Thursday, March 31, 2011

Pele and the Frenchmen


VolcanoNight0856, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.
A few weeks ago, when I was in Kona, there was a sort of "volcanic event." A rare lava "plume" had formed. What's a lava plume? Well, it looks a bit like this.

Since we had this wonderful rare lava plume and we were a bunch of photographers, we decided to go up the mountain (actually go *over* the mountain might be more like it) and hit the volcano-hoping, of course, the volcano would not, ahem, hit back.

Picture it. A pack of about seven women photographers, tripods in tow, little "head lamps" and flashlights in place, all ready to hike up to the volcano and wave, "Hello!" Yes, we were so *there* to photograph the volcano. Conveniently, the new lava plume had decided to erupt mere steps from the visitor's center. This was fantastic because it provided us with a bench and a stone wall, so that we could perch ourselves up at night and shoot the volcano. We could also put our feet up and rest a bit, as we were happily shooting away. Oh, life was good.

Well, life *was* good, until we met the Frenchmen.

As we're setting up shop, we're all sort of cackling around, being a bunch of ladies interested in all kinds of photography some of us were doing abstracts, light painting, infrared, you name it. Poking our cameras, playing with flashlights, doing annoying things that art photographers sometimes do. Yes, that was us.

The Frenchmen? Yeah, not so much. They were there to shoot the volcano in their macho/manly sort of a way. They had expensive gear and were "real" photographers (or so they told us.) One of them even went as far as telling us (in a proper French accent, mind you) that he was, "a PROFESSIONALE!" and that he, "knew where his tripod was at all times!" and would not "bump the leg" against anything. Right. You are professional. Got it. You have $10,000 worth of camera gear and "oh my! What a big penis you have!" There? Does that about cover it? Yeah, I think I got it. I get where you are coming from. You're sort of like a robotic penis with an expensive lens around its neck and no heart or soul in sight. Check. Got it.

Needless to say, we did not get along. This really was a battle of the sexes in more ways than one.

We, the women (that would be those who did not have the large penises-heck we didn't even have penises at all, mind you) were artists, not technicians. We were interested in making great art, items of lasting beauty, enjoying our surroundings while celebrating nature and enjoying ourselves. The men? Oh, they just wanted to showoff their, ahem, large camera gear (yeah, that's it) and boast a lot. Some of them even offered to help us. That was nice of them. Yes, very nice, especially nice for somebody burdened with a large penis, don't you think? I mean, their penis is probably so large, I wonder how they could even stop lugging it around long enough to actually stop and help out another human being? It's a wonder the entire world, the volcano right there and then, didn't collapse under the weight of those giant penises. Makes the mind boggle that, doesn't it really? Oh, I'm sure those lenses were long and those penises really, really large. It's a wonder the volcano didn't just cave in, what from all that extra weight being thrown around right there on the surface, conveniently located steps from the visitor's center.

After we pissed off the French tourists and got our photos, we headed back towards the cars. We loaded up our gear and started walking back towards the parking lot. That's when we saw it. There were these sort of glowing phone booths, all bright and just calling us. We all stopped to photograph the phone booths, ignoring for a time the volcano. Hey, what can I say? We're artists. We're interesting people. You never can tell what is going to capture our fascination next, can you? Sure, the volcano was nice, it was great, in fact, but the phone booths were equally high in the "cool factor" for us. I shot both of them and I'll probably use images from both locations-in different ways, yes, but I'll keep some of each because that's just the kind of "girly girl" photographer I am, I suppose. I think. I mean, it's hard for me to "think" at all right, because I'm so lacking in the "giant penis" department?

And, in case you're wondering, yes, I did get a shot of the volcano too. Now, my shot of the volcano is not brought to you by a "PROFESSIONALE!" Frenchman, and no penises were harmed in the making of this shot, and I know I'm just an amateur but, if you look kind of hard, you might be able to spot the volcano in this shot. Can you maybe see it from where you sit? You might have to squint a little bit but, if you try really hard, it might just be there. In a blurry out-of-focus feminine sort of a way, mind you, but, yes, Virginia, there really is a volcano in this picture. One that's conveniently located near the visitor's center, next to some spiffy glowing phone booths too, mind you.

As we were driving back from the volcano, I told one of the other women that I thought the name "Pele and the Frenchman" might make a really good name for a rock band. Don't you think it would? Of course, it would have to be a rock band with really big penises, I mean, um, guitars, yeah, that's it. And lots of hair gel because, after all, they would be *professional* musicians, with a name like Pele and the Frenchman, wouldn't they?

Ok, you can stop me now, I've officially gone too far with this. But, before I go, I should remind you of one little inconvenient "fact" I had forgotten until recently. Pele, spirit of the volcano, was in fact a woman. Yes, she was the *goddess* of the volcano. So that big, bad volcano you see here? Yup, that's right it's female. That's a lot of lava coming from something without a penis, don't you think?

