Wednesday, June 8, 2016

:mic check:

I've been finishing up and sending the first edits of her photos to Theresa. So far she seems pleased with them. And in other photo-related matters, next week is the deadline for submitting to a toy camera photo show. I have several shots to choose from, but I just sent off another Holga roll of film to be developed. Hopefully it'll return in time for me to see if there are any other choices.

Earlier today I was pondering whether or not I should bother creating an artist page on Facebook, since that's pretty much the last place I haven't at this point. Perhaps if I had done so earlier. But the ever-changing rules and algorithms make it seem pointless now. I've seen some artists have hundreds, even thousands of followers, but they were most likely early adopters. Posing the question for discussion on my feed, most seem to agree, so I will probably not bother after all. I already try to share this blog on as many places as possible to hopefully cast the net out further.

In the past week I had taken part in something called the "Abundant Art Show," which was really a series of lessons in promoting and hopefully selling art online through a site/blog called - wait for it - The Abundant Artist. I've actually been following it for some time, and sadly am behind in reading it (I have the problem of collecting, almost hoarding information with little time to read it, and oh how it piles up), but I thought I'd give it a try. There was actually very little info offered that I didn't already know or was doing already (other than more hashtags to use on Instagram), which further leads me to wonder what else can I be doing?

I'm scattered over several outposts on the web, and I guess I haven't done this inventory in some time.

I now have two Instagram accounts, the first one is primarily random smartphone shots and fun with filters, and the newer one is going to be dedicated to artwork alone. I've been experimenting with hashtags on that one. I still find them annoying but they do get more people to find you.

I've been on deviantArt for 11 years now. Prints and other ephemera are available there.

flickr is for more "candid" photos, not super-artsy, although I have been messing around with the different modes in my point and shoot. I quite like the toy camera one.

FineArtAmerica is another print on demand site. I haven't put much new artwork up there, mainly because I see more of a trend toward more "ordinary" art on there, to judge from the "recent sales" page on there. My (paying) audience is out there somewhere, I'm sure of it.

Etsy still seems geared more towards "crafty" art. Right now I just have my Halloween is My Xmas series on there. I'd like to put more original artwork up there, and would love to attempt to sell the Homunculus dolls through it, but I don't know how they'd survive being shipped through the mail.

Model Mayhem is generally where I post the model-oriented photos, and has been where I've come into contact with models like Theresa up above.

Ello doesn't seem to be the Facebook-killer that it was originally rumored to be, but it does seem more geared towards showing visual art than how Facebook currently is.

And then there's my current albatross, my main website, which has been languishing, waiting for a redesign, as I sit immobilized unable to even begin, it seems. Paralyzed by too many options. So I feel that I need to put other projects aside until I finally get that done. I've been writing this blog faithfully every week for as long as I can recall, and I'd hate to break that cycle, but I need to make this a priority. If I need the extra time to work on it, then I'll have to forgo the blog for that week. Or I could just post a photo or two as an update now and again. You didn't actually read all this, did you?

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


I believe that I've gone through all the shots from Theresa's photoshoot and chosen the ones that stand out for me. I've done minimal editing on them, and I'm pleased at the fact that not much had to be done. The Photoshoppery will come later, but I will send these off to the model for now, and I want to get back to photos from another shoot done last fall. Boy, I wish I didn't have a day job sucking my precious time away. I had to pass on another shoot this past weekend because I don't want to add to the pile right now.

I managed to find film for the Polaroid, only online for now, and starting messing around with it. You can't get too close to the subjects, and lighting is an issue too (luckily mine came with a flash attachment), at least indoors. Further experimentation is needed. But with only 8 shots per film pack, I can't go nuts here.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

:time enough:

I did not find as much time for creative work last week as I should've, but some of that lost time was for social reasons, which I find I have to take advantage of for as long as they still appear. If I'm actually going to receive invitations from people, I try to accept when possible. The approaching holiday weekend possibly means more of the same, although I hope to fit in creative time as well. I've read that it's best not to think of this as "sacrifice," as that could make one resent it at some point. I tend to think of the job search in that way, though, which is probably one reason why it's so unappealing to me. But I do feel the need to change jobs this year, somehow.

I did manage to go through a fair number of shots from Theresa's photoshoot, right now just quickly touching up and some adjusting of levels, and I'm pleased to say, I haven't been changing that much in them. Later on will probably come whatever crazy Photoshoppery that inspires, but I thought I should at least get the basic shots done and off to the model for now. Maybe I'll even get some positive feedback for a change.

So far my search for film for the Polaroid camera that I scored at a recent yard sale has been more difficult, at least locally, and I had to resort to ordering some online. There aren't a large number of shots in the film pack, so it'll have to be used sparingly, until I find a more reliable source for film. But then again, it's not going to become my main camera.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

:double living:

It's all about photo stuff this week.

I finally got another roll of film from the Holga camera developed. I've been taking advantage of how easy it is to create double exposures with it, as the film doesn't auto-advance. There's a local toy camera gallery show coming up soon, so I will most likely submit some shots to that. I'm also eyeing possible places to show the Homunculus dolls, but I don't want to jinx it.

Quite randomly, I came across a Polaroid camera at a yard sale and couldn't pass it up. It's interesting how it seems to be making a bit of a resurgence. We'll see how difficult it is to find film, or how expensive it might be. I think I have some around here...somewhere. 

I have not had ample time to really delve into shots from my last photoshoot, other than to weed out the less-than-stellar ones. I'm mostly pleased with how just using one light worked out. Now I find myself wanting to try it with an even darker room, but I'd have to seal the windows and doors in my current setup. Unless of course that dreamed-of studio magically appears.

