Friday, February 27, 2009

New Works!

Wow, what can I say about this first picture, the rich colors and textures drew my eye to it right away, and in my opinion the silhouettes add such a special touch to it too. I just love it and hope you do too!

into the woods... - MoorePhotography

All of these images have so many inspiring qualities, I hope they inspire you too! I found them all by searching "POE TEAM" and you can find many other wonderful images too by clicking here.

Far Away - ferventbutterfly

High Voltage - urbandesign

moonlit night in the scary woods - enchantedpond

Moody Blooz - lisajulia

Won in the 10th - scentofraindesigns

Gluttonous Gulls - HeyHarriet

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, February 26, 2009

Focus On: futurowoman

I've got to tell you -- I love my "job" here on the POE blog. I get to meet and get to know some of the most interesting people around, and we get to talk about photography. I can't think of much better things to do, quite frankly! If futurowoman, a.k.a. Nancy Stockdale, could have her way, she'd probably have an extra set of arms and one more pair of eyes, and perhaps an Airstream trailer to follow her wherever she travels. Nancy is a prolific photographer who has mastered the use of more than several cameras. Read on to find out more about how she juggles all her equipment to create images of things you've probably seen before yet Nancy has made look unique and beautiful -- to make you say, "wow."

Ann Wilkinson: How did you get your start in photography?

Nancy Stockdale: As long as I can remember, I've been an obsessive photo-taker. I got my first camera as a child -- a Kodak Instamatic that took 110 film -- and I've never been without a camera since. However, I did not get serious about photography as an artistic pursuit until the late 1990's. At that point, I had a few online exhibitions, using photos I'd taken with automatic, vernacular 35mm and APS cameras. Then, in 2005, I got my first digital camera, a dSLR by Olympus called the Evolt 300. With that camera, I became an obsessive photographer, particularly of urban decay, vintage details and nature. Having a digital camera allowed me to shoot unlimitedly, and my composition, focus and manipulation of light began to improve. However, shooting with a digital camera reminded me of how much I actually love film, and by the end of the year, I was shooting with a variety of film cameras that are so incredibly different from digital, including the Lomo LC-A, the Holga and the Polaroid SX-70. I've never had any formal training in photography, but by the end of 2005, I began to acquire a following on art-sharing websites, such as DeviantArt, Flickr and LiveJournal. That has transitioned into brick-and-mortar gallery shows, selling prints (at my Etsy shop and elsewhere), and so on. Although I enjoy the ease and fun of digital photography, I am, by and large, an analog photographer who appreciates the otherworldly nature of what happens when light touches film.

AW: Just how many cameras do you own, and which one(s) are your favorites?

NS: I'm not exactly sure how many I own currently, but it's a lot -- around 30! All but three are analog. I do love my sSLR Evolt and my Panasonic Lumix point-and-shoots with their sweet Leica lenses. However, I simply adore shooting with fine vintage cameras, such as my Praktica FX (a beautiful East German camera from 1952) and my Rolleiflex T1, as well as plastic and toy cameras from the past, such as my Fujipet, my Diana, and my Agfa Clack. I also love, love, LOVE my Holgas! I have a few, and I use them for various things: one is my dependable Holga CFN for straight shooting, one of my Holgaroid for instant Holga photography, one is my backup Holga FN in case I want to shoot color and black-and-white at the same time, and my latest Holga is a 3-D stereoscopic cam with a special viewfinder for enjoying the effect!

I'm also a complete Polaroid junkie! My favorite Polaroid camera is my SX-70; it was a perfect camera for the peerless, and now defunct, Time-Zero film. However, I've had good results using other films with it as well, and the optics on that camera are simply wonderful. I also love shooting with my Grandmother's old Polaroid 104 Land Camera, my Polaroid Spectra System SE, and taking pinhole photos using my Daylab Polaroid pinhole camera. To top it off, I'm a Soviet-era Russian camera junkie! My Lomo LC-A is my favorite 35mm camera, and I particularly love to cross-process film shot with that elegant little device. I have several other cameras, too, including a variety of fun toys from cereal boxes and other product promotions, dollar store cameras, other Lomo-company Soviet cameras, a sweet new Black Bird, Fly camera and old Zeiss Ikonta from the 1930's...and the list goes on and on!

