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

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.

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Home For the Holidays – Family Portraits and Sibling Rivalry

The holidays are simply magical. Friends gather, family comes to town, all bringing smiles and fond remembrances of yesteryear.

Christmastime and winter break was a pretty fantastic time of year when I was a kid. It had all the sparkle and wonder of a cheery Hallmark movie dipped in school glue and rolled in every canister of glitter within reach at the craft table. I recall Continue reading “Home For the Holidays – Family Portraits and Sibling Rivalry”

Kodak Instamatic 104 – Monday Morning Redemption

Kodak INstamatic 104 outfit box set 1975

My dad’s habit of finding quirky gifts strikes again. A crisp $1 bill got him this nifty Kodak Instamatic 104 Outfit box set at a garage sale. Sweet yellow Kodak box contains an Instamatic camera, unused flash cube, old AAA batteries and box from the last 126 cartridge that expired in May 1975 all stored inside. Now I’ve just got to find a 126 film cartridge to reload and get snapping with this camera!

The surprise gift just sucker-punched this sluggish Monday. It was his original find of a manual Minolta 35mm camera that got me hooked on photography way back in the teenage years. A Kodak Brownie Hawkeye, Agfa folding bellows camera, this Instamatic 104, and a handful of garage sale and auction treasures have been great surprise gifts since then!

Can’t wait to try out some Instamatic 35mm photos!

Monday reminder: go shoot some photos today! -eB

Love Like Crazy – Susie & Billy’s 35th Anniversary

Sue and Bill's 35th Anniversary - Dance collage

Happy Anniversary Mom & Dad!

On a sunny afternoon at Bendix Woods park, between the E and the R* of the pine trees that spell out “Studebaker,” my parents were married 35 years ago today.

Mom had a lovely dress and a bouquet of white and yellow flowers. Dad and the groomsmen had a snazzy white tuxedo, mom picked light yellow dresses and matching giant yellow sun hats for the bridesmaids. (Gonna have to get a bonus post to show off those stylish looks!)

Not sure if the next photo qualifies as their 1970s engagement portrait or not, but it’s still worth sharing.

Bill Sue dating photo from the 70s

* Fun fact – years later when I was born they gave me the same first and middle name initials as the tree letters they were married between – E.R. Also fun fact, Dad still tells that same story just about every time we drive by the park.

Happy anniversary! Here’s to 35 more and then some!

Six Years! Happy Anniverary Rachelle and Josh!

What a great day to close out April, sun shining again after what felt like weeks of April showers in Indiana. Today marks the 6th wedding anniversary for one of my friends I’ve known since kindergarten and her husband! Congrats Rachelle and Josh!

Morris Farms Chapel Niles Michigan Wedding Bride
Bride and bridesmaids leaving the old country schoolhouse to walk to the chapel.

Morris Farms Chapel Niles Michigan Wedding

Morris Farms Chapel Niles Michigan spring Wedding
Josh and Rachelle, details of her mother’s wedding dress she wore for the big day.

Outdoor wedding groomsmen portrait

Morris Farms Wedding Couple country road Portrait

Excellent day for a stroll down the country road outside the chapel – both back then in 2005 and today in 2011. Congrats newlyweds! 🙂

Wedding Day photography at the Morris Estate Chapel

Home Office CFO Adrian – Creative Fun Officer

While finishing up some paperwork and scanning something for the Previously Unpublished category, my son Adrian dropped by to visit / play / shuffle through desk drawers. He loves seeing what miscellaneous hardware parts he can fit together with other parts, cameras, or his toys. “Hmm that gives me an idea!”

Home office toddler fun break with Adrian

Last night while rummaging the desk we discovered a real treat for playtime fun: sticky tack putty!

After demonstrating how it could be used Adrian decided it was more fun rolled into a ball. And from there that it should be flattened out. His imagination already in high gear, he ran out to get something. “George!” he shouted while running to the playroom. He came back with one of the Thomas the Tank Engine characters, George the Steamroller, to help with his brainstorm. I grabbed a camera almost as fast as he jumped back up to the desk!

Thomas the Train's friend Steamroller George versus sticky tack putty

Go George!

Steamroller George versus sticky tack putty

George (and Adrian) did it!

Steamroller George flattened the putty!

After an exhausting office playtime Adrian was ready to sleep, grabbed a blanket and laid down all by himself. I tucked him in and we called it a day, a very fun day all around! These little breaks for fun are some of the best parts of the home office work!

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Geek details: Shots made from top to bottom with iPhone 3G, wide shots with Nikon D700 at ISO1600 and Sigma 14mm F/2.8 lens wide open & hoping “closest subject” autofocus picked up the steamroller. Last shot with Nikon 105mm f/2.8 macro.