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It’s All About the Family…

Last week I received this email:

I am looking for someone to take photos of my extended family (13 people ages 3 mos-75 yrs) in Bolinas. We are renting a house there for the weekend for my mom’s birthday. I think we would want some photos of everyone and some of the four nuclear families that make up the 13 people. Your photos are beautiful. I didn’t look at all of them but they seemed to be mostly one person. Do you have any examples of larger groups?

Thanks,
Deborah

So, inspired, I decided to dig through the archives and share some of my favorite Rolleiflex “family”photos…

To see what digital group photos look like click here.

 

This is film (and my summer)…

I love film and I love summer.

And I couldn’t live without either one.

Well, maybe I could.

But life would be a lot less interesting and a lot less fun.

The only problem is that they are both so very time-consuming.

This summer was so busy that it seemed not to exist at all.

But I know it did because I have the film to prove it.

Even with the endlessly long summer days,

It seemed there still was never enough time…

To stop.

Or even pause and devote the time that film selfishly demanded.

So it sat neglected.

Piling up on my desk.

Waiting in the sidelines, as digital got all the glory.

Waiting for the grand finale.

And finally, here, the first day of October, it is.

A few of the summer film highlights, all at once.

Like cliffs notes.

Or the final minutes of a firework show.

But I still have high hopes of devoting a full post to each of these amazing occasions, faces, relationships.

I have even started the spinning the narratives in my head.

But time is running out.

As it is known to do.

And so this will have to do for now.

This showcase of why I love film and why I hope you will too.

Besides the obvious yet unpredictable beauty of film,

I also love its more discreet yet unfaltering faithfulness.

I feel comforted knowing that if disaster struck, and all my hard drives suddenly crashed tomorrow,

My film would still be there, sitting in a pile on my desk.

Waiting patiently in line to be filed away.

And talking excitedly about the summer that really did exist.

Sometimes you have to look back…

…to see how far you’ve come….

…and to see just where you need to go.

All of these photos were taken at least five years ago… if not more. I am sharing them now because the other day I had to dig through an old hard drive for something, and because I dig through old hard drives the same way I dig through my closet, I got lost looking in each folder. Before I knew it, several hours had gone by and I was still pulling out photo after photo and trying each one on again for size.

Luckily I was able to write-off my nostalgic meandering down memory lane because of my Photo of the Day album on my facebook page. Because I decided to try and post a photo every day, I thought it would be fun to share some of my old favorites that helped lead me to where I am, as a photographer, today.

Sometimes on the roller-coaster of photography, I get lost and insecure about the path I am on, especially as we transition from the blur that was summer, in to the shortening days of fall, and eventually in to the quiet days of winter. The transitions make me wonder how much longer I can endure the uncertainty of photography, with all its highs and lows of emotions and money.

And then, these old photos stand up like long lost friends and remind me that I really have come a long, long way… and if I am lucky then I still have a long way yet to go. They also tell me that if I am smart then I will start using 35mm black and white film again, because there really is nothing like it.

To see more Photos of the Day click this public link: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=186972&l=719aab5a14&id=43263909756

Summer. Good for us. Bad for Crayfish.

I learned that to hunt for crayfish, all you need is a garden stick, string, some sort of wire shaped into a hook for the salami and a pond. Beer, dogs and friends help too.

I didn’t actually eat any of the crayfish, and neither did Arlo, but my friends said they were yummy. I hope to be able to try them after our next crayfish hunting adventure.

(Photographed with my beloved Rolleiflex in Sonoma, California.)

Guess who got a new camera…

(This photo was taken somewhere in southern Illinois, with my Mamiya 7.)

I am happy to announce that my beloved Rollei now has a new sister. Her name is Mamiya 7. Well, she is not new. I am her third owner, according to her previous owner, who I found on craigslist, but she is new to me and I am excited. Mamiya 7 is a cute little thing that takes big beautiful 6×7 medium format (film) photos.

I am hoping to put her to use this summer on some of my upcoming projects, including the Town Hall cook book. I think the rectangular format will be better than square, so there isn’t as much senseless cropping involved. Unlike this beauty of an image which is cropped just right.

Organic Colored Cotton right here in Northern California…

This is the amazing Sally Fox. The woman who will not be stopped on her mission to grow organic colored cotton.

This is Sally Fox’s organic cotton growing in a field that she is letting go fallow in order to let the soil rest.

This is Sally Fox’s adorable daughter, who is the only nine-year-old in the valley.

This is what an organic cotton field sounds like.

This is Rebecca Burgess wearing an outfit that was made solely from Sally Fox’s brown organic cotton.

