Monday, January 31, 2011




















Over at Words to Shoot By today, I posted a beautiful collection of images from 30 photographers around the world: 14 of us are regular contributors, myself included, and the remaining 16 are just a small sampling of those who entered Words' second-ever open call for entries. It was an absolute pleasure to review and choose photos from these wonderful people, and I can't wait for our third open call in April.

Upon looking at the lovely group of triptychs over on Words, I realized I probably haven't posted many of my own entries here, so above are my favorites over the past couple years. This has been such a fun yet challenging project to be a part of, and to curate. I hope you've enjoyed it as much as I have. I can't wait to see where the project goes in the next couple years.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Leave Town

When our favorite bands announce tours and leave Salt Lake City off the list, we have no choice but to leave town. A lot. This time we took a quick flight up to our favorite little city, Boise, Idaho. We flew up last Saturday afternoon and walked over to TableRock Brewery for dinner with some friends, good food, and really good beer. I've recently discovered how much I love a nut brown ale and they brew one that's really tasty. After dinner, we walked a couple blocks to the Knitting Factory (a great venue) to see Grace Potter & the Nocturnals. It was our sixth GPN show and it was awesome. We've been fans since we saw them open for Big Head Todd & the Monsters at Red Rocks in 2006. I bought their CD at the show and Grace signed it. Since then, we've seen them at the legendary Fillmore in San Francisco and at the Targhee Festival in Driggs, Idaho, and twice in Utah, although it's been a few years.

We spent less than 24 hours in Boise, but it was so fun and very comfortable. I don't even need a map to get around any more! It was my fourth trip in seven months, but the first that wasn't for work, which was nice. We had breakfast at the local bagel shop downtown, then walked around so I could waste some film before we had to be back to the airport. When we turned in our rental car, we didn't even have to put gas in it! Hopefully another of our favorite bands will announce a Boise stop soon because we're already wishing for another trip back.

Yarn Bomb

Yarn bombing has come to Salt Lake City on a very as-yet small scale thanks to the Outdoor Retailer show, Ibex, Blazing Needles, and of course, local knitters. Compared to other amazing feats of yarn bombing, these are really, really tame but it's a start. A week or so ago when I was making a few last stockinette stitches on my first hat, Cynthia at Blazing Needles was gathering up knitted pieces to hand over to Ibex and asked if I'd go shoot some photos of the finished products, so I did. I think the whole knitting community was expecting a lot more, something much more showy and not so hidden, but Ibex was running a contest for attendees of the Outdoor Retailer show so this is what they did. Despite it being pretty lame compared to what I had in my mind, it was still cool to see and I enjoyed the nice photo walk.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Big Places

Back in mid-November, I had to make one last trip into the field for the Forest Service, back down to southern Utah. It was fitting to end the season in Pine Valley Recreation Area on the Dixie National Forest since that was my first overnighter this season, and now the last. Pine Valley is such a pretty little place, quiet, quaint, almost like the place that time forgot. It seems that way to me anyway. We made a long weekend of the trip and headed to Zion National Park for a couple days where we hiked, rode the shuttle bus, and ate a lot of pumpkin pie.

It wasn't until this past week that I finally posted the last of my trip photos on Flickr, but it was then that I realized how I photograph my husband, and how I have been all these years... from a distance and in big, big places. In the west, it's easy to photograph big places because that's what it is here. Big. I used to think it was a bad thing to photograph him this way, that I should be shooting more portrait-like, up-close photos, but I think these are portraits. They are who he is. He loves being active and being outside in these places. He loves his hiking shoes, his hats and beanies, his backpack, his snowshoes, his kayak, and I think he'll love seeing all these photos together.

I never set out to create a series of photos like this, it was completely unconscious, and now I hope to promptly forget that I noticed a theme so I can continue photographing him this way. I'm sure I will though because it's not like he's going to start smiling for the camera any time soon. I think he'd be perfectly fine if I never turned a lens on him again. But I will over and over again if I can catch him in quiet moments like these.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My First Hat

I might have to change the name of my blog to PhotoKnitSteph because I think it's going to be inundated with photos of knitted things. Just wait. This photo of a knitted thing makes me very, very happy. I took the "My First Hat" class at fabulous Blazing Needles and finished up last night. I intended on making the hat for my husband since he called first dibs, but I'm not sure what I did that made it so bucket-like and girlie. Needless to say, I very proudly took ownership of it and have to make him his own now.

It was surprising to me how quickly the hat came together, and ultimately how easy it was. The double-pointed needles, as they sat in their package, completely intimidated me but it turns out they weren't scary at all, just a little awkward to work with at first. To be honest, the circular needle freaked me out at first too, but it was very easy to use. And I might as well admit that knitting in general freaked me out when I first started. I'm still quite nervous that I'll make a mistake and not know how to fix it and have to drive all the way to Blazing Needles to have someone help me, but that's a bridge I'll cross if/when it happens. So far so good! Tomorrow I'll be heading back to the shop though because it seems that I left my circular needle on the table last night when I left class, and I need yarn for my husband's beanie. I also have my eye on some pretty turquoise Cascade 220. Like I need more yarn. What I do need though is a yarn keeper, a bin, a bag, a tote. Something cool to keep it all in. I'll be on the lookout.

