Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

AutumnLeavesOnGround, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

This is about as close to confetti as I will come, sorry, you'll have to settle for some already fallen leaves.

I hope 2010 brings you good cheer, good health, close family, and lots of success. 2009 was a hard year in a lot of ways, here's hoping we can all start to come out of the darkness a little bit, maybe shine up that old optimism some, and take the new year out for a spin.

As far as resolutions go, look for a post on that to follow soon. Black eyed peas? Well, I've never been big on them (being from the north and all) but, yes, if it brings you luck and joy, why not, right? (Bring 'em on, I say!)

Happy New Year to one and all!

Until next...year this time...

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stream of Unconsciousness

NiceSky, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

I took this picture because I thought there was a nice sky and I like nice skies. Nice skies, generally, make for interesting pictures, don't you think?

You can call it peer pressure, you can call it "Carol is freezing her XXX off and has thrown fashion sense into the wind yet again" or you can call it what you will, but I have broken down and gotten a pair of Uggs. They are short chocolate brown ones, if you must know, and yes, I do, in fact, wear them out of the house. They are toasty warm. Not only do I enjoy a brown pair of "street" Ugg's, I also got some "fluffy pink" Ugg slippers. I just could not resist. So now, I'm completely Ugg-pathetic, wearing them both inside and out, when I'm "street walking" which is something I really don't do but, like, you get the idea.

I have recently taken on another odd fascination. I've become totally engrossed in bare trees. It's a lucky thing that it's almost "bare tree" season too, because, well, if it were mid-summer and this strange fascination hit me, I just don't know what I'd do. I'm oddly fascinated with bare trees and have taken up stalking them, hunting them down, browsing various 'hoods in search of, and the like. If you spot me with my head tilted, no, my neck hasn't "gone out" yet again, it's just me looking at trees (for some unknown reason or another.) Oddly enough, this year, my fascination for holiday lights has completely backfired. I have absolutely no desire to shoot any holiday lights-this is very unusual for me and can perhaps be best explained by stating that I'm in a more "natural" mood and want to get out into nature a bit more. First sign of a skunk and, I'm sure, that will change but, for now, there you have it.

Acura has introduced a new car, called the ZDX. It's outrageously expensive and, I thought upon first glance, quite ugly. But, alas, the more I look at it, the more I grow to like it. Sadly, the price is not coming down anytime soon. It clocks in at "way too rich for my blood" but still a girl can drool, can't she? Ok, I'll just come out and admit it, I think it's a very pretty replacement for my car (and leave it at that.)

Speaking of drooling, David Tennant's been on TV a lot lately. BBC America is playing the last of his Doctor Who episodes. I hate to say it, but I can barely bring myself to watch. I'm going to miss spending my Saturday nights almost watching him or, at least, trying to save him from the clutches of the evil TiVo boop, that's for sure.

While on the subject of TiVo, I found out the other day that my local VFW post is having issues with their TiVo. (Imagine that!) A little birdie told me that they have a TiVo and "it keeps recording crime dramas rather than the sporting events they keep programming into it." AH HA! So, that's how you get it to record Law and Order! Now all I have to do is figure out what one of the upcoming bowl games is called, program it in, stand back, and watch TiVo do it's thing. My luck, I'd get stuck actually watching football (bowl games do happen in football, yes? I have the sport right and all?)

In other, ahem, more relevant news, the good folks over at Lifepixel have come out with a new infrared filter. Called "Super Color Infrared" it appears to give amazing colors, for those who are into that sort of a thing. According to their website, "Provides for a super vibrant foliage and intensely colorful sky. With the red & blue channels swapped the foliage takes on a golden orange tone and sky a beautiful royal blue. The most surrealistic, color infrared filter available." Wow. What can I say about that? Gee, I wonder what would happen if I took a picture of my TiVo recording a movie featuring David Tennant batting Nicolas Cage in some kind of a bowl game?

Ah, now that one's easy. The world as we know it would just simply explode.

Until next time...

