Thursday, January 31, 2013

Shifting, Evolving, Changing.........

I have spent the last few days cleaning out and organizing images on my computer. As of today, I have deleted over 4000 files, and I am not finished! It's a huge job and there are voices in my head telling me I have other things I need to do and that I have no time for this sort of nonsense. But it feels great and I won't stop until I finish.

While I have deleted thousands of images, I "rediscovered" many that I can't wait to go back and work on.

Looking at all these new possibilities has left me with an overwhelming urge to completely redo my website and show only current work.  My style has slowly been evolving over the last year or two and I feel I am on the verge of a bigger shift and I don't know what to do.

The other day someone came into my studio and purchased a photograph I took in 1999. It's been one of my most popular images, but it doesn't look anything like what I am doing now. Besides the obvious differences in that it was shot with film, printed in the darkroom and hand colored with oils, I find myself wondering if I would even take this photograph today.

I look at my website and see many early images that should be put out to pasture. This happens to every artist at some point, and I think it should, but how do you deal with discontinuing work that at times may have paid the rent?

I encountered another problem when I began sharing a smaller studio last year. My display space was significantly reduced, which means I have a huge inventory of small prints simply sitting in drawers, most of it older work.

I am pretty sure this clearing and cleaning is needed to make room for what's coming next. What that is, I am not sure, but I feel energized and eager to experiment and create.

Things could get uncomfortable though. I have addressed this subject on my blog before, and in the past, fear usually won and I retreated. That is why I have I still have those tried and true, but old images on my site and in my studio.

One small thing I am going to do is try to move some of those prints out of the drawers and into new homes. I just posted these on my website for $20 each with free shipping (in the US). They are archival prints on 8.5 x 11 acid free art paper. (Mat is not included.) You can click here for more info: $20 Prints

Ok - that's enough shameless self promotion. Stay tuned to see what I will be up to next. I know I am curious..............

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Project 52 - Week 4...............

I can see where picking ONE image for my "Project 52"every week could get a little tricky. 

I did quite a bit of studio shooting and took a couple of walks this week, and since I will be mixing it up between iPhone images and those taken with my Nikon, there will be some weeks where the pool of possibilities could be quite large. Most of the studio shots I made with the Nikon have not been uploaded yet, so I decided to stick with an iPhone image for this week's pick.

This image is simple, with minimal processing.  You know how much I love red leaves, but it was the perfect shadows on the wall that got me to stop and take this photograph.

I believe most of the processing was in Snapseed, including the vignette I added.

©2013 Dianne Poinski  On my walk...........Q street, downtown Sacramento.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Why These Three?

This will probably be my final "formal" recap of my "Project 365".  I am sure the subject will come up again at some point, but I am ready to let it go (you probably are too..........).

While I was working on the video,  memories and feelings flooded in as I sorted through the images. It was interesting to note that the ones that really got me were not the photographs I took while in San Francisco or kayaking or on some other adventure. My favorites were the ones that happened spontaneously and were images that probably would not have been made had it not been for this challenge to take a photo every single day. 

So here are my top three picks from the year. I am pretty sure I have posted these here on the blog before, but am sharing them one more time..................

This first one, made on June 7, became one of my favorites because I just loved that I found this scene in a front yard of a house in my neighborhood. In some ways it looked like an art director put it together, complete with the metal watering can. The processing came naturally and really fit the image.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

While paying attention to light is one of the first things you learn as a photographer, I found myself being extra aware this past year. This next photo is a perfect example of that. It was while taking a walk on April 16 that I noticed the light hitting these early dogwood leaves in a way that made them glow. The tree was planted near the wall of a medical office building, which provided the perfect, simple background.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

This last one is probably my favorite and was made in my bedroom on March 31. This was one of those times where I literally ran to get my iPhone so I wouldn't miss the opportunity. The wind was blowing my sheer curtains in a way I am sure it had done before, but I was probably too busy to pay attention.

I think I took almost 30 photographs that morning. Every time I thought I had captured the perfect arc of the curtain, the wind would gust and the fabric would dance, so I just kept on shooting until the wind died down.

The image quality is not great, but it doesn't matter. What matters is that my eyes were open, I was living in the moment and I had stopped long enough to notice.  These were the gifts of my "Project 365".....................

