Friday, January 30, 2009

New Works!

I'm filling in for Pam today for the POE blog weekly New Works! I decided to check out some of our team's latest items featuring bright colors (as I am trying to not get too down about the incessant cold weather). Here are some of my favorites:

Lemon's Excursion - eleanors
(love the photo and the title!)

Luscious Cherry - LibertyImages

Many Colors, All the Same - jesspeterson

Chinese Bikes and purple tarp - elephantdreams

Leave a Message - weberphoto

Lucie Wicker is a Boston, Massachusetts-based photographer who enjoys taking pictures wherever she goes. She is particularly interested in nature, landscape and travel photography. Her work can be viewed on her website, blog or in her Etsy shop.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thinking of... rain

(Ed. note: Let's all wave a virtual hello to the talented Kay Hulbert aka soundslikerain, a new member of our POE blog writing team!)

Since the weather has been so miserable here in sunny old England I thought it would only seem right if I made a feature on something we're all using a lot lately, umbrellas!

Umbrellas by prettypetalstudio

the Boardwalk by NestaUsa

Summer Dreams by Kristybee

Beach Umbrella by Daydreamers

Little Green Umbrella by Bueller

Praying for Rain by Appledale

Beach Bird and Umbrellas by AliciaBock

Kay Hulbert is a self-taught photographer from the depths of Somerset, England. She discovered her love for photography in 2005 and has not stopped snapping pictures since. She likes nothing more than finding new locations and concepts to photograph. You can say hello to Kay on her blog, view her online portfolio here, and visit her Etsy shop there.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Focus On: alwaysartistic

Hidden Treasure

Regular readers here already know Pam Hardy. She's a regular contributor to the POE blog, and she's also a very enthusiastic supporter of all the members of the Photographers of Etsy. It seems natural to want to get to know Pam better, especially because she lives in very wintery Alberta, Canada, and has a beautiful tropical bird, a sun conure named Jessie, who is the subject of many of Pam's photographs in her Etsy shop. Our talk started with Pam's intense relationship with animals....

Oh Deer

Ann Wilkinson: You show a lot of artistic sides of yourself, in your shop, your website, but what immediately strikes me is your incredible love for animals. Tell us about your relationship with them and what inspires you to use them as your photographic subjects.

Pam Hardy: My love of animals started at 9 or 10 years old when we received a Burmese kitten as a gift. I had severe allergies, so I hadn't had animals before. We gave her a bath every week, and she didn't bother my allergies -- I just loved her. But the apartment where we were living decided on a no-pet policy, and we had to find another home for her. I tried adopting more kittens after her, but my allergies just couldn't handle them, and I couldn't tolerate other animals either. Then when I was 14 I bought my first budgie, and then got more budgies and finches until I had 13 birds! I was hooked, but it was all too much for me. I had to find homes for all of them, but I was a bird lover by this time. My mom suggested a Sun Conure. Well, looking at their beauty, I was hooked.

After a year of researching parrots, in the summer of 2001 I welcomed my bird, a male Sun Conure named Jessie James, into my home.

AW: Jessie James is a beautiful bird. Tell us about him (I've never had a bird as a pet), and how do you get him to pose for your photos?

PH: I have always loved cameras and taking pictures, so when Jessie came he was like my baby. Parrots live a long time, and since he was only a few months old, I wanted to remember his baby days, so I started taking "portraits" and I started a scrapbook for him.

I used fabric as backdrops, and I used props. And I just said, "Smile," talking to him softly so he wouldn't get scared, and he never minded the camera. Now, almost 8 years later, I just tell him to smile, and he poses most of the time. Jessie is extremely tame, and he is my best friend -- I love him so much.

AW: That's a great story, Pam. It's so cool how Jessie loves working with the camera. The image of him being showered with water is really great. How did you do that one in particular?

PH: I had Jessie on my arm, and as I was giving him his shower, I kept setting the timer on my camera over and over -- it was sitting on a tripod.

AW: How did you get into photography?

PH: I had very cheap cameras as a kid. When I was 19 I bought my first expensive camera, a 35mm film camera, and fell in love. A few years later I saved up and bought a digital camera, and last year I got my DSLR! I just love taking pictures and experimenting with different ideas. I also love editing images and experimenting with digital art using my photography.

AW: Can you describe a perfect day with your camera?

