Thursday, March 31, 2005

The Finalists Are...



OK, so I've wanted an ipod for a while now. I was all set to order one, when I realized that, I have to come up with some oh-so-hip-yet-clever saying to have engraved upon it's backside.

Now, normally, I would not fret over this situation. I'd just crank up that ole' BS generator (it has a little knob, built-into the back, that makes it go to 11, provided you feed it properly-you know, give it plenty of Doritoes and tell it that it thinks too much. Oh, and it also like Bob Dylan and Buckaroo Banzai for entertainment.)

Being the geekette that I am almost, I googled and happened across this website. Yes, you read it right, there's an entire website devoted to funny ipod engravings. You should know by now that there's an entire universe of creative people with way too much time on their hands and so, as a result, there's a website devoted to just about everything under the sun, even ipod engravings. Some of these made me laugh so hard, I swear that I've ruptured my spleen. But, the entire web surf incident has left me feeling a bit, shall we say, inadequate. I'm getting writer's block. I just can't think of that oh-so-witty-and-clever saying to put on the back of my photo poddy.

So, being the resourceful wench that I am, I've decided to generate a list and solicit your votes. Yes, you. All three of you who routinely read my website can now vote and help me decide what ounce of crap I want to have engraved on the back of my prevention.

Here are the finalists:
"Beware: Loitering Music"
"It's like rearranging deck chairs on the titanic"
"If I shake it, does the music erase?"
"No sky No Earth, but sill music sounds"
"There are times when ingenuity is not enough"
"Einstein, James Bond, and Batman all rolled into one"
"Progress over Protocol"
"Remember, no matter where you go, there you are"
"Look Listen Embrace"
"Pod Pod Piddle, Click Me in the Middle"
"You can never get silence anywhere nowadays"
"I'm your way of running away without leaving home"
"I've grown small trying to be great"
"Lack of charisma can be fatal"
"Cures are hard to come by"
"Carol's Other White imac"
"In wisdom gathered over time I have found..."
"My favorite thing is to go where I've never been"
"Just advertising departments with leather pants"
"Stare. Pry. Listen. Eavesdrop"
"I see no reason for recording the obvious"
"All this and I'm only a torso"
"I'm so screwed and nobody left $20 at my bedside"

Please either leave your comments at this website with your selection or email me if you please with your vote.

Until next time...

WigHeads


WigHeads, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Here's a kind of wide shot of the Wig Head O-Rama in Lockhart.

Some of these are the old school ones-you know, the ones where they used to paint the faces on themselves. Eeep.

Now that's what I call scary.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

WigHeads1


WigHeads1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Here's Your Damned Number 1

Do you remember that old joke about the Chinese restaurant? The one that ends, "Help! I'm trapped inside a fortune cookie factory." I thought so.

It dawned on me the other day that, sometime soon, if not already, I will encounter a photographer who has never used actual film. You know, that silver gelatin emulsion stuff we all know and love? Never held it, never touched it, never seen it up close. That day is coming, if it isn't already here.

While it's true that I absolutely love to be film free and embrace the new digital revolution, it's also true that I wouldn't want to trade in my past experiences with film for anything.

I used to shoot toy cameras. The old school toy cameras that took 120 film.

There's an interesting trick with 120 film and old cameras. You can tell somebody, over and over again, that there's a long leader on the film, but they won't really believe you. You can tell them, over and over again, "you have to turn the knob a lot before you see the little Number 1," but it's a bit like taking somebody with no sense of scale to Coney Island, showing them the beach, and saying, "this is the Atlantic Ocean. It's big." They don't really comprehend how far away Ireland really is. Not until they see a globe, sail, or fly across it. Then they start to get the idea.

Just as in the case of the ocean, not until they get their own fat little thumbs onto that dial and start turing do they, in fact, realize that there's a looong film leader on 120/220 film. You have to turn a long way until you see that cute little number 1 staring back at you in the little circular viewer.

