Snapshot #43 | 10 Things for 31 January 2016

Personal

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Today was a black and white photograph. #nofilter

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Currently…

1. waiting… for the perfect light.
2. playing… with new toys. And having so much fun.
3. trying… to be better with Twitter. (Again.) Hopefully, I can make the habit stick this time.
4. cursing… the weird DRM they use on library ebooks. Because why would anyone want to switch between devices when reading a book? (Also cursing particularly dumb bank fees. Because I’m getting old, apparently.)
5. listening… to Blackstar all the way through, finally. So good.
6. framing… and hanging art. ♥
7. getting… ready to start the real work on the office. First up: getting rid of the awful beige paint. (Well. No. First up is a massive decluttering operation, and packing up whatever can be packed. Then the painting starts.)
8. cleaning… out my files. I’m already in spring-cleaning mode. Up next: my closet.
9. watching… The Force Awakens. Finally. (The fangirl in me is very happy.)
10. wondering… why I find it harder to shop for myself than for (literally) anyone else.

2016 Weekly Photo Challenge: "04. Taste" | Reghan Skerry

Weekly Photo Challenge 2016 | Week #04: ‘Taste’

Photography

2016 Weekly Photo Challenge: "04. Taste" | Reghan Skerry

I love food photography. It’s one of my favourite subjects to experiment with, and something that I really want practice more. I also really love to bake (though I’m on a bit of a post-holiday hiatus at the moment), and food photography is both an excellent excuse to make food that looks amazing, and a way to play with lighting and styling techniques with a subject that looks good and doesn’t move too much.

I didn’t make these peppermint patties. And I’m not 100% happy with the picture itself (once again, I had to improvise a bit with my subject, and I’m at the mercy of the light right now). I might revisit this particular prompt later in the year. But as this challenge goes on, I’m probably going to take any opportunity I can get to take pictures of food anyway, so it might not be an issue.

Sketchbook #8 | Reghan Skerry

Sketchbook #8

Art + Craft

It’s been a couple of months since I posted one of these creative updates, so this one’s going to cover December and January—both of which felt like I didn’t really get anything done, but when I actually look back, both turned out to be pleasantly productive.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

First off… the site redesign. I’m really happy with how it’s turned out. (If you’re reading this via email or RSS or whatever, and haven’t seen the new site… please, come take a look!) I’m still working on bits and pieces of it—and the ‘Photography’ section in particular is still very much a work in progress while I sort through years of pictures—but I’ve finished most of the minor tweaks.

I think.

Speaking of photography… that’s actually where most of my creative energy has been going for the last two months. Of course, there’s the Weekly Photo Challenge, which has managed to actually be a challenge, and is pushing me in just the ways I’ve needed. And there’s a second, daily, photo project I’ve been working on since the beginning of the year (I’ll probably talk about that later, but I’m not certain when). And… I’ve had some of my photos (a couple of the Montréal pictures) printed. Which really shouldn’t be a big deal (I grew up shooting film, and getting my pictures printed all the time), but it kind of is. I—like a lot of people—tend to leave my digital photos on the computer, and never really see them unless it’s on a screen. Which is a mistake. I’m really happy with the prints, and, more importantly, so is the person who got them for Christmas. 😀

That’s the big stuff. Since the year began, I’ve been easing back into drawing (which got lost in the shuffle around Christmas), which has been… ok… and I’ve started working on The Steal Like an Artist Journal. That’s been better. (I have more thoughts on it than just “that’s been better,” but I’m only really getting into it now, and it feels too early to go into detail. I’ll have more to say when I get further into it.)

Like I said: it hasn’t felt like the most productive two months, and I’m still kind of reeling from losing one of my most important creative heroes. But despite everything—and despite the month-long existential and creative crisis that always hits me in January—I’m happy with the work I’ve been doing, and I’m starting to get excited about what I’m going to be doing in the next few months.

2016 Weekly Photo Challenge: "03. Soft Light" | Reghan Skerry

Weekly Photo Challenge 2016 | Week #03: ‘Soft Light’

Photography

2016 Weekly Photo Challenge: "03. Soft Light" | Reghan Skerry

It’s a good thing there’s so much to love about this apartment, because the light can be terrible for photography. All but one of the windows are on one side, and with so many trees around interfering with the light that does get in, it’s really difficult to shape the light the way I sometimes want to. Add to that the builder-beige walls (that tint all the light that bounces off them an unfortunate peachy-yellow) and the shorter winter days (which do help with the trees—no leaves to deal with—but give me a very narrow window of opportunity between no light at all and DIRECT SUN STREAMING THROUGH EVERY WINDOW) and… yeah. It’s a challenge.

