Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Rich Texture of Monastic Life

It's Texture Tuesday once again!  This time, the challenge is to use Kim Klassen's "serendipity" texture in one layer of the photograph.  
We are also on the heels of Worldwide Pinhole Day, and this is one image I made on that day, which happened to be Easter.  My family had a quiet contemplative time walking the grounds of Holy Trinity Monastery in St. David Arizona.  


Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter under the Arbor- Holy Trinity Monastery, St. David, Arizona, USA

homemade "picassocam" pinhole camera, paper negative, 45-second exposure, developed in homemade Caffenol CM

There is a beautiful arbor-archway of climbing white Lady Banks roses at the monastery, which lines up with a walkway to Mary's Garden and chapel behind. My family and I visited the monastery yesterday afternoon, after our egg hunt and big dinner.

I almost submitted this image for WWPD, but chose this image instead.

Happy World Wide Pinhole Day!!!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Symbols in the Shadows- Holy Trinity Monastery, St. David, Az, USA

homemade "Picassocam" pinhole camera, paper negative, 45-second exposure, developed in homemade coffee developer (Caffenol CM)

This is my submission for Worldwide Pinhole Day, 2011. (Happy Pinhole Day, Friends!!)

Since WWPD fell on Easter this year, I thought it would be nice to photograph at the monastery. It was a good choice- hardly any visitors were there, and my family had a nice quiet contemplative time.

This is the bridge that crosses the pond in the meditation garden. The bridge contains early Christian symbols in the ironwork, (according to the plaque beside the bridge) and I was drawn to the shadows they made.

image made: April 24, 2011

Friday, April 22, 2011

homemade book, part 7: the "book-end" pages

Every book needs a beginning and and ending, yes?  I just finished making the first and last pages of the book in Photoshop this morning- the introduction page, and the colophon.

This is the introduction of the project above.  The very pretty flowery bullet is from a vintage border offered by Karen, from her incredible blog called, The Graphics Fairy. Karen is a collector of all things vintage (and thus, old enough to be in public domain) and she offers all kinds of graphics (for free!) for crafting and design projects.  I too, love vintage things, and am honored to have a little bit of history in this book.  Thank you, Karen!

This the colophon page at the end, where I explain how the book was made, list the materials I used, and tell a little about the photographs.

Now comes the daunting part of the project...making the book!  Now it's time to take out the papers and board and adhesives and cutters.  I can't wait, yet hope my hands are as up to this as my heart is.

As Ms. Frizzle from the Magic School Bus says, "It's time to take chances, make mistakes, and get messy!"  And, as Jean-Luc Picard, captain of the Enterprise D says, "Make it so!"

Please stay tuned.  (-:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Coming out of Warp Speed- Adrift on Parker Canyon Lake, Arizona

"picassocam" pinhole camera, paper negative, 30-second exposure, camera on tripod inside the boat as we drifted and spun in the canoe, developed in Caffenol CM, (homemade coffee developer) colorized in Photoshop.

The trusty "Guppie" (our inflatable canoe) provided more fodder for photographic adventures a few weeks ago! Daughter and I drifted along with the wind, while picassocam, perched high above our heads on a tripod between us, recorded the 30-second trip. I asked Daughter to be still, so we might get a clear image of her and the boat, and a blur of the surroundings. She was still alright- in fact, she was falling asleep! Ahh, the comfortable lull of a boat on a warm sunny day! (-:

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A Sign Of The Times-cheap gasoline?????

paint can pinhole camera, paper negative, 25-second exposure, developed in Caffenol CM (homemade coffee developer) scanned, post-processed in Photoshop.

I couldn't resist burning this scene into posterity today. This used car lot is trying to take advantage of the looming summertime gasoline prices to try to sell now! Well, I suppose it makes sense, if you twist reality around a bit!

For the record, today gas is going for $3.69/gallon here.

It was extremely windy, and the camera was shaking all over on the tripod, even while secured down with rubber bands. D_Stewart- I really need to make myself a tripod bean bag!!! (-:

The texture of all things Spring....

I'm joining Kim Klassen's texture-loving party today, and celebrating the season.  Can you believe that Easter has finally come??  Here in the southwest, it feels like it's Easter in Summertime.

I  hope that wherever you live, that Springtime is finally in the air in some way!