Sometimes, the film manufacturers, in their infinite wisdom, put markings on the paper that backs the 120/220 film. You can see the markings "go by" in the little "peephole" of your toy camera. There are all these arrows, colored markings, arrows pointing the other way, etc. on the back of the film. I wouldn't be surprised, on day, to happen across some 120 film that read, on the back of it,

"Help! I work for Kodak. Oh and, here's your damned number 1 leave me alone already. -> 1"

You can always spot a newbie by the way they treat the number 1. If they get to an arrow, pause, and ask, "is this it?" you can "yoda" them with my permission. (You can sit there all yoda-like, basking in the glow of "know" while repeating over and over again, "I told you that you have to turn the dial a lot before you can see the numbers. Just keep turning. The numbers will come...")

Now, I'm certain that, someday soon, if not already, there's going to be a conversation that starts out, "I didn't realize Compact Flash could get logged in one's nostril" (or something equally funny) but, even so, I wouldn't trade in my quest for Number 1-I wouldn't trade my deep understanding or knowledge of how far it really is from the start-for anything.

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

TapestryDressForm


TapestryDressForm, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This one's a little scarier. I think it's because of the "tilt," the way the form is "standing" that it kind of looks almost like real woman (except for, of course, the missing head.) I love the touch of the fabric covering up the amputated neck. What a touch of class it brings to my little world, don't you think?

This image has a definate "Carol" look to it though. Pretty colors, muted composition, and just shy of psychotic.

I don't know why but, somehow, almost magically, I always seem to have a hint of evil in my work. I told somebody one time that, if I had to describe my stuff, the closest I could come is, "Painted brown, very familiar, almost scary, with a hint of a dark side." That's probably pretty close to the money actually. It's at least somewhat accurate.

One time, I went shooting with some friends. Glenda, one of the ladies on the trip, and I shot at this old carousel. After a good day of shooting, we returned to Austin and, a few weeks later, we compared our work.

She had all these "pretty" pictures, stuff that looked appropriate for a child's bedroom wall. Lots of pretty, dancing, painted horses, bright colors, ribbons flying through dreams of unicorn-like mystical beasts. You could almost imagine riding that carousel with happy music playing in the background, young children frolicking about it and all.

My images all had fangs and were close-ups of mean looking animals, like lions, tigers, and bears. Glenda, after looking at my stuff said, "Oh look! Carol found Hell..." Same as it every was, I suppose.

I guess it's just in the way that you see things. I guess it's just the way you look up at the sky, the light, the horizon, and dream your own little dream. Some folks see bright, pretty things, some find the melancholy, and some, like me, get a free preview of the latest Freddy and Jason freak show.

Scary thing though, it was the same carousel.

Until next time...

Monday, March 28, 2005

DressFormWithFeathers


DressFormWithFeathers, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is a dress form from the Renaissance Festival. I'm not sure if I like the flap from the tent being "messed up" along the top, although it clears the view for the dress form, and I do kind of like the arrows pointing downward.

I had a rather boring weekend, but actually got a lot done. I did my taxes and got my car inspected. Always good to get this kind of stuff out of the way, despite the urge to shoot more and errand less.

This year, I'm going to take my tax refund and buy a new TV for my bedroom. Then, I'm going to take the TV that's currently in my bedroom, and move it into my digital darkroom/front room. This will be the first time I'll be able to do "darkroom work" while watching TV. I can hardly wait.

Sometimes, when you're in a "traditional" darkroom, you're lucky if you get a radio. Usually, it's just you and the soft, gentle, "swooshing" noise of the fixer agitating and the trays gently swaying back and forth, as you rock them mindlessly, waiting for your alloted timeframe to expire. It's so relaxing, it's almost lulling you into it's addiction. You start to like being in that small, dark, cramped space, with the smell of developer wafting around you, watching as your images magically come to life.

The first time I was in a darkroom, I hated it. I had this teacher who yelled, screamed and stressed everybody out. I couldn't understand why anybody, in the right mind, would want to experience that.

Then, years later, I found myself in there again. Only this time, I was alone, just me and my images, coming off the emulsion and onto the paper. I knew enough of what I was doing to be able to enjoy it, and images worthy of being printed. It was so relaxing, I finally started to see why people like to do it.

Now, we have Photoshop. It's fun but it can be tedius and bore you to tears. It'd be good to do it while watching TV.

Funny how things have changed in my little world.

Until next time...

