The beginning of a beautiful friendship

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You know this post is about a camera, right? No. I’m not obsessed. Not at all. :)

Several months ago I was commissioned to knit a Dr. Who scarf for a Twitter friend. It was a fun project to knit and the recipient is very happy, which, in turn, makes me very happy as well (I love how that works :) ). The money that I was paid to knit the scarf went toward a new (old) camera that I’d been wanting: an Olympus OM1. I found an excellent deal on Ebay and It even came with a battery so I could start shooting right away. It was the body only but I’d bought an Olympus OM10 awhile back that didn’t work, but came with the nifty fifty lens and a nice leather strap so I used the lens and strap from the broken camera for my new OM1n.

Instantly I fell in love with this camera. The size of it is perfect for a day wandering around town. And the simplicity of it is perfect! It is so intuitive and easy to use. I can see the appeal of this camera and now understand why it is revered by many.

I kind of feel like letting go of all of my other SLRs. That is how much I love this camera. I think I’m done. I’ve found the one.

love in a hopeless place

Love In A Hopeless Place

 

Gretchen

Gretchen

Donna and her pinhole camera

Donna and her Pinhole Camera

 

Reservoir 6

Reservoir 6

 

Lunch – Pinhole Self Portrait

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Lunch

One of the things I have wanted to do this year was re-start my sheet-a-day project. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened. I don’t know why. There are a lot of things that I wanted to start in the new year that haven’t happened. Maybe it’s the struggle with depression. Maybe it’s because my job has gotten a bit more busy lately. Maybe both? I wonder sometimes if there are too many things that I “need to do” as far as creativity goes. I want to write more. I want to shoot more pinhole. I want to draw everyday. I want to read more everyday. I need to meditate everyday. I need to exercise everyday. I need to knit everyday. Somehow if I do these things I will be happier. I know that that I need creativity in my life. I know that I am happier when I am doing something creative everyday. But c’mon. This list of things to do is overwhelming. How to fit it all in?

Maybe this is my big lesson for the new year.

Maybe just doing what is in front of me is enough. Like eating lunch. Maybe just eating lunch is enough to make me happy.

Anyhoo. Here is a self portrait I took when I was doing the sheet-a-day project.

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Geeky bits:

Camera: Zero 4×5
Focal Length: 25mm
Aperture: 138
Exposure: 243 seconds
Film: Arista.edu
ISO: 100
Scan: V700
Metered with Lumu light meter.
Stand developed in Adonal.

That time I connected with a slug

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A few weeks ago I was cleaning house and found myself staring down at a slug who’d found it’s way under the kitchen sink. My first reaction was “EEEEK!” And I frantically thought about how I could kill it. I realized, when the initial panic wore off, that I didn’t want to kill it.  I looked at this gentle creature and realized that it was actually quite sweet and graceful and peaceful. I decided to instead take it outside. As I scooped it up onto a piece of paper I felt a connection to this creature. I set it free outside the front door and telepathically wished it well.

A few nights ago I had a dream about a cat. I don’t own a cat (or am not owned by a cat). But in this dream I had a cat. I was in some kind of building with lots of doorways and hallways and I was standing in a doorway talking to a friend. We were discussing whether or not my cat would cross the threshold of the doorway at a certain time. My friend didn’t think my cat would and I told him that my cat would -because he always crosses the threshold at that specific time everyday without fail. And sure enough, my cat crossed the threshold at the exact time that I said he would. When he did I felt this profound sense of happiness. I scooped up the cat and snuggled him against me, feeling and hearing the soothing sound if its purr. In my dream this felt like the essence of love. (Actually, in waking  life this feels like the essence of love).

The next morning I woke up and, half asleep, I walked into the kitchen and turned on the light and started tidying up a bit before my coffee. I went to get something out of the cupboard under the sink and there was another slug. When I stared at the slug I experienced the same feeling of connection that I had for the cat in my dream.

I have been thinking a lot lately about connection. I don’t know where I read it but someone recently made the point that  human beings need connection. I can’t speak for other animals or other living creatures, but I agree that connection is deeply important for humans. I think this is why we become addicted to things like social media.Underneath this addiction there is a very profound need for connection.

I have been dealing with depression a lot lately. It is something that I have struggled with for most of my adult life. Lately things have been different, in a good way. When I am in the middle of a depressive state I am able to realize that I am in a depressive state. This is huge. Normally I let the depression take me down. Being able to take a step back and see it for what it is has really helped. This past week, when I had that “aha” moment, I had some insight into why these episodes are so painful and awful. When I am depressed there is something in my brain that can’t feel connected. It just isn’t there. It’s frightening and horrible. Intellectually I know that I am cared for and loved but I can’t feel it. Not being able to feel it is the absolute worst.

The thing that keeps me going when I am in this state is the knowledge that I am loved. Of course the story-line plays in my head that I’m not but underneath the story-line I know that I am loved. And my knowledge of this fact is cemented by the actions of others toward me. Even if I can’t feel it I know it is true. This is what gets me through.

And since I know that depression is a temporary state, I know that it will pass, like the clouds through the sky.

February Print Swap

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I am wanting to breathe some new life into the print swap that I started a couple of years ago. Each month I will share a sign up form here on the blog for those who want to participate. If you sign up I will pair you with someone to send a postcard to on the 15th.

You can add yourself to the email list here if you would like to be notified of new swaps via email. I only send out one email a month so it isn’t spammy and annoying (I promise! :) ).

We are exchanging prints of our original photography. See my print swap page for ideas on where you can get postcards of your photography printed.

Tree Bones

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Tree bones

Here is something a little different: A non-pinhole photo! I recently bought an Olympus OM1 and it has become my favorite SLR. I will write a blog post about it soon, but for now here is a quick photo I took last month up at Mt. Tabor in Portland.

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Geeky photo bits:
Camera: Olympus OM1
Lens: Standard 50mm lens that comes with these cameras
Film: Adox Silvermax 100
Develop: Adonal stand developed
Scan: V500