Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

Pin-up Boys

April 7, 2012

It’s happening. I am going to publish a pin-up boys magazine: Boys & Wheels. Spinning wheels, that is. Beautiful men, posed seductively next to sexy spinning wheels.

The whole idea came from a Dark Roasted Blend post, Girls & Trucks. Also loosely inspired by this flickr set that I loved from first sight, and by my long-standing desire to get a male version of Freight Train Jane tattooed on my back (and hey, if any artists out there can make that happen, text me). Yes, I really, really want to objectify men, and I think this is a lovely way to do it.

It was the absurdity and contrast of that Girls & Trucks set that really got me thinking. I couldn’t come up with a really good, massive, female item to take the place of the truck… but the thought of a manly, shirtless dude in work boots standing in a provocative pose next to an Ashford wheel made me snort the loudest.

As I thought more about it, I decided I really, really wanted that photo, and more. Since no one else was likely to make that calendar, I decided it was up to me. So this is a selfish project; if anyone else wants one, cool, but really, this is for my bedroom. Just as all the best things are.

But I need your help. I’ll kickstarter this when things get going, to see if anyone else wants that calendar in THEIR bedroom, but first I need the models. I’m sure I can get the wheels (although if anyone has access to a mega-industrial loom or knitting machine, hit me up), but while I do have enough handsome male friends to fill a calendar, I think maybe two of them would be willing. I can resort to bribes and threats (I have some good tidbits of knowledge they wouldn’t like being revealed) but I’d rather have happy and willing models.

Are you a gentleman confident enough in your own skin to be my pin-up boy? Is your brother/father/lover said gentleman? Can you bribe and threaten them to help me out? (It’s okay if it’s not me doing the threatening.) Dudes must be within a 100 mile range of San Francisco. Also, even though it’s called Boys & Wheels, I prefer older gentlemen (like 25 and up. Or 22, you know, if he’s really mature). I’m going to be taking these pictures, and I don’t want to feel like a dirty old lady.

Help me make it happen! bethanyherron at hotmail dot com.


Seriously, can't you see a gentleman in perfectly pressed slacks stretched out on the grass languorously, the shadow of the wheel falling on his perfect six-pack? Photo from knittsings

October Thanksgiving

November 2, 2011

Y’all. I missed October. I’m still kind of stunned.

I know exactly how it happened. I was working two full-time jobs, making edits to the short stories that are out on submission right now, trying to not ignore my Board duties for the non-profit I volunteer for, helping to run a monumental 15-hour Regatta, and attending my dad’s wedding. Still. October freaking disappeared.

I’m only wailing because October is the absolute best month ever. Anyone who thinks otherwise is simply wrong. The leaves are turning, Halloween is coming, the weather is getting cool and crisp, stunning storms and sunsets are prone to pop up, Halloween, and did I mention, Halloween. I first fell in love in October. I discover a new piece of myself every October.

Except for this one. Because I missed it. Damn it.

I did, luckily, have just enough time (one hour, in fact) to throw together a costume and hit both Journey to the End of the Night and my friend Julie’s party. At Journey, my rocket-ship buddy did me a solid and chased a few runners into my camera-sight:
man running through the night in SF

Then at the Carnival party of the century, I snapped a few more:
A clown behind Mo in a carnival ride car

So I got a bit of Halloween. A bit. But. For the first time in over ten years, I did not host a Halloween party. I didn’t even decorate the dang house. And my costume was a pretty severe cop-out; I took the SFist idea of Fisherman’s Wharf Bush Man and threw on a pair of jeans and a BBQ grate threaded with tree clippings.

I didn’t completely miss Halloween, but the entire month did fly past me. As such, I think I need to take a moment and be thankful for the blessings in my life. Yes, I know, most people do that in November. Not me. In November, I’m writing like crazy, and besides, who doesn’t feel more thankful when walking past darkened cemeteries as strains of the Danse Macabre float through the air? ‘Kay, maybe it’s just me. Whatever.

• I’m thankful for crinolines, striped overalls, clown masks, and all types of costumed wonder. (Seriously, people went all out at that Carnival party. Still thankful.)