©2012 Dianne Poinski

So that's it! It's been three weeks since this project ended and I have noticed that I am still taking photographs almost everyday. I will check back in about this in a couple of months, but for now I will just enjoy the magic of having a camera with me almost all the time, and capture more moments as they happen.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Project 52 - Week 3.........

For the first time in awhile, I managed to squeeze in a few walks last week. These neighborhood journeys were a big part of my "Project 365" last year, but a combination of weather and time restraints erased the daily commitment I made at one point.

I probably won't pick up that habit again anytime soon, but for now I am enjoying the time I do get to spend outside on "photo scavenger hunts" with my iPhone.

My "Image of the Week" this time was taken on one of those walks. More than one source lists Sacramento as the "Camellia Capitol" (of what, I am not sure.....the world?). That splash of color in an otherwise dreary landscape is a welcome sight and not an uncommon one this time of year.

I have tried many times to make photographs of cut camellias with limited success. This is one reason I was happy I stopped to photograph one that was planted against the side of someone's house. (It was close to the sidewalk.......I did not trespass.)

Most of the processing was done in the phone. (I have a new favorite app - "Vintage Scene".) After importing it into my computer, I made some contrast adjustments in Photoshop.

It was fun and probably won't be my last camellia image this year.

©2013 Dianne Poinski

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Project 365......The Video

After a lot of false starts and trial and error, I finished my "Project 365" video.

Yesterday I had a session at the Apple Store on iMovie and that one hour probably saved me 10!

In this video I share a selection of some of the images taken straight from my "Project 365" app. Even though I cringed a little at the quality of the early images, I feel very satisfied with this project and I am so happy I did it!


Be sure to turn on your speakers............... 

Project 365 from Dianne Poinski on Vimeo.

If you are receiving this post as an email and can't see the video, click here: Video

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Week 2................

Week 2 of my "Project 52"....................

Twice last week I ventured out early with my camera (and my iPhone) and spent some time at the American River. I got quite a few river shots that I was very happy with, and posted a couple on my Facebook Page.

For my official "Image of the Week" I wanted something a little different.............

I knew the moment I looked through my viewfinder and saw this scene, not only what my vision for the final image was, but I also knew how I wanted it to "feel".

Those last remaining leaves of winter just clinging to the branches this cold foggy morning presented a simple composition where I could feel the silence of nature in an area surrounded by urban development. I felt like I was in another place entirely and that feeling stuck with me all day.

This was taken with my Nikon D300 and processed in Photoshop CS6. (It's also one I may "hand color" some day..............)

©2013 Dianne Poinski

Thursday, January 10, 2013


So I had big plans to present a visually interesting recap of my Project 365, but it's not going to The big news is I am OK with that!

The bigger news is I made that decision all on my own! I didn't wait for computer meltdowns, broken bones or lost deliveries to bring me to my knees in surrender. Nope - I just had a moment of extreme clarity.

The decision to postpone this presentation helped my word for 2013 reveal itself. That word is "Patience".

The hours leading up to this revelation were filled with activity. Rushed activity involving software I had never used before but was certain I could master in a couple of days. This is not new behavior and in the past, the result was never pretty and usually cost me time and money.

I would like very much to change this way of being in the world and will focus on taking the steps necessary to slow down, be present and not rush things just so I can mark items off of my to-do list.

I will keep you posted.

So while this is not the recap I had envisioned, I still want to share a few things I learned doing this project.

I have spent the last couple of days going over all the images from the year and it's been very interesting. It's also been a little disheartening. I discovered that copies of many of the images from the first six months of the year are only available as low resolution files. Once I transitioned over to my iMac, all of my iPhone photos also made their way onto to my desktop, assuring that I had the original file on my computer. In some cases, the only file I have of early iPhone images are the ones I saved in the "Project 365" app on my phone, all of them low res.

It could have been worse. The truth is, most of the images I made the first 6 months of the year were not my best. I was still learning and when you compare my early images to more recent ones, its very obvious.

Here is my "Pic of the Day" for January 1, 2012:

Not a bad composition, but the light was too low for a decent iPhone photo. I also believe I broke one of the first basic rules of using your phone to photograph. (Pay attention if you are new to iPhonography.....)

  • Do not use the "zoom" feature on the camera. The quality of the photograph is definitely compromised when you do this. It would take a couple of months before this rule stuck.