I mentioned last week that while I liked the top hat that became used in both shoots, I now wanted to find a "real" one, so that became a bizarro quest this past Saturday, and I was successful. 

I have also said that I wanted to be further along in my website redesign this month, but I haven't gotten to that either. Oops. Finding out time and time again that to get things done I have to blatantly schedule time for them.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

:good busy:

Despite any possible trepidation I may have felt prior to last Friday's photoshoot, I believe that it went pretty well. The plan was still for an outdoor shoot, and I had chosen a nearby place in mind to cut down on travel time, but considering how rainy it had been all week, I set up my lighting and such indoors just in case. When Friday arrived, the rain did indeed stop, but I received a morning text from the model asking if we could have it indoors instead, as it was still not terribly warm out. So it was fortunate that I had foreseen this possibility. If I'm learning anything from each successive shoot, it's how to improvise.

The model in question, Theresa, is another one of those who pretty much makes her living by traveling and setting up shoots in each city. She was slender and had quite a few interesting tattoos. Another reason for her wanting to move indoors was that she didn't want to be unclothed out in the chilly weather, which showed that a bit of miscommunication had happened along the way, as I wasn't planning on shooting her nude while outdoors, and the place I had in mind would've likely had a fair amount of passersby, so it's just as well that events happened up as they did.

We only had an hour and it went by quickly, which I think is a good sign that it went well, time flying when you're having fun and all that. No deep concept for this shoot, she just moved from pose to pose, and I got to use a few props that were as of yet unused; an interesting chair that I had found, a cow skull, and a top hat. The latter was a cheap Halloween costume version, now I want to seek out a real one.

I was going to have company afterwards to celebrate my birthday, and since I already had the lights and backdrop up, I said why not do another quick shoot? I've worked with this model many times before, so we just proceeded into it right away. Pretty much just more practice for both of us, but it was fun. The chair, skull and hat got put into use again.

In the aftermath, while I can appreciate the things that I did right - it seems that I work fine with just one light, and I put my reflector to use - I'm already looking to see how I can improve for next time. I still think I need better lighting. The ones I have can be harsh at times, and I don't always want extreme shadows. I did manage to diffuse it somewhat with a screen on the second shoot. And the plain paper backdrop is, well, a bit too plain at times. Time to find different ones. And oh yeah, that top hat.

I hated putting away everything when I was done. Again in an ideal world I'd have a place where this would remain set up. I actually got another modeling request the same day, so there's the possibility that it could all go back up again real soon. Would that most of my life was this way.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

:pause for breath:

To be frank, most of this past week's free time has been spent preparing for the photoshoot that I have planned for this upcoming Friday. A fair amount of it has just been monitoring the weather, as I'd prefer to do an outdoor shoot, but we've been getting April showers all during this first week of May. I'm prepared to do it indoors, but, again, not my preference during this (alleged) springtime. I have a nearby location in mind since my time with the model is limited and I don't want to waste any of it in traffic, although I did find a location a few weekends ago that I'd love to use, but is not the easiest place to get to, least of all to someone who I presume has limited knowledge of our roads and drivers. I've offered to do all the driving, but she has refused, claiming to not want to get into a car with a "stranger." I guess I can see her point, but it does make things a bit more inconvenient. Here's hoping that any misgivings that I'm feeling prove to be wrong on Friday, along with nicer weather.

I have started work on other past photos, but just subtle changes so far, in the background.

I have one of those birthdays coming up tomorrow. I'm not ashamed of my age, nor do I feel it, but I also don't feel like announcing it. Let's just say that I'm nearing a certain decade milestone in a few years, and I'd really like to be living a better life by then, so I'm seeing more of a need to map out and plan out how this will happen. Despite my not liking to schedule my life too much, it appears that it'll be necessary to get things done.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

:2 the dawn:

So we lost another one this past week in what seems to be becoming the Year of Death, at least amongst musicians and other celebrities. Maybe it's not more than your typical year, or perhaps our 24/7 news cycle makes it feel more prominent, but when a fair amount of them seem to be not those who are in their later autumn years, it does give one pause. Naturally no one is immortal - that we know of - but some you just assume will be around forever, somehow. And I believe through their works and music, they will be.

I'm speaking of course about Prince. To be perfectly honest I hadn't followed his output since the 90s, but I was well aware that he was still making music. Like another one who left us, Bowie, he was always an innovator, and if he tried on some other musical style, he managed to make it sound like his own.

I don't know yet if I'll do any tribute artwork of him like I did for Bowie, but that one came in a flash of inspiration, so it certainly could still happen.

I attended Dr. Sketchy's again, twice in a month, that's a record. This one was in a new location that they're trying out in Somerville, MA, and to judge by the attendance, it looks like it'll do well. I did not get in as much drawing as usual due to my sometimes bad vantage point, but I got a few good renditions. Our model was a returning one, Belle Gunz, and she was as entertaining as before. If it weren't already obvious, this isn't your typical life drawing session.

So far I still have a photoshoot coming up next week, and when I'm out and about on the weekends, I sometimes try to find locations for outdoor shoots. I think I found another one, though I don't think I'll be able to use it next week, as it's a bit of a drive to get to and the model's time is limited, as is my session with her.

As stated last week, I feel that I'm done working on shots from Tiffany's photoshoot. I've informed her and hopefully I'll get some actual feedback for a change. Time to look through shots from October's shoot and see if I can't do something extra with them too.