Here it is…Everything. All 10, 268 items.

Of course when they are like this you can see how inconsistent I was regarding lighting.

Here is the video documentation in high speed with some catchy tunes:





Back to reality

I rang in 2011 with a flu, so my plans to productive come the new year were quickly crushed with nausea, fatigue , and an overall feeling of being run over by a truck . However I started the week out semi fresh starting the ever intimidating endeavor of photographing everything I own. I’ve started with the category “ART” since it is after all the most difficult and all encompassing all things considered ( plus everything after that will feel like a breeze…hopefully) Here are some highlights of today: ( note none of the images are edited yet )

twenty-four cameras

Drawing supplies

crafty items

Cd jewelry items

Painting supplies

I’ve never claimed to know anything about studio lighting, in fact everything I do know came second hand from either students or professors, or the interweb. Im really displeased with the shadows I’m  still getting, the first photo of the cameras is the most successful ( irony?!)  Anyhoo I’m only working with 2 tungsten lights, ( if i had 2 more I think I would be able to eliminate those pesky shadows.) and one external flash attached to my ever lovely red Pentax K-x. At least me and my camera are getting some good alone time , and I’m learning its little tricks.

In other news, to go along with this project and themes of a more loose and figurative self-portrait I am also photographing everything I eat for a month:

Breakfast: cereal(w/soy milk),water,orange juice, (not pictured: coffee)

Breakfast: Cereal(w/soy milk),water,orange juice,(not pictured: coffee)

Second Breakfast: Leftover hors d'orderves with pesto, capicola,fresh motz., and bruschetta

Lunch: Leftover Haddock with tomatoes, and onions, ( not pictured, basmati rice)

Dinner: Chicken Marsella, salad, water, and red wine.

Its more impromptu, and a lot more annoying, ( I just want to eat it, not photograph it)

and the third installment of the figurative self portraits: All the hair I loose in the shower ( WARNING: the following image is gross and hairy in nature)

Tomorrow I will hopefully be finishing photographing all my art supplies, eat some more, and loose more hair.

Mixed bag

December 22, 2010

So the semester ended…lots of mixed feelings, Hopefully the break will give me the time I need to feel …”refreshed” as I return to finish up.

I’ve been working on sorting out an idea I had a while back that all started with this:

Which resulted in this: 

If that didn’t keep your interest, basically Im photographing every single thing I own. In a mock studio lighting set up. The past couple of weeks i’ve been purging, which at first I thought would be detrimental to the integrity of the project but A.) I still will own a ton ( literally) of ‘stuff ‘ and B.) If I ever want to feel like I can actually accomplish something, and/or finish in a weeks timeline, I had to get rid of roughly 6 black garbage bags of crap. 3 bags of clothes went to Salvation Army ( shirts and pants i hung on to from high school, hoping I would one day fit back into them) , boxes of an assortment of art supplies went to young kids that I know will benefit and use them, and roughly 2 bags of just trash, ( i.e. old papers, broken bits, old containers no one wants..etc.)  I’ve worked on categories and sub categories of how to organize it all . So far I have:

1. ART.

  • my art
  • other peoples art that I own
  • supplies ( cameras, painting , print, paper, jewelry making, dark room set up, craft/sewing supplies, drawing , tools, )


  • undergarments ( bras, underwear)
  • pajamas
  • jeans
  • t-shirts, blouses, and tank tops
  • dresses/dress clothes
  • shoes, boots, sneakers
  • summer wear ( bathing suits, shorts)
  • winter wear ( coats, scarves, gloves, hats)
  • accessories ( jewelry, bags, tights , belts )


  • lamps/ lighting
  • plants
  • knickknacks/decor/ bottles
  • crockery( bowls, silverware, pots and pans)
  • family photos ( ? does this belong here?)
  • Frames
  • Papers/documentation/ manuals (?)


  • art
  • text
  • fiction
  • non-fiction
  • magazines/pamphlets/undergrad and grad school catalogs.


