Monday, March 21, 2005


I'm consistent. You can count on me to wake up fifteen minutes late. You can trust that I'll have a toasted wheat bagel with peanut butter for breakfast on every work day. You can lay a bet on the fact that my gas tank will never drop below 1/4 full. You can rely on my genuineness. You can recognize me by my constantly curly hair. I'm consistent, when it counts, but when it comes to photography, I'm not so. I thought for a time that I'd always shoot black and white. Then I thought I'd only shoot landscapes. When I got into color films, I swore I'd only shoot color. With cameras, you can count on me to be inconsistent. I shoot whatever suits my fancy now, but I still have my consistencies: I'll never shoot with a digital camera; I only shoot with Fuji films -- Acros and NPH are my favorites (they're very consistent!); I never shoot between during midday unless it's cloudy; I never go out without my Holga...

I like to be very structured. I don't like to be surprised. I make plans and try to avoid spontaneity because it'll throw off my day. I just like things how I like them. BUT, in order to prove my inconsistencies, here are a few different photos. Yeah, yeah, some are outside (something you can count on from me) but they aren't my typical outside shot. I think abstracts can be very interesting and I hope you think these are. Enjoy.

White and black on color


Frozen flats at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge

Winter water at Causey

In the garden at Wayfarer's Rest Hostel, San Juan Island.


Sunday, March 20, 2005

Hello? Good-bye.

Aaarrrggghhh! I have a bunch of new photos to post here but Hello has simply stopped working. Yeah, yeah.. they're trying to fix the problem and it'll be available in a couple of days, but that doesn't help me right now!! I am so irritated. Apparently Hello and Bloggerbot aren't communicating. Anyone else having this same problem? Hopefully the inventive folks over at Hello will get on the ball and get things working for all of us who depend on them.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Life is Sweet

I’ve heard that life is hard. I’ve learned that life isn’t fair. I’ve seen how life is short, but I’ve lately become familiar with a new one: Life doesn’t make sense. It just doesn’t. I spent a good portion of my summer last year trying to make sense of things and finally gave up out of sheer exhaustion. Life’s too short to dwell on the past, they say, but past-dwelling’s genetic. I got it from my mother. She used to be notorious for bringing up long-forgotten arguments and never letting go. She’s more mellow now and that’s something to look forward to, I guess. Anyway, for someone who notoriously analyzes and agonizes over every little detail, I was never really able to let go of the non-sense making issues of last summer, which inevitably prepared me for what happened next: I’ve come face-to-face with last summer. Contrary to popular belief, opportunity does knock twice. I can’t make sense of it and won’t try. After all, life’s too short, but, man is it sweet.

“The less I seek my source for some definitive, the closer I am to fine.” --Emily Saliers

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Sunshine and Seagulls

My brain has a mind of its own. It does what it wants, when it wants. It comes and goes at its own leisure. It stores names, numbers, songs, the Pythagorean Theorum from 8th grade Algebra, what I ate for breakfast the day I met my husband… It records millions of instances and files them away in some elaborate system for easy recollection, like when I encounter the slightest hint of the fragrant huckleberry. The Rolodex inside my head whirrs and instantly sends me into the sweetest remembrance of a summer’s worth of memories in Yellowstone. This phenomenon, I’d dare call it, occurs whenever a memory is triggered by one of the senses. You know what I’m talking about. You smell, hear or see something and instantly, your mind flashes and runs off on some wild tangent and is revisiting memories you hadn’t thought of in ages.

I came across a new trigger just this past week. It is March and Spring has decided to come early in Utah. Last week, it was 64 degrees. I was tempted to break out my Chacos and let my winter toes gleam in the sunshine. I was walking through the parking lot at work, smiling at the warmth and minding my own business when overhead, a seagull appeared and made its seagull noise and that was it: a thousand memories flooded into my mind of a person I can’t decide if I want to forget or not. I saw her the other day and wanted so badly to say hello. I drove the opposite direction instead, but have proceeded toward her in my mind since. I took photographs of her hands once and often wonder how the rest of her is doing. I don’t know if it’s from regret or unresolve that I miss her. I just know now that on warm sunshine and seagull days, I won't forget.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Don't Talk to Strangers

I am a hermit. I am, for the most part, anti-social. I like to keep to myself. I’ll smile as I pass someone in a hall at work or the aisles at a grocery store. I offer hellos or a “Nice day for a hike!” to those I pass on a trail. I guess my parents should be proud. They taught me not to talk to strangers when I was a kid and twenty-some-odd years later, I’m still adhering to their rule… only now, it‘s a detriment. I’ve so-conditioned myself to shy away from strangers that I can’t take photographs of them. Maybe it comes from a respect for privacy, but I just can’t imagine walking up to someone, camera in hand and asking to take a picture. I would hate it if someone did that to me. Compassion, perhaps? I would feel awful if I made someone uncomfortable in their own skin just because I wanted to take a picture for myself. I don’t know. Have any of you overcome this issue with shooting people? Maybe I should just try it and shut up about it.

