Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wandering Eye

This time out finds me submitting the current edition of this series while sitting very near the center of the city where the Renaissance began, Florence, Italy.  I am in a hotel room overlooking the Piazza Santa Maria Novella, which is but a short walk from the center of town and the Cathedral Di Santa Maria Del Fiore on the Piazza Del Duomo.  So, with that being said, how could I, in all good conscience, let the Wandering Eye settle on anything but Florence, Italy?  I couldn't, so...

Ponte Vecchio - littledarkone

Graffiti on Via delle Ruote - dhunting

Ponte Vecchio Evening - Celticcatphotos

San Lorenzo, Florence - JoannBristol


Florence - stephmel

Cappelle medicee - DreambyDay

Florence cathedral - DreambyDay

Light in the Balance - PhotoGrunt

Gelateria Lorenzo - PhotoGrunt

Campanile di Giotto - ItalianPop


"Wandering Eye" is also "PhotoGrunt" and Steve Raley, a photographic documentarian from Seattle, Washington.  He captures images wherever he goes, and he  frequently even uses a camera.  His work can be seen on his websiteblog and his Etsy shop.

Friday, February 18, 2011

You're invited to join the Kiva16 team...

Mary Louise of mlmxoxo would like to tell our team about the Kiva 16 Team.

Kiva16 is an international community of Etsians who value our participation in the marketplace and who would like to afford other artists, artisans and entrepreneurs around the world the same opportunity. Working together and through, we can go beyond our good intentions, and they can actualize their dreams and secure their futures.

Kiva's mission is to connect people, through lending, for the sake of alleviating poverty.

Kiva empowers individuals to lend to an entrepreneur across the globe. By combining microfinance with the internet, Kiva is creating a global community of people connected through lending.

To learn more please visit the Kiva16 team here and the website here.

You can visit this beautiful treasury she created here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Focus On: TheLittleRooster

Dreaming Of Urban Oasis

Perhaps you're familiar with "TheLittleRooster", perhaps not.  I first came into contact with Marcela, whom I've always called simply, "Rooster" on the POE forum a couple of years ago.  She's a very nice, talented and well liked person, whom I'm happy to call one of my friends here on Etsy.  I hadn't been contact with Marcela for some time, then recently I had a chance to talk with her; I'd like to share our conversation with you now.

Steve: The first thing that I usually want to know about a photographer whose work I admire is, “Where is this person coming from?” So Marcela, my first question to you is really a statement built around a set of questions. Tell us a bit about yourself; where do you come from? What’s your family like? What do you do when you’re not creating images? Who is Marcela?

Marcela: My name is Marcela Gallo and I’m 24, almost 25 years old. I am from Peru and I grew up here and went to school here. For my college years, I went to Austin, Texas, which I now call my second home, as I spent 6 and ½ years there and also became an American citizen. My college degree is Urban Studies; at first I planned on doing that as a Bachelor and then doing Architecture as a Master. But of course, you know what happens when you make plans… life mixes things around for you. After school, I worked for an architect for almost two years and began to discover more things about myself, like how much I enjoyed photography, to the point I didn’t want it to be only a hobby.

Currently, I’m back in Peru seeing what job opportunities there are, building connections with different
people (it’s all about connections here), planning on doing a short photography career (1 year) and hoping to discover what I’m meant to do in this world.

The Railroad Tracks Series

My family is peculiar, I have two younger brothers, Cesar David, who’s 23 and David Cesar, who’s 22. I’m 24. My dad’s name is also Cesar David, so was my grandfather (of course we only call them by their first name). My dad is a retired Air Force General from Peru, so all our lives we’ve had a pretty strict education, especially me because I’m the oldest and the girl, haha. My mom stopped working in order to raise us, and she’s a wonderful person whom I’m very close with. My mom and brothers are still in Austin. My dad goes back and forth. I miss them very much. Oh, by the way, my mom’s name is Marcela Liliana… just like me. I wonder what they would have named my sister if I had had one… any guesses?