Sunday, December 27, 2009

This is Me Not Painting-Joking Around a bit

TwoFaces No. 1, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Yes, yes, I've been lazy this weekend-didn't get any painting done and don't feel like doing any. Sorry, but, sometimes, these things just can't be "forced." (I've always found it a bit better to go into the studio with something in mind, just itching to work, rather than to force myself in there and sort of "beat it out of me" but then, you know, actual results may vary.)

Heard a couple of jokes over the weekend-the economy is so bad that they actually stole the sign "work makes you free" from above the entrance to Auschwitz. Now, that's what I call a credit crunch if there ever were one.

Another joke about little kids, dogs, cars, and other assorted "cuteness:"

A young girl is playing with her dog, Lady. "Mom, can I take Lady for a walk?" She asks her mother, who is busy in the kitchen baking and cooking dinner.

"Um, she's in heat," she mumbles to herself, "go ask your father if you can take her for a walk." The little girl does not understand what "heat" is so she goes out to the garage to find her father.

"Daddy, daddy! I want to take Lady for a walk but Mom says she's 'in heat' and that I should ask you what to do," the girl begs. "Please, please, can I take her for a walk?"

The quick thinking Dad, who had been busy cutting the lawn and filling the lawnmower up with gasoline, looks around, grabs an old rag, dips it in some gasoline from the can, and rubs the dog's "Lady" parts with it, to mask the smell. "There, that ought to take care of the smell for a bit. Now, you can walk her but hurry back. Don't be gone longer than five minutes, ok?" The girl agrees and takes the dog out for a quick walk.

A few minutes go by when the girl returns home with an empty leash.

"Where's Lady?" the father asks.

"Oh, she's ok," the little girl responds, "Don't worry Daddy. She ran out of gas on the way home but a little boy dog stopped to help her-he's pushing her the rest of the way home."

What? Like you were expecting a new painting or something actually funny? Ha!

Until next time...

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas-It's Winter Across the Country

WinterTree, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Merry Christmas everybody! I just wanted to pop in and wish everybody a very merry. My heart too goes out to those of you who are stuck, stranded, snowed in, or just caught up in the big blizzard that's gripping the middle of the continental United States today. Phew! Is that a crazy storm or what? I heard they got a foot of snow in Oklahoma and it's snowing in crazy places. We even had a few flurries here, though nothing to really keep anybody home about. (If you must know, it was just enough snow to be kind of fun-we got to watch a flake or two fall from the sky, just enough to remind us that old man winter is around the corner but not enough to block off any traffic or cause any troubles.) This is what the sky looks like when it's about "fixin' to snow" (as they say in these parts.)

I'm home and safe, watching a bit of TV and reading a lot. Really enjoying my downtime, as it's been quite fun to be home day after day, without having to take a "work break" (as it were) to go make enough money to keep Chase in his kibble.

I'm also getting ready for the new year in terms of thinking about my resolutions. This year, I want to read more (already started doing that) and I'm also going to try to draw more-I'm thinking about signing up for some regular sessions to sort of get my artistic juices flowing a bit. I'll do a formal resolutions post when it gets closer to the new year. For now, I'm off to watch a bit more TV, read some more, and work on the house a bit.

Here's hoping all of you out there aren't stuck, stranded, or the like and are enjoying a very happy holiday with friends and family.

Until next time...

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas Eve Everyone!

RedOrb, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

It's holiday time. Time to eat too much, drink a bit, relax, enjoy the season. I've been home but away from the computer, and loving it actually. I've enjoyed (a bit) my time off this week. I hope you're getting some downtime this holiday season as well-sit back, enjoy a warm drink by the fire or maybe even just an extended afternoon nap.

This image is thanks to the new Lensbaby lens-I'm loving the Composer, though I have yet to try out the new "hot swap" optics system. I've also been in studio painting-mostly earlier this week, I'll post more about that after the holiday has passed (for now, let's just say, I've created a new "masterpiece" I like to call "Fiasco in Plum" and leave it at that. :~) Chase is enjoying having me home-he's played ball a bit, but today is very windy and he's afraid of the rustling sound the trees make when the wind comes, so he's cozy and curled up by my side (for now.) I'm sure the "ball playing" time will sneak its way in again, at some point.