So, remember that the next time you fight the photographic battle of the sexes. If Pele can do it, why too can't you?

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Making a Book with Blurb


NiceStacks, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.
Hey! Listen up!

It's been a while since I've talked about "big news" stuff I've been meaning to share with you.

I'm very excited to announce that I'll be teaching as part of the Dougherty Art School's D-I-Y: Artist Development series.

The series is fantastic. It's a complete package designed to get you, the photographer (or artist) wanting to take his or her work to the next level, well, to the next level. It's got all kinds of short, some even one session, classes on things like writing an artist statement, pulling together a portfolio, making a book with Blurb, designing a website, using social media, and all kinds of neat stuff. Really. Think "entire package with a bow and even sprinkles on top" and you're there.

I'm really excited about this series and you should be too. It's a great way to get some of Austin's own fantastic artwork out into the world a bit more, as well as help gather up local talent and spread the cheer. It's going to be a great series. It's been designed to be inexpensive and modular so that you can take the classes individually and many of the classes are scheduled at convenient times, including Saturdays and evenings. It's a great series for those wanting to take their work to the next level but don't know where to start or how to go about doing it.

The first sessions I'm teaching are going to be making a book with Blurb, so you can find out how to turn your shoebox full of scattered photographs into an organized well-designed book you can showoff to your collectors.

You can find out more information on the sessions at the Dougherty Art Center's website here or contact them through more traditional mean this way: phone: 512-974-4040 fax. 512-974-4039 1110 Barton Springs Rd. Austin TX, 78704

Classes are filling up quite quickly so I'd recommend you sign-up soon if you are interested. Well? What are you waiting for....go, go, go!

Until next time...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Midnight at the Oasis


AlphaRev516, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.
So the other night I set out to photograph the moon. I had all the best intentions of photographing the moon, honest I did. Moon, moon, moon, moon moon. Yup, here's me, packing up the camera gear, getting all ready to go out and shoot the moon.

Did you ever think that sometimes you are just fighting destiny? That you are destined to do something and that, no matter how hard you try to escape, destiny will catch up with you and you will be left with no say in the matter? Yeah, that's what this shot is.

You see, I had a run-in with Alpha Rev before. Sometime back, a while ago, I had heard Alpha Rev on the radio. I really liked the song I heard on the radio too. I even blogged about it. You might remember me blogging about it because, I guess now famously, I flubbed the lyrics. No matter, the band is great, I loved them, etc. etc. Somehow though, somehow deep in my photographic heart, I knew Alpha Rev was not finished with me.

Fast forward to the moon or, at least, what I thought was going to be the moon.

This year, like every year, there was a music festival going on in Austin. It's called "South by Southwest" (in case you're not familiar with it) and it happens every year, about this time. Tons of people come into town, from all over the world, set up shop, and start playing music. Usually, I do not take part in this festival, since it requires something called a "wrist band" which requires that you pay a lot of money to some organization so that you can then turn around and go see the tons of live acts playing around Austin. It's great if you're into that but, being a local, I've always managed to avoid this festival.

Not this year.

This year? Nope. It's huge. South by Southwest was bigger than normal, if such a thing could be even considered normal. The paper even called it "South by SWamped." There were like millions of people walking around Austin. Kayne West was here. Mike Tyson. Bob Geldorf. Laura Bush. It was like a zoo.

So, Saturday night, I pack up ye ole camera bag and head out to meet some friends. The plan was we were going to meet up at the Oasis, a place out by the lake, just to the west of downtown Austin. The Oasis is a lakefront property, perched high up on a hillside, offering up some of the best sunset views Austin has to offer. It's a very pretty spot even though, as you know, I tend to shy away from that, the "P" word and all.

Ok, so after the pretty sunset, we were going to go out and shoot the moon. I was all set for this, all prepared. Batteries charged. South by Southwest crowds, we though, neatly avoided.

Nope. Wasn't in the cards.

For starters, I get out there and it's packed. Jam packed. Could hardly find a parking place. Phew! It was going to be that kind of a night. Then, as I was walking up, I noticed something else. I hadn't been to the Oasis in a while, many years in fact, so many that I hardly recognized the place. It changed a lot over the years-got a lot bigger. Ok, no problem, the moon would still be there, right?

I setup to shoot the sunset and I started to do just that actually, but that's when I noticed it. There was a band playing behind me. At first, I thought I heard a radio playing. I recognized the song. It was the song with the lyrics I had flubbed back here, back a while ago. Something about "hearing a Mona Lisa." They have a radio on? I thought. Nope, wasn't a radio, it was a live band. The bands playing a song from the radio, I thought? Nope, wrong again. It was the band who had written the song on the radio performing. Wait a minute, that's Alpha Rev!

Yeah! Finally slow Carol gets to the finish line!

