Beginnings (the start of a visual journey in 2010)

Many widely recognized yearly photographic efforts are made by the likes of Jim Brandenburg, among others, but I decided to undertake this series for many reasons. The first spark occurred when I came across a collaborative daily blog turned written documentation, A Year of Mornings, which appealed in a human way. It was a part of the photographers' daily lives, a document of the passage of time, as well as an aesthetic effort.

This project is designed to amass a series of related and unrelated images as they flow and feed off of each other, creating a vision of a whole year of experience.

A larger reason to shoot so much was to force myself to continue to push images. Some days I have projects in mind, other days I'm inspired with a flash of insight, and some days I think, "damn, what am I going to create tonight?" Either way, I've kept going.

When this series began I thought of it as a 365+ project because the goal was to have the equivalent of a year's worth of daily images that would follow and reveal twelve months. But, because I'm also working and a full-time graduate student as well as a human being with other interests, I gave myself the leeway of not photographing every day, so long as the final number of images surpasses 365. When I began posting on a social network site, I started by sharing an average of two photographs a day; by the end of January it looked as though the quantitative goal would be reached halfway through the year. I tend to work in series and like to show context, so a challenge has been paring down daily posts to just one or two images. With this blog I will try to be more particular and share no more than two photos per day.

Thus far, we're 1/12th of the way through and not a day has been missed. More importantly, though, I feel the tendrils of inspiration not previously imagined, and for that reason, this already feels like a success.

Please enjoy, contemplate, comment and share with your friends.


March is drawing to a close, which marks the completion of 1/4 of the year and this project.

Reviewing the images I'm pleased by some and bored by others. Many photographs would not make the cut were it not a daily regimen. But, though I missed one day due to illness and, technically supplanted one day's picture amongst its vacation brethren during the week and a half of Alaska photos, the gears are still rolling.

The images I've been more pleased with have been the light/color compositions, although projects such as the water droplets, reverse lens macro, smoke and TTV photography were also highlights. Where I seem to grow stagnant are with images relating more directly to documenting me or my life, especially the mundane, but perhaps that's personal perception. April will be kicked off with a weekend in Chicago.

Keep on checking in as I keep on keepin' on. Recent layout goodies includes the ability for you, oh honored viewer, to rate posts and vote on imagery types.


As June winds down, 365+ nears its crest. Counting back, however, just over one hundred images remain to be posted.

These past few months I've embraced the loose design of the project and shifted into a relaxed schedule of posts. In favor of sharing greater context and more consistently solid imagery while maintaining an eye on the year as a whole, I may not shoot or post every day, but continue to translate the spirit of the time. Early July marks the beginning of the descent and holds the promise of visual adventure as I head back to Alaska.

Please be aware of new links on the right column noting Artists, inspiration and intriguing ideas or commentary.
*Clicking on most photos will enlarge the image*

Friday, December 31, 2010

December ~ ebbing light

The year draws to a close.

December sleeps with death. We descend into winter, dwindle on the past and anticipate a cleaner, brighter future where light overpowers the quiet dark.

A few weeks ago I saw Alaska when sun lit the crystal air for a handful of hours each day. Hints of vivid life permeated the still whites and greys. Along with a few curiosities after my return home, those images will close this project. Some were shot on 120 film, others digitally.

Thank you for following my visions, whether brief ends of shaky endeavors or unsteady beginnings. Every exploration meant something and I am disappointed by the flickering finish of this project. These past few months have proven difficult to keep up.

Please stay tuned for the final images as well as the promised end count.

Sun sets at 3pm in late November Fairbanks. Light diffuses a frozen atmosphere.

These images were also shot with yet unprocessed film. I reduced the clarity on these to emphasize a hazy quality in the air. Each breath is crystal clean and strikingly clear, but I prefer to draw attention to the softness of the quality of light.

Gear: Nikon D90, Tokina 12-24 f/4

Friday, November 12, 2010

November ~ film

Here are a few delayed Holga (120 film) images from the State Fair

I like the bare effect of this panorama of three files blended in Photoshop.
Here are a few digital shots from the State Fair.

Gear: Holga 120n, Ilford film

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November ~ cultivate

Several days ago I intentionally left out a covered cup of tea, curious to see what would grow. The gasoline-like color spectrum wasn't nearly as attractive in this image as the simplicity of the linear pattern graced with light. I also reduced the clarity to emphasize the overall color/line/light pattern as opposed to the minor details. It must be my black and white roots. Although, a hankering for a slight color tint prevailed.

An elongated figure dances, but this also reminds me of an idea that occurred while flying home from Alaska: to work with waterway aerial imagery.

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 60mm f/2.8 micro

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nobember ~ mini road trip

To meet a Madison-area friend for dinner, JP and I drove from the Twin Cities area to Black River Falls, WI, where a large orange moose holds sentinel.

With little manual control on my compact camera, I Played with the flash and a low-ISO setting combo for this look.

We ate dinner here. The top image might be more amusing if it were composed slightly more to the left, better displaying the dark space where "resta" should have been. But, oh well. Eye roll please. . . you can rant all you want.

