Thursday, December 23, 2010

When the whole sky wanted to be a cloud

There are times when streams become rivers. At times rain is so fine that the whole sky becomes a single cloud that encompasses all that you can see. I was witness to just such occasions this past week. The rains came down for five days straight in my little part of the desert. Not normal. And somewhat destructive. However, there was beauty to be found in all the rain and storminess.
This little scene was in New Harmony, Utah.
This photo was taken with a Spectra camera using Paul Giambarba Edition Image Film.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Recesky on the Road

I love my little plastic self-built wonder. The focus isn't tight or crisp, but sometimes you end up with some wondrous shots. But then again, I like the random distortion and vignettes you get out of toy cameras.
The following are shots I took a month ago while on the road:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

St George, Utah

St George, Utah, originally uploaded by Janelka.
St George, Utah temple. If you look closely, you might notice that the foreground contains a fig tree. You can also make out a window and the top details of the temple.
Taken on a Polaroid One camera using Silver Shade film (from The Impossible Project).

Monday, December 13, 2010

November roses

November roses, originally uploaded by Janelka.
Now that everything is truly dying outside, I like looking at this photo to remind me how lucky I am that I have such a long growing season where I live.
This was taken using a SX 70 model 2 camera, using PX 70 First Flush film.

a winter evening in the desert

a winter evening in the desert, originally uploaded by Janelka.
This shot on the outskirts of St George, Utah. Sometimes I just have to go out in search of new places to photograph. Its nice when those places aren't too far from home.
I used Paul Giambarba Edition Image film purchased from The Impossible Project in a thrifted Spectra camera.
The sky has this lovely ribbon of glowing color along the horizon; I'm so glad that I captured that along with the desert flora in the forefront.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

hack canyon wilderness area

hack canyon wilderness area, originally uploaded by Janelka.

This was taken a few weeks ago, but I thought I'd share it now.
The shot was taken with my Polaroid 430 land camera using expired 690 film.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Desert Moon

desert moon, originally uploaded by Janelka.
The last little bit of sunset was ducking behind some distant hills when I turned around and noticed the lovely scene playing out behind me. The moon was out, snuggling with the clouds, and there was this vast, beautiful desert before me.

This photo was take on my Polaroid 430 Land Camera using expired Polaroid 690 film.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


purple leaves, pink haze, originally uploaded by Janelka.

PX 70 Color Shade Film PUSH. New film from The Impossible Project.
Taken using my SX 70 camera (Alpha 1, Model 2)
Happy light leak-- I covered it as soon as it ejected from the camera, but some sunlight must have gotten on it somehow. Hence is lovely pink glow.

Can you believe that yet another year is wrapping up? My how 2010 has flown by. Is it just me or did it seem to go by faster than last year?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A tiny piece of desert, just for you

, originally uploaded by Janelka.

Arizona Strip, outside of Paiute Cave. I love the desert. Good thing, too, since I live in it.
Polaroid 430 Land Camera.
Polaroid 690 film (expired 2009).

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cami and Andrew, part 3

Kolob Couple, originally uploaded by Janelka.

I can't help from sharing another photo of the series. The big day is just under a couple of weeks away. So exciting! 

This photo was taken on a Keystone 60 second Everflash camera (Polaroid clone)-- and the film is Polaroid 690 pack film. 

The 690 and the ID-UV are tied as my favorite films. I think the 690 has a little more yellow to it, which is great fun in fields of golden grass, but the ID-UV has that amazing tendency to have the sky go all aqua. I can't decide what I like better.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Cami and Andrew, part 2

Another of Cami and Andrew from our photo shoot. They did the hard work, scouting out the location ahead of time. Apparently Andrew stops in to photograph this area whenever he's around. He picked a lovely spot. And the day was just fantastic for photos. The lighting changed a few times. Believe it or not, I prefer the challenge of adjusting for the lighting. You get so many more options and moods out of one shoot that way.

This photograph was shot on my sx70 using The Impossible Project's px70 film. I love how this shot turned out. It is my personal favorite. And yes, now I'm hoping to have someone take a few more Polaroid photos of Jon and I dressed up in our wedding attire. And maybe a few Holga shots as well... yea, that'd be nice.