We even had a bit of snow today-some snow flurries, which is unusual for Texas at this time of year. I was able to enjoy them though, thanks to being home and relaxing, catching up on things around the house, and enjoying my downtime.

I hope everybody out in bloggy land is having a great holiday season, gets to spend some time with family and friends, and enjoys some downtime as well. I'm sure 2010 will find us all busy enough, so please enjoy the holiday season and spread some cheer around you're little "world," wherever that might be.

I've posted some of my encaustics work up to Flickr if you are highly curious and I'll probably post some more either this weekend or early next week, as time (and my napping schedule!) permits.

Until next time...

Friday, December 18, 2009

Best of 2009

BlueHouseRedPoppies, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

It's that time again. Time to take stock of our year, add up all of the pluses and minuses, figure out what we did right, what went wrong, and how things are shaping up for next year. Time for all of those annual "top 10" lists we always see this time of year too.

According to Flickr, this is my most popular image from 2009. Now, I don't think it's my best work, but I'm happy with it. It's not bad. At the end of the day though, wow, 2009 was really a stellar year for me.

I almost always start off my New Year's resolutions by saying, "*This* year is going to be the year I get a 1-person show." Well, *this* year I had one. I had a long-running show at a lovely gallery in New Orleans, one of my favorite cities. I could not ask for more.

This year was so much more than that though. I started working with encaustics and I love the excitement and energy a new medium brings. It was also a busy show year, I had exhibitions in several states and across every month of 2009. I participated in many shows over at the fantastic Studio 2, my favorite Austin gallery. I had a lot of fun there. I got published (again) and attended some great workshops.

So, to sum it up, 2009 was a fantastic year for me. I really could not have fit in more photographically. And, the best part? I really looking forward to 2010. Really. Even though the economy is in the dumps, and probably will be for the entire year, there's an artistic resurgence taking shape. People are doing things, interesting thing, artistically. You can feel it in the air, artists are experimenting. The great "digital revolution" in photography is here to stay, we've gotten over the "why do we need a professional photography?" funk that we were in, and it's starting to go back to normal-with great artists producing compelling, gripping work, making the most of those new tools to take the media in new directions. There's lots of people doing lots of stuff and I'm happy to be a small part of that.

So, this is my "best of 2009" for you and, I have to say it, I can't wait to see what 2010 brings. It's an exciting time to be a photographer.

Until next time...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

So Close and Yet So Out of Reach

PeekABooRedLeaf, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Yesterday's painting is so lovely, I almost don't want to post again. I'd love to leave that lovely Vermeer painting up for a bit longer, but alas, I've got things to tell you.

For starters, it's been a wonderful autumn. The leaves have all gone fantastic colors, the big tree in my backyard is just amazing. This really is a great year for autumn color in Austin. Unfortunately, I've been a bit too busy to go out and shoot it as much as I would like. I'm going to try to get some shots in this weekend but we'll see how that goes.

It's also coming up on Christmas light season and you know how much I love to go out and shoot those as well. Next week, I'm going to break away and maybe try to do some night shooting, especially some holiday light shooting, so look for that to come in posts that follow.

Around where I live, there's a new trend in holiday decor that, I must admit, I'm absolutely crazy about. Folks have started putting these outdoor ornaments, rather large ones, around the trees outside their homes. I think it looks quite charming and absolutely love this, so I'm going to try to get some shooting of these in as well. There is a house near where I live that has an entire large tree, complete with an extra grand canopy and tons of these large beautiful ornaments dangling from the lower branches. It's looks so festive, I hope I can capture some of that and post it here before the holiday season is through.

I've also gotten some new gear. My lensbaby composer has arrived, as well as a new 50mm 1.4 (aka a "nifty fifty.") I've already started using the nifty fifty, though I need to go get a UV filter to slap on it for some protection. I plan on using the new lensbaby to do some pinhole work, look for those posts to come soon as well.

Finally, I'll be home all next week, so look for me to spend some quality time in the studio and expect that I might get around to (finally) posting some encaustic work as well.

