Wednesday, June 27, 2007

High And Dry


BlackSandBeachNo1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Last night, the town of Marble Falls, Texas, about a 30 minute drive from my doorstop, received 19 inches of rain in 6 hours. Much of the town has been destroyed and people had to be air-lifted to safety. I woke this morning to images of my neighbors clinging to trees and rooftops.

Cedar Park, the town where I live, is not home to any major rivers, lakes, or streams, so we have not experienced any flooding, but my heart goes out to the folks over by the Highland Lakes region.

All this and the rain keeps pouring. More rain today continues to fall. And, the worst part? Austin is downstream from all of this so, in a matter of hours, if not sooner, the floodgates will open (literally) and gush! We'll get hammered. (Or, um, just "washed up.")

Good thing I sit on the 3rd floor.

Until next wave...

Sunday, June 24, 2007

That's Not the Kind of Transfer a Magazine Would Want


PalmTreesNo1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

So, I'm talking with a friend the other day about the whole transfer process and all. "They're almost coming out ok," I said to him, "almost, except that...well...I think they are a little too neat. I may try to do them with some cotton swabs or like try to smudge and "smush" them up a bit more, to make them...you know...more painterly. They need more smoosh, I think..."

"I love the idea of transfers," he says to me, "I think it's only a matter of time before we start seeing them in magazines. Especially the "clear" ones, like the ones that you do. I could see them popping up in magazines or galleries, or like celebrities having their portraits done that way. Not "normal" celebrities, you know, oddball types. Like Madonna, Elton John, or Nicolas Cage...these sorts of people will someday pay a lot of money for these, because they are so unique and all..."

"Nicolas Cage?" I replied. "Really? You could see a Nicolas Cage digital inkjet transfer in a magazine?"

"Yeah, I could," he said. "I mean, couldn't you?"

"Oh...I'd sure like to transfer him alright....I could think of a few ways I'd really like to transfer him..." And, believe me. I could. (But, you know, it would involve a TiVo and a sledgehammer, not a Q-Tip and some Arches.)

Until next time...

PS This is probably the last of the transfers for a while. I'll still probably post more Hawaii stuff, but it won't be transfers, probably boats or ocean-related stuff will be up next. Well, at least not until I have time to get my Q-Tip's going.

PPS Don't forget! This Thursday is the big "AVAA turns 30" at the DAC. I'll be there, hopefully starting around 5:30 for some press duties and a tour I'm supposed to do. If you are in Austin, see you then!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Push Pin


PomPoms, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

The other day, I attended the Texas Photo Society's Push Pin meeting.

For those who don't know, a "Push Pin" meeting is a meeting where people bring working prints, (or just prints to share) stand around a table, and showoff their work. This particular push pin meeting was crowded-there must have been about 20 photographers at the meeting. The work ranged from stark black and white landscapes, to older work, new work, toy camera work, 4x5 portraits, figurative work, (I contributed to this pile) Cyanotypes, and a host of other work. It's always fun to catch up with old friends, make some new ones, and see what kind of work everybody's doing.

An interesting thing about the "Push Pin" meetings though are that there's a lot that goes on behind the scenes. All of the photography groups in Austin, it would appear, are filled to the brim, not only with photographers, but with politics, clannish behavior, mimic artists (or tripod hole photographers, as I call them) bitchy cut-throats, and a host of other characters.

All of these characters running around can really drive a photographer nuts. But, even more importantly than that, it can lend itself to some interesting portrayls. Which leads me to my next idea: I'm going to write some sort of "fictional" account of a photography group.

I don't know how I'm going to do it (yet) when I'm going to do it, how, exactly, I'll pull it off, but I'm going to write down, craft as fiction, if you will, all of these schenanagans. Yes, you read it here first, I'm going to take these whack-o's and make them "real."

Believe me, that kind of insanity is ripe for the picking.

Until next time...

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Swim Away


HulaDancerNo1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

The other day, the paper ran an article about one of Austin's favorite musicians, Toni Price. It wasn't your usual, "we love her, she's great," nor was it critical, musing about her first set being a bit slow or the croud being too thin. No, this particular article informed us that Ms. Toni Price was, in fact, moving. Moving? You ask. Yes, moving.

Sometime soon, if it hasn't happened already, Toni Price will become the newest resident of a southern city in the great state of California. She's moving to San Diego, actually.