On another but similar note, I'm insanely envious of those who can seemingly effortlessly make beautiful portraits. I'm not talking school yearbook or wedding photographers and definitely not Wal-Mart photo lab picture-takers. I specifically mean photographers like Cindy Sherman, Sally Mann, Mary Ellen Mark and hordes of others who make me wish for their skills. Perhaps though, I shouldn't limit my words and by extension, those of you who make such portraits. I'm talking Fine Art Portraiture where the subject is photographed in his or her environment and the resulting image evokes emotion. I’m talking portraiture not only of the physical features of a person, but of a soul. I’m thinking of many portraits I’ve seen that are just incredibly moving, inspiring, full of joy, void of life and hundreds of other verbs and adjectives. Someday, when I get over this Thing with people, I’ll make a Fine Art Portrait that even I’ll be happy with.

This is about as people-picture as I get: my husband in the distance along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail. This and the following two images were taken with Fuji Acros 100.

On a recent hike along the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, I remember standing below this ridgeline, resting and snacking on a stale strawberry fruit roll and really admiring these far-off trees. This area was very rocky and filled with brush but those little trees managed to take root and find enough moisture to keep growing here on this southwest-facing slope.
I really like this composition, again for its simplicity, but also for its various lines. Movement is very important in a photograph and it's tough to shoot simple compositions and manage to achieve movement at the same time. I think this image is a success in that respect.

For a time, I was a geology (or an, ahem! Environmental Geosciences) major and during that time, I could have told you what this type of rock was. If I had continued along that rocky course (no pun intended), I probably would have never picked up photography or my clunky junky funky Holga and I wouldn't be offering you this photograph. So, for all intents and purposes, let's call it granite. So here it is: Granite (even though it's not).

Old Faithful erupts! The Old Faithful webcam is my homepage so I can see my second home everytime I get online. This was a live image from this morning of the world's most predictable geyser spouting off. If you've never seen an eruption of Old Faithful, book your trip. It's pretty damn cool.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

I've only posted a handful of photos on this blog so far and each time I select a photo, I begin my dialog by writing about how each photo is a favorite. Well, this is no different. I guess maybe it's a given -- each photo here is a favorite because I don't even bother scanning an image unless it has that "favorite" potential. I normally don't even take the time to work with an image unless it calls out to me from the start, and for that matter, I normally don't even waste the film if I don't find what I see through the viewfinder particularly interesting. I'm not sure if that's good or bad, I just hate to waste film. I don't mind wasting money on shoes or time on the internet or calories on Dreyer's Dreamery Peanut Butter Chunk ice cream, but I hate wasting film on less than desirable compositions. I guess where I'm going with this is that it's just really nice to be doing this for myself now. No college instructors commanding 10 perfect prints by next week, no showing up when the lab opened so I could get the Bessy enlarger that I liked the best, no signing up for time slots on the 2000P that didn't band, no more wasting film just to fulfill an assignment... I can do what I want, when I want and I can do it in the comfort of my own home, my "favorite" place to work. That being said, this shot is a favorite for many reasons: the place, the day, the company.. it had all the workings of a favorite memory. It was taken at my dad's cabin just after a brief but strong summer thunderstorm. He and I sat up against the house in a comfy wooden porch swing and waited out the rain. My first SLR, my grandpa's Fujica AZ-1, sat ready and waiting in my right hand. I love the summer.

Another from the North Fork trail to Ben Lomond. This is a view from one of the many switchbacks along the first four miles of the trail. The sun was just up from behind the mountains on the other side of the valley. It was absolutely stunning.

Each year on the last Saturday in September, my husband and I carry on his birthday tradition by hiking to 9712' Ben Lomond Peak. There are a few ways to reach the summit but we tend to hike the trail beginning at North Fork. It's 7.6 miles each way and gains about 3500' in elevation. This image was taken on my first trip about three miles from the trailhead.