Monday, April 30, 2012

lo-fi iphone photography - part 2.

the last post focused on digital filters, but you can actually use real physical filters to change up iphone photography - i had two different ideas and i basically fiddled with the positioning in front of my phone camera lens until i got the result i wanted.

 for this photo, i used my sunglasses to give a kind of warm ombre effect to the picture. i think it made the colors and the edges look nice and soft, and i especially like the cool light flare that came out.

for this one, i played with using a magnifying glass to give a kind of blurred, hazy quality to this picture. i added in light leaks digitally later just for fun. 

1. here and 3. to come soon.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

[colors] series - violet.

today is the last day before she leaves, and instead of finishing her packing of re-checking last minute details, she is here, here in her beloved secret hide-out, her hidden escape that she is leaving behind forever. 

she is surrounded by one hundred colored balloons that she has carefully inscribed with careful cursive script - one hundred memories, inside jokes, dreams, and wishes from her childhood.

here in her special corner of the forest behind her house, in her favorite dress with a dearly beloved stuffed animal, she watches as the gentle wind sways the colorful sea of balloons to and fro, a single tear trickling down her face. 

a pastel yellow one passes by - '1/26/01: met best friend katie' and then a red - 'summer of 2009: road trip to california' after another, she sits surrounded by everything that defines her life. 

she picks up a final [violet] balloon and writes on it 'despite everything, i would do it all again in a heartbeat' and releasing it as she gets up to leave, she is filled with an overwhelming sense of nostalgia.


more on the [colors] series - original post and other entries

warm and cool composition.

here's another school assignment i completed recently - the idea was to draw a paint bottle with one half colored with warm colors and the other with cool colors. colored pencils on black construction paper.

retro camera necklace.

i've been getting back into jewelry making again - here's a quick necklace i made out of polymer clay and nail polish. it was vaguely inspired by the diana dreamer and the holga, but i changed so many things that you can't really see the resemblance any more... at any rate, this was a lot of fun and i've already worn it once. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

complimentary colors.

a painting i did for school - acrylic on canvas. the idea was to choose two complimentary colors so i picked blue and orange (obviously).

[colors] series - teal.

really, i did intend to get this done on sunday...


jillian does not usually visit on mondays, but somehow she found herself wandering the abandoned walkways again. 

there are rarely ever any others here - the occasional rebellious teenager or photographer - and so jillian is surprised to see someone leaning against the fading [teal] and cracked gold of a merry-go-round long forgotten. 

"hey, i've never seen you around before," jillian says as she approaches, "what brings you here?" 

he pauses for a second, but responds, "i like abandoned places - maybe it's just the little kid in me that never lost its love of exploring, but there's something eerily beautiful about things that were once pristine but then left out to be picked apart and weathered down by a way, it reminds me of our eventual and, in the long run, inevitable oblivion..." he shrugs, trailing off.

as he drags a hand across the chipping sun-bleached paint, sending a flurry of [teal] dust into the air, he looks over to jillian, smiling faintly, and asks, "and you? what's your story?"


more on the [colors] series - original post and other entries

Sunday, April 22, 2012

lo-fi iphone photography - part 1.

the thing i really enjoy about filters is that you can completely change the mood of a picture - i will literally spend up to 15 or 20 minutes playing with all the different options... my favorite apps for this are instagram of course (free) and picture show ($1.99)

2. here and 3. to come soon!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

fisheye effect.

i've been playing around a lot with photoshop the past couple days with different ways that i can edit/style photos, here is another one of my favorites -

photography by me.

i wanted to try and imitate a fisheye effect - i am very tempted to buy an actual toy camera that has a fisheye lens, but until then i'll settle for this. it's actually really easy to do - you make a perfect circle with elliptical marquee (hold shift!) and then go to filter --> distort --> spherize. i stylized it a bit more with a vignette-like border around the edges (blending options --> inner glow, change color to black and blend mode to normal, increase the size) and some other effects to give it a bit more of a vintage or light-leaked look like adding a little noise.

[colors] series - white.

she wanted him to be here with her, his muscular limbs entangled with hers in knots of [white] bedsheets and soft skin.

she wanted to lay perfectly still with him for hours, wrapped in the warmth of his arms with only the sounds of their soft breaths and beating hearts.

but he could never think of her as anything but a mere acquaintance because he has a girlfriend.

he is sarcastic yet eloquent, brilliant yet unassuming where she is nothing much, he is a bang while she is a whimper, he is a burst of brilliant red while she is just [white] - plain, uninteresting, nothing to remember.

and as she lay there on her lonely sheets that were as hopelessly [white] as she was, she couldn't help but wonder how she could miss something, someone, so desperately that she never had in the first place.


more on the [colors] series - original post and other entries

versatile blogger award.