Friday, March 25, 2005

BlueMan1


BlueMan1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This was one of the first people at the fair I went up to and pestered, "May I please take your picture?" It's always a let-down when folks say no. It's always a pick-me-up when folks agree. It's really magical when they agree, you take the shot, and you get something you like.

This was one of the first "bagged" shots I got that day. One of those shots that, even without the pretty newfangled LCD previewer (on the digital camera) you just KNOW came out.

Funny thing about photography. It's a lot like psychology. There's a mentality to shooting that "civilians" just don't understand.

Once you get a "bagger" shot, you feel like the pressure's off. You already brought home your "money shot" so, anything else you might happen to stubmle upon that day, is really just icing on the cake.

If you think you're going for an "icing" shot, it changes your prespective. You take more risks. You try new things. You do stuff you might not otherwise do, had you not bagged your "money shot" already.

It's always a good idea to get the obligatory shots out of the way. Frees up your mind to work on the obscure.

Everybody knows, or maybe they don't, that great photography is about the obscure as much as it is about the stuff that's right under your nose. If you want to be a good photographer, take good shots of the obligatory. If you want to be a great photographer, take good shots of the obligatory, get them out of the way, and then go for the obscure, the creative, the unusual. Show us something we've never seen before or present something in a very different light. Creativity makes all the difference in the world.

In photography, as in life, the greater the risk, the greater the reward. But you have to have the "money shot" out of the way to make room for all that risk.

Until next time...

Thursday, March 24, 2005

GuitarPlayer


GuitarPlayer, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Ok, so maybe he's not really playing the guitar, but that's what I called him. I think he's kind of cute, in a bard-ish sort of way. I do believe that he's a professional who performed at the Renaissance Festival.

The festival I attended was called the Excalibur Fantasy Faire. You can find out more by clicking through.

Chricel tells me that we missed golf ball sized hail the day we went to the faire. Phew! I'd hate to be a bard when stuff like that starts hitting the ground. It's hard to wax poetic about giant falling ice balls.

The horses were covered, so that's a good thing. Still I bet there was at least one "me lord, me ladies, and me GOD IT's LARGE HAILSTONES! RUN!" incidents after we left.

Stay for the jousting leave when the real battle begins. There's a great motto for you.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

DiegoWithFlag


DiegoWithFlag, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

The Horse's Name is Diego

I didn't stop to ask the rider's name, although he was nice enough to walk (well, make Diego walk, he just sort of sat there) past us after the show to let us get a couple of close-ups of Deigo's face.

He also did, at some point, manage to knock the "Green Warrior" off his horse. Nobody was really sure if that was supposed to happen or not (we think not) but, it's kind of an assumption here, everybody knows jousting, even in modern times, can be a bit dangereous. That and the horses do tend to kick up a lot of dirt. So, my word to the wise from this adventure is, "remember, if you decide to attend a jousting match, bring some baby wipes, wear your sunglasses, and watch out for low flying dust clouds." I was prepared and got a tidy shot of Diego, his rider, and the white flag as a result.

Speaking of dust and dirt, my Mother has seen it fit to order top soil for our gardens. This would normally not be a monumental news flash but, somehow, in a screw up at the manure factory (most people say, "I hate it when that happens" and don't really mean it...not this time!) she ended up with like 5 bags of what we in Texas like to call "dillo dirt" costing a wopping $450. In homage to WC Fields or perhaps Jerry Lee Lewis, I'll just go on record as saying, "man, there's a whole lotta shaking going on at that manure factory."

Me, on the other hand, got a modest "two bagger" clocking in at $150. I feel so lucky. I think.

Well, let's just agree that there's a whole lot less crap roaming the wilds of Cedar Park and leave it at that.

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

TwoWarriors


TwoWarriors, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Joust for the Fun of it

Here's another one from the Renaissance Festival this weekend. I really like the look of the lensbaby, the Renaissance Festival colors, and characters in combination.

All that and Steve tells me that this picture makes him dizzy.

Still, there was something about those horses. I kept shooting and shooting them, finding myself oddly drawn to the colors of the saddles, breechings, and harnesses. Something about those people and horses in those costumes.

