The Last Day of 2011

We're getting ready for a slumber party right now, or really I'm letting Bee get all of her little friends (favorite dolls & stuffed animals) lined-up, on the couch, and ready.  We've been having these very quiet little parties on New Year's Eve since she was born, 10 years ago.  I think I've only missed 2 with her, when I went out to grown-up parties.  We are happy with our pizza, nachos, cake, ice cream (we're doubling on cake instead), Xbox 360/Kinect, board games (SCRABBLE!), and movies.

There is something quite wonderful about looking at your child asleep.  They're not talking back to you, challenging your intelligence, or making mean faces.  My little girl is at the brink of growing up, and believe me, I am having a very difficult time letting go.

I will enjoy these last bits of Bee's little girl-ness, and I vow to look forward to the future with my tween girl.  I promise I will try my very best to be (more) patient and understanding.  I will be more positive.  I will take better care of myself.  I will find an amazing job...ect...ect...ect...

*Photos shot with my Pentax K-1000 + Kodak Portra 400 film.


Our White Christmas

We had a really good time at my mom's in Hondo, NM, over Christmas weekend. We got snowed-in, but it wasn't a bad thing. It was a little complicated trying to take Polaroids out in the cold, with the shading + warming thing, but I was able to get a few decent shots. Bee took a nice one of me, this time without much guidance. Yay. I hope you all had a good Christmas!

Polaroid SX70, Impossible PX100 UV+ Silver Shade test film.
Polaroid SX70, Impossible PX680 film with ND filter.
Aw man closed eyes, oh well.
Didn't warm the film fast enough..
By Bee.  Polaroid Spectra, Silver Shade film.


Out at Red Sands.

The smallest details were overlooked and all too noticeable. We went out for a semi-spontaneous shoot Sunday afternoon. Next time, I vow to make a more careful plan. Bee was wonderful, though, and she had fun.

(By Bee)
Spectra, Impossible Silver Shade film.

We're going to be in Hondo Valley, New Mexico for Christmas.  One of my favorite things of leaving the city is being able to see multitudes of stars twinkling in the black, black sky.  The chill of the fresh air and the magic of the deep quiet wake me up.  The perpetual gray clouds that hang on my mind clear, and I forget how fucked-up the world is for awhile.

I am looking forward to shooting in a different place, too.  I've shot most everything of interest to me in the vicinity of my granny's house, though, so I think we will take the car and my cameras and drive along the outskirts.


Winter Break...yeah!

We are officially on vacation!  Last night Bee performed for the first time in her school orchestra. It was just as awesome as I thought it would be. The kids were excited, and it was great to see them reading their music, sitting up straight, and having fun. A pre-concert portrait was in order.

Spectra, Impossible PZ 680 Color Shade

Both of the self-portraits I attempted came out with me making my worst try-to-smile-through-bitchface ever. Oh, well.

Spectra, Impossible PZ 680 Color Shade

The only PX100 UV+ shot of the pack that came out properly exposed.

The other almost beautiful shots of Bee in this new film...well, they break my heart.  I don't like to think much when I'm shooting with Polaroid cameras, as it really takes the fun out of it for me.  So, I just end up shooting entire packs like a crazy person, with no mind or care to wait and see what is happening with each shot before proceeding with a thoughtful plan.  I even broke the promise I made to myself to take notes on camera settings.

I did turn the dial over towards darken, and had a homemade -1 stop ND filter taped onto the lens.  It was rather chilly outside, and I was kind-of struggling because I didn't want to spend too much time posing Bee, the shots needed to be shaded, warmed, ect...it just wasn't a good scenario.  Again, oh, well.

I'm pretty sure I will do much better with the second pack.  I'm glad this test film was available to folks enrolled in the Pioneer program for an affordable price, as we can feel much freer about shooting it.  There are now plenty of tips thanks to the earliest testers that should help me get more effective effects with this film.  I'm looking forward to shooting the next pack this weekend.  (Did I really just say "more effective effects"?)


A Miracle! Sort-of!

Well, I feel like a big dork, I thought I really messed up my SX-70 Alpha 1 when I dropped it a few months ago.  My exposures were all coming out with spots along one edge, like this:

I thought I had caused a crack or something bad like that (light leaks, but ugly ones).  I finally decided to make a more time-consuming effort to find answers so I could try to fix this problem myself.  After about 15 minutes of surfing the Web, I found out that I just had gunk on the rollers, so now I am happy again!  The last thing I wanted to do was bury another SX-70 (use it as a bookend).

