A Daily(ish) Photography Blog Devoted to Long, Tall, Square, and 35mm film Pics.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Put THAT in Your Pipe and Smoke It

I just don't get it...like seriously. What's the big freakin' deal with this picture?

(Snapped on 3/29/11 - using an iPhone and an Instagram filter)

My 7 (that's right...SEVEN!) followers on Instagram - are kids (three of my own offspring, as well as a few of their friends) all between the ages of 11 and 14. Now I realize that admitting this, could easily be interpreted as the equivalent of stating, "I'm a loser!" But the good news for me is - I've been comfortable in my "loser" skin, for years...

Dorky or not - I actually happen to like the tweeny, tiny, insular Instagram community that my 7 followers and I have established over the last coupla months. And you know what else? I've learned an awful lot from those gifted young photographers, and their pics. - which oftentimes blow my fool mind.

What I wanna know though is - why this silly pipe pic. (that I almost didn't even post at all) was such a resounding hit with the kids. Matter of fact, I was about to delete the stupid thing altogether - when I was notified by Instagram that two of my followers had "liked" it. Huh. After which, more of 'em jumped on the bandwagon, one of which was my middle daughter - who is painfully stingy with her "likes". I was sitting there staring at my phone thinking, "Wait...what?! Tha hell is so great about this pic.?" 

Right when I'd convinced myself that the little twerps were messin' with me - one of 'em commented, "That's soooooooo cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Was he kidding me? I've posted way cooler pictures than this before...haven't I

As I puzzled over the hoopla, I thought, "Maybe pipes are so rarely seen anymore, that alone is what made the snap cool to the kids." And then something occurred to me. The whole reason I'd taken the picture in the first place, was because my 26 year old friend showed up to my house with the derned thing dangling from his mouth. I myself had been so in awe of such an oddity - that after ridiculing the poor guy for smoking a pipe, I stole a few pics. while he was inside grabbin' a beer. 

Suddenly it started to make sense...

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A Feast for the Senses

(All color pics. snapped on 3/20/11 - using an iPhone and Instagram filters)

When I arrived at my friend's orchard (after having been invited to sample the culinary delights that the Jamaican apple pickers had prepared, one afternoon) I was beyond exhausted, as well as famished. I had spent the entire night before - partying until the sun came up, and from there - had gone straight out to take pictures all day with a friend. I hadn't eaten a single morsel of food since early the prior evening.

I was so weary, that I nearly plopped down in the gravel alongside this lazy farm dog - wanting nothing more at that very moment, than to catch a few, much-needed z's. Thankfully though, I rallied - and partook in lively conversation with the amiable Jamaicans, while filling my empty belly with the most delicious epicurean dishes imaginable.

(All blk. & wt. pics. snapped on 3/20/11 - using a Holga 120)

It was breezy and cool out, but what better way to keep warm - than by sipping on a piping hot serving of spicy, goat soup - ladled from this cauldron where it had simmered for hours.  

My curiosity over these two smoked cow heads - spurred a lively and lengthy dialog between me and a particularly charming Jamaican, named "V".

It was mesmerizing to watch as V skillfully prepared the heads into yet another delicacy on the day's extensive menu - by chopping the heads up with remarkable precision, using a battery of small but razor-sharp axes.

This was more than simply a feast for the tummy however, it was a feast for most all of the senses... 

The island music that blared from an old shed (which had been converted into a makeshift bar and dance floor) took me to a place far away from Virginia, and elevated everyone's spirits. 

The smell of burning wood, and roasting chicken and pork, but most especially the Jamaicans' legendary curried goat - was virtually as satiating as the food itself was. 

And there was so much to see. Quite frankly, it was kind of overwhelming. 

The odd thing was, I came home with surprisingly few photos (and even fewer worth sharing on Little Pretties) per the plethora of possible subjects to snap. The only explanation I could come up with for my lapse in productivity, was that I'd let myself become integrated in the experience...rather than assuming my more common role as disconnected spectator.

I'm typically not much of a "people" person, but the warmth with which I, as an outsider was welcomed at what should've been a pretty exclusive occasion - has me rethinking my general opinion of mankind...and I'm eager to reciprocate the unconditional generosity of such wonderfully gracious hosts. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

All Over the Place

Although I'm still kind of on the fence as to whether snappin' pics. with one's iPhone, and sprucin' 'em up with a buncha Instagram filters - can be considered "real" photography or not...I don't dwell on it very much. Because the way I look at it - it certainly can't be a bad thing to be more observant and appreciative of all the little things in the world, that might otherwise go unnoticed or unappreciated - were it not for a handy camera phone...