And just to answer your question on ‘who is Marcela’ I’m an adventurous person who loves to laugh and meet people of all ages, because I think one can learn a little bit from everybody. You’ll most likely always see me smiling, although I do acknowledge that I have an Aries little mood that can come out if I sense injustice, lies, etc. I love animals very much; sometimes I think Veterinary Medicine would have been another one of my passions. The list of things I can’t get enough of in this life is endless… but I’ll put a few: music, travel, nature, cultures, art, film, cities, etc. Lastly, things I always thank God for: my family, my friends, my home, my health, my opportunities, and good people in this world.

S: What was it that drew you to photography? When and where did you get your start? Have you had formal training or are you self taught?

M: At first, I thought my interest in photography arose during the last 4 years, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that photography has fascinated me since I was a young girl. I remember my first camera was a pink Barbie camera, one of those flat elongated ones with the flash on the side. I also remember being very organized with my negatives, and labeling them all so I could later go back and print the pictures I wanted. I also loved to fill picture albums and write the captions under each photo. Somehow, in small ways, a future passion of mine was evolving. It was when I went to Texas, that I became more enthusiastic about it.


During our family trips to South Padre Island, I would ask my mom for her camera all the time and take pictures of the sunset, seagulls, boats, etc. Around the same time, I bought a small album in which I was going to place what I thought were my best pictures. The pictures from that particular album were all from a Canon EOS film camera, which I later declared mine, since my parents had a new digital Canon camera (the South Padre one). I think it was the following Christmas, that they bought a Nikon CoolPix for me, my first digital camera. And from then, I just became more and more fascinated.
So far, I haven’t had formal training. I’ve have learned what I know so far thanks to the internet and also to some tips a friend of mine gave me. I do think formal training can help perfect the knowledge that I have and also teach me to use photography in several interesting ways.

S: It really sounds like you were quite the budding photographer, just trying to break out of your chrysalis!

Do you ever get that "itch" to shoot something, and what do you do to scratch that "itch"?

M: Yes, of course, I think that “itch” is part of what makes one realize how much they like photography. That itch can come at anytime, anywhere. Unfortunately, I don’t always have my camera with me because in Lima one has to be more careful with it depending on the area. But yes, I can get that itch by noticing a person’s unique expression, or a certain way the light is hitting a surface, or when I see that a group of elements look poetic put together. Many times I do the little ‘finger frame’ and say, “I wish I had my camera to snap this moment.” If I do happen to be carrying my camera, I take it out immediately, always. I also LOVE LOVE LOVE to take an ordinary object that people may ignore daily and create a picture where this object obtains a new interesting appearance thanks to the photo composition, colors, etc.

S: What draws your eye; what inspires you? Do you do a lot of preparation for your shoots, or do you rely on serendipity and happenstance?

M: I think serendipity and happenstance are what define most of my photos. If I take my camera somewhere, I don’t usually go with a plan in mind. At most, I choose a certain place or spot, in which I want to take pictures, but I always find there are lots of surprises and I end up taking more photos than I'd thought I would. A particular subject I like is ‘clouds,’ I love how different they can be and the variety of color combinations you can get depending on the sky. It’s something I miss terribly from Texas. Another thing that draws my eye is a city, especially old ones full of history and traditions; when I went to Austria I couldn’t stop taking pictures.

The Mysterious Door

When it comes to inspiration, I feel it differently all the time. It can be a moment in time, or the ‘itch’ we talked about. It’s a rush of inspiration that I feel instantly when something catches my attention. Other times, it can be someone else’s work, especially the kind you see in photography competitions, which broadens one’s photography ambitions.

S: What photographer(s) do you admire most and how have they influenced what you do?

M: Wow what a tough question. You know, there are so many talented photographers that it’s very hard for me to say “this person is my favorite,” especially because each one has a different style and it’s so unique sometimes, that you can’t compare two. What I’m going to do is give you the names of some photographers I’ve found over the last years, and whose work I really admire. The way they usually influence me is by deepening my urge to learn more and to experiment differently with a particular subject. Let me start with the oldest one, Philippe Halsman. I love his surreal images and the way he captured a person’s character in a photo.