The only thing is, I had some fresh PX70 Impossible film inside the camera, and I lost a few exposures removing and reloading.  I still like them, though.  Rothko Impossibles!

Also, I was feeling super-anxious about wanting to shoot the new Impossible test film, the PX100 UV+ Silver Shade, and received it in the mail today, so I ended up shooting the remaining PX70 Color Shade pack on boring stuff.

(1st shot after the cleaning, me and Steven at lunch at Franky's Mexican Restaurant.  You should've seen the big scene I made trying to get a good shot.  Kidding, kidding, I always feel like I make a big scene with my Polaroid.)

Isn't the color AMAZING?

Bee is the best assistant.  She helps me with focus for self-portraits by standing-in.  I always get good shots of her in these situations.  I'm really glad the last exposure of the pack came out so nicely.

I was then ready to I load my Alpha 1 with the PX100 UV+ Test film.  I attached my handy self-timer #132 and PX Shade (which works like a charm I have to say), and tried to look relaxed and thoughtful for a self-portrait, (because that's what I am-HA) but stood too close to the camera, and the focus was off.  I may have moved the tripod.  I missed the mark.

Window light, late afternoon, L/D wheel 1 notch towards L.

Window light, late afternoon, L/D wheel right in the center.

These aren't any good, but I think I have a good idea of how this new monochrome film it is going to react to the light.  Tomorrow will be better test shots for sure.  I mean, I hope!

Did I forget to mention I graduated from college?  I really did!  Last Saturday.  It was amazing.  I was incredibly proud, and so grateful for all the support friends and family have given me during my studies.  I now have a BFA!  It's a dream come true.

You can tell I ordered the cake myself. :)  Tres Leches!


The last official Drawing class project.

This piece contains 250 of my (super-neurotic, I admit) motherly life lessons. I wanted to create something that could in essence be used to teach my daughter in my absence. I need to play with the presentation of the order of the drawings at the bottom, but this is pretty much how it will be until I create more of them.

The backing is 100% pale pink cotton, and the drawings were done on tracing paper with colored pencil.  I wanted to get it home and take some detailed shots of it, some close-ups, but don't see that happening for awhile, so here it is the way I presented it at school last Tuesday.

I haven't measured it, but I estimate it to be 40 x 55", including the drawings at the bottom.

The following photos are from my sketchbook.  They contain the plans for the above piece.  The kind-of 3-petaled upside-down raindrop mark is the one I ended up using throughout the piece.  This is the part that is very difficult to see in the above photo-I am sorry about that...

Later in the week I will be getting my Printmaking portfolio back, and will share my drypoint, etching, and aquatint works with you.  They are all learning pieces, but I kind-of like what ended up happening with them anyway.

I'm finally finished with my undergraduate studies!  Thank you to all of you who have supported me all these years.  Next Saturday morning, December 10th, I will be donning that weird flat pancake graduation hat, and the gown, too, the whole 9 yards.  I honestly feel like if I died tomorrow, at least I can say I achieved this ultimate dream.  Cheers!  I've done plenty of jumping up and down with Bella Bee since turning in my final Print portfolio yesterday.  We are happy.


Sunday + Sunshine

It would have been a shame not to take a break with Bee to go to the park this afternoon.  She is getting much better with my Polaroid.  I think she is ready for her own.  She has confidence with the Spectra.

Me, by Bee.

Me, by Bee

Me, getting lots of stickers on myself, made me itchy through my clothes...with Bee in the background there.


A perspective that didn't quite work out, but it is endearing to me at least.

Polaroid Spectra, Impossible Project PZ680 Color Shade film.

Other things we accomplished together this weekend:

1.  Finished season 8 of Little House on the Prairie... (Laura and Almanzo are expecting a baby!)

2.  Watched a Bjork video collection together for the first time, Volumen Plus (1998) which was amazing.  A tad on the ahem...educational side for Bee with the artist's All is Full of Love's homoerotic robot self-love, but ultimately, compared to all the covers of men's magazines in Bee's face at the bookstore and supermarket...it gave us something to talk about and expand on, a point of comparison on feminine issues.

I have a very smart, sensitive girl.  She's very aware of the issues, I am her mom after all.  Our favorite of the collection is Cocoon, if you have not seen it yet, (admittedly, I had not) you can watch it on YouTube.


It's been a very long day.

I do this mean girl face quite a lot, I'm realizing.  It can be interpreted as bitch-face, I admit.