Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 227 (Indiana Bird)

Day 227 (February 15th, 2011)
Title: Indiana Bird

Finishing my "trifecta" of bird photos, I have for you, Indiana Bird!  I was watching this bird walk carefully from one paver (paving stone) to the next, with a very dedicated/intense look on his beak.  Of course, the first thing that I think of (and who wouldn't) was the movie Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.  Specifically, the part in which Indiana has to walk on the stones, "In the Name of God" and missteps and nearly falls like 3,000 stories to his dooooom!  This pigeon had that same look.  I'm not sure if the bird was after the Holy Grail, but I'm more inclined to think he was looking for the Holy Breadcrumb. 


Photo 365 - Day 226 (Yes Sir)

Day 226 (February 14th, 2011)
Title: Yes Sir

This is a follow-up to yesterday's "Punk Bird" shot.  When I saw this photo, I immediately pictured in my mind, this is what "Punk Bird" looks like when their dad shows up.  I can imagine the conversation:

"Coo!  Boy, what are you doing standing on one leg?!"

"Sorry sir, coo."

"And what's with that silly hair?!  Do you want to look like you just flew into a window?! Coo!"

"Sorry sir, coo."

"And stop squinting!  You've got eyes, open them! Coo!"

"Sorry sir, coo."

"Goodness, in MY day..."


Photo 365 - Day 225 (Punk Bird)

Day 225 (February 13th, 2011)
Title: Punk Bird

Lately, whenever we go to the local mall, there are always (as old folks say) "Punk Kids" hanging out.  They are just sitting around, trying to look cool (course, just hanging out at a mall all day, at least to me, automatically reduces your cool level to zero), having an attitude that only a 15-year-old who gets a $50.00 a week allowance and has their parents pick them up when it time to go home, can have.  They also have these remarkably silly haircuts ("faux-hawks" and the like) - not that I'm giving them any flack for that, I know when I was a kid, I had some epically silly haircuts.  But, I find is slightly amusing that they are all trying to express their individually and anti-establishment they are - but they all have the same $45 haircut that more than likely they got at a "stylist" (rather than a barber, like I used to back in the "good ol' days").  I'm sure, in 30 years, they'll be at the mall, see a group of "Punk Kids" with their silly Bowl Cuts (it's a look that could come back! You don't know!) and say: "Man, thank goodness I was never like that when I was a kid!" 

The more things change, the more they stay the same!...

Of course, this photo ties in with the story only because when I saw the bird, I couldn't help thinking: "I wonder if other animals in nature have the same problems..."  Here was this pigeon, standing on a rail with only one foot ("Punk Birds" always got to be doing something different), with a "avant garde" hair-do (at least, for pigeon's it is), just hanging out at the mall.  I wonder what he say's to his friends when they show up: "Sup, coo.  Coo.  Yo." ... Probably not.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 224 (Film Can)

Day 224 (February 12th, 2011)
Title: Film Can

We have a lot of scrapbooking stuff.  Some of the stuff I've never seen before.  Such as this nifty little can of film.  I was just sitting, browsing through boxes of scrapbooking stuff, while general chatting was going on and lo and behold - A nifty thing!  This is a tiny little can of film (ala 8mm movie film) that I am guessing is used for 12x12 layouts or cards, but to me it was a photo just waiting to happen!  I tried a few different angles to get a good shot, but I finally settled on this one because it reminds me of an old Hollywood shot of film in a canister.  I even added a nice grain effect via post production to make it look even older. 


Monday, March 28, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 223 (Green Grommet)

Day 223 (February 11th, 2011)
Title: Green Grommet

Return of the Grommet!  This is a close-up of a condolences card that Theresa recently made for a co-worker.  (For a full-sized view of the card, please see the galleries page on the website).  This is one of those cards, while it looks cool and is well designed, I just wish we didn't have to give it out. 


Photo 365 - Day 222 (Pink Button)

Day 222 (February 10th, 2011)
Title: Pink Button

This is another photo of a "scrap" flower that our friend made which just sitting around chatting.  She took some scraps of ribbon, some random buttons and pink thread and added a bit of 'ninja-esq' powers - bang!  Cool pink/punk button-flowers!  I am still surprised when I see people just make things out of just random bits and pieces.  I never would have thought to do some of these things that I see when I watching folks scrap.  Cards, books, flowers, you name it - they can 'see' it in those things that to me, are just paper, buttons, and string. 