I had many more "a ha!" moments during this journey through a year's worth of images than I did "oh sh*t" moments. Many of these have resulted in practices I hope to keep, even though I am not officially doing a "Project 365". Here is a short list of a few of them:
  • I would like to continue to take back roads and skip the freeway whenever possible. This practice not only helped me get some of my favorite images of the year, but also helped to slow me down, stay present and (see above...) practice PATIENCE.
  • I want to make a conscious effort to say YES! as often as possible. During this past year I found myself being a little more adventurous and spontaneous when I was presented with opportunities where my iPhone was also welcome.
  • I would also to continue to keep my eyes open in order to appreciate the photographic possibilities (and beauty) in my own backyard. It's not always necessary or even desirable to go on adventures in order to get awesome photographs.
More will be revealed I am sure. There is still a lot of reviewing and organizing of images left to do. It has been fun to be reminded of places I went and neighborhood walks I took during the year. I also have fond memories and visual proof of outings with friends and family, which makes me so very grateful I committed to this project.

Before I close, I thought I would share an image from December since I did not really do a proper recap of that month. (I also just wanted an excuse to tell you about the Olloclip I got for Christmas. In this image I used the macro lens.......)

©2012 Dianne Poinski

In an attempt to practice patience and keep my promise to do things a little different, I just made an appointment at the Apple store for a little "One on One" training in the software I was "playing" with this week, so eventually I will be able to finish what I began. Stay tuned..................

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Project 52..........Week 1

I have been going over all my images from my "Project 365" and will have a recap to share soon. In the meantime, a little bit about the first week of my"Project 52"..................

I have to admit it was a little strange to not "have to" to take a photograph every day this week. It wasn't until Sunday however, that I actually went an entire day without a shot.

I do feel I lost a little "mojo" though, and felt a bit creatively "off" all week. I had go back to January 1st to find an image to share for "Week 1". Nothing else I took the rest of the week appealed to me. (Things have already corrected themselves. I don't think I will have trouble coming up with an image for week 2........)

So here is the first image of my "Project 52". It's an iPhone shot processed both in the phone and in Photoshop.

©2013 Dianne Poinski - Near Half Moon Bay

I would love to hear about other "projects" you may be doing. I have talked to quite a few people that are trying to incorporate art into their lives on a daily basis and I find that very exciting!

Share your projects by commenting on this post and a leaving a link to your blog or wherever else you are posting.


Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  I did it! My "Project 365" is complete!

There will be more of an "official" recap in a future post, but for now I want to share a few images from that last day of 2012, as well as encourage you to try your own "Project 365".

In what has become somewhat of a tradition, my husband and I spent the last couple days of the year on the coast. We stayed near Pescadero, which is halfway between Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay.

While there was still daylight on December 31st, we did a little exploring and stopped at Ano Nuevo State Park and Wilder Ranch State Park.

Once again, because of the extreme lighting conditions on the coast, I chose to use the camera on the Pro HDR app when shooting with my iPhone that day. The weather was amazingly wonderful with just enough clouds in the sky to make it interesting.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

©2012 Dianne Poinski

My intention all along was I wanted my last image of 2012 to be at sunset. I dragged my husband to a beach with benches and while he sat there freezing, I was happily shooting, getting misty eyed at the beauty that was unfolding before me on this eve of a brand new year. There is no way I was able to capture what I was seeing, but I had fun trying.

©2012 Dianne Poinski

This was my final shot of 2012:

©2012 Dianne Poinski

I wanted to post this on Instagram with my New Year's wishes to everyone, but was frustrated by the lack of cell service and wifi. Up to that point, I was actually enjoying being unplugged.

We eventually drove through a "connected" area where I quickly posted it and felt the joy of completing what at times, had been a fairly challenging project.

I have been asked if I am doing it again this year and the answer is no. I have decided to commit to a "Project 52" in 2013 and will share my "photo of the week" here on my blog and on my Facebook page.

It's not too late to begin your own "Project 365".  If you have been toying with the idea at all, I highly recommend and encourage you to try it.

Here is a link to help get you started:

  • - this looks like you can do it on your computer instead of your phone.

These are links to two apps for your phone or iPad. You can even set an alarm to remind you to take your photo.........

The most important thing is to have fun with it. Know there will be days when the best you can do is a photo of the box your new computer came in (July 9th, for me...), but there will also be days when you will be so wonderfully inspired that you won't know which photo to post as your "photo of the day". 

Like I mentioned above, I am not through sharing about this experience, but for now, I just want to wish everyone the best this new year can bring.......................I think 2013 is going to be awesome!