A Taste of Spring

I should have posted these about a couple months ago but instead of complaining about that, I’m just going to casually drop the goods for y’all.

Here’s some more flowers from late spring this year.

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Chrysanthemums ’17

It’s officially a month since my last update and shamefully, I did not deliver on my promises of having queued up posts. Truthfully, I was so busy and mentally occupied in the time leading up to the cruise, I just didn’t get around to it. But excuses, excuses, we’re not here to talk about that, so let’s cut to it.

I have a few chrysanthemum photos I want to share from late spring this year.

I tried some different editing styles in Photoshop with these to bring out a more vintage, cooler toned look. I need to mess around with this style, cause I definitely feel like I can enhance them even more, it’s just about finding that balance.

Hope you guys enjoy.

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Astro Photography

I’ve recently been turning my eyes to the skies and spending time in the r/astrophotography subreddit on Reddit. I’ve been trying to figure out exactly how I can best use my DSLR to capture photos of deep space, but I’m pretty positive I don’t have all of the right equipment as of yet. And since I’m a visual learner, reading about how to set everything up leads me to more confusion, so I’ve been trying to find videos that help me and this one that I watched last night was pretty informative for a quick set up.

We had a gorgeously clear sky last night, perfect for stargazing. I played around with my Meade telescope for a good hour and a half and 3 hours later went back out with my DSLR to try my hand at photographing the sky. I think I got some pretty good shots for my first try.

I also attempted to take a SUPER long exposure shot that took more than 20 minutes to capture, but I got impatient and shut the camera off at that point. Here’s a few shots I edited in Photoshop to enhance the stars. I captured The Pleaides M45, Orion (and when zoomed in, you can even kind see the Orion Nebula M42), and The Big Dipper.

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The Big Dipper

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The Big Dipper

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Orion and The Pleiades (M45)

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Half of Orion and The Pleiades (M45)

Danielle x Pinup Portraits

Today was pretty exciting creatively. I asked my coworker Danielle a while ago if she’d be interested in being my muse for a photography shoot and after seeing my recent pinup style pics, she said yes.

We both did her makeup, although she let me do the contouring and such. I enhanced contouring in Photoshop to give her face more of that pop! But to be honest, she didn’t really need it anyway. She has the right kind of planes and angles to be a proper model, IMO. Anyway, here’s a few shots from today.

I used my 50mm portrait lens, ISO 400, f 1.8, exposure range 50-80.

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Lucy Goosey

For those of you who see this on Facebook, you might already know that I’ve been giving my neighbor’s cats snacks. They come meow at our door every day now that they know they’re gonna get food, and I’m okay with that cause they’re skinny and skinny cats make me sad.

Anyway, one of the cats, Lucy (short for Lucifer) is super friendly and loves being petted and often sits in our grass after eating. He kind of looks like he’s protecting the house when he does this.

I’ve photographed him before while he’s been sitting in our grass, but comparatively, my skills at both photography and photo-editing have gotten better in the 5 and a half years since. For comparison’s sake, I’m going to upload the picture from a few years ago too.

The first 2 are from this September.

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The picture below is from May 2011. My personal critiques are that my photography was a lot more closed in on subjects. I was pretty obsessed with getting that macro effect, which didn’t allow much space to the subject at hand in the frame. I’m still working on this part because I feel like I close in too much still, but I’m improving.

I also overused really saturated actions and curves in Photoshop. I’m pretty proud of my current more natural, vibrant, color boosting system I use.

I was also using a Nikon d3000 with the kit lens on the below picture, whereas in the new photos, I’m using a d7100 with a 50mm portrait lens. So that also factors in – BUT, I did take some great photos toward the end of my ownership with the d3100. But this particular photo is from the first year I owned it and was learning my way around a DSLR.

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On Resolutions and Living Up to 16 Year Old Me’s Expectations

I have many “new year’s resolutions” this year and one of them, which is one I’ve had every since graduating high school basically, is to make more art. It’s pretty simple, but also pretty hard to achieve at times between work and excuses and shit. So maybe one of my resolutions is really “no excuses”. I’ve been implementing that in my health since September this past year and I’ve seen my clothes fitting me better, people complimenting me on “looking good”, PANTS FALLING OFF MY ASS AT WORK, ya know, the usual.

Next month it’ll be 3 years since I graduated college and I’m having a quarter life crisis here because I’m not where 16 year old me imagined I would be at this point in my life. Like, let me get real candid here, okay? I’m a peon working in retail making less than $10 an hour with fluctuating weekly hours and a schedule that changes week to week (but seems to be “closing” for the past 5 weeks straight). I have healthcare through my parents which is a godsend, but pretty soon that’s gonna expire once I turn 26 or something like that.

Now don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a boo-hoo me post. Despite not being the successful fashion designer I imagine myself to be (yet), I recognize that it’s not just my locale and surroundings that have to do with that, which I often blame. (Because what grows in Detroit if you don’t water it yourself, know what I mean? This isn’t the hub for fashion. This is the MOTOR CITY. ) I am to blame for my “lack of success” in that I haven’t been practicing my craft nearly as often I should post-grad. I recognize that I should be practicing every day, no excuses.

So here’s to trying.

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Y’all remember my Society6 shop I opened up almost a year ago? I decided I’d test my digital design skills out and put some new stuff up. This after I got an email that I got paid because someone loved my Rebel Alliance print so much, they bought a hoodie with it (AND 2 PEOPLE BOUGHT PHONE CASES WITH IT TOO!) and I thought to myself “I need to offer more variety”.

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So I did what any self-respecting artist would do. I threw my design cap on and went to work. I consider myself a pretty kickass “amateur” photographer, so combining photography from my expansive archives with my love of profanity and ironically amusing quotes thrown on unsuspecting floral backgrounds, I’ve begun curating a small typography collection that you can own on numerous items from notecards, t-shirts, tapestries, clocks, phone cases and more for all you “fuck” and “shit” lovers out other.

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And there’s more to come. Because who doesn’t need some “Thug Life” pillows in their life, honestly?

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BTW, for those of you interested in purchasing anything, here’s a promo link! Free worldwide shipping + 20% off Throw Blankets and Pillows through February 7th. You’re welcome.

 

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YOU GUYS. IT’S THE LAST DAY OF BLOGVEMBER!

I had so much trouble deciding on what color scheme to do today’s photo in – it ended up being a piece that looked good in basically every curve and action I applied, so instead of continuing on the sullen and dark scheme I’d had for the past couple fin photos, I decided to cheer myself up (lord knows I need it) and go for a blushy pink/lilac scheme.

Again, if I was a viewer of this without knowing what I’m looking at are fish fins, I don’t think I’d be able to guess. They kind of look like bird feathers, which reminds me of the theory of evolution and makes me feel wonder at the amazing world we live in.

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