This isn’t the photo I had planned for this week’s prompt (“soft light”). That photo involved a thirty-minute setup and a rather precarious stack of magazines, and it still didn’t work. The light just wasn’t right, and the more time that passed while I tried to get it right, the harder my shadows were getting.

Not every prompt is going to result in a photo that’s particularly good, or even interesting.

And that’s fine.

There’s a new challenge tomorrow.

Snapshot #42 | 10 Things for 17 January 2016

Personal

Currently…

1. rebuilding… my routines. Slowly. (And, let’s face it—this week was one big speed bump.)
2. figuring… out the giant painting that I’ve been planning… pretty much forever. I think it’s starting to make sense to me now.
3. feeling… gutted. Still.
4. sorting… through a lot of meaningless fluff to find the information I need.
5. thinking… about next-steps and long term plans.
6. wondering… if I should dye my hair again. I’m tempted. I don’t even know what colour I’m thinking about, just that I’m bored.
7. waiting… for the new Suede album. I really need this right now.
8. daydreaming… about Copenhagen. Not sure why, but I’ve bumped it up a few notches on my ‘to visit’ list.
9. rereading… Make Good Art. I’d been planning to anyway, just as a refresher, but… yeah. Again: I needed it this week.
10. breaking… out the heavy-duty winter coat. A little depressing, but it’s January, so…

2016 Weekly Photo Challenge: "02. Leading Lines" | Reghan Skerry

Weekly Photo Challenge 2016 | Week #02: ‘Leading Lines’

Photography

2016 Weekly Photo Challenge: "02. Leading Lines" | Reghan Skerry

Two weeks in, and I’m already taking cat pictures!

This might be one of the most difficult photos I’ve ever taken. Lucy’s getting a bit better now, but she’s still nearly impossible to take a decent photo of—she doesn’t leave the room as soon as she sees the camera (anymore), but she will walk away almost as soon as it’s pointed in her direction. And in this case, I had a very specific picture in mind (because, well, I am trying to work with a prompt, here), and that never works with her. She doesn’t pose, and if you try to get her to sit in a specific place, she immediately gets suspicious.

I’m frankly amazed that she sat still long enough to get this shot.

David Bowie: Aladdin Sane

Heroes

Personal

 

There aren’t many people I think of as personal heroes. There are people I like, whose life or work I admire, but they’re still just… people to me.

David Bowie has always been one of my heroes.

One of my clearest childhood memories is of staring at the cover of my father’s copy of ‘Aladdin Sane’, equal parts fascinated and frightened and not quite sure why. When I was seventeen, I fell in love with ‘Little Wonder’ (as much the video—and again, that feeling of being fascinated and unsettled at the same time—as the song itself), and started diving into the back catalogue. I never came out. I spent this past weekend looking forward to today, when I’d finally have the time to listen to ‘Blackstar’ without distraction.

I want to say more. Maybe I will, when it hurts less. But, for now, I’ll just repeat what I said on Twitter this morning: I didn’t realize until now that there was a part of me that truly believed that David Bowie would live forever.

2016 Weekly Photo Challenge: "01. Fresh" | Reghan Skerry

Weekly Photo Challenge 2016 | Week #1: ‘Fresh’

Photography

2016 Weekly Photo Challenge: "01. Fresh" | Reghan Skerry

I didn’t really expect the first photo of my 52-week project to be such a challenge. When I’d put together my list of prompts, I was careful about choosing things for the first few weeks that I knew I could do: prompts that I already had ideas for, so I wouldn’t find excuses to stop before I even started.

I had a few thoughts in mind for “fresh…” and, when the week came, it was obvious that none of them were really going to work. There was no crisp, new-fallen snow in the forecast. Nothing that symbolized a new year. I haven’t even bought a calendar yet. (I’m picky.)

So I was forced to improvise, and, in a way, I’m glad. I’m happy with the way the first photo of the project turned out. And even happier with some of the outtakes—they don’t quite fit the prompt as well as this one does (they’re darker and more… wintry, I suppose), but I really like them, and I’ll share them soon.