Now it's time for me to retire with a warm cup of tea and a cozy blanket.

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Painters Every Photographer Should Know - Vermeer

According to the Wikipedia entry, Johannes (Jan) Vermeer was, "a Dutch Baroque painter who specialized in exquisite, domestic interior scenes of middle class life." Unlike the other painters featured in the "Painters Every Photographer Should Know" series, Vermeer is a bit of a mystery-little is known about his personal life and his techniques are widely speculated about but not totally understood.

Some facts do exist-he was born and lived his entire life in the city of Delft. His father, Reijnier, was a middle-class tradesman who first worked with textiles-silk and caffa (a patterned silk fabric,) then later became an inn keeper. After his father's death, Vermeer replaced him as a merchant of paintings. Though not Catholic himself, he married a Catholic girl named Catherina Bolnes, who was from a wealthy family. Vermeer fathered 14 children, 10 of whom survived. He was not a prolific painter, and produced only a few works as compared to some of his counterparts.

Camera Obscura
Since little is known about how Vermeer studied and learned his craft, nor did he have any pupils from which to gleam information, there is much speculation surrounding his technique, but few solid facts. David Hockney and other art historians have speculated that Vermeer used a camera obscura (an optical device used as a projector, the precursor to the modern day camera) as an aid in his compositions. There is no concrete evidence to support this and very little is actually known about Vermeer's technique, thanks in part to the nature of painting techniques from that time. Paintings were done typically over a base layer or drawing, which was traditionally done using charcoal, chalk, or the like. This base layer served as an underdrawing. Since the original drawing was essentially covered up as subsequent layers of paint were applied, it left little evidence behind as to what it might have looked like before the paint layers were painted on. No Vermeer drawings have survived, adding more fuel to the fires of speculation over his work.

Some facts that are known-Vermeer favored expensive pigments in his painting and had, quite literally, a "rich" color palette-featuring shades like lapis lazuli, ultramarine, and also various shades of umber and ochre to represent warm light. Vermeer also used a technique known as underpainting-in his work "The Girl with a Wine Glass" for example, the shadows of the girl's red satin dress are underpainted in natural ultramarine, which gives the dress a crisp, slightly purple look.

What Photographers Can Learn From Him
A Vermeer work shouts in soft shadows. His interiors feature careful reflections and impeccable portrait lighting. Vermeer produced elegant studies with careful light. He had a subtle layered palette that photographers can reproduce with careful lighting techniques. Look at Joyce Tenneson's work, for example, to see how this might come into a more photographic medium.

Most photographers understand how critical lighting is to a strong image, after all photography is all about light, but it's not just the amount of light, it's the quality of the light and the mood that the light sets as it reflects and refracts off surrounding surfaces. According to the wiki, "he created a world more perfect than any he had witnessed. This working method most probably was inspired by Vermeer’s understanding of Leonardo's observations that the surface of every object partakes of the colour of the adjacent object. This means that no object is ever seen entirely in its natural colour." A Vermeer painting is a quiet study of light and shadow-warm into cool, soft, subtle, pensively reflective, elegant tones with detailed shadows mark his work. Vermeer is all about lyrical light-the interplay of light and shadow almost sings in his work. For a photographer, mastering the quality of light and creating depth from lighting techniques can really create a compelling portrait or interior scene.

For his lyrical light, his skill at layering and rich color palette, his careful reflections and elegant interior studies, the exquisite subtlety of Jan Vermeer earns him a spot in the ranks of "Painters Every Photographer Should Know." You can read more about Vermeer on the Wikipedia entry about him or stop to visit Essential, and look for more posts (and painters) as part of the series.

This is next in a series called "Painters Every Photographer Should Know." The paintings shown here are Vermeer's "Girl with a Pearl Earring" (circa 1665) and "The Girl with a Wine Glass" (circa 1659). Joyce Tenneson's Dasha, Russia work is also shown. Please note that the paintings and photographs in this series are not copyright the author of this website, may be subject to international copyright law, and are provided her for educational purposes only.

