Event:, Photography:

Imminent Mode: Revolution Resist

Adé Cônnére hosted and toured us through this street front runway fashion experience and the looks were to be admired. Dresses made to move held up by womxn ready to resist.

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Imminent Mode #resist show @devonation_art and @ghostgirlartist on @renrae_ #fashion

A post shared by Brianna Estella Wray (@briannaewray) on

I was there to see Amanda Franz and Devon Yan’s post-apocalyptic hive queen look and I was not disappointed. Rae showed up to shoot the look and ended modeling instead. The candids are always my favorite. Shout out to all the Chihuly fam in and around the building.

xo,

Sunshine

Photography:, Seattle Sights, Travel:

UW Cherry Blossoms

My brain full from a hard day’s learnin’, exit the [art] building to find all sorts of shenanigans.

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There are cute girl with bunnies on leashes. There are Frisbee Brand flying disks. And, oh, the cameras. But what can we do? We are compelled to document the beauty around us. And ourselves in it.

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Thanks for venturing to school with me, you guys. I’m getting back to work, I swear!

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Photography:, Portfolio:, Urban Diary

Urban Diary #3 | UW Quad | U District

It may seem weird to go from zero to 3, but hey, this is where we are right now. Zooming right along on a Saturday night… doing homework. I’m not complaining, though! Well, I was, but I acknowledge it could be worse. It’s all relative. My homework happens to be fun as heck. So fun I couldn’t help but share.

It’s for my History of Landscape Architecture Class. We’re looking at the shape and the language of spaces in all forms from ancient caves to modern cities. It’s all really fascinating, especially because our professor is particularly passionate about her field. Not only does she teach, but she also works at an architectural firm part-time.

That said, it is still history. There’s a lot of reading and lot of lecture. And then there’s the Urban Diary assignments. We’re responsible for visiting a new location every week, to document that space (in photo or video) and write a paragraph or so relating the space to our themes and ideas from our weekly readings.

This week we learned about paradise gardens and chahar baghs. It intrigues me that paradise is traditionally interpreted as a closed garden, split in four. And the chahar bagh reveals in early landscape architects an affinity with symmetry which may be reflective of ourselves; being that we humans have bilateral symmetry.

We get to choose from a few locations each week and the image above is our very own Quad spied from the interdisciplinary visual arts studio on the rainiest rainy day.

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Later, Jared and I wandered the U-district. Umbrellas and dSLRs, can you imagine? I managed to get a few shots that also seem worthy of the title Urban Diary before water droplets took over my lens. Just outside the Simply Mac store, there’s this killer mural and we decided to get close. It was miserably raining, thick droplets—not at all like our usual Seattle mist, still Jared and I had so much fun! He’s a professional photographer so I love to glean as much knowledge from him as I can.

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What do you think of landscape architecture? I love looking at beautifully curated spaces, but I also understand the argument that a great landscape is one that is so perfect you don’t even think about it.

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Are you inspired by any lovely landscapes lately? Tell me all about it. Down there. Yeah, just scroll and comment. Mmhm. Extra points if you add a picture. 🙂

Brianna Wray Signature

Photography:, Seattle Sights, Travel:

Chihuly Garden & Glass

I won a ticket to see Chihuly’s controversial or debatable exhibit in mid 2015- March or April. Can’t remember why I won, but I do recall it was in Celeste Cooning‘s class and our invited speaker, Hilary Lee, had offered tickets.

Fast forward through the summer of surgery, the Fall of rest, and the rest of fall and find that same ticket pinned to the bulletin board with a thin layer of dust on it. Expiration dates [12/31/2015] spur action, though. Because we take every opportunity for the arts. Emailed Hilary to attempt scheduling a tour. True, I could just go on my own, but who in their right mind would turn down a curated tour with a pro who knows the details and stories behind each piece? Not I, said the little mouse. Basically, the only person better to take this tour with is Chihuly himself and I can only presume he’s busy being brilliant elsewhere. Because, for real.

Not only was Hilary amenable, she also provided a ticket for my Honeybee and we had ourselves time!

|Inspiration|

Matt & I loved the focus on influence and Native American culture. Hilary explained that Dale grew up in Tacoma and was exposed early to the Duwamish and Puyallup culture. This entire wall of baskets and adjacent wall of textiles is amazing. At some point every glass artist works to perfect the vessel, here you can see the direct link between Dale’s work and Native heritage.

