The wide angles. And cheese.

 

A few months ago my friend Julia’s parents approached me, asking me if I wanted a few old Olympus OM series lenses, as a photographer relative of theirs left them a number of them. They had old Canon SLRs and bodies, but no Olympus body, and kindly gave me five beautiful lenses!

Two wide angle lenses, a shift lens, an enormous zoom lens, and a basic zoom lens later, I was stuck trying to figure out which was my favorite!

I find myself using the Tamron 17mm wide-angle lens a lot, because:

a) It looks awesome on the Olympus body- a lot more legitimate than my usual 50mm f/1.8

b) It is supremely wide-angle and warps everything.

However, the focusing is rather tricky, and I find myself taking quite a while until I finish a roll of film with that lens.

I really like photographing orderly thinks like grocery store aisles, and with the wide-angle lens I have a lot of fun doing that. As you can tell by my photograph of the cheese section of a local convenience store.

Mmmm, cheese.

Digital documentation

I’m snowed in here, and as a result  a roll of film I have will not be developed until later.

Here are some digital photographs I’ve taken. I don’t ever take digital, but lately I’ve been missing macro and details and the instantaneous abilities of an SD card.

The Nova Cafe, Bozeman

I love going out to breakfast. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so it should automatically be the most delicious and the most satisfying!

Last weekend at the Nova Cafe, Harlan and Kristin and I went and gorged ourselves on delicious food. Here is visual proof. It was as good as it looks!

Naturally, I wore a new dress, and I got syrup on said dress. Tis my lot in life to always be slightly clumsy and spill food.

Cheers to the weekend!

Montana State University’s 3rd Annual Condom Fashion Show

Last night Kristin, Renee, and I lined up two hours before the doors opened at the Condom Fashion Show, “Latex and Lace”.

It’s exactly what it sounds like- people, sponsored by health clinics and local businesses, create costumes out of prophylactics. The point isn’t just to strut around in latex- it’s to raise awareness of STI’s, safe sex, and the real cost of NOT being safe when engaging in sex. So, we combine all of this information with a dash of creativity and a lot of personality!

The show was such a success. It was my first time going, and we got third row seats. I raised my camera above my head and took a lot of guesstimation shots, so sorry about the bad angles and such. One couple were gangsters, complete with basketball jerseys, grills, and tattoos. Big Bird, from the iconic show Sesame Street, strutted down covered in neon yellow condoms, carrying sign reading “C is for Condom”. Sailor Moon came out, sponsered by the anime club, in an ornate costume of woven condoms- seriously amazing! Somebody dressed like Marilyn Monroe in her white dress- the skirt was made from hundreds of carefully cut condoms, and it looked like it was actually made of real fringe, not latex! There were many many more costumes that were fantastic.

Afterwards, we drove downtown and went to Plonk, Bozeman’s classy wine bar. It’s hard to find a table, and Plonk is known for catering to the Bozeman bourgeois. None of us were yet 21, so it was hard to NOT get laughed at by the waiters when we ordered coffees and such, which felt a little ridiculous. Ageism, I say! The desserts we got were worth it, though.

We seated ourselves in a corner surrounded by felt hats, belt buckles, long cardigans, and lots of iPhones- the Bozemanites have all got them, and the old people love taking photographs. A cheese platter, a flourless torte, and two strawberry crepes later, we left the dark, delicious interior of Plonk to each head to bed.

I kind of want a skirt made of condoms now. They bounced and twirled so well!

In all seriousness, though, this was a fantastic way to spread awareness in a colorful, fun, and comfortable environment. The truth is, education is key to sexual health and awareness. The more comfortable we as a society are with sex, too, the easier it will be to channel important information.

El Fin de Semana

My weekend was quite idyllic and lovely.

I woke up early on Saturday morning and walked to breakfast in 20 degree weather to the Nova Cafe, a Bozeman best, with Harlan and Kristin. Our ears and noses were quite pink by the time we made it. Harlan ordered a massive omelette, Kristin an acai berry bowl with bananas, and I a pancake, fruit bowl, and side of cornbread, respectively.

