Thursday, December 15, 2005

Happy Holidays!

After days of sugared bliss, I finished my gingerbread masterpiece. As you can see, it isn't your standard gingerbread house. No, it is my pretzel hideaway in the frosted woods. The cabin itself is a sight to behold, if I do say so myself, but the picture is kind of crummy. I tore through two whole packs of Polaroid 89 in my Holgaroid before I had to settle with this one, shot #20. I rarely ever shoot inside with artificial light, so I really don't know what I'm doing, and just like I vowed last year, next year's Christmas card subject will be outside.

Wishing you all a warm and cozy holiday season...

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

When it rains...

One of my photos that will be on display at Universe City Jan. 6. Three Trees, Huntsville, Utah.

"When it rains, it pours" they say, and the last couple of weeks have been cats and dogs... in a good way. After months of across-the-ocean (and 3/4 of America) e-mails, important and not-so-important date gathering, image collecting, resizing, arguing with the printer, and a whole lotta prayin', the 2006 Toy Camera Calendar
is now available. Check it out. Buy a copy. Buy 10. Thanks to Damion Rice's and Ed Wenn's hard work, fabulous ideas, humor and good looks, the three of us were able to put this fun and frisky project together. Also, thanks to all you TC'ers who submitted photos and/or sayings for the calendar. We couldn't have done it without you!

Second, this weekend I'll be selling note cards and prints at the Annual Arts and Crafts Market at Albion Grill at Alta Ski Resort in Salt Lake City. The Grill is at the top of the road, last stop before you hit a wall o' snow. Take a drive up the canyon Sunday and come check it out. The sale runs from 12-4.

Third, I've been invited to join some local artists at a gallery here in Ogden called Universe City for its Basin and Range Exhibit, paying tribute to the Wasatch Mountains. I'll have several photographs on display beginning January 6 (my birthday!) and some writings too. I can't wait! Besides getting to show some of my work mere minutes from my home, I fully support the theory behind this exhibit. For years, Ogden's brainiac mayor, Matt Godfrey, has been pushing for a tram to run from downtown Ogden to the top of Mount Ogden, our majestic namesake peak, connecting the city to Snow Basin ski resort. He wants to run towers and cables up the front of our beautiful mountains, creating a fat eyesore, in hopes of bringing worldwide visitors to our city and mountains. It's Godfrey's big scheming dream to build a high adventure center in defunct downtown Ogden, and with the damn tram, he will connect that and the university and the ski resort and blah blah blah. It's just a corporate fiasco that residents of Ogden have been fighting against for over a decade. And don't even get me started on the high adventure shenanigan. Most of Ogden's inner city residents can't even afford to put food on the damn table, yet Godfrey says "all are welcome!" in his adventure mall, with its $70 an hour simulated sky diving room and $40 an hour climbing wall. Yeah. Great idea, Mayor. Oh, anyway... A-hem... The theory behind the Basin and Range exhibit is to hopefully convince more and more folks that the tram will destroy the beauty depicted in the works on display. Thanks to Caril Jennings at Universe City for the invite and the opportunity to show my work!

Fourth, ha! Just kidding. No more good news, other than Christmas is almost a week away and besides having to wrap, wrap, wrap, I'm ready to go. I love this season. Happy Holidays everyone!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Hip Hip Hooray!

I’ve been voted the big wiener of the World Toy Camera Day color photography contest!!! Thanks so much to Becky R for instigating this fabulous day of plastic celebration; Mike Barnes for his dedication and hard work behind the scenes, collecting entries, tallying votes and putting up with us; Randy at for his generous prize donations; and all of you wonderful folks who put in a vote for my shot. I made it with a modified Holga from Randy, on Fuji Superia 100 in Utah’s stark yet stellar West Desert, about fifty miles from Salt Lake City. Here it is, with no further adieu…

Friday, November 04, 2005


Seeing my beloved second home nestled under a fresh blanket of white makes my heart happy.
Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park. Check out the web cam and when you're done, start praying for snow.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Clickety Clack

I celebrated World Toy Camera Day on October 22 with my husband, two Holgas, a Polaroid 600, a Diana and my beloved Ansco Super Memar (not a toy, however). We took a picnic lunch out to Utah’s West Desert and snapped photos all day. Here are a few of my favorites, with more to come as soon as the toycamera WTCD gallery is up. Check there after November 6 for a huge collective gallery of images taken only on October 22, 2005 by members of