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The first time I saw Chihuly’s work was in the desert on a road trip. Can you imagine the very muted-Arizona backdrop, adorned with abandoned canoes and the most vivid glass jutting out in every direction? That Chihuly is still very much present, yet exists alongside other iterations. It was like catching up with an old friend.

|Reflection|

Reflection

One of the most surprising elements of the exhibit—to me, at least, is the overwhelming allusion to water…without any actual water. This is a huge chunk of real estate, there could’ve been fountains and pools. It seemed like there were fountains and pools. But, no. None. It’s clever and dramatic and perfect. I simultaneously felt as though I was seaside and underwater, completely submerged and, yet floating off a reef, but also somewhere else, also, in the deeper sea. Could’ve sworn I heard bubbling, even. Nonesuch.

|The Garden|

I’m studying the history of landscape architecture this quarter and it’s so interesting to see how this series of works of art seem to fit equally well with this very urban setting in downtown Seattle and with the very natural setting of plants.

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Wiggling tendrils of glass and branch abound and just sort of do their thing—completely still.

|Hotbox|

We even got to see live glass blowing. Molten hot fire wielding madmen, the lot of em!

|Collection|

One of the fringe benefits of having so much space is the ability to display collections. [Because when you have space, it’s a collection. When you don’t, it’s hoarding.] The accordions on display in the ceiling of Collections Cafe inspire awe.

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It’s hard to imagine all this is tucked right below the Space Needle in Seattle Center, but it is. Check it out!

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If I had to pick a favorite, like if you wrestled me to the ground and just basically demanded I pick one or die, it’d have be this ice queen right here. Hilary says this is how Chihuly does Christmas! [Sorry I only had my zoom lens. This bad boy is huge!]

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|Shop|

Even the gift shop had me drooling.

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Find out more about Dale’s work and find details on scheduling your visit to the Garden & Glass Exhibit here. I have to give a huge thank-you-shout-out to Hilary and everyone at Chihuly Garden & Glass who treated us so well and showed us such a great time. And thank you, dear reader, for lending your eyeball for a mini-adventuring out into the urban wilderness that is Seattle! With you, it’s always a pleasure.

Brianna Wray Signature

Photography:, Seattle Sights

Seattle Sights: Seward Park

Seward Park is pretty far from our usual haunts in Seattle, but it’s well worth the trek south to see something new. Venture with me.

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Seward Park sits on 300 acres of land and includes some beautiful shoreline, a 2.4 mile walking and biking path, hiking trails and an art studio. It also boasts a beautiful view of Mt. Rainier and ducks for days!

The grass is greener.

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It’s a perfect spot for meditation. Can’t wait till my hair is as big as this curly’s. Get it, girl!

Washington is so green and beautiful. This wee cabin is closed, but cute.

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Paddle boats and boat-boats.

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It seemed totally random to find an art studio there, but there it was. Honeybee was a little nervous about just walking in like we owned the place, but I figured they worst anyone can say is no, so why not try? We were met with what seemed like opposition. A lady met us at the door and said, “so you’re just gonna walk through here?” She said it with a little extra snip to her tone, but I answered with my usual sunshiny “Yeah, if it’s okay.” “Sure great, yeah, walk on through!”

So let that me a lesson to you. Ask and receive. Maybe she was having a rough day. Maybe her tone is just naturally harsh. Doesn’t mean she’s not a nice lady.

There were so many amazing pieces in progress there, but my camera was set up for bright outdoor lighting, so I didn’t get too many.

By the time we stepped out of the studio, the sun was set to glisten mode and everything was beautiful! All the boats were drifting toward the same direction and one of them was playing music for all of us. It wasn’t what I would’ve picked, but it was fun to have mini dance party at a park. Not two things I’d usually pair.

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Learn more about the history of Seward Park. Want more Seattle Sights? Tour the International District, Golden Gardens, and UW’s cherry blossoms.

Thanks for hanging with us, you guys. Always a pleasure!

