Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mental Margarita - Agua para ti!

I just want to dive right into these images.

It's probably a good thing that I like a lot of the work I do (duh) but these are the first in a while I really want to print on huge canvasses for my own house.

There is something so soothing and luscious for me about the play of light and color on water.

And I love the accidental contrast that got created when I posted the images from Seattle's waters on my site. (See fotos de karina - new to check it out.)

In looking at these Salish Sea water images, I have been struck by the patterns reminding me of the flow in the Native American art up here. I thought maybe I was imagining it but look!

Sigh. I love it here.

Oh, by the way... Need a 2010 wall calendar? I got 'em! Please support your friendly artist at fotos de karina calendar.
Enter the code CALENDAR25 for 25% off for one week only!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mental Margarita - iPhone Pictures

I wouldn't say that my many many flower pictures mean I'm in a rut, but I do seem to be attracted to the same type of imagery in nature again and again. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

So I'm loving this app I got for my iPhone called Best Camera because it's giving me some new tools. Plus my iPhone has nowhere near the macro (close up) capacity of my camera, so I can't rely on my usual methods. I'm having to step back a bit.

I feel like some of the shots I've taken with the iPhone are very Photo 101 but that's ok. You start where you're at.

Here are some of my faves (the rest are on my site)...

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Mental Margarita - Sweet Pea

Skip damn howdy, summer was simply immense this year. Blistering at times (for Seattle), long (also for Seattle -- it went from May to September) and so very full. We had a great staycation, visitors from AZ, fun, and lots of work. It left little time for photography, which was tragic.

But I'm delighted to be back in the game again, and sharing images with you. What I really like about this batch is that they all say "late summer" to me. Dahlias, sweet peas, and corn husks. Everything on my site's new page was growing within a stone's throw of the house.

So summer is most definitely over but these images celebrate it. Welcome, Fall!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Mental Margarita - Red Columbine

I'm really pleased I bought the light tent. My neighbor was highly suspicious when I asked if I could snip this bloom to bring it home to take picture of it, but I'm glad I overcame his weirdness to get it. This is one of those subjects that is so funky on its own, that to have any kind of distraction in the background would be, um, distracting.

This, by the way, is a columbine. My relationship with this flower was limited to the massacre. Until this year, I had no idea that a columbine was such a space-age, trippy looking bloom. So I'm glad I have a new association. (BTW, Wally Lamb's new book on the subject, The Hour I First Believed, is brutal but worth reading if you don't mind getting your a bit heart bruised.)

These are my two other favorites from the bunch:

Peonies are so riotous. I love their disorderliness.

Please check out my fotos site for the rest of the newbies.

Happy July!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Mental Margarita - White Dogwood

I heard this great thing about considering new avenues. If you feel really good about it, and it feels like the right thing, then do it. If you have no strong reaction, don't do it. If you resist it... do it. There's something for you there.

Last summer I saw a photographer's work who also does nature shots on canvas. But she shot them with a black background in her studio, taking them out of their natural element. They looked amazing. But I was jealous. She was cheating! It's much harder to get the light right, to get that great shot when you're outdoors.

But her images stuck with me, and I've been pondering ever since. My favorite images that I had made were the ones where there was very little background from the subject, like this calla lily which has become my signature shot. So I finally gave in to the nagging impulse to try it myself. To "cheat." Most of the new images on my site were taken in the studio (by which I mean a light box on my desk but it sounds much sexier to say "in my studio"). Please go to fotos de karina - new to see the latest images.

It's still a new avenue for me, and one in which I will continue to grow, but so far I'm really feeling it. It eliminates the challenge of rain, wind, or shifting light. I can do long exposures, allowing for deeper focus. I can backlight or toplight, really play with the formula for evoking all the beauty my subject is offering up. Oh, and it's fun.

Your feedback is very welcome and appreciated - thanks!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Mental Margarita - Grupo

Most often, something catches my eye because of its singularity, or its color or shape. But it's usually a single flower or leaf that jumps out at me. Here, it was the overall pattern of these little succulent stars that grabbed me. And I liked that even though there are numerous plants in this group (grupo, en Espanol), a few of them seemed to glow just a little brighter than the rest, giving the eye a resting spot, if you will.

