shake_the_shell: (Great Garbo 1)
2010-10-27 04:11 pm

NaNoWriMo and the art of photographic seduction

I, finding myself free of time and just enough courage and motivatoin, have signed up for NaNoWriMo this year. Those unknowing few who also bear the aspiration of being a novelist, or of a general literary disposition, can find out more information at their website here.
Quite simply, the goal is this: To write a first draft novel of 50,000 words in the month of November alone. Month of November means just that - you begin as soon as it's the 1st, and have to finish by the 30th. You can't have written at your idea (should you have one) prior to this, though ideas & plans for your tale are welcome (of which I have one).

So. Five delicious days to go. And then the games begin! I'm rather excited. It has been what feels like forever since I've had the intention of writing at one sole idea for any longer than say, an few hours. I left most of my writing drive behind for Art College & all it's stresses. Thankfully, this year of decisions has brought this great love of writing back to my anxious arms, and I have more than enough free time to pursue it at will, due to not having mounds of coursework. Write I shall; a whole 50,000 words. I'm getting giddy just thinking about it.

Averages work out at 12,500 words a week, roughly. That's 1666ish a day. I know this may sound an insane goal to some, I may sound less sane for being excited for this, but I truely am relishing the very idea. To be fair, the outlook for me isn't a scary one - in my gracious teen years, when I would spend at least 2 hours writing at my computer a day, I could easily knock out 3000 words in one sitting. After all, it's only a first draft. You are only expected to write, sponataneous and everything that comes to mind. If you do this, without hesitation, you'd be surprised at how much you can write in a short amount of time. Being a nippy hand with the keyboard helps also.
My only concern is some....personal issues, that may interfere with my little head, which is prone to creative blocks when there is emotional stress abound. However, the goal remains, as does my determination, at least to channel said concerns into something productive as opposed to a ball of withheld emotion. It seems to work when I write poetry & prose in my notebooks, so a transferal of tactics should sit alright. At least I hope.

I have also managed to get my blasted Diana's up onto deviantART, finally. That bloody scanner...less said, the better. Seeing as I'm boycotting Tinypic right now, any interested in seeing some shots of barley can have a gander at them on my account here and here. More incoming, as I have some others that need a clean up in the dust department.
However. I cannot express just how much of the feel is lost from these images when scanned in. I developed a few in the darkroom and was blown away. I was instantly seduced by the dreamy, soft, out of focus edges, the contrast, the delicious black & whiteness of it all. I was on the brink of hailing to the 120 Diana format only, screw those 35mm Canons of mine! I did regain my sanity - I do love my Canons. But I'm officially now a fully fledged lover of the Diana. I knew instinctively I would be; it was the edge I sought to bring into my photographic repetoire. It's a shame the in-the-flesh-developed copies can't be shared easier, as I am insistent that scanning them in just doesn't do the images justice.

Now all that is left to do is to convert my fellow £35 for Diana F+ w/o flash, why the hell not give it a whirl? Mr Moore, I'm looking at you...

shake_the_shell: (Waterhouse 2)
2010-10-14 12:16 am

Bare naked ladies

(I've already said much on this subejct at DA, but...aye.)

I have to wonder, as a professional artist who painted many a nude woman, what dear Waterhouse (wave at the avatar) would have thought about the images you find in the 'Artistic Nudes' catagory on deviantART.
I am in no way a prude, but it took a strong disposition at times to look through without grimacing in horror at the photographs being tagged as "artistic" of all things. Most of the images are what you'd imagine young horned-up couples sending to each other after posing in the mirror - that infamous photo of Vanessa Hudgens comes to mind. And this is just the mild stuff. Others are more blatant, and in reality are nothing more than soft porn. Why not call it what it is, instead of sending it out in such a mask?

It's that very reason that made me dubious about uploading a certain photograph. It is what it is - an artistic nude. Nothing explicit, carefully taken & mulled over. It became a harder decision because the subject was myself - I hesitated at having a photo of me amongst the tripe masquerading as something else.

Nevertheless, I did - those genuinely interested in its artistic merit can find it here. It's a self portrait, taken digitally *gasp* and edited with a texture layer in CS2. Highly unusual for me.

Unsurprisingly, it got comments within seconds of it being there, and of course, favourites without comments. It proved to me what I had jokingly knew would happen - if you want attention, get your kit off. There isn't anyone out there, even the most prudish of us, that isn't interested in at least having a peek at some naked flesh.
shake_the_shell: (Dearest Bosie)
2010-09-04 08:48 pm


I forgot I had an account there! But I do :)

I'm updating it slowly, I've only 14 or so photos up so far, but there are a few that aren't on Flickr as of yet; older images from Botanic Gardens in Belfast for instance. Feel free to add if you wish, I'm down with that (I think that's what the kids are saying these days...).