Brianna Wray

 

 

Make:, Photography:

Make: Photograms

A few months ago I shared tips on how to take photos with pinhole cameras. Did you try? If you didn’t, you should ’cause it’s SO much fun. Pinhole cameras still require use of a darkroom and photosensitive chemicals. Photograms, however, do not. There are lots of places to find exact instructions. I did a quick search and found these. Here are some that I came up with. I began by playing with sharp contrasts, but quickly realized I love the look of the hazy double-exposures just as much, if not even more so. Because photograms require using actual items, I tried to play around with different options. Organic matter makes really interesting work and it’s even more fun to juxtapose organic matter such as leaves and flowers with very man-made items like my glasses and an old paint brush. Then I got loose. Below you’ll find my favorites: string, earbuds, jewelry and all the supplies in my pencil box.

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What do you think? Have you ever made photograms before? Don’t worry if you have no experience, all it takes is a little patience and practice.

Don’t forget to Like and subscribe for more fun projects. See them all here.

Brianna Wray

 

Make:, Photography:

Make: Pinhole Camera

Pinhole cameras are a great way to get down to the fundamentals of photography. In my personal camera history I recall going from the occasional Polaroid or disposable camera to a point & shoot situation. That was just for fun. It wasn’t until I entered the blogosphere that higher quality photos for everyday life became necessary and I lucked into my first dSLR camera. Since then I’ve upgraded to a better Nikon, a D3200, which is by no means the best camera around, but is certainly more than awesome enough for my needs. Still, in all that experience I never really had a chance to appreciate the physical dark room. I had the opportunity to take a class at UW where we learned our way around the dark room. We only had a few days, but it was quite the experience, so I thought I’d share.

You can recreate the conditions of a darkroom by using a Safelight. If you don’t have one of those you can use  a flashlight covered in several layers of red cellophane. I don’t know about that method, though. If you’re doing this at home, I definitely suggest using photo paper instead of film. If you were to print onto film, you’d be able to make prints but photo paper is easier.

Need: box or can, awl or needle, lightfast tape (duct works), photo paper, development bath, stop bath, water, three tubs (large enough for your photos to lay flat) and patience.

Camera Body

You can use a box or a can, but bear in mind the can would yield a curved photo. Almost like a fish-eye lens. I went straight up square box and still ended up with some rounded images. Whether you use a box or a can, paint the inside black.

Poking Pinholes

Use a thin sheet of metal for your lens, mine is steel but other students had pretty good results with thick aluminum. Good hole-pokers would be awls, needles, icepicks or the pointy end of a drawing compass. The direction in which you poke will need to face inside the box, otherwise your photos may be distorted. That’s the thing about pinhole cameras, it’s fairly simple but there are a lot of variables that can cause mayhem and distortion. But try it both ways, that may be the look you’re going for.

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Shutter

Cut a hole in your box or can. The hole should be smaller than the sheet of metal your pinhole is poked in. Tape all around the perimeter and then cut another piece of tape, fold over the edge and place over the hole from the outside of the box. The folded edge helps ease opening and closing your shutter quickly–which is how you take pictures–without shaking the box.

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Lock & Load

Load up your pinhole camera with photo paper. I just used more duct tape to adhere it to the bottom of the box, but it got a little too sticky for the paper. I’d suggest something more easily removable. Put the treated side face up. Tape all the edges so it’s lightfast.

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Shoot

Take your camera somewhere cool, lift the shutter tape and wait. Time your exposures and experiment. This process requires patience, friends, as you’ll have to feel out the best exposure time for the lighting you’re working with.

Develop

Create a three-tub assembly line for your development fluid, stop bath and water. Follow the instructions and your heart in the development process. While the instructions for my development fluid said something around 3 minutes, I found that what I wanted varied widely depending on the shot in question. After your image is developed to your liking, move on to the stop bath which neutralizes the development fluid. 30 seconds there and then into the water. The darkroom at UW has student-technicians who rinse and dry your prints for you. At first I thought this would be awesome, but when I picked them up from a huge bucket of wrinkled prints all thrown together haphazardly, I had another opinion. Several of my classmates’ photos were ruined in the process. All stuck together. Fuff!

Of the photos I took using the pinhole process, these are my favorites. Pinholes actually print the inverted colorfield, so I scanned these and inverted in Photoshop. I like them both!

 Pinhole1_1 Pinhole1(inverted)

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Thanks for taking some time to craft with me today. Always a pleasure!

xo,

Sunshine