Carmen Gonzales has a very soft and romantic style (; there’s something captivating in every picture.
Jeff Friesen’s natural landscapes are amazing, as well as the rest of his work (

Amanda Jones has a job that maybe one day I’d love to have; she photographs pets and other animals and the photos are fun and unique (

Victor Eredel has a little bit of everything (; I can’t decide which of his albums I like best.

And Steve McCurry’s portraits are breathtaking. Each one speaks to you so profoundly. Two links for him:

Under The Congress Bridge

Here are a few posts that I recommend:

Becoming a Photographer:

A familiar question:

Inspiration and Intuition

So Steve, there you have, some of my favorites :) I’m sure I’ll continue to find more. It’s impressive.

S: So, having graduated from the pink Barbie camera, to the Canon EOS film camera, to the Nikon CoolPix, what's in your camera bag these days?

M: My camera bag is still somewhat simple, but as soon as I save enough, I’m buying more gadgets and I plan on collecting old cameras as well! I still have my EOS film camera and my Nikon CoolPix point-and-shoot. Then I have a Canon 30D, a 50mm Canon lens, and an 18-55mm Canon zoom lens. I’d really like to get a wide angle lens, possibly the 10-22mm, a macro lens, and a telephoto one; that aside of another Canon Camera :) heheBut for now, I can’t complain. Like I’ve heard others say… a photograph doesn’t depend on the equipment, but on the photographer and his/her eyes, right Steve?

S: I believe you're absolutely correct. In my estimation, the equipment is but a tool, an extension if you
will, of the photographer and her/his vision and imagination. Additional equipment is nice though, and not only can it be fun to play with but can help expand the photographer's technical capacities.

So, Marcela, what does the future hold for you and photography? Where are you taking it? Where is it taking you?


M: It’s still a bit uncertain. I would love to be able to combine the degree I already have (Urban Studies) and Photography. I saw that in London, they offer a Masters in Photography and Urban Cultures. When I read that, I immediately thought it was a Masters made for me. Who knows, maybe I’ll make it to London eventually. For now, I plan on doing a ‘Photography Short Career’ here in Lima; it lasts one year. I have so much to learn and I think that is a good start. There is still something important for me to figure out: which photography path is best for me. Is it Urban Photography? Perhaps Pets? Or maybe I can take more than one :)

One of my “dreams,” to put it that way, is to travel around Peru and compile a book with the best photos, maybe even make journals, bookmarks, cards, etc. My ideas overwhelm me sometimes, but I’m hoping I’ll find my answers in the course of experiences yet to come. All I know is photography will always be part of who I am.

S: Marcela, thank you so much for taking this time to talk with me, I've enjoyed it very much and it's so cool getting to know more about you! I wish you much success going forward!

M: It was a pleasure. And thank you for taking the time to dig a little into POE’s lives. Your interviews
allow us to answer ourselves questions we hadn’t had the chance to write down. Thanks again, Steve.

Texas Capitol Dome


"Wandering Eye" is also "PhotoGrunt" and Steve Raley, a photographic documentarian from Seattle, Washington.  He captures images wherever he goes, and he  frequently even uses a camera.  His work can be seen on his websiteblog and his Etsy shop.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wandering Eye


Which is more important, the destination or the journey?  Are they maybe different parts of the same thing?

Always remember and never forget, no matter where you go, there you are.

Cool Springs Red - ljdesignphoto

Wanderer - davita

Twinkie postcard - curioush

Road Signs - DavidLangley

True North Strong and Free - reflectionsoflight

Post Alley, Seattle - dhunting

middle of the road - saramontour

The Homecoming - soloaperture

Snowy Train Station - SarahSloboda

Golden Gate Bridge - SeaLilyStudio


"Wandering Eye" is also "PhotoGrunt" and Steve Raley, a photographic documentarian from Seattle, Washington.  He captures images wherever he goes, and he  frequently even uses a camera.  His work can be seen on his websiteblog and his Etsy shop.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Our POE Team promo threads have moved...