Now, the paper was "polite" and reminded us how one of her latest albums was called "Swim Away," in honor of the way she loves the ocean. "It was the draw of the ocean," they made it sound like, "that pulled her away from this lovely place."

While it's true that Austin has it's "lovely" moments (don't get me wrong, I love this city) it can also be said that Austin is driving out, pushing away, sending off, more than it's fair share of artists. The increase in housing prices, the horrible traffic, the yuppies planting themselves down and taking root, the toll roads, the congestion, and the apathy have all also, no doubt, taken a toll on the life of the creative community in Austin. It's just increasingly difficult to be an artist in Austin these days.

In fact, sea shells or not, I'd go as far to say that, if they don't do something to attract and keep the local art scene flourishing, this type of "swim away" is going to happen at a record pace.

It's not the pull of the ocean, rather it's the push of the city.

Until next time...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Transfer This


Horizontal, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Well, I finally started to get the transfer process to where I almost like it. I'll upload some of my results in the coming days, so you can take a look and tell me what you think (or just click away to another website, whatever your pleasure.)

I've been busy prepping for shows and trying to finish up the big "summer" Utata project. They don't call it a "summer" project because, well, because Utata is sort of global and it's not technically "summer" in that other half-round "edge" of the globe. Next thing you know, we'll learn that their toilets flush funny or something (nevermind, don't tell me that. Counter-clockwise tea bag, anyone?)

Speaking of all things tribal, Utata, Flickr, and the like, a fellow I work with has become addicted to Flickr. I had told him about it earlier, and I guess it just wasn't his time but, for the past day or so, he's been running over telling me all about what he's doing with Flickr, how he loves it, how he's uploading pictures from many moons ago, how he's reconnected with long lost college buddies, and the like. He didn't quite understand it the first time I explained it, or maybe he just didn't get the appeal of it all but, lately anyway, he's all over it and now I'm left hoping that there's not a special place in Hell reserved for those who grow the Flickerati.

Flickr, it's not just a website, it's a way of life. Use at your own risk.

Until next time...

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Sure, Don't Believe Me


TheSurfThatAlmostAteMe, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Sooooo, I betcha didn't believe me when I said the ocean almost gobbled me whole when I was in Hawaii.

Now, that's what I call one active surf. Active, angry, and out to get me. And now, I guess, I have the proof.

('Course, it doesn't help to have proof, really, once you're all wet and all but....there you go.)

Until next "get outta the waaaaaayyyyyyy...

How to Un-Spoil a Brat


GuitarAngleNo1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

So, my neighbors in the back have this trampoline, which the kids love to play on, jump around, and whatnot. I'm not big on trampolines myself but, frankly, I usually don't mind what my neighbors do, so long as it doesn't bother me too much. I'm a "keep to myself" kind of person in the 'hood, so to speak.

Today, I got home around 11:30 and heard the sound of screeching kids, jumping on said trampoline. They were out there jumping and playing, horsing around, pretty much screaming at the top of their lungs. At first, I was trying to take a nap-I thought I would catch some shut eye, since I was tired, but then I heard the kids screaming in the back. No problem, I thought, they'll be out there for a little while, and then they'll go back inside, or go do something else for a while, at which point, I'll fall asleep.

Three hours of screeching kids later, I decided that I had enough. I put on the stereo in the living room. I didn't just "put on" the stereo, I blased it.

Something you may not know about me is that, even though I'm perpetually broke, and seldom purchase new music gear, I am a bit of an audiophile. I invest in a half way decent sound system, and keep it for a long time. I seldom listen to music at loud volume but, since I have mighty speakers and half way decent gear, if I choose to do so, look out. I really have yet to encounter a "speaker war" that I could possibly loose and I can actually rattle the foundation of my home with my stereo. I usually prefer "quality sound" over "loud" but, well, not today.

So, today I decided, that's it, I've had enough of the brats. I'm fixing them. I'm going to make them shut up if it kills me and breaks all the windows in a four block radius.

I started with a little Evanescence, since I reached into the "metal-ish" sort of bin and pulled out something I thought was loud and not appropriate for the kiddies. Needless to say, they didn't like it. After about 10 minutes of the volume on 32 (it goes to 100 mind you) the screaming munchkins went inside to play.

Finally! I thought. Now I can get some rest. It was quiet for about another 10 minutes until they came out again. This time, I could tell they were trying to be a bit quiet but, being the spoiled brats that they are, their newfound "quiet" mode lasted all of 30 seconds. As soon as Dad went back in the house (and shut the door, mind you!) they started whooping it up again.

