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>My Mill Project

>I’ve officially embarked on my mill project. What is that, you ask? Well, right now it’s an attempt to gain access to and photograph as many of the mills in the Pawtuxet River Valley as possible. Mills were such a huge part of Rhode Island’s past, and their “modern history” is just as interesting, if not quite so influential. If I get the grant funding I applied for, the project may expand. 🙂

I say that I’ve officially started because yesterday I was able to get inside the Hope Mill, which they’re just starting to prep for conversion to apartments, and take photographs. I even had a photo buddy volunteer to come along – Nicole Gesmondi, a very talented photographer whose website you should check out!

Today I’m off to the Pawtuxet Valley Preservation and Historical Society to learn more about the mills of the Pawtuxet Valley.

I’ll leave you with this preview of coming attractions:


>A Picture Perfect Evening

>As I announced in previous posts, this past weekend was the Picture Perfect Evening event put on by the Blackstone Valley Advocacy Center. The night went well. My trusty assistant and I managed to get the display set up in time and were complimented on how professional it looked. That was nice to hear, all that hard work paid off. Sales were slow for all of the vendors, but that was to be expected considering people were there for the whole evening’s gala event, not just to buy art. Putting my photographs out there in public for the first time was a bit scary, but they were well received and admired. Another nice thing to hear! All and all, it was a good experience – I learned a lot and met some talented fellow artists in the process.

A few of my fellow vendors encouraged me to participate in some of the local art festivals, which they said were quite different than this particular event. I’m starting to look into that option with a mix of excitement and nervousness. At least one of the local shows allows artists to share a booth (and split the costs), so perhaps I can go that route to get my feet wet, so to speak. I’ll keep you posted as plans get more fleshed out.

[EDIT: Here are some photos of my small booth setup and my silent auction piece (obviously before anyone bid on it), courtesy of Amber!

Thanks Amber!]

I still have a couple of photo assignments to wrap up, and I’ll be finalizing a date for my gallery opening at Method shortly, so check back soon for updates!

>Assignment #20

>I know what you’re thinking… What’s this? Another assignment posting already!? It’s true, folks. Aside from packing up the car, I’m pretty much done getting ready for my February 10th show! I am relieved, and now I have time to work on photo assignments! Not many left…

I’ve got two for you today, one from MrsRoDeBa – “Your street”. Since my street is kind of a narrow back street with a lot of buildings under renovation, it isn’t too scenic. Far too many dumpsters to be scenic. So I went with the literal interpretation of “Your street” and focused on the pavement itself.

And next, from my sister Lisa, “How about taking an uninteresting square foot of forest and trying to take the most interesting picture you can of it. It has to be a square foot you would usually pass by and not see.” I’ll admit, I didn’t bring a measuring tape with me so this is probably more than a square foot. However the bit of forest in and of itself wasn’t very interesting. But the light coming through it sure was. I also played around a bit with the color, because I miss green growing things.

Enjoy! And wish me luck, I’ve applied for a substantial fellowship that would let me spend a whole year doing solely photography instead of needing a part time job! I’m really excited about what i could do with that, and have one main project in mind as well as a few side projects. So yeah, here’s hoping!

>Assignment #19

>I apologize for the wait – with the Picture Perfect Evening show in one week (!!!) I’ve been keeping myself very, very busy! But, I’ve only got a few more assignments to crank out on my list, and here’s one of them:

From MrsRoDeBa, “Your shoes or your husband’s shoes”. Well, technically I guess this is just the one shoe, but I’m gonna let myself off the hook for now. My husband’s old, beat up Converse that he hasn’t the heart to get rid of.

And, since it took me a while between posts, I’ll throw in a second shoe picture in as a bonus! These are my poor, beat up work boots.

Enjoy – and check back soon for an update on my gallery opening. It’s been pushed back from late February to March, and I still don’t have a final date. As soon as I find out I’ll post the info here, as well as send out a newsletter. If you’re not getting the newsletter and would like to, sign using the green box on my home page.

>Assignment #18

>I haven’t abandoned you all I swear! For the past few weeks I have been busy getting ready for the Picture Perfect Evening event that’s coming up, so I haven’t had much free time to get assignments done.

To make up for it, today I’m posting 4 of them! I had to skip over some because some assignments were photos of Christmas decorations. Since I am really past due to take down my Christmas decorations, I figured I’d better get those assignments done!

First, from my best friend Amber: “How about taking pictures of holiday decorations, but from a different perspective?” The end result of this challenge was a slightly different perspective than normal, and a very different method than normal. The perspective is from as high as my tripod would take the camera, right up at the tippity top of the tree. Being short, this was a new perspective for me! The method was infrared photography, which makes the needles of the tree look whitish, and gives a really deep tonal range to the inanimate objects in the photo. As always, click on the image to see a larger version.

Next, two assignments from my mother-in-law, Susan. The first one is “a photo of your husband’s hands hanging an ornament on the Christmas tree”.

This one was tough, mostly due to the uncooperativeness of said husband! No, not really, he was very nice and helped me out. But his hand got tired trying to stay still in one position while the “arteeste” solidified her “vision”. So I let him off the hook after a few shots. No pun intended.

Next from Susan: “a photo of the tree from the bottom up.” This one was an interesting challenge because straight up from the bottom turned out to be pretty uninteresting. There were some tough limitations to overcome, like having to be a certain distance away from whatever gets focused on. Also, a lot of things that look cool in three dimensions look terrible and kind of busy in two dimensions, and the branch structure of a Christmas tree is apparently one of those things. Not to be daunted, I decided I’d take a photo from the bottom up, by focusing on the bottom and panning upwards as the shutter went off. The result is this odd mix of motion blurring and bright Christmas colors. I kind of like the dizzy festive feeling of it.

Finally, one assignment that isn’t Christmas related but the result of opportunity knocking. My friend Darcy’s assignment got pushed to the front of the line purely because of an interesting location, good light, and a cool textured background. Her assignment was “shadow” and here is one of my favorite photos to come out of a recent trip to an old textile mill. Thanks again to my “model” husband.

And, in closing, something completely different. My mother recently made the comment that there seem to be two kinds of artists. Those who see shapes/lines and those who see color. I think I definitely fit into that first category. That’s why I love black and white photography so much. It allows you to look past the distracting colors and see the shapes and patterns in the image. But I’m curious – what kind of artist are YOU? When you look at a piece, do you see shapes? colors? textures? Leave a comment and let me know.