Some of you may have visited the Etsy forums today and noticed that our current week's promo thread was closed. Etsy is currently moving all team activities to the team page forums.

If you are not a member of our team page you will have to apply before being able to interact with other members in our team forums. To apply, or to find our new team promo thread as well as other threads in our forums, click here.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

On the Contrary - Looking Up / Looking Down

This is normally the time when I would show off some of POE’s best abstract and manipulated photos for the monthly Mind’s Eye post.  However, I am starting off a new post today, “On the Contrary”.  The theme is opposites and today's prompts are Looking Up and Looking Down.  Enjoy.
Left: PhotoGrunt "Trier Cobblestones".  Right:  AriaImages "Ascend"

Anika lives in TN with her baby, husband, and two naughty cats. She loves taking photos every moment of every day.  Anika shares her photography in her shop, on her blog, and invites you to collaborate.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

February Slideshow Reminder...

It's already February 3rd and Taryn has not received any images for the February slideshow. The details are below...

The theme is "The Heart Wants, What The Heart Wants"

Some ideas are what do you love, crave, or can't live without.

Maximum 2 images.

Please use your shop name for your images.
Example: would be FromMyEye.jpg

More than one image submission:

Images should be at least 5x7 and 72dpi.
Please email images to: Taryn at

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Focus On: HeyHarriet

Gluttonous Gulls

This time out I'm focusing on "HeyHarriet", and as you might guess, Harriet is not her's Tracy.

I first encountered Tracy on the POE forum, and the most notible thing for me was her avitar, the seagulls looking into her camera lens.  Not only did I find it captivating, but it reminded me (and still does) of the classic Red Skelton bit "Gertrude and Heathcliff, the Two Seagulls".  If you're not familiar with this obsure reference, and chances are you're not, I have one word for you, "Google".

Anyway, I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Tracy, and I'd like to share that with you now.

Steve:  In order to know more about who a person is, I believe it's useful to learn about what came before; so, Tracy, what can you tell us about your early years? You know, where are you from? What was it like growing up? What's your family situation? What are some of the pivotal points along life's winding path that brought you to where you are today?

Tracy:  My early years were spent growing up in a burb of Brisbane (Queensland, Australia). Brisbane is situated in the middle of two of the most lovely beach areas, the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast so I fondly remember most of my childhood family holidays being spent at one or the other. Also many weekends. It was a childhood consisting of a lot of sun, surf and sand which is typical of most childhoods in Queensland. My younger brother to this day is an avid surfer.

My father has always been a nature and animal loving hippy gardening type. Animals of many kinds were always a big part of our family and so were fresh fruit and vegies from the garden. My mother was a writer. Not a famous published writer, but an obsessive writer none the less. Mum would write on any surface available to her. Her favourite medium being the walls of our house. Dad being the easy going laid back hippy type would calmly go about painting over the walls, continually giving mum a fresh canvas to work on. Creatively they made a great team. Mum would write and dad would paint.

Espresso Cups

There were also many cameras around our home and they were my most favourite toys. I’d constantly be playing with them and rarely would be seen out playing with my friends without a camera around my neck. Snapshots of my neighbourhood friends goofing around decorated my bedroom walls. In the spaces that my mum hadn’t written on at least.

As for pivotal points along life’s path that brought me to where I am today I’m not quite sure how to answer. I don’t know where I am today. By that I mean I don’t know where I sit in the great scheme of things. I am what I am, and what I am is a culmination of all I’ve experienced in my life. The good, the bad and the ugly. I wish I had a more coherent and poignant answer for that question because it’s a really good question.

S:  So, Tracy, why "HeyHarriet"? Who's "Harriet"? What's the reference?

T:  It’s a musical reference of sorts. When I decided to open an Etsy shop I sat down with a pen and paper (yes I am a little old fashioned in that I like to use pen and paper) to jot down ideas for names. I wanted to use the name of a person but not my own name because it’s rather bland. I was listening to a CD at the time by a band called The Sundays. The lead singer of that band is called Harriet. And I thought to myself “Hey Harriet” and there you have it. That’s as far as the list went. One entry. It may well have been very different had I been listening to an Engelbert Humperdinck CD. I could now be going by the name “Hey Humperdinck” Thankfully I’ve never owned any Engelbert Humperdinck CDs.