Rebecca made her shirt and Rebecca’s mom made her pants. This means that Rebecca’s entire outfit was grown, spun, and sewn within 150 miles of her home in Fairfax, California.

And this is what Fibershed means. It means wearing locally grown, spun, designed and produced clothes that look and feel beautiful. It means wearing clothes that reflect the region you live in. And it means wearing clothes that do not harm the environment or the people who make them.

To help support Rebecca’s challenge to only wear clothes grown within her Fibershed for one year, please take a moment to vote for us on the Grant for Change website: http://www.nau.com/collective/grant-for-change/rebecca-burgess-1355.html

The winner gets $10,000! We need funding for this project so we can help pay farmers like Sally Fox and so we can document Rebecca’s journey in sustainable fashion. Thanks for your vote. Any little bit helps.

To learn more please visit the Fibershed website.

Three Bags Full… and only 15 days left to help fund this project…

The first step for Rebecca’s Fibershed challenge is to process all of the locally sourced wool and cotton that the local fiber artists need to make the Fibershed clothes that Rebecca will be wearing every single day for the next year.

So our first trip was up to Yolo Wool Mill in Woodland, California… which is 82.3 miles away from where Rebecca lives in Fairfax, and therefore it is well within the boundaries of Rebecca’s 150 mile Fibershed. And there we met Jane Dreamer, the owner of the Yolo Wool Mill.

Rebecca brought with her three bags full of wool that she bought from a meat sheep farmer in Marin, who was planning on throwing away the wool because he didn’t know what else to do with it.

Rebecca and Jane weighed the wool so the processing of cleaning, carding and spinning, in all of these big machines, could begin.

Jane was an excellent tour guide. She carefully explained the history of each machine and showed us how each one worked in order to make the final product.

It is amazing that such big, clunky, ancient, greasy machines can make something so beautifully delicate… and it is even more amazing to think that it all is made right here in our very own Fibershed.

To learn more about the history of mills and more about the machines we saw at Yolo Wool Mill, visit the Fibershed blog: http://fibershed.wordpress.com/

If you are curious to know more about what Fibershed is you can read more here: https://paigegreen.wordpress.com/2010/03/16/fibershed/

We have only 15 more days to reach our fund raising goal on kickstarter. If we don’t reach that goal we will not get the funds that have been pledged so far.

So if you enjoyed this post and if you would like to see more of them, then please consider making a donation here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/fibershed/funding-fibershed-one-year-150-miles

If you liked this post, but you can not support it financially, then you can vote for our project to win a $10,00o grant here: http://www.nau.com/collective/grant-for-change/rebecca-burgess-1355.html

Next stop: Sally Fox’s farm in the Capay Valley and Rebecca wearing her first complete Fibershed outfit.

We are going to Iowa…

On April 4th, 2010, our wedding anniversary, Arann and I went to Tomales Bay, to the house where we stayed the night we got married.

Well, fake married. We haven’t legally gotten married yet.

In November 2008, we were at the height of our wedding planning when California passed Proposition 8, denying same-sex couples the right to get married, and we were heart broken. We thought about canceling the wedding, but instead we decided to continue with our plans, because we felt the ceremony with our loved ones was the most important part.

And on April 4th, 2009, we had an amazing celebration with family and friends.

But because we want to get legally married in a state where all people are allowed to get married, we haven’t gotten legally married yet.

At first I didn’t think the legal part mattered to me. But a year later, I can feel the difference. Even though people, and insurance agencies, don’t question us when we say we’re married. And even though we made our vows to each other, and in my heart I know that is the most important part. I also know that if anything happens to one of us, the other one has no legal rights. And that bothers me.

So in June…

We are going to Iowa.

Because who wants to go to Iowa to get married?

We do.

We want to support the middle state that has historically been a leader in civil rights.

First making a stand against slavery in the civil war, and then putting woman’s suffrage on the agenda 50 years before the rest of the country.

And now leading the way again with same-sex marriage, which became legal in Iowa on April 3, 2009, the day before we got fake married.

Coincidence?

No way.

We are going to Iowa.


I love to do my taxes, as much as pigs love Easter…

(This post contains a photo of a butchered pig and may not be enjoyable for everyone.)

I would be editing photos from the pig butchering I went to a couple of weeks ago, but instead I have to do my taxes… this is one time I would rather be editing.

Part of this pig, who was raised by my friends, was in fact enjoyed by our community at our Anniversary/Easter dinner. While I did not have any of the ham, because I do not eat much meat, my loved ones said it was very tasty.

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