Sunday, March 30, 2008

Superhero Photo Challenges #5 and #6

I'm a little behind with my Superhero Photo Challenges - and I'm kinda cheating since I didn't take any new pics specifically for the challenges!

Superhero Photo Challenge #5: Eyes Closed
The goal of this challenge is to take portraits with the subject's eyes closed. I'm actually a fan of this technique - for a couple reasons. 1) I have a kinda wonky eye that always closes before the other one and I also tend to blink in most pics 2) I think it tends to add an element of peacefulness to certain images.

The one picture that sprang to mind was one of Emily and Hillel that they used on their wedding program. Emily has the same 'eyes closed' issue as I do with pictures. I can't find a digital copy of it right now so you will have to take my word for it - it's such a sweet, romantic picture - and the eyes closed really adds to the image because Emily looks so blissed out.

Anyway, I didn't have a chance to bug any of my friends to pose for portraits so here are a couple of my self-portraits:

Superhero Photo Challenge #6: Out the Window

Perfect timing for this challenge - which is to simply shoot out a window. I love photographing out of windows whether they are at my house, car, airplane, train, whatever. I lucked out on my last airplane trip. Not only did I have a window seat - but also a gorgeous sunrise and a clear view of Mt. Hood. So I took a ton of pics from the airplane window and here are a couple of my faves.

Friday, March 28, 2008

on a lighter note

"Nothing matters so long as I can get back home and deliver a bubbly, acidic shot of aspartame, caffeine and phosphorus into my bloodstream. I hand over the two dollars, the cap comes off with a hiss, and I can hear the soda sizzling inside. I take a sip, my pupils dilate, the Co2 tickles the back of my throat, the sip slides down my esophagus, breaking down into metabolites in my stomach and liver, spreading to my heart, my brains, my bones. "Ahhhhhh."

Sweet Juniper is a great blog written by a stay-at-home dad (aka Dutch) and his wife (aka Wood) in Detroit. Dutch also happens to be a great photographer - check out his flickr stream:

Today's posting was something I could relate to- a little TOO closely - the addiction to Diet Coke. (although unlike Dutch, I am very partial to Diet Coke - cannot substitute Diet Pepsi unless its a very dire situation - and prefer the fountain variety compared to 2 liters or cans). I was just talking to Kim today at work about how someday I was going to have to kick the aspartame habit. The whole post (including the quote above) is hilarious but here's just one snippet that kinda scarred me:

"According to a new study," she says, "Diet soda actually makes your body consume more calories in the end."

"According to a new study, you're a pain in my ass."

"Did you know Donald Rumsfeld was the one responsible for pushing aspartame-based artificial sweeteners through the FDA approval process without the appropriate testing back in the eighties, and he received a $12 million bonus from the company who developed it (he'd been its president)."

"Is that true?" I ask.

"Yeah, and you know how well he thought out the whole Iraq War."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

do not go gentle into that good night

I arrived back in Portland yesterday after attending Jenny's dad's memorial in Indiana. I wanted to post some pics from my trip - and this great one of Bruce with Laura, Jeff, Jenny, Char and Brent at Xmas. It's hard to believe that was just three months ago. I'm better with pictures than words but I will say that it was a really 'good' memorial. It definitely drove home the fact that Bruce was truly a good man. He touched many lives and I will forever be grateful and thankful that he came in to Jenny's life. My heart aches for their family. I'm so glad I could be there and in help out in some small way.

And of course, having a little Charlotte time was wonderful - she's such a joy! She's talking up a storm and sooooo freakin' cute. And happily, she seems to be equal opportunity with the aunties and uncles. But Uncle Eric (Bruce's son) was definitely her favorite - and who can resist an adorable 20 month old screeching "UNCLE!!!" from across the house. Having her around definitely helped lighten the grief at times...

