A Bone’s Perspective

I love photography. It’s truly been awhile since I’ve worked in that medium. The digital camera has offered a real learning curve and I just haven’t invested the time to learn. I miss film or what is commonly known as analog photography. I use to develop my own film and prints. When digital came I just didn’t move forward. There were other things in life that got in the way. But, I still didn’t invest the time to learning.  I did start looking at other avenues to play with. One of them was SX70 manipulation. And of course, Polaroid crumbled and that film died. I’m very much aware of the Impossible Project. It’s just when it died I couldn’t get myself to dive back into those manipulations.

I have been thinking about pinhole photography for sometime. I had made one in Jr. High and several times through out High School. And with Lomo around, there are so many options for it now. But, still nothing really sparked the creative fire. Not until I ran into Yama.

This is a pinhole camera made from a Tibetan Skull. The artist is Wayne Martin Belger. It’s amazing and rather expensive. But, it brought the excitement of photography and sparked a creative fire that hasn’t existed for some time. It’s not unusual to create pinhole cameras out of things like oat meal cans, small altoid tins, spam cans, boxes, ceramics etc.. there are some very beautiful ones made of wood. But, this is beyond beautiful. It’s magical.  I love the creative use of the Bone.

The use of the Bone stirs up thoughts of other ways to make use of a camera like this. I was thinking how interesting it would be to use the Bone for photography but as part of Tapping the Bone. Tapping the Bone is a way of working with and communicating with your ancestors.  I’ve learned about this from Griffin Ced, at the Greenman, in North Hollywood. Even though I’ve taken a few classes I certainly have no authority in writing the how to’s. I do highly recommend taking his class if you’d like to get more familiarized with this art form.

I am getting close to initiating my Bone to do some ancestral work. So, it’s very timely that I found this. I could only begin to imagine the photographs I’d take. Or what my familiar would share with me through photography. I don’t even know if it could be used in that manner and how. But, the possibilities seem limitless. I want to make something like this.  I won’t be using a real skull. I have to think this through. I need to figure out if I can work this way with my familiar or with my ancestors.  The way I’m thinking of it is a bit complex.  But, communication through another art! It’s exciting!!

This bridges my love of photography with my love of skulls and spirituality soo well and it ignites that creativity that has been dormant for so long. Off to think of ways to make this manifest.  If not with the ability to work with the ancestors but to have a bad ass functioning pinhole camera extraordinaire. Which I know will NEVER come close to Yama. And I certainly don’t want anything similar. But, I want one of my own. A Bone, a camera, a different perspective. 

Please go take a look at Yama and check out the artist and his site. His work is unique and the cameras are truly works of art.


A Week In My Life

I’m really bad at capturing snip-its of my life. When I look back at my journals, I found that most of what I wrote were pages and pages of shit that sucked. For years I’ve used my journal as a source of venting, but never a tool to also talk about the wonderful moments in my life. If you were to stumble upon my diaries, which I hope no one ever does, you would think the journals belonged to a  hopeless soul that did nothing but analyzed herself to death criticizing everything about herself.  So, yes that’s still me, that part exists, but I promise there have been wonderful happy moments too. I no longer want to use my journal as a venting tool. Though I think in the past during the most difficult moments in my life it most certainly helped. But, I just realized, that’s probably why there are huge gaps in my journals. During the times in my life that were good, I didn’t write. I want to capture both. So, I’m going to try it again, A Week In The Life, an Ali Edwards project.

Reading the first post that Ali suggests, The Basics of Documenting…, I need to get organized and work on some daily activities:

  • Take Photos | Upload photos (Probably once a week)
  • Write Notes | Journal
  • Designate time to work on my book.

To accomplish these tasks, I need supplies…

  • (x) Binder (8.5 x 11 or 12 x 12)
  • (x) Camera (Phone & DSL – Wishlist a cheapo fun point and shoot)
  • (x) Something to capture notes (Needs to be travel-able)
  • (x) Ink and Photo paper for the printer
  • (  ) Organize Digital Files for quick reference – this might take a bit of time.
She has a great pdf download that helps you with documenting your life. But, it’s a little too detailed for me. So, I’m going to come up with prompts I’d like to include.
Things to make…
  • (  ) Pre-made Blank Notes (All ATC sizes, All 4×6, Mix of ATC & 4×6)

And so this project begins…

Emma Rose’s Shower

Tomorrow we are headed to the Jacobson’s baby shower! They’re really good friends of ours. We’ve known them together for about 15 years. But our husbands have known each other since they were in high school.

I wanted to make them something special. So, I decided a nice photo album would be a good gift. The album is about 9 x 12, layered inside in between the pages are vellum. The inner binding of the pages is cloth bound. The hard bound cover on the outside is a strong chip board reinforced with book cloth and fine printed paper. I was so excited to find the paper! It has the colors of the baby’s room, pink, white with a hint of green. You can’t really see the colors in pattern in the image below but it’s there. I also added another little personal touch and put the baby’s name on the inside of the page. Emma Rose, looking forward to meeting you soon. I hope they like it.

Zink Manipulation No. 3

Emulsion Lifts… Part 1

I decided to try my hand at the emulsion lifts. First try wasn’t successful, the second try was better. But, I think I’ll need to practice a bit more. Not loving the turquoise and pink. I’m not a big fan of pink. However, I see potential.

Original Image

Following the video I soaked the image in water for about 35 minutes. The video shows them drying the image with a hair dryer. I do have a hair dryer but not a small one. I play with with stamps, so I used what I had available in my ‘tool kit.’ So, I used an embossing heat gun. The thing about the heat gun is that it has a small point where the heat exits. And it’s more concentrated heat in one area. It also gets hot very quickly. And of course I didn’t really consider this until the image started to bubble. But, I have to admit I did like the way the image looked. In fact I was debating whether or not I should go through with the lift.  Below is the bubbled image.

Image After Heat Exposure

The emulsion is pretty thick, but it being so dry it wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be to pull apart. The layers of pink and blue were stuck together in some areas. But it really offered for interesting results.


Is there anyone out there with suggestions?

Zink Manipulation No. 2

I’ve been thinking about the manipulations all day! I decided to try something a little different. The order in which I manipulated the image. Rather than rough up and then soak, I did soak then dry then rough up. I used acetone and alcohol.

This is the original image that was cropped for Instagram.

And below are the two manipulated images.

Manipulation No. 2

The one above is the one with acetone and the one below is the one manipulated with alcohol. As you can see there is a slight variation to the alcohol and the there is a huge difference in color with the acetone. But, honestly this time I got a little crazy and really soaked more of the acetone. Right now I have an image soaking in water. I’ll post the results up tomorrow.