I am incredibly honored to have been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award by Nadine of College Girl. she blogs about beauty, fashion, healthy living, an much more so be sure to check out her blog!
  1. Nominate 15 fellow bloggers who are relatively new to blogging.
  2. Let them know that you've nominated them. 
  3. Share 7 random facts about yourself. 
  4. Thank the bloggers that have nominated you. 
  5. Add the Versatile Blogger Award picture to your blog post.  
I nominate - 

7 facts about me - 
  1. i am an introvert. 
  2. i have an unhealthy obsession for room decor. 
  3. i am an only child. 
  4. i am left handed. 
  5. i can speak mandarin relatively fluently. also a very small amount of conversational french.
  6. i enjoy movies/books about dystopias. and circuses, supernatural creatures, road well as many other things that i cannot think of at the moment. i like to read. 
  7. i can play the piano (fairly well) and also the guitar (not much at all).

Thursday, April 12, 2012

eerie photo editing.

messing around in photoshop today - discovered a really cool trick to give pictures this strange, kind of otherworldly tone. i wanted to invert the colors of the photo but not the brightness/darkness so i found i could achieve this really easily by opening a photo, duplicating the layer, inverting the copy (ctrl-i for windows), and changing the blending mode to "hue." here are some interesting ones -

love love love the purple sea glass! so pretty.

the really cool thing about this effect is that at first glance, it's not obvious that something is wrong with the picture but when you look closer you can see that something is a little different or "off" and i think that's really interesting.

this one was an unexpected surprise! i didn't even realize that the original photo had complimentary colors already, so the brick and the wind chime look especially cool. also, the pop of purple leaf is an added bonus.

this looks like it came right out of the matrix!

Absolutely adore this one - the huge contrast between light and dark, purple and green... i especially like the pale blue-green/teal flower on the upper third. 

for reference, here are the posts with the original photos - | 1234 & 5 |
all photography by me. 


i just needed some time to be alone. 

dad was drunk again, worse than he usually was. he swore at me a couple times, called me worthless, useless, waste of space, but nothing i hadn't heard before. he never hit me, not like michael. my brother took after my dad - fiery temper, never knew when to shut up, and i think that's what makes dad so angry at him all the time. he'd only hit him once or twice, not too hard but hard enough that he'd get the message. 

never hard enough to leave a mark where it couldn't be covered.

it's not like mom would ever do anything either. my dad scared her so bad that she hardly ever said a word anymore, hardly ever bothers to get out of bed except when everyone's asleep. sometimes i see her in the kitchen, her frail, sallow frame enveloped in her ratty blue bathrobe, hunched over a cup of untouched soup.

and so thus goes our family. the invisible scars of a ghost mother and two punching bag children. we are irreparably broken, but no one can know.

normally i'm not one to overreact, but tonight... not tonight. it was too much. i. couldn't. stay. in. that. house. any. longer, if it could even be called a house. no one even bothered to come after me when i threw open the door and ran.

and ran.

and ran.

in no particular direction. just away. i ran until my lungs were on fire and my legs collapsed underneath me.

and laying there, on some rambling road going who-knows-where, i wasn't thinking about what time it was, or where i was, what i was going to do, where i should go. no. all i could think about was 'maybe, if i lay here, perfectly still, maybe then i could just disappear.'

i don't know how long i laid there, waiting for tears, but finding only numbness. i hoped that someone to drive by and stop, someone, anyone that could make the suffocating loneliness go away.

somehow my wandering feet carried me back to my house by sunrise.

and you know what the worst part was?

no one even noticed that i was gone.

Monday, April 09, 2012

i am more than just a pretty face.

this was a project for school - we had to create a social issue collage that used a variety of mediums and brought awareness to something we felt strongly about. here are some more detailed thoughts on mine.

Today, magazine pages are filled with models, each skinnier than the previous, the internet is bursting with the latest celebrity diets and weight loss secrets, and social networking websites are constantly abuzz with competitions to be the thinnest, the most beautiful, and the most popular. Everywhere we look, there are images of perfection. For my social issue collage, I chose to bring awareness to the issue of the effect of popular media on self image. The focal point of my project is the girl in the center. The left half of her face is done in watercolor and intended to look too perfect, almost like a doll’s, representing the unattainable standard that has been set by popular media to feel “pretty” or “beautiful.” The right side of her face is done in ink as a typographic portrait, and all the words are real quotes from actual people posted anonymously on a self-help website. My intention was to show how the pressure to be perfect affects everyone, from actors and actresses and models to ordinary people.
          Just as the girl’s face is split in two, I chose to do the same with the background. On the left, I made a collage of magazine clippings and quotes from the internet that try to capture the intense and overwhelming amount of media that portrays perfection as an impossible outer beauty. The imagery on the right side is meant to echo the visual feel of the left side in the skewed black barbed wire that is meant to look like the headlines on the left. The people dangling off of the wires was how I represented the loss of one’s true self when they try to reach an image of flawlessness, symbolized by the character in red, that they will inevitably never reach. The two halves are meant to contrast society’s image of perfection with reality and the effects it can have. The final component of my collage is a sign that reads “I am more than just a pretty face.” The intention behind this part was to illustrate a saying that people once knew but have since forgotten. I did this by painting it in watercolors and letting the paint drip down the paper as if it was a sign that had washed away in the rain because people had forgotten about it. I want people to know that they don’t have to be a size 00 or have flawless skin to be beautiful. I hope my project can remind people that you are more than just a pretty face.


