Posts Tagged: art

Tidbits for Palm Sunday

The Snow, it is falling and falling this weekend in Mammoth
Sun. 04.09.17 – The Snow, it is falling and falling this weekend in Mammoth – photo by Ms. Jen with her Lumia 950

Tidbits for a Sunday afternoon’s reading:

The Art and Design of End Papers

The beautiful choral music of Suor Leonora d’Este

Thinker, tailor, soldier, spy: The extraordinary women of Ghiyas-ud-din Khalji’s harem

Erica Wilson, The Julia Child of Needlework

Which led to the Queen’s Coronation Gown and her Maids of Honor, then and now:
1. http://orderofsplendor.blogspot.com/2012/02/flashback-friday-queens-coronation-gown.html
2. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2089887/The-Pippas-day-aristocratic-beauties-stole-the-Coronation-60-years-ago-Now-share-scenes-stories.html
3. http://www.radiotimes.com/news/2013-04-21/the-queens-coronation-day-maids-of-honour-where-are-they-now

A book review that is a good read in and of itself:The Souls of China by Ian Johnson – the resurgence of religion after Mao

“Johnson spends weeks with Taoist musicians, whose ritual performances bring the deceased “over to the other side”. He attends an unregistered Christian church in western China that challenges the party’s claim to be moral arbiter of society. He dines with celebrity Zen Buddhists, who dispense wisdom to real estate developers, the offspring of party aristocracy, executives and bank managers. He practises qigong – religious breathing exercises and meditation – with a master in an apartment block reserved for once-persecuted party elders rehabilitated after Mao’s death. With nicely understated irony, Johnson weaves the political rituals of the self-proclaimed atheistic CCP through this calendar: its conferences held in the Great Hall of the People, a communist temple saturated with legitimising ritual symbols; the intensely ritualistic departures and ascensions of communist leaders. “Like a Taoist priest,” he observes of Hu Jintao anointing a successor at the 18th party congress in November 2012, “Hu emulated an immortal … dyeing his hair jet-black to make himself look ageless, and surrounding himself with propaganda banners conferring immortality on the Communist party.””

Note to Self: Go on one of these UK walks
It’s blooming spring! 22 great UK walks

After spending so much time in Arizona the past two years, this article on living in Arizona is spot on.
Mike Powell : Why I live Where I liveZonies: Part 7
with a link to Walter Percy’s Why I Live Where I Live

Unusually strong April storm headed for Northern California this week : This storm was fun. I spent it up at Mammoth. My Instagram documents: 1, 2, 3, 4

Jenifer Hanen is Creating Art & Writing at Patreon!

Greetings Lovely folk of the Internet!

The past two years have been very fruitful creatively for me, I have been quietly writing fiction stories and working on a film photo project, as well as my working on my mobile and DSLR photography. The writing and film projects take time and money to complete.

It is time for me to bring my work out of Google Docs files and the black hole of Lightroom on my computer and share them in a more substantial way with folks who wish to help support my writing and art making endeavors. By support, I mean a community of folk who are excited to read, view, comment on, and receive photos, stories, essays, and be the first to hear about new works in progress.

Would you like to participate in a community that supports my creative endeavors with a monthly photo and story, as well as a weekly link round up? If so, come join me at Patreon by make a pledge.

The various tiers of monthly pledges will range from thank you and here is a weekly round up of links to Patreon-only Monthly photos and stories all the way to a Monthly mailed Photo Card (real printed photos from the film project) to a Yearly signed Photo and|or Story Book. I will also be making and sharing my photos and writing at this blog and other social media sites with a weekly round up of links of my work and other interesting links here at Patreon.

The monies from the pledges will be going to help fund the writing and photography.

Thank you for joining me in this creative endeavor. You rock!

Jenifer Hanen, aka Ms. Jen

Become my patron at Patreon

Nicole’s Corner at Salon Pop

Nicole's Corner at Salon Pop

Wed 11.09.16 – This afternoon I went to visit the ever amazing artist, Nicole Welke, at her day adventure – Salon Pop and Barber Shop. I love that Nicole’s aesthetic is not just in her paintings, cartoons, illustrations and products, but also in her physical space. I am excited to announce that Nicole will be doing the cover art for my short story collection.

The Whale and the Whale Ornament

The Whale and the Whale Ornament

Sun 10.23.16 – This morning I went to Paige H’s baby shower at her parent’s house. Her mother had the best whale sculpture with a whale ornament in its mouth on the living room’s fireplace mantle. It was lit in such a way to both reveal the whale sculpture and create mystery.

This made me very happy.

From One Not-So-Great Photo, Three Good Photos – or How Astrophotography pushes me to up my Lightroom Skills

1. The last of the Summer Section of the Milky Way - The Original
2. The last of the Summer Section of the Milky Way - Warm Tones 3. The last of the Summer Section of the Milky Way - Cool Tones 4. The last of the Summer Section of the Milky Way in B&W

Sun 11.01.15 – Those of you who have read this blog and/or have spoken to me in person about photography know that I get my joy from the taking of the photos and the moment thereof, not in the post-processing activities that are such a part of digital photography. It is the drag and lack of joy of the processing of a digital photo that sent me squealing with joy into the arms of mobile photography in December 2004 – OMG – take the photo and post it to the internet directly from my phone – How Marvelous! No Photoshop! Thank all the minor deities ruling over silicon wafer chips and camera phones from Finland!

By and large in my current photography practice, I use Lightroom to organize, add metadata and titles, and to catalog all of the photos I take, be it with my mobile phone, my Nikon D800, or a real live film camera (negatives scanned to digital files). Other than a few tweaks to white balance or exposure or a crop here or there, I rarely spend much time in the post-processing of my photography. I prefer my photos to look as much as possible as what I and others would have seen at the scene.