PH: It's usually a day off from work, spring weather, and a long walk taking pictures. I had a lot of fun at the greenhouses I visited last spring, and I took a few trips to the lakes and rivers around here. I also had a lot of fun when I got lost on a trail and had to walk 12 kilometers!

Pam's "lost" adventure

AW: Well, you got some great photos from your adventure. So, does photography have any relationship with your "day job"?

PH: No, unfortunately it doesn't. I work in a retail store.

AW: Pam, you mention you do web design and graphic design as a hobby. Obviously, you've got a lot of talent in that area, from your website, blog, and the like. Do you ever see this as a career option for yourself?

PH: Thank you! I design and maintain my own websites as well as a few others, and I help out with some blogs. I love to design them, but I haven't taken any courses on the subject. I just play around until I learn how to do what I want to do. I don't think I would do it as a career; it's more of a hobby for me. I started getting interested in designing websites after running Yahoo groups. My first website was one I created about 7 years ago about my bird, Jessie. It was very basic at first. Since then I've had a lot of fun creating other sites. I also love to create digital art, edit videos, create slideshows and much more.

Marigold Season
AW: Yes, there's always a risk of no longer loving what you do if it moves from a hobby to a job! Tell us a bit more about the digital art you create. What program(s) do you use?

PH: I just love to take the pictures from my camera and turn them into bits of art! I use Microsoft Paint to edit around the edges in fine detail, and I also use a variety of other programs such as Paint Shop Pro Photo XI, which I absolutely love. I also have Kodak Easy Share and Ulead Photo Impact 11.

One of my favorite pieces of art is "Jessie & Lilies". For this one I edited a photo of Jessie and edited a different picture of some lilies, plus I edited a third picture of the sky using Microsoft Paint. I put them together and tweaked it a bit. Then I used Kodak Easy Share to turn it into a cartoon.

Thank you Pam!

A world traveler and self-taught photographer, look for Ann wandering around city streets and tromping through woods and hiking trails with her camera. After owning an international transportation business for many years, Ann has found her creative spirit again through the lens. See more at Ann's shop and her website.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Wanderings: Xīn nián kuài lè! (Happy New Year!)

(Ed. note: Let's all extend a warm welcome to Michelle Campbell-Zurek, the creative mind behind Urban Junkies and a new member of the POE blog writing team!)

I'm on the prowl searching through all of the lovely POE shops and stalking each and every one of you! It is amazing to see all of the wonderful talent that exists in this group. All of the unique perspectives conveyed in one perfect little box full of colors, light and imagination.

Chinese Temple - ModernClassicsPaper

I love travel photography and it is great to see the many interpretations of the world we live in. From sunny glossy beaches and haunting landscapes to spice jars and trinkets from distant lands, each POE member speaks their own language through their work.

This Wall is Great - LittlePetal

A Sip of China - LazyFish

For my first travel post in the "Wanderings" series, I thought it would be great to do one celebrating Chinese New Year. 2009 is the Year of the Ox. The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. The festival begins on January 26, 2009, the first day of the first lunar month, and it ends on the 15th day with the Lantern Festival.

My mom is from Taiwan so for me, Chinese New Year is a time for red packets of money (hung bao), dragons, lanterns, firecrackers and delicious red bean cakes. While searching through the POE collection, I found several beautiful images that remind me of this holiday.

Chinatown Cats - poofny

Happy Dragon - mrrojasphoto

Chinese New Year Kuala Lumpur - elephantdreams

Chinese New Year Cards-Year of the Ox - eyeshoot

And to help ensure you will have a happy and prosperous new year, keep these facts in mind!
  • Air out your house -- open the windows & doors to bring in Good Luck.
  • It's ok, grab that cupcake! Eat sweets to ensure a "sweet" year.
  • Stomp those haters -- wear a new pair of slippers bought before the new year so you can step on the people that gossip about you.
  • Never mind the housework -- it's bad luck to sweep your floors on the first day. It will sweep away good luck & fortune!
  • Don't list photos in groups of 4 -- in Chinese, the pronunciation of the number 4 is very similar to the word for "death", so don't offer anything in fours.
  • Appreciate nature! Grab one of each:

Pink Velvet-eleanors
(Peach Blossoms = Luck)

Mum in White-lawatha
(Chrysanthemums = Longevity)

(Sunflowers = to have a good year)

And of course, don't forget the lucky bamboo!