Kim's texture challenge today is to use her two textures, "Sweet Treat" and "Silence" in an image.  Here they are, paired with some flamingo friends...

and again with some egg-friends.  (-:  Here are some eggs we have decorated this season.  We have been making the Ukrainian-style psyanky eggs this week.  If you would like to see the transformation of this egg through the decoration process, go here, to my general life and living blog.  (-:


Come play at Texture Tuesday!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

homemade book, part 6

This is a digital mock-up of the front book cover, put together in Photoshop.  Isn't it wonderful that we can make pictures like this digitally?  It sure helped me to make design changes, and see what the final result could be, before I ever print anything out.  The binding technique I want to use is called a tortoise shell stab binding, and you can look at how it is made  here.

I plan to have the title and photo inset into the cover, so I will have to make window holes in the book board, and have a thin backer board behind to sandwich the text and photo in place.  These two boards will be glued and covered together into one piece.

I am currently making Photoshop printing files for a few more book pages , including the dedication page below:

...and also a title page, and a colophon page (listing the materials and process of the bookmaking) to be put at the end of the book.

After making the title page and colophon, I should be ready to start making the book covers....thank you for following along wiht me!  Please stay tuned...

Attention Photographers! Worldwide Pinhole Day is coming up!

It's that time of year again- Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day!  Make a camera (you can learn how to make one from an oatmeal box here.)  Have fun with the crafty process, take some pictures next Sunday, and share one with the world!

At the WWPD website, you can find a workshop for camera-making that coordinates with Pinhole Day.  You can view the galleries of years past, where the world was pinholed all on the same day by thousands of photographers.  Also, you can find out all the information you need for posting one of your pinhole photos to the 2011 gallery.

Though pinhole is my current photographic passion, I can say from a neutral perspective that it the process really exercises one's photography skills, both technically and compositionally.  (is that a word?)  Don't want to make a camera?  Don't want to bother with a film process?  DO you have access to a DSLR? (a digital camera with removable lens) Make a pinhole body cap for your digital camera, and participate that way!  See the video below to find out how:

Please join us!!!

Friday, April 15, 2011

homemade book, part 5


Here are the materials the book will be made from:

*the black material is illustration board, to be used as the hard covers

*the white material is linen coverstock, 65 pound weight, for the inside pages

*the brown material is textured cardstock, to be the surface covering of the book

*the photo is the image I have chosen for the front cover

*the fabric is the cloth binding of the book, which will cover the spine and part of the covers

*the cotton string is what I will use to bind the whole book together

I wanted the colors to be subdued somewhat.  I can say that I want it that way, so the photography can be the main emphasis of the book.  Really though, it's mainly because I don't want the book to look frilly or "girly"- since I am giving it to a man, after all.  (-:

I found these materials locally, so I could look at them and feel/see their textures in person.  I did purchase the illustration board online, since I could not find it in my little community.  Therefore, my choices were greatly narrowed down simply by using what I have available to me.  That is a good thing, especially since I am a beginner in making books, so I don't labor over the choices too much.  I'm sure I'll learn as I go!

Thank you for accompanying me on this crafty adventure!  Next time: designing the cut-outs for the cover, and designing the opening pages....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

homemade book, part 4

I've ordered illustration board for the hard covers via Hobby Lobby online.  In the meantime, I'm spending time in Photoshopland creating the print-ready files for the book pages. 

I've made all the images the correct dimensions and resolution for printing, and am dropping them into the layout template.   Here is what one of the print-ready files looks like. (above)  The top rectangle is where holes will be punched, and the book will be bound. 

What's next: I will look for papers for the book pages and covers.


A Texture Tuesday with Textiles

1953 Brownie Hawkeye Camera, several second exposure, processed in homemade coffee developer, post-processed in Photoshop, including adding Kim Klassen's "silence" texture.  Thanks, Kim!


Come play with texture in your photos every Tuesday with Kim Klassen's "Texture Tuesdays" !  Use a freely-distributed texture from Kim, and link your photograph here.  Check out the links of other photographers,  and what they have done with texture, too!

The spinning wheel and loom behind it are on display at the historic Tubac Presidio in southern Arizona.  Tubac has been home to different communities over human history, including native tribes, Spanish explorers and missionaries, and colonists.  It was established as a military presidio in the 1700s, and is the site of Arizona's first newspaper, The Weekly Arizonian.