  • dental care ( toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, etc)
  • make up , perfume
  • tampons
  • general hygiene products ( shampoo, razor, soap, deodorant, etc )
  • towels


  • laptop/accessories
  • hard drive
  • cellphones ( current and old/broken)
  • cables
  • digital camera(s?)
  • tablet
  • records/record player
  • cds/dvds
  • boxes for said items(?)


  • paper, stationary
  • pens, pencils, staplers, paper clips, rubber bands, scissors


  • wallets
  • bank statements ( with private info blotted out)
  • check book
  • cards ( bank card, license, membership cards, etc.)


  • old toys

It shall be an interesting endeavor. I’ve gotten over the ‘bashful’ aspect of it ( a.k.a . that my professors will undoubtedly see all my underwear.)   Im hoping another purge will ensue after the photographing. Maybe this will help me once and for all start on the track to simplifying my life/possessions….

but I highly doubt it.

No Excuses

July 19, 2010

Im not going to ramble on for a paragraph explaining how busy i’ve been or justifing why ” I haven’t blogged in quite some time”

Its life, everyone is busy.

However I have a new project that has been bouncing around the ol’ cranium that will not only force me to blog, but draw….




Its taken me quite sometime to understand myself , but I have learned I work best with deadlines and schedules. I am attempting to get the ‘creative juices’ a-flowing, as it were , and just let loose, make mistakes, and use crayons again. So I made a sketchbook, for green friendly folks out there this thing is one HUNDRED percent recycled. Take a gander…

The front and back covers are made with records found at Alfred U’s Repo ( a free material exchange for students) The guts (“paper”) of this thing is comprised of : newspaper, acetate, reclaimed yupo, paper bag, canvas pad, canvas, old photos, phonebook pages, and old chemically enhanced arches paper ( thanks to taking alternative process)  …just to name a few

old cyanotype paper


I had originally planned to start this project in June, and had 77 pages cut to size ( one for each day before I went back to school) However the date got pushed back a few times, Im not sure how many pages exactly are in this thing. But im not stoping till Im through…for once.

Bound using found gaffers tape and binders thread.

As always I will be taking some tips from the ‘bob ross ‘ of sketchbooks : Keri Smith. Just like my “Wreck this journal ( which as seen below, rests in two pieces now after turning to the page “make a sudden destructive movement with the journal”) I want to push my preconceived notions of what a sketchbook should look like, and just unwind a bit.

its like I have two 'Wreck this Journal' now!

So ya’ll stay tuned now I think/hope exciting things will happen And for those who cant wait …SPOILER ALERT : tomorrows page is acetate!

So I’ve been shooting for ehhh about a week now.

I find it fascinating what people will tell you after you ask to take their picture. I’ve had discussions on immagration, feces, and I have even been proposed to. But to hear the rest of that story , you’ll have to buy the book.. ( I joke, If I do ever finish this project i’ll bring the finished book to class)

Here are some creame’d ‘la crop images.


Shack near Jasper Ny


Dan and Lori, who came three hours early to Mullers auction.

When I went back to photograph Club Valentine , I was horrified when I discovered they changed the sign completely. I guess things change, even in these small ‘time-warp’ towns. I still think the sign looked better with peeling paint and rust, but what are you going to do.

Changed sign

Changed sign


Found on the road to Jasper...

I’ve had 3 lengthy shooting sessions thus far. Thursday and Friday were abnormally sunny and warm for November, which I attempted to take advantage of, but by the time I got out of my classes, it was around 2 o’clock, which means I had only 2 hours before night would fall.

2 packs of instant film , 2 rolls of slide film, and one tank of gas later = some pretty ok images.

I ordered 3 boxes of Fujifilm fp-100c and 4 of Fujifilm fp-3000b off B&H last week. I also won one of these bad boys on Ebay:

Polaroid propack, in all of its glory

And this is why I am now broke.

