Photo Project Complete!

Miscellaneous, Photography

My photo project is finally done! I don’t think I’ve talked about it on the blog at all yet, so you probably had no idea that I was even doing a photo project. So what was I doing? Long, long ago, (I think it was in 2014…maybe earlier than that) I had gotten all of my physical photos scanned in. (Originally I was going to spend the hours scanning them myself, until Nick helped me to realize how crazy that idea was…especially since there were very reasonably priced Groupons to be had out there.) And long, long ago, I had imported all of the photos into my computer and started organizing them. And, as you can imagine, years of organizing photos while adding new photos to the mix made a big mess. (It didn’t help that when I started this project, I was using Aperture, and I’ve since had to switch to Lightroom.)

But it’s finally done! All the duplicates have been removed. The photos I don’t even know why I had (pictures of someone else’s dog that I must have been given when I was younger) are gone. And everything is in chronological order…sort of. I thought that all photos from back in the day were stamped with the date, but it turns out that they weren’t. I also thought that they were all stamped with the date they were taken, but it appears that they are more likely stamped with the date that they were developed. And my family was not the best at getting our film used and developed in a timely manner…So I had to rely on my memory of when things happened. So I have most things in a general order. Had I really sat down and stuck with this project when the photos were first scanned, I probably would have remembered more about the order…maybe. But after spending a lot of time working on this, I have finally gotten myself to where I don’t really care. As long as they around the right time, it’s good enough for me. And everything is tagged now, so it should be really easy to find things in the future. And, I am already really good about tagging everything new that I’ve been adding to the catalogue, so I should hopefully never have to go through all of this again! Hooray!

One good thing about this project was seeing all of the photos that I took while I was in school. Some of them looked good, but others weren’t that amazing. And after staring at them for hours, moving ahead to seeing the photos that I’ve taken recently, I could easily see how much I’ve improved. Score!

I also realized how much of a photo hoarder I am. (Do I really need tons of photos that are out of focus?) I wish I could tell you that those are all deleted and out of the catalog, but mental problems can’t be fixed in a day people! Honestly, I do still have some blurry photos, but I did delete a bunch of them, so that’s good. And the ones that I kept are mostly for the memory, since there wasn’t a better picture.

When going through all of my photos, I came across the photo above, and it made me smile. Back when I was in school, any time I had to set up lights or any sort of still life, Willow was right there, inserting herself into the picture. For awhile I really thought she wanted to have her photo taken…then I realized that she just liked the really warm lights. It’s sad I no longer have my little assistant, but I’m glad I have a lot of photos of her!

Matryoshka and Improv

Miscellaneous, Photography

What do these two things have in common? Just me. I could have made them two separate posts, but I had no idea what to put for the improv photo. So you get to see these dolls!

For our last photo outing, Kristin and I were not brave enough to risk the cold temperatures outside, so we took this opportunity to practice our indoor photo taking at the Russian Museum of Art. It was nice and warm, but I found out that Russian art is really not my favorite (at least not the current collections). The lower level was full of Matryoshka dolls. I think the woman who took our money said that there were 160 dolls in the collection. Which sounded like a lot, but I think that they counted every single nested doll. And some of the dolls were smaller than a pinky fingernail. So it took up much less space than what I was expecting. For the most part, the dolls all looked very similar, but there were some originals that were fun to look at (such as the photo above. Cat themed!).

The next floor was Russian Sacred Art. I really did not enjoy this art at all, but I found it interesting that everything was painted on wood. I guess I expected at least a little variation. I liked the use of gold leaf and the ornate metal covers that were made to go over your painting to protect it.

The upper level was the Vladimir School of Painting. These were all impressionistic. It was unfortunate the way that the upper level is laid out with a gap looking down to the level below. I felt that it would have been nice to see the painting close up, then move back to see it from a distance, and then move close up again. Unfortunately, with this layout, that was not easily achieved. Oh well. Afterwards, we stopped at the Salty Tart for a delicious post-photo-taking treat, and it was amazingly delicious!

And now onto Improv! Last Friday was my first show, and it was fun! I was so nervous though. Nick and some friends decided to show up and surprise me, which was nice, but it made me even more nervous knowing that I knew people in the crowd. Luckily, I didn’t vomit, and some people even told me I was funny, so score! And, even though I was having a really hard time keeping my hands from shaking violently, I was told by multiple people that they had no idea I was nervous at all. And in practice, I’m constantly told to speak up, but at the show, my fellow Zingers said they could easily hear me, even in the back. Phew! Hopefully now things will get easier from here, and I can get over my nerves and have things pop into my head a little quicker. Wish me luck! I now have two shows a month until April!



My friend Marc recently asked me if I could take some headshots for him. He went back to school and is almost finished, so he needed some updated photos to start his job search.

Originally, we were going to go to Lebanon Hills and take some photos outside, but then it got really cold. So instead, we decided to challenge my ability to light things indoors. Since I’m not a master of lighting, I thought it would be easier to use our large picture window and a reflector. I was pleased with the light, but it was still leaving a lot of shadows on his face, so I had to use my flash. I think they turned out nice, and he seems pleased with them. I hope they help him in his job search!


Miscellaneous, Photography

Last week, some friends and I went to Toronto, Canada! One of my friends, Mindy Mejia, was going to a mystery writer’s conference, and her husband didn’t want to go with, so three of us friends tagged along. It was really fun! Toronto is like a cleaner, less smelly New York. We ate a lot of delicious food, drank a lot of delicious drinks, and saw a lot of cool things. My two favorite things to see were The Power Plant and the Toronto Islands. At The Power Plant, my favorite piece was Demonstration by Michael Landy. What a fun idea to make your art interactive and have others participate in it. And a lot of the signs were very powerful and funny.

Since I knew we would be walking around a lot, I decided to try using my phone for pictures, instead of carrying around my bulky, heavy camera bag. In some ways, I’m glad I did this, and in other ways, I’m not. It was challenging to take photos with my phone, since I couldn’t always see the display. Even though I had the option to adjust for exposure, I wasn’t sure if I was adjusting correctly. And then there’s that whole digital zoom thing…I completely forgot about it. So I was zooming in and starting to get comfortable with the camera, only to get home, download all the photos and realize that they are all horribly pixellated! So sad! But on the good side, my shoulder doesn’t hurt at all, I didn’t have to carefully maneuver around the places that were crowded, and now I know for the future! Plus, it will be fun to see how horrible these look in the future as technology gets better and better!

More Senior Photos


A few weekends ago, I met my cousin in-law and aunt at my aunt’s house for another senior portrait session for my cousin in-law’s son. The weather was a little on the chilly side, but otherwise beautiful. We started the session by my aunt’s house, which is nestled in the woods, which are surrounded by corn fields. In the woods, the light was a little darker, so I had to have my ISO up higher than I would have liked. The trees also cast some strange shadows that I’m going to need to Photoshop out.

From there, we went to a nearby river and bridge. Getting down to the river was a bit treacherous, but luckily, nobody was injured. My favorite photo comes from this part of the session. What I like best about this photo is that my cousin’s son is just standing on a sand bar and looking at my aunt (his grandma) who is standing up on the bridge. He did not seem to love getting his picture taken, so I like that he seems more comfortable than in the other photos. I also like that he really seems to stand out from the background. I did go into Photoshop and blur the background a little bit to exaggerate this, but even without blurring it, he stood out a lot. And as far as I know, that is it for the senior portrait sessions that I have going on for this year.