• I’m thankful for my family, and the fact that I live just a stone’s throw from my sisters. Dad’s wedding was gorgeous (evidence here) but it reminded me that some people only ever see their family at weddings. In fact, there was an awesome cousin there that I’d love to see more of… but she’s, like, four whole hours away. So, y’know, an eternity.

• And, putting those two together, I’m thankful for my sister who got rid of one of her crinolines, and 10 more bags of clothing. Professional attire: check. Why did I need the professional attire? Well…

• I’m thankful for my new job. Really, really thankful. Not only do these guys have a system DOWN (seriously, I’ve never been more set-up to succeed), I get to see pretty much every show in the Bay Area. On my second day, I scored a ticket to Richard III, starring Kevin Spacey, at the Curran. My sisters are already staging mud-wrestling contests and pistols at dawn over the Baryshnikov show. The perks are amazing, the coworkers seem great, and the work itself will be both satisfying and interesting, I can already see.

• While I’m at it, I’m thankful for my old job. It was a challenging, thrilling ride that prepared me for just about anything, and through it, I’ve met some of the best people in the world, who are going to be friends for life. So a win. I shall miss the old place.

• I’m thankful for my first car, a VW Bug named Zsu-Zsu. Likewise, driving her prepared me for just about any other driving adventure. I can heel-and-toe with the best of them now, and now how to push a car down a street and jump-start it.

• I’m thankful for books, and writing, and writers. There is so much of this category in my life, and yet I want so much more. (By the way, I am NOT going to miss November; NaNo might kick my butt, but I will appreciate and savor every second of it.)

• I’m thankful for apocalypse kits. Not sure why writing led into this one, but it did. Maybe because of Aftertime (dude, I know the author! and it ROCKS!) or maybe because of Hunger Games (which also rocks, but I don’t know the author, so fewer exclamation points). Either way, I truly think a life-altering (if not life-ending) event is coming very soon, and I’m thankful that I have a meager preparedness plan set up. Really meager. Dang, I need a water filtration system. Or at least one of those cool filter water bottles.

That’s it for now. Happy Thanks-tober!

Unexpected Art

May 5, 2011

I love art that surprises you. Giant murals of pastoral landscapes, that up close turn out to be chewed fingernail clippings from 32 different street-walkers. Cathedral dioramas made from spent ammunition (or live; that would really be surprising). Standard girl-meets-boy romance stories that suddenly turn dark and dripping. Genre novels that can’t be described without using 18 classifications; western-steampunk-literary-space-opera-gritty-noir-thriller, with a dash of prose poetry and autobiographical bits.

When I say surprise, I don’t mean the “boo!”, jump out, “eek!” kind of surprise. Cheap scares have always infuriated me. Plot twists in the last two pages of a story tend to drive me nuts. No, the surprises I enjoy are the slow melty ones. The gradual realization that what you’re viewing/reading/enjoying is not what you believed, and never was.

heid 3-d face graffitti in Temple Bar, DublinThere’s something about these lifecast heids that capture that surprise. I ran into them all over the place you in Dublin, and they gave me a jolt each time. Graffiti is meant to be flat; pretty and colorful, maybe, full of intricate details, sure, but flat. I’ve started to get used to seeing yarn bombing around, but these faces look like they’re pushing their way out of the buildings and into the world.

They’re also the type of delightful surprises that many people just walk past. They’re very subtly strange, just barely intruding into the world, and most folks won’t even register them as they walk past. So they feel like a delicious secret as well.

Well done, mr. heid. Thank you for sharing them.

Stuck in Wisconsin

February 1, 2011

I’ve been having fun with photos.

Yes, most of the snapshots I took on my 2004 trip were pretty lousy. But I have a copy of photoshop now. So now I have a bunch of pretty obviously altered photos. It’s kinda fun. This:
me in front of the forevertronturned into this:

And this:
a north dakota lake with dead trees sticking outturned into this:
a lake in north dakota with dead trees sticking out

It’s crazy fun, turning my pictures into what I thought I saw. I’m starting to get over that guilty feeling and the voice yelling, “Cheater!” Whatevs. I’m happier with my vacation snapshots, so it works for me.