Oh, I get it now. It's like some kind of South by Southwest showcase. And I'm here. With a camera. Yeah, this is so going to happen now. Destiny fulfilled, I'm shooting the band.

As it turns out, I had packed up my 7D with me that night. It's not only water resistant but it's good to go down to like 2000 ISO. Amazing the new technology isn't it? 2000 ISO, a light jacket, and Alpha Rev all in one night. Phew!

So, there you have it. Somehow, early on, I should have figured that it was some kind of destiny thing. That I was just supposed to shoot this band. That it was just sort of in the cards, as it were. Maybe blogging about it made it be, I just don't know.

And the moon, you might be wondering about the moon. Yeah, about the moon. I took a couple of shots but it wasn't all that great. Frankly, I've seen better moons on better nights. The clouds were a little bit cool but the moon looked rather ordinary to me, so I didn't bother to shoot it much. Heck, I had Alpha Rev to play with, why would I want a big old honking moon to mess around with?

So, if you shot the moon, I'm glad you did. I hope you enjoyed it and got great shots. Frankly though, I wouldn't trade my Alpha Rev south by southwest shots for the moon. I like mine better, 2000 ISO and all.

Midnight at the Oasis. Turns out you never know what you might find there. It just might be destiny so pack a camera and enjoy the sights and sounds.

Until next time...

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Creative Sunset Photography


CreativeSunset2993, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.
Sometimes, it's really hard to take a common subject and shoot it "differently." What does "differently" even mean? It's hard to say.

Take sunsets, for example. Everybody shoot sunsets. Everybody and their brother has some great photo of some great sunset that they've taken over the years. Somewhere. "Oh, I took this when I was in..." followed by some exotic location that they maybe went to once or twice on their honeymoon. But, yeah, there it is. Sunsets are always around us.

It's for good reason too. Sunset and the twilight times of day do make for interesting photographs. The light does look better and, let's face it, the colors in the sky can be downright....pretty.

Oh, now I know what you're thinking. "She used the 'P' word! She's gone off the deep end!" Yes, I know, but it's true. They are...well...excuse me for saying it but...pretty. It's not a crime to take pictures that are pretty, is it? Really?

Things pretty aside, sunsets can make for interesting images but there's a problem with them. Because so many people do them, because everybody has one in their photographic "bag of mojo" they all start to, well, quite frankly, look a lot alike.

Seen one stunningly gorgeous sunset, seen 'em all, right? Ho Hum. Sunsets can be quite boring, can't they?

This can be a real challenge. How do you take a sunset photo and make it not look like the ten million other sunset photos roaming the known universe at any given time? Just how can you break all the rules enough to get something special, something magical, without getting something ordinary? This can be a hard line to walk. Seriously.

Taking creative sunset photos can be difficult. You've really got to think outside of the box. It's a bit tricky that, or at least it can be.

I tried with this one. I tried slowly panning. The shot was hand held with a longer exposure, taken while I was panning the camera along the x- and y-axis of the original focal plane. That might sound complicated but it's not really-I just moved the camera around a bit as the image was exposing. The EXIF data, if these things help you, is as follows:

Model: Canon EOS Rebel T2i
Shutter speed: 6.0 seconds
Exposure program: aperture priority
F-Stop: F/5.0
ISO Speed rating: 100
Focal length: 28.0 mm
Lens: EF28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM
Flash: Did not fire
Metering mode: Evaluative

Basically, I setup the shot to expose in aperture priority, as if I were going to take the shot on a tripod, but I opened up a bit and shot it at f/5.0. I figured I didn't need all the crispy sharp goodness offered up by an f/16 exposure if I'm going to be panning anyway, right? So why do it? I opted for a decent exposure time-I figured that 6 seconds was just about enough panning time to give me some detail but not enough to give me anything too crisp. With these kind of shots, it helps sometimes to shoot a few frames by dividing the exposure time in half or thereabouts-shooting half the time holding still and the other half panning for the effect you're trying to get. In this case, I held it for a few seconds and then panned for the remainder of the time.

I can't say that I got something totally unique. I mean, there are a lot of sunset shots out there and it's entirely possible that lots of people got the same kind of shots, but I do kind of like mine. It has a motion to it and a fluid feel that I rather like. I'd have to say while it maybe isn't the single most creative sunset shot out there, it probably doesn't look all that much like most of the ones roaming the photographic universe either. It's maybe a little bit different, isn't it?

All in all, I feel it's not a bad shot. At least, I like it better than an ordinary tripod crispy sharp shot taken about the same time and it's got a little bit of the 'P' mixed in for good measure.

Until next time...

Monday, March 14, 2011

They Say the Color Pink is Supposed to Quell Insanity


PinkSunsetWide, originally uploaded by carolsLittleWorld.