Gear: Canon SD1100IS

Sunday, November 7, 2010

November ~ boots

I haven't worn these boots for a while, but they were fairly well broken in--or, broken--during a semester in Italy six years ago. Purchased in Venice after the heel separated from a previous pair, these tramped all over that country and beyond.

This also reminds me of when my grandmother died, four years ago. It was the first experience with death for my cousin's very young son, who had, incidentally, just learned to tie his shoes. His parents were trying to explain to him that grandma wouldn't be tying her shoes anymore. He looked blank for a moment, brightened and asked, "Grandma wear boots?"

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 60mm f/2.8 micro, Nikon SB-600

November ~ cracks in the horizon

I had a lot of fun shooting a variety of images with this ceramic mask, made a few years ago by a roommate.

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 60mm f/2.8 micro

November ~ blues

Glass can do great things with light.

Gear: Nikon D90, Tokina 12-24mm f/4

November ~ shadows

Many little figures live in this home. Sometimes they tell quiet stories.

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 D

Friday, November 5, 2010

November ~ a recount

I've been meaning to count posts/images to see where this project lies, numerically. Have we hit 365 yet?

Stay tuned, kids (or, you could count for yourself, but that might be asking too much of our time/patience/attention span-strained culture. Also, be aware that an entry may have two images that were counted as one).

If we haven't yet hit the magic number, I'll try to plan something fun for that upcoming event.
If we have... um, well, I'll still try to plan something fun.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

October ~ multiplicity

The final stretch of the year has hit hard with lacking motivation. However, I realized that even though my traditional equipment has lain still, I have been making pictures. A lot.

October's offering of images is a collage of these photos. The subject may appear self-indulgent, but, the venue of a personal photo blog leans that way, anyway. These photos were all taken with my phone, day after day, as self-portraits sent to my boyfriend. They could be read as a bare comment on picture texting and the projected image of oneself. Fake but also real. It's me and it's part of a relationship and how I often see or present myself to this other person. I thought, a lot, about whether I wanted to put this out there. But, the notion of self-perception and image as well as technology's role and even the idea of multiple selves or the simplicity of the visual effect of a grid... all of these facets interested me.

Not much post production on these aside from sizing, some cropping and slight levels adjustments. Some are a bit blurry and in many the color is odd, but they are very quick... just, picture texts. Culled from dozens, some repeat poses or lighting.

This may be the start of a series of self-portraits in 2011.
Gear: mobile phone LG VX8360

Thursday, September 30, 2010

September ~ last offering(s)

Please accept these last few images from September. Personally, it was a photographically generating rough month. Push through it.

shot early on, more light and color studies ~

Sometime mid-month, as I cleaned a pan, an interesting pattern of suds, faux cross-processed ~

Near the end of the month, studying in a coffee shop, lamp light crossing a page~
From Sharon Irish's book on artist Suzanne Lacy, each of these words and phrases are pulled directly from a page in the below reading. They move into one another. Consider space and movement. The image is composed of two soft pics of the same page layered next to each other with one horizontally flipped, then blurred to emphasize the light and color.

"commercial centers with public walkways that create climatically controlled layer of movement and pedestrian circulation, surveillance, interaction and profit from the street level glass as the space narrows"

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 60mm f/2.8 micro, mobile phone LG VX8360

Incidentally, I often had this Pomplamoose cover of Earth Wind and Fire's September! floating through my head this month. Enjoy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

September ~ where we stand

Looking over this month, and further back, several images reference feet. That was by no specific design. Noticing trends can guide work into the future with a nod to the past. While pursuing an interest in body imagery a few years ago, I made some photographs similarly composed, paying attention to line and the shapes referenced and formed by the skin and the contact of touching parts.

Feet are what we stand on--a foundation. They keep us upright and moving forward. Election time is upon us, of course, but I'm also thinking about the flux of personality and choices we make about who we are. Visible shapes here also reference other body parts. Origins.

These two photographs were made with an altered white balance to warm the lighting. I shot several with a flash and preferred the quiet, unobtrusiveness of the dark. Magnifying the subject's softness with a diffuser filter at time of shooting--the point was not to emphasize the details of veins or skin variations, but the shape and form of these body parts--I reduced the clarity further in CS5, and also reduced saturation.

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 60mm f/2.8 micro, diffuser filter

Friday, September 24, 2010

September ~ revisiting Alaska

Earlier this month excitement came in the form of confirmation that I'll be heading back to Alaska again, shortly. I'm less likely to make as many winter images as in the warmer months, but it will be a nice visit.

I never worked on this image after coming back - overall, the results of waterfall images from just outside Valdez disappointed me at first viewing, but this one has some success. These are the Bridal Veil falls, or something similar.

Gear: Nikon D90, Yashica-D, Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4, manfrotto legs/head

September ~ rain

This image works with the last few posted.
Look out toward the rainy world through the windshield of Bobb's Kia. We were heading back from Valdez, rounding out an impromptu several hundred mile two day trip. The midnight sun was low, but warmed the horizon.*

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4
*image shot in July

Thursday, September 23, 2010

September ~ a wall

This month I've been thinking a lot about imagery and what I would like to work on, but haven't been working on many images, really. Sometimes walls appear.
This particular one was intriguing.