Monday, December 14, 2009

A Sunday Round-Up of Sorts

So, this weekend, I went over to an encaustics demo over at Jerry's. The demo was presented by the fabulous Sharon Kyle Kuhn and it was great-it made me want to come back home and do some encaustics work, which I did. I spent the rest of the day Saturday making two pieces (one is complete and one is almost done, just needs a bit of ribbon in the right spot.) Maybe it was the energy in the air, just being over at Jerry's, or all the positive encaustic "vibes" but I like the two pieces from Saturday a lot better than my previous work. I'm starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel anyway, here's hoping it's not an oncoming train (or some such thing.)

It's shaping up to be a very busy week, since I've got a lot to do before next week, which is, in fact, the holiday week. Tons of stuff to do, and little time to do it in but, I guess, that's always the case, right? Do you have your holiday shopping done yet? Have you even started? (Pffft. Me neither.)

I was over at the Apple store today and wound up getting a sort of "boom box" for my ipod. It's little speakers with an FM tuner and a charging doc for the podling. I'm going to use it in my new encaustic studio so that, when I'm out there, I can have some tunes, and also in my matting/framing station, so that, again, I can listen to some music when tasked with that un-Godly boring task. Oh, how I hate to frame things and cut matte board. *Sigh*

My big tree in the backyard (aka TREE) is almost all this color now. We also had this spectacular fog this morning-it was incredible. No pictures but it was really fun (though a bit hard to drive in) to be out in it. I've got a few more "red leaf" images to upload and might get around to doing this over the course of the week as well. Wish me luck with that.

The latest Utata book has been published, thanks to the folks from Blurb and, of course, Utata itself. You can see a preview of it here. I have not yet gotten a copy but it's on my quickly growing list of things to do soon, so I expect to have a copy sometime soon.

I hope you had a great weekend. It's been a busy one here, though a bit productive and still kind of restful at the same time. (Isn't that great?)

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Story of How I Found Paris Hilton's Dog Bed

ChaseInLeaves, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

This is Chase. He's my dog in case you weren't aware. I've had Chase for a few years now, actually, I think, coming up on three years. He's almost four years old (he'll be four sometime early next year.) Anyway, since I've had him for a while and he doesn't have a doggie bed, I thought that with my "winnings" (from the company I work at getting bought by another company) I would buy Chase a bed. To sort of, you know, welcome him (finally!) into the house and all. He doesn't really *need* a bed, mind you, he uses mine most of the time. And my couch. He sleeps there a lot. But still, you know, I thought it might be nice for him to have a special place he could call his own.

So, I went down to the local pet store to look for a bed, but I didn't find one I liked. All the beds were the same. Just sort of "blah." Nothing cute. Nothing cuddly. Nothing that screamed "CHASE" at me. All just sort of flat little pads. I didn't want Chase to have a boring, old, flat looking pad, I wanted him to have something special, something that, well, reflected his personality a bit.

Next, I googled. Oh, this was fun, let me tell you. Who knew there were so many places that sold doggie beds? Tons and tons of places. And, hate to say it, but a lot of the same "flat mats" that I didn't like in real life. Some were cheaper, some were different, some were doughnut shaped, some were orthopedic but still none of them screamed "CHASE" at me. I looked and I looked and nothing.

So then, I got this idea. Maybe I was looking for the wrong thing. Maybe, since I wanted a *nice looking* doggie bed, I should google something like "nice looking doggie beds" and see what I could find? Of course, everybody thinks that there doggie beds are nice looking so "nice looking" was not quite the right word. I decided I'd try a few different words, but, you know, attempt to find something, anything, that was more nice looking. One of the first words I tried was "luxury." You should google it sometime, perhaps when you are bored. "Luxury dog beds." Again, who knew there were so many websites devoted to luxury dog beds? Didn't the days of go out with that silly looking sock puppet and the rest of the dot com bust? Geesh.

So, in the course of my travels, around the web, I happened upon a dog bed I thought was pretty decent looking. It had wooden legs, and a nice fabric top. I'd have to say it was pretty, as much as one could say that a dog bed was, well, "pretty." And that's when I looked at the price.