Photo 365 - Day 221 (Purple Yarn)

Day 221 (February 9th, 2011)
Title: Purple Yarn

Continuing with yesterday's shot of the yarn flowers that our friend made for us, today's shot is actually identifiable as both yarn and a flower!  This particular flower was about 1 to 1.5 inches wide and was very tightly woven (some of the other ones were a bit looser, giving the center a nifty hole and adding a bit of a pattern to the "petals"). 


Photo 365 - Day 220 (Yarn Tunnel)

Day 220 (February 8th, 2011)
Title: Yarn Tunnel

A friend of ours came over last week and while we were all sitting around chatting, she decided that she needed to scrap (that happens a lot when folks come over to our house - its basically a scrapbook store, but with more alcohol and better snacks).  She decided to just make some cool flowers out of yarn and scrap fabric.  I was thoroughly impressed, because a) they looked really neat and b) I end up in the emergency room requiring 230 stitches and needing 6 quarts of blood after just trying to thread the needle. 

I've taken a few shots of the flowers, and this one is the first.  Of course, being that I'm taking these pictures, the first one has to be an abstract that looks nothing like a flower, nor anything else really.  I called it "Yarn Tunnel", because when I saw it, I joked:  "Hey, this is the 'Tunnel of Light' that scrappers see when they die!"

And as it says in the Book of Tim (Holtz, that is), Psalm 11:24, "And lo, when thy scrap has end, thou shall see a great scrapping light, and a tunnel of perfectly spun yarn, and thou shalt KNOW thy is in a good place.  A place of everlasting glue-pens and correctly shaped punches." 


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 219 (Hydrant4)

Day 219 (February 7th, 2011)
Title: Hydrant4

Sometimes walking around, you see something that is just "different" than you expect.  While walking around the city, one sees a lot of fire hydrants and they are the normal "fireplug" type (small, round, "mushroom" shaped).  But, I saw this one on the side of a building and I thought - that's a bit odd.  I'm not sure what exactly grabbed my attention about it, but I just it looked neat.  Originally it was color, with a nice coppery look to it, but after trying it as a black and white, I realized I enjoyed it more.  Lots of shadows and highlights playing off each other as well as shapes.  I'm big on shapes in photos (as you'll see in the upcoming weeks), so perhaps that's what really grabbed my attention.  Either way, I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Digital Archive Project - Done!

Wow, I finally finished my first real photo archiving job.  I was asked to archive a couple hundred old photos and negatives from the 1950s-1980's.  It included old family photos, school photos, birth records, old school paperwork, other family documents and crazy-old negatives!  The negatives were "tricky" and took days to complete.  They were old 2 1/4" x 2 1/4" (aka: medium format) negatives!  My mission was to scan all the items, both in an archival format (TIFF, 50-100MB per file) and display format (JPG - 1-7MB per file), and then organize them all onto DVDs.  I got to use a lot of new and old skills, including: photo stitching, multi-format editing, color corrections, creating archival DVDs, DVD packaging, and DVD labeling.

It was both intense and exciting!  I'm looking forward to doing more archival-based work (as well as getting photography in now that I'm done with this project!). 

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 218 (One Ring)

Day 218 (February 6th, 2011)
Title: One Ring

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try you just can't get a "perfect" picture of something.  Take my wedding ring for example - I love it.  It looks cool has this nifty design and does fun things with reflecting light.  But not on film.  I tried taking a ton of photos of it to show off how the cut angles bounce light around, but no success.  So, rather than calling the session a "wipe" I decided to use Photoshop to show, abstractly, how it makes little rainbows of light.  Its not exactly the same, but that's why I call it abstract!  Woo!


Photo 365 - Day 217 (Full Tilt Poker)

Day 217 (February 5th, 2011)
Title: Full Tilt Poker

For those of you who don't know me personally, I have a dark and spooky secret.  I love puns.  Silly puns, bad puns, it matters not!  I love puns!  I also enjoy games, including poker.  One of the more common terms in poker is "Tilt" (e.g: "He just lost 35 hands in a row!  He's tilting!").  Basically, after one looses a large hand, they get mad and upset, which in turn causes them to lose MORE hands, ad infinitum.  When one gets to a full level of tiltiness (new word!), its called: Full Tilt.  In my love of finding more puns, I decided this idea needed a bit more of a literal representation and in the middle of a game, realized I in fact, could show "Full Tilt Poker" happening.

