Monthly Archives: June 2011

Lo-fi Thinkers Unite

Katie King is a very busy woman. Not only does she run a successful photography business called A Sense of Place with her husband, she’s also a very active member in the Female Photographers of Etsy (fOE) community AND decided to start-up a magazine this year. And all this activity takes place on a little tropical island in the middle of the ocean.

I met Katie through the very active and creative fPOE group. Her idea for a magazine featuring works from the fPOE ladies was tossed out in December 2010 and by April 2011, the first issue of Method Press hit the stands (so to speak) and was offered for sale on magcloud.com. The theme of that issue was “A Blank Stare” and it featured a collection of photos related to the theme as well as interviews with some unconventional artists, poetry and essays. Instead of just a photography magazine, Katie and her fabulous team have put together a very well-rounded lo-fi centered publication.

The ladies are hard at work on issue two, but Katie was generous enough with her time to answer a few questions for me:

For those unfamiliar with Method Press, explain a little about the magazine

Method Press is an art filled idea-magazine celebrating low-fi thinkers. It was made by me and some very rad fPOE ladies last spring.

Just got my first issue of Method Press in the mail and I must say bravo! Very well done from the layout to the artwork to the choice of paper. My impression is that it’s not only a visual arts magazine but also a literary one. Was that the original intent?
Grazie! Yes it was. I wanted it to be a literary journal / idea book hybrid, but more accessible than an academic publication. I had such a great pool of talent to pull from with the fPOE individuals willing to help that it seemed both obvious & resourceful to include a visual arts emphasis.
You’re a very busy woman, no doubt and creating a magazine is a time-consuming and ambitious endeavor. What inspired you to create a magazine in this day and age when book and periodical sales are slumping?
 I don’t know-I’m insane. I just get these ideas and run with them. In 2009 it was to self publish a poetry book, in 2010 it was to create a one woman show. This year it was to start a magazine. 
I LOVE that I can get a physical copy of the magazine in my hands. There’s nothing like flipping through the pages, smelling the paper and (as your first magazine suggests) creating new things from its pages. Was it always the intent to offer it for print? It seems to go along with the lo-fi way of thinking.
Yes that was the original intent. I’ve always liked feeling things in print. Its easier on the eye. I also enjoy making notes-circling underlining, making shapes as I read along. It makes me feel more connected to the material.  

How do you see Method Press riding the current wave of nostalgia for things analogue into the future, when retro may not be so cool?

I’m not too into nostalgia, myself. It gets sticky. I’m not sure how MP will do in the future or how it will be received because we’re just getting started, but we’re into talking about what kind of art is being made right now.  What I mean to say is that Method Press isn’t aiming to ride any waves at the moment that I’m conscious of. We just want to creatively present the methods of how people work, what makes them tick, and what helps them do what they do.

Now, let’s learn about you. How did you get started in photography?

I’ve tried answering this question 4 times so far and nothing feels right. The most decent answer I can give you is “I don’t remember.” Somewhere a long the line my sister told me I had a talent.
I was a little put off, actually. I had been studying theater & music my whole life but people just kept talking about what good photos I took when I hadn’t studied a single thing about it.

Since Method Press is about lo-fidelity thinking, I’m curious, do you like to use lo-fi/analogue cameras? If so, which ones? If not, what’s in your camera bag?

 Not as much as I used to. I have a Minolta SR-T303, a Polaroid Land Camera, several other Polaroids & a Diana but I use my Canon Rebel T1i most often (thanks, Kickstarter backers!)

Could you share with us a few of your favorite photos and give us a little info about each one?

Usually I love other people’s photos more than mine but, since you asked… 

These photographs were both taken as a part of a film swap in 2010. There is something about that first one that just gets me. Who knew sheep could embody such purpose. The second one has a theatrically powerful quality. Most people think it’s a horse; it’s a donkey. 



This one just cracks me up. It was all his idea.

Now for some delightfully unconventional questions….

1.     What do you use as a camera bag and what do you absolutely have to have inside it (besides film and a camera)?

I’m lucky if I can find the camera on time. I’ve never really had a fully functioning camera bag.

