And I admire your creative drive to try new things and develop various artistic skills.

Now come down off the fridge and get your camera. I'm sure there's tons of cool shots of the cats you can get up there.

There is a really good cheat for expensive lighting that we use (my wife takes excellent photos) and that is those clip on shop lights you buy at the hardware store pointed at a light colored wall or bed sheet. Alas, clear lighting is as far as I am able to go into the world of lifestyle blogging and my crafts always look terrible in the camera's eye because I can't take a picture to save my life. Ah well. I guess I will have to stick to my less upbeat and not at all chic day job :P

I'll have to give that a try!

I have such a love/hate relationship with those blogs. The photography is undeniably very good in many of them, which I suppose allows me to imagine that my messy studio with the dying plant, used oatmeal bowls, dozens of storage bins, heaps of cloth, eleven thousand DECAPITATED My Little Ponies, and piles of bones would be all wistful and cute if I could coax one of these bloggers inside long enough to take a picture -- assuming she wouldn't just run like hell at the Pillar of Skulls in the front room, and the live snakes. It's probably that I'm naturally messy and often tired and really just want my stuff to be where I can get to it, instead of looking cute, but I can pretend it's just a lack of good photography that makes my life not quite as pretty as I would like.

One of the oddest things that ever happened to me was the neighbor lady flagging me down outside my old house and crying "HEY! HEY! AMANDA! DO YOU WANT A MUMMIFIED SQUIRREL?!" At which point I realized the thing she was carrying was not some sort of food-on-a-stick but a very dead mummified squirrel she was holding by the tail. Apparently lightning had struck one of her trees, split it, and revealed this little treasure, and having been my neighbor for all of eight months, of course she thought of ME. Its expression of horror was fairly Lovecraftian in its disturbingness. I named him Imhotep and sent him to a friend in California because at that time, I did not have any place to display it or any money to buy a display case, and I thought she would probably be better able to do him justice. Generosity is giving a friend your only mummified squirrel. So yeah, mummified squirrels are AWESOME. I keep hoping to luck into another one. I . . . might or might not have a display case waiting. *looks shifty*

I WANT TO SEE THE PILLAR OF SKULLS!!!

(I love this squirrel story. I love Ursula's bohemian beans and refrigerator-possum-hissing. I am delighted and privileged to know you both!!)

<3!

At least your closet isn't full of "Grab quick and slam it shut before something falls out" like a couple of mine ;-)

I think the problem with those blogs is that I WANT to have elegant things and awesome sachets that look all pretty and wonderful and everyone will ooh and ahh when they walk into my house.

Life is messy though and I also don't want to spend a few hours organizing my books every week or always put away the laundry or try to actually keep a lovely organic lavender plant alive long enough to make my own sachets (apartment gardening is something I fail at despite many attempts otherwise)

I suppose it boils down to I want to be Martha Stewart with someone else doing all the Martha Stewart work *grin*

I would love to have someone else doing all the Martha Stewart work. Someone who could come in, organize all my stuff in the way that I want it but just don't know how to do myself, sift the litterboxes, and do the laundry. And then make cute crafts.

...I think I want brownies, like the kind who made shoes for the shoemaker.

I confess, I originally misread the title of this post as "Wistful Bohemian BEARS."

I googled "whistful Bohemian bears" but the only useful link which came up leads to:
haitchteeteepeacolonslashslashdoubleyoudoubleyoudoubleyou(dot)gutenberg(dot)org/files/3178/3178-h/images/p043(dot)jpg
(URL munged to get past Eljay's brain0dead spam filter).

I tried the picture a day thing once, and wound up all too often reaching the end of a day, realizing I hadn't gotten my pic of the day, and taking one of the first cat I saw. (There are three of them, so at least there's a bit of variety, although not much because two are all black and one's a tux.) Possibly making a cat photo a day would have worked, but it's hard to get good pics of black cats. I just wasn't challenging myself in the right way. I know people who've done the pic a day thing and gotten a lot out of it.