I think that going to a fair like this is a great place to take pictures. For one thing, I don't feel so self-conscious about carrying a camera (a lot of people do.) A lot of the folks are dressed in costume and don't mind having their pictures taken. It makes for easy shooting. I don't feel like I'm invading anyone's personal space and it's a bit less hostile than the normal "street photography" that sometimes happens. Chircel, one of the ladies I went with said it best, "once you get 'shot down' and somebody says 'no' when you ask if you can take their picture, you have to build up courage to shoot again on the street, but not really here at the fair." (I'm paraphrasing but that's pretty close to what she said.)

That and the colors and imagry are just really cool. Is it wrong to want to take images that are "cool" which maybe don't carry much artistic merit?

Probably so, but that won't stop me from doing it (and making people dizzy in the process.)

Until next time...

Sunday, March 20, 2005

GreenWariorCharging


GreenWariorCharging, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Joust a Minute

This is one of the first images from the Renaissance Festival this weekend. Had a great day shooting. I almost fell asleep in the car on the way back, I was so tired, but I got some good stuff.

My friends found a new way to wake me up. All you have to say is "joust" and I'm there.

Until next time...

Friday, March 18, 2005

Swirling Tree


SwirlingTree, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Ok, so sue me. I just couldn't resist the tree bark anymore. There really was something special about this tree. I managed to get (in another shot) a knot (just out of frame here, actually) to look like a scary face with the help of the lensbaby.

This one's just sort of "pretty" in a funky kind of way. It will become part of "vertigo" since it's got the right feel to it for that body of work.

Nice thing about trees, they make their own shade. Always makes for saturated colors.

This was taken at the old school house in Lockhart, TX (it was after the jail but before the wig heads.)

Until next time...

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Broken Window


BrokenWindow1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Ok, for those who are paying attention, here's the order of shooting from last weekend. (You'll have to kind of imagine it like one of those Family Circus comic strips, and fill in your own dotted lines, circles, and arrows.)

We met at Kruetz's (the famous BBQ joint) then headed to the jail house. We shot at the jail house, went downstairs to the museum and shot there for a while (this is where the dress forms and antiques were stashed.) Then we went to the ice house, found the glowing tree, walked behind it, shot some more (I mananged to fend off the urge to shoot more tree bark,) and drove off to the abandoned school house.

After we shot there for a while, we drove back into town, stopping to park near the Wig-Head-O-Rama and stumbled upon "stinky alley" before we came back to shoot more of the wig heads and the store fronts. Then, it was back to the BBQ joint and back to Austin. Got it? Good. (I think that's the correct order of events anyway.)

This was taken at the ice house. It will become part of my series titled "vertigo" which is, yes it's true, yet another title ripped off from U2. I'm not a *huge* U2 fan but, damn, they come up with some good titles photographers can rip off easily (They gave us: electrical storm, even better than the real thing, vertigo, joshua tree, all that you can't leave behind, and the list keeps on growing. Thanks, Bono!)

I swear Bono was a photographer in a past life. Somehow, I could just imagine him stumbling down "stinky alley" with an old view camera in tow, couldn't you? Well, ok, maybe he'd have a Diana, a lomo, or, perhaps, a Digital Rebel, a laptop, and a "maxi pod" instead.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Tree Branch and Arch


TreeBranchAndArch, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This was taken down a back alley in Lockhart, TX. It was quite a stinky back alley but it really did yield some interesting results. We (all who ventured down "stinky alley") got good shots, so long as we just tried to hold our noses and brave the stink.

The entrance to the alley is, coincidentally, right across the street from the "wig heads on parade," beauty supply and parlor. This fine establishment is home to literally hundreds of old wig heads. But, that's an entry for another day.

I could probably cobble together an entire exhibition from "stinky alley"-the shooting there was just that good. This isn't the best of "stinky alley" it's merely the first off the photoshop processing press and mile long queue.

Until next time...

Monday, March 14, 2005

Antiques And Soda Bottles


AntiquesAndSodaBottles, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is another shot from the weekend.

It was a productive weekend, not to mention very nice and sunny outside.

I love the extra blur on the left edge coming from the window curtain in this one. I wish I could do this to all my images.

Until next time...

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Corset and Jug 1


Corset and Jug 1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is the first of many images from my trip to Lockhart, TX this weekend.

