Tag Archives: photography

Shadow Shot: Fall Foliage

Hey Harriet hosts Shadow Shot Sunday, a weekly photo challenge where people can submit their shadowy shots—pictures that show the play of light and dark. I haven’t participated for a few weeks so I thought I’d get my act together and share some pictures with you. Check out her site for lots of inspiring photography.

Here’s a glimpse of what I saw while walking the perimeter of my building at work a couple of weeks ago.

fiery trees

I love autumn. I can’t get enough of the colors and I marvel daily at the fiery shades of the leaves.

golden tree

The day was cool and sunny and the sun brought the colors to life.

parking garage

It’s interesting how something dying can be so beautiful.

brick red

Fall is part of the life cycle of the ecosystem and the falling leaves add nutrients to the earth so things can grow again in the spring.

light on the leaves

I’ll have to remember that. I’ll have to sing The Byrds more often: “To everything (turn, turn, turn) there is a season.”

close up

Sadly, a few windy days and a rainstorm blew all the leaves away.

blue and orange

Maybe it’s the temporary quality that intrigues me. I’ll have to wait until next year for more vibrant color like this.

shadowy wall


Filed under Art, Photography

Shadow Shot: Walk in the Woods

My husband and I took a walk in the woods a few weeks ago. Seems like ages ago: The temperature was in the mid-80s, not like the cool fall weather we have now. Despite the heat, it was about 15 degrees cooler in the woods. The Redmond Watershed Preserve to be exact. I love the quiet tranquility of a forest and really appreciate nature’s air conditioning. We walked along an interpretive trail with signs that explained how the early loggers worked. Some of the old-growth remains were massive. Even the replacement trees towered over us.

tall trees

The forest was a nice reprieve from heat. The sun shone through the trees and created beautiful patterns of light. I enjoyed finding this little berry bush beneath the massive conifers. The berries were perfectly placed, almost like they were Christmas tree ornaments.


During our walk, we heard a real racket coming from a large tree. We were amused when we saw this angry little squirrel shouting at us. There was a plaque explaining that the northern flying squirrel lives in these parts. But this little guy looks more like a red squirrel—at least that’s what this squirrel site would lead me to believe.


We left the squirrel alone and kept walking until we found a pond. I looked for turtles but didn’t see any. I was enchanted by a beautiful, blue dragonfly.


berries and dragonfly

On our way back, we retraced our steps but didn’t hear the squirrel. Luckily Redmond isn’t too far away so we can come back to this wonderful sanctuary again. On the west trail, there’s a bigger pond complete with beavers and their dam! I’ll be sure to share photos of them with you next time.

Hey Harriet hosts Shadow Shot Sunday, a weekly photo challenge where people can submit their shadowy shots—pictures that show the play of light and dark. Check out her site for lots of inspiring photography.


Filed under Art, Photography

Shadow Shot: Oregon Travels

I recently visited the Oregon coast and Portland, Oregon with my husband and dog. Oregon is a beautiful state south of Washington and north of California. It has great, windswept beaches, gorgeous mountain ranges, fantastic forests, a hot desert region, and cool cities. It’s prime wine country too.

We started in Cannon Beach, a tiny town and beach along the Pacific Ocean in the northwest corner of Oregon. The first recorded visit to Cannon beach was by William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Of course, the Tilamook Indians already lived here.

Cannon Beach

Terrence and Frankie walked ahead of me on the wide, sandy beach. I like how instead of shadows, they are reflected in the wet sand. We stayed in a quaint cottage right next to the beach. The “tsunami zone” signs worried me a bit but the location was prime.


Portland is an hour inland. We drove along a twisty, two-lane highway through a forest, back to the interstate, and on to the city. Hats off to this town of half a million and their dedication to public art.

metal hat sculpture

The architecture in downtown Portland is wonderful. If you visit, you’re in for a treat. You’ll find plenty of shopping, restaurants, parks, and a live music scene that will keep you busy any night of the week.

fire escapes

Hey Harriet has a wonderful weekly photo challenge so people can submit their shadowy shots—pictures that show the play of light and dark. Check out her site for lots of inspiring photography.