Plus, I get to practice technique!

speeding train

fake speed blur

fake miniature train

fake miniature tilt-shift

But it is a slippery slope, isn’t it? First I was all like, “no photoshop, never, I’m an ar-teest.” Then I was like, “well okay, just to crop my digital photos.” Then I was like, “digital photography and photoshop were made to go together. I’ll just keep my film photos pure and unedited.” Now I’m like, “just my digital, and my pics from the point-and-shoot film camera. I’ll keep my SLRs pure.” How far from that is it to “Whatever. If it stinks, I’m playing with it.”
Guess I’ll leap that moral gap when I come to it.

montana road

Collage me

January 29, 2011

Oh boy. I did not mean to waste that much time.

However, I did get the one big project I had planned for this weekend checked off. I sorted, organized, uploaded, and re-ordered my photos. All of them. And I have a reediculous amount of them.

I am left with the sad realization that I need to re-do the cross-country trip I spent all of 2004 and most of 2003 on. Anyone need a cross-country driver? I’m your gal. As long as you let me swing by a few roadside shrines, I’ll show you the prettiest back roads in the nation, and get you to your book reading on time.

Seriously, how did I take such poor pictures? I know these are just the snapshots; I took a real camera as well that I had loaded with B&W film, and those pictures are much better. But they don’t document anything. I used that camera sparingly. These are the ones that should tell the story.

And they kinda do:

fifty little pictures(click to embiggen)

Yes, I spent way too much time on that. But it was fun.

Anyway, I have a lot of fun shots that remind me of the trip. And, you know, that’s pretty much the point of trip photos, so I guess I succeeded. Except even back then, I fancied myself a photographer. And geez, are those some awful photos.

So who’s up for it? I’m ready. The only impediments are my sadly vacant wallet and the fact that I can’t bring myself to live out of my car willingly again. I’ll need a sponsor, it would seem, or an employer who can kick in for cheap motel rooms. Anyone need a book-tour driver? Courier? Umm…. yeah, I can’t think of any other potential jobs that would get me out there.

I’ll let you propose the job. Just know that if you buy, I’ll fly.


Nowhere, no mind

December 15, 2010

I’ve got nothing. Very little energy, and nothing to write about. Rather than try to force something out, which would feel a bit like sticking my finger down my throat and wiggling it right now, I’ll just leave you with a beautiful sunrise over the Oakland cranes.

cranes in the morning

Pickin’ it back up…

December 2, 2010

Right, November stank. Sorry NaNoWriMo, even your gloriousness (and you are glorious) could not improve the month. 12 hour days at work were the norm. Friends got broken, hit by cars, diagnosed with awfulness. Hospital visits were plentiful.

Today’s a brand new day. Okay, actually yesterday was, but I was too busy yesterday to post. I had to wake up crazy early, in order to carpool and get some stuff done at work before anyone came in to distract me, and I remembered something. I love mornings! Love ’em! I had forgotten, seduced by my warm bed and cuddling puppy. My mornings had fallen into a comfortable routine.

Today, I arose before dawn, without the help of my alarm clock. I was at the Port of Oakland before the sunrise. I sat on my car hood and snapped pictures, sipped coffee, and killed leftover cinnamon rolls. I can’t wait to get home and process the film. It was a wonderful start to the day, and reminded me that I’m never happy when I’m slothful. Even if I have to work until midnight tonight, it will still have been worth it to get that creative kick in the morning.

urban mill in Oakland

Georgia Peach

November 20, 2010
decrepit restaurant in georgia

Stripes, my traveling companion

This is not the restaurant I spoke of. But it’s in the general area. I was bummed to find that large blocks are missing from my digital files; either I relied on C to take pics (which she did, and which I must beg her for copies of) or I used my Camera, not my camera, and the gorgeous black-and-white images are languishing in photo albums. I shall have to rectify that.

For now, to NaNo-ing! I have not added a single word to my count in three days. But my massive mailing is finished, and I have time to myself again. 3,000 words before I get a bubble bath. That should do the trick.

Forget it.

September 10, 2010

I wrote a big long ranty post about stupiddy stupid head down in Florida. It was up for a night, then I deleted it. The last thing he needs is more attention, even from a teeny tiny blog with a readership of eight.