Sunset on the beach at Saltair, a mid-1900s destination resort. My grandparents used to ride the old Bamberger Railroad out to Saltair when they were in their early 20s, for swimming in the salty sea, dances, roller coaster rides and concerts. Saltair has had its share of problems since its heyday -- receding lake waters, floods, mysterious fires, changing ownership, etc and today, it houses only an occasional concert. Holga/Ilford XP2 Super

Looking northwest from Saltair at sunset. Holga/Fuji NHP 400

A handheld bulb exposure of an old railcar and a funky yellow scaffold at Saltair. Holga/Fuji NPH 400

Tracks in the salt crust near the Knolls exit on I-80. Holga/Fuji Superia 100

This image was taken the day after WTCD (…just finishing up the roll in my camera) of wetlands around Willard Bay in Northern Utah. The wetlands/marshlands are used for duck hunting and training your dogs to go after the ducks. It’s hillbilly heaven. Holga/Ilford XP2 Super.

Today, I’m listening to:

Radio from Hell on X96
Social Distortion Sex, Love and Rock ‘n’ Roll
Big Head Todd and the Monsters Midnight Radio (Live)

Monday, October 10, 2005

Bits and Pieces

Holga/Fuji NPH 400 Big Cottonwood Canyon

I think today I will start a new feature on my blog: what I’m listening to. My musical tastes are as far-ranging as a Virgin Megastore, so this should be entertaining. Today, I worked on the upcoming 2006 Toy Camera Calendar, made a new negative carrier for my scanner, played with a few of my images and watched Will & Grace. As I went about my day, this is what I heard:

Alison Krauss + Union Station New Favorite
Alison Krauss Now That I’ve Found You: A Collection
Indigenous Circle
Widespread Panic Ain’t Life Grand
Cowboy Junkies Lay It Down

What have you been listening to?

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


During my last college photo class, I worked on a short-lived project that included random thrift store finds and Utah's West Desert. I was listening to Pink Floyd at school one day when I decided to give their odd tableaus a try (of course, mine were of a much smaller scale and never lived up to anything nearly as interesting as any of their liner notes). At any rate, I found these boots for $6 and this shot was one of my favorites. More to come when I have nothing else to say..

Friday, September 30, 2005


The kind and generous and damn cool kids over at toycamera recently held a print auction with all proceeds going to benefit the victims of Hurricane Katrina. I threw this print in the mix and the winning bid was $150! Thank you to the winning bidder of my print: fujigirl. Check out her site for some great snowboarding shots! Thank you as well to all those who graciously bid on various prints and cameras, helping us raise $2087 for those desperately in need.

Jenny Lake, Grand Teton National Park

Friday, September 23, 2005

Guardsman Pass

I've been in a bit of a photographic rut lately and in order to inspire myself to bust out of it, I've been jotting down different ideas and things I've been wanting to try. Stitched panoramas are at the top of my list and this one is my first. I'm elated, to say the least. You have to know of my love affair with all things Autumn and then I'm just happy that I tried something new and unfamiliar. I tend to stick to routines and the same old same old, so it's a big deal for me when I do something out of my ordinary. At any rate, I was able to greet this wonderful season this past week with three cameras, a chilly rain storm and a good photo buddy. We took a drive up Big Cottonwood Canyon in Salt Lake City and over Guardsman Pass to Heber, Utah. Needless to say, it was absolutely gorgeous.

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Why is it that my mind can hold a million ideas, all zig-zagging and bouncing off one another, but I can’t put them in some form of conscious thought? It’s irritating. I must not be in the mood. Streaming straight from my head, some random thoughts:

we’re out of eggs
“get on the train, the train, the train… say goodbye”
this new jacket
raspberry margarita
change is constant
yesterday was crazy
buy David Gray tickets tomorrow
yesterday was fun
“summer’s beginning to give up her fight”
I wish I had a metal Slinky
go look at the pumpkins
hey baby
stitched panos
that box should be downstairs
I should watch Garden State again
I should water my garden
all things happen for a reason
embrace it
run with it
have fun with it
it’s good for me
it’s different
it’s a change
it won’t last
I wonder if he’s got a website
she refused to let common sense cloud her judgment
what a fine album
way too many rings
Frisbee-throwin’ skeleton
“sometimes I feel like an evolutionary reject”
turkey sandwich
don’t forget Scrabble on Thursday
pink feather boa
second-day air?
I just wish
I worry about her
it's been a year already