Well, I'm off to admire my new hat in the mirror again. Yeah, I've been wearing it all morning.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Selfie w/Scarf

Well, here it is, my beautiful new scarf. I finished it Saturday night and wore it - in awe - for a few minutes before heading to bed. I'm so proud of it, and so proud of myself for sticking with it. I've worn it every day since and when I hang it over my closet door when I get home, I can't help but stand and admire it for a minute or two. I can't get over how pretty it is, and looking at it and wearing it makes me so anxious to get started on a new project. Tomorrow is "My First Hat" night, so I'll have a project soon enough. Wish me luck!

PS: I think I might actually be better at knitting than at taking self-portraits. I thought I had a lot more of me in the frame. Oh well. If I were shooting digitally, I would have tried again, but the amount of Polaroid film in the fridge scares me enough to use it sparingly.

Thursday, January 06, 2011



I'm 33 today! I always thought 33 would feel different, and 30-32 for that matter, but the truth is that I still feel like I'm 18 some days, 12 other days, 5 on days like Christmas, and on a few rare occasions, I feel like I'm 80. (Hence the heating pad I finally broke down and bought a few weeks ago, but I just pretend it's so I can keep warm on cold days.) It's become tradition to make a birthday list a la Awesome Andrea Jenkins (I'm pretty sure that's her full legal name). I still have some unfinished things from my 31st and 32nd years, but I can always work on those this year too. I'm excited about this year's list because it's going to keep me active. I want this year to be a healthy year, one with lots of creativity, eating well, hiking, kayaking, and traveling and I can't wait to get started. Wish me luck!

1. Say yes. Grad school was a very big yes.
2. Ride the Xtreme zip line.
3. Refrain from buying plastic-bottled water. I think I purchased less than 10 bottles all year and I'm keeping it up!
4. Celebrate 10 years of wedded bliss. Thanks, Yosemite!
5. Listen to a little mountain music at Targhee.
6. Send some postcards.
7. Take a class, any class. Thanks Blazing Needles!
8. Turn off the computer two nights a week.
9. Use my passport.
10. Make a 2012 calendar.
11. Post here at least once a week.
12. Run some IR through my Holga.
13. Shoot some redscale film. Doubles with Vanessa!
14. Walk on a beach with my husband. Thanks, Tahoe!
15. Skip rocks.
16. Explore a new city. Austin!
17. Watch a movie outside. Wind
18. Read five books. (Settled in the Wild, Lost in My Own Backyard, The Sylvan Path; Fire Season; Black Sun)
19. Remodel the kitchen. DONE!!
20. Organize my recipes.
21. Knit a beanie. My first hat!
22. Run a 5K. - I biked 39 miles in one day. Does that count?
23. Swim.
24. Kayak.
25. Bag a peak.
26. Camp. (11 nights so far: 6 in a tent, 2 in a yurt, 3 in a tent cabin in Yosemite)
27. Stargaze.
28. Sway in a hammock.
29. Rock out at 10 concerts.
30. Make some Christmas gifts. Thanks Blurb!
31. Revamp the office.
32. Get some shelves for my cameras and display them.
33. Make a conscious effort to put only one space between sentences. Old habits die hard. (Much easier than I thought!)

Wednesday, January 05, 2011





Hey! That's me! I am finally so happy and proud to say that I am a knit-knit-knitter. After an expensive Saturday at confusing knitting school five years ago, a loooong period of not knitting, a free Saturday morning knitting class in Fall '09, and another year of not knitting, I finally committed myself to it. I bought one skein of cheap, confidence-building, pretty, grass green Wool-Ease Thick & Quick yarn at the craft store down the street and it was indeed "thick and quick". I finished my first scarf in a weekend (the second Polaroid up there), knitted up a skinny cranberry-colored garland for our tiny Christmas tree the next week, and began knitting a new scarf with some beautiful Noro yarn I bought at knitting school five years ago. I've been so busy with the holidays and work but I've managed to get a little past half done. I hope to finish it up this weekend.

I stopped by Blazing Needles today on my way home from work and got an extremely warm welcome. It's the place I re-learned how to knit in 2009 and participated in a really great local artist show/sale that same November. I'd been by the shop several times early last year but always only for photography reasons. Today, however, I went for yarn and it felt awesome! I came home with two beautiful balls of Araucania Milodon yarn, one a mixture of beautiful blues, oranges, purples and creams, the other browns, greens, and oranges. And let me tell you how excited I am to get started! I've got to finish my Noro scarf first though.

While my hanks were getting wound into ball forms, I asked about hat classes and I am in luck! The charcoal gray yarn speckled with tiny splashes of bold color in the third photo - also from knitting school five years ago - is going back to Blazing Needles with me next week for a "My First Hat" class. I'm really looking forward to it, but I have to practice my purl stitches before I go. My husband might just dance a jig when he finds out I'm going to make him a hat. I can't wait. After that, I have to learn how to make a coffee/tea cozy, and after that, someday I'll learn to cable-knit!

I find it funny that I'm suddenly so into knitting. My mom was a crocheter for a long as I could remember, and we used to poke fun because we thought it was a grandma hobby. She turned out hundreds of baby blankets for everyone she knew, and thick throws to cuddle up in on the couch. She thinks it's pretty cool that I'm knitting now and hasn't let me forget that we used to make fun of her for it. I'm trying to get over the self-imposed nerdy stigma, but for now, I'm just really impressed with my very beginner abilities. Stay tuned. I think 2011 is going to be a yarny year!