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Cami and Andrew

cami and andrew, originally uploaded by Janelka.

Bride and Groom. So cute. So sweet. So in love. I love Cami to pieces, and I'm so glad I got to take some of her photos today. She is such a beautiful bride, and she and her man look so good together.
This shot was taken on a Polaroid 430 land camera using 690 film (expired May 2009). I peeled it a little early so that the colors didn't finish developing, and the end result-- slightly more vintage colors.

Friday, October 29, 2010


So I had this box show up at our door last Saturday, and an hour later, I'd turned its contents into a TLR camera.
 This is what it looked like once I took it out of its mailer.

 Here it all is just out of the box.

 Organization is key. It keeps you from losing the tiny, tiny screws that hold this camera together.

Ta-da! Camera complete. It took just about an hour (that's not counting the 20 min lunch break I took) to put this toy together. Considering that the instructions are all in Japanese, I'm quite happy with myself.

The Recesky is a do-it-yourself TLR camera. It is basically a clone of the Gakkenflex. It has two plastic lenses, and I think its a rather lovely contraption. Jon was impressed with just how well thought-out it was, and he had a fun time checking in on my progress.

So, just as soon as it was all put together and loaded with film, I had to take it out for a spin.  We went back to the Babylon area near Leeds, UT. I have more plans for this area. There are more trails to hike and scenes to take in, and many more photos to take. The day was absolutely lovely-- all stormy and windy. And it was humid! It felt like we'd been transported somewhere far from the desert. It was a fun deviation from the norm.


You can see the rest of the set HERE

Sunday, October 17, 2010


granat, originally uploaded by Janelka.

Polish for pomegranate. I love this fruit, and I LOVE that it grows in my backyard. It grows just outside of our bedroom, actually. And occasionally, in night-time wind storms, the branches scrape against our sliding glass door and wake me from my slumber. But I don't hold a grudge. It'll do what it'll do.
It is very nearly time to harvest out bountiful crop this year and I can hardly wait!

This photo was taken on my SX 70 camera, using The Impossible Project's PX 70 color shade film. (I love this film more and more.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pens and Journaling, a History . . . and slight obsession

After getting most of my art supplies organized and finding all of my pens, I have separated them out, donating most of my everyday workhorse pens to the general pile in the office desk. Then I organized my art pens and realized just how short I am on my brown ink pens.

I started writing in a journal when I was thirteen. A good age to start, right? I think I just began writing on a whim, when I happened upon a journal somewheres. I thought it was a good idea, so I stuck with it. 

In the early days I used a lot of different ink colors, mostly ballpoint. My thinking was that if I switched my ink color for each entry, it would be that much easier to flip through it later in life. Also, it made keeping up a journal so much more fun that way. I also added sketches and doodles and in a few journals I wrote out the page numbers ornately. (Did I really have that much time on my hands back then?) 

My preferences in ink color back in the early days were purple, sky blue, and the regular office variety blue and black. Pink made it into the mix from time to time, because as I remember, it came with the sky blue and purple in a three-pack. 

As I got older and got my hands on more inks, I added orange into the mix. By the time I was in college, I'd entirely dropped the purple/lilac and baby blue inks from the mix and took to only writing in fine point. I added in grass green and had by that point almost entirely switched over to ink and gel pens. I kept a few ballpoints around for class notes, and that was it. Enough years had rolled by to convince me of the importance of archival pens, so ballpoints were pretty much out for me. I switched to writing in mostly darker inks and brown quickly became my favorite. I have one small journal that was 95% filled with brown ink. Then, my last year in college I took a figure-drawing course taught by a illustrator. He enabled my pen addiction and even encouraged it. So off I went to buy a greater variety of pens-- I finally branched out of fine and extra fine points while sketching and drawing for class. And I bought a greater variety of ink and pigment pens. I had so many pens to choose from, and all at my university's bookstore. Graduating didn't keep me away. Nope, it was when I moved to Lehi that I stopped my regular trips to the bookstore to get my pen fix. By then I'd built up quite a stash, so it wasn't much of an issue.