AW: Can you describe a typical day in the life of Nancy-the-Photographer?

NS: When I go out shooting, it's often a time set aside just for that -- exploring for photo opportunities. Because I like to take photos of everyday details, I spend a lot of time wandering the streets wherever I am, looking for something to shoot. Once I find it I then determine which camera and/or film seems best for the subject matter. Sometimes, however, an unexpected opportunity presents itself, and you have to do your best with whatever is in your hands. For me, that's the mark of a photographer -- being able to create an image using whatever tools are available, not just setting up a shot using one particular tool over another. I tend to take many pictures whenever I go out shooting, but, if I can get just one that I think is wonderful, then it's been a great day.

Lucky Four Leaf Clovers

AW: There are some photographers who don't use film at all. Perhaps they made a complete switch from film to digital, or they are so young they never experienced using it. how would you recommend someone begin to experiment with film?

NS: I think that one of the key things to keep in mind is that "perfection" is not very interesting. Film, in my opinion, is fascinating because of its potential for changing the reality of the subject and for the flaws it imposes upon the image. I honestly believe that anyone can take a "perfect" photograph given the proper high-end tools and some practice. However, what is interesting to me is the imperfection of film media and the surprises that film delivers. All film stocks are different, and they change the reality of what the photographer sees through the viewfinder, depending upon the optics of the camera, the lighting, the temperature, and the development chemicals. That is exciting and gives film photography an unpredictability that I find exhilarating!

Once a person abandons the quest for the "perfect" film photo, film becomes super-fun! Experimenting with various films, including expired films, and in various cameras allows the photographer to expand his or her repertoire exponentially. A great way to start is to invest in a few cheap cameras -- such as a plastic 35mm camera from the dollar store, a Holga that takes medium-format film, a retro manual SLR with a reliable lens, etc. -- and then just go out there and shoot! Play with focus, aperture, lighting, and give up worrying about "the rules" and see what happens. Film is a blast, so don't be scared! Abandon your ideas about what "the perfect photo" looks like, and I'm sure you'll find that perfection is found in the flaws.

Personally, I think the proof of the appeal of film is the vast number of photographers who use Photoshop and other digital editing tools to manipulate their digital photo in the quest to make them appear like film. I don't have a problem with that per se; I have used plug-ins like Alien Skin's Exposure to simulate various film stocks using digital photos. However, I wish there was more honesty about it. Fake Polaroids are particularly glaring to me. Polaroid artists can always tell the real from the fake, and it's sad to me that people who make fakes don't always come out and admit it.

AW: Do you work in the darkroom?

NS: I do not currently have a darkroom, but I do know how to develop my film, and there are pieces in my Etsy shop currently that I have developed myself. Working with instant films, especially peel-apart films, is as close as I come to photo chemicals these days. However, I've been making plans to turn the extra bathroom in my house into a darkroom, so that may happen in the near future!

Kiefer's Wing

AW: When you travel, how do you make the decision on which cameras to take with you?

NS: I am very fortunate, because my job allows me to travel relatively often. I am a university professor (of Middle Eastern history), and I attend conferences and do research in various places around the USA and the world fairly frequently. I make it a point to schedule photography-time whenever possible. If I'm traveling by car, I can take a large batch of cameras and film with me, but when I'm flying, I am forced to reduce my stash to whatever I can fit in my carry-on luggage. In that case, I make decisions based on a few criteria: (1) What are my favorite cameras? (2) Which cameras seem to fit the location, and (3) How much do I feel like lugging around in that place? Usually, I never leave for a trip without a digital camera (usually my dSLR and at least one lens for it), my Lomo LC-A, and a Holga. Often, my Polaroid SX-70 comes with me, and, if space permits, I'll bring at least one or two others, depending on the place. For example, when traveling in places that are unfamiliar to me, I prefer not to lug around a lot of flashy equipment, such as a dSLR. Instead, a cheap plastic camera, like a Holga, suits me and allows me to blend in and get a feeling for the environment. That being said, I've been known to wander urban streets and country roads with a backpack full of 5 or 6 cameras, films, lenses, etc.!

