Thursday, March 29, 2012

Time for the "Timeline".............

It wasn't that long ago that I was reminiscing about the days when I just sent out a postcard to announce a studio event or an art festival. I did not have an email list yet and of course the term "social media" was not part of our everyday vocabulary.

I am thinking about this because tomorrow is the day Facebook is converting all "pages" over to the "timeline" format and I spent the morning uploading photos and designing my new page.

Besides Facebook, there is now Pinterest, LinkedIn, Twitter, Constant Contact and quite a few more platforms from which one can engage and interact with thousands of people. This is fantastic, but it's also overwhelming.

I only signed up for Facebook because is was suggested as part of an online class I was taking with Alyson Stanfield of When I took the plunge, I used an email address no one knew about and only "friended" the other artists in the class.  I wasn't in a hurry to put myself out there, but I couldn't hide forever and was amazed how many people "found" me!

There are times when I just want to trash the whole thing and go back to the "good ol days".  Then I think about the people I have connected with, that without these sites I would have never known. In addition, there are quite a few people that I casually met at an art festival or my studio, that I now count among my friends (in real life, not just Facebook) because the interactions online made it possible for real relationships to form. What I also love is Facebook "friends" of mine have become friends with each other!

The other day I was complaining that some of these social media sites feel like high school. Since I could not wait to graduate, lets just say that feeling like I am back in that environment is painful. I compare myself to others and feel like I don't measure up to the "popular" kids.  This is crazy, I know, but I am being honest.

Social media is not going away and if I can participate in way that feels authentic and natural, I will be happy. I think it just takes practice and a willingness to let go of the fear of someone judging you because of something you said or a photo you posted. This is as true in the real world as much as it is online, probably more so. Either way, I struggle with this at times and I know holding back is not how I want to be. I would like to say I am grateful for all the opportunities to practice being real and open, but sometimes I just want to close the blinds and forget about it. I know I am not the only one who feels this way and that makes me feel a little bit better.

While we are on the subject...........if you haven't already done so, visit my "page" on Facebook.  Here is the link: Facebook

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Wall........

A few weeks ago I shared about my recent fascination with the bare trees of winter and titled the post after one of my favorite Fleetwood Mac songs, "Bare Trees".

My latest obsession has been photographing branches, flowers, and vines that appear against the backdrop of walls. Most of the time I am shooting something that is next to a stucco wall of a house or a concrete fence.

In keeping with tradition, I decided to share a few of my "wall" images and title the post after another one of my favorite songs - Pink Floyd's "The Wall".

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

Whenever I start working with themes, everyday feels like a scavenger hunt and I love it! Maybe next time I will pick a song title first and go from there. Any ideas?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Be a Special Unicorn...........

I originally thought I was going to begin this post with an apology. An apology for once again writing about my iPhone and the 365 day project. An apology to my Instagram buddies because they have seen these images, and an apology to all my friends who have sat patiently while I showed them tiny photos in my phone and talked about the joy I have experienced since I began this project.

Then I realized a few things. First, it doesn't matter what I am using to take my photographs.  I could do this same project and have just as much to celebrate with any camera. Also, I am sure my friends would rather hang out with me when I am happy, than listen to me complain and/or whine about all the things I am known to whine and complain about.

But enough of that and there will be no apologies. What this post is really about is happiness and how I have evidence now that what I have been experiencing is real.

 Kim Manley Ort recently shared how "seeing" makes us happy and tied that in with photography. After being inspired by a TEDx talk by Shawn Achor, she wrote "Happiness is not dependent on the external world but on the way your brain processes the world". While Shawn has a few of his own recommendations for, as she called it, "increasing positivity", she added "that practicing photography and expanding the way you see can produce the same results. To read her post and see the video (and find out about the "unicorn") click here: Happiness

As I have written before, I find what she says to be absolutely true. I am living proof of it! All I know is that I have had complete shifts in my mood simply because I took a few photographs.

In this past week I had this happen a couple of times. Winter finally decided to show up last week and we had a string of rainy days. On one of the first damp and cold mornings, I was feeling frustrated about something and began obsessing about it. While sitting in my car in a parking lot, I started noticing the drops of rain on my windshield. The drops were cool enough, but I also loved how the rain distorted what I was viewing through the glass. I started taking pictures, fully present in the moment and all of a sudden, I felt lighter, more optimistic and yes - happy!