Then I came up with doing an origami crane a day, and taking a picture of that, and that's been working great and improving my photography a lot.

It definitely does take practice, but the nice thing about digital cameras or phones with decent cameras is that it's so quick and you've got the results right there, so you can make adjustments immediately. And take lots at different angles and all of that.

I suspect your photography would not be the soft-focus dreamy bohemian feel, but something both organic and vaguely odd.

Good photos of black animals are very hard. In fact that is one of the reasons that shelters and rescues have problems getting black cats (and other black animals) adopted is because they are so stinking hard to photograph!! Taking a black cat picture a day might net you some serious Skillz.

Love the origami crane photo a day idea though.

Hrm. I have a DSLR and I take 1000s of photos but usually in large bursts of several hundred at a time. Perhaps I should try this "every day" idea...

Bring on the cat photos!

I like that stuff too. But I can't/don't do it. I do a lot of the watching that stuff is the renovation stuff on HGTV where they put together these amazing and cool spaces. I'm like you, up on the fridge if I have to think that way, and especially if I have to keep it clean. But I still can admire from the distance of my dog-hair covered couch.

As a fairly serious amateur photographer myself I can tell you that it definately isn't as easy as you might hope.

Apart from the photography kit reqd - decent SLR with a good lens and prob a macro as well, and a decent tripod, and some light modifying options, you have the challenges of needing all the frippery for the actual styling.

Then there is the food and the setup thereof and I can tell you that its almost certainly more made up and full of fake than any actress at the Oscars!!!

I read this book a few years ago and it was an eyeopener - http://www.amazon.com/Food-Styling-Art-Preparing-Camera/dp/0470080191/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389746049&sr=1-7&keywords=food+photography

Milk that is actually white paint or thickened with wallpaper paste - soup that is full of glass marbles to give the parsley something to perch on so it looks like its floating on the surface and not sinking like it really does. Lettuce sprayed with glycerol and it goes on and on!

Good food photography is a real arcane artform and I have dipped my toes in it and it is quite hard. There is also all the post processing required to tart up the final image to make it look like you really need it to, you could spend one whole day to get one decent shot!

I have some of my macaron shots I was experimenting with here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebluerose/sets/72157604020494394/

And for those of you who might want adorable kitten pix, check out here http://www.flickr.com/photos/thebluerose/

Bearing that in mind, it can and is done but like anything you have to live and breathe it and make ALL the mistakes in the book first before you get anywhere :) Its part of the fascination that photography has for me, that it is the perfect blend of art and technology :)

*nods* I do doll photography (a form of still-life, with the added challenge of trying to imbue your subject with a degree of life), and it's a real challenge even with a D90 and nine years of practice. (I'm Ashbet on Flickr, too, for the curious.)

I don't have a permanent indoor lighting setup (no room, and I generally prefer the results of sunlight), and that's an added challenge -- but I really do find it a continuing (but generally enjoyable) challenge... which not-infrequently involves some amount of swearing and a LOT of unused photos for every good one that I post!

-- A <3

sadly, a lot of lifestyle bloggers are less lifestyle bloggers and more "i used to be interesting once but then i got it into my head that i was going to be famous and deep so what do YOU want me to write about?" bloggers.

it's heartbreaking. i start reading someone because she takes a good picture of her afternoon snack and talks about her afternoon in a funny slice of life way and then one day she gets a lot of hits on a post about something trendy and it;s all over. she starts being PRECIOUS and i run screaming from the room.


ahhh! ahhhh! it burns!

*ahem*

I might just hang around.. just a little.. on Pintrest. There's a lot of that there. Along with the Crunchy-granola outdoors sorts, and the beer&bikes brigade... and just occasionally the sort that would also probably think a mummified squirrel was cool.

Well there is always something new to try. I think your "lifestyle" blog would be more fun than some.

For example:

Birders tip of the day.

If your scope falls from the pier, don't risk life and limb and hypothermia trying to retrieve it. Grab the nearest fisherman/ net seller and ask him nicely for help.