Want to take a guess? Want to take a random crazy odd guess as to how much a "luxury dog bed" costs these days?

$1500. Yes, you read that right. I found myself, on the Internets, a $1500 dog bed. A DOG BED for Pete's sake! Something that a dog sleeps in. You know dogs? They're the family member most likely to drool and break wind in mixed company? Yes, them. A bed for one of them costs $1500! Holy smokes, Batman! I'm in the wrong business. Forget this whole art and taking pictures bit, I need to be selling me some high-end kibble and some luxury doggie beds. That's like armed robbery without breaking the law!

I told a few people about my find and they all said the same thing. $1500?!? One person even said, "my bed doesn't cost that much!" Another said, "you could feed an entire village for that." And you could. Even their dogs, I'd reckon.

So, if you're ever up late at night, maybe can't quite sleep, and start to wonder what sort of frivolous things you'd buy if you happen to say, win the lottery or maybe wake up and find that you're actually Paris Hilton in a clever disguise, might I suggest this....behold! A $1500 dog bed.

And, in case you're wondering which doggie bed I got for Chase, well, I didn't opt for the $1500 one, that's for sure. I got him this Pawds 3-in-1 pet bed.I have to admit, it's a very cool looking dog bed, as far as dog beds go but, as far as Chase? Yep, you guessed it. He still sleeps on the couch.

Until next time...

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Attack of the Killer Phone Books

InBrightRed, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

This is a public service announcement.

It's almost the new year. With the new year comes joy and good tidings for happiness, world peace, and love for our fellow man. The holidays bring us together in the spirit of....oh who am I kidding? Come January, the new crop of phone books come out. As the new crop of phone books come out, our front porches are all going to look like giant yellow bricks. We're going to be up to our eyeballs in it-lots and lots of new phone books. They'll be phone books with coupons in them, phone books from telephone companies you've not heard of, phone books from AT&T that weigh a ton, tiny little phone books designed to get your attention. The world will turn into a yellow brick mound of 4-1-1 goodness, the likes of which, well, let's just say they'll be a ton of phone books floating around and leave it at that, ok?

So, what to do with all of the old phone books? Maybe even some of the new ones, you know, the ones you don't really want but somehow managed to make it to your doorstep anyway? How many phone books does one single human being actually need? What is the meaning of life and why are there so many yellow bricks laden across my front stoop? Why? Why? (I am but a humble telephone caller.)

Recycle-sure that's always an option. Encaustics-there's another. Collage. Make yourself two inches taller without wearing heels. Rip them in half to prove your manhood. Count how many plumbers there are in your neighborhood (don't count the lawyers-there's too many of them to count!) Cover them in adobe mud, stack them and start making a small shed in your backyard, suitable for things like, you know hiding those 22 bodies you don't know what to do with since you last happy axe murdering spree. Ah, yes, there are lots and lots of uses for old phone books, the least of which is look up an actual phone number. Does anybody use a phone book for that anymore? Anybody? Bueller? Bueller?

(This has been a public service announcement from Carol's Little World. What out for the start of phone book season. If you're not careful, it'll kill you.)

Until next time...

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Time for Some Output-A Day in the Studio Today

Snowflake-Red, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

I've been busy in-studio today, working with the wax. I'm not quite happy with my results yet, but working on it some and learning as I go. This is one of the first pieces I did today.

I wanted to represent snowing and "winter" as part of my series called "seasonal." I don't know how many of these I'll be able to do, or how many will come together, but I started with this one and I might try to do at least four (one for each season, right?)

It's really timely too, since they had about 6 inches of snow in Houston yesterday. Wow. Who knew Texas got winter, right? Pretty crazy too, because it's been freezing in Austin the past few days. Last night we had a hard freeze and today it was only about 45-50 degrees out. The sun was out though, so that seemed to help things a bit, plus I think I don't notice the temperature so much when I'm busy with tasks at hand. Tonight, since the sun has gone down, it's gotten a bit chilly. I'm going to change out of studio clothing, go bundle up, and have a nice little bite to eat.

Is it winter yet where you live? Have you been keeping warm and busy?

Until next time...