I needed a camera with a external flash since I am shooting with films with such low film speed. Most of the old land cameras take flash cubes, which are now growing ever more extinct and cost close to a dollar a flash, unless you hunt them down at a yard/sale thrift store. But quite frankly I dont have the time or money to waste on the cubes. So I bought this camera. Both the film and the camera are coming today, lets hope it works, otherwise there will be more tears.

I finally threw some film in my Polaroid Big Shot :bigshot005

I had to swap out my rollers from my Polaroid reporter and put into this camera, I’ve done a lot of research and everyone says that the developer spreader that is put inside these cameras fails miserably after the second or third shot. From everything I’ve read online, this camera is NOT intended for daylight, and will basically be useless without Magic cubes… but attempting to prove the world wide web wrong, I did a test outside with my good ol’ pal Dana.



She looks super pissed, probably because I made her stare into direct sunlight , while I danced around with the awkward camera attempting to get her in focus. I don’t mind the results, especially with 11 years expired film. It has a  nice raw feel to it, I do believe.

We are getting down to the wire for the final project, I want to have everything shot by thanksgiving so I can get my order in to Lulu in time for my crit.

We shall see how this pans out.

I’ve also printed out a models release form from the internet ( god, I love Google, and how it answers all of life’s questions). I don’t expect my book to bring me a whole lot of fame and fortune , but I think its good practice to be ‘professional’ or as close as one can come.

The palladium / Kallitype crit is today. I was pretty much digging palladium so much that I got kicked out of Harder a few times. I have some ‘not-too-shabby’ prints of some old polaroids i took, and other obscure images. But I wont spoil/bore you with the details , I’ll wait for today’s crit to do that…

I hate to be the alt process darkroom Nazi , or just a giant pain to everyone but seriously , if you use up all the chemistry..MAKE MORE. Its fun trust me, you’ll feel like a mad scientist mixing the toxic chemicals.

And thats it.I now must incessantly check my email for my packages to arrive.

I know you all don’t want to read my yammering on and on about my final project for alt. process, so I will do my best to explain through pages of my sketchbook and images…


My idea is quite simple: I am going to create a book, that documents people living in remote and rural areas of New York State. I will also include commentary and profiles of the towns/townspeople.I will shoot it all in peel apart Polaroids, using 3 different film types ( fujifilm fp-100c , fp-3000b, and some expired Polaroid 669) and some expired slide film that I will have crossed processed .

I believe my best ideas come from the negative aspects of my life. That sounds terrible but its true. When ever something bothers me, I either make light of it by some how incorporating humor, or fight to change what bothers me. As of late I have become severely depressed with my environment. I’ve lived in Bath Ny, for most of my life, and went to a college that is exactly 32 miles from my home. Part of me is just itching to move on , go get my M.F.A at the School of The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. ( My dream Grad School) and be done with these closed minded sheltered towns. I know I should be taking in and making use of everything going on around me now…but I’ve just become so discouraged by the area that I’ve found it hard to do so.

Its a candid moment , one that I doubt anyone will read…but it gets me to my point…

I’ve decided that what I need to do , is flip my current situation. Take something negative and make it positive . If I think these towns give me a ‘artists block’ , why don’t I document that. Its as simple as that. ‘New York , No , Not City’ will also be a pun at all the out of staters who automatically think your NYC when you say your from New York. A how the ‘other-half ‘ lives kinda deal.

I hope it will be successful.

Recently a good old friend gave me 12 packs of 11 years expired 669 polaroid film , I took one pack already with my Reporter Camera. For its ‘death date’ being in 1998, it still makes some fabulous images. I’ve noticed its pretty touchy with light, and the ASA is 85, so shooting outside in pure sunlight is the only way to get an image. The chemistry fogs up and produces these sometimes beautiful clouds on the prints… Here are some images from the first pack of 8…


This mystery man with a mustache is my father, Chester

This shows a range of exposures. I wanted to get somewhere in between the 2nd and last one, but with a only a simple exposure knob with 7 little lines as settings, its pretty much trial and error. But mostly error.