Instead, I think I’ll talk about feet.
Momma feet and baby feet

I like taking pictures of feet. I’m not totally sure why. Before I started sticking my pink spotted toy cat into all of my travel snaps, I used to make sure my toes were in there somewhere. I have a big blow-up of a photo from Hot Water Beach in New Zealand, with my toes sticking out of the sand hot tub I had dug for myself, with the waves crashing against the beach beyond.

I still love feet…
Coffee and doughnut in lap, with Chuck-clad foot in background

dog licking sneaker clad feet

… but I don’t think it’s a fetishy type thing. I just like the way they add a human element to a landscape or still life, and the way they can frame things.

legs dangling from the sky, framing the clocktower at SF Ferry Building

Really, not a fetishy thing at all…

closeup on leg of halloween costume of roller derby grrrl

… but now I love shoes, too. In fact, I’m starting to wonder if I always just wanted to take pictures of shoes, and feet and legs just kinda came with the package. Place them in a landscape and they add a human element without having anything human in the shot. It’s kinda fun.

Shoes in front of a row of graves

Although fun may be the wrong word to illustrate this photo.

Anyway, I like feet. What about you? What keeps popping up in your photos, or in your writing? Anything slightly more prevalent in your art than in reality? Redheads? Bicycle wheels? Colt rifles? Ears?

In awkward places

August 1, 2010

This weekend was a consciously active one for me, in the interest of being social, and artistic, and doing fun stuff. Last night I went to WAM’s I<3SF Visual Treasure Hunt after-party. I had tried to round up a few people, but no one could make it, and I was kinda excited about being forced to go out and mingle with fellow-photographers and browse the photo selection.

This was a first time event for WAM, and it seemed a wee bit under-attended. Next year this will easily rock, but this year the room was sparse, especially early in the night. Really sparse. That, plus loud music, and the fact that I seemed to be the only person there who knew not a single other guest, made for a slightly awkward situation. Every person I did find the guts to chat with was quite friendly and welcoming, but it was still pretty challenging for a socially-inept writer like me.

The 10 finalists were on display – two of my photos were included! Yes, there were only about 10 or 15 photographers, but still. I’m proud. This one was my favorite:

On the last day of the Hunt, I took a run to St. Peter and Paul Cathedral, to try to catch a photo of an Indulgence (based on the lesser-used definition of the word). That one didn’t turn out so fabulous, but on the way out, just as 5:00 Mass was letting out, I ran into this.

Washington Square Park was full of beautiful young people, making the most of the sun. One couple was making a little bit too much of it. Mam’selle was grinding on M’sieur pretty darn well; I think his pants were still buttoned, but I couldn’t swear to it. And a shocked and horrified elderly Italian man, on his way home from church, was strenuously trying to convince them that this was, in fact, a Bad Idea. They were unconvinced.

Anyway, after I viewed the other photos that made the finals, and watched the slideshow, and sipped a ginger ale and whiskey in the corner for a while (I knew I shouldn’t have made that Tom Waits joke while I was planning my evening), I decided to take a break from the slight awkwardness. I wandered down to Beale Street for some karaoke, only to find that the bar has moved thanks to the Transbay Terminal demolition. Wandered on, enjoyed the night in the city. Took a few photos, wandered down a pier to chat with the night fishermen (channeling the awesome Kirk of Monkeyface News).

I returned, just in time for the awards. I timed it perfectly, and managed to insinuate myself into a friendly group of Burners who knew nothing about the photography contest and just happened to be on the right listserve. And then hey, I won! Second place! Out of 10 or 15, but whatever, I won! And I got a little SF <3’s You trophy!

That’s my beating heart, there. I tried kissing it, too, but that didn’t work out so well:

The kiss kept turning into a nibble.

Now, I’m on my way to SF again for a post-apocalyptic book club. My first meeting. Hell yeah. Actually, first I’m on my way to the laundromat. Maybe I should chat up someone there, just to keep this social mood alive.

Also, on an unrelated note, unless you have a table worth thousands of dollars, coasters are pretty darn useless, yet somehow the gift industry has convinced us they are completely necessary. I smell a conspiracy.