Did I mention I love puns?  Cause I do!


Photo 365 - Day 216 (Dry Branch)

Day 216 (February 4th, 2011)
Title: Dry Branch

With yesterday's photo (Thorns), one of the elements that I really enjoyed about it is that it helps show a concept that I greatly enjoy; all nature is beautiful.  Many times, people will only take (or show) photos of nature that are "beautiful", such as a rose bloom or green leaves on trees but they shy away from other aspects of nature.  I chose both the Thorn photo and today's Dry Branch photo to show that, no matter what the subject matter is, nature can provide beautiful things for us to see and enjoy.  I know for most folks, looking at a giant red rose might be more enjoyable than looking at some dried, brown sticks, but still... Give them a chance, you never know what you might see in them. 

Ps: Yes, I know I have posted photos of said red roses in full bloom - I'm not saying that one shouldn't take those kinds of photo (heck, I love those kinds of photos), I'm just saying enjoy the rest of what's out there as well - both the roses and the sticks!


Blog Tweaks

I'm just playing around with the format and look of the blog.  If you prefer the other layout (or any other suggestions), please let me know! 

Photo 365 - Day 215 (Thorns)

Day 215 (February 3rd, 2011)
Title: Thorns

When I saw this photo, I thought to myself: "Ooo, this will make a great shot to go with a neat poem about thorns!  Woot!"  Took the shot, came home, used the Internets to try and find a amusing little poem about thorns.  Wrong.  Spent nearly two hours searching the 'net for thorn related poems that a) were not religious in tone, b) not tragically sad things about roses and crying, c) actually just involved a thorn!  Not a "metaphysical" thorn, or an "emotional" thorn.  Just a thorn.  No such luck.  So, I've had to put on my Haiku hat and here is my entirely not-at-all "deep and emotional" haiku about thorns!

Sharp, pointy; shark fin
To touch, ouch! Not so fluffy
Thorn. Oh! Just a thorn.

Enjoy (well, at least the photo at least)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 214 (Sword of Jace)

Day 214 (February 2nd, 2011)
Title: Sword of Jace

Warning - High Gamer Level Post

This is for my fellow Magic: The Gathering fans.  I took some photos at my local store of a recent Magic event, and while I was more focused (photo pun!) on getting portraits of the players I did see a few matches that I thought "Wow, brutal!"  This is one of those matches, the player on the left has a Jace and Sword of Feast of Famine, while the player on the right... does not. 

From a "photo" perspective, this is another selective color photo - I converted the entire photo to black and white, then masked Jace and the Sword back to color. 


Photo 365 - Day 213 (GSM)

Day 213 (February 1st, 2011)
Title: GSM

This is a alert for all communities!  There is a new organized crime force that has infiltrated nearly all of suburban America (and parts of Canada as well)!  These gangs travel in packs of 2-3 and a 'heavy' (armed backup, nicknamed "Mother") is usually close by.  They attack without warning, with no care for age or gender.  Their attacks are quick, precise and brutal.  Very few survivors make it away without damage.  There is no safe location - they attack on street corners, near stores, even in front of law enforcement agents - they have no fear.  My only suggestion would be, when approached by one of the mafia, scream loudly, spray them with pepper-spray and run for your life.  It is unlikely you will survive.

There is no escape from the Girl Scout Mafia. 


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 212 (Shadow Bridge)

Day 212 (January 31st, 2011)
Title: Shadow Bridge

Going along with yesterday's "boring" photo of the tennis court, I found this picture of a bridge I took and, at first glance it was really dull and flat.  I decided, ala tennis court, that I would try and fix it up.  I played with contrast, lighting and some other photoshop tricks and I really like how this one came out.  It has some "pop" but still easy to identify.

Hope you like it.


Photo 365 - Day 211 (Intersection)

Day 211 (January 30th, 2011)
Title: Intersection

There are some pictures, that I really have no idea why I took them.  Perhaps I thought they would look interesting or have some sort of compositional element that would be fun to look at, but most of the time I think its just because I'm nuts.  I was taking some shots from the top of our building (18 stories high) and I looked down and saw the tennis court and though: "Hey, white lines!  Those are cool!" and shot away. Afterward, I downloaded the photos, looked at them and thought: "Well, that was just stupid.  Its just white lines." 