But here we are, years later, and I'm running low. And I've moved about four hours away from my beloved bookstore. And in my lovely little town, I can' seem to find really good pens to save my life. They have a limited selection at the Michael's-- mostly scrap-booking pens that are too thick or they are puffy. Not what I look for in journaling and sketching. There are a few inky pens, but most of them don't hold up for any length of time. 

So I decided to do what any sane person would do, I decided to research good pens to buy and then bought some online. I mean, if a brown gel ink pen is going to get me to journal more regularly, its worth it, right?

Thank you The Pen Addict, for making me realize that I'm not the only pen-obsessed person out there. I feel like I can trust you and your reviews. (Your site's minimalistic style and your handwriting were an added bonus.)You led me to Jet Pens, which led me to my purchase today. (Their prices are quite reasonable for what I needed.) So I have a few pens that should be showing up in the next week. 

This will probably bore most people to tears, so I won't go into particulars right now, but suffice it to say that I have two blue black pens, a couple of black pens, a couple of brown pens (One is called tea brown, I can hardly wait!), and a green black one as well. The mix is almost entirely gel ink, but there is one fountain pen as well as one Pilot Envelope Address Writing Gel Ink Pen. I stumbled upon that one through the Pen Addict when I was getting all geared up for writing out my wedding announcement addresses. It didn't work out then as they were sold out, but I'll be getting one now! I'm not sure how many more envelopes I'll be hand-addressing any time soon, but that's beside the point. 

Oh, and I'm getting a new travel sketchbook, too. Reason to sketch more? I think so. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010


cedar city

Cedar City

The above photograph was taken on my trusty Berkey Keystone Everflash camera. Man I love that thing. I have had some shutter issues with some of my Polaroid cameras, especially when shooting on really bright days, but my Keystone has yet to fail me. I always get some kind of image. Sure, this one is a little over exposed, but that's my doing. 

I may have picked up yet another Polaroid camera at a thrift store. I had the intention of finding and bringing home shelves to better organize my art space, but there weren't any to be found. Well, I didn't count rickety plastic ones as an option. But as I was passing by the small "Collectibles" area, I couldn't help but spy a small group of lonely cameras. After looking at them all, I decided to take the Polaroid Big Swinger 3000 home with me. You can check out a commercial for it HERE. They're funny plastic beasties, and this particular model can only take ISO 3000 film. So, it isn't all that versatile, but you can still get film for it easily, and that's what matters, right? Also, this guy used spreader bars rather than rollers to push the goop that develops the photos. So far all my other Polaroids have rollers. There is probably a reason for this-- the rollers probably work better, but well, I couldn't help myself. I just had to try it out. So, I'm sure there will be photos with that little guy that'll show up here soon.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Ribbons and Bottles

ribbons and glass

Little painting, inspired by the scene in my last post. A couple of weeks ago, I sat down and started sketching and painting in earnest since moving down to St. George, and this was one of my practice pieces.
I'm also working on another series, we'll see how long it takes for me to share it with the world.

Friday, September 24, 2010


promises, originally uploaded by Janelka.

I'll let you decide what kind of a spin to put on this one. Are they empty promises or do the bottles hold promise because they are empty?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

where i live

mint and sweet potato, originally uploaded by Janelka.

New home, new routines, new life. But not new like fresh from the store new. My new life is freshly pressed or overly starched. Nah. I'd compare it to a soft thrift-store sweater, but would that sound weird? The new life is comfortable, is what I'm saying.
Jon and I are coming up with our own new habits, rituals, and family activities for our new family of two.
Here is a snapshot of a little corner of a backyard, where the mints and sweet potatoes are growing into one another, pressing up against eachother, and filling in and overflowing their boundaries. It makes me happy.

Taken on my SX-70 camera, using Impossible Project's PX 70 First Flush film.

Monday, September 20, 2010

santa clara valley

santa clara valley, originally uploaded by Janelka.

On a whim, Jon and I took a lovely long walk to check out the petroglyphs in Santa Clara. There was some really fun/stunning/amusing rock art. The scenery was rather lovely, too. Jon and I tried to imagine how the ancient natives lived out there, when the climate was a little different. Jon pointed out that where the petroglyphs are, there are alcoves where you could hide from the sun or prepare meals as well as large flat rocks to lay out and sun yourself on. It painted a pretty picture in my head.

