Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lazy Sunday

This past week was very, very busy, and by the time I wrapped up everything at work on Friday afternoon, I was ready to veg. The theme for this weekend seems to have been: "Lay around on the couch and accomplish as little as possible." I really needed that, even if I do feel slightly bad about it. Note to self: stop feeling guilty about having a day off!

Laying around reminds me of this photo, one of my favorite photos that I've ever taken of my precious whippet, Laika.

Portrait of a Lazy Whippet (2006)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70
Film: Polaroid Time-Zero
Location: Denton, Texas

I took this photo of Laika at one of those typical moments when she had planted herself on the bed while I had the sheets in the washer. We had just moved into our house here in Texas, from Florida, a few weeks beforehand, and she still had pine tar stains on her face and feet from our yard in Orlando. (That stuff is impossible to get off!) Anyway, the bed is one of Laika's favorite places, and I often get nice shots of her there. However, for this shot, I think the lighting and Time-Zero film worked a little extra magic; coupled with that classic hound expression and the super-comfy duvet, this might just be the most Laika of all Laika shots. ;)


I woke up this morning and our internet was out. That's a huge crisis in my house, as both my husband and I are internet addicts beyond redemption! However, when it came back, I learned that a Showcase I had curated was on today's cover of Trunkt!

Trunkt is a super-stimulating community of artists who are selling their works. For this showcase, I selected photographers who are making beautiful botanical visions! I own a photo from one of the people I chose, the very talented Alicia Bock. If you click here, you can see the image of Alicia's that hangs above my desk at home--I really, really, REALLY love it! I have my eye on several photos by artists in this collection, particularly Tiffany Teske, Fireyeyed, and Fotofiction.

If you're inclined, check out my Trunkt portfolio!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

For a moment, collages

I've been hoping to get some time lately to make a new batch of collages. I got really into collage-making in 2006, and have been making collages in my Moleskine off and on ever since, as well as Polaroid collages and little ATC-sized creations. One of the main themes to emerge in my collage work has been sexuality and sexual imaginings; you can see some of my less-racy collages (although still not "safe" for work, innocent eyes, etc.) here and some of the even harder ones can be found here.

I'm very excited, as tomorrow my collages will be one of the features of the new issue of Left Hand Rotation, one of the premier Indie art sites from Europe! Click here for a sneak peak of the feature!

The collage below is one of my favorite pieces I've done, and it has a story behind it that makes it even more special to me. My friend Vito has a salvage business in Philadelphia, and he's always finding weird and wonderful stuff in the cars he processes. One day he found several boxes of still-sealed Polaroid Time-Zero film, expired in 1980, in one of the cars. It had been submerged, and the packages were waterlogged. However, he dried them out and sent them to me, just to see if they were still functional. Unfortunately, the batteries were corroded and the chemicals were dried up, so the film wouldn't work. However, I was able to keep some of them and make some collages, including this one. I really like it. And, since I still have a lot of this special old film from Vito, I'll be able to make many more Time-Zero collages in the future!

Asylum After the War (2006)
Mixed-Media Collage using Waterlogged Time-Zero Polaroid Film (expired in 1980) and ephemera

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My name is Nancy, and I'm a coffee addict!

I admit it: I'm a coffee addict! Coffee is definitely a passion of mine. For many years, my morning ritual has been to wake up and make myself a caffe latte, savor it, and then face my day. Although I used a rather fancy espresso maker for years, I have been a stovetop lavazza convert for quite some time now. It makes simple, fast, and simply perfect espresso each time.

Whenever I travel, I make it a point to adapt my addiction to whatever coffee is popular in the place I am visiting. In the Middle East, I simply adore the cardamom-flavored coffees brewed in brass ibriqs. There's nothing quite like the potentcy and aroma of a fine cup of "Turkish" or "Arabic" coffee, قهوة عربية‎ . I took this photo of a particularly good Arabic coffee while I was in Jordan last summer. I sprinkled rose petals around the ibriq, because the air smelled beautifully of a mixture of rose water, cardamom, and coffee, and I wanted to remember that, always.

Ibriq with Rose Petals (2007)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1, Model 2
Film: Polaroid Time-Zero
Border Removed in the scanning process
Location: Amman, Jordan

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


I'm a native Californian, but I've lived in Texas now for nearly two years, and my husband is from El Paso, which is Texas, albeit a very different kind of Texas than where we live, so I've been a quasi-Texan for even longer. Anyway, the Texans are obsessive about their bluebonnets, and I have to say, after seeing this flower's springtime majesty in Texas for the first time last year, I am now a major fan myself! Last year on April Fool's Day, I drove between Austin and Denton on the peak day for Bluebonnets in Central and North Texas, and it was glorious! I stopped many times to take photos, and these two Polaroids became my some of my favorites. I dsplay them here, borders removed, as a diptych. I haven't seen any bluebonnets yet this year--they are late, apparently--but these may do the trick until the new ones arrive!

