Tag Archives: Water

You Took Your iPhone Kayaking?

I can’t begin to express how nice it is to write without the constraints of rules! Following APA format is exhausting and it really cramps my writing style, so I am happy to be blogging again.

It’s been very busy for me, as you can imagine. I’ve started graduate school…

Finished my first triathlon with a smile on my face…

…plus, I’ve been experimenting with my iPhone.

This week, I’ll share pictures from a recent kayaking trip. I’m fortunate enough to live less than five miles from the Atlantic Ocean, which means there are little creeks, bays and tributaries everywhere. To record our little adventure, I brought along an underwater camera and my iPhone.

The underwater camera shots were underwhelming, to say the least. There’s a stupid blue camera strap on the body and, try as I might, I could not keep it out of the pictures. Every last shot I took had the camera strap in it. Blech!!!! Next time I use that particular model of underwater cam, I am cutting off the strap.

So thank goodness I brought along my iPhone. Encased in a plastic bag, it survived the expedition and the captured some really beautiful pictures.

It was a bit of a challenge to compose pictures through a plastic bag. Composition was difficult because of glare from the sun. Drops of water near the camera lens distorted the image and made the camera lose it’s little computer-chip mind while it was trying to focus. To combat these issues, I wiped the bag and pulled it very taut over the lens. The plastic bag provided coverage and challenges, but it also gave soft, dreamy, Diana-like results. These pictures were all taken in Camera+ and edited in Snapseed.

That’s me in the hat. In order to get that shot I passed my iPhone to my husband using the paddle. It was quite a balancing act.

One of my favorite shots of the day is one I took of Jake and Elias. Someone with long legs (not me) figured out that hanging their feet over the sides was fun. My daughter Phoebe, pictured above, is blessed with long legs and said she could feel fish tickling her toes. We were all relaxing when I took this picture.

I had to straighten it out a little, but it really captures the mellowness of the moment.

I’ve also been using Snapseed’s Drama filter, especially for landscapes. Here are two beach shots I took as some rough weather was moving in.

More dramatic shots will be coming in another post, so until then….happy snapping!


Trippy Key West, or How Toy Cameras Made My Pictures Extra Special

Key West is a crazy place, but how do you capture the essence of the insanity? Through a plastic lens and some crazy film, of course.

The view while floating on my back in the pool where we were staying. I miss that palm tree. Shot with Holga on Kodak Tmax 400iso.

Our favorite coffee shop in KW

While I was in Key West I did a little experimentation with double and long exposures, as well as with Revolog’s Tesla II and Rasp films. My results were trippy, mind-warping goodness. These toy camera shots not only show you the sights, they really capture the essence of Key West.

I own two Holgas and they each take very different pictures. The Holga I brought to KW was my zebra-striped special, which has a lens that fuzzes out a lot of the periphery of my pictures. Look at the first picture in this post, the palm tree. You can see the softness all along the borders of the photo, giving it a very dreamy quality. Floating beneath that tree in the pool, enjoying the cool water, was very relaxing and tranquil, a mood that is captured perfectly in this Holga picture.

Let’s start our tripped-out tour of Key West with some black and white Holga shots from my brother’s wedding.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and it was HOT! The sultry air made everyone feel a little lazy. Add some beer and tequila to the mix and the world became a little soft and fuzzy. The Holga plus black and white film brings that mood to these pictures.

I really love using the Holga for long-exposure shots at weddings because it captures the energy of the day, as it does in the long exposure shots of my brother Jim and his wife April, as they cut their cake.

The two shots at the railing by the water are especially sweet. They show Lexi, April’s daughter (and my new niece) gazing out at the sea, one with a friend Shane and the other, all by herself. Check out the clouds…all zoomy and funny looking at the edges.

Next, we’ll move onto some shots made trippy by the film I used. You’ve seen a couple of these shots before, but bear with me. The first two are taken on Revolog Tesla II and show April and Jimmy with lightning bolts.

It’s great when the random special effects on this film show up in just the right areas. Next, a couple taken on Revolog Rasp. The first is very underexposed, the second is just phenomenal.

The textures of Rasp add a funkiness to these shots that I just love.

Back to shots from my Holga, which has a tendency to wind film in a wonky manner, causing some overlapping. First, you’ll see the two pictures separately, then all together.

We’ll finish up with some of the weirdest shots on the roll. I tried for some intentional double exposures, which turned out okay, but when the film was exposed to light as I unloaded it from the camera, these shots became magic.

The background is of a fence with a sign that reads “No Parking Unless Snow Depth Exceeds 2 inches”

Long exposure of a British phone booth in someone’s backyard

Trippy scooter

Sailing off into the great unknown

as my husband put it, “sailing through tide and times”

Toy cameras are the perfect medium for a funky place like Key West. I will never go anywhere eclectic without my Holga and some film. I do love the iPhone photos I took, but once again, film gave my pictures a depth and character that I couldn’t have achieved otherwise. Thanks for virtual tripping with me ūüėČ


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.


Jungle Jim’s Waterpark

Travel down Route 1 south in Delaware and you’ll see lots of crazy stuff:¬†the UFO building at Eagle’s Nest Airport, a tractor museum, an enourmous propellor in front of a restaurtant (which I hope to photograph in the future), 30ft. plastic neon-colored palm trees strung with blinky lights. None is as crazy, or inviting on a summer day, than Jungle Jim’s .
Situated in Rehoboth Beach,¬†Jungle Jim’s is not just a waterpark. There’s also mini-golf, a batting cage, bumper boats and a go-kart track. It’s a great place to lose money and your mind.

Usually crowded to the max on summer days, I’m lucky enough to work at a place that holds it’s annual picnic at the park right after Labor Day. It’s perfect and this year was no exception. It was hot as hell and humid like nobody’s business. Four large waterslides offer the perfect way to start off your day.¬†Get on a raft and¬†ride the¬†largest slide which¬†shoots you uphill with a giant burst of water.¬†Three of these slides are enclosed completely, adding to that horrific feeling of claustrophobia and not knowing what lies next around the turn.

When you’ve had enough of the slides, or you’ve lost your voice from screaming, head on over to the lazy river. Plop yourself in a tube and ride the current around the park. Look out for the waterfalls and the wave pool!

You may be hungry at about this point in your day. Head on over to the Cafe, located next to the restrooms and lockers. There you can get any number of fried or sugar-laden foods to satisfy your hungry tummy. Just look for the large plastic animals enjoying hot dogs and sodas.

Going to the Jungle with small children? No worries. There in the center island is a shallow pool with crazy squirting fountains, palm trees with coconuts that dump water on your head, a large pirate ship complete with water-guns, slides and cargo net and around the periphery of this shallow pool, a number of soft, small slides fit for the littlest visitor.

Feeling really fit? Try crossing the rope bridge with your hands. Below you are floating objects to give you a little help but without the proper upper body strenght, you’ll end up in the drink!

A fun-filled day for the whole family, Jungle Jim’s is a great alternative to the beach on those days when you just don’t want to clean sand from between your toes yet again. You can easily spend the entire day at the park and it’s a good thing since the price of admission is not cheap. Next time you’re travelling south on Route 1 and the kids are driving you crazy in the backseat, pull over at Jungle Jim’s and let them get their ya-yas out. Your wallet will be a little lighter but then again, a solid night of sleep is pretty much priceless.


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