Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rare Blue & Balloons

in Just- 
spring    when the world is mud- 
luscious the little 
lame balloonman 
whistles    far    and wee 

and eddieandbill come 
running from marbles and 
piracies and it's spring 

when the world is puddle-wonderful 

the queer 
old balloonman whistles 
far    and    wee 
and bettyandisbel come dancing 
from hop-scotch and jump-rope and 

it's spring 
and the goat-footed 
balloonMan    whistles 

edward estlin cummings


I went to my adopted grandmother's 75th birthday party tonight (adopted means my mom spent a lot of time at her house while growing up and she was introduced to me as Grandma Edie). This is her great grandson Kyle who when he wasn't violently steering a yellow dump truck into tables and people was being chased by his puppy Bristol. He has a balloon string in his mouth the little stinker. 

Canon 5D Mark II 50mm 1.8
(Alas, I have no access to the cage at school and the autofocus is busted.
 I'm at the mercy of this lens I bought when I was 16 for $80. Wish me luck!)

Thursday, February 24, 2011

What We Do Show

Men slaughter a goat to be grilled for a party at a missionary base in Tengeru, Tanzania on 14 July 2010. 

Sister Rita Lewis, a full-time volunteer for 25 years at the House of Mercy homeless shelter, steps outside to find an ambulance on 12 February 2011. The third call for an ambulance in three days came from a 21 year old woman with chest pain. Due to the harsh winter, more people are staying at the shelter which results in widespread illness. With the primary administrator in the hospital, the weight of running the shelter is now on Sister Rita.

These are the narcissistic results.

- Out of 30, my story came in right behind honorable mention. Close, but no cigar.
- The decapitated goat photograph won honorable mention in the feature category out of a lot of photos
- The judges said the memorable photographs were: two of mine from above and my friend Sarah's photograph of a hog about to be shot (you can follow her blog here)

I am now sure I made the right decision to quit the crew team. It killed me at the time but because of being able to focus and lose sleep, my story came together in only three afternoons. I edited, printed and compiled everything alone and did well. I hate for people to see my work before I've given it my best so I wanted to see where my work would stand with me doing it on my own. (My mom was not surprised when I mentioned that part. Oh mum, you know me too well.)

The show was such an awesome opportunity to see everyone's work from the year!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I shot film.

It's hard to colour correct someone who's as sick as Joe. 

Leica M4 35mm
Kodak Porta 400 NC

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

These are the Days

I really know nothing, when I sing sometimes it helps
These are the days they say we'll remember
These are the sounds that will haunt you forever
This is the way the sun feels on your two shades darker skin. 
- A Big Boat and a Bunch of Fir Trees, by The Way Much

I've been MIA, but to be fair I warned you in week nine not to look for me. Today was the seemingly unending News Media critique and the end of the winter quarter. The above photo is one of a few I took in an attempt to stay sleep long enough for class. This class also signals the beginning of last quarter I will be at RIT for at least a year as I'm taking next year off. While it is "just school" it's also a vital time for us PJ kids. We're in such a transitional state right now with a lot of decisions in front of us such as, should we keep editing or shower? They say we'll remember these days. 

Insert commercial break here. 

Cool story about the lyrics above begins... Now! Two years ago this very moment I was in Tanzania just crawling out of my damp tent by a river. I imagine there is sun unlike here in Rochester. A guy named Levi was on the trip who would play guitar and back in California he had this friend Jesse Borden who he would talk about sometimes. This last summer my boyfriend at the time had a friend Trevor Borden who's family lived outside Arusha. Trevor and his brother Jesse went to Westmont College with Levi! A few nights before I left all the ex-pats/missionaries I lived with went to the Blue Heron to hear Jesse and Trevor play and their sister Heather got up on stage and sang her song with them. Turns out they have a band. 

Sometimes life is really sweet. 

Monday, February 14, 2011

Danser Et Voter (To Dance and to Fly)

On Saturday night, I photographed Anna Lee getting ready and the team rehearsing for the Danser Et Voter performance put on by RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Then I had to scoot lest I be a distraction. 

What a Weekend

Unfazed. Doesn't everyone grow up very differently? Candy's grandmother is Betty who works in the kitchen and fairly dives out of sight every time I raise my camera. It's not a genetic trait! Candy grins and makes sure she's in the frame every time.