S:  I like that sort of obscure reference; well done!

You talked about your family a moment ago; how do you fit in? Do you surf? Do you write? Do you love animals, the environment and hippy garden? What's your claim to free-spirit fame?

Diana Camera

T:  “Girls don’t surf!” (a silly quote from an old aussie surf culture film called Puberty Blues). That quote is way off the mark by the way because there are some great women surfers. I’ve never been one of them.

Writing was once something I was passionate about many years ago and I was fortunate enough to have a few of my short stories published, but then I lost enthusiasm for it. I’ve not lost enthusiasm for the written word though. I love books and I love reading and I’m sure that will never change. And another thing I love are animals and they’ve continued to be a big part of my life since childhood. My dog Sophie of thirteen years sadly passed away last year and I’ve been pet-free since then which still feels very odd; however I do have an abundance of wildlife surrounding me. Kookaburras, cockatoos, galahs, lorikeets and a variety of other birds are regular visitors to my home. My feathered friends have presented me with some fun photo opportunities for which I’m grateful for.

As for gardening, unfortunately I didn’t inherit my dad’s green thumbs, although I do have grand plans for the garden. I moved into the house I’m currently living in early last year and it’s the first time I’ve had such a huge outside space to work with. I envision a garden filled with bountiful fruit trees, a tranquil courtyard area under the huge sycamore tree in back yard, multiple overgrowing vegetable and herb patches and a bunch of chickens running around. I hope to have a great big beautiful productive mess of a self-sufficient garden in years to come.

At times my plans overwhelm me but I’m taking it one step at a time and I’m enjoying the process. It has been a great learning experience so far with mixing up crazy environmentally friendly concoctions to battle the weeds and pests, experimenting with companion planting and diligently compositing all that I can. This time 5 years ago I would never have imagined myself to be somebody who gets excited over compost.

Big Belly Buddha

What’s my claim to free-spirit fame? Hmmm. Many people, I believe, equate being free spirited to being irresponsible and a little flakey. So what are you implying here Steve? (Just kidding!) Despite some of the odd aspects of my upbringing and my dreams of building a self sufficient garden, I have to admit to being a fairly conventional type. I have a day job, my life revolves around timetables, I’m very punctual, I make to-do lists, and my CD collection is neatly coordinated into sections of musical genres. I’ve also recently alphabetised each section. So I think I fall further into the anal retentive category rather than the free spirited one. If I could figure out a way of making free spiritedness financially viable then I’d go that route. Currently I’m a conformist out of necessity because I like to eat.

S:  You know, to my mind, "free spirit" is more a state of mind than anything else, so if you have to conform a bit in order to pursue your art, well, so be it. You have a "day job", and I think a good many of us do. But that's not "who" we are, it's not even "what" we are. It's what we do so we can follow our passion, or so I believe.

Having said that, let me ask you this: Why do you shoot what you shoot? What is it that catches your eye; what inspires you?

T:  Yes I’d have to agree with you there. So in that case I am a free spirit. Yay!

What inspires me? I find almost everything to be a source of inspiration and it’s about having a willingness to being open to whatever presents itself, as everything is worthy of contemplation; regardless of how small or commonplace it may be. It’s all about making connections and having the curiosity and playfulness to follow the connections.

The photo sections in my shop are quite varied and being a mish-mash of themes it’s not very streamlined as far as subject matter goes. However, there are a couple of obvious commonalities throughout the majority of my photos. One being that they’re relatively simple images. Striving for technical perfection with my photography has never been as important to me as capturing a sweet and simple little moment in time. Post processing is kept to a bare minimum and any adjustments made will often only consist of some minor tweaks with light and shade. I don’t use Photoshop. That’s not to say that I have anything against using Photoshop. I don’t own Photoshop.