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


Back in February or March, I was told (commanded, really) to go up to the tiny town of Echo, Utah to take a picture of the Kozy Cafe (and I hope I spelled it right), with its billboard promising "Free coffee w/CDL." Yup, it's nothing less than an honest to goodness truck stop. A coworker of mine used to be a waitress there years ago but she still talks about the place like she just got off the night shift an hour ago.

Echo is an interesting little place, strong emphasis on little. It's miniscule. There's the Kozy, this vacant gas/service station and motel, a decrepit church, a few houses and a few more mobile homes. I never actually got a photo of the Kozy, and the only shot I made was this accidental double exposure. The place creeped me out and because I was clearly not "local" (I pulled up in a Subaru instead of a 4-wheeler and whipped out a camera), I wanted to get out of there fast. The gun racks I saw were fully equiped. At any rate, I got the roll devved way back at the first of the year, saw the double exposure, hated it and didn't give it a second thought... until now, and now I love it and thought I'd share it. I used my Holga and Fuji Acros 100.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Summer Recap

Where has the summer gone? Where I say?! It's been near non-stop fun and I've got millions of memories to prove it. Here are just a few shots from the warm months past. I hope your summer has been as enjoyable as mine. Each photo was made with my Holga on Fuji Superia 100, unless otherwise noted.

Mules Ear along White Pine Lake trail near Logan, Utah.

Leave No Trace? Just one incidence of carvings in an Aspen along White Pine Lake trail. It's such a shame.

Cecret Lake in Albion Basin, Little Cottonwood Canyon, so named for its secret location and for the fact that the miners who discovered it way back when couldn't spell. Seriously.

We encountered several patches of snow along the Cecret Lake trail, this one the largest at six feet deep, twelve feet wide and about sixty feet long. It was awesome!

“The hills are alive…” A field of Mules Ear along the Jardine Juniper trail near Logan, Utah. Diana/Fuji NPH 400

Saturday, August 13, 2005


One more door (or lack thereof) for good measure. This was taken just around the corner from the Barn Cat image in Huntsville, Utah.

Pentax ZX-7, Fuji Reala 100

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Miss Kelly

The first collaborative project in a long while over at showcases doors. Check it out. You can see a color Holga shot of mine (look for the title “Blacksmith”) and many other really great and interesting photos. The Diana/Fuji NPH 400 photos below were two that I took while on the door theme. Because hindsight is 20/20, I like these two much more than the one I actually submitted to the collaboration, but such is life. I like these two because they are much more characteristic to how I normally shoot. The Holga shot is a little too busy for my taste.

These two images are making me crazy for Fall and I can't figure out why. Autumn. I can’t get enough of it. I love the socks, fleece, flannel, oranges, reds and yellows, pumpkins, falling leaves, crisp night air… At the end of October each year, my friend Kelly comes to visit. She and I met while working in Yellowstone and have been pen pals ever since. The day we met, I had been out of the park for a long weekend and she had just arrived. I walked into the employee dining room and saw myself sitting at a table. With dark curls and glasses and on work days, in our pink pinstriped flight attendant-like front desk getup, we looked like twins. Guests used to ask if we were and we’d laugh and explain that we’d just met and that Kelly was from New York and I was from Utah. Even now, when an entire year spans between visits, we find that we’ve gotten our hair cut the same or bought new glasses with similar frames. I look forward so much to seeing Kelly again this year because our visits are always lovely and so full of all things Fall.

I hope this season has been just wonderful for you, Miss Kelly, but come soon because Rainbow is just not the same without you.