The big exception to this workflow is my astrophotography photos that I take with my Nikon D800. While I follow many of the common best practices for how to best shoot my astronomy photos, I currently don’t have a working Equatorial Mount (the one I have is gimpy and makes me want to poke my eyeballs out), thus if I want to have my stars show up as pinpoints, which I do, and not trails I have to keep my exposures to under 15 seconds and on top of that, I prefer to keep my ISO set to 1600 or less to limit pictorial noise.

The short exposure times plus the lower ISO means that I do need to do some post-processing work, more than just exposure and white balance, on my astro photos to bring out the night sky and so artistic choices need to be made – of which the biggest is how much do I let the Nikon sensor do the talking (colors galore!) and how much do I desaturate the photos to make it look more like what my eye saw in the moment.

The human eye for reasons to do with biology sees the night sky in blacks, whites, grays, and occasional light pollution glow. The fantastic colors seen in most Milky Way and Nebula photos your eye will never see, but your camera’s sensor will esp. with filters. Through a telescope the Orion Nebula is in black and white to our vision, but in a photo with minimal through to maximal processing it is a riot of pinks, reds and a panoply of rainbow colors.

I find myself frustrated by the Milky Way photos that I see out and about as they look fantastical – a world my eyes will never see. So, when I am post-processing the astro photos I take, I find myself in a quandary to how much do I reveal what the camera’s sensor saw or do I spend more time at a process I don’t like to desaturate to get a photo that looks more like what I saw?

Most of the time, after working on a photo or two, I get completely overwhelmed and I just stop and tell myself I will come back later, which I rarely do. And so the vicious cycle starts again, the blackhole of my computer eats up my photography.

Last night after I returned from photographing the Milky Way and imported the photos into Lightroom and after working on a few photos, I found myself working on one of the more mediocre photos to see how much I could push it and I did. I created three versions of the photo and posted two to social media, one to flickr and the other to Instagram, leaving my preferred photo for here.

Instead of just posting the preferred photo to this space, I decided that I would post all four photos: 1. The original photo as it came out of the camera, 2. The photo I like best but feel it is still too ‘colorful’, 3. The blue tinged desaturated photo I posted to flickr, and finally, 4. The black and white rendition that I posted to Instagram.

All the same original not-so-great photo, but all processed differently and thus each turned into a pretty decent if not good photo of the Milky Way. It is the joy of the alchemy of this transformation that I can see how many people find their joy in the post-processing of their digital photos.

I still don’t think I will ever spend hours on one photo in Photoshop as I have seen some do, in fact, blasphemy ahead… I don’t have Photoshop installed on my machine right now, just Lightroom and Fireworks.

Gasp. Shock. Horror.

Don’t even talk to me about star stacking software. Gah.

Mobile: What is the best / most beautiful / most innovative / most creative use of a mobile phone recently?

Eight years ago, I conducted a survey on the creative use of mobile devices by creative professionals, which became the research base for my Masters thesis: Moleskine to Mobile.

But that was 8 whole years ago, which in mobile or technology time was practically before the dawn of Mammals. In the last few years, it seems many people have settled into the mobile version of humdrum suburbia: iPhone photos uploaded to Instagram, sharing updates to Facebook, making a video of one’s favorite pet/child/drunkfriend and uploading it to YouTube, or just letting others do it while one watches, etc.

Much like any supposed boring suburbia, there has got to be something interesting going on behind the facade of your mobile’s casing…

People! What is the best and/or most interesting, innovative, beautiful, creative use of a mobile that you have done, seen, heard of, have a link to in the last few months or year? Even if what you think is not really that interesting, but you haven’t told anyone else you are doing it, let me know.

Yes, you, photographer, artist, DJ, musician, banker, teacher, couch potato, maker, creator, builder, I am talking to you. Don’t be shy. If it isn’t you, then tell me about your creative friend. If it is you, share what you have been up to with your mobile. Doesn’t matter if it is a smartphone, feature phone, or super basic phone…

2014 – Let me know. Post the link to your or someone you know of’s creative/innovative activity with there mobile phone. Comment here or tweet a link to me @msjen.

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Nokia Connects has a fun program / award called MVC – Most Valued Connector (which really should be Most Valued Creative), wherein a group of us nominate folks who are doing cool and amazing things with their Nokia Lumia mobile phones or helping folks connect in some way thereof.

On top of wanting to see what y’all have been up to with any mobile phones, if you or a friend is doing some cool, creative stuffs with their Nokia Lumia phone, please send me the link so that I can recommend them for a nomination.

Y’all rock!

A Visit to the Galleta Meadows Sculptures

Mom and the Eagle's Nest sculpture, Galleta Meadows
Elephants, Galleta Meadows Cactus, Anza-Borrego State Park Detail of the Eagle's Nest sculpture, Galleta Meadows

Photos taken by Ms. Jen with her Nikon D800 and various lenses.

Sun 01.19.14 – Yesterday, my Mom, Scruffy, and I drove to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park and Borrego Springs via a circuitous route through Oceanside, Pala, the Pauma Valley, Julian, and then finally over the mountains eastbound to the Anza-Borrego State Park and Borrego Springs in northeastern San Diego county.
I wanted to see the desert and its flora, my Mom wanted to go see the Galleta Meadows sculptures that ring the outskirts of Borrego Springs.
We started out from Huntington Beach at 10am and I dropped my Mom back off at 10pm. While a bit of a whirlwind, and yes we probably should have stayed in Borrego Springs, but I am glad we went. The Galleta Meadows sculptures were fun, the food at Carmelita’s was good, and the stars / Milky Way we saw driving east towards the Salton Sea were amazing.
Next time I want to spend more time exploring the upper Anza-Borrego desert and go hiking in the Palm canyon area.