So, now this brings me to my new dilemma. What's the best music to use for torturing children these days? Is it still soft rock? Should I wip out the "big guns?" A little elevator music maybe? I'm afraid they might actually like what I'm playing.

So far, I've opted for Evanescence, followed by a taste of Barry Manilow because, to quote that famous philosopher Calvin (from Calvin and Hobbs fame) "easy listening music is so hard to listen to." Next up, I'm thinking some opera, since the little heathens sure could use some culture (and I don't mean the kind that's probably growing in their tennis shoes.) Maybe an aria from Rigoletto? Some John Denver? Olivia Newton-John? Of course, we have to go with the very best of ABBA, the long version of that annoying Russian Saber Dance, the short version of "99 Bottles of Beer on the Wall," and maybe a few choruses of "She's Having My Baby" followed by "MacArthur Park" (because, you know, leaving that cake out in the rain would be such a pick-me-up for bratty children everywhere.) Perhaps I'll finish off with some Gangsta Rap, because, well, you know, those kiddies really need to learn thier "bitches" from their "ho's." So, that leaves us with "Cop Killer" followed by "Rocky Mountain High" with a side of Verdi thrown in for good measure and, maybe, um a little disco, since nobody pretends to like that in mixed company, right?

Come to think of it, this is getting kind of fun. Barry Manilow's "Weekend in New England" has a beautiful melody, which I can really appreciate with enough decibles behind it and who knew Rachimanoff's Theme of Paganini could sound quite so ominous from four city blocks away?

Until next "don't push my 'random shuffle' button or you'll be sorry..."

PS If you have any suggestions on what might drive the little children wild, please do either leave me some comment droppings or scroll off a note. Even with all the fun I'm having, I could sure use some helpful suggestions.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Grab the Sunshine Fear the Giant


GiantCircleWithHands, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

Chase is getting groomed today. I can hardly wait. He's way too fluffy. I might post some pics if I get around to taking any. (I'm sure I'll eventually take his picture again, just probably not today.)

The little birds are back in front of my house too. There are 4 babies. I am probably going to take their picture at some point also, since they are too cute for words, even though they are basically poop machines. Little tiny blue poop machines, wedged in above my front door. But, oh so photogenic. They kind of shake when they see me but they duck into their little nest because they are getitng used to me, the jolly giant, walking past them every day.

I bought an owl to scare them away. That worked for a few years but now they are back and they just sort of poop on the owl. They are really cute and oh so photogenic though, so it's kind of a toss up.

Of course, you already know how I feel about photographing birds. (I am very far away from being a monk or a nun.) Perhaps if I just keep thinking of them as poop machines, it'll be an easier task.

Until next time...

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Let's Dance


PalmsInBackNo1O, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

It's Sunday, which means that it's time for my usual round up of weekend events. I've been quite sleepy today and it would appear that I've injured my shoulder. I have an old "war injury" resulting from playing too much soccer as a child-my shoulder hurts from time to time but, this time anyway, it's gotten a lot worse. A few days ago, maybe like Wednesday night, I feel asleep in some really funny position and woke up with my head at about a 90 degree angle against the top of the bed. Ouch. Since then, well, it really smarts. (Of course, sitting, typing at a computer doesn't help matters but, hey, I've got prints to make up so I'd rather be typing at you then just staring into space waiting for the "whoosh whoosh" sound of the printer to stop.)

In other news, I found out that there's going to be a meet-up of sorts in October in Savannah. I love Savannah and have really wanted to go there for a while, so this may very well be my excuse. A long, early fall weekend on the Georgia coast might make for some really interesting shots. I'm seriously mulling it over.

Chase has to go to the vets for shots and also to the groomers to get shaved this week. He's quite a fuzzy little beast and also quite knotted, since he won't allow me to brush him on a regular basis. We've taken to calling him "fizzy" since he's all frizz, what with the long curls and all.

I've been looking for a last name for him because, well, Charlie had one (he was Charlie Barker, who actually didn't bark, in case you don't recall) and, so far, the best I've been able to come up with is Chase Kerfluffle since, well, since he's a hooligan. If the name and the curls fit, as it were...