Sunday, March 16, 2008

saturday in portland

Dad is in town so we did the usual Saturday tour - went to Powell's, checked out the new Jewish deli, hit the CD store. While Dad was in Powell's, I went on a little photo-walk (to avoid buying 8000 more books that I don't need). Here are some pics from our adventures. It was a little gloomy but there were quite a few 'sunbreaks'...

this mirror is outside of the photobooth (cool old school b/w version!) at the Ace Hotel.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

portland international women's day

Sunday was the Portland International Women's Day fest. It's held every year at PSU and for the last couple years Women Build has had an info table and put on a workshop. Last year we had a great time doing power tool demos so we decided to do it again this year. Unfortunately, they changed the festival schedule so it was from 2-8 pm - on a Sunday, which contributed to the rather small turnout. It was really too bad because the organizers put together some awesome entertainment....including a hilarious feminist hip-hop duo - alphabetix, liv warfield (amazing local rb singer) and blubird.

blubird is a band comprised of two 13-year old girls. they met at the rock and roll camp for girls in 2005. They have played a couple local shows, recorded their own ep, have t-shirts, the whole deal..and they are actually pretty good. They do a great song about global warming (and call george bush an idiot :) and did a cover of Karma Police by Radiohead at this show. very cool.

The fest included a small group of vendors and info tables, including Women Build. We had a pretty good day, sold some t-shirts, signed some people up for the ole e-newsletter. Our workshop - "Power Tool Possibilities" was pretty sparsely attended. They scheduled us at 6:15 and by that point, the crowd had dwindled. But we still had a good time.

There was also a display from the Clothesline project - which always makes me think back to the college days. I think it started right around the time I was in undergrad and still quite a powerful display.I ran across another event on campus while I was out running around trying to find change for the cashbox and t-shirt sales. PSU is hosting the Iraq Body Count Exhibit for the next two weeks and I pretty much stumbled across it on the way back from 7-11. Luckily I had my camera with me. It was a gorgeous sunny day in Portland and the stark display of flags was really powerful. here's a link to the project:
Each white flag represents at least 5 Iraqis and each red flag represents 1 American killed in Iraq since the 2003 invasion.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Superhero Photo Challenge #4

It's time for another Superhero Photo Challenge!

This one was tough for me - mainly due to logistical/tech issues. The challenge was to play with textures - overlaying textures on your photos to give them a different feel. Some textures can make a photo look like canvas or aged, etc. However, my laptop is on its last legs and in order to really play with some cool textures, I needed to download a new program or two - which did not make the computer happy. In fact, every time I load a new batch of pictures, it starts freaking out about memory and now my cd/dvd drive seems to be dead. but enough whining about that! Back to the challenge... So I played around with Picasa (the only photo editing program I currently have installed). I've always liked the look of super-grainy images and picasa has a 'film grain' setting and added some sepia tones. It looks much better larger - you can't really see the grain here too much....

I had fun this morning taking some self-portraits by my kitchen window - experimenting with the light coming through the curtains. The shot above was one I liked but it was kinda blurry, so adding the texture/film grain helped the image, I think. Here are a couple other shots. I always look so cranky and/or depressed in my self-portraits. *sigh*

Thursday, March 6, 2008


I've been a bit of a blogging slacker because I'm somewhat obsessed with flickr right now...but here's a shot of the beginning of spring in Portland. yippeee!!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

road trip!

Maggie and I took a roadtrip over the weekend to visit ms. cora in milton-freewater, oregon. where is milton-freewater, you ask? It's about a four hour drive east of Portland - in the northeastern corner of Oregon, about 10 miles south of Walla Walla, Washington.

We had a great time and Cora was a fabulous hostess. Friday night, we went to "Bunko for Boobs" - a fundraiser bunko game that raised money to provide mammograms for women who can't afford them. Maggie was a bunko machine - she missed the big prize by only one bunko! Then Saturday, we went on a tour of all the frogs of Milton-Freewater! Soooo, I guess back in the day Milton-Freewater's nickname was 'Muddy Frogwater" and the town just took it and ran with it. Most of the local businesses have a frog statue in front of them and I was on a mission to photograph every one!
Here's Cora with the library frog.

Milton-Freewater also has a fabulous shoe store (who would have thought?) Maggie and I did our part to support the local economy.
Saager Shoe Store frogs
And there is the most divine chocolate shop called "petits noirs". amazing unique chocolates and a very cool little shop. It seems a bit out of place. Walla Walla has become quite chi-chi with the wine crowd - lots of spendy restaurants and shops. But Milton-Freewater is much more reminiscent of small town America (reminds me of Otsego in many ways - except Otsego didn't have gorgeous views of the Blue Mountains. And no frog statues...)

And last but not least, cora and jason's adorable new kitty - Hugo!