After basically ignoring them for a while, I decided to come back to them and see if I could "play around" with just white lines and try and make them a bit more fun to look at.  Here is the end result! 


Sunday, March 6, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 210 (Rivers)

Day 210 (January 29th, 2011)
Title: Rivers

This photo nearly got me kicked out of MoMA (New York).  There is a giant embroidered tapestry on one wall with a list of the 1000 longest rivers.  It's big.  And I was having a hard time getting a good picture of it.  So, I just walked up, put my camera *nearly* on it and shot is from a really low angle.  The lovely security guards were not so happy about my "nearly" touching it.  In the end I really enjoyed how the shot came out.  The way it was made, it makes it look like old computer print outs (who remembers Dot Matrix or Punch Cards). 


Photo 365 - Day 209 (Drama Lemons)

Day 209 (January 28th, 2011)
Title: Drama Lemons

We had picked up some lemons while in Santa Cruz and it was my task to wash them and let them dry (don't ask why I have to do this - lets just say other folks in the house are a bit picky).  While setting them out to try, I started joking around that they were getting in Lemon Action Formation.  I mentioned: "These are going to be some mean lemons!  You can tell because they have a 'Sour' look on their faces!"  Of course, I was worried about their ability to fight "'Cause you all look a bit yellow to me!" 

Clearly, what was really learned, was that I just shouldn't be put in charge of some tasks...


Saturday, March 5, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 208 (Cheeky Sex)

Day 208 (January 27th, 2011)
Title: Cheeky Sex

This is one of those photos that a LOT of possible stories/taglines could be said, so I'm just not going to say anything about this one.

But if I was going to say something, I would have been really bad involving a math joke about how "Sex" is a subset of "Cheeky" within the "Gettin' Drunk" population.  But, I wouldn't do that.  Because it would be bad and people would probably throw things at me.  But I do encourage you to think up even worse (or better, depending) stories for this shot!

Ps: And for some interesting context, all of these "Cheeky Sex n' Booze" was at the SFMoMA exhibit (How Wine Became Modern: Design + Wine 1976 to Now)


Photo 365 - Day 207 (Sparkle)

Day 207 (January 26th, 2011)
Title: Sparkle

Secrets of Scrapbooking: Sparkle!

The most dangerous of all embellishments - Sparkle!  Of course, by "dangerous", I mean is the one embellishment that you need to be careful of using, because overusing it can take away from the overall idea of your project instead of enhancing it.  A sparkle element can be used in just about any aspect of a project (you can add sparkle via ribbon, embellishments, glitter, gel inks with glitter, embossing powders, and so much more), but the real "trick" is to use just enough sparkle to enhance the theme of your project, and not look like a disco-ball (unless, of course, your theme is 'Disco Ball'). 

Sparkle elements remind me of a product they used to sell years ago called the "BeDazzler" - it was basically a stapler for rhinestones.  You could attached rhinestones to just about anything; fabric, shirts, pants, the wall, the cat, anything.  In the commercial for the BeDazzler, you would see these kids using it to add approximately 2.8 trillion rhinestones on to a pair of pants before wearing them outside and causing traffic accidents (okay, they didn't cause accidents - but the pants sure looked like an accident).  This is one of those examples, where a little sparkle would have gone a lone way.

In these project, a sparkly butterfly was attached to a birthday card.  The butterfly had glitter and two rhinestones on it to add a great sparkle element.  Even the metal antennae add a somewhat sparkly feel as well (although its more of a metallic element than a sparkly one). 

I hope you enjoyed this weeks "Secrets of Scrapbooking", and I'm sure I'll do some more scrap-focused weeks in the future! 


 Card by: Theresa A. of Our Results My Vary

Photo 365 - Day 206 (Ink and Stamps)

Day 206 (January 25th, 2011)
Title: Ink and Stamps

Secrets of Scrapbooking: Ink and Stamps!

