Tag Archives: art

The Art of Blur

8 May
Maine, Abstracted

Maine, Abstracted

Long exposure is another way of saying “keeping the shutter open for a long time”. This can be done for a few reasons – to compensate for low available light, as one of a many exposures for bracketing, or to capture the idea of motion on film…errr….sensor.

(Click on any of the links above to see examples of the types of shots that you can create with long exposures.  Or just to see purty stuff.)

The photo above, however, is a twist on the idea of long exposure motion captures.  Generally, I would slap my camera on a tripod, use my timer or remote to reduce camera vibration, and I would open the shutter while the subject moves in front of the lens.  Light trails, star trails, soft water, people watching…that sort of thing.  For “Maine, Abstracted” I set a long exposure, then panned left (handheld was easier since I didn’t need a precise, level horizon).  The end result is what you see above.

You know…just a girl and her Canon having some fun. 😉


Be The Change…

13 Nov
Gray's Beach - Infinity

Gray’s Beach – Infinity

Typhoon Haiyan left much of the Philippines in ruins.  The death toll estimates are staggering, and the numbers are astronomical.

What numbers?

According to CARE.ORG:
11.3 million people affected
673,000 people displaced
300,000 of those people are without shelter
No electricity, no water, no food

Often, when it’s not in our backyard, it’s hard to empathize with someone else’s tragedy. It’s easy to turn a blind eye, to say it’s not my problem.  There is always a tragedy.  There is always someone who needs our money.  What about us, we’re struggling too, invest in the US.  And besides, the holidays are here.  I need to budget for presents, and turkeys and such.

Believe me, I helped run a non-profit, I know the drill.

I remember a few years back when we got hit with “Snow-Tober”, as we liked to call it.  Much of New England was out of power for a week, and it was difficult.  We were cold, many people were cranky, AND WE STILL HAD OUR HOMES.  We still had food, we still had water, and if you were lucky, you still had gas for your car, places you could shower, places you could warm up.

The victims of this typhoon have only destruction.

When I saw the photos, it affected me.  I asked myself what I could do to help.  Like everyone else, I live paycheck to paycheck and due to a few personal emergencies lately, my savings is depleted.  But one of my all time favorite quotes…well…paraphrases (research it, it’s a good passage) is: “Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Yesterday, I stumbled upon www.photocircle.net, which is a printer out of Germany and Hengki Koentjoro’s pledge to donate 50% of his profits from photo sales to CARE.ORG, which would in turn help the victims of the typhoon.  I immediately went to the website to buy a print.  Turns out international shipping is over $100, which I couldn’t afford, and if I could, would rather donate it as a lump sum to relief organizations.

Next, I sent off a few emails to see if there were American alternatives for this project.  BUST!

So finally, I decided to see if I could make some of this happen myself.  Last night I spent some time updating my site, and I WILL DONATE 50% of my profits on every sale through my online store between now and December 15th.  Specifically, I posted several new prints, which can be upgraded to canvas and/or framed.  Just hit the “customize it” button.  According to PhotoCircle.net, it takes about$130 to give emergency relief to a family for a month.  That is my goal.  At least $130.


The money will go to www.care.org/emergencies/typhoon-haiyan.  I chose CARE.ORG over the Red Cross, only because the margin was slightly better…less cost per dollar to fundraise.  To see those numbers, go here:   www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=3568

Furthermore, I’ve asked other artists and small businesses to do the same!  If you need to buy presents for the holidays, but want to help, you don’t have to choose.  You can do both!  So far, my friends at Where to Willie PhotographyPrint Therapy, Fat Frog Photography, Jeremy Fulton Photography and Unbridled Bead Design have agreed to also donate a portion of their profits to relief efforts.

If you are an artist or small business owner and want to help, just let me know and I will add you to the list and put your link on my site. You can contact me at seespotsphoto@yahoo.com

For those of you who would rather just donate directly to relief efforts, I urge you to do so!  This isn’t about us as small businesses.  This is about helping our fellow humans.  Find a charity you are comfortable working with, and give.  I guarantee you will change someone’s life, and in the process, change your own.


Art…with a capital A.

25 Jan
Lake of the Clouds - Mt Washington on one leg

Lake of the Clouds – Mt Washington on one leg

It had been weighed, and it had been measured…and unfortunately, the print was found wanting at this past weekend’s juried photography show. Haha I’m not too upset about it though.  Art shows, such as the one I put this print in, are a great experience all around.  Not to sound cliché, but I’m trying to look on the bright side of things.  Silver lining and all that.

1)      This juried photo show was an opportunity for networking. 

2)      It allows me to continue to build ties with my local art community center, who hosted the show.

3)      My print was hanging next to a winning image…lots of exposure. 🙂

I know it seems like such a simple concept, but finding the positives in a situation can be one of the most difficult things to do.  That being said, it’s important to remember, we all face adversity in life, and most of the time, we have little control over the outside forces involved.  We can only truly control how we react.

According to an article released by the Mayo Clinic, you can definitely develop the habit of positive thinking, which is linked to several health benefits (including longer life, reduced stress, and better psychological/physical well-being).  It’s no different than adopting any other new habit.  Here are some tips:

       Identify areas to change. If you want to become more optimistic and engage in more positive thinking, first identify areas of your life that you typically think negatively about, whether it’s work, your daily commute or a relationship, for example. You can start small by focusing on one area to approach in a more positive way.