In other news...
Yesterday was good shooting (though, I found out the guy who follows me everywhere has schizophrenia) but when I got to my car it had unlocked itself with my $700 car radio, laptop, and hard drives with all of my work on them sitting in the back seat. Naturally, I called AAA and the dispatcher didn't hurry it along until a man with gold teeth ripped open my door and demanded to know why I locked my doors when I saw a black man comin'. Since I'd left my door unlocked he promised, with alcohol tainted breath, that he'd watch out for me. "Oh my!" The dispatcher exclaimed overhearing him. She then asked for my number for the third time, thanked me profusely for being a member for two years and then sent the dispatch through. So I cut and reconnected wires in my still disconnected radio as I called my mom "just to say hi"while I waited in case anyone else came over to harass me. My theory of protection was nobody messes with yo mama. If you're on the phone with her, they'll go away. 

The AAA lady's theory of my unresponsive car was that the anti-theft had been tripped. That makes sense because anti-theft systems usually unlock all of the doors and render the car free for the stripping without any alarm sounding... Don't they?

Later, my roommate let me borrow her car to go get the newspaper. Curse that assignment for class! Her car is automatic and I rely on shifting to unconsciously monitor my speed. Going by the auto shop I decided to turn around and check the hours (so I could jump my car and get there for fixing in the morning) only to find lights in the mirror that pulled me over in the auto shop for speeding. He believed nothing I said but let me go.

After my car didn't respond this morning I got out and said hello to a passing biker. He said happy Valentine's day to me. Oh, is today the day to celebrate love? I'll just be happy if my car starts and I can shower.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sister Rita

I finally focused on Sister Rita tonight, shooting far less but getting far more in return than previous times. In the first frame, Rita gives a young woman, Betty, a hug after a long day of high tensions. Her mother and daughter had a nasty fight all day that stressed Rita out. I could kick myself for not getting there earlier but someone kicked me in the leg while I was there. Live and learn.

Canon 5D Mark II
35mm 1.4 and 28mm 2.8

First Love, Final Days

Next week is the RIT NPPA What We Do Show and the final week of classes. Hallelujah. I have a dream of making off with a gallon of developer from school and printing this in my darkroom. It will be a humongous, glorious print of sliver. Here's to favourites! 

Oh film, we had a good run. You are still my first love. 

Leica M4, 400TX
September 2010

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Something of a Weekend

Friday I felt under the weather (what does that even mean?) but thought I'd be fine. Saturday I don't remember anything and Sunday I was comatose most of the day.

Looking for something else I discovered two files of photos I shot Sunday. Who knew? Sambucol, Ossicilium, Simply Orange, Vitamin C, and honey lemon tea! oh, what did you do to me?

Canon 5D Mark II, 35mm 1.4
ISO 3200 35mm f/2.8 @1/80

Friday, February 4, 2011


This morning when I awoke my nose hadn't bled while I slept for the first time in months. The sun was shining which meant the skies had been clear all night and the snow outside was still winking and sparkling. Wandering around like a mining dwarf blinking in the sunlight I stepped into a stream of beautiful, golden rays. So rare for Rochester this time of year, or anytime but summer truly. It's a marker of sorts. Today was the day I officially left the crew team. I was awake at 7AM and went back to bed until 8 because I was sick and, admittedly, I could. My team had been up practicing  since 5:30AM and I was exhausted from staying up late and getting up early to edit and print the last few days.

Tonight I ran into my favorite professor at Wegmans. Or to be honest, I saw his car and suddenly decided I too needed to be in Wegmans. He has a lovely wife and he knew W. Eugene Smith. At Canaltown Coffee I staked out a place to go through my work for the What We Do Show coming up and hopefully meet my policeman friend Vinny to ask for a ride along. Instead I ran into a regular and invited myself to his fencing class which led to an invitation to come to a legit, medieval fencing event here in Rochester. If I don't find medieval garb to wear I will be considered naked! It was a good night that wouldn't have happened if I were on the team.

Today my nose ceased bleeding and with the official decision to leave, the rowing heart in me did as well. A person can rail against their decision or as Coach Freddie wisely told me, "keep calm, carry on". I hope someday I have a chance to row again.

Van Morrison is a really great listening. If anyone wants to hit up the gym, I'm in decent shape and am already feeling the weight of not working out everyday. Literally.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ice Fishing

Leaving my parents' house on Saturday morning I turned left instead of right. My mom had stopped at the post office and struck up conversation with some men at the park going ice fishing and she discovered there is an ice fishing festival coming up. It was then I gathered my laundry and went down to the lake to investigate those little huts billowing in the white abyss and the winter men in their camouflage. 

Canon 5D Mark II 50mm 1.8
ISO 200 f/4.5 at 1/800