A tutorial on one of your woolly sheep creations would be far more interesting than an artfully created flower arrangement any day.

As for presentation - there's always photoshop to iron out the flaws.

"A tutorial on one of your woolly sheep creations would be far more interesting than an artfully created flower arrangement any day."

Yes, this!

Frequently the lighting is actually good window lighting, and point and shoots/iphones made getting that shallow-depth-of-field-with-the-front-in-focus thing easier. Plus, you know, the quite difficult still life staging and a really pretty table. (I am good on the theory, but I totally fall down on executing the staging.)

I at one point found an awesome behind-the-scenes discussion from a couple of bloggers who do this as a business (google is failing) me and it is totally a typical 60 hrs/week small business and the entirety of their houses don't necessarily look like that between photo shoots, and they get take-out sometimes, just like the rest of us.

I've definitely become a much better photographer of still lifes (lives?) since I started trying to get good pictures of my yarn and knitting for Ravelry. I think I do better with the yarn, but that may just be because the finished objects frequently require models, and I don't always have someone willing to stand around and be photographed when the light is good. It's still really challenging to make the colors come out well, though.

Bearing in mind that people who do these Easy Decorative Motifs are healthier with the Spanish Flu than I am on an average day, and that my brain's first definition of "aspiration" refers to inhaling a solid object, I agree with the description of the blogs, to wit:

They suck.

Best $0 tip for lighting: Use the sun. The sun plus your iphone's camera is actually a pretty powerful little tool and can certainly set you on the right path if you determine that it's something you want to keep up with.

Photography is the visual art where you're being picky and selective about photons, and all the photons you're selecting from have to be there at the time.

All else is technique. :)

I attempted to leave a link to an amazing bean collection, but it got marked as spam. :-(

My reaction to most of those projects and the photography involved is "sounds like work" but I would be more than happy to look at cat pictures :).

I feel a very similar way about things like those blogs, I like looking at them, but I can't possibly imagine living in the worlds they portray because I'm too absentminded and lazy for the efforts involved. My life could use some improvements, but not in the ways that doilies or scented sachets will fix. lol

Good luck to you on practicing photography! This year I want to write more and start trying to learn to draw too. Yay goals! :D -feels comment eloquence under cuts my claims to write- >_>

Thanks -- I've never hung a skull before, but now I have a roadmap. In exchange, I will tell you how to make a winter lean to in the northwoods with your underwear.

First, underwear is a good choice, because you need your other clothes to keep you warm. A bra works best but panties/briefs will do. Don't use your socks.

It's usually pretty easy to find a stand of evergreen saplings in the northwoods. So, find a group of them and reach up and grab the tops and tug them down until you have the top foot or so. Tie your underwear to one and another until you have three or four tied together. You now have a kind of evergreen teepee. If there's snow, bank the snow up all around the base. If there's no snow, use bracken or rip down some evergreen (pine/fir/spruce) branches. If you can find any birch, pull the bark off and work that into the walls of your shelter for more protection. If there's snow on the ground inside your shelter, depending on the depth, either scrape it out or layer more evergreen branches over it. A fire will keep you warm enough that you'll likely be able to nod off.

Doesn't that sound like fun? I thought it was.

I am far more likely to survive my stranding now! Thank you!

Now I know how to hang the lovely horse skull that's been languishing (wistfully!) in the closet because it takes up too much shelf space to have out!

With a horse skull, you've got so much weight I'd suggest going for two points of wiring--arch and something more solid if possible, and don't skimp on the gauge, though it's a balancing act because you don't want to damage the bone trying to wrap stiff wire.

It's the Internet! Cat Photos are gold! More Cat Photos!

God. If you pull out a silverware drawer in my house nine times out of ten a hammer falls on your foot. Those blogs! Don't those people have pets? How is it possible to live with white furniture? Or white clothing for that matter. Is there any creative way to photograph the massive hair ball one of the cats just yurked up in the middle of the kitchen table?




Processed cheese food -- isn't that what processed cheese eats?

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