Wednesday, July 27, 2011

I Believe...

You just gotta look it right in the eyes...


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Just be.

I love taking walks through the garden and seeing the daily growth.
From week to week the huge jumps are amazing.. almost unbelievable.
Everything is starting to produce and it's so exciting to see 
the fruits of my labor. ha. (sorry.. couldn't help the pun!)

These are the first things that I have picked out of the garden!
4 gorgeous cucumbers!!  I planted two different types, one that is best for
pickles and one that is best for salads.  They are huge and amazing!

I often take walks out to the wildflower bed that I planted next to the driveway
I have realized that sometimes there is too much of a good thing.
The seeds are so tiny and little and spread so easily, that I may have used too many.

It is a sea of green... 
some look like they might turn to flowers, 
some look like they are just weeds and grass, 
and choosing what to pull out is just too confusing.

So I've let it go.
And grow.
And grow.
And do it's own thing.
And letting it figure itself out has been hard,
but I think sometimes it's the best way.

 I realize that you can nurture something with the best intentions, 
watch over it and make sure everything is perfect.
Pull out the bad parts so that only the good is present.
You can give so much that sometimes it's too much.
Sometimes just letting things figure themselves out, leads us to the beauty we 
were always looking for.
 Beauty is not made up of only the good and perfect parts..
it's made up from all of it, the good, bad and indifferent.
We need all of it.

 Everything is everything.
And growth has it's own way,
it's own path,
it's own viewpoint.

And when left to just be,
to figure out it's own way,
the beauty can be small and simple,
and largely astonishing.

Just be...
And you will grow too.


Friday, July 15, 2011

Angel From Montgomery

So... I made a video.
Purely for fun.
I shot all the footage and
did all the editing, too.
And it's actually me singing 
with my band.
It's a recording from a festival we played in May.

Again, it's purely for fun while my finger heals,
but I thought I'd share
it with you. 

Angel From Montgomery - SML from samantha june on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sweet Spots

I have been having a tough time not being able to make any jewelry for the 
last two weeks.  It's such a part of me that the need to create swells up inside
of me and pushes at the light, forcing it to swirl in limbo, looking for ways to 
come out.

So, I pick up my new camera, determined to find it's sweet spots...
hoping that this outlet will suffice my itch for creation.
Learning those key settings for my environment that give the depth I want,
the highlights bright and the shadows just right.
making the camera show what I see.

I have favorite times of day to shoot, late afternoon faced at the sun
to allow the sunlight to filter through and speckle with spots and rays.
The blue hour of late evening when everything looks dreamy and romantic,
streaked with indigo.
First thing in the morning, when everything is covered in dew and washed clean
from a night of storytelling and traipsing down trails to the land of rock and rye.

But today, I challenged myself to shoot in the bright of the day... 2 pm. 
When it's the brightest time, the hottest time, the time of day that everything
seems a bit sluggish and dull.  

And here's what happened.

{These are all SOOC (straight out of camera), no Photoshopping.
My goal is to learn how to achieve the effects I want by being a better
photographer, not a better Photoshopper.}

 In the Front Yard Flower Gardens:

This little guy followed me around begging to be my subject.

f. 5.6
SS: 1/500
ISO: 100

f. 5.6
SS: 1/500
ISO: 100

 Red cone flowers in the side garden...

f. 5.6
SS: 1/800
ISO: 100

Out Back in the Veggie Garden:

 My first cucumbers are in love with the Nasturtium blooms!

f. 5.6                    
SS: 1/800
ISO: 100

Baby bloom ready to open

f. 5.6
SS: 1/640
ISO: 100

 The corn has grown leaps and bounds in the last week

f. 5.6
SS: 1/800
ISO: 100

 These are the Kaleidoscope Carrots, local and in three different colors.


f. 5.6
SS: 1/800
ISO: 100

 Some of my lettuce decided to start growing now that it's hot out... 
I think they are confused.  Or I planted them too late. Ha.


f. 5.6
SS: 1/800
ISO: 100

f. 5.6
SS: 1/800
ISO: 100

 The littlest peppers peeking out towards the sun


f. 5.6
SS: 1/500
ISO: 100

 I am so excited for the tomatoes!  I planted 6 plants in 2 varieties.
And I planted 2 at a time, a month apart from each other,
so that after the first batch is done fruiting,  the last batch is just starting to fruit.
And the batch in the middle gets me through the in between.

f. 5.6
SS: 1/250
ISO: 100

f. 5.6
SS: 1/400
ISO: 160

The Nasturtium also loves my peppers, racing to see who can grow the tallest.

f. 5.6
SS: 1/500
ISO: 160

To most photographers, including myself, photography is all about the lighting.
How much you allow in and what direction it's coming from are two of the easiest 
things to control.  Even indoors, you can do so much just by shooting with the light
from an open door or window.

But today, I learned a lot about the sweet spots in my yard during the 
brightest time of day.  If you used a regular point and shoot most of your pictures 
would be bright and washed out with very little low lights at this same time of day.
With a DSLR, you can really fine tune and adjust so that you're never limited in
extreme lighting conditions.

I shot all of these in Manual Mode with a Canon 60D.