I desire to scan in my Diana F+ films, as I used up two. But the issue is, my scanner is 35mm only, and these are 120's - so much bigger than the usual negative I own. So. I've to use the other scanner in my father's room. Which I've no idea how to use. And I can't figure out because it is tricksy. And he's been to busy to show me as yet. Humph. I must wait patiently.
shake_the_shell: (Waterhouse 1)
2010-06-01 02:52 am


Psh, been nearly a month...

Long story short: I fucked up my Photography interview by being, oh ho, too tired to see straight, and my portfolio turning out less than favourably because of lack of time. So understandably I didn't get in, as we all know the high standards they keep. However 3 hours, a piece of toast and a bottle of water later, I rocked my Art interview, resulting in unconditional acceptance into the course the day after, so I'm a happy bunny. Life goes on, yadda yadda.

I will tag this later, after I have eaten Italian nougat I purcased earlier today, and had a long sleep & read of Robin Hobb's "Shaman's Crossing".
shake_the_shell: (Great Garbo 1)
2010-05-03 02:00 am

My eyes feel like they're made of wood

Weird way to describe it, yes, but it's honestly the only way I can describe how they feel. The pirate played by Mackenzie Crook, from Pirates of the Caribbean, who had a wooden eye, comes to mind. Oh! the splinters.

So I've been working flat out all day for two days now, on CS2, scanning pictures in, editing a little, and I can safely say it's driving me insane at a steady pace. I am sick of this pc chair, staring at the screen removing bits of dust. 'Tis not a situation I am enjoying. All I've wanted to do all day is curl up, cry, and sleep. No moar photos. Moar sleep.
Tomorrow shall be worse. Tomorrow comes the all day darkroom affair. I am not looking forward to it. I know all too well, from experience, that being in a darkroom for long periods of time, working throughout the day, seriously fucks your bodyclock. Especially when you're already tired & have a fucked sleeping pattern like me. So it should be a barrel of laughs.

Enough moaning.


I have no idea what that 'thing' is but I got a few good shots with it, so I shan't complain.

My line of thought has fizzled away so I'm leaving to try and not...something. I don't know what I'm doing now. Maybe I'll go to bed and try and forget the impending horror of tomorrow.

BLAH. Blah I say.
shake_the_shell: (Waterhouse 1)
2010-05-01 02:48 am

Croak croak croak

It says it on my mug.

Like my last post, this boderlines a "real life" moan type thing. I recieved the date for my Uni interviews and, joy of joys, they are on the same day. Wednesday 5th May. Yippee...

So that means that from today, I've to do the shitatstic task of gathering together pieces of my work for two seperate portfolios. Art won't be too hard, it's bascally just a repeat of last year, omitting a few pieces and including new ones in their sted. Not too hard. However, for the photography one, I have to start from scratch. Get a folder, card for mounting, pick photos, print photos, in the darkroom as well as from my pc, arrange it all & finally stick it all down. The best part about all that is, for Photography, I have no idea in hell what I'm doing. I've done the Art interview before. Photography I haven't, so I'm winging it.
Hopefully friend & fellow applicant shall get back to my email by tomorrow and give me some pointers, as he's in the lucky position of having a tutor to help him.

Sooo. Just for a larf, here's one of the potential images that shall be present in said portfolio.

Bricks and stuff. Whether it'll be adequate enough to wow them, however...OH MY GOD I am so fucking not ready for this shit >.< Bleh, I said it. I shall now go to hide in the safety of my bed with my doggles to cuddle.
shake_the_shell: (Dearest Bosie)
2010-04-08 02:33 am


I am peeved. The font I was using must have been scrapped, as it had suddenly changed upon visiting here, and won't work for me anymore. And neither would the other 6 I tried & like. GRRR. So "Berling Antiqua" it is for now. Though I can't get it the size I want in the right places (sounds dirty).

It also occured to me recently that I really need to take moar photies. Mainly because I applied 2 weeks ago for a Photography course in my local Uni, aaaand well eventually portfolio, they will wish to see one. And I do have many photos indeed, however I've been slacking in my personal project type thing, of 40 Steps. So I went up a few days ago & took some more pictures with my Olympus Pen EE-3. I'm in the process of scanning the little buggers in now. I've got 4 ok shots from the first strip of 12, and 5 more strips waiting to scan. It'll take a few days, but some of them are quite nice.

I focused a little more on the cottage this time, seeing as it's an integral part of that whole 40 Steps experience, and all that jazz. So there's a lot of brick and wall to be seen. A little share of one of my fave shots so far...