Thank you Nancy!

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, February 24, 2009

Wanderings: Where Caravaggio and Bernini Play

Oh POE! What a lucky bunch you all are! To have traveled all over the globe, interpreting the world through your lens. My envy level just shot up a few notches when I did a search for photos of Rome, Naples, and Milan. Italy is on my bucket list. I can't wait to see and feel the places where my favorite artists found there inspiration, where they lived, laughed and loved.

Which brings me to this post! I have been in love with Gian Lorenzo Bernini and Caravaggio for a long time, ever since we first met back in one of my art history classes in college. It was love at first sight! Bernini's The Ecstasy of St. Theresa still sends chills up my spine. No one could breath life into marble like Bernini. His cloth work is so billowy and fluid while it caresses the figures in his art. Michaelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, as someone stated perfectly, "put the oscuro (shadows) into chiaroscuro. The Conversion on the Way to Damascus takes my breath away! I have always been drawn to heavy contrasts in lights and darks and Caravaggio's style rocked my world!

I just started reading the book, M: The Man who became Caravaggio by Peter Robb. Caravaggio was such a troubled soul, it is sad to read of his genius being laced with such turmoil. He will always be one of my greatest painting influences. That said, I was curious to see who had been lucky enough to visit the places where two of my loves used to create art and play. Here are the gorgeous captures I found.

Fontana di Nettuno-artzyfartzyd


Milan Duomo-rebeccaplotnick

Roman Holiday-photopia

Musei Vaticani-PhotoGrunt

Pigeons in the Center of Milan-nmdphotography

Roma Antica-kbastin

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, February 23, 2009

Mosaic Monday - The Stories They Could Tell

What we do as photographers is try and tell a story from the shots we are taking. Well these shots captured by Photographers of Etsy all have quite a story to tell.

  1. Gilbert Hotel – flashframe
  2. Vacancy – jeremisavoie
  3. Motel Fine Art Photo – ljdesignphoto
  4. Kern Motel – barbaragordon
  5. The Stars – rebeccaplotnick
  6. Gardenway2 – curioush
  7. Motel – MelissaLund
  8. The Herkimer – blueeyedbadger
  9. The Starlite – LaughingDogPhoto
  10. Sleepy Hollow Motel – jenniferdennispotter
  11. Vacancy – lauri
  12. The Lincoln Hotel – artinmind
What story will you tell this week?

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, February 20, 2009

Call for Submissions - Paws For Charity Book Project‏

(Ed. note: Many thanks to talented POE member Tiffany Teske who has selected some great animal portraiture from our team to complement this post she has written!)

Sara Harley, a fellow Etsy photographer and founding member of Paws For Charity, is inviting POE Members who photograph dogs and cats to participate in a new Paws for Charity Book project.

The Origin:

Paws For Charity was created in 2006 by four Eastern Ontario entrepreneurs who owned dog-related businesses. The four women worked together to raise money for breast cancer charity. A complete article was featured on the Women Can Do Anything e-zine, and details are available here. Articles about previous Paws For Charity projects were also published in Canadian Living Magazine and Canadian Home and Country Magazine. You can also find out more about the PFC group on their blog.

The Project:

An art book compilation of photographs or paintings from up to 40 artists, featuring dogs and/or cats. (i.e., dog, cat, dog and cat, person and dog, person and cat, person and dog and cat... you get the idea).

The Specifics:

Books will be produced through an online, on demand publishing company (i.e., Blurb or something similar). Softcover, 7 x 7 inches, up to 40 pages. Online price will be set at $5 above publishing cost. Profits will be donated to a breast cancer charity. Each page of the book will have one image and will include a short bio (if possible) and contact information of the photographer or artist. Copyrights of the images will remain with the contributors.