This photo was taken just after the sun ducked behind a desert mountain peak.
I used my Berkey Keystone camera, on expired Polaroid ID-UV film.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Instant Utah

bryce canyon
View From The Depths

I snapped the one above while hiking around Bryce Canyon on Sept 6th. We met a guy there who used to use a Polaroid 180, and was very intrigued by my use of instant film in this day and age. We had a good little chat and then ran into him (and his wife?) a few more times along the Navajo Trail. This picture was taken with my Berkey Keystone Everflash on ID-UV Polaroid film that expired 03/2008. Hence the color shift and corner that didn't quite work out. I love it all the more for its imperfections.

In comparison, the next two photographs below were taken on the same Everflash camera, but on Fuji 100-C film.

Grafton detail
Grafton here, send more tractors.

The ghost town of Grafton was a fun little site to walk around. Besides using my Everflash, I took photos on my Diana camera (and possibly my Holga as well). There are a handful of structures that remain standing as memory of what could have been. This was a failed pioneer project not too far from modern-day Springdale, Utah.

jon mike phil
Rock Hounds

Jon's friends Mike and Phil came in from the Cincinnati area for the wedding. When they came through the St. George area we took them to Grafton and this rock pit. Aren't we great hosts? I'm not sure what they thought of Grafton, but to be honest, they all got a kick out of our local pit. Mike LOVES rocks. He ran around with this excitement and enthusiasm that was infectious, flipping through rocks and finding a few to ship back to Ohio. I didn't quite focus on the guys too well, as the pile of dust in front of their feet is what came out crisp, but you get the general idea of what's going on, right?

on an island of my own
The Tiniest Island

I obviously didn't take this last photograph. Jon did. On my Everflash, again. And the ID-UV film. As you can see, there was a lot of fun color-shifting going on, plus it came out a little over-exposed. I love the blue shadow and how my hair looks auburn. Hmm... auburn hair. There's an idea.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Hawaiian Polaroids

In trying to decide which of my Polaroid cameras to take with me to Kauai, I kept coming back to The Reporter, and my Polaroid knock-off, a Berkey Keystone Everyflash. Both big black cameras-- the Keystone had already made some lovely images, but it is a huge brick of a thing. While The Reporter was up til then untested, it is much more compact and manageable. Ultimately, size and weight mattered when hiking. I have posted below the shots I took with my Polaroid camera, titled The Reporter. These photos remind me of the feel of each of these places more than the crisp images that Jon and I got on our digital cameras.

waimea canyon
Waimea Canyon. The Grand Canyon of Kauai. It is indeed a grand place, home to mountain goats and soaring birds and trees and a wild wind.

We were in a place where the clouds rubbed up against the mountain's edge, where they bumped, jostled, and rough-housed until they finally fell over one another and rolled over the tree tops and over the edge of the mountains themselves. . .

lawai international center

How I loved this magical, quiet, spiritual place. Whispers of hopes, wishes, and prayers nestle among the ferns and shrines that line the hillside. I couldn't help but feel peace settling down into my bones as I walked the trails of the grounds. It felt as though this sleepy, quiet, powerful place woke something in me.

This is how I'll remember these sites-- in the magical, nostalgic, slightly blown-out sepia tones of my expired Polaroid film.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Start of Something Lovely

So, I have recently obtained two old Polaroid cameras. One is a Super Shooter, and it looks like THIS. The other is a land camera, model 215, and it looks like SO. Or, if you want to look at it from the side, look HERE.

Snow Canyon, at dusk-- A Super Shooter photograph.
Snow Canyon

Cedar Breaks. Super Shooter shot.
Cedar Breaks
I love how it got all melty along the right edge. Some might call that a mistake, but I'm rather happy with it.

Desert Blossoms.
desert blossoms
The photo above, I took just outside of Jon's house with my 215.
The one below is the same subject matter a little bit later in the day taken with my Super Shooter. I decided that out of focus helped me focus on the color better. Plus, as a bonus, you still get the impression of flowers and clouds and deep blue desert sky.

Blur Blossom

And, a shot Jon took of me when we were hiking around a couple of weekends ago...
Among the Aspens
This shot was taken on my 215 up American Fork Canyon on a little side trail that we stumbled upon.