Who would have thought that a wide-angled Holga wouldn't be the best way to capture a distant moose on film? Oh well. Travis and I saw this big girl in Albion Basin in Little Cottonwood Canyon a few weeks ago after a hike. Behind her on the right, is the reddish peak of Mount Superior.
Holga/Fuji Superia 100

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Barn Cat

No wordy offering today... just a cat.
Diana and Fuji NPH 400

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Trash Talk

My husband's employer participates in the "Adopt a Highway" program and twice now I've joined the crew, donned a bright orange vest and gathered trash along Redwood Road in Salt Lake City. On both occasions, I've had the pleasure of picking up the thrown-out with a coworker of my husband’s who has an amusing penchant for dead animals. At the first trash pickup, she found a hooved something or other in a ditch and moments later, we all laughed as she stuffed a flat cat into a trash bag. This last time, I was lucky enough to hold the bag open for her latest find: a squashed, slightly un-striped skunk.

Aside from her apparent morbidity and twisted sense of humor, she’s so very kind and downright comfortable to be around. In the short time that I’ve known her, I’ve fallen in love, so here’s to trash, the Log Flume, Hari Krishnas, air conditioning and a new friend. Thanks, Ms. M.

Polaroid found along Redwood Road

Sunday, July 17, 2005

North Shore

Most people spend the Fourth of July weekend doing quintessentially American things: parades, carnivals, bbq's, ooh-ing and ahh-ing at the local fireworks, running from a lit fuse on fountains, tanks and flowers in your driveway... You know. You have your own special Fourth of July tradition.

A few years ago, Travis and I started our own holiday tradition: leaving town. For the last two years, we'd gone backpacking. This year, we drove up to McCall, Idaho on the shores of Payette Lake. With a charming but small downtown and some kick-ass Mexican food, McCall is a great little place. And oh, the lake, with it's white sandy beaches and pines right down to the water... it was beautiful! The choppy blue waters of the lake entertained those hungry for speed and power, while the North Shore -- or the wide, meandering and glassy North Fork of the Payette River -- kept kayakers and canoers extremely happy. We paddled for almost four hours up and down and all around the river's bends. It was an excellent weekend and a superb way to spend the America's birthday. I highly recommend the place.

Here are two kayaking shots both made with my Holga and Fuji NPH 400. I should have used a slower film but the 400 was already loaded (well, that and I ran out of 100).

Thursday, July 07, 2005


For a time last year, my darling, almost three year old niece Kacie was absolutely enamoured with butterflies and each time she'd see one, she'd squeal with delight, point and exclaim "Butta-fwy!" Today, each time I see one, I smile and think of her sweet face.

Holga/Polaroid back, Polaroid 89, close-up filters

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

I'll get it... someday

Polaroid image transfers are like night and day. Sometimes I can make a really great one with little lift off and true-to-life colors. Other times, they absolutely look foul. Here is a collection of a few I've done recently, with this first one being the best transfer I've made thus far. The other three are just filler for this post. You be the judge.

My main issue with making transfers in the field is the inability to maintain optimum film temperature and subsequently, the right developing time. You see kids, in the summer in Utah, it's hot. Zion was hit and miss. The Pa'rus Trail transfer below was made on Polaroid 89 film five minutes out of the cooler. Some that I posted earlier were made on 88 film that I carried around in my backpack for four and five hours in 95 degrees. The film was a wet, stinky, dripping mess. Since then, I've acquired a small sandwich cooler that holds one package of film nicely, but when the blue ice melts, that's it. I see why so many books and articles I've read promote Daylabs rather than field transfers. Plus, all those same books and articles suggest mastering wet transfers before moving onto dry, and well, I skipped the wet part altogether. I guess the moral of this pointless story is that as long as I know the limitations of the film and my checking account, I can just have fun and hope for a winner. All the images below were made on Holgaroid/Polaroid 89.

Along the Pa'rus Trail in Zion

Brandon (and my obtrusive shadow)

Adirondack rocker

Dad's garden

Thursday, June 23, 2005

More Yellowstone through the Holga

Here are a some photos of what makes Yellowstone famous: thermal features! Yay! It's the geologist in me that absolutely loves these things. They are amazingly interesting and so very beautiful, in a lunar sort of way. All were taken with my Holga on very cold/rainy days in May on Fuji Acros 100. More to come.

A view of Lower Geyser Basin, home to Fountain Paint Pot, Great Fountain, White Dome, Clepsydra and Morning Geysers, and a bunch of springs and pools.

A view of Upper Geyser Basin, home to Old Faithful, Beehive, Grand and Giant Geysers, and many others.