My best shot of the day, featuring decaying flowers on my front porch

Over the summer I stole some family photos from my grandmother that where taken with polaroids, they are pretty spectacular , and aim at what I am trying to achieve so I deem them worthy of posting…


My Great grandfather, Abe. He was quite the wise alec, and actually lived in the school bus you see in the background just because he could.


My grandfather Dale is modeling the snazzy white jump suit

I also found a great image I took when I was around 12 ( ?) with a terrible digital camera…I am in the process of doing a stone litho of it…


The sign lies

Ever since high school, It was instilled in me by my teacher to keep a good sketchbook. Since I was around the age of 9 I’ve been keeping one , I’ve accumulated close to 30 now, some more full than others. I enjoy leafing through them…especially some of the earlier ones. I kept three sketchbooks last year and filled them up ( for the most part), and I thinks it really when I started to understand what to put in it and how to organize it. I no longer have that new sketchbook anxiety (fear of starting a sketchbook because you didn’t want the first page to look like feces and if you mess up your too afraid of ripping it out for fear of wasting paper and money.)

I digress

I enjoy blogging, but I feel like some artists may use it as a way to get out of keeping a sketchbook. I say why not integrate the two.

so here ladies and gents is pieces of my beloved sketchbook, and my thought process behind my ‘staged photo’ project.


Lastly I feel the need to give props to Keri Smith and her book Wreck this Journal. I call it ‘Freshman Foundations ” in a book. But basically it gives you prompts to destroy the book. Some of my favorite pages included “cover this page in fruit stickers” and “take this book in the shower with you” .The back even has a mailing label and it tells you to tape the book shut and mail it to yourself. It really changed the way I kept a sketchbook….I encourage you all to splurge on the 10-15 bucks for the book. You wont be sorry.

Update Update Update!

September 30, 2009

I’ve been a little lackadaisical about blogging as of late..But I hope to make up for it this week.

In Cyanotype and Vandyke news, I’ve started making prints using the images of Leah I’ve taken . I’ve only used acetate for my negative thus far. But I’ve noticed some successful prints by my partner in crime , Leah, of me using paper that she crumpled. They have come out very ethereal and have this beautiful fuzzy quality to them. So I’ll try experimenting with that..

I’m not crazy about my prints thus far, but my so called ‘mistakes’ have turned into some of my most successful prints. I also find it hard to coat the paper evenly and without darker spots and marks ..etc.


First attempt

First attempt

This came out the best of all the cyanotypes I’ve made over the past few weeks. It was my first print and I feel like they have gone down hill in quality since this one. Also it erks me that some how…even though its not on the negative , a little ‘hair’ found its way on to the acetate. I guess its not a major deal, aside from the fact it makes it look like Leah has a hair on her chinney chin chin.
A few others:
A double exposure one

A double exposure one

tantic acid dipped cyanotype

tantic acid dipped cyanotype

Nothing special here. Leah in the forest that is Alfred

Nothing special here. Leah in the forest that is Alfred


And a severely demented / altered Van Dyke print:





This was a ‘happy mistake’ I guess you could say. My paper has a way of constantly getting contaminated. ( it could be because I’ve been super cheap aka: poor , and have made it my goal not to buy paper this whole semester. Which will be a challenge considering I’m in both Advanced print and Alternative Processes. Anyhoo I found a bunch of paper before classes started hanging around harder…So I’m thinking now they may have had something on them previously that contaminated them..? ) Or it could be that I don’t wipe the counters well enough. I don’t know , but when I was developing this Van Dyke I noticed a large nasty blue area on Leah’s forehead and dark blue spot on her eyebrow. So thinking the print was already “bad” I poured straight hydrogen peroxide on it. It at first bubbled, which was awesome! Then it bleached the print. But it never really got rid of the dark areas; in fact I think it made them darker? I don’t know, but yesterday in class was the last time I took it out of the dark room, and I really was surprised by how it looked in the light. I should probably fix it eventually if I want to keep it…which I do.