Dig That Beat

The other prevailing theme with my photography would be colour. It appears that I’m drawn to bright blue skies and colourful objects, which is strange considering that colour doesn’t generally spill over into other aspects of my life. I don’t dress in vibrant colours and the interior of my home is decorated with very neutral tones.

Why do I shoot what I shoot? I like to shoot things that make me smile. I really enjoy shooting animals because many have such interesting and comical personalities and that makes the process all the more fun. Unfortunately I don’t have a huge amount of animal photos on Etsy due to my shop being primarily an avenue for my TtV (Through the Viewfinder) photography. Having to shoot macro when using the TtV technique makes it tricky to quietly sneak up close to an animal while juggling two cameras and a whopping big ugly cardboard contraption between the two. My attempts at being inconspicuous in my pursuits often fail miserably. Thankfully some animals can be bribed with food in exchange for some close-ups.

S:  OK, TtV; let's talk about that for a moment. I know there are many of TtV enthusiasts and/or practitioners out there, and believe me when I say I like the effect, so I'm not asking you (or anyone else) to justify what you do; however, I have to ask you, "Why"? Why bother with "... juggling two cameras and a whopping big ugly cardboard contraption between the two" when you could just as easily get the same effect digitally? Can you help me, and perhaps one or two others, understand?

T:  Ok, I’ll try. While such a technique can be very frustrating, I enjoy the challenge. Apart from the juggling act, there’s also the issue of the image in the viewfinder being reversed, so attempting to find and frame subjects adds another element of awkwardness. The combination of these things forces me to slow down and really think about composition and what I’m shooting more so than it does when I’m taking photographs the regular way. So I appreciate that aspect of it.

Dirty Jazz Shadows

As I mentioned earlier I don’t use Photoshop. It’s certainly not because I’m a purist in any way because if I was a purist I’d be shooting everything on film. I shoot through the viewfinders of old cameras using digital cameras. The joy for me is being out and about taking photos. Even if it means making a spectacle of myself in public while doing so. Due to the odd looking process I often have curious strangers come up to me to ask about the technique and I happily explain it to them and invite them to have a try for themselves if they wish. I then whip out a business card and suggest they check out my shop if they’re interested in seeing the photos. So the technique in action can be a nice and fun little promotional tool. I should also say that I’m not of the opinion that either TtV style (the traditional method versus the post processing method) is superior to the other. Both require skills of a different kind and I am truly in awe of some of the images I’ve seen where the effects have been added digitally. A good image is a good image, regardless of how it’s been created, and I don’t believe the average customer cares either way. I’ve purchased both styles of TtV photos because I’ve liked the images.

S:  Now that I can totally honor and understand.

What was it that got you started with the Ttv, do you recall? Are there any subjects you find yourself gravitating to more than others?

T:  Late in 2008 I was the lucky winner of a blog giveaway and the prize was an Argus 75 camera, so that’s where my journey with TtV photography started. Prior to winning that camera I had been admiring the style for a couple of years and thought I’d play around with the technique, should I ever stumble upon an appropriate camera at a flea market or garage sale. I never did stumble upon one, but winning one was even better! So I set about making a ‘glare blocking contraption’ and then started playing with my new toy. I was instantly hooked! The camera was in great condition with a very clean viewfinder and as I was keen on some of the TtV photos I’d seen as a result of using grotty scratched up viewfinders I then went in search of another Argus 75. I found one almost immediately on Etsy and it’s been nice to have the option of shooting clean or dirty. Some things work well with the cleaner look while other things I find to be more suited to the grottier rough around the edges look.

Tree Hugging Dandelions

My Etsy shop up until that point consisted of original artwork and didn’t contain any photography. After playing around with the technique for a while I had some of my TtV images printed and was happy with the results and decided to ditch the original artwork from the shop (which wasn’t exactly selling terribly well anyway) and replace it with TtV prints. So then the shop became a photography shop. That change occurred early in 2009. A little later down the track I added some reproduction prints of some of my original artwork but the shop has remained to be primarily photography.