Filed under Art, Photography

Shadow Shot: Jamestown Factory

Today’s Shadow Shot post is a collaboration between my Dad and me. And by collaboration, I mean he took the pictures. I’m writing about them and posting them. I got my interest in photography from my Dad so I thought it would be fitting to show things he finds when looking through his lens.

jamestown factory

My parents are in Jamestown, NY this weekend to celebrate Lucille Ball’s 100th birthday. My dad found this abandoned factory there. I love that, through the magic of technology, he can take pictures, upload them, and email them to me across the country, and moments later I can add them to my blog.

jamestown factory 2

It used to be a furniture factory, and coincidentally, Lucille Ball’s father, Henry, worked there.

jamestown factory 3

I love the stained glass and arched windows. Even factories were beautiful in the past. There’s something eerily beautiful about this place still.

jamestown factory 4

The morning sun shone through the windows and the holes in the roof, revealing sturdy machinery that look like, with a little TLC, would still work today.

jamestown factory 5

Don’t forget to check out all the other shadow shots from people all over the word. They’re at Hey Harriet.


Filed under Art

Ivan Grundahl Night Model

I few months ago I bid on an amazing Ivan Grundahl coat on eBay. Much to my surprise, I snapped it up for about $140. It retailed for much, much more, but a brick and mortar store was selling last year’s inventory online.

Ivan Grundahl is a stellar Danish designer. The lines are sharp, the silhouettes are dramatic. His work is often asymmetrical. It’s deconstructed yet simple. To me, the pieces are very artistic.

I wore the coat to a movie a few weeks ago. Last night, out of the blue, my husband said, “can you put on that coat and come with me?” It was after ten pm and I wondered what he was up to. He grabbed his camera and tripod, an umbrella, and a stool, and took me to Ballard, a Seattle neighborhood.

He hoisted me up onto a loading dock by a set of train tracks and set up a shot. He wanted a model for an idea he had. Here’s what he created:



The photos are not manipulated. I love how they almost look black and white, but aren’t. Because we were out after dark, he used an exposure that opened the shutter for more light. The photos are slightly grainy, but that’s one of the things I love about them.

On the way home, we stopped in the Cascadia neighborhood and he took this shot:


Then we found an empty parking lot downtown Seattle, and he took a few more shots:


night light

Finally, I convinced him to join me. He set the timer and we posed for a few shots together:



Usually, I’m the one with the tripod and timer. For this blog, I’m my own photographer. So it was nice to be a model for a night and follow someone else’s direction.


Filed under Art, Fashion

Santa Fe Art Walk

Canyon Road is Santa Fe’s premier art district. It’s an old part of town and boasts over 100 galleries (and a smattering of shops and restaurants). It’s an incredible place. The rows of adobe houses-turned-galleries offer art to view and purchase. Of course there is classic Southwest art, but there are a lot of other styles too: abstract, photorealistic, sculpture, glass work, jewelry, pottery and more. Truly something for everybody.

To me, even the buildings on Canyon Road are pieces of art. I photographed the structures on the walking tour I took with my friends. It didn’t hurt that the weather was perfect.

turquoise door

blue window


On our walk, I noticed an unusually large quantity of animal sculptures. Mostly horses and cattle, with some bears and rabbits thrown in the mix. These animals seemed representative of the local fauna.


burro and scooter

dancing sheep

Yes, Laura, Cheryl, and Autumn are following the herd. It takes two to tango and apparently three to can-can. Well, four can play that game.


Dress: Forever 21 via thrifted
Wrap: NYC Street Vendor
Sunglasses: Target
Shoes: Timberland

Leave it to me to shift the conversation to fashion. Today, however, I saw a fashion/art connection, as you can see by the dresses at various galleries.

dress sculpture

dress as art

notes dress

Canyon Road was probably the highlight of my trip. At lunch, I had the best veggie burger in the world at The Tea House. It was homemade and so delicious. They make a mean latté too. On the way back, I couple of other pieces of art captured my attention: The honeycomb and bee pattern is similar to the dress Laura wore yesterday.


Glass is a popular art medium in the Pacific Northwest and that’s probably why these sculptures drew me to them.