The Tubac Presidio has been under the management of the Arizona State Parks system for many years, but fell victim to state spending cuts to the parks, and is now being run by citizen groups in the Tubac area. 

This image is part of my ongoing Arizona State Parks project, where I am photographing as many of the parks as possible with my 1953 Brownie Hawkeye cameras.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

handmade book, part 3

Well, I sat down with a piece of 8.5x11-inch paper, and worked out my dimensions for the book.  Then I made a template for the photo pages in Photoshop.

I decided to base the book size and design off an 8.5x11-inch size, since most papers available locally (where I can pick them up and see and feel them) are most commonly available in that size.  My printer is well-suited to that size, also.

All parts of each page will be printed from one sheet of paper, and then trimmed down to size.  The top part of the page is the portion that will be bound under the spine.  Then there is a 1-cm "gap" or blank space for the pages to bend easily when the book is opened.  Then the lower part of the page is where the photo will go.

I made this template in Photoshop, sized  to the print-ready dimensions of the book:

I'll put the photograph inside this template, below the "gap" as shown below:

When the photo is on this template, I'll print it, and trim the paper to the correct size. When all 26 photo pages are printed and trimmed, I'll stack them, ready to be sandwiched between the hard covers, once they are made.   When the book-sandwich is assembled, I'll clamp it in place, and drill the holes for the binding through the covers and pages all at once.  Then, while still clamped, I'll lace the binding twine through the holes.  Phew!

That is the plan, at least.  Stay tuned to see how it actually goes, learning little tidbits all the way, I'm sure!

Just some dimension info here- the overall book size will be 7.125 inches wide, and 11 inches tall.  The spine will be 3 cm wide, and there will be a 1 cm gap between the spine and the front cover.  Yes, I know, I am mixing metric with English measurements.  I'm very scattered that way- using whatever standard best fits the space.  Thank goodness Photoshop uses both standards interchangeably!

The photo pages will be slightly smaller than the book covers, so that the covers will completely cover and protect the pages inside.  I made the length and width measurements of the photo pages a half-centimeter smaller than the covers, talkng care that the allotments for the spine and gap space still match up with the spine and covers.

I guess next I'll start putting the images into the template, and decide if any edge treatment should be done.  Please stay tuned!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

handmade book, part 2

I made a practice mock-up book today from an empty pasta box, copy paper, and masking tape.  It doesn't look like much, does it?  Even so,  it helped me understand how to make the book, and do a practice run!

I used 2 different bookbinding books to construct this practice book:

One is called, Making Books By Hand, A Step-by-Step Guide by McCarthy and Manna.   This helped me make a "tied-binding album".   This is a Chinese and Japanese book-making style, which uses a very flexible spine design and an exterior stitching/binding .  I picked this design, because the book can be opened nearly flat for viewing the pages, and the exterior binding really gives the book a handmade look.  Also, I think the subject of this book-  this particular magnolia tree- originates from China, so there is a geographical/historical connection as well.

The other bookmaking book I used today is called, Cover To Cover: Creative Techniques For Making Beautiful Books, Journals & Albums, by Shereen LaPlantz.  This book goes into more detail about the stab binding technique used in making these books, and offers different lacing patterns in creating the binding.   I'm still trying to wrap my head around the basic technique, but maybe I'll use a different binding style when it comes to making the real book.

Now I need to decide how big I want the book to be, and what papers and materials I want to use.  I think one practical consideration would be picking a paper size that I can print in my own printer, unless I have the project printed elsewhere.  I think I shall want a bright white paper to print the photographs on, and a heaver weight as well.  I'll want a heavier textured paper for the covers.  I am leaning towards a using simple twine for the binding thread.  I think I want the book to be hardcover.  I've used foam core for book boards in the past, but I think it is too thick for what I want in this project.

This is almost like picking colors for a wedding, or designing a room in a house!  Oh the possibilities!

handmade book

One of my current photographic aspirations is to learn how to print out my work and share it with others.  I want to get my images on paper, and present them in a creative, crafty, handmade way that folks might enjoy them. 

The stars are aligning for a certain project of mine to become a handmade book!  I love books.  Daughter and I became fascinated with how they are made last summer, and we learned how to make our own.

