying north on I-95. Dad saying, "that's the difference between a car that can go fast and a Porsche that's made to go fast." We must have topped 120 mph. We must have listen to Gene Deckerhoff's pre-game show on the ride up--I always did. We talked. About the game, my time in college, about the players we knew. Dad drove straight and strong--fast to Jacksonville. Our seats were high up in the stands, but it was my first bowl game and a gift I'd given to my Dad.

There were more than 79,000 people in the stadium with Dad and I that night. Florida State beat Oklahoma 34, 23. It was cold too, if I remember right. A Mr. Henry H. Beckwith was the chairman of the game that year. I didn't know that then, but it's a fitting detail now that I'm feeling nostalgic. Beckwith is a family name.

A lot of people, myself included, have wondered if Bowden's past his time. How difficult that must be--33 winning seasons and suddenly folks and fans are speculating about your retirement. Calling for it, even. Mickey Andrews is retiring today too. A team at its end. Change is coming for Seminole football. We give our lives to what we love and we work and work and work, but in the end what happens? I wonder about that sometimes.

I tuned into the game today and at Gene Deckerhoff's voice felt my eyes tear up. How could his voice sound just the same. Just the same as when I was 19 and Dad, 51. Voices can do that. Bobby Bowden has aged like the rest of us; he's someone we have seen change, grow, and age gracefully working the sidelines. He's had a lifetime of strong work in Tallahassee. He will be missed and lauded. But Deckerhoff? His voice took me by surprise today. Took me right back he did.

image: Florida State schedule card picturing Paul McGowan from 1987, our senior year, mined from my cigar box of ticket stubs and memories.