Since they say the color pink is supposed to quell insanity, I've decided to upload a pink image for today's upload. And, you might be wondering why I have not posted in a few days-Ha! That sort of goes hand in hand with the entire "insanity" bit. You see, I've been busy...

I had four shows this weekend. Four. I have been running around like a mad person. A chicken with her head cut off. And then, on top of all of the show foof, there was an earthquake in Japan. And a tsunami. It hit Hawaii even, it hit this place. Things are happening, crazy things. I don't really have much more to post, other than to complain about the crazy things happening in the world and tell you how totally slammed I am today, so I thought it would be best if we just shared some pink. Here's some pink. A sunset. A quiet moment to calm you nerves. A chill before the big pill. You get the idea. It's time to exhale. Yeah, it's been that kind of a week.

I'd say I can't wait for it to slow down but, unfortunately, it doesn't appear to be getting any slower. Things just keep moving at a record pace. It's a crazy ride, so please buckle up and try to enjoy the thrill of the universe whirling by your head at record speed. I hope things are moving as fast for you as they are for me. I hope your little world finds you crazy busy, enjoying life to the fullest, and just having a grand blast of a time doing what it is you do.

Oh, and, just to make you feel totally guilty about it....I bet somebody is sitting on this beach, right about now, enjoying another one of these lovely sunsets...not a care in the world, maybe reading a Kindle and laughing at a joke their friend just told them. Or, like, wondering where in the world they just left their sunglasses and if they have enough lotion on their back.

Snap! Oh, don't cry for me!

Did you get a red little umbrella in your drink or a blue one? I hope it was the blue because, it might be way too late to point this out now, but I was holding out for the red one. (Red is, after all, closer to pink, isn't it?)

Until next time...

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Happy fat Tuesday, y'all

Today is fat Tuesday. Happy fat Tuesday y'all!


Until next time...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Saturday, March 05, 2011

Spent CF, Lots of processing and packing

My life is filled with these things now. The spent cf has really piled up, along with the laundry. Tomorrow night east bound to Texas.


Until next time...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, March 04, 2011

Sunset on North Shore

Marathon 16 hour day of shooting yesterday and now up early to do more. Caught a sunset shot on north shore after drive from Volcano. Really need a shower but at least we caught a bite while up that way. After sunset shoot, gets dark, might as well make your way home slowly, right? Thank goodness for iPhone flashlight app and Yelp! I hardly knew ya!

Here's a hipsta from the sunset. Hipsters take some great sunset shots.



Until next time...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Volcano

As I walk across the lava pits, the sound of cracked fresh shale bells from my feet and I'm reminded of my early science classes. So this is how the earth was formed so many years ago.




Until next time...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Ah the Sweet Hazards of Hawaii

Yesterday, we went for a sunset shoot down by the Place of Refuge.

One of the "problems" of sunset shoots in Hawaii is that all of them are wonderful. Beautiful. Incredible. You probably know this without me telling you how it is. They don't call this paradise because it's ugly, right?

So, picture it. We all go down to the beach, to shoot the sunset, camera gear in tow, and we're all stoked about getting there in time, with all of our camera gear and such, all excited about seeing another perfect Hawaiian sunset. Yeah, life is good.

Well, we get down there and what happens? Yup, you guessed it. It rained. At first it was just a sprinkle, so we decided to brave the walk from the parking lot. We're all fearless photo warriors, mind you, we're not going to get a little sprinkle or drizzle stop us. Foof on that, no way.

Alas, as we were walking around the beach, the rain kept falling, pouring, raining down upon us. At one point, it got so heavy, we had to seek shelter in a nearby Tiki hut. So there we were hiding in a Tiki hut, rain coming down, and what do we do? Take iPhone photos. Take infrared photos. Shoot out the back of the hut. Yeah, nothing was stopping us yesterday.

We were rewarded for our ambitions too. After about 10 minutes the rain stopped and we were rewarded with a beautiful sunset. It was even better than the "normal" Hawaiian sunset. And we got to shoot it. Almost all by ourselves too. All the other weak "non warrior" tourists had gone home and we were happy. Off! Off our beach, you weak white kneed tourists from the mainland, this is *our* beach and we're photo warriors. We're strong and we're here to take pictures, and you're not going to get in our way. We didn't let any of the hazards of Hawaii stop us.

Today, in a follow-on fit of bravery, I went swimming, snorkeling actually, with a school of fish. Seriously. Me swimming. I don't know how to swim and yet, there I was, out in the big "lake" with my water noodle, my snorkel mask, and a bunch of fishies. Maybe even a passing turtle.

Take that, you Tiki gods. I'm not scared, you're not going to stop me, and I'm getting great pictures.

You can stop chanting now and, hey, wait, is that a human sacrifice next to your temple? Right, fine, ok, I'm not that brave, I'll just be backing out now....(kidding, kidding.)

Until next time...