Wednesday, August 26, 2009

composite photography

photography compositions are amazing to me. it's basically drawing a picture for those who can't draw (me!).

mc escher is a classic inspiration. his drawings are surreal and intense... you can get lost in them. they aren't photographs however, but his work is a great example of combining seperate ideas into one piece. his ideas flow into one, which i think is the key to a good composite.

composition photography is used to create pop culture styles, eerie images, and simple things like a blue sky behind a house for sale.

here is what a simple search on flickr came up with. you can see the detail involved in some of these breathtaking pieces of art.

i have been using this technique for a long time now. in fact, it was actually my job during grad school: "image specialist". for work, i used this style to make products more appealing. now, for fun, i tend to combine images that usually end up eerie and inviting. here is my latest creation using a composite technique:

a video tutorial on how to accomplish composites. thanks PhotoshopKelly.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

"mommy, take our picture"

i am the family photographer, which i love. i have stacks of photo albums filled with moments of laughter & love, big events, holidays and just everyday life. my "pseudo hubby" doesn't really know how to work the camera. he's getting better, but the reality is that i am not featured in many of these photos because i am behind the camera. i've often wondered if someday when my son gets older and looks back thru our memory albums if he'll know how much i was there. as it is now, we'll curl up on the couch together and flip thru the pages of the albums. i'll tell stories of him as a baby, or remind him of the time we did this or that.

then the other day, our family went for a boat ride. i was snapping photos of the beautiful scenery when "the monster" turns to me and says "mommy, take our picture". well, i'm notorious for stealing kisses. so, i replied, "give me a kiss and i will".

Monday, August 10, 2009

school supplies

the school supply shopping has begun. as an adult, the idea of fighting the crowds at the store, arguing with my child about what is required and what is a "want", and tolling out lots of cash for fall clothes, books, pencils, etc just seems exhausting. then i see his face when i tell him we're going shopping and suddenly, like so many things my son and i do together, this activity brings back a nostalgic feeling of excitement. i remember what it was like to put all of my new supplies into my backpack... everything was so clean, organized and new. i always had feelings of joy and potential as i thought about what i would create with my new things.

as he reaches for the box of markers, puts then in the cart and looks up to smile at me, i know he feels the same way.

so... here's to school supply shopping and the fresh smell of a new book:

i absolutely adore this print from naokosstoop. it reminds me of my childhood pet bunny "louisa". of course, she couldn't read like the smarty pants bunny above.

what little boy wouldn't love this? goMakeMe has the materials to create this for your little bookworm.

nancy drew books were everything to me when i was 7. this purse is such a great idea by retrograndma - i love it!

great pencil bag from simbiosisbyjulia

Thursday, August 6, 2009


after my first triathlon!

a couple years ago, i decided to quit smoking. i knew i couldn't just quit because i wanted to. i had to make myself hate smoking. the problem was (and still is after i have a couple glasses of wine and a good meal), that i love smoking. so i decided in order to replace that love with hate, i would expand what smoking deflates... my lungs.

last august, i completed my first triathlon. with the inspiration of my friend "uraggen", i trained for almost a year. i completed my second triathlon this past june. i am signed up to compete in a 60-mile bicycle race this september. here's how i got to where i am today:

  • i started with 2 miles minumum. i walked some of it until i could run the entire way. i did this 3 times a week
  • i increased my running distance each week (up to 5 miles). i can't run all day, after all, i have a pre-schooler.
  • i began biking 12 miles a couple times a week. this was easy to increase... biking is fast and you discover things you don't when you drive. remember to take your camera if you can.
  • swimming... brrr! this is my most hated training excercise, but lucky for me, i'm good at it. i really don't train much, 'cause i know i can do it. for those you struggle with swimming, here is a great link for inspiration:
  • then i mixed it up. many people don't realize just how awkward it is to get off your bike and start running. your legs feel super weird. start with shorter distances than you would if you were doing just one sport alone. like bike just 6 miles and run 1.
  • add in sprints! my friend "lg" at work turned me onto this. i will run/bike/swim... whatever, at regular pace for just warm up. then i will sprint as fast as i can. this is so incredibly awesome because you feel like a kid! who sprints? no one. except kids. it's great.
a great link to help keep your routines from getting old:

it's funny that quitting one habit can change your life so much. i have not only expanded my lungs and become stronger all over, but i have become a healthier eater as well. i want to eat well so that i can perform at my best. i also watch way less television (who has time when you've got to train?!). my stress level has decreased dramatically as well. work, arguments, a screaming kid, all seem much less aggravating after a long run.

make a change in your lifestyle. get moving. and good luck.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

monster art

i moved my son's room around the other night. we pulled every toy out and put everything back in it's new catagorized spot. it felt like a new playground for him... we found things we forgot we had! the room is much more open as well; in fact, there is now a bare spot on the wall, which means...

mommy needs to make the moster some art!

i am very fond of trees. we live in the middle of a forest preserve, so the inspiration to draw them is plentiful. once i decided to not do a photograph of some sort to fill the empty spot, i picked a canvas size that would balance the room. i started with a blue sky and used sponges to paint the bright trees. i wanted to make trees with character. i also wanted the painting to deliver a message of love and inspiration. i took pages out of an old book for some of the tree detail and used stamps for other wishes that i have for my son.

here is the finished piece: