madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Eleven years ago I embarked on a project to honour a friend who died of breast cancer. She'd asked me to teach her photography so that her family would be excited to see her vacation shots rather than saying 'Now be polite and watch Aunties vacation show'. And she made a lot of progress in that, too. About eight years after she died, after photographing a mutual friend and listening to NPR on the ride home announcing 'It is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month,' I started thinking about doing a series of portraits of people doing self-exam.

There is a lot of controversy about breast self-examination. By the time lesions are large enough for people to feel, if malignant they are quite along in the process. Mammograms, x-rays, even magnetic resonance imagery are all likely to find cancerous or pre-cancerous lesions much sooner. Self-examination remains, however, both the most likely to keep the awareness that this needs to be a regular thing, this checking for this disease, and the most visual manner of raising that awareness.

There are some slow spots in this project of mine, and others where the energy returns. In the same 11 years, two more friends died of breast cancer, and a multitude more were diagnosed and are survivors. Over time the name I gave to it morphed from a very difficult and long expression to 'Healing Art'. I also learned a good deal about the use of art in healing, in a multitude of means and methods. My concepts for the project started growing, and expanded to ideas which needed survivors and explore the self-image changes, rather than only people doing self-exam.

Any photograph done in the series, all the proceeds go to some one of the various breast cancer research foundations.

This piece is from this year, and explores aspects of digital photography to move into animation. The same model who worked with me to create the Dryad series, and more on the same day we did this work, Chelsea Christian helped with this project. As with everyone else who works with me on this, my directions are simple: Do a self-examination.

Healing Art: Breast Self Examination. Contains Nudity )

It never ceases to amaze me, the results that simple direction produces. Look again at that piece. Look at her face. Everyone shows that same concentration, the current sensory input being matched against memory from previous self-exams.

I've deliberately left off one word in my title to this post. This month gets a lot of publicity for those words. The thing is, it isn't a one time deal. It is month, after month, after month, for an entire lifetime.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
On the River... but Which River? )

I do believe I need a bit of light-heartedness so here it is.

Building Blocks refers to images planned to be used in other images. For this one I'm looking at what kind of 'boat' (as in really a boat? A folded up leaf? A bean pod?) and where...

Open to suggestions.

Think I'm recovered from the night shift Friday. I added up the hours, though (wondering why I felt so much more dragged than usual) and realised that in the space of 48 hours I worked 24. Ah. Yes.

Progress made on a 'physical plant' project for Studio 318. Removed the feet and cross-pieces from an old bed frame we've got here on teh Ranch (hasn't sold in three garage sales believe it or not). The long pieces will become the foundation for a cart in Studio to store/move the posing blocks I've got. Now to finish de-rusting it, give it a coat of paint and add the platform. Still, progress, yes.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Monochrome, so two today. One of these as I told the club I believe fits their definition for Nature, summarised as Nothing By Man In Picture.

Mitre Peak, Milford Sound, New Zealand )

Yes, you've seen this one before. Also,

Portrait of Kendra )

And yes, you've seen this one before too. I mentioned a lot of these are already on the Pic'o'Day list, since I cheated a bit by using archived material. Too many other things happening in a short time. Some of this is working to two different camera club themes, and that's part of the 'check 'em out experiment.' Some is also working up pieces for the Con show coming up, and I need to get those off to the printer. Some is work. Nothing over and above what y'all usually hear, and work still eats up at least 9.5 hours of five days a week, not counting Stay Late. Which is Tomorrow. Which is another reason to post two pics today. Feh.

And some ... well, I guess I'm not still quite ready to talk about that. Friday. Maybe. Meanwhile, Houdini is telling me it's time to go feed Cows and Horses, because then (of course) we feed hungry Border Collie Bros. So I guess I'll be doing that soon.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Arachnoidville )

I reached toward that bit of old hay bale twine on the panel and stopped, because it moved. Looking closer I spied this wee fellow, and made their portrait. I'd say he, or her, or even zie, except I strongly suspect the gender of this wee fellow matters only to another wee fellow of the same genus.

Tired today. Stiff, sore, after yesterday's Stay Late which lasted as long as usual. This week it is not even overtime, because the holiday on Monday means I've only worked 32 hours (plus the Stay Late) and not 40 hours. We don't receive overtime until we've worked 40 hours, even if we work greater than our normal shift hours in a row.

On the other hand, I was off from Hospital on Wednesday, which was my holiday for working on Monday which was the holiday... are you confused yet?

High Key

Sep. 2nd, 2010 05:25 pm
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Portrait of a Woman: monochrome/B&W )

Another portrait re-worked a wee bit for High Key next week with Camera Club #1. I've also taken this one to monochrome, so I might have two entries for Colour, and two for Monochrome. As for the 'Creative' category, which is for 'non-photo-realistic work', I am not sure I understand the club stance on this any longer. So I'm just watching that group for a bit.

[Poll #1614237]

High Key

Sep. 2nd, 2010 05:17 pm
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Portrait of a Woman: monochrome/B&W )

Another portrait re-worked a wee bit for High Key. I've also taken this one to monochrome, so I might have two entries for Colour, and two for Monochrome. As for the 'Creative' category, which is for 'non-photo-realistic work', I am not sure I understand the club stance on this any longer. So I'm just watching that group for a bit.

High Key

Sep. 1st, 2010 07:38 pm
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Portrait in Red )

I've posted this before I think, however this one is re-worked for the High Key theme next week with Camera Club #1. The background received some cleanup before the accentuation to High Key; it felt pretty much in that direction to begin with, the post-production is not extreme.

Hmm... I've seen this thing about the 'Pingbacks' and read a couple of other posts about reposting to other places, via links or...

Consider. I copyright my artwork. Reposting any of that, without permission, is copyright violation. Notice is served.

[Poll #1613800]
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Portrait in Red )

I've posted this before I think, however this one is re-worked for the High Key theme next week with Camera Club #1.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Tea and Mimosa )

I assign responsibility for anything (good and bad) to being sleep-deprived after working Night Shift.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
I Was Framed )

Write a haiku to describe the photo.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Nonwo as Winter Queen Prisoner )

AS the header line should suggest, this piece is a building block for a larger image. Hence, is a building block. On one hand as a straight-forward image fairly good of itself. On another hand... well, this particular batch will take some work to achieve the minds-eye vision. The general concept combines some pieces from the Winter Fae session done on New Years Eve and the Summer Fae session. Techno, Dooz's partner suggested during the Winter Fae to do some images where Winter Queen could be holding herself in her hand. Getting ready for the Summer Fae session, I thought about Winter holding one of Summer's vassals in durance vile. We tried two variations, this one comes from a group using the rope light to give 'body' to magical fae energies holding the prisoner.

So, a glimpse into a 'behind the scenes' portion. The rope light itself needs some work to be less 'mundane'. Then pull her out of this composition (essentially 'blue screen' which is doable from this because of the monochromatic background(s)) and into Winter's hand.

Today, between calming a Border Collie hiding from Sky Grumblers (thunder) and laundry, we've both been working on silhouette pieces getting ready for this week's Camera Club meeting. Nothing to show directly, other than the piece from the World War Two Memorial that I used in Reflection will be re-submitted. This I can do since it did not place at all in Reflection.

Just now... suppertime.

Portraits

Jul. 29th, 2010 06:18 pm
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Learning Curve )

Other than looks a bit like she's sitting on a cloud... good portrait. Plus, will probably use this one as a 'building block' to illustrate another project.

Stay Late at work yesterday, stayed late, and of course we got a thunderstorm. Houdini proved almost humourous in his greetings when I did get home and wouldn't let me out of his sight. Past few days during work, wearing lead armour because I've been involved in procedures using a lot of flouroscopy. Live real-time x-rays. So my knees are a bit displeased with me. May not need to wear lead tomorrow, then again not working tomorrow daytime. It will be a (Houdini trademarked) BossGoesAwayNight.

He doesn't much like those. He likes the morning after, though.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Because it is undeniably summer out there in the northern hemisphere... )

Today's Progress:
Not up early; well, yes, because Houdini woke me up needing to use the Big Outdoors. However we both went back to bed when we came back in. Got up some when around 08 - 09. Made coffee. Drank it slowly. That's as opposed to work week, when coffee is consumed rather more rapidly. I like drinking it slowly much better.

Out to feed the critters. Helped with all of it, rather than dividing to conquer as it were. Hmm, could do a two-fer again. Gave one of the pig pens a watermelon. All us Southerners like watermelon. How's that for cliche statements, eh? Still, they did enjoy it.

Back to the house, started laundry. Worked on some building blocks for another photograph, the Ghost in Tudor House. That's pretty nearly ready. Now to select which view of Tudor House really needs a ghost.

Then Herself interrupted me. It's like this. I've seen Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Johnny Depp portraying Mr. Wonka. I've never seen the version with Mr. Gene Wilder portraying Mr. Wonka. Until today, that is. Rather glad I've done that now. Isn't necessarily a couple hours or so I'd like to get back. Very '60's psychedelic in parts (no surprise since it was made in '71, hardly out of the '60's at all) and representative of a time which still enjoyed musicals. Changed out loads of laundry in the commercial breaks. It all worked out nicely.

Then out to feed the evening rounds. Middle of the day, while hot, seemed less humid and also presented a nice breeze. Evening... temps may of started easing off, but humidity crept up and the breeze blew away, nothing left of it. Sweat soaked by the time we got back in from feeding Horses, Cows, Kids, and Bros.

Now all that's left is feeding us.

A Twofer

Jul. 24th, 2010 09:05 pm
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Just to show you (mostly) what we were up to today.

Herself's New Cart. Herself doesn't like this picture... a lot )

The cart is for her yard tractor. We could also hook it onto the big tractor. Might look a bit odd though. She's looking forward to scraping out the goat barn now. No, Srsly! All that goat manure = Most Excellent Fertilizer!

Come Into My Parlour... Not For Arachnophobes! Or maybe... )

This fellow really is not very large, about the size of a US dime. Maybe 1 cm across entire, and tucks legs in under that spiny cover. They very politely mark their webs so we can see them and not walk into them.

Oh, and this early evening while out feeding teh Horses, Kids, and Cows (specifically after feeding Cows and Kids and before Horses because we were extricating Stupid Goats from fence), overhead a cry, looked up, and 18 kites swooped and looped above us. We know there is a pair that nests nearby. We've not seen this many together before.

Welcome to North Central Baja Jorja.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
What you say? )

For a day off of Hospital, a day Houdini BorderCollie Bro refers to as a BossStaysHomeDay, not much staying home. Feed run to town, then to Ocala Sams for supplies shot the afternoon. Got back from that and teh Horses greeted me by the gate as it was about their usual evening feeding time. They'd obviously been playing in the shower Herself rigged for them for days like today.

Like today? Hot. Hot hot hot hot hot. Even after the sun moved low enough in the sky that the tree shadows covered all, and the worst of it eased off, hot. July cicadas singing joyfully confirm that it's hot.

Summertime, and the livin' is easy
Fish are bitin' and the cotton is high.
Your daddy's rich, and your mamma good lookin',
So hush, little baby, don't you cry.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
I Like The Portrait )

The past two days both were much more draining than the previous three, and Wednesday was Stay Late. I am very seriously into Brain Clutch Slippage, where engaging in constructive thought is difficult. Houdini is not too upset about this, as it results in some lounging about, often stretched out on the floor where he is able to provide warm fuzzies. There is a very good beer in the fridge chilling just a bit, and it is 7.5% alcohol by volume. I am so not the designated driver tonight. O. Wayt. Not going anywhere anyway!