2.     You’ve suddenly been declared King of the World…what are the first three things you would do?

Call my mom, tweet about it, then call my psychologist 

3.     Not only are you King of the World but you’ve suddenly acquired a time machine. Where would you go and what would you do?

I’d charge admission but not use it for myself. I think now is important. 

4.     The ubiquitous desert island question with a twist…what kind of an island would you like to be deserted on and which five things must you have with you?

A cold one. A windy island with snow-capped peaks.

1. excedrin migraine
2. a ballpoint pen
3. a blank notebook
4. a really comfy blanket. Maybe electric.
5. twix 

5.     Look around and give us the title of the book that’s closest to your hands

How to trust God even when life hurts. 

6.     Name four people, living or dead, that you’d like to hang by the grill, BBQ and drink beer with

Gosh. Someone that could cook really well because I sure can’t cook but I love to eat. I love kabobs. Maybe a famous kabob chef. But then I would feel so awkward. Just me and this random chef, you know? Add Casey Abrams. Yeah. Plus Meatwad. And….Jesus. Totally.

Now for some ‘this or that’ questions…

Color or black and white

Color.

1940’s or 1970’s

40’s. 

Cash or Credit

Debit 

Beatles or Elvis

Yikes…that’s really tough. Elvis. 

Broccoli or Brussel Sprouts

Broccoli 

Markers or Pencils

Markers. 

Dogs or Cats

Dogs. 

Beer or Liquor

Liquor. Although I’m not much of a drinker. 

Goodbye or See Ya Later

See ya later 
“A Funny Story” is the theme for the magazine’s next issue and the crew is still accepting submissions so all you lo-fi writers, photographers and artists, pop on over to the Method Press blog and get all the details.
Here’s a list of links where you can find information on the magazine…..
methodpress@gmail.com
Blog: http://meetmethodpress.blogspot.com/
FB: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Method-Press/164023166984403
Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/groups/methodpress/

Grieving Technology

When a loved one or friend goes away, you grieve. When a beloved pet dies, you grieve. Heck, you probably grieve a little if your favorite sports team loses the big game or if your favorite shirt suddenly disintegrates, but grieving over technology? Really? I am almost ashamed to say yes, I did in fact grieve a little yesterday when my iPhone suddenly bit the big one.

sad elias at the beach

Before I continue you must know cell phones and I have had a rocky yet passionate relationship. I used to HATE my cell phone, probably because it was just that. A phone and nothing more. I never took it with me or left it turned on, which drove my husband crazy. My main motivation for getting an iPhone came after my PDA finally died. I spent months convincing my husband that if I had an iPhone, I’d take it with me everywhere and leave it on so that he could always get in touch with me. He had no idea what he was in for.

When I discovered all the cool stuff, crazy apps, games and ability to surf the net anytime, anyplace, I became an iPhone junkie. When I began seriously using my iPhone for its photographic abilities, I was a full-on addict. There was no going back. Until my 3GS dropped in the ocean one day while walking our dog on the beach.

I was without the phone for a few days and it was like you’d cut off my arm but I was OK. I got my new phone, which I named Zelda, in a matter of days.

Fast forward to last Friday afternoon. I took my son to the beach for an afternoon of fun in the sun. On the way back to the car I noticed something was leaking in my bag. It turned out to be my water bottle. Zelda was safely tucked away in an outer pocket of my purse so I figured it was OK even though the screen was a little wet. After all, this same phone had already survived being submerged in a wet sink and a pint of beer, countless trips to the beach, plus a very wet run one day when a freak storm caught me a mile and a half from my car. Zelda had a day of R & R in a bag of rice and, fortunately, some scant water marks below my screen in the shape of the Hawaiian islands were the only reminders of that ill-fated run. It could handle that. Unfortunately, last Friday’s event would prove to be disastrous. Water must have dripped in the phone, either that or it had finally reached its aqueous limit because when I tried turning it on nothing happened.

The next day I took it to my local AT & T store and the nice fellow stated it was most likely dead.  He suggested a trip to the nearest Apple store which, in my case, is two hours away and requires major planning to reach. I was devastated since it meant I’d be iPhone-less for another 24 hours. No Words with Friends or Plants vs Zombies to distract me from the doldrums of hanging out at home. No texting, instant net surfing or Hipstamatic! My whole life was in that thing from contacts to passwords and lists of new beers and wines I was trying to find. This sucked.