Now regarding the singularity theme, I have been experimenting with isolating subjects in a light box. This does seem to allow their essence to be brought forward with no distractions in the background. And another benefit in creating studio shots is that I'm no longer limited by the weather, the light, etc. I create my own conditions, which on a blustery day like today (when a flower wouldn't be able to hold still for me to have its picture made) is the difference between getting the shot or not. But my preference is still to find that little piece of nature right where it is and to share it with you. I'll be creating and sharing more of these studio images soon. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Phoenix in the the Spring (inside joke, not a typo)

I must thank Shirley, Tara, and I think there was one more person for PRESSURING :-) me to go see the Dale Chihuly exhibit at the Phoenix Desert Botanical Gardens while in Phoenix. (It runs through the end of May

It was a lovely coming together of my old home and my new home, as I grew up loving the desert, and now I live in the land of Chihuly. His studio was right down the road from my Mom's old place. His glass art is very aquatic, generally, and for me, very evocative of the NW.

I really loved how he got inspired by the desert flora.

This is a pretty good representation of the wicked pure heat that is a Phoenix summer:

My friend Dory and I had a great time at the gardens, and most of the rest of the weekend was spent with the family. It was great to see all the little ones of the youngest generation tearing it up. So glad we could be there. And yes, again, we hit the Barrio Cafe for Mexican food and came home with about 10 pounds of freshly roasted green chiles from Food City. Ahhhh.....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Mental Margarita - Vivid Blue

Everyone keeps going on about what a cold winter it was, but being our first, we had nothing to compare it to. We loved the snow and ice (well, we loved it except when one of us had to slog uphill to catch the bus in it...) but it's official: spring has sprung!

I took this and many other images at the Conservatory at Volunteer Park in Seattle. The greenhouse rivals the one in Golden Gate Park but it's free. So these plants and flowers on my new page, had they been out in the elements, probably wouldn't be doing their spring dances quite yet. But things are blooming all over and the sun's been out and it's been lovely. I know we may get more cold weather yet but I don't care. Spring is here!

I also shot a bunch of succulents and cacti at the Conservatory (I will never tire of them as subjects, apparently) and I'll be sending those in the next Mental Margarita. We're coming home to the desert for a family reunion next weekend, so I suspect I'll be in a desert plant mood when I prep the next batch of images.

Thanks for reading, and be sure to check out all the new images at fotos de karina - new.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Mental Margarita - Ice Swirl

God is in the details.

I've been pondering that one lately, especially as I witness winter's effect on nature. As a desert-dweller for most of my life, I didn't get to see much snow and ice. Here in Seattle, winter is hanging on and everyone's talking about being ready for spring, including me.

But the upside is that I'm still learning about and discovering the interplay of light and snow, or ice, or frost, and it's gorgeous. (Granted, I do have to go outside when it's really cold out, but I'm learning how to dress right!)

So as I become transfixed by the winter beauty sparkling around me, I am reminded that God is in the details. And really, when I look at most of my images, that's what I see. It almost feels like cheating because I'm simply finding and capturing some aspect of nature that God already perfected. There is so much beauty around us. We just have to look.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Kitten Yoga

OK, so this has nothing to do with photography -- I just had to share.

I had the pleasure last week of kitty sitting our neighbor's kitten, Max. One day I did some yoga, which as you know is about both strength and relaxation. Having a kitten tearing about, leaping from couch to chair to table and back again, attacking everything in sight, makes the relaxation part a bit more challenging.

My yoga pants have a draw string on them that was fun to bat at while I was in an inverted pose. The yoga mat was great to chew on and attack and kick. I took out my ponytail holder to do a stretch on the back of my neck and it was immediately reassigned to "toy" status.

And of course the final pose, called corpse pose, where you lay on your back under a blanket, consciously relaxing every part of your body, is particularly interesting when each part of your body is being systematically pounced upon. (I don't know how Max's people sleep at night!)

This is my no-longer-relaxed foot under the blanket. At least laughter is good for relaxing!!!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mental Margarita - Pink Star

In the spirit of the new year, I've been organizing, culling, sorting. (If you weren't aware, my former career was professional organizing, and you can take the girl out of organizing, but you can't take the organizing out of the girl! Which is a good thing.)

I went through my photos from last year, revisiting hundreds of images, and found several that with a little cropping or a fresh perspective, really caught my eye. This tiny succulent flower had such a metallic sheen to it, it was almost blindingly bright. I like how the soft focus around the stamens balances the shine on the petals.

Going through all those images from last year made me so ready for spring. Although many trees are still bare, some are now sporting buds, promises of flowers to come. I cut a forsythia branch and forced it to blossom, which only intensified my longing. Although I love this chilly and sometimes snowy weather, I want my vernal equinox! But, in the spirit of being here now, I am working on images of ice and frost -- probably my next Mental Margarita.

Stay tuned!