(Snapped on 3/23/11 - using an iPhone and an Instagram filter)

Now that my kids have been bitten by the Instagram bug as, I have - they are far more tolerant of my compulsion to spontaneously pull my car over to the side of the road, jump out and take a few snaps - usually of utterly mundane things. In fact sometimes, they even go along with me. They did not however, understand my fascination with this bouquet of balloons tied up out in front of a local hair salon...and they grumbled and complained, and told me I was weird - until I posted one of the pics. on Instagram. Their response to it was a unanimous "like".

(Snapped on 3/25/11 - using an iPhone and an Instagram filter)

Nowadays I go places on purpose (places that normally wouldn't interest me at all) purely for the sake of taking pictures with my phone. Take for instance - the library. I myself, have never been much of a reader - but my children do sometimes need a particular book. The thought of checking a book out of the library though, doesn't cross my mind the way it did when the kids were way little and we would go there for story time, each week. These days, we just go to the bookstore if ever they need something. But over Spring Break, after my middle daughter finished a particularly good read, she was adamant that she get the next installment in the series. The public library immediately came to the fore, but only because I figured I could get better pics. there than at Borders or Books-A-Million. 

Long after my daughter learned that her book was already checked out, had taken all the pics. that she wanted to take, and was tapping her foot to indicate that she was ready to leave - I was still discovering all sorts of nifty things...like...that the library has curvy, golden radiators!

(Snapped on 3/25/11 - using an iPhone and an Instagram filter)

My iPhone has in essence, become my excuse (or reason?) to find and capture the beauty in things... 

(Snapped on 3/25/11 - using an iPhone and an Instagram filter)

...that previously I woulda taken completely for granted. 

(Snapped on 3/26/11 - using an iPhone and an Instagram filter)

There's almost no such thing as a boring or menial task to me, anymore...Thanks to my iPhone, I find my fun - everywhere! And when I'm done taking pics., I can still eat up tons of time - editing all the new ones that I've put on my phone. 

(Snapped on 3/26/11 - using an iPhone and an Instagram filter)

The mandatory square-cropping of photos on Instagram, has helped me reconcile my aversion to lopping the subjects in my pics.. Because sometimes a fraction is greater than a whole.

(Snapped on 3/26/11 - using an iPhone and an Instagram filter)

I honestly never intended for Little Pretties to become such an Instagram-heavy photography site, swear! But because of the ease (and cost-effectiveness) with which my iPhone allows me to experiment with photography and be more prolific than ever, I hate to say it but - this might be a permanent trend...

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Apple (Orchard) of My Eye

Recently, I had the good fortune of being allowed to shoot self-portraits at a friend's ancient apple orchard. (I posted this entry all about 'em, on The Big Ugly today) And as much as I enjoyed staging my 10 second timer pics., I havta say - I had just as much fun takin' snaps of all the cool stuff I came across, while pokin' around my friend's fabulous farm...

All photos snapped on 3/05/11 - using an iPhone and Instagram filters)

 I just feel like the luckiest gal in the world...because although I don't have many friends - the ones that I do have are undeniably the BEST

A BIG hug and a peck to my friend with the apple orchard...and everyone else who nurtures, supports and accepts me...*muah*

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Land of the Dinos

(All square pics. snapped on 3/23/11 - using an iPhone and an Instagram filter)

My 9 year old daughter and I spent this afternoon together, at the local tourist attraction and neighborhood fixture...Dinosaur Land - hollah!

(All panoramas snapped on 3/23/11 - using a Sony Cybershot)

Dinosaur Land is a trip. I mean for starters, it's complete and utter kitch heaven - with its enormous display of life-size dinosaurs inhabiting the expansive backyard, and the gift shop just brimming with its world-famous (*cough*) t-shirts, retro toys, and all sorts of other knicky knacky, well...junk.

A visit to Dinosaur Land truly does feel like a step back into some far away time (I'm talkin' like the 1950's though...not the Jurassic Period so much)

My young daughter and I (both armed with our cameras) began our journey on Mammoth Ave....

...curiously however, one of the main attractions on Mammoth Ave. - is a 20' tall King Kong replica....hmmmm...I mean he's definitely mammoth, but at the same time - he isn't of that particular species.

Along the way there were plenty of frights...

...and brutal fights frozen in time.

We came across things that almost actually sorta seemed real...

(aaaaaand others that really just didn't)

After a couple of hours, and several passes around the park - it was time for my little girl and me to reenter the real world. But we shall return to Dinosaur Land...because rumor has it that our beloved local landmark, may soon be razed to make way for a convenience store and gas station.

So get on over to Dinosaur Land (Rts. 522 S. & 340 at Double Tollgate in Virginia) Check out the badass dinosaurs and buy a t-shirt...before Dinosaur Land itself, becomes extinct... 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm Gonna Go Straight To...