Prices for art ranged from less than $100 to well into five digits. There was a variety of things to look at and a few pieces I could actually afford. Mostly, I found the day inspiring. I’ve already pulled out my paints and canvases and have a few plans. Just in case my plans fall through, I wrote down the number of one of the galleries. There’s a wonderful abstract painting at a manageable price—and they ship.


Filed under Art, Fashion

PhoDOGraphy: Frankie’s New Pet Cam

My dog Frankie is now a photographer (a phoDOGrapher, if you will). And this is his very first ever exhibit. I read about Cooper the photographer cat last year and thought I could try something like that with Frankie. I bought a pet’s eye view camera from eBay and away we went. Here’s his adventure in his own words:

Yay! Jean’s taking me out. It’s playtime. But this traffic light is taking forever and she won’t let me run across the street. And just look at that hydrant. It needs me.

busy street

Finally. What’s this? Oh no! Playgrounds are for those horrible two-legged puppies. I can’t stand human puppies. So shrill and unpredictable. I’m getting outta here.


I know that building! That’s where humans go to mark their territory. This means we’re really close to the dog park. Hurry Jean, we’re almost there!


We’re here! I’m finally untethered from that leash! Time to run! And sniff. What are those scents? Mmm. Delightful. Earthy, pungent. I like them all. So much information. I can’t take it.

dog nose and grass

Running, running, turning in circles. Whee!

blurrry ground

Whoa. I’m kinda dizzy now. I don’t feel so well. Why did I do that? I’m almost 48 years old. Where is my dignity? Hey, is that Ricky?

white dog

Ricky! Nice threads. I like the jacket. No really. It suits you. It’s a bit retro. 70s in a cool sorta way. No, it doesn’t make your tail look fat. Yeesh that guy is insecure.


I think I know that woman. She’s got treats. Wait for me! I’m starving. No really. I haven’t had food in forever! Jean doesn’t really feed me. Nope. She’s bad that way. What do you mean you don’t believe me? What? I am not pudgy. I’m a bit big-boned, but…

people and dogs

Hey, is that guy taking my picture? Oh yeah, well two can play at that game. I’ll take your picture then. Oops. I think he saw me. Time to go!

couple with camera

Excuse me. Pardon me. Coming through.

dogs at the gate

Let. Me. Out.

chain link fence

Freedom! Time for  a nap.




Filed under Art

Karen J. Whitehead Talks about Her Film

Last month I wrote about an incredible photographer: Jini Dellaccio. In my post, I mentioned that someone is making a documentary about her life. Well that someone is Karen J. Whitehead. I sat down recently to ask Karen, the producer/director of the film, a few questions. (Be sure to and follow her production blog.)

(c) Five Star Films 2011

(c) Five Star Films 2011

Jean: How did you first learn about Jini Dellaccio?

Karen: A friend of a friend got in touch after coming across Jini’s photographs online – thinking (quite rightly) she would make a great subject for a film.

Jean: When did you approach her about a documentary and how did she feel about the idea?

Karen: I started doing some research for myself about the Northwest music scene in the 1960s, and Jini’s story, in the fall of 2009. After several conversations with the Jini Dellaccio Collection, which oversees Jini’s archive, I arranged a research trip to meet them and Jini in January 2010.

We spent several hours together, and as I listened to Jini describing some of her life experiences and passion for art and music, I was captivated and at the same time staggered that the world does not know who Jini is!

Jini was thrilled that I was interested in her life and artistry. We really made a strong connection, and I think she was immediately open to the idea of doing a film because I wanted it to be very much an intimate oral history. By that, I mean in her own words, (no narrator or scripted scenes), as she remembers the many decades of her creative journey and her personal background, with recollections of some of the musicians she photographed. From this, I felt the film could be a fascinating exploration of her relationship with her subjects as well as her fine art photography and how it is all underpinned by the importance of music and art in her life.

Jean: What parts of Jini’s life are you focusing on and how did you choose them?

Karen: A central part of the film is of course, behind the scenes of Jini’s rock ‘n’ roll photography in the 1960s. She was responsible for capturing the frenetic energy of live concerts by The Who, The Rolling Stones, Mitch Ryder, Mamas & Papas to name just a few – and she was doing this years ahead of Annie Leibovitz. But really the heart of the story is how Jini got to be shooting the Godfathers of garage punk rock (The Wailers/The Sonics) and other great Northwest bands like The Daily Flash and Merrilee Rush and the Turnabouts – in her middle age! Plus the tales from her Neil Young shoot and all the great concert photography she did with her beloved Hasselblad camera.

