28 September 2012

Life of Art SitRep #138 Sisyphus is my bitch

Sisyphean task: 0, Claire: 1.

This week anyway. I finished reviewing & customizing the rest of the new iPhone 5 cases and Samsung Galaxy S3 Cases that Zazzle added to my shop. Yay! Doesn't sound that involved but I had to go through them all one at a time, and I had a couple hundred. It felt like I wasn't getting anywhere for such a long time.
Bokeh in Spring
Bokeh in Spring by RocklawnArts
See another case for iPhone 5 at zazzle.com

Also shot 66 photographs, the moon and Heavenly Blue morning glories (not at the same time).

Finished reading Lighting Essentials: A Subject-Centric Approach for Digital Photographers by Don Giannatti.

Posted 48 products to promotional blogs.

Watched Days 2-3 of Kevin Kubota's Lightweight Location Lighting workshop.

Watched Day 1 of Workflow + Album Design with Khara Plicanic.

How was your week?

A whopping seven years ago on TTaT: Geek slip

23 September 2012

Lighting Essentials: A Subject-Centric Approach for Digital Photographers

Lighting Essentials: A Subject-Centric Approach for Digital Photographers46. Lighting Essentials: A Subject-Centric Approach for Digital Photographers by Don Giannatti

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is full of photographic examples, often with a shot of the setup as well as the final photograph. Though there aren't lighting diagrams, he describes his setups. Nearly all of the shots are portraits of women in different environments. If you want to know how to photograph someone outside while also using flash, this would be a good resource.

It will help if you already know a bit about photography and lighting equipment.

I would've preferred fewer sexy style shots of women (e.g., thumbs hooked through her bikini bottom as though she's going to pull it off), but I reckon that's what ad agencies want a lot of the time.

The book has a thorough table of contents and index which is always handy.

Note: I received a copy of this book for free.

A year ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #85 Photoshop FTW!

21 September 2012

Life of Art SitRep #137 Ahoy, me beauties!

Though not an artistic accomplishment, I'm going to include completing another revolution around the sun this week. On the one hand, it doesn't even seem like something I could take credit for, but on the other, I was here to see it.

Other things I did this week:
Shot 145 photographs.

Started reviewing & customizing as needed new iPhone 5 and Samsung cases that Zazzle added to my shop.

Watched muchos Creative Live:
Lesa Snider's Deep Dives on Photoshop: Selections, Adjustment Layers, Smart Objects.

Watched Day 1 of Kevin Kubota's Lightweight Location Lighting workshop.

How was your week?

Two years ago on TTaT: Bubbles

14 September 2012

Life of Art SitRep #136 A photograph

Do you ever put off doing things that will ultimately make your life much easier? Not sure why I didn't make a set of digital image templates sooner. Sure, it took a good part of a day to do but it's going to save me so much time down the line.

Also this week, I shot 52 photographs, 13 of which with a friend's new camera. 42x optical zoom! Holy cow that's a lot of zoom!

I finished creating Samsung Galaxy Cases, Motorola Droid RAZR Cases, and HTC Vivid Cases for my existing designs at last, yay!

Started looking through 2012 archive for images I might want to put on zazzle and marked possible folders.

Post-processed Happy Buddha With Snow Facial photograph, wrote a description for it and added it to my shop.

Check out the complete collection of Happy Buddha With Snow Facial products.

Also updated my Winter Cards lens and a few other random things.

How was your week?

Two years ago on TTaT: A solution!

10 September 2012

Speaking of Beauty...

So I rambled some thoughts about beauty in the realm of hair and makeup the other day and two interesting things have come up since.

First, Kenna wrote a great post about her shoot with Sue Bryce. The way she describes her glamour photography experience with Sue and Simona, I'm in.

Second, ‘The Talk’ Hosts Makeup-Free Stunt today featured the hosts without makeup. It is somewhat reassuring to see before and afters of famous people who are almost always made up in media coverage.

I'm not immune to vanity. Why else would I read a book about curly hair care?