It was a GREAT day. The sun was out, I met some new friends (even a lady from NY) and I got in a lot of shooting. I'm really quite tired and won't have time to process all the work from this weekend for a while, but this is a taste of it.

I also got to photograph inside a prision there. Yes, it's true, I was dragged off to the big house this weekend.

Until next time...

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Big Red Flower


Big Red Flower, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

I tried a different flower. I think I actually prefer the white ones over this one but, then again, this one is larger and I don't like the angle I shot it at.

I bet, if I move around a bit, I might get a really good shot of this bigger, red flower. It will just take a few trial and errors to get it the way I want it. Have no fear, I'm not one to give up so easily. This was just a first trial at shooting "big red" as I like to call him (or, "her" I suppose.)

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Whale Tale Waterfall


Whale Tale Waterfall, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This was one of the shots I took at our trip to Bull Creek Park in Austin. I was playing with a slow shutter speed and shutter priority on my new camera.

I'm not too fond of this shot, other than I like the fact that the rock formation in the center looks a bit like a whale's tail. I thought that this was kind of neat, plus it was just a really nice day to get outside and go shooting in the sun.

I'd like to go back to Bull Creek Park again at some point. This was taken just before we met the "dog needing a model release" mutt. Notice he's not in the picture so, I guess, I don't really need a model release now, do I?

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

White Flowers Smaller Group


White Flower Small Group, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is a smaller grouping of the white flowers from last Sunday.

I really like the color of the brick wall in the background, I think it contributes to the overall softness of the image. Not sure about which composition I prefer (the larger grouping vs. this, smaller one.)

It's supposed to be nice out this weekend so maybe I'll get to squeeze in some shooting time.

Until next time...

Sunday, March 06, 2005

LondonRoofTopWithFlowers


LondonRoofTopWithFlowers, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is a first test of my new scanner. I sold my old scanner to my friend, Ken, who said he got the scanner up and running with his system. I was jealous and wanted to start scanning stuff myself, so I hooked up my new scanner (finally!) and tried to scan in a Polaroid.

This is a manipulated Polaroid that I took in London when I was there. I got very drunk in the pub, which is the building to the right, below, the building that actually has the flowers on it's roof. It was a great building, a great bar, and I kind of like the Polaroid too.

Until next time...

Thursday, March 03, 2005

SpiritHead


SpiritHead, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is another small statue I was working with outside in the Sun on Sunday, the rare and only day we had some sunshine this week.

Unfortunately, I don't like the harsh shadows I seem to be getting on the statues faces. I may re-shoot some of this work on a day when there's a little less sunshine outside.

Still, it was fun to get out and I'm enjoying playing with Photoshop and learning the digital workflow. I hope to print some of these sometime soon. I'm sure that will be an adventure all to it's own.

Until next time...

Odds, Ends, Images, Periods, and Ducks



As you can probably tell, I've been able to figure out how to post images to my website. Yes, it's true, Carol's Little World just got a whole lot bigger. Well, ok, maybe not all that much bigger. But, now I'm happy because you'll be able to see and share some of what I routinely talk about, without having to guess at how things look. Being a visual person, I just can't complain about the ability to display images here. Enjoy!

In other news, it's almost SXSW time of the year again. The Bloggie award nominations have been announced and will be awarded at the festival. Don't be alarmed, I didn't get nominated for anything (Phew! The good folks at SXSW still have *some* sense in their collective heads.)

Some of the awards are quite funny and that's putting it mildly. From the 2005 Bloggies, the nominees for Best Tagline of a Weblog are:

  • Pesky' Apostrophe: Always better than an unexpected period.
  • Scaryduck: Not Scary, not a duck.
  • The Gospel According to Rhys: Chronologically inept since 2060.
  • Dooce: Not your average clenched-cheek sprint to the bathroom.
  • Random Acts of Reality: Trying to Kill as few people as possible...

I think this is a batch of "funny" if I've ever seen one. And I know more than my fair share of folks who've been "chronologically inept since 2060" myself, how about you?

Until next time (or next image)...

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

HappyBuddy


HappyBuddy, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This is the second of several images I've processed from my shooting over the weekend. I'm not too happy with the shadow detail and consider this one more of a "work in progress" but it's a start.