Inks and Stamps are probably the most customizable element of your project.  While their might be 100's of different papers and 1000's of ribbons, how you draw, stamp and/or color something is limitless.  While you might use the same stamp as someone else, you can use a different ink, you can stamp it with different pressure (therefor having the line density be different), and you can colorize the picture.  All of these factors your control to customize it to your hearts content!  Included when defining "Ink", is of course, one of the most essential elements of any project - the words!  A "Thank You" card is a lot less thankful without those words! 

Just remember, the pen (and ink, and stamps) is your friend! 


 Card by: Theresa A. of Our Results My Vary

Friday, March 4, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 205 (Ribbon Bow)

Day 205 (January 24th, 2011)
Title: Ribbon Bow

Secrets of Scrapbooking: Ribbon, Part 2

Yesterday I showed an example of how ribbon can be used to add color, texture and shine to your project.  Today, I'm doing one more ribbon photo, to show how it can also add the element of depth.  In this example, a thin red ribbon has been used twice, first as a flat element (again, adding color, texture and shine) as well as a folded bow to add more depth to the project.  The bow (or any other 3D-shaped ribbon) adds even more shine than the flat ribbon, because it offers more surface area for light to reflect off it.

Who would have thought you could get so much impact out of just a small piece of ribbon!


 Card by: Theresa A. of Our Results My Vary

Photo 365 - Day 204 (Ribbon)

Day 204 (January 23rd, 2011)
Title: Ribbon

Secrets of Scrapbooking: Ribbon!

For today's secret of scrapbooking, we are looking at ribbon!  Ribbon is a very inexpensive embellishment (you can get a whole roll for around $1-3) that can be easily added to most projects with just a little glue.  It is very versatile, in that is can perform a lot of roles.  First, it adds a great slash of color and you can get ribbon in just about any color known.  Second, it adds texture to the project, you can get ribbon with many different textures, like silk, satin, cotton and more.  Third, ribbon can add more depth to the project, depending on how it is used (see tomorrow for an example ribbon used for depth).  Lastly, ribbon can add sparkle (or shine) to your project.  Many ribbons include metallic threads and other "ingredients" that add more sparkle and almost a "glitter-y" look. 

In this example, we see two ribbons stacked to add color, texture and a nice shine (there is a little depth added, but not too much) to this project.  Paper could have been used in a similar manner, but much of the unique texture and shine that the ribbon brings would have been lost. 


 Card by: Theresa A. of Our Results My Vary

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 203 (Grommet Flower)

Day 203 (January 22nd, 2011)
Title: Grommet Flower

Secrets of Scrapbooking: Grommets! 

Today's Secret of Scrapbooking is grommets!  Grommets are very similar to yesterday's secret, brads - but with some key differences.  First, a grommet is more permanent, whereas brads are removable.  A grommet is a small metal tube with one end rounded (or "curled") to be smooth and the other end left unaltered.  First, a hole is punched between one or more layers to be linked together and then the grommet is inserted into the hole of each item.  A special crimping tool is used (most notable, the Cropadile!) and the unaltered end is curled (squished) until it is rounded like the top - and in doing so the layers are permanently linked. 

As with the brads, the grommets add both a color and depth element, but at the same time they can be used as a junction for other embellishments, like ribbon, cloth, string, and brads! 

In this photo, we see that a grommet was used to connect two different flower cut-outs to a base of white cardstock (after holes were punched in them).  One thing to note is the bottom layer (not connected to the flowers), a page from a book, can be seen via the grommet holes. 


 Card by: Theresa A. of Our Results My Vary

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Photo 365 - Day 202 (Head Brad)

Day 202 (January 21st, 2011)
Title: Head Brad

Secret's of Scrapbooking: Brads!

Brads are small metal embellishments that are great for linking two (or more) layers together or adding a nice 3D (aka: depth) aspect to your work, or both!  Brads have two thin, pointed, metal shanks that are bent at 45 degree angles after inserting into the object(s), to secure them.  No glue or tape is required, the metal shanks are stiff enough to hold the objects together.  If the brad needs to be removed, you just "un-bend" the shanks and release the items.

There are a LOT of creative (and simple) brads out there, including (really): cocktail glasses, trout, sock monkeys, and of course, rhinestones, just to name a few.  

As soon in this photo, a simple yellow brad is used to enhance the flower in the woman's hair by giving it a color element and a depth element.


 Card by: Theresa A. of Our Results My Vary

Random Note: Back in my school days, these were called Fasteners and were used to hold paper projects together.