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Historic Deepwood Estate

>> Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Over the weekend I was going through my photos from the Historic Deepwood Estate in Salem, Oregon. I always go back through my photos months after I shoot them to see if I have missed anything and as time passes I tend to see my images with a new perspective. This time around I began to see a story unfold in several of the photographs.


Argus 75

>> Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This is kind of a delayed post. I wanted to post this on Friday, but I had a wedding to go to in Seattle and family in town, so I'm just now getting to it. Also, I spent Monday in Cannon Beach. Photos coming soon!

I discovered TTV or Through the Viewfinder photography a few years ago and loved it. After spending some time researching how to do TTV and what kind of camera to use, I purchased my first camera through ebay, an Argus 75. Once it arrived, I coaxed my husband into assembling a “contraption” to block the light out with cereal boxes. We spent a whole afternoon driving around town and taking photos. I was hooked.

A proud moment for me came when some of those first photos were accepted into the Rental Sales Gallery at the Portland Art Museum. The photos are now up on the PAM website!


Logan Mat Cutter

>> Thursday, June 17, 2010

Another one of my favorite tools is my Logan 450 Mat Cutter. I haven’t used it in a while because I haven’t been doing as many shows, but it’s one of my must haves. The sizes of my photos aren’t always a standard size, so it’s nice to cut my own mats to fit my photographs. I have been creating my photographs in standards sizes recently because it does make it a lot easier for framing. Lately I have been cutting larger size mats and my mat cutter doesn’t accommodate bigger sizes. A new mat cutter has been on my wish list for a while.

Over the years I’ve learned that it’s a good idea to have your art matted if you’re going to be selling it to the public. I have been cutting my own mats for many years, but it is always a little nerve racking when you try it for the first time or if you haven’t done it in awhile. Do your research and find the mat cutter that will work best for you. You can purchase large sheets of mat board at your local art store and then cut it down to the size you need. If you’re not very good with math (I’m not at all!), get ready to learn about fractions and decimals. You’ll be doing a lot of measuring. I discovered a great website to help me along. And remember practice, practice, practice!


Adobe Photoshop

>> Wednesday, June 16, 2010

After I take my photographs, I load everything on the computer. I pick out my favorites and do some minor work in Photoshop: 

  • Color correct
  • Sharpen
  • Crop – I don’t crop my photos very often. I like to frame my subject in the camera. Sometimes even though I framed my subject in the camera, it just looks better cropped.
  • Convert to black and white – I don’t do this a lot either, but sometimes a photograph just has more pop in black and white. It’s not that I don’t love black & white, I kind of the let the photograph speak to me. If it’s right I’ll do it.
I took a few digital photography classes in college, so that’s how I got my start with Photoshop. A lot of it is just playing around and trying new things. The internet is a great source, if I have questions on how to do things. I also love Scott Kelby’s book The Photoshop CS2 Book. I haven’t used everything out of the book, but there are about 5 or 6 great tips that I use every time I process a photo in Photoshop. Definitely check it out!


Digital Canon Rebel XT

>> Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I was asked at an art show last summer what kind of camera I used. I am embarrassed to admit I didn’t know. I did know it was a Canon Rebel, but with the new models and similar names (XS, XSi, T1i – I know now because I looked it up) it was confusing and quite honestly I didn’t care that much. I purchased the camera because my uncle is into photography too and he does his research. I’m not much into research and the technicalities of the equipment I use. Is it easy to use? Check. Does it take nice photographs? Check. Can I adjust f-stops, shutter speed, ISO, etc? Check. And I only have one lens for the camera, the 18-55mm kit lens that the camera came with.


My Favorite Tools

>> Monday, June 14, 2010

While I truly believe that it’s talent and creativity that creates great art and not the equipment you use, having a nice camera, paint brushes, etc. certainly helps when working in your creative medium. Here are my favorite tools:


And the Winner is...

>> Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ashley! Thanks to everyone that left a comment. Have a lovely Saturday.


My First Photographs

>> Friday, June 11, 2010

My first photographs weren’t great. In fact, looking back, they were pretty awful. But I loved it and kept at it. Eventually, I found my style and mastered the camera (sort of, there’s always something to learn). Have a great weekend!