I used an 18-135 EP Lens.  The lowest I could set the Aperture in most of these shots was f5.6.
I shot all of them with the Aperture at it's lowest (most wide open) which allows in a lot of light. 
This also allows me to focus on one spot and blur out the background. 
The higher in number your Aperture is, the more of your picture is in focus.
The lower your number is, the more your background is blurred.
I prefer a lower Aperture in up close shots pretty much 99% of the time.

To offset all of that light coming in, so that my shots aren't washed out, I set the ISO to 100, 
which in outdoor, 2 pm sunlight, is almost always high enough.
The lower your ISO, the less light it allows in.

Then I just adjusted my Shutter Speed in each shot to get the balance of shadow and light
just right.  You can adjust your exposure to do this as well, but I find it more dramatic
in macro shots to adjust the Shutter Speed. 

I decided that I really like sweet spots.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Make me a poster of an old rodeo...

Do you ever have a day where you have so much to say
that you can't say anything at all.

Yeah, me too.

There is a music video coming soon...
Most of the filming is done.
The editing process takes the longest, but is the most fun... for me, at least.

And The Box is on it's way to its new owner.
My good friend Jackie asked myself and a fellow artist to collaborate on a jewelry box
for her newborn niece.  So we did, and it's beautiful.

I loved everything about the process.
I don't often collaborate with other artists, so it was really nice for me to 
talk shop and run ideas with another like minded person.
You can find more of his work Here.
He not only does amazing wood working on this small scale, but he builds
in large scale too. A master carpenter.  He also paints, does metal forging,
and large sculpture.
Super talented.
Take a peek at his website for a look at his work.

Hope you have a great week.


Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cause and Effect

So, I guess we should just get right to the finger.
It's what is constantly on my mind, and is going to cause me some discomfort
for quite a while.  Not to mention, that this nail is going to come off for sure,
which means that I will have to keep my finger covered in the studio for a few
months while a new one grows back.  Gross.

:::: warning: there are pictures of my finger below.  Skip down if you don't want to see them::::
but, it's really not that gross.

So, this picture is right after it happened.  My pointer finger immediately swelled like a 
little sausage, the nail turned purple right away, and I lost all feeling in the top half of my 
finger.  My middle finger got it pretty bad too, but the nail just barely turned purple, and 
it was super sore, but I had feeling.  My ring finger nail was fine but the tip got caught and
was pretty sore, too.  An X-ray revealed that I didn't break it but probably chipped the
top of the bone just below my nail bed.  Translation: your finger is Super Smashed and 
is going to hurt for a while.  Deal with it.

This is 3 days later.  My pointer finger was so swollen, I thought for sure it would explode.
The bottom of the nail under the skin was pushing up so far, it hurt to even look at it wrong.
My nail turned completely black and started to separate from the edges of my finger.
And this is the point where I've heard so many people's stories about the time that
they smashed their finger and how much it hurt and what they did to their nail as it
 slowly peeled away from their body only to reveal utter grossness underneath.

Several people suggested that I drill a small hole with a needle right down and through 
my nail to make it bleed and relieve some of the pressure.  I've never heard of such a
thing, but at this point, I was willing to try anything.  Not being able to bend it, at all,
was making my creative side itch like a horse in a mosquito pit.  (huh?)
But on day 3, 4 and 5 I was here:

Not the best place to try this crazy barbaric way of "fixing" my finger.

So I waited until I got home, grabbed the smallest drill bit I have (which was for 18 gauge
wire, fyi) and drove straight to my friends house because there was no way I was 
doing that myself.  And some alcohol, (for the bit, not for me) a bit of squirming, and 
a few minutes later, I was finally bleeding out of a little hole in my finger. 
And as weird as it felt, I could immediately bend my finger again. All the way!
And the pressure started to go down, and I had a bit of feeling back in the tip!

It's still sore, but overall, I can use it again.  I just need to be careful in the studio
and watch myself around broken doors for a while.

Meanwhile, summer is finally here and everything is growing and blooming at
an alarming rate.  It's magnificent...

 However, there are some areas where the flowers won't grow.  No matter how much sun
and water and special attention they get, they just don't make it.

I think I know why...

This little guy does it too, it's just harder to prove.  20 acres, and they insist on sleeping
in my flower beds.  And I'm not a fan of those little short fences they sell to put around
your flower beds, but it might be time to invest in some.  I have one Red Snapdragon left 
and I have a feeling his days are numbered too.

 I spent the morning clipping flowers and plants to refill all the jars and bottles in 
my sanctuary.  All of my cone flowers are coming in and I forgot how much I love
the reds and oranges.  Their colors remind me of spice and wine and the hushed
whispers of new love...


 I've been working on my book in whatever spare time I find.  The last 2 years
of photos are by far the best and most interesting, but there is something wonderfully
pure and raw about the first batches too.  It's been over 5 years that I've been taking these
photos and I have used at least 4 different cameras.  They all remind me of places I've been
or people that I've had breakfast with... moments locked in patterns.

And then there is this little beauty.  

This little handmade box.
With an equally handmade silver name plaque.
A collaboration of wood and metal,
of giving and taking,
of art and artist.
A combining of two forces,
equal and yet opposite.
Similar in strength and beauty,
in will and might..
combining two perfect halves.
A beautiful partnership, if you will.

details to come...


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