Friday, November 9, 2012

A Little Dash of Pixie Dust

I love to travel.  L.O.V.E.  I still remember being giddy when I got my first passport.  The world was my oyster.

I never turn down the opportunity to hop on a plane, train, or automobile.  Some of my most amazing experiences and most beautiful photographs are the result of saying *yes* and then sorting out a way to make it happen. I attended Pasadena Community College right out of high school, not convinced where I wanted to spend to the next 4 years. Posters advertising a semester at Oxford University were all over campus. I saw them for weeks, maybe longer. Then one random day, I was actually early for class - traffic was light, I found a parking spot immediately. I stopped and read the advert for the semester abroad. The deadline to turn in applications was in 4 hours.  I dashed over to the dean's office to inquire what had to be done to apply. He said, "Since your name is very English, if you write the deposit check now and have your paperwork in by next week, I will extend the deadline for you." SOLD! I wrote him a check for $400, grabbed the application and rushed back to class. I went home that night and asked my parents to put money in my account to cover the check and, oh, by the way, I'm leaving for the UK in 8 weeks. It was an awesome experience.

These days, with a toddler, a wonderful husband, and a part time job that I actually enjoy - that level of spontaneity isn't always possible.  To offset the lack of new travel photographs, I have begun playing with some of my images in Photoshop - textures, overlays, brushes, actions - and they are transformed. It is truly a whole new experience.  I am used to creating an image in the darkroom.  I have found some of the most wonderful blogs and tutorials.  Rita, of The Coffeeshop Blog, is my go-to gal.  I love her techniques and easy-to-follow tutorials. Rita Rocks.

There is now a new side to my photographs - I think of them as sprinkled with pixie dust. I love my variations. I can see my progress; I like that tangible nature.  I like that photos originally dismissed as mundane or just blah are now a feeding ground for my imagination.  I am giddy when Flypaper Textures publishes a new set.  I find myself hopping on the computer at midnight because I happen to think of a tweak for a variation I spent hours on earlier - I won't be able to sleep until I see how it looks.

Frankfurt, Germany

Now that I rely more heavily on my computer and my software, I need to look into upgrading and ways to keep current on techniques. My hands may not stink of stop bath anymore, but my photos will continue to be a creative outlet even after the shutter has closed. The student in me is excited ...

Lake Langano, Ethiopia

Central Park, New York

Los Angeles, California

Outside Tulsa, Oklahoma

Pike National Forest, Colorado