It looks a bit hazy to me, upon reflection, as do a few others. Not as crisp. Could be the Fomapan 100 film I used, but it's ridiculously crisp, I know from experience. I'm not sure if it's something I've done in CS2 or if it is indeed on the actual negative, but the only way to find out is in the darkroom. It's been a while since I've been in there, but I'm planning on doing so soon. There's no comparison to a darkroom print. There's just a certain aura to them, one I love.

I'm just hoping that 40 Steps makes sense as a "theme". Apparently, in interviews, the Photography peoples like to see sets, based around ideas for a series, instead of random great shots. Makes sense, I suppose, but how do I explain 40 Steps away? "Oh it's this wee place I walk around occasionally, it's purdy." It's hardly an intelligent, coherant idea. Bleh. Maybe I worry too much. Hell, I know I do.

Rambling ramble is over.

shake_the_shell: (Gregory Peck 2)
2010-03-26 07:31 pm

Oh, Mr Peck, you are so handsome.

He really is. I do love my avatar.


More Glens. This was annoying to edit. However, I don't think it turned out that badly. I quite like the purple tinge it scanned in with, so it remained. My only dislike is that damned grain in the paler areas. I'm not skilled enough in Photoshop to know how to ammend that. But

shake_the_shell: (Gregory Peck 1)
2010-03-17 12:44 pm

It only takes five minutes

I'd been to Antrim before, and most likely in this area before, but not since I was younger. So probably in...10 years? Then of a whim, I ended up there on a random road trip with the "Wife". I'm glad we did, because it was rather breath taking, especially with the snow. As he drove, I practically hung out of the window taking photos with raw abandon, lol.

The film did get a little...messed, though. Upon developing, it seemed the brand of film & developer weren't exactly friends, despite saying they were on the box. So unfortunately, instead of being crisp & clear, the negatives are very pale; you can't even see the numbers or the Ilford brand name on it. Quite annoying. So in the darkroom, the outcome was less than satisfactory.

Amusingly, this meant Photoshop was the saviour of the day. It's been the only way to get good photos from that film. I spent about 10-20 minutes on the imagges I scanned clearing a few bits of dust, and adjusting shadows & hi-lights, the contrast etc., and this is one of the results. I never thought I'd say that, being a bit of a darkroom purist, but there it is.
shake_the_shell: (Waterhouse 1)
2010-03-07 09:10 pm

See your little lights alive...

I neglected my DW & LJ for a while :/ Whoops.

Anyway. Was meaning to post this for a while. Another shot from Belfast. Soon: photos of the Glens of Antrim! Much beauty involved.
shake_the_shell: (Jane Morris)
2010-01-18 04:40 pm


I really like these two together. They were taken within about 15 seconds of each other, the bottom photo being the same street a few meters along, as you can see. I was really surprised they turned out, as it was so dark & I couldn't see what setting the camera was on, not to mention they aren't blurry as I also expected. They were taken in haste after all. I must've been annoying to walk behind, stopping & starting every few seconds :P
shake_the_shell: (Great Garbo 1)
2010-01-08 02:07 am

Dusty, oh dusty

Godsake, does everything I upload have dust? Grr! Grr I say. CS2 will not open for me & I'm too tired to be bothered. I'll endeavour to have less dusty/bordery images henceforth.
Ever more lane. It's endless.
shake_the_shell: (pic#348696)
2010-01-08 01:56 am

It's in the small details

Did I forget I had this account? Apparently. Tut tut. Well. Lookit! Moar lane.
shake_the_shell: (Default)
2009-11-24 03:03 am

November loss

Looks like the grass is moving, eh?
shake_the_shell: (Default)
2009-11-17 05:49 pm

Enter Title Here...

Yes, the lane again. It's not getting old yet.
shake_the_shell: (Default)
2009-11-06 03:49 am
Entry tags:
shake_the_shell: (Default)
2009-11-06 03:43 am

Simple stuff

Some dusty bits, but eh.
Taken up the ever magic lane across from my house.
shake_the_shell: (Default)
2009-10-24 12:37 am

Something New

Near my house, up some lane. It's sheep's wool tangled across barbed wire; got a few nice shots from it actually. The first scan of 3 new films I took within the last month. Was playing with the aperature and hey presto, I actually managed some ok shots. Go me!
shake_the_shell: (Default)
2009-10-24 12:30 am

Something Old

Bangor somewhere.
shake_the_shell: (Default)
2009-10-17 02:24 am
Entry tags:

El Juggo

A quick scan of a very old picture, taken in a very old house that hadn't been lived in for 10 years. It still had old plates & bits & pieces lying around. I did crop the top off this one as it was very obviously blurry & too white. It looks much better like this methinks. I lost the original full scan & I can't be arsed scanning again sooo no before & after. For I am lazy.