Michelle Campbell-Zurek is an artist/photographer from the east coast who is wide-eyed and smitten with the crazy town called L. A. When not on a quest to capture light and stop time, she can be found painting and ingesting gobs of sweets & tea. All are welcome to stop by the Urban Junkies Artist Lounge, as well as Michelle's photography shop, art shop and website.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Mosaic Monday: Orchids

Having grown up in Colorado, I remember my mother trying to grow orchids in our basement under grow lights. Since they never really did very well I couldn't figure out what the big deal was. Now living in Florida and having spent hours photographing them, I now understand why she worked so hard to grow some of her own. But not only do I see their beauty, so do the Photographers of Etsy.

  1. Purple Orchid – BarkingOwls
  2. Orchid – FromMyEye
  3. Orchid Debut – futurowoman
  4. Orchid Family – barefootphotos
  5. Spotted Orchid – Aztek721
  6. Elegance – littlesparrowsnest
  7. Dangle Orchid – JMcGuinness
  8. Sepia Orchid Cyan – ketzelphotography
  9. Rapture Original – evesimone
  10. I See You Black and White – HannaPhotos
  11. Orchid Lavendar – VisualsbyLovena
  12. Pure – 12Step
Make sure you take time to see our everyday beauty.

Mosaic Mondays are compiled by
Patti Meyer. Patti is an award winning graphic artist who resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. See her photography collection at her shop right here.

Friday, January 23, 2009

New Works!

I chose these first two images because where I live the weather is very cold right now and they remind me how much I love the winter season. All of the images are beautiful and I hope you enjoy them as much as I do! Check out the "Photographers of Etsy Street Team" for more inspiring Talent!

Winter Vigil - batfineart

On the Fence - ara133photography

Haleakala House Of The Sun - iliahi

Sky Follows Road - AnnWilkinson

Burning Sun - Paintedwithlight

Presence - karencaseysmith

New Works is compiled by Pam Hardy. Pam lives in beautiful Alberta, Canada. She has always been fascinated with cameras and has been taking pictures most of her life. Her favorite things to photograph are flowers and animals, and she enjoys experimenting with new subjects and techniques. See Pam's website here and her shop right here.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Tips and Tricks: Your Most Important Piece of Equipment

The following is one of the tips that Mason Resnick, a photographer and editor of the Adorama Imaging Resource Center, contributed to the 100 in 100 feature on the Adorama website. We've peppered Mason's points with a few fine examples from some of our team members.

Science - lightleaks

Nowadays, sophisticated cameras offer many options. We are dazzled by artificial intelligence-based metering, exposure focusing, and autofocus. We have long-reaching zoom lenses, face recognition, fast burst rates and seemingly infinite image storage on cards that have so much space our "shots left" readouts say 999 because our cameras don't have enough digits to reflect our 16MB memory cards' capacity. We have image sharing web sites with millions of photos, and tens of thousands of new images added daily.

And yet, one of the most successful photographers of the 20th century, Henri Cartier-Bresson, had a single camera--a Leica rangefinder--and a 50mm lens. He didn't even have a light meter. He shot black-and-white film, hand-holding for every frame. He stopped every 36 exposures to rewind and reload. He had to wait until that night or the next day, or perhaps longer, to process the negatives, make contact sheets and study them with a magnifying loupe to see the results. And with that simple set-up, he built a body of work that would influence generations of photographers and help to define photojournalism.

What piece of equipment did HCB use that we should use more?

To the Last Drop - Paintedwithlight

acrobat - emporium51

In these days of technical marvels, we tend to forget to use our brains. A camera can't compose, see how colors, light and shape interact, and yet we rely on its sophistication to "take great pictures" for us when all it is capable of doing is making a technically correct exposure. It's up to us to modify exposure to fit a mood or situation, find a good place for the camera relative to the subject, and decide what to include within the frame, and what to leave out. What was HCB's most important piece of equipment? His brain, of course!

Fuzzy - EverydayKumquat

Milling About - ELBfoto

So whether you're using the latest high-end DSLR, a sub-$100 compact, or an old all-manual film camera, don't forget that the most valuable piece of equipment you own is sitting there, right between your ears.

Use it wisely.

Yellow Walls, Morocco - PPDesigns