Monday, January 12, 2009
Here is an example of the final photo I created based on the initial photo. I cropped it and altered the colors to create a different appearance. To change the tones I use photoshop, specifically I go to images - adjustments - selective color. From there I just play until I find the right balance for a particular photo.
I had a friend recently ask how I achieved my self-portraits. I am not a very technical person when it comes to art and expression. It is always about feeling to me. I have an old Canon Rebel that I currently shoot with. The auto focus no longer works, so there is a great deal of trial and error to my photos.
(I just got the Nikon D90 and I will once again have auto focus... whoohooo!). I don't believe you have to have the best gear to get a good photo. The key to getting any good shot is trial and error. If I shoot 20 photos I may only find one that I love. When I first started taking self-portraits, I was limited. There was basically one couch in my living room that didn't have a distracting background. It also had a huge window with light behind it, which started my exploration with light and photography. I love back lit photos, which most people learn as a no-no, but it creates beautiful photos. You just have to avoid overexposing or underexposing the subject. I didn't have a tripod when I started instead I piled books on chairs. Either works good, but I must admit I love my tripod. The photos I tend to capture and appreciate are simple with emotion, light, and an older feel to them. I don't have any amazing way to explain how to take self-portraits. I recommend doing it over a period of time, so they become a personal exploration. Become a kid and play with simple things such as light, texture, and color. And keep it simple, too much in a photo is distracting. By the way, I do play in photoshop a little bit too. I change tones slightly to make my images more vintage. I'll post again with a before and after photoshop sample.
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
For those that don't know, I was in a five car pile up back in September. It was a pretty traumatic experience. I don't think I will ever bring myself to drive on 80 southbound, near Ashby Avenue, especially when the highway patrol tell me that these sorts of things happen all the time in that area. I walked away with whiplash and a totaled car. Ironically I spent the months before the occurrence complaining about driving and contemplated selling my car. The day following the accident, I pulled out my bike, which hadn't been peddled in over a year.
Riding to work, piece of cake. Four and a half miles downhill. Cold weather has made this a dread. Windproof gloves have become a necessity. It is not a good experience when your hands are so cold you can barley change the gears. The first two weeks of riding home, interesting. Yes four and a half miles uphill. To some of you probably no big deal. For me, big deal, at least until my body got used to it. Now when people say, "you ride all the way up there?" I think yeah, it's not so bad. I actually like it with the exception of rude drivers.
I walk somedays too. If I have the mornings off, I tend to walk to the local village and get a cup of coffee and walk back home before going for a run. Other days I walk to work. It slows me down and I wish that I could do this everyday. My preference has always been to be on my feet. I feel grounded that way.
In these last few months I've learned that it takes 13 minutes to get to work and 32-35 minutes to get home on a bike. I learned that I can walk the distance in an hour. I've learned that I can still be doula, cabs and public transport are quicker and I don't have to deal with parking. I've learned that I need to learn to fix a flat. I've learned it takes 15 minutes walking and 3 minutes riding go get a cup of coffee (yes, I am still addicted, but I am working on weaning off a bit...). Ok enough of what I learned. I enjoy getting around by bike and foot. It is changing perspectives, habits, and attitudes. Cars go too fast and before you know it your at work or grocery store or home. Biking and walking offers me transitional time where I don't just shut off from the world. I absorb it.
The only problem that I face without a car is getting to and from races. I've done the rental car thing, but the cost isn't working to my advantage. When a pilates client offered her 1990 Nissan Sentra with 82,000 miles, I checked it out. I fell in love with the manual everything. The doors that stuck. The no power steering, damn it really does work your arms. The cute little tape deck, which works. Looks like I am giving in and might have a car again. But, my goal is to still bike and walk to work and use the car for races and births. I don't think I'll rely on a car like I did. Using my body to get places makes me feel more connected and less stressed. I prefer this over sitting at red lights and watching the mph on a dashboard.
Friday, January 2, 2009
"I've heard it said within our deathly culture, the most revolutionary thing anyone can do is follow one's heart. I would add that once you've begun to do that--- to find your own heart--- the most revolutionary thing you can do is help others find their hearts, to find themselves."