Saturday, May 31, 2008

jpg favorite: dancing mormons

(photo by Reed Young)

For a short time a while back I would receive random visits from two Mormon gents. Ever friendly and polite, they still tended to overstay their welcome on my front porch, and well, not quite get the drift that I wasn't buying what they were selling. If only they wore red pants and danced... just maybe I would have opened my closed mind.

Reed Young is one of my favorite photographers to watch. Great portraits... people in their (un)natural settings; wonderful subtle lighting; and sometimes an additional touch of humor or the ridiculous. I love the beauty of strangeness. You can view some of his work on his jpg profile or peruse a wealth of images on his website.

spectacle wearing folk

(photos by Luke Stephenson)

Just a sample of Luke Stephenson's work. Simple, sparse, and a little off, with sometimes unusual composition; I like what I see. Maybe not so much a fan of the "morning underwear surprise" (my words, not his)... if you get my drift.

ode to the middle

I have been giving a lot of thought to the middle over the past few days. You know, all that stuff that comes after the beginning and before the end. I feel like the middle has a bad rap, or at least is not as highly regarded, while the beginning has all the glory of being something new, something exciting, and the end often means a finish line, closure or victory. Now I know this isn't always the case on all counts (the beginning can be scary/the end sad), but usually when I think of the middle I think child with less attention, uncomfortable seating, average (middle of the road), turning 40, um or my less than flat stomach.

The other day my day actually started not so great, with a piercing headache and the dread of an impending viewing of my house. And the end of my day was pretty rough. But all of the stuff that happened in between padded the bookends and made it all less painfully crushing.

A round of mini-golf came first, and although I lost and it was sickeningly hot, it was still a load of fun. There's just something about giant brightly colored objects/animals and Astroturf to get the juices flowing.

Then it was on to the season finale of Lost. I hung out with probably the nicest couple on the planet, John and Emily, in their adorable house, with their cute as can be cats. When I grow up maybe I can be like them. It was a great finale, aside from the fact that I will most likely have to wait another year to see what happens next (is there really such thing as off the island?). Thank heavens for Battlestar Galactica, my other TV obsession. It will quench my boob tube thirst for a bit longer.

My final stop on my way to the end was to hear a couple of bands play as well DJ sets, hosted by the aptly titled Party Ends. I have a weird thing for masks so this was the night for me, with all members of one band each donning one. They could probably have played pots and pans and I would have still been entertained. It's just that easy sometimes.

The After School Special message is this... next time you have an Oreo, think of that white icing, because after all, the cookie just isn't whole without the best part... the middle. Now what represents the milk you're supposed to dunk it in, I don't know. That's for another post I guess.

status report

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

conserving resources

(photo by recovering lazyholic)

I am, and have always been, without a doubt a Polaroid junkie. And with that I have degrees of "junkitude". I definitely experience varying levels of how often I need my fix and just how it will be expressed, whether it's a binge or a dabble. Regardless, the depth of my passion for the medium never waivers and it's like an instant (no pun intended) dose of happiness.

Lately I have been going really nuts and in the wake of its impending demise I'm wondering if I should rethink my habits. I'm still devastated that Polaroid film is going away. Although I have several packets on stand by they are bound to run out quickly at the rate I'm going. Then it's back to Walgreens and Target, then on to ebay. Ration and allot one shot a week, or a pack for a certain event, praying that it was worth it and risk missing something potentially awesome? Or act like there is no tomorrow and throw caution to the wind? I know this pales in comparison to the real ails of the world, but I feel like this is a piece of my heart I'm gambling with. Yes, I recognize the drama queen weight of that statement (I have been watching a lot of daytime tv?).

One final note, sort of an aside I've been debating and seems relevant. Considering my current verbose condition it might be best to save this for a later date, but I've been feeling oh so conflicted about this... to crop or not to crop a polaroid. I feel like a truest but I'm also into the smaller square framing (like above). Does anyone care? Should I? Ugh, I feel like I need to go read a Time magazine or something now. Get down with the real troubles in life. A little dose of depression will do ya.

obession recruit

As if I didn't already spend enough time on the computer, OR that I don't have better things to do... say like, I don't know, reverse that whole unemployed thing. I have been a member of JPG Magazine's on-line site for a little over a year now; not until recently have I actively participated in the on-going themes or viewed other photographers however. And boy do I feel like I'm playing catch up, with about 5 or six images in circulation.

I have a bit of a love/hate (ok... maybe love/annoyance) with the site oddly enough. On the one hand here is this venue that allows others to critique your work, sometimes offer a little ego stroking, and often times rev up the inspiration train when searching for a project. But on the other hand, there's a tinge of frustration that occasionally passes over me. Thoughts like "really, that is the most AMAZING photo this person has ever seen", "this person didn't even read the guidelines", and other inappropriately blood boiling triggers.

I guess what it comes down to is, even though I know I have a million and one things to learn about being a photographer (I can't even actually call myself one... it's like saying "I love you" for the first time) and there are about a billion better folks out there, it doesn't take much for me to feel discouraged these days, instead of fueled by the desire to be better. That's the breaks when you put yourself out on the subjective limb, I know, but it sure is a drag when you have those days that it seems like everyone has lost their minds and I might as well shoot with my eyes closed, scan a pile of dog crap, title it something profound, and I'll be the toast of the town.