       Check yourself. Periodically during the day, stop and evaluate what you’re thinking. If you find that your thoughts are mainly negative, try to find a way to put a positive spin on them.

       Be open to humor. Give yourself permission to smile or laugh, especially during difficult times. Seek humor in everyday happenings. When you can laugh at life, you feel less stressed.

       Follow a healthy lifestyle. Exercise at least three times a week to positively affect mood and reduce stress. Follow a healthy diet to fuel your mind and body. And learn to manage stress.

       Surround yourself with positive people. Make sure those in your life are positive, supportive people you can depend on to give helpful advice and feedback. Negative people may increase your stress level and make you doubt your ability to manage stress in healthy ways.

       Practice positive self-talk. Start by following one simple rule: Don’t say anything to yourself that you wouldn’t say to anyone else. Be gentle and encouraging with yourself. If a negative thought enters your mind, evaluate it rationally and respond with affirmations of what is good about you.

To read the whole article, go here: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/positive-thinking/SR00009

In the meantime, just know that I think you’re awesome.  I mean, you’re here…reading this…that’s a clear sign that you are intelligent, witty and kind.


Art Show

Art Show

Furthermore, for those of you who have the opportunity to have your art judged, or to get some constructive feedback, I highly recommend doing it.  Remember, there will always be room for improvement, no matter who you are.  Feedback will help us grow.  Just try to learn from the critique, without forgetting the positive things about your images.  Because…you know…did I mention you’re awesome? 😉

Crazy with a Capital “C”(anoe)

25 Sep
Canoe Sculpture

Canoe Sculpture

I admit…to my knowledge, this is my first time seeing a Nancy Rubin’s sculpture.  My next admission, though, is that I was impressed.  It’s hard not to be.

My recent trip to Chicago was my first (though hopefully not my last!) and being new to the city, I was expected to see the notable landmarks.  The Cloud Gate in Millenium Park, the view from a tower, the Riverwalk, the Chicago Theater to name a few…oh, and of course, Navy Pier.  So, the collective group of photo-walkers did what any sane group of people would do…we packed up very expensive and heavy equipment, put on uncomfortable walking shoes, forgot to buy snacks and took a hike around town to check out the sights.

Er…umm…ok, well maybe that’s what I did. Nick had sneakers on and Will didn’t seem to mind the weight of his equipment. haha

We got to Navy Pier a few hours before sunset and took a quick trip up to the top floor of a parking garage to admire the dramatic clouds, the soft light and Chicago’s beautiful skyline.  And as far as you all know, we didn’t climb to any dangerous vantage points to do it. 😉

Our next order of business was finding something to eat, but on our way out of Navy Pier, we had to…just haaaaddd to take some photos with the canoes.  To me, not only was it an interesting piece of art with impact, but it was fitting both in content (we were on a lake!) and style.  One of things I’ve come to like about Chicago is the character of it’s architecture…I found myself impressed with the steel and glass lines, the concrete curves and the carved stone that decorated the sky above our heads.  The aluminum and steel cables of Nancy Rubin’s installation seemed to fit right in.

Bravo, Ms. Rubins.  Bravo. 🙂

For a little more information about the artist, according to the Wik, go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nancy_Rubins


17 Apr
Oh How Far We've Come!

Oh How Far We've Come!

“When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.” ~Ansel Adams

At some point in every creative person’s life, you hit a dry spell.  You want to be imaginative, and fun and innovative with your art.  Truly, you want to!  But you can’t.  You can’t focus, you can’t think, you can’t…well…create.

At one point in my photo-history, I hit just such a dry spell.  My solution was projects.  Mini-series, if you will.

Currently, I have several long-standing projects which I add to as I either come across an appropriate image-to-be, or when I’m in need of inspiration.  I’ve started a series on Bikes, Diners, Chucks (aka Converse Shoes), Old Cameras and of course, Quotography.  The above photo is part of both of the last two series!

Do you set challenges for yourself?  Do you find it helps gets the creative juices flowing?  If you haven’t tried, do you want to? =)

Sometimes I Feel Like RBG…

3 Apr
Rock Art - Color

Rock Art - Color

…Sometimes, I don’t.

Rock Art - Monochrome

Rock Art - Monochrome

Isn’t it interesting how much a little thing like color can drastically change an image?

Which one do you prefer?

The Art of Less

28 Mar

Have you ever Googled (or Yahoo!ed…or Goodsearched, for those of us that like collecting good karma points) the term “minimalism photography”…the results are striking.  That isn’t commentary on the quality of the images that turn up, although many of them were very good.  What I found more notable was the variety of images that turned up, all under the umbrella of “less”.

By searching for “less”, I found pride in my fellow photographers for sharing their vision of the world, conveying so much with so little.

Minimalism also reminded me why I love art.  It is a mechanism of expression and creativity.  It is both the way we view the world, and the way we wish the world could be.  It’s interesting and thought provoking without saying a word, and it makes my world a better place.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I took a recent trip down to the beach and enjoyed a pretty phenomenal sunset.  There were plenty of “foreground props” to choose from…guard chairs, boardwalk, a jetty…but none of them seemed to compliment the scene.  It was such a quiet, but mighty sunset and I knew that in order to do the colors justice, I needed a subtle focus point for the image.  In this case, less was more. =)

Minimalism at Sunset

Minimalism at Sunset

What are your thoughts on minimalism, particularly in the world of photography?

Minimalism product of the week: http://www.zazzle.com/love_mug-168258405940665492