all photography by me.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

[colors] series - midnight blue.

the illusionist is a flutter of [midnight blue], the single white spotlight reflecting off of her dress like thousands of stars. 

with a twirl of her arm, a dozen doves appear, bursts of white flying in complex swirls, twisting and turning like a scarf billowing in the wind. 

people watch, mesmerized as one by one, the doves turn black until all twelve are fluttering slick, jet black feathers.

the illusionist raises her arm and snaps her fingers and all the doves disappear in a plume of [midnight blue] smoke that veils her elusive smile. 

the audience raises out of their seats to applaud the illusionist, but she too has vanished.


more on the [colors] series - original post and other entries

flora II.

all photography by me.

spring 2012 lookbook - polyvore.

here is a link to the look.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

a pinch and a dash.

photography by me.

i'll always remember - part 1.

There are three thousand, four hundred and twenty eight cracks in the sidewalk on the way home from school. I had no choice but to remember counting them all once three years and ninety-six days ago. I remember everything that’s ever happened to me. My name is Kristen and I have hyperthymesia. As a familiar bench came into view, a string of words, memories, and dates immediately pop up in my mind. May 13th, 2006: my best friend Paige left her history homework here. August 8th, 2008: a guitarist was playing as I passed by; I gave him a quarter. March30th, 1999: tiedmyshoeshereforthefirsttimeallbymyself, December29th,2002:trippedwhileplayed hopscotchhereandscrapedmyknee. A dozen short clips of my past flashed before me, lasting only a couple of seconds until I can snap myself out of it and focus. This kind of thing happens so often that I’ve pretty much gotten used to it. I paused for a second to collect myself before continuing the generally monotonous and uneventful journey home.
A light breeze rustled the copper-brown leaves that collect along the path. One is swept off of a tree branch and I stop and wait as I caught it in my hand. I turned it over several times, studying it, before finally crushing it and blowing the pieces like confetti off my fingertips.
A crumpled up piece of paper catches my eye and I bent down to pick it up. Smoothing it out, I realized it was someone’s report card. ‘Where did I put mine?’ I wonder to myself, as if I could’ve forgotten. It was still stuffed in the back pocket of my second favorite pair of jeans, which I’d shoved into the deepest recesses of my closet. As my mind drifted off into a recap of the day, I went into autopilot and let my feet carry me home.
The next thing I knew, I’m flat on the ground with the contents of my book bag spilled over and an elderly lady glowering at me.
“Oh…I, erm…got distracted. I’m sorr –” I managed before she cut me off.
“Teenagers these days! Always got their heads in the clouds! No respect for their elders!”
“No, I-I uh, I can explain –”
She interrupted me again and the woman continued to rant to me as she grabbed her purse and the scraps of paper and receipts that had fallen out as I shoved my notebooks, papers, and other belongings back into my bag. I tuned her out, mostly focused on not making eye contact and attempting to ignore the ridiculous amount of musky perfume this elderly woman gave off.
“Are you listening to me?!” She shrieked, grabbing my hand as if she had the intent of biting it off or something.
            Completely taken off guard, I jump and reply with a feeble, “Yes.”
            After what seemed like an eternity, the woman finally brought her lecture to an end, released my hand, and turned to leave in a huff. Gingerly rubbing my fingers back to life, I started walking again, still in shock. As I was crossing the road, I realized my journal was missing. Behind the black leather cover I’d scribbled down my thoughts, and hopes; an alternate life without the burden of my memories. Then it struck me that I was carrying it and I must’ve dropped it when I…oh God. Retrieving my beloved journal would mean another encounter with her. ‘How would I even find her?’ I thought to myself. ‘Would she even give it back to me if I did?’ It started to rain, and I was thrust into another string of memories. Distracted, I didn’t realize that I was still in the middle of the street, and I didn’t see the skidding car coming until I heard its blaring horn and it was too late to move.
Suddenly  –  darkness. I opened my eyes for a split second, but something was wrong. I couldn’t remember anything. My mind went completely blank.  

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

[colors] series - orange.

it is definitely sunday today...

i looked stunning in [orange] - you could say that it's my color, but then again every color is my color. 

not to brag, but i was one of those girls who everyone wanted to be - insanely popular, drop-dead gorgeous, straight a student. 

but really i was none of these things, just very good at pretending - a perfect student around my teachers, a perfect daughter around my parents, a perfect girlfriend around my boyfriend. 

sometimes you'd wonder what i'd be like when i wasn't pretending to be anything. 

and that is what frightens me the most, that people will start to notice the cracks in my porcelain doll shell and see the hollowness i've been hiding for so many years.


more on the [colors] series - original post and other entries

through the city i wander.

photography by me.