But it is also much more than that – I really wanted to craft a film that explores Jini’s creativity and determination. I think her life story from humble beginnings to jazz musician in the 1930s to her discovery of art and then self-taught photography is really inspiring. Especially when you consider she was often going against the grain, and conventional roles for the time. She was always in a man’s world, but not afraid to experiment, and be out there, in pursuit of her art. So, to give the audience an insight into this, I have Jini and other photographers, as well as the subjects of her lens, commenting on her work and I show her “at work” still in her 90s taking on a new challenge – digital technology, and shooting a new generation of rock bands coming out of Seattle’s vibrant music scene – The Moondoggies. When you see Jini working with The Moondoggies, almost 50 years from her first rock band shoot, I think you get the measure of Jini’s accomplishments and her legacy.

Jean: When creating documentaries, are there storylines that “write themselves” (unexpected narratives) or do you shape the film’s development?

Karen: That is a very good question! And the short answer is yes and no – or a bit of both!  Documentary is often about revealing unexpected narratives and in this case, I really felt that the rich cultural history behind Jini’s personal (mostly untold and unknown) journey as an artist would appeal to audiences. But of course, for audiences to really “connect” with your subject matter, you have to give them some compelling visuals and a simple rule but a golden one: good story telling, to keep them engaged. That is where the crafting of the narrative structure comes in. So, although there is no formal script as such – we build the filming around Jini’s  recollections and what she reveals about her motivations and life experiences. It is a collaborative process really – what you discover along the way may take you in different directions than you were expecting or planning – but it is important to have a structure like a road map so you don’t get lost in the edit!

Jean: What’s the most surprising thing you learned in the making of this film?

Karen: Some things Jini told me from her Jazz days in the 1930s were incredible, but I don’t want to reveal all the cool stories in the film here. Lets just say there are some “crackers” as us Brits like to put it!

Also – sideline, Seattle really does have some of the best coffee in the world…I am a definite fan!

Jean: Anything else you want to share?

Karen: Here’s something to think about:

“Storytellers broaden our minds: engage, provoke, inspire, and ultimately, connect us.” —Robert Redford

So, let’s make sure stories like Jini’s are not “lost.” Unfortunately, indie arts films like this are hard to make because we have fewer places to go for funding than other film projects. In the current dismal climate for arts funding, with threats to vital lifelines like the National Endowment for The Arts, it is increasingly up to individuals to engage not merely as an audience – viewing a finished product, but as a participator much earlier on in the process.

I want Jini’s artistic excellence, creativity and innovation to be shared with the world and that is why I put my passion and resources into this project. Although I was able to complete all essential filming with Jini, for the film to be complete – which includes editing and the specialised scanning and treatment of Jini’s vintage stills from the archive, the production is seeking funding from donors, industry sources and fellow believers in arts projects as a necessity not a luxury. Hopefully with support from Seattle’s vibrant arts community this film will be heading to the big screen soon.

Jean: You’re having a fundraising event in Seattle. When is it, and how can people attend?

Karen: The fundraiser event and world premiere screening of the extended trailer, followed by Q & A with the production team, and film contributors (Jini guest of honor) will take place at our fiscal sponsor Northwest Film Forum on Saturday, March 12th at 4pm. A limited number of seats are still open to the general public on a first come first serve basis – just RSVP the production team for your official invite at: dellacciodoc@fivestarfilmsinc.com.


I want to thank Karen for taking time out of her busy filmmaking schedule to answer my questions. If you want more information about contributing to the fundraising efforts, attending the premier screening, or anything else related to the film, feel free to drop me a line at jeanofalltrades@live.com.

For more information, check out:

The Production Blog
The Five Star Films Corporate website

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Filed under Art, Feminism, Film, Music

Steal this Post*

*In the spirit of full disclosure, I borrowed the title from Abbie Hoffman’s 1971 book, Steal This Book.

old books

All the thoughts and ideas on my blog are my own, and they’re explained in my own words. I’m pretty sure people would frown on the idea of me plagiarizing someone else’s words. At the very least, if I want to share someone’s ideas, I’ll put their words in quotation marks and attribute the quote to them. A link to their website or blog would be a nice tip of the hat.