My First Camera

>> Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I didn’t have a camera of my own when I first started my photography class. Luckily, my father had some interest in photography and loaned me his Pentax K-1000. I love that camera and was devastated when it broke during one of my classes. I needed to have a camera to finish the class and instead of having it repaired, we decided it would be better to buy a new camera. I purchased a Canon Rebel. While the Rebel was a good camera, it just wasn’t the same. I eventually got my own Pentax K-1000 and my father had his repaired.

The K-1000 is a great camera and perfect for someone just starting out. It’s a manual camera, so you have to learn how to set the aperture and shutter speed. I now shoot with a digital camera and I still shoot on manual. I have no idea how to use any of the other settings on my camera.


My History with Photography

>> Monday, June 7, 2010

This is a week of firsts…first class, first camera, first photos.

I’ve been taking pictures off and on for over 10 years. After you have been doing something for so long, you start to think, how did I get here? Well, this is how my love of photography started…

It was my second semester at Oakland University in Rochester, Michigan and I was starting to meet friends. One of my new friends, Ann*, decided to take a beginning black & white photography class and I decided to join her. Photography wasn’t something that I knew much about, but I thought it sounded interesting and fun. After developing my first roll of film in that black & white darkroom, I was hooked even though my first photos weren’t very good.

After the semester was over, I realized how much I was going to miss photography. The university didn’t offer that many photography classes and I realized I wasn’t ready to be at the university so I enrolled at Oakland Community College**. The community college had a full program and numerous classes. I took every class they offered in photography and eventually earned an associate’s degree in photography.

I highly recommend the photography program at Oakland Community College. I really enjoyed my time there and met a lot of great people.

*Ann and I lost touch after I left the university, but I’m so thankful she took that class.

**I did return to Oakland University where I earned my Bachelor’s Degree with a major in general studies and a minor in art history.



>> Friday, June 4, 2010

To celebrate the new Buttons & Pears, I’m giving away a print of Orange Crush. Just leave a comment on this post or answer one of the following questions:

What topics would you like me to talk about?
What do you think of the new direction for the blog?
What do you want to see on the blog?

Please make sure I have a way to contact you. Deadline is Friday, June 11 at midnight. I'll pick the winner on Saturday, June 12. Your comments and suggestions are greatly appreciated.


What to expect from the new Buttons & Pears – Part Two

>> Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Yesterday I talked about the inspirations I plan to share. Here are a few of the other categories you can look forward to:

Reviews: I’ll review printers, equipment, books, etc.
Studio Tours: I’ll share parts of my studio, my favorite equipment and materials
Upcoming Shows: I’ll still let you know about upcoming shows. All shows can be found in the right column of the blog.
Sales: I’ll let you know about sales I’m having in my shop
Photographs: New photographs will still be posted on the blog. I’ve been planning on sharing a few before and afters to show what a photo looks like when it comes straight out of the camera and the Photoshop work I do for the final version.

Stop by on Friday for a giveaway!


What to expect from the new Buttons & Pears – Part One

>> Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Yesterday I talked about the new direction for Buttons & Pears. Today I’ll give you more details on what I have planned for the blog. I’ll start next week by sharing my discovery of photography and how I got started. I’m going to try and dig up my first photograph from my very first class. I still have every negative and every photo, even if they weren’t very good.

Here are a few of the categories I’ve come up with:

My Inspiration: This is a big one. Inspiration is a large part of creation and comes in many different forms.

Music: I’ll share which artists and songs inspire me. I believe there is a strong connection between what I’m listening to and how my photographs look. It’s not just while shooting the photographs, but in the processing as well.

Other artists: I’m always inspired by other artists. I’ll share artist’s work that I love and I’ll also bring back Flickr Inspiration. There are so many great images on Flickr and I love playing curator. So be on the lookout for Flickr mosaics.

Objects around my home: There are so many things that inspire me and a lot of the time it’s something in my home. So I’ll share what those things are and how they are transformed into a fine art photograph.

I’ll pick back up tomorrow with a list of the other categories.

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About Me

I view the world as if I’m looking through the lens of a camera. I see photographs everywhere. I’m inspired by the simple and ordinary in our everyday lives. I see beauty in a pear and in the details of an old-fashioned door knob. Photography is my passion and I want to help people see the simple splendor that surrounds us.

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