Payday today, which included:
- On Call Pay, wasn't on call, however this is something Acting Boss directed Paymaster to do for those who wind up working Nearly a Double on Stay Late days.
- Overtime, 11.5 hours
- Paid Time Off, 8 hours, which is the July 4th Observed holiday, upon which I worked, so also
- Regular Hours, 80 hours.

Hmm. Maybe this explains why so tired. Maybe.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Except, not so much in Studio Land... )

It is, actually, raining here today. Yesterday was Stay Late Day, and while I stayed late, not quite so late as most times. Got home early enough for a late dinner. Today, however, I am rather tired and not so inspired to do much of anything. Well, not strictly true; I worked on a photo from ... day after New Years, I think. Not ready for show yet; working it up as a building block for a sky.
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Headshot. No actual models were injured making this shot. )

Right. Portfolio. I've been working through some plans this afternoon, in between doing some laundry and soothing an anxious Border Collie (thunder about). What with so many options, the primary goal is actually not to become paralyzed by all those options. So I jotted down some notes and moved on from there.

Note the first: if a picture won a place in some showing, then include it in the portfolio. After all, it impressed some judge(s) enough to award that place. This included a whopping two photographs.

Note the second: if a picture sold a print (or more), then include it in the portfolio. Much the same reasoning as before, though in this case they impressed someone enough to part with money. This included a whopping four photographs. (Note to Gentle Readers: HINT! You could influence this one, eh?)

After that it becomes a question of how to measure the qualitative aspects somewhat quantitatively. You may of noticed, following the Pic'o'Day postings, that the host site for those images is Flickr. Flickr thoughtfully provides some statistics for their customers, though the exact manner of that is changing a bit. Still, I've some records from them wherein Flickr indicated to me the Top ## (I usually only kept the top 20 as that conveniently fit into a PDF file) by 'Interestingness', 'Views' (view count), and 'Favourites' (how many people call a photo a Favorite of theirs). This includes a lot more photographs than Criteria #1 and Criteria #2 combined.

So my next level of choice, on that list, will be images that made all three. This provides another half-dozen or so pictures. I expect I'll break it down by making two, and then possibly if a photograph made any list at least once include that. That last criteria isn't as strict as it might sound. On Flickr, I 'filter' for displaying my nude work to people who are registered members, and listed by me to see those photographs. Putting one into a Group allows a slightly wider audience to see them, yet not too much expanded. So some of the nudes may be on only one list.

This does not excuse you, Oh Gentle Viewers/Readers, from yesterday's request to suggest photographs you think should be included in the portfolio. It only buys you some time before I get all emo on you.

Just now, I think I need to pay a bit more attention to that Border Collie...
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Fae are all ... Tea Partying )

Hmm, I wonder if the Tea Party crew would allow fairies to join?

Thursday, on my day off of Hospital for working today (which due to an interesting quirk of the contract was all overtime, even though the Stay Late was on Wednesday, which means my overtime also received weekend shift differential...) Thursday Herself and I rode part way into town to track down some people that one of the surgeons I worked with (he's since retired) recommended. They are organising/running a gallery, part of which is a constant though changing exhibit of a group called the Gainesville 10. The rest of the gallery the operators try to feature local artists, mostly but not specifically photographers.

They are quite booked up through into next year. However, they want me to submit a portfolio on disk for consideration. (Um, 'Allo betnoir, Bats, Eh?)

So.

I've some pieces in mind, for sure. What I'd like, if y'all feel up to it (well, I'd like it even if y'all don't feel up to it yet that's just the way it is) is to mention which ones of the Pic'o'Day posts y'all think ought to go into that portfolio. Or even some suggestions as to how the process of making those suggestions could be made somewhat easier.

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