(Snapped on 3/21/11 - using an iPhone and an Instagram filter)

Today was in a lot of ways - a landmark day. It marked the first time that I've ever let a photographer (other than myself) take nude photos of me, which besides being a phenomenally cool experience - fully flogged me physically. I had no idea going in, how exhausting it would be, to hold different static poses for three straight hours...but it was (and I havta say, I loved every single minute of it!) But as if that wasn't enough...I then spent a couple more hours on my friend's farm, taking Holga pics., snaps with my iPhone, and self-portraits...including - my first batch of 35mm film self-portraits! It'll be a few days before I know if they're any good or not - but either way I'll be satisfied, simply because I got off my lazy ass and tried it, for once...

Now...if you'll kindly excuse me...I'd like nothing more in this world right now, than to soak my stiff muscles in a scorching hot bath, and snuggle up with my pups in a warm and cozy bed...zzzzzzzzzzzzzz...   

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Bottom of the Barrel

I sent six rolls of 120 film off for processing, today - so unfortunately, this grab bag of black and white Holga pics. is all that I have to offer until I my new prints arrive with the mail. Well, besides Instagrams., of course (I've absolutely got those in spades!) But let's face it - they can get a bit tiresome, after awhile...

(Snapped on 2/10/11 - using a Holga 120)

I personally, don't take very many landscape pictures - I mean I like them, and all - they've just never really been my big push...and that could be because - landscapes clearly are not my specialty.

(Snapped on 2/13/11 - using a Holga 120)

Something about this ancient beech tree, has always reminded me of an elephant...or maybe a rhino? I dunno...it reminds me of some sort of pachyderm, how's that.

(Snapped on 2/19/11 - using a Holga 120)

Don't even get me started on old cars. Good lord how I covet them so. But I'll wait until I have a healthy surplus of time, to devote an entire entry (or several) to the boatload of old car pics. that I'm perennially stockpiling.

(Snapped on 2/20/11 - using a Holga 120)

For the most part, stumbling upon this vast trash heap in the middle of the woods - put a pretty big pit in my tummy. But. Seeing a tree growing up through the middle of that one tire? Did at least put a smile on my face.

(Snapped on 2/26/11 - using a Holga 120)

There was, however - literally nothing about this place, that made me feel even remotely cheerful. The more I snooped around the yard and the out buildings - the less I could make any sense of why the previous owners seemed to have up and left without bringing their child(ren)'s belongings along. There were stacks of toys and kids' clothes in the sheds, and other miscellaneous effects scattered about the un-mowed lawn. The discovery of an upper floor room that appeared to be charred though, led me to draw a dreadfully bleak conclusion..

(Snapped on 2/16/11 - using a Holga 120)

All right, that's it you guys...I'm all outta (halfway decent) film pics. for the next little while. My basket, or barrel(?)...whatever it is - it's empty...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sow's it Goin'?

(All photos snapped on 3/20/11 - using an iPhone and Instagram filters)

On Friday, my kids were home from school for their first full day of Spring Break...and because of that (and the fact that the temperature rose to nearly 80 degrees) we spent most of the day outdoors.

Then, when Friday night rolled around - I just couldn't warm up to the idea of spending such a fabulously balmy winter evening inside, typing away on my computer like a drone. So, I did a repeat of my last childless Friday night...I drove downtown to take pictures. But this time, I did not come away with anything that I felt was worthy of sharing on Little Pretties (although I did meet up with a supremely fun group of guys - with whom I partied until the bloody sun came up).

Much as I wanted to go home and climb under the covers to recuperate from my impromptu all-nighter - this simply wasn't an option. I had made arrangements earlier in the week, to take my good girlfriend's son along with me on Saturday - for a shoot at a nearby pig farm.

Somehow, I managed to not be a total zombie while we both busily snapped hundreds of pics. during the 2 hours that we slopped through the muck - dodging chickens, geese, ducks and yes - pigs.

Oh, and since I took sooooo many pictures (and also to make up for posting nothing new here, since late last Thursday night) this might wind up to be a somewhat epic entry...at least as far as the photos are concerned (just wait until I get all the film I shot developed...lawd!)


Some of the following images may not be suitable for those who are slightly faint of heart (just so you know).

Fortunately, my young friend and I arrived on the farm just late enough to miss witnessing the morning's slaughter...phew.

Some fairly grizzly visuals came to mind, as I contemplated the functions of deceivingly benign devices like this one...

The discovery of this gruesome item, gave both my young friend and me - quite a start.

There were plenty of pleasant surprises, however...

...as well as tender moments being shared...

...and lots of other things to behold - besides only pigs and butchering implements...

But the very last image that I captured, before bidding the photo-rich pig farm "Farewell", served as a sort of grim reminder that what typically goes down there - ain't what most people would probably consider "pretty"...

(Coincidentally, I posted a make-believe story on The Big Ugly, this week - to accompany some self-portraits I took, while mingling with a friend's jumbo sow. Not really sure why the whole "pig" thing has become such a common theme in my pics., lately...but I reckon I'll just roll with it...til I git it all the way out mah system.)