Castle Geyser in Upper Geyser Basin is one of my favorites, with its 12x20 foot sinter cone and predictable eruptions with both water and steam phases. When I worked in the park, I'd pass Castle everyday on my way to work in the Inn. It always put a grin on my face.

Sawmill Geyser, Upper Geyser Basin

Angel Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs

Excelsior Geyser was once the largest geyser in the world until the massive eruptions (during the 1880s, heights reached 300 feet) damaged the thermal feature's plumbing. Excelsior now is a huge spring that discharges about 4000 gallons of water per minute. This photo shows the crater's sinter rim, which is about 15 feet above the water level. The boardwalk for visitors appears in the upper right corner.

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


Living in Yellowstone for a season gave me a heightened awareness of tourists and their quirks, questions, and anything but quiet. They arrived in throngs with an incessant need for bear soap, huckleberry products and anything proclaiming a visit to the grand old park. They stepped off crowded cross-country busses, road-weary motor homes and overpacked sport utilities, looking for bathrooms, burgers and bars. Employees within the park call them (perhaps affectionately, because without them, none of us would be there) "tourons." I became one again last month.

Before hitting the road, I decided to try conquering my great fear of -- 1. talking to people and 2. shooting people -- and I decided that Yellowstone would be a good place to give it a whirl because if I made a fool of myself, I'd never have to see any of these people again. I loaded my Diana with NPH 400 and armed myself with a notepad and pen and then did the most respectable thing any shy photographer would do: I asked my husband to approach people, break the ice and then get out of the way so I could take a picture. After about the third photo-op, I got more comfortable and asked a few couples myself. Everyone I asked obliged, and some even shared their stories. It was amazing to me how people would just open up to a complete stranger. I think it had a little to do with the simple blue and black toy in my hand, rather than some fancy spectacle of a camera, and a lot to do with Yellowstone. I've said it before and I'll say it again, it's a magical place. Life is different there.

Two of these images are my favorites for the simple fact that they have accompanying narratives. This first photo of Mel and Marlene is very important to me and I'm pretty sure I'll remember this couple for a very long time. We met at the lower observation deck of Steamboat Geyser in the Back Basin at Norris. They said that they'd been on the road for a couple of months (all the way from Pennsylvania) and in another couple of months, their trip would be complete when they reached Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. Mel said he'd just retired from a lifelong career as a commercial pilot, a job he absolutely adored and missed tremendously. He told us about the various companies he'd worked for, the people, the travel, and then told us a little about their trip. He finished his story with a heartfelt smile, a wink and a moral as he walked down the boardwalk: "You kids find jobs you love."

The second image I like is of Jon and Paul, who we met at Artist Point at Canyon. You can see the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River between them in the shot. These two said they'd gone to elementary school together in New York and had been buddies ever since. Like Mel and Marlene, Jon and Paul were on a cross-country road trip, seeing America. They were eager to talk and so friendly and interested in my work. I promised to send Jon a link when I posted the photos. I hope you guys had a great trip!

I think I'd like to continue this project someday, still in Yellowstone, because the park attracts so many different people. I thought about doing a little in Zion a couple weeks ago, but I never saw anyone who looked as approachable as these people. Maybe I'm just partial to Yellowstone, being the not-quite-"touron" that I am.

Mel and Marlene, PA

Sandy and Gary, CA

Ray and Judy, SC

Jon and Paul, NY

Jessi and Justin, MT

Ray and Joann, ME

Sharon and Don, IL

Friday, June 03, 2005

Zion, part 2

Zion is an amazing place. I think I've been there a dozen times now and each time I go, I'm overwhelmed by the immensity and beauty of the place. I can't tell you how many times I've either walked into a bush or tripped over a rock because I was too busy staring at the scenery to pay any attention to where I was going. Zion is endlessly bursting with colors -- reds, whites and blacks on the sheer canyon walls standing guard over the river and life below; greens, yellows and reds of the vivid vegetation tucked in here and there and everywhere that water flows; the deepest blue and hottest white of the desert sky. It's heart-stoppingly gorgeous. If you have a Life List, make sure Zion is on it.

Here are a few Holga/Fuji Superia 100 photos... many more to come. Enjoy!

The Watchman

Kolob Canyons

Angel's Landing and the Virgin River

Cactus with West Temple, Sundial and the Altar of Sacrifice in the background