Creative Potential of Simple Tools

Apple corer peeler slicer machine

Never underestimate the creative potential of simple machines.

Apple corer peeler slicer machine

This whiz-bang “Apple Peeler Corer” kitchen accessory did more for my kids’ snacks than save me prep time. It got them excited to make (and devour) their own Apple Slinky.™

Kids who “didn’t like apples” started asking for seconds after watching the solid fruit spin through and exit as tasty spirals.

Today’s reminder: You don’t need fancy camera setups to enjoy making images.
(Are you reading this on the last device you used to snap an image, or is that device within arm’s reach? Precisely.)

This winter I picked up an Instax instant film camera and it quickly became the Apple Slinky of picture taking among my minions. Sure they can all snap on phones and tablets but seeing a photo appear and holding a print in seconds is pure magic.

Instax Mini 8 camera and print

What simple tools are right in front of you? Let’s put them to use making art, not excuses.

Your cohort in creativity,  eB


(PS – this post has affiliate links. If you want to try out a fun way to make apple snacks or instant prints using the simple tools above, buying them through these links drops change in the tip jar for more apples and film. Thanks!)

Share the Love – Happy Valentine’s

Heart designs in snow

Heart designs in snow

It’s that time of year again…

Construction paper scraps, glue & glitter blobs all around. Mass-produced chalk hearts stamped with dearest sentiments. Chocolates filled with a range of cough syrup to toothpaste just waiting to startle taste buds in a game of cocoa-coated roulette. It’s Valentine’s Day week and love is in the air.

And if these don’t exactly scream eternal endearment, I hear ya.

I’m all for love (and chocolates) and have learned by now it’s more than just cards, crafts and nice thoughts once a year. Among other things, it takes work, patience, and good communication. But don’t worry, this isn’t a relationship advice column… or is it?

Can you feel the love?

Let’s talk. It’s been a while since your shoot and I’d love to know what made it perfect for you. Or, maybe you got a chocolate full of something unexpected and stomached it anyway, not wanting to offend.

Liked it or… grinned through it, I’d like to hear from you.

Love your shoot?

I’d love to hear about it!

Dislike something?

Why not share your thoughts and leave a review?

I wish we’d known each other (this is a little awkward)

Haven’t had your chance in front of the camera yet? No problem – I’d love to hear how we can change that and what you’d like to see in your own shoot ahead.

 

And no matter with whom or how you’re celebrating your love, make it sincere. -eB

Summer stride

taking a photo walk to school uphill

Every walk is a photo walk if you believe!

Addie joined me for a stroll to pick up big brother & sis from their last week of the school year. Nikon FA 35mm film camera came along too. I’ve been snapping film pics of the near daily walks home from school. Some with the camera pictured, some with stranger contraptions loaded with light sensitive chemical layered rolls of film for surprises to see when I develop them. Life is busy enough without rushing home to edit & post photos. I’m excited to see what comes from the expired color 35mm film, the classic black and white flavors, and the experimental stuff loaded the wrong way just to see what happens.

Charlie the Wonder Hamster Chihuahua

Meet Charlie, our adorably derpy newest member of the family and Rarely Stationary Club.

More of my hip shots & photo rambles on Instagram here.

Go get snapping! #JustGoShoot

Spring Ahead – 3 tips to jump start your photo skills

Morning sunlight streaming through curtains, VSCOcam f2 preset

Tip 1: Start with what you’ve got.

My “serious” cameras were away in my bedroom when I was making Saturday morning breakfast and saw the sunrise streaming through the curtains. Outdated functioning 2011 refurbished smartphone camera was nearby and caught it before the lighting changed. Years before smartphones crashed the photo-making party it was up to me to throw camera gear in a bag and remember to take it with me if I expected to make use of creative moments. Nowadays… you’ve got it in your pocket.

The best camera is the one you’ve got with you when inspiration strikes. Post a #NoFilter or edit to your heart’s content with apps of your choice.

I was an instant fan of square film negatives when I shot a Bronica SQ-Ai for college courses. (Find one here on eBay) Instagram is one of my favorite places to share & see square images today.