As follow-up to that, I discovered Trader Joe's sells 2 varieties of reasonably priced sulfate-free shampoos and botanical conditioners. Though you can't smell the lavender oil, I was initially bothered by it when my hair was still wet since I'm allergic to lavender. I seem to have developed a tolerance for it over time. Not sure using them has made much difference though.

However, using an old t-shirt to scrunch your curls dry is definitely the way to go. Or a microfiber towel. The latter may be worth switching to because the holes in my retired t-shirt keep growing with startling alacrity.

Using curl clips to take the weight off the base of the curls on top of my head was a bust since the clips just slide down my hair defeating the point and exacerbating the problem. This would probably work better if I used gel or a curl enhancing/de-frizzing spray, but I don't like how it feels when stuff is in my hair.

The only thing that counteracts my vanity is my comfort-first approach to appearance.

Two years ago on TTaT: 31. xkcd: volume 0

09 September 2012

All-Star Superman, Vol. 2

All-Star Superman, Vol. 245. All-Star Superman, Vol. 2 by Grant Morrison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

By all means, skip the introduction until after you've read the book; it's full of spoilers!

This is an epic conclusion to the All-Star Superman run by Grant Morrison. It's kind of amazing how many stories are packed into 150+ pages. The cool thing is that it gives you a feel of what days are like for Superman.

I read it in one sitting. If you're a fan of Superman, give All-Star Superman volumes 1 and 2 a try. It's really enjoyable, well written and drawn.

Two years ago on TTaT: Trillium and self-portrait

07 September 2012

Life of Art SitRep #135 Beauty

During the Labor Day weekend replays, I watched some more of Inside The Glamour Studio with Sue Bryce and Hair and Makeup with Sue Bryce and Simona Janek on Creative Live.

Glamour photography is not remotely my thing, but Sue and Simona are both great and their work really moves the women who are their subjects. The discussions of beauty, confidence, and self-esteem were fascinating.

In this case, none of their subjects were models; they were all regular women. Sue shot before and after's of them all and their transformations were stunning. They all looked gorgeous.

The women talked about how great it made them feel to have beautiful hair and makeup, to see photographs that showed beauty they didn't see in themselves. A confidence boost.

The key is that the outer transformation enables people to shine out their inner beauty.

One of the women commented that she was confused by a lot of guys checking her out as she walked down the street, having forgotten she was still totally done up. Then she remembered she was "wearing a cat on her head" (hair extensions) and got a kick out of it. Or perhaps more accurately, felt validated by it.

When she talked about being looked at by strangers, it hit me: I would hate that.

I don't really want to be noticed for my looks, that's just surface and feels disingenuous. It might be fun to get made up for a day, but it's not something I have the patience to do.

Don't get me wrong: I don't always feel good about my looks (I get more breakouts now than I did as a teenager as my hair is a roll of the dice on any day), but I generally feel like I could look good, so instead of makeup I sometimes wear that attitude.

Believe it or not, I did actually accomplish other things this week.

I finished creating Clocks for my existing designs and added several more Samsung Galaxy Cases, Motorola Droid RAZR Cases, and HTC Vivid Cases.

I made a new Squidoo lens for my Rainbow Designs.

Finished my 2 week trial with a tablet and switched back to mouse. Felt a little clumsy using the mouse again at first but it hasn't taken long to readjust since it takes less dexterity to use.

Shot 46 photographs as well as a variety of less interesting things.

How was your week?

Two years ago on TTaT: The History of Japanese Photography

03 September 2012

All-Star Superman, Vol. 1

All-Star Superman, Vol. 144. All-Star Superman, Vol. 1 by Grant Morrison

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'd recommend this to someone who's already familiar with Superman's basic story whether through other comic books or movies or television. If you're a fan of Superman, you'll probably like this book.

I saw the animated movie of All-Star Superman before reading this. The story is more streamlined in the movie (quite good!) and some of it feels more fleshed out at times.

The book is quite lovely though, both the art and the economy of panels used to convey a lot of story content.

I look forward to the next volume to discover other story treats not included in the movie.

Two years ago on TTaT: Life of Art SitRep #30