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Bend It Like....It's Snowing?

Dunescape No 1, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Found out today that it was snowing in White Sands. Snow-yes, that kind of snow. Measured in inches too. Imagine what this place would look like with some snow (actually, ha ha, you don't have to-it already looks sort of like "snow" with all that white sand free roaming about the joint.)

In other news, the "real" reason I'm posting this photo was taken with a lensbaby. And, today I have to admit, I got a new one. (No, silly, not a new photo, a new lensbaby!) Yes, the rumors that have (not really) been circulating are true! I've started to get some new gear, the first of which arrived today. It's my new lensbaby composer lens, along with the swappable optics kit, the soft focus optic, and the step up filter. Oh, what a joy that's going to be-I now can do lensbaby pinholes! Look out world, here I come! (Not that you'll be able to recognize it when I'm finished with it, mind you, but, hey, I've got a new lensbaby to play with. Out of my way you crispy sharply focused people, I've got a new lensbaby to play with!)

In other "oh crap it's winter" news, it is slated to snow in Austin on Friday. Who knows? Maybe I'll get to stay home and take some pictures of "real" snowflakes with the new 'baby. (Then again, maybe not...somehow, I don't think pinhole snowflakes are all that good of an idea. You'll just have to trust me on that one.)

So my new pinhole's here and I get "stuck" shooting snow. Meh. I guess that's just the way the 'baby bends.

Until next time...

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

I Did It!

Flag, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Today is December 1st and, for all of those in bloggy land who don't know what that means, allow me to explain.

Today is world AIDS day. No, that's not it. I mean, that's significant and all, but that's really not "it" for me. Hmmm. Let me think.

November 30th marked good news for the Gulf, as it was the end of hurricane season-the calmest Atlantic hurricane season in 12 years, with fewer "named" storms and fewer storms doing damage. Phew! But, sadly, that's not it either.

No, actually, today is the end of National Blog Posting Month! Hurray!

Allow me to explain. Every year, come November, bloggers from all over the world sign up to participate in this annual event. The challenge is simple, blog once a day, every day, for the month of November. It boils down to 30 blog posts in 30 days (or, you know, thereabouts) with people posting everything from new things they learned to cook, the latest in political viewpoints, art, music, writing, theater, and a host of other things. Basically, if you can post it, you can blog it and, during the month of November, we blog it a lot. For those who complete the challenge know that they have contributed, in some small way, to not only National Blog Posting Month, but to National Novel Writing Month, National Screenwriting Month, and National Solo Photo Book Month. All of these things, you see, are designed to get us to get it "out there" to you-for you to read and enjoy. (They are all basically connected, in small ways, as well.)

So, as this month starts anew, I thought it might be a good idea to reflect a little bit on what's gone by. This month found me starting a new series. Called "Painters Every Photographer Should Know" it's been a great exploration of painters throughout history (well, it's a start anyway.) This year, there were only a few, sparse "non blogs," no mental breakdowns in the middle of the month (Phew!) and it seems like it's been an easier ride (for some reason.)

It's been so easy, in fact, that I'd like to propose you join me (if you have a blog) in doing it again come February. Why February, you might ask. And, I'd be happy to tell you. February is the shortest month. It has Valentine's day. It's in the middle of winter. It's just far enough away that we'll have something to say again, when it rolls around, and we'll have forgotten the more painful moments of this November.

So, if you're a blogger, if you're thinking about blogging, if you're a writer, or you do any of these types of things, won't you consider joining me come February? Join me in National Blog Posting Month (yes, they have it every month, though November is the "big" recognized one) or National Whatever-It-Is-You-Do Month. Do something. Do something good and make it count. Think about it for now but, please, join me come February. I hope you'll consider it, because only you can make it happen.

Thanks again for another great National Blog Posting Month and Yeah! It's December.

Until next time...

Photo Tip #31

Photo Tip #31-Opposites Attract

Sometimes, placing two objects with the frame creates an interesting tension. Try placing a frame within a frame, a circular object alongside a different shape, or just two interesting objects instead of a single object to create a sense of interplay in your composition.