Profits will be divided as follows:
- if under $100 annually, profits will be donated to one breast cancer charity (to be determined by majority vote of participants)
- if over $100 annually, profits will be divided proportionately by country of donations
(i.e., if 40% of sales come from US, 40% of total donation will go to a US breast cancer charity)

The Participants:

PFC is looking for up to 40 photographers and artists who are willing to contribute one jpeg file of a photo or piece of artwork featuring a dog or cat (copyright of the image remains with the artist).

The Details:

- Submit a jpeg image (resolution 300 or higher) of your art/photo via email to Sara ( with Paws For Charity as your subject line.
- Include a brief bio with your image including your name, the website or blog address you would like published in the book, and a square black and white photo of yourself.
- Contributors are encouraged to include a Paws For Charity logo on their blog and/or website with a link to the PFC blog (will be provided).
- Contributors are encouraged to post an article on their blog (if they have one) about their participation in the project.
- Contributors are encouraged (but not required) to post articles on their blog about the other participants.

The benefits:

- All participants will be listed on the Paws for Charity blog, with links to their websites or blogs.
- A separate blog post featuring each participant will be posted on the PFC blog and Sara's blog.
- Articles about the project and participants will be sent to online e-zines and hard copy magazines, and any known articles published will be communicated to all participants.
- 1 copy of the completed book will be available at cost to all participants (purchase is not required to participate).

This is a terrific project for a wonderfully worthy cause, so if you are interested in participating, send Sara a quick email ( to let her know, and hurry! Artwork and photo submissions are due by February 28, 2009. Final selection of participants will be made by Sara on or before March 6, 2009. Contributors will be selected to ensure a well balanced art book of photos and artwork.

What an inspiring reason to get those shutters clicking! Thanks for letting us know Sara, and good luck to all submitting POE members.

New Works!

For this weeks New Works article, I had been watching for pictures all week, doing searches, and browsing the Etsy forums and chat rooms too. What a wonderful group of people we have in our team. The beauty found in everyone's shops amazes me and inspires me everyday, I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as I do.

Heart of a Poppy - honeytree

Reign of Love - LoveErica

A Bird Gathering - BethPeardonProds

Black Crow Feeding - Ketzelphotography

Floating World - batfineart

Rainy Day - Hila555

Dutch Gap Industrial Beauty - gallogirlphotos

Fisherman's Canoe - southamericatraveler

Fountains of Light - eringarrisondesign

I'll Wait - xenya

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, February 19, 2009

Focus On: elephantdreams

My name is Ruth, and I cannot remember when I wasn't an artist.

Great Wall of China

How 'bout a great story that involves a challenge, travel, intrigue, art, and a bit of danger*? Sounds like a James Bond film, perhaps, or The DaVinci Code? Even better: Ruth Radcliffe of elephantdreams has a fascinating story of how she picked up a camera along with her paintbrush and created a blueprint and a song of her life -- a life full of inspiration and motivation. Now here's someone to travel with... do read on. This story, though a combination of our conversation and words from her profile in her Etsy shop, is entirely in Ruth's voice.

How It All Begins, or, Life On a Dare:

I first picked up a camera 32 years ago when some cocky Air Force flyboys said I'd never be able to use an SLR camera because I was a girl. Ah...fighting words. My first was a camera with one 50 mm lens, and with that in hand I spent the next ten years evolving into a professional photographer and darkroom instructor. After those cute flyboys (who incidentally couldn't handle (Thai hot sauce*, either) goaded me, I took over my husband's new Canon FTB and before long I knew more about it than he did. At the time, I was pregnant with my son, and travelled around Thailand quite a bit, with my new "best friend" by my side. My son always jokes that he had a "womb with a view," which was pretty accurate. Thailand took us to San Antonio where I registered for my first photography class, and I instantly fell in love. At the time I had both my Canon and a Yashica twin-lens reflex. This class was my first taste of darkroom work, and again I fell in love, so much so I bought an enlarger and set up a rudimentary darkroom in a back laundry room. It was nothing fancy, but it was a wonderful break from motherhood into creativity. I really loved the twin-lens reflex, and since I was processing all my film, it was a blast to have such a large negative.