After a solid hour of engorging ourselves, we walked back, and I got ready to go to Norris Hot Springs, “The Water of the Gods”- some sort of place where hot water is in a pit and people hang out. My whole family and some family friends were there to celebrate my father’s birthday, and we spent a few hours relaxing in the water and talking. I bought an underwater/waterproof camera for an astronomical $12.00, and photographed the hanging out. For dinner, lasagna and garlic bread, and for dessert, my mother’s famous apple pie, freshly baked. It literally was the best dessert ever.

We spent the night in Three Forks, a minuscule town near a giant highway junction, and in the morning feasted on scrambled eggs, strawberries, and toast with huckleberry jam. Very Montana-esque, no?

Now, I’m with all my new photographs developed and contemplating doing homework, which I must begin soon!  I hope you all had a fantastical weekend!

My life is a shade of vanilla.

Alright, so I’ll admit: I was once a world traveler, a photographer of things interesting, a glorious globe trotter hell bent on making the most of every new place, relishing adventures and returning with stories and photographs galore.

Alas, that part of me has been lassoed and put into a cage: I live in a land-locked state, 12 hours away from any metropolis, and I can’t fly/train/drive anywhere cheaply! So, while my travel days are sort of behind me (read: not for long, if I have anything to say about it), I do sometimes hope to post interesting things, even if I am stuck in a small Montana town going to a large university.

I want to note that my life is not terribly fascinating in any way. Studying, class, and walks around town take up a lot of my time. People here are mostly middle-class, drive sports vehicles with ski racks, and love North Face, Patagonia, and good food, beer, and coffee. We do have bears that live in town, and sometimes this town surprises me, but for the most part I cannot claim to be living an interesting life in a place that is compelling in any way.

I will continue to photograph my life, even if it is quite dull. However, I myself am not a dull person. I want to make that clear. I am merely biding my time until I can whip out my passport once again and begin charting more of the world. I apologize if this blog ever gets into a rut: I really do try to prevent it from feeling stuck or dull. If you ever feel my energy lagging in a post, I want to apologize beforehand!

The Snow and the Vinter

Winter is here. Snow seems to have somehow permanently found its way onto our campus. I loathe it but can do nothing, so sulking does no good. Instead, I put on boots and layer sweaters. Last Saturday morning, Meghan, Andrea and I woke up to not just snow, but perfect snow. The snow that falls at that rare degree set where it packs perfectly. We donned clothing and proceeded to make snow women and a seal. Meghan and I even donned our snow creations in bras to make sure that people thought they were women. Sadly, they had melted by about 2:00 and we found ourselves gathering the clothing they had worn and shuffling back inside.

First snow of the year

I dislike snow. It comes with icy roads, cold hands/noses, frozen boogers (don’t lie, it happens and it’s not fun), and worst of all: snow likes to hang around Montana sort of like how a chill settles in your cold bones and never leaves.

It’s official: winter is here. Unfortunately, it won’t be vacating until sometime in April. Hello, old frenemy, we meet again.

This post is a blasphemous one to any and most of the students here. They are addicted to snow like I am to weird sour gummy candies, and they salivate when the weather report is favorable. I have to say silent about my dislike of the weather, lest the ski bums or snowboarding crazies get word and scalp me or something equally terrible.

Creepy woods vibe post.

Cody and I spent some time photographing him for a class assignment, but along the way we used a rather poor 35 mmcamera and some black and white film, and they have the PERFECT creepy woods vibe I’ve been looking for, combined with some random photographs I take around town.

I have a shoe box full of about 25 rolls of black and white film and I’m so excited to take only black and white later in the fall and winter- black and white is perfect for the dreary Montana winters.

Deßerts and Streß

Autumn comes and stays, but winter is currently a partner in the weather- the temperature hasn’t been above 20 degrees all week, and I’ve broken out extra man sweaters and even a vintage fur stole I found at an estate sale. Warmth has been my top priority, but even then there has been time to wander outside and capture this shifting place.

Ektar 100 film! The glory, the grain!

The title says it all. I ordered four rolls of 36 exposure Kodak Ektar 100 film- they claim it has the “World’s Finest Grain”. I doubted these claims, put a roll in my Nikon N65 (an amateur film DSLR that sometimes has focus issues) and I was in love when these were developed. The colors are balanced and bright, the grain is fantastic, and overall I am 100% pleased with the results.