That’s it for now on the Leah Berry project…tune in next time for my ideas for my ‘staged photograph’ project!

The Leah Berry Project

September 7, 2009

2 weeks ago (?) I was asked to pull a name out of a hat in my alternative processes class. I was to photograph this person for two weeks .

Leah Berry was the name I pulled.

Leah and I werent ‘B.F.F.’S’ but we were just acquaintances either.  We were somewhere in the middle. I’ve gotten to know Leah a bit better with every photo session I’ve had with her.


Our first photo sessions were a bit ‘dry’ . Everytime I would attempt to take a photo my subject would ask ‘what I was doing?’ or often times I would hear “Courtttt! Why are you taking my picture?” as if she didnt know. I think It just took us some time to get acclimated to taking pictures of one another. I attempted to catch my subject when she didnt notice, but she always caught me, maybe I just wasnt as sneaky as I had thought.

Leah Berry

Got to love those water marks that I have yet to make magically disapear.

I shot Leah using mainly my ‘new’ and trusty Nikon FM2 ( which I found this summer on craigslist in buffalo for a steal , and was worth 2 hour trip up there) I also took some digital pictures using both my handy digital camera and cell phone ( when I would attempt to be coy and shoot leah while she wasnt looking) But in an unfortunate turn of events I lost a good 30 some pictures of Leah, while I was without much sleep, attempting to delete photos off my flash drive, and accidentaly deleted them off my SD card instead, without having uploaded them to my computer. I am almost glad , now, that I made this mistake. I dont think I was very satisified with any of those pictures anyway.

The morning I woke her up.

The morning I woke her up.



I’ve asked Leah a few questions like:

Whats the most awkward situation you’ve ever been in?

Best and worst childhood memories ?

Whats the best peice of ‘art’ you’ve ever created? ( could be interpreted loosely of course)

What is something that most people wouldnt know about you?

But I found all of these questions to be extremely cliche. I felt some of hers were too ( except the “what kind of animal would you be” I had fun with that one) . Were we not asking questions that would yeild good answers because we were afraid that they would be posted for the world to see? I feel comfortable with Leah, enough so that the questions we did ask , we mutually decided to keep confidential from the world wide web( or at least the juciy ones) .

I also found she wasnt asking me questions that I wanted to be asked, I deeply wanted to tell her all the quirky things about me, such as my mild obsession with type II vw vans and volvo wagons, my ability to cut off my whole pinky toe nail, Or how my friends will often times refer to me as a ‘magpie’ or ‘bag lady’ ( I seem to be a magnet for a vast array of ‘useful’ objects , they just seem to pop up everywhere I go). So I asked Leah…

What question would you want me to ask you?

I felt that our responses to each others ‘questions’ didnt really matter, but instead it was the casual questions, the ones that I didnt document such as ” what did you do last night” or “what are you making for dinner?” that really made me learn about Leah. It was through these that we became closer as friends and more open to each other . It was also through the tangets we got caught up while trying to ask each other questions , that our true personalities were discovered.



In front of Leah's stomping ground: Bartlett

In front of Leah's stomping ground: Bartlett

Also on one one occasion I dragged one of my roommates along on the ‘photo shoot’. I found this was helpful in a few ways. For one , it introduced someone new in the mix and created a different dynamic, and two it distrated Leah enough for me to capture her without her giving me a look to kill behind my camera. (above) A few other times we had ‘visitors’ and I enjoyed the more ‘playful’ outcomes.

Dana attacks a defenseless Leah

Dana attacks a defenseless Leah

I would love to shoot leah in some Fuji film peel apart instant film. especially since I have yet to test out my polaroid big shot ( a fix focal lens polaroid camera that Andy Warhol was said to use often) But money and time always seem to be issues. Maybe I’ll order some tomorrow from B&H photo, or maybe I’ll choose tobuy some food with my money instead…

Im going off on a tanget and I have yet to do my art history so I leave you all with one last image of Leah.

That double exposure button is just too tempting at times...

That double exposure button is just too tempting at times...