I became cranky, sullen and totally bummed. My husband joked that I was grieving my loss and at first I blew off his comments but the more I thought about it the more I realized he was right. I had become THAT person, the one for whom a smart phone has become like another appendage. As an analogue kind-of-girl I felt really stupid. Could I really rely on one device that much? Then I talked with a friend about it and she said we’ve all become that kind of person. In fact, those who don’t rely on their phones (like my husband) are quickly becoming the exception to the rule.

Getting my replacement phone the next day was like being reunited with an old friend. It was good to instantly be able to communicate with everyone again. The weight of it in my hand felt reassuring and right. However great it was to be able to text, surf the net and access my accounts, being able to take pictures again was the best feeling ever.

So yeah, I grieved the loss of an inanimate object and I felt ashamed but now that I have my phone back I feel free! I’m thinking of naming this one Jesus or Lazarus to up the chances of resurrection should it decided to go swimming again.


Slide Film Wars

It’s been awhile since I’ve written about or reviewed new film but while scanning my latest vacation pictures, I made an interesting observation worth blogging about.

I love slide film because of it’s saturated colors and cross-processing ability. The only type I’m really partial to is Fuji Velvia because it’s so much fun to cross process and see the world through rose-colored glasses

For negative color film Fuji is by far my preferred film as well. I love Porta and the rich, but not too saturated, natural tones is gives. Plus, there’s a nice greenish/bluish tone to it that I prefer over Kodak’s orangish/reddish cast.

Here are some good Portra examples

I’ve realized, however, that I now have a NEW preferred slide film and that is Agfa CT Presica. While scanning my shots the difference between Fuji and Agfa was very clear. The blues were bluer, reds were truer and the overall color a much more accurate representation of what I actually saw with my eyes.

This is Fuji

This is Agfa

You can really see the difference. Now, was my Fuji film expired? Possibly. I don’t even keep track of that stuff. But the camera was the same and the lighting was comparable. Here’s another example

Fuji Film

Agfa

Those last two are among my favorite images from the trip and, again, were taken with the same camera (Vivitar UWS). The lighting was more harsh in the palm tree shot since I was looking up but I think the difference is still pretty clear.

The great debate over which film is best will certainly continue. I’m going to get some Agfa and Fuji (unexpired) and put them through some tests in the coming month. Hopefully the results will yield a clear winner…we’ll see!


Waiting Is Over

Many of you will recall I have been involved in The Art of Waiting (AOW) project put together by my unconventional photo friend dirklancer AKA Jeff. The year came and went, I became a better writer and met some really fun and creative people through the magic of the Internet, but, what about those pictures?

Quite frankly, I had forgotten about them. It’s hard to believe, I know, but life got the best of my time, and my years’ worth of AOW pictures lay undeveloped. Until now.

I got January’s roll back a few weeks ago. Because I keep a photography diary (which I highly recommend), I was able to go back and see what I was thinking when I shot the roll. In my diary I record the date, camera and film I used. I also make any notes about weather conditions or other important events that may come in handy to remember at a later date. Since my brain is full of holes, it comes in quite handy.

As I flipped back to January of 2010 I noted that I used my Holga with Fuji slide film. The theme for this month’s roll was “Things Worth Waiting For”…

We’ll start with a bench. At the beach on a busy summer day, it’s definitely worth waiting for.

A big, fat sale at your favorite store!!

It is MUCH better to wait for a tattoo than to go in stumbling drunk and wind up with a Disney character on your ass for the rest of your life.

Snow Day home from school…worth waiting for. Little did I know this winter and the following one would bring record snowfall to my little neck of the woods.

Going to the library and finding the book you’ve been looking for instead of buying said book? Worth it.

Buying local, fresh produce from your local farmers….worth waiting for. You can eat strawberries that have been shipped from across the country in the middle of winter but they don’t taste half as good as the ones you pick yourself in late spring.

Empty seats…most definitely worth waiting for. When you finally sit down it feels so good.

Another beautiful snowy scene. Crisp, bright post-snowstorm mornings are great things when they happen. Again, I had no idea I’d get PLENTY of chances to take shots like this in the coming year. Just wait for February’s AOW roll.


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