Back in The Darkroom

July 21, 2014

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The other day I found myself at The Asheville Darkroom printing pictures. This is my first print in a little over 15 years, a photo taken last summer in New York.

It’s hard to describe the feeling of being back in the darkroom, of re-learning things I once knew like the back of my hand. Everything is vaguely familiar; the test strips, the smell of the chemicals, the sound of the timer. The quiet. I was fourteen when I took my first photography class, now I’m thirty-five. But being in there, under the haze of red light, feels like not much has really changed. I’m so glad to be back.

A Game of Risk, on Film

April 7, 2014

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Bainbridge Day

March 31, 2014

I don’t really know where to begin. So I suppose I’ll just start writing and figure it out later. It’s quite pretty out right now, in the low 70s today and henceforth all through the week. This weather makes me want to go camping, to sit outside and read a book, to eat fatuoush salad and cilantro green beans, to see friends who have been gone all winter that I miss dearly. I can hardly put into words how badly I want to get in the car and take a road trip. To drive and drive and drive, through mountains, down secondary highways, along an ocean would be nice. To camp wherever we feel like, to get up in the morning with no agenda, no plan, other than to hop in the car and see where we end up. *

Years ago, when we lived in Seattle for a few months, we started what has since become known as Bainbridge Day. We woke up one morning, it was a Wednesday I remember and the sky was the brightest of blues after days of rain, and rather than do our usual of looking for jobs and trying to figure out what we were doing with our life, we decided to get the hell out of town. I had a deadline that day for an article I was writing, but as is a requirement of Bainbridge Day, I shirked my responsibilities, sent an email saying I’d have it done tomorrow and turned my phone off for the rest of the day. Then Drew and I packed a backpack, walked down to the ferry, headed out to Bainbridge Island where we walked around aimlessly for miles, sat by the water, ate mussels, talked for hours over beers, and then as it got dark we got back on the ferry, slowly moving toward the skyline all lit up like Christmas lights.

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The one requirement of the day was that we weren’t allowed to talk about anything that stressed us out; money, jobs, perceived family expectations, not feeling creative enough, and so on. All the things that we talked about everyday, all the time, whether out loud or in our heads. We also allowed ourselves to spend money without feeling guilty, two things that for me, usually went hand in hand. The whole day felt so liberating, so wildly exciting to do something so nice for ourselves, to have such carefree fun together even in the midst of so much uncertainty.*

Since then we’ve had a Bainbridge Day at least once a year, if not more. They’re always unplanned, on a weekday so you have to shirk some of your responsibilities and expectations of yourself, usually decided by that gut feeling you have sometime in between waking up and walking out the door to go to work. The perfect day to be a tourist in your town. Or to hit the road.

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This post is for my dear friend Georgia who is moving to Maine this week and whom I will miss oh so very much. I hope you have yourself some lovely Bainbridge Days in your new town. I can’t wait to be pen pals.

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Minneapolis, on Film

March 28, 2014

Back when Drew and I lived in Minneapolis we used to take urban hikes from our house in Northeast, down through Saint Anthony Main, across the Stone Arch Bridge, up along the river path and back over into our neighborhood. This is my most favorite view of the city.

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The East River, on Film

March 25, 2014

I just got four roles of film developed ranging from over three years ago to last fall. Procrastinator? Maybe. I’m not going to deny it. But there’s something kind of magical about being transported back in time to a specific moment I had forgotten about. And with film, much more than digital, I remember those feelings very acutely, how it felt taking that picture, what was going on around me, what I was thinking at the time. Like these six photos I took last June on a walk along the East River to the financial district to meet my sister for a picnic. I remember I made a giant sandwich on a loaf of ciabatta stuffed with fresh tomatoes and basil, red onion, tuna, capers, anchovies and olives. We ate that with potato salad (green onions, fresh dill, dijon, olive oil, white wine vinegar, green beans & walnuts) and cold beer on her friend’s rooftop in Brooklyn.

More memories to come as I sift through these pictures.

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These photos were taken last fall, near the end of September, on a trip to visit our friends in Thomas, West Virginia. Actually, more specifically even, they were taken on a hike that Drew and I went on one afternoon, the hike where we made our big decision to move here, to Asheville. The next day we drove back to Nashville, packed up our stuff, and two weeks later found ourselves living in this little mountain town, a place we’d never even been to before. There’s something to be said for a good old-fashioned hunch.

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It’s hard to believe it’s already been ten months, that summer is halfway over, a summer where I’ve hardly seen the temperature reach ninety and the only air conditioning I need is a rotating fan on low and all the windows open. And sometimes, dare I say it, I even put on a long sleeve shirt in the evenings, those nights where it cools down a bit more than usual. Those are my favorite nights, when I feel the teensiest bit like I’m camping.

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I can’t say that I know what happens next. What I’m supposed to do, where I’m supposed to go, what I’m supposed to see. Because, frankly, I want to see everything and go everywhere and do everything I’m meant to do. It is the blessing and the curse of curiosity, the kind you feel in your bones.

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But in the words of my 87 year old Aunt Jean, the greatest great aunt a girl could ever have, “87 creeps up on you really fast, so you’d better have fun along the way.” I think about that every single day, sometimes ten times or twenty, depending on all the riffraff that happens to be swirling through my mind that day. It reminds that it doesn’t have to be so complicated all the time, that I can just keep it simple, and remember to enjoy the ride.

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Food on Film

February 21, 2013

I’ve been doing a lot of food photography lately for my job, using both my trusty Pentax K1000 and my new digital ninja camera, the Nikon V1. I call it my ninja camera because it’s jet black, I’ve gaffer taped all signs of Nikon on the body and it’s completely silent when you click the shutter. It’s pretty badass.

But no matter what, there’s still nothing like film, and here are a few of my favorites from the past few weeks.

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