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

I experienced this drastic shift in attitude again the other day. I decided to follow the prompt given by Kim Klassen as part of her Beyond Layers course and started looking for "yellow" while walking to the post office. Once I started, I couldn't stop. Yellow is such a happy color and there was no way I could hang on to any negativity after that treasure hunt..

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

I recently had a couple of  photographer friends confess to me in that they were feeling "flat" and "uninspired" and that some of their passion for photography had evaporated. My know what I am going to say....... take at least one photograph a day and maybe you too will start seeing the world through different eyes and a happier heart. You have nothing to lose.............

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


As promised, here are a few images from Clarksburg, CA, home of Bogle Vineyards where I am currently having a show with Donald Satterlee.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

I have been photographing so much this winter that I am beginning to wonder when I will have time to work on all the images I want to, much less hand color some. But then I remember that summer in Sacramento with it's endless, cloudless, blue skies can get a little boring..... at least to a photographer. So instead of overwhelm, I now feel that this plethora of images is like a bank account where I have stashed treasures away for another day.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

These first two images were taken with my Nikon and processed in Photoshop. This last one was taken with my iPhone, looking through my windshield on the way to Bogle on Saturday. Most of the processing was done in Instagram, but then I did a little more to it when I uploaded it to my computer.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

I love that there is so much beauty so close to my home! What I love even more is the fact that I am taking the time to appreciate it with my camera close at hand. Doesn't get much better than that.........

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Bogle Vineyards

After our show at Viewpoint Gallery last fall, Donald Satterlee and I were invited to show at Bogle Vineyards in Clarksburg. Happy to get many of our pieces out of our houses and on other walls, we eagerly accepted. While not a perfect venue, they will be hosting a nice reception this Saturday and they do get a fair amount of traffic.

We drove out there this morning to hang the show. There was a little drizzle, but it was warm. It was too bad we both had appointments this afternoon because this area is so much fun to photograph. (I did manage to sneak in a few shots and will probably share those next week.)

Hanging a show is like putting a puzzle together.  It always seems like an overwhelming job at the beginning and you wonder how all the pieces are going to fit.

Many of you will recognize these images from our show "Visions of Translucence",  but for those of you that don't, I thought I would re-post the video that I put together last fall.  If you can't see the video on the blog, click here: Video  Be sure to turn your speakers on!

I am calling this show at Bogle Vineyards "Visions of Translucence Lite" because many of the same images are included. However, Donald has one brand new amazing piece making it's "debut" this weekend.

If you are in the area, come by on Saturday, March 17th from 1 - 4 for the reception. Click here for more information: Bogle

I am going to try to stay inside during the reception and not sneak out with my camera, but I am not making any promises.....................

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Blue Ridge Parkway

I thought I would share a couple of more images I found buried deep inside my computer last week and tie them in with Kim Klassen's Texture Tuesday challenge.

Both of these were taken in 2007 while exploring the Blue Ridge Parkway outside Ashville, North Carolina. I had flown back east to visit family and attend a workshop, but I also had the extra treat of meeting up with my friends Darleen and Vicki who were traveling across country that fall.

Knowing I was going to be North Carolina in October, they planned their route to be in the that part of the country at the same time. We met up in Ashville and spent one morning driving along the very foggy Blue Ridge Parkway. In addition to the fog (which makes most photographers giddy) the autumn colors were stunning and there was a slight chill in the mountain air. In other words, a perfect day!

You know you have good friends when they not only understand, but also encourage you to stop and get out of the car every half mile and wait in the mist for the perfect moment to click the shutter.

So here are two images from that day that I recovered last week. I had fun playing with these, and I guarantee that they would not look like this if I had processed them five years ago.

Thank you Vicki and Darleen!

  ©2012 Dianne Poinski
Includes Kim's "Nutmeg" texture

©2012 Dianne Poinski
Includes Kim's "Graduation Day" texture


Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Lost & Found.............

When I start feeling overwhelmed with images on my computer, my tendency is to start organizing, deleting and moving files into new folders and/or transferring them to one of my external hard drives.  Sounds good in theory, but this activity has caused me to experience considerable angst in the past and early this week I found myself regretting this seemingly harmless task once again.