So it’s with honest concern that I’m going to approach the idea of “borrowing” (and I use the word loosely) images. I don’t mean for this to be a soapbox rant; I like my blog to have a positive tone.

I made a decision when I started blogging, to use only images I’ve taken and own. The only exception I’ve made is when I’m reviewing a CD or product or writing about someone well-known. I’m not thrilled about the compromise; in cases like these, I include an image of the album art and a link to a site where you can buy the music or I’ll add a manufacturer’s image of a product and link to the company’s website. For people, I include a photo only if I can find a rights-free image of them on a site like Wikipedia.

I’m an artist and I dabble in photography. I find it challenging and fun to take the right image for each post. Doing so will make my blog unique, and its uniqueness is what I think my readers want. I can also put myself in other photographers’ shoes and think about how this “borrowing” affects them.

Sometimes, I see iconic or well-known images on blogs without listing photographers’ credits. I don’t think that is fair to the artists who worked hard to create those images. Many times, artists who would otherwise sell their work are having their images taken from under their noses. Worse, it’s probably illegal. I’m not a lawyer, but “copyright infringement” is a term that springs to mind.

Other times, I’ve seen a page from a magazine scanned and uploaded to a blog. It’s great that someone can say, “See this page? I like all the things on it.” It’s easy to fill a blog with pretty pictures taken by someone else. But it’s not original—it’s a visual list of what someone finds appealing. At a minimum, attributing the credit and linking to the magazine seems to be in order. The magazine should probably be asked if they mind sharing the images.

If you want to use professional-quality photos on your blog, there are a lot of websites that make images available—some for free. Just do a web search for “stock photography” and you’ll find a bunch of sites.

One other site that I recently discovered (but have yet to use) is Polyvore. It’s a site where you can select images of your favorite clothing and accessories and combine them onto a page so you can make your own collage. The results look like a magazine spread made by you!

There’s a good interview on Pretty Shiny Sparkly that covers a lot of information on fair use and copyright infringement and includes links to other helpful sites too. Grit and Glamour has a great post about copyright and image use.

How do you deal with images on your site? Has anyone ever used your work without crediting you?

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Filed under Art, Fashion, General, Music

Jini Dellaccio Style Icon

Jini Dellaccio is the most famous photographer you’ve never heard of.

At 94 years of age, she’s still going strong. How can I sum up a long career in a few words?

Briefly, Jini began her career in the 1930s as a musician in an all-girl jazz band. She later worked in commercial art in Chicago. In the 1950s, she turned to photography. She moved to California and launched a career as a fashion photographer – in a time when very few women worked in that field.

When she moved to the Pacific Northwest in the early 1960s, the modeling shoots dried up; however, she soon found gigs shooting rock ‘n’ roll sessions with rising musicians. Her client list includes The Wailers, The Sonics, The Who, The Yardbirds, and Neil Young. Jini stopped working for over a decade to care for her ailing husband. Now a widow, she’s dusted off her camera again and has turned to nature photography.

She’s a hidden gem of her time and has a sense of style that transcends time and genres; from fashion to nature, each photo tells a story. Jini herself is a style icon. She has poise and grace that simply can’t be taught. When people think of influential 20th century artists, Jini should be at the top of their lists.

I bought Jini’s book, Rock&Roll: Jini Dellaccio and I highly recommend it. It’s a limited-edition, slender, soft-cover coffee table book with 30 iconic images. It’s a mere fraction of the work she’s created over the past 60 years, but it’s worth it. You can order it from Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers.

For more information about Jini and her amazing life and work, checkout her website.

You’ll find a great interview about her on the Hasselblad camera site too.

Here’s an interview transcript from KUOW 94.9FM.

And here’s the original Evening Magazine interview where I found out about Jini.

The people at Five Star Films are in the middle of making a documentary about Jini. I don’t know when it will be released, but you can follow their production blog and learn more.

Everyone needs to know about Jini Dellaccio!

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Filed under Art, Fashion, Music