The pendulum swings the other way too when it's convenient and although the photo chosen is by far not an absolute favorite I'm still basking in (and hypocritically boasting) the small victory of being considered "hotness". Apparently my need to be validated overrides my scrutinizing ways. So, even if you're one with bad taste, choose me and no-one else. And there you have it. The flawed logic of Erin.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

flickr color: marcela

(photo by marcela)

Diana Marcela Cuartas takes beautiful Lomo photos, showcasing all of the nifty things the legendary (in my mind at least) camera is known for. This particular image scores extra points for the use of a werewolf mask. Check out more of her work here. P.S. If anyone feels like a random act of kindness towards me, I will gladly take a Lomo LC-A+ RL. Eew, subtle begging is so unbecoming.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

logo favorite

The other night I was hanging out with some friends and predictably we got sucked into a You Tube session, this time recounting our favorite 80's cartoons. That's when I remembered, or rather was reminded of, the Filmation logo. I always liked that image and not because it was paired with my 1984 daily after school snack, He-Man, but because of the color, movement, sound and font. Yes, I'm nostalgic to a fault (and maybe a little weird) and that is always a bit of a factor when talking about the things of youth but I appreciate this and other 80's TV/Production logos free of that. You can see the evolution of the Filmation logo here.

color flip much better than mister nice hands

I originally stumbled upon this via Bobby Solomon's Kitsune Noir blog. Designer Rafaël Rozendaal creates interactive computer art. Although pretty simplistic, I'm drawn to the color and sort of nonsense of it all. Each project has its own dedicated site which you can navigate to from the directory on the RR home page. One, "Color Flip", is just that... "grab" the corner and the page turns, exposing a new color combo (sound of page turning included).

I'm also a fan of "Much Better Than This", which is two silhouettes (think Electric Company) kissing. When they kiss it's time for a color change. "Mister Nice Hands" is a favorite. Again pretty no frills... touch the fingers with your cursor and one of the hands pulls the other hand's finger. Yep. Maybe this speaks to my inner 5 year old. Whatever the case (or inner/outer age)or however telling, I like it.

Friday, May 16, 2008

the day

Today was a pretty awesome day. I didn't solve life's mysteries or win the lottery, but sometimes all it takes is a good lunch, a walk on a nice day, and some choice purchases. All of the above comprised my day. I did step into the danger zone a bit however; that being Waterloo Records, Precision Camera, and Room Service, places that cater to three of my favorite things.

I was a pretty good girl I am proud to say, considering the potential risk to my funds. What I am most gleeful about: a Cut Copy cd (because I didn't think I'd like it and to the contrary), a new lens (thanks for the replacement Adam!), Spanish flash cards, and the ultimate... the book The Complete Book of Absolutely Perfect Housekeeping (circa 1956). Chapters include: "Pros and Cons of Vacuum Cleaning", "How to Choose a Husband", "Triumph Over Beds", "Repairs Even You Can Do", and my favorite "Plain Facts About Bureau Drawers". Educational and empowering. So much to learn!

So successful day, and it's not even over. Proudest moment so far... using all my might I kept myself from buying a vintage teal butt roller machine. It was truly a wonder to behold. Oh well.

texas weather

(photo by recovering lazyholic)

A couple of nights ago a surprising storm hit Austin. I usually don't count on much of an impact any time there is a severe weather alert. They happen fairly frequently but usually result in a whole lotta nothing. Not so this time. My house was essentially assaulted by nature, punched by giant hail and slapped around by 50mph winds; I felt like I was on the other side of a high powered popcorn kettle (or Sean Connery's hands). Status report: light bruising, no broken bones thankfully.

Some folks did not come out so lucky; my whole neighborhood experienced a black out, except for me and the next door neighbor somehow. Others lost windows, signage, and even suffered the annihilation of a car. Overall, none of this compares to what's going in a ton other places in the world, and for that I'm truly thankful. Austin is not perfect but something tells me it's one of the last stops on the ride to the end of the world.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

what's been going on

(image by YaiJung Chang)

So... posts have been absent for sometime now. A major change occurred in my professional world and I am now without job. One half devastating and other half liberating, I'm clinging onto the latter, and trying to use my newfound free time as an opportunity. Easier said than done I'm finding. In a world without deadlines motivation can be hard and I have "fallen off the wagon"... or rather more appropriately (in newly coined lazyholic terminology) have "fallen ON the bed". My regular train of thought has been derailed and these "new world" ideas seem to stop in my head or as notepad chicken scratch.

A lot has been going in my mind... what now, what's worth doing, what am I capable of, and where do I start. Finally, out of nowhere, I'm feeling inspired. Maybe enough is enough. Either way it's time to put my free time to good use and carry out the potential of each day (as hokey as that sounds). I consider this my starting line to a new beginning. Life throws crap at you all the time and if this is the worst that happens to me (it actually hasn't been so far) then I certainly have no reason to keep wasting time. As of today I'm diving off the board; wish me luck. Clichés over with.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

mom day

Happy Mother's Day Mom! Love you! And... posts have returned.