I use Adobe Lightroom to upload and organize my images as well as do some non-destructive processing before opening the file in Photoshop.  Sometimes after one of my "clearing out" frenzies, I come back to Lightroom and discover that it no longer knows the location of some of these files. Since I backup and upload to more than one drive on my computer, it's usually ok.  I know the file is there somewhere, I just have to find it.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

The other night my computer froze and I had no choice but to unplug it and restart it. I know this is not recommended, but I didn't know what else to do. The next morning I went to open Lightroom only to find out that I could not access the catalog of images. An error message announcing that the catalog was "not valid" popped up. Trusting there was a solution, I googled this problem and tried all the suggestions, but nothing worked.

Knowing I still had the files somewhere prevented me from having a complete meltdown. At the same time however, the realization that I was going to have to recreate my catalog from scratch did not exactly make me fun to be around that day.

Enticed by a promotion going on over at Adobe, I decided to upgrade my version of Lightroom and then began the task of importing files into it. (New software always makes me happy.........I deserved it!)

©2012 Dianne Poinski

I found my most recent files pretty quickly, and then started to dig deeper to retrieve older images. Some were on one external hard drive, some on another, but I just kept plugging along. Soon I was clicking on folders that had cryptic names that meant nothing to me. And then something amazing happened! I started to find images I thought I had lost forever and in some cases forgot I even had! This included files I had been looking for just a couple of weeks ago! (Obviously my system needs some work.........)

The peony images in this post are two examples. I think I took these photographs in 2006 and I can't remember the last time I saw them! Then I came across these infrared images from the Japanese Tea Garden in Seattle that I took in the spring of 2007. Completely forgot about these!

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

I found it difficult to stay away from my computer this week. I just kept playing with these older images, using tools and techniques I did not know about 5 years ago. It's almost like the files went away, only to come back when I knew what to do with them. That's getting a little out there I know, but everyone I talked to this week had to hear the story of the near disaster that turned into a wonderful journey of discovery.

As a side note..............for now, my current Lightroom catalog is completely unedited. I am not going to move a single pixel. I will get another hard drive if I have to.......................

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Happy Heart

For my "less words, more images" post, I am sharing the work I did for "Texture Tuesday" this week. The challenge was to use Kim Klassen's "Happy Heart" texture on any image.  I have been working on a couple of projects that have inspired me to dig deep into my trove of images and that's where this shot from Paris came from.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

In addition to some other tweaks and adjustments, I placed Kim's "Happy Heart" texture using the soft light blend mode at 48%. I also added her "Golden" texture at 100% with the soft light blend mode.

I do love photoshop! Here is what this image looked like before I worked on it:

I missed Texture Tuesday last week and finished this image after the deadline to submit, so I thought I would sneak it in here. The theme last week was "White". Here are some more tulips.........

  ©2012 Dianne Poinski

For this image I used Kim's "Silence" texture with the soft light blend mode at 78%. Better late than never.........


Later this week I will share a story about a near disaster that turned out to have a very happy ending!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

60 Days...............

We are two months into the new year and I am still committed to my "Project 365". I thought I would recap and share a little bit from February.

Like I mentioned before, the deeper we get into the year, the more challenging it may become. It would be easy to get a photo of a flower or two every day, but I want to stretch myself and look for other possibilities. This is the part of the project that will help me learn to "see" better.

Something that I have really started to appreciate is that when you photograph every day, a visual diary is created. When I was going over the images for this post I found myself remembering details about the day I took certain photos. There was the rainy day visit with my friend Dana Bilello-Barrow at High Hand Gallery early in the month. The Sunday morning I went to the American River Parkway in the fog or the surprises I found on one of my afternoon walks. Of course many of the images from February are flowers, but I still enjoyed looking for other subjects.

There were many days where I had more than one favorite image, so some of what I am sharing here did not make it onto the "calendar", but they are still a part of the project.

Here are few highlights from February, all taken with my iPhone and processed in Instagram: (I apologize to any of my Instagram "friends", you have seen all of these before......)

  ©2012 Dianne Poinski
On one of my walks.........

©2012 Dianne Poinski
Late afternoon shadows...........

©2012 Dianne Poinski
My day at High Hand Nursery

©2012 Dianne Poinski
Bike path in the fog

©2012 Dianne Poinski
Bogle Winery, Clarksburg........

©2012 Dianne Poinski
On one of my walks............

©2012 Dianne Poinski
In my studio..................

©2012 Dianne Poinski
Gift from our studio landlord..........

Here is a screen shot of the 365 Project calendar I have on my phone. Not all the days show up, but I thought it would be fun to share anyway................

There are 31 days in March. Wish me luck!