Trying to do some closer focus using my 215, I should have known better than to trust Leo to hold still. It was getting dusky, so there wasn't much light, and Leo loves to roll, so here's what I got:

Ghost Cat

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Heads up: Polaroid shots will start popping up here soon... Just as soon as I get them scanned and get to the internet again. I have a couple of old school Polaroids that I have been putting to work lately, and I'm excited about what they have been putting out.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Holga Show Opening Reception

So the opening was June 18th, and it was a lot of fun. Besides checking out the Holga Show, it was also Gallery Stroll night, so I also got to see a bunch of other art in nearby galleries.

Below are some of the photos on display. There are a few of mine in this shot. (One of them had an honorable mention. Yay.)

I had photos from my travels to Texas, Indiana, Washington, and all over Utah on display. I loved how the shots were displayed-- they were organized by subject matter/theme rather than artist, which I think made the whole thing flow quite nicely. It was also pretty cool to see how other people photographed similar images, or how many variations on one theme were shown.

partially eaten Holga cake

The amazing 3-d Holga cake. It was as delicious-tasting as it was good-looking. Also, they had this fabulous mint lemonade... mmm mmm....

The above photo is of me with M. Bryan Thompson. He is a photographer and the owner of Saans. You might notice that he had on a Holga t-shirt under his white button-up. (Also, even though it may not look like it, he's a friendly guy.)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Holga Show 2010

I didn't mean to keep this all to myself, but I submitted photos and am officially in. I heard over the phone a few days ago that some, if not all of my submissions got into the show, and then today I got word via e-mail that all nine of my photos made it in. Super exciting, right?
I'm not going to spoil your experience of seeing my stuff in the gallery by posting the shots here, so you'll have to go to the HOLGA Show yourself. The show is at the SAANS gallery in downtown SLC, and the opening reception is June 18th from 6-10pm. You're all invited and I'd love to see you there.

-- If you can't make it opening night, however, SAANS is keeping the show up and running for two months, so stop in some other time.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Little Adventures

I have been lazy in photographing my paintings lately. But I haven't been too lazy doing photography. So, here are some of my latest fun photos. They are through the viewfinder of my Kodak Duaflex II. I ran a roll of film through it, but have yet to get it developed. So, in the meantime, I've been taking photos through its viewfinder, as well as the viewfinders of my two other TLR cameras. The following photos are all from the Duaflex II, though.

1. Indian Paintbrush atop Black Rock Mountain.

2. Pines near the summit of Black Rock Mountain.

3. Jaw bone on windowsill. Discovered while walking around Eureka, Utah.

4. Ancient mining machinary in Eureka, Utah.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Analog shots from last year

Ah, the joy of analog. My Holga and now defunct Windsor have given me more fun shots. Most of these are from last year, but I only got around to developing them a few months ago. That's yet another reason for loving film cameras. I remember that I took a bunch of photos, but I don't always remember the shots in great detail, and I never know just how most of the photos will look (since I often shoot on slide film and then get it cross-processed), so when I actually get around to developing and printing these kinds of photos, I never know exactly what to expect. And therein lies the allure. Every time its an adventure.

As you scroll through these, take a moment to enjoy the vignettes along the edges (all thanks to the magic of cruddy cameras) as well as how everything gets all soft-focused the farther out from center you look. Plastic lenses make for some dreamy images. And any photos with crazy color shifts? Yep, those are cross-processed. Hope you enjoy them.

Holga photo of sandstone mesas in Zion National Park. This photo was taken just after doing Keyhole Canyon. Summer 2009.

Windsor photo taken in Indiana, on break from work. April 2009.

Windsor photo of capitol building in Indianapolis, April 2009. I loved the light when I got to this little park area. I took way too many photos just then.

Windsor photo of courthouse in Lafayette, IN. April 2009.

Lafayette, Indiana statue man. Notice the real sword in his hands. Windsor photograph, taken April 2009.

Holga photograph containing part of the statue man and his building. April 2009.

Windsor photograph of (I believe) a bank in Lafayette, IN. April 2009.

My dear little sister, days after I took her through the Subway in Zion. I believe she was fully recovered by this time. Holga photo taken September 2009.