Until next time...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Purity


MadonnaPreyingOnBurano, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

The textbook (wikipedia) definition of "purity" is actually "free of pollutants." While it's true that this Madonna is actually anything but "free of polluntants" (she's got some dirt around her, mostly dust and grime from being exposed to the elements) I thought she represents the most pure thing I could thnk of and so here she is.

Purity, in some ways, I'd guess, isn't so much about pollution as it is about being clean or free.

Until next time...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Paris' Fun House


JailHouseDoor1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

So Paris Hilton is no longer in the "big house." (Or, in an ironic twist of fate, that special place some like to call, "the grey bar Hilton" also known as the pokey, the hoosgaw, you get the idea.) After all she's put us through, I'm starting to think they didn't give her a harsh enough sentence. I mean, come on, she ended up serving, what, five days? If a "normal" person got a DUI, well, we'd end up doing more hard time than that.

She's so annoying, I honestly believe they should have given her the death penalty. She's such a dog, "put her down!" I say. For the good of humanity, kill that bitch. I mean, come on, "house arrest?" You know she's already out partying.

And I don't even believe in capital punishment. But I think they should make an exception in this case.

Death to Paris! Save us all!

Until the next tin cup rattles my cage...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

It's Show Time


ArmsAt90No1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

I just got word that I've been accepted into the Austin Visual Arts Association's 30th Annual show. Yay! I'm really happy about this because, well, because frankly the good folks at AVAA drink heavily. (Remember my official advice to all aspiring photographers and artists: "Leave the opening reception as soon as the alcohol runs out.")

All kidding aside, the show is to be held at the Dougherty Arts Center in downtown Austin and it's a great place to show work. Not to mention they are pulling out all the stops for this show-inviting founding members to participate, bringing in entertainment (!) enlisting the help of esteemed jurors, and, yes, even having a grand schindig for an opening reception.

Speaking of shows, I believe I have started to loose count. So far, this year, it's: AVAA's "Where the Wild Things Are" show, the Austin Animal Attractions show at the Austin Airport, the Center for Fine Art Photography's Black and White show, Picture the Cure show in Toronto, the AVAA 30th Anniversary Show, and probably the Heart Gallery shows. Phew. I'm going to have to slow down. Luckily summer is coming and I'm not sending much stuff out now.

At least, I had better stop sending stuff out because, at the rate I'm going, I won't leave time to take any new pictures. I suppose I should enjoy it all because, as they say, "when it rains it pours..." and it's been doing a lot of that lately too. (We had more hail again yesterday.)

Until next time...

Monday, June 04, 2007

Storm Clouds Rising


WithDrumLoneBackNo1, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

We had storms again last night. I fell asleep to the sound of hail failing down at the window. At least we were both safe in bed. Chase curled up with me, I guess he didn't like the hail much either. Today, it's sunny now but promises to be stormy, rainy, and the like, later in the day.

I didn't get anything done this weekend, but slept a good part of the day yesterday. I think that I was really tired and just needed a good sleep. Even the storms didn't really wake me up, it was more the cool air. I've taken the heavy blankets off the bed, and started fumbling around 3 am looking for something a bit warmer, since the storms brought some coolness into my night.

I haven't watched TV in days either. It's like I've just lost interest in it all. Doesn't matter what show, since American Idol went off, well, I'm not really into anything.

I've got a lot of photo projects swirling around so probably just as well, right?

Until next time...

PS In case you haven't noticed, I'm doing a Hula series. It will probably run for the next few days, interrupted, of course, by Photo Friday entries and other stuff, as my mind un-ravels. Enjoy!

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Aren't Rocks Hard?


SoftRocksCH, originally uploaded by carolWorldLeader.

This shot was taken from a moving boat. The result? A little too soft for my taste. So what did I do? Make it softer.

I added a bit of texture in Photoshop and used a technique that (hopefully) makes the result look soft on purpose. It's supposed to make it look more like a painting anyway.

Normally, I'm not a big fan of the "overly Photoshopped" images-I prefer to do everything in camera but, every once in a while, it's good for the soul to play. Poke this button, turn that dial, twist this knob, if, for nothing more, than to see what pops out the other end. Cats are not the only curious beasts in the universe, just the ones most famous for getting their noses chopped off, right?

It can't really hurt to play every once in a while, can it? I mean, that's how we learn, right? Not to mention, while this isn't my favorite of favorites, I think it sort of kind of works, as a snapshop of Hawaiin lava rocks, anyway, even if nobody every did hear of soft rocks.

Until next time...