I can’t say that there are any subjects in particular that I gravitate more towards. Many of my earlier listings in the shop are photos of figurines, toys and various vintage items I have around the house. That was due to needing subjects to practice with that didn’t require me to leave the house, as I wasn’t quite brave enough to take my silly looking set-up out in public at that stage. Eventually I ran out of things to photograph around the house and so I started venturing out into the public obsessively shooting whatever caught my eye.

I think I mentioned earlier that I’m drawn to colour with regards to photography, so the more colourful the more appealing to me. There certainly are subjects that seem to fit the TtV style more than others; the obvious one that springs to mind being carnivals. And while I’m aware of the TtV-carnival combination being viewed by many as something of a cliché these days, it continues to be a popular combination because I believe it works well. They’re a perfect fit. Just like dagwood dogs and fairy floss (better known as corn dogs and cotton candy to you folk in the USA). Seascapes are something I’ve been gravitating more towards over the last six months or so purely because I moved to a small island and I’m surrounded by ocean. I live on one of a cluster of small islands in southern Moreton Bay just off the mainland and each island is only a short ferry trip away, so it was a natural progression to take photos while exploring my new surrounds. There are still many parts of the islands that I’ve yet to explore so there will be more TtV seascapes in the near future.

S:  So, aside from your Argus 75s, what's in your bag? What's on the "business end" of your contraption; what other equipment do you use?

Scuse me while I kiss the sky

T:  On the “business end” of my contraption will usually be my Canon Rebel or occasionally my old Canon Powershot which can work surprisingly well for TtV. I like to travel as light as possible because I don’t drive, so a lightweight backpack is needed for all the walking, cycling and public transport commuting I do. I don’t have a tripod or a large selection of lenses or other cool gadgets. The bag will also contain a roll of electrical tape (to keep the contraption attached to the Argus) and some batteries. My iPhone is also with me at all times and it’s loaded with a bunch of fun camera apps that I regularly use; the Hipstamatic app being my favourite. I’ve been discovering the joys of iPhoneography over the last few months and the iPhone has been wonderful for quickly capturing things on-the-go. I also have a collection of cameras that I don’t use as much as I’d like. A few Polaroids, a Diana, an Olympus OM-10, and a couple of old Super 8 movie cameras with all of the traditional editing equipment necessary for that film format.

S:  Looking forward, what does the future hold for you and photography? Where are you taking it, or where is it taking you?

T:  I greeted 2011 feeling very positive and enthusiastic about my photography, with plans of approaching some outlets this year to sell my work. While I enjoy having my photography available online, I thought it would be a step forward to also have it available in B&M venues. Then coincidentally, within the first couple of weeks of this year I received a few enquiries from shops and a gallery interested in stocking my photography. Currently I’m in the process of preparing some of my work to be sent over to a photography gallery in New Zealand. So I’m very excited about this new venture, and having had those initial enquiries come from the venues has increased my confidence with regards to now approaching other venues myself. Also I’ve recently started offering custom wooden photo blocks alongside my prints and have received good responses to those so far and have had some sales, so I’m looking forward to continuing with those. It’s nice to be able to offer customers a display option that’s a less expensive alternative to framed works. Framed photography is lovely, but it’s cost prohibitive to ship, especially internationally, which is where the majority of my sales come from. So 2011 has been a great start for me and I’m feeling inspired and extremely happy about these new opportunities that have arisen and I look forward to doing a lot more of what it is that I love doing the most. And that’s taking photographs!

Wheel of Brisbane

S:  Congratulations, Tracy...that's very wonderful and exciting news! I certainly hope these new outlets bear fruit for you! Best of luck!

Tracy, I wanted you to know I've truly enjoyed our conversation; thank you so much for taking this time to share a bit of yourself!

T:  Thank you! I really appreciate you giving me this opportunity to on. And on. And on... In all seriousness, I’m very grateful and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with you Steve!

PhotoGrunt is Steve Raley, a photographic documentarian from Seattle, Washington.  He captures images wherever he goes, and he  frequently even uses a camera.  His work can be seen on his websiteblog and his Etsy shop.