So this project will be made into a handmade book.  It even has a recipient in mind- a friend/colleague  who holds personal significance to the subject matter.  There is even an occasion to give this person this book, as an expression of my gratitude and well-wishes.  (I must be vague to keep it a secret, you see)

I cleared some space in my head this morning, by lounging in the papasan, and gazing out the window, coffee in hand.  Now I have a plan on how it will be constructed.  More on that later.

Above, there is a photo of all the thumbnails of images I have selected for this book.  Below is a short video featuring some of them, as a representation of this photographic project, called Seasons of the Bloom.

Now it's off to the library to find that bookbinding book that teaches the binding technique I am looking for..... (-:

Friday, April 8, 2011

A wild day for wildflowers

These pretty little things are clumped together by the side of the road where I live.  They are strong flowers- managing a beautiful bloom in spite of the very dry winter we've had.  They grow out of the hard gravely ground to show their pretty faces....

and then get whipped around in today's wild wind!

I admire their persistence.  I thank them for being here, to liven up the brown springtime landscape.  I sing their story.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Faraway Ranch #6 (revisited with color) Chiracahua National Monument, Arizona, USA

homemade paint can pinhole camera, paper negative, 20 second exposure, negtive scanned and post-processed in Photoshop, including adding the color, and the "WarmSun" texture from Kim Klassen's texture collections Thanks, Kim!

I'm joining Kim Klassen's photo texture-loving party this week, called "Texture Tuesdays".  Wanna play?  Use Kim's (free to download) texture, "WarmSun" in an image of yours, and link to her blog post here.  (you can access the texture from this page also)   Come see the images other photographers have created, and their use of the same texture.  Cheers!  ((clink))


This is a historic ranch within the boundaries of Chiricahua National Monument in southeastern Arizona USA. The Erickson Family homesteaded here around 1887, and the second generation operated the outfit as a guest ranch.

The early days of homesteading were dangerous for the Ericksons, as conflict with the Chiricahua Apaches were still common.

This building is one of the barns on the ranch. It was an extremely bright day, and the sun was shining right on the sheet metal building. It was a quick exposure, even for the ISO speed of 6 of the paper negative!

image made September, 2010, re-processed with color April, 2011.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Some water under the bridge- Faraway Ranch, Chiracahua National Monument, Arizona USA

homemade paint can pinhole camera, 2-minute exposure, paper negative, scanned and post-processed in Photoshop, including adding color, and also adding a texture from Kim Klassen's texture collections("WarmTone").

This was a difficult exposure, in that the scene was in shadow, (requiring a long exposure) while the sun was shining right at the camera. It took some work in Photoshop to balance the overexposed parts of the image (the central part of the image) with the darker areas. Using color also helped to bring out the details. It was a good experiment in pinholing in backlit and dark conditions- when I am used to using pinhole in ideally bright conditions. I think I'll do some more dark, though...(-:

Emma and Neil Erickson both came from Sweden in the 1860s-70s (separately) before marrying and homesteading a ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona.

Their home began as an existing cabin on the property that Emma had purchased on her own. Thick walls were later built by Neil, to act as protection against Apache raids, which commonly occurred in this area at the time.

Many outbuildings exist at the ranch- perhaps quarters for guests or ranch workers. I would like this one- to just be able to fall asleep to the gentle rambling of the stream. (-:

Emma and Neil's two daughters expanded the house to it's current configuration when they made it a guest ranch in their young adult years.

We had a wonderful tour of the Erickson Home: the well-named Faraway Ranch- that summertime weekend.

Image made July 24, 2010

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Wilderness Beyond- Faraway Ranch,Chiracahua National Monument, Arizona, USA

homemade "picassocam" pinhole camera, paper negative, 15-second exposure, scanned and post-processed in Photoshop, including coloring the image, and adding a texture from Kim Klassen's texture collections.

Emma and Neil Erickson both came from Sweden in the 1860s-70s (separately) before marrying and homesteading a ranch in the Chiricahua Mountains in southeastern Arizona.

Their home began as an existing cabin on the property that Emma had purchased on her own. Thick walls were later built by Neil, to act as protection against Apache raids, which commonly occurred in this area at the time. This fence marks the end of the cool grass of the ranch home, and the beginning of the high desert grassland and conifers beyond.

Emma and Neil's two daughters expanded the house to it's current configuration when they made it a guest ranch in their young adult years.

We had a wonderful tour of the Erickson Home: at the well-named Faraway Ranch- this summertime weekend.

Image made July 24, 2010