Tip 2: Start where you are

These images are all from around the house and yard. Some while making meals, most during busy weekdays full of kids doing homework, getting ready for activities, washing up, making other meals, and in constant motion. No exotic locations, just sights that caught my eye on site and were snapped before they were gone.

Practice seeing details and waiting for images to line up right where you are. These reflexes are key to telling wedding day stories full of details and fleeting moments, and some of my favorite photos of my kids growing up are the ones taken on such “ordinary” days mentioned above.

Black and white daylight through blinds across door panel, VSCOcam b1 present

Tip 3: Simplify

Step closer. Look for details. Cut out clutter in the background.

Don’t like what you see in the frame? Move your feet. Fill the shot with your subject.

Turning these snaps of afternoon lighting into high contrast black and white images is simple with one of my favorite apps – VSCOcam. Presets and fine tune adjustments in VSCOcam and Instagram get the look I want from the shot on the screen.

Black and white mini blind shadows and rain, VSCOcam preset b5

Bonus: Take it or regret a missed opportunity

With plentiful digital camera & smartphone cloud storage this is a no-brainer. No excuse for passing up a shot when you have a camera and abundant means to store the image.

Daylight peeking over the rooftop warmed and melted the snow in the image below. This image would further disappear the longer I waited to capture it. I took my own advice and doubled back to take this photo.

Snow melting in the sunlight, VSCOcam m3 preset

Questions?

Vintage School LetteringGot your camera out and can’t get the shot you want? Wonder what those buttons and menus on your camera do? Tired of reading screens and manuals and just want to go shoot? Book a one-on-one tutorial session with me on topics you choose, Q&A, and demonstrations.

It’s real-world use for all that technology packed in your camera, explained to help you get the photos you’re after.

Reserve your spot here!

 

PS – If you’re in the Daylight Savings regions and set your clocks ahead this weekend, remember to adjust your digital camera’s clock too!

No Filter – December Photo Stroll Ramblings

Instagram December walk bench

#nofilter needed while out on a December day that felt more like early spring than a year end holiday countdown.

Happened upon a little beam of warm sunlight making shadows through this bench. Kids are calm, film camera out of the bag to work on completing an old roll of 35mm I know I’ll leave sitting for ages. #istillshootfilm – and I leave it undeveloped for years.

The shutter click is a cathartic song of simpler times, the image making process is merely a pause in the routine of our days so easily lost in the shuffle.

Instagram December walk Minolta X-370 camera

To be clear, I don’t want those days back – they were cashed in to pay my fare to today. My manual focus lenses couldn’t see this far ahead and tomorrow is still beyond my field of view.

Instagram December walk milk barrels

Quiet reminiscence of the eventful year winding down and thoughts to days ahead with those I love. Lens capped & camera back in the bag as the evening calm yields to homework & dinner routines. I crave the quiet calm already. I’ll be back soon.

Follow me on Instagram here

World Photography Day (Shutterbug Family Portraits)

Grab your gear. Go shoot.

The last day of summer vacation winds down as the exposure dials hit their limits and rolls of film wind back into canisters, the last of the instant film ejects, and a memory card is downloaded. Today was a naturally great day for making photos. Plenty to look back on as the summer concludes and the new school year approaches.

I loaded the last of my FujiFilm FP-3000B black & white instant film into the 1960s Polaroid Automatic 100.

My trusty Minolta X-370 was still working on a roll of Ilford Delta 3200 so I got to snapping with that too – through a 28mm, 50mm, and 135mm. Love those lightweight manual focus prime lenses.

World photography day Polaroid siblings

Instagram would feel left out, so I threw it some photos of film gear and prints.

world photo day polaroid land camera automatic100

world photo day fujifilm black and white polaroids

And then the brainstorms hit minutes before thunderstorms arrived, the kids and I took as much camera gear outside as I could remember where it was squirreled away, and set up a self-timer shoot to end the summer properly. Kodaks and Argus and Minoltas, oh my! Kodak Instamatic, a few One Touch Sx-70 Polaroids, Argus C4, 35mm Nikons from fully manual FM to fully auto N65, bags of accessories to boot.

world photography day family portrait 1

world photography day photographers

world photography day family portrait

 

Read more about today’s photographic holiday at www.worldphotoday.org/

Drop me a line to set up a shoot of your own – digital, film, no big whoop.