The Next Step in the Creative Process:

Our next move was to Midland, Texas, and there I really became intimate with the camera and darkroom work at a local college. This led to a job as a darkoom technician and part-time jobs as a freelance photographer. I'll have to admit that most of my earnings went to pay for my oil paints and other art supplies. With my darkroom job I travelled with my classes all over Texas. I got into the habit of working with more than one camera at a time, and the process of making photos was sealed with a kiss and a click.

How Photography, Painting and Other Medium Work To Define One Artist:

Photography is a big influence on my work as an artist. What I saw and painted was colored by the visions through the lens, and I used photography to set up still-lifes and to see the possibilities of the scene at hand. I think the influence worked the other way as well. I was lucky to be able to take classes in just about anything artistic available. And [I was] even luckier to have a fantastic darkroom to work in whenever I needed it. I still did freelance work, but it wasn't my favorite thing because I never found it to be creative enough. But the exploration of paper and film was. I do miss not having a darkroom.

Living Abroad Enlarges The Vision:

I lived in Asia for about 4 years starting in 2000, and I was blessed to travel to so many countries... with three cameras clicking. My main problem there was the processing. I had no control of the final stage -- the printing process. I began to crop in the camera and have all my photos printed 8x12 inches. That made for an interesting experience. I long to travel back to Malaysia and Thailand, and I hopefully have a trip in the works for next year.

landsome, ACEO

Rice Fields, Bali

Transitioning from Film to Digital:

Since returning home I've been faced with the digital camera, and I admit I'm still working on it. The photographic scene had really changed by the time I returned home and film had been replaced by digital media, and darkooms became computers and software. I bought a DSLR camera, another Canon, so my lenses weren't redundant and began a very slow (and still slow) exploration of a totally new way of looking at photography. But I still had thousands of negatives. With film I knew what to expect, and with digital I'm still learning. And then there is the computer. My goals are to learn Photoshop and be able to be more creative, and with that creativity make my work translate into my vision. I'm not there yet. As for my day job, it's a combination of scanning and manipulating all my negatives and "processing them" in the computer. Between scanning I work with fiber, mosaic tile, beads and paint. I am fortunate to be able to play to my heart's content.

The Great Debate:

I have listened with great interest to debates in the Etsy forums about the validity of computer-generated images versus darkroom-generated images. A photograph always begins, no matter how it is taken, with the image. From there it begins a journey. Whether in film form or digital, it is manipulated. In the darkroom you use the enlarger, and you project it on different films or papers, use different techniques to manipulate the image, mess with chemicals, etc., you get the idea. With digital you basically do the same thing, except the palette is wider and the creativity expands into different areas. But at the end of the day, you have a manipulated image. And if you will, or want, you can describe your different processes, but in the long run it is all the same. Whether in the dark or light you have a photo from an image made with a camera.

red offering


What excites me when I take photos is color, design, patterns and repetition. This flows over into both my paintings, drawings, and mono-prints. With jewelry all of the above count, but the colors tend to be more subdued but still utilize what excites me about taking photos. I think it shows that art is interrelated no matter how it is manifested. I once did an interview, and I said I've always looked at the world the way I look through the lens. I think this is true no matter which medium I'm working in.

Dealing with Three Shops on Etsy:

As far as more than one Etsy shop, that is more complex. As you know, promotion on Etsy is really important. At the moment I'm favoring elephantdreams, because as I scan more photos, I get more excited. I'm not spending as much time working on the 2-d work in Rhadcliffedesigns. The shop I've neglected the most is my newest shop, my jewelry shop. I have so many photos to take of jewelry that I've been procrastinating adding more. The beauty of Etsy is that you don't have to spend a lot of money in starting up a new adventure. It's just easier to portray photos and other 2-d work. Plus, the other problem I see in doing more than one shop is being in the right persona at the right time. I get a little schizoid at times!

You can visit Ruth in many places: her 3 separate shops, featuring photographs, paintings/ACEOs/prints and jewelry; and, of course, her blog.

*Thai hot sauce is very, very dangerous.

Thank you Ruth!

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.