Gear: Canon SD1100IS

September ~ slick bright night lights

Rainy autumn nights.
The last few evenings I've been noticing the extra layer of light brightening the slick streets.
This image was blended from three original files, bottom two layers at half opacity, top layer at 25% and some saturation adjustment.

Gear: mobile phone LG VX8360

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

September ~ the magic hour

Walk to a coffee shop in Mpls, late evening. Appreciate the light streaming between the buildings.
I'm liking the notion of using available cameras and not adhering to which equipment is "right." It would have been nice to have the Holga with, too.

Gear: Canon SD1100IS

Monday, September 13, 2010

September ~ Caroline, at the Orchard

Very her.

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 60mm f/2.8 micro

September ~ After the Grape Stomping Contest

Everyone's a winner!

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 60mm f/2.8 micro

September ~ wheels

Cycling to work a few times a week. Seven miles of a curvy, hilly good ride.

Gear: mobile phone LG VX8360

Saturday, September 11, 2010

September - Wave to "The Wave"

Forecast Public Art ( is organizing an artist talk, public performance and benefit celebration this Thursday September 16th. Welcome artist and MacArthur fellow Ned Kahn, designer of Target Plaza's The Wave.
Artist talk will be held from 12pm-1pm at the Mpls Central Library (Free), with artist Ned Kahn and special guest Tom Oslund, landscape architect and designer of Target Plaza.
Public performance flash mob event will gather at the Target Plaza at 6pm ("wave" at 6:30pm) (Free).
Bring your umbrellas! (preferably colorful, but all umbrellas welcome)! The event will be recorded.
Benefit celebration will follow the performance (7-10pm) at Twins Stadium Metropolitan Club ($30)

Canon SD1100IS

Sunday, September 5, 2010

September ~ summer dwindles

A mere shadow remains. Welcome, autumn.
Soon time for tree leaves, layers, jackets, scarves, apples, soup, warm drinks, no bugs.

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 60mm f/2.8 micro

Saturday, September 4, 2010

September ~ soak up the sun

While painting some window trim, we noticed this little guy hanging out. Soak it up while it lasts, buddy.

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 60mm f/2.8 micro

Sunday, August 29, 2010

August 26-31 ~ (State) Fair Enough

Me and my shadow
Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4 D

Cigar, beer, second beer, bathroom, hat, slouch, attitude. Men.
From the hip street photography sure can be fun. These are the times when I really enjoy shooting with live view.
Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4 D

Shadow people. Shot from the Grandstand.
Gear: Nikon D90, Tokina 12-24mm f/4

Stripes, pattern, rhythm
The colors were interesting, but, here I prefer the black and white.
Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4 D

Fireworks figure.
Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4 D

A Holga was also present on this venture, so perhaps a latent image will join these in the future.
Apologies for the delay in recent uploads. Alaska pics are still incomplete as well.

August 20-25 ~ all together now

a few disparate colors, textures and patterns from around the house in the morning

Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 19 ~ Traces

Beyond litter, these remains give the impression of the group who were here. The butts swirl among the patio chair legs, like conversation.

Gear: Nikon D90, Tokina 12-24mm f/4

August 18 ~ Japanese Garden


Gear: Nikon D90, Tokina 12-24mm f/4

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August 17 ~ Dusk at Island Lake

Made at the end of a lovely day off (an afternoon at the zoo began in a foul mood from the heat and crowds, followed by peace creeping in at the butterfly garden, to a Japanese garden where solitude reigned supreme, and then a coffee shop for delectable blended chai + book enjoyment), this image turned out softer than intended, so I emphasized those features from the Raw data. Focusing on the TLR's viewfinder screen can be a futile endeavor. In this case, I prefer the final result to a sharper one. Colors were also adjusted to hint at the forthcoming sunset which I later shot from the other side of the lake.

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 50mm f/1.4, Yashica TLR, Manfrotto legs/head

August 16 ~ Cooler evenings warmed by fire

An evening spent with girl friends ended with us circled around a courtyard fire pit.

Long exposures = fun with flames. A one second exposure recorded one pair of fire-illuminated feet as I moved the camera back and forth. Actually, this little camera has seen a little too much fiery action (I melted the lens cover last year), but it appears to be drawn toward flames.

Gear: Canon SD1100 IS

Sunday, August 15, 2010

August 15 ~ Butterfly garden

One landed on the camera.

Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 60mm f/2.8 micro

August 14 ~ Polar Bear

On a very crowded Saturday, I ventured forth to the Como Zoo

Though he appears to have no interest in the girl, it's almost as though he's creeping up on her

Big lungs, deep breaths, lots of bubbles


Gear: Nikon D90, Nikkor AF 60mm f/2.8 micro

Friday, August 13, 2010

August 11 - 13 ~ A revisit to film

Fun with Holgas.

Black and white film, slight color tint in post. I do believe the second image is a double exposure. This was the first time I'd shot with a Holga in five years, so I'm more amused than embarrassed to admit that most of the images were completely underexposed. More exploration with 120 film coming soon.

Gear: Holga 20n.