Bluebonnets of Springtime (2007)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70
Film: Polaroid Time-Zero
Presented as a diptych
Location: near Abbott, Texas
Borders removed in the scanning process

Monday, March 24, 2008

Girls at the Harem al-Sharif

This is one of my favorite Polaroids that I've ever taken. I was in Jerusalem in 2006; it was the first time I had been there since I was living there while doing my dissertation research in 1998-1999, and the city was far more depressed and restrictive than at that time. Still, my love for the people of the Old City, as well as its peerless holy and historic sites, didn't stop me from spending as much time as possible walking the streets with my cameras and talking with Jerusalemites. On my last day there, I went up to the Dome of the Rock, known to Muslims as the Harem al-Sharif, or Holy Sanctuary, and came across these three young women coming down from the Shrine. I took the moment to take their photo, and it was really amazing to watch it develop with them! We chatted a little bit while the photo emerged as only a Polaroid can, like magic, and then said our goodbyes. They went down from the site and into the Old City while I went up to the monument one last time. I asked them to pose for an up-close portrait, but they refused. That's fine; what a portrait I have by which to remember them!

Girls at the Harem al-Sharif (2006)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70, Alpha 1, Model 2
Film: Polaroid Time-Zero
Location: Jerusalem

Sunday, March 23, 2008


I lived in Orlando for five years (2001-2006) while I worked as a professor at the University of Central Florida. While I was there, UCF opened up a new Honors College building that had a gorgeous meditation garden. Whenever I was teaching in the college, I would go to my class a bit early (weather permitting!) and spend a few moments in the garden. Once I knew I was leaving Orlando for good, I took time to go over to the garden with my camera, to steal a few memories of the beautiful flowers and plants residing there. This photo is one of those plants. The soft colors and textures of this photo really embody the mood of that on-campus sanctuary. If you are ever on the UCF campus, you should definitely take a stroll through the Honors College meditation garden.

Soft Like Japan (2006)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70
Film: Polaroid Time-Zero
Location: Orlando, Florida
Polaroid border removed in the scanning process

Greener Alternatives

One of the topics I'd like to tackle from time to time in this blog are some of the greener alternatives I've found for making my life a little less damaging to the environment. My husband and I are always looking for small and simple ways to live with less toxins around us in our home. We recently found these awesome sponges, made by a company called "Twist":

These are the twist sponges we bought yesterday.

Twist creates natural, renewable-tree sourced cellulose and loofah sponges that are dye- and toxin-free, and are 100 per cent biodegradable. They also reuse 99.97% of their waste in their production process. Their packaging is also made of recycled paper, not plastic, and they have patterns on the back for making birdfeeders! I highly recommend them!

Visit the Twist website for more info.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

The Flatiron Building

I'm a real sucker for the Flatiron building. I cannot really tell you exactly what it is about the buiilding that I like. I don't particularly think the neighborhood it's in is very interesting, but the way it dominates the intersection and tricks the eye never ceases to amaze me. When I was in New York last summer, I was lucky enough to take a few photos of this building that I am proud of; let me tell you the story behind these images.

The first one, Gotham, was taken at about 8 o'clock in the morning. I thought I would get to the building in time to avoid strange sunshine and shade patches. However, you can see at the top that the Sun was already beginning to shine unevenly on the building. However, the expired quality of this amazing pack of Time-Zero film added some surreal flames to the lower portion of this picture, balancing the sunlight on the top quite nicely. This photo has turned out to be one of my personal favorites.

Gotham (2007)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70, Alpha 1, Model 2
Film: Polaroid Time-Zero (very expired)
Polaroid border removed in the scanning process

This photo was taken a few days before Gotham, and it took me about 20 minutes to get this properly lined up without having any other buildings in the frame! I shot another one prior to this, but the building turned out too crooked for my taste, so I shot another and got this special image. I know it sounds silly, but I was literally out of breath after taking this shot! It was a real bear to compose, but worth it. I was particularly happy with the colors; they are classically faded as good Time-Zero colors taken in bright light should be, but not washed out.

The Flatiron Building (2007)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70, Alpha 1, Model 2
Film: Polaroid Time-Zero

As a change of pace, this Holga photo was taken on a whim; I love to play with multiple exposures, so I shot madly, wondering how it would come out. I think it's a fairly fun photograph!

Vertigo (200&)
Camera: Holga CFN
Film: Classic Pan 400

I cannot wait until I'm in NYC again; I have plans to go back to the Flatiron and try some different cameras and processes. Stay tuned!

Friday, March 21, 2008

"The cows got out!"

Earlier this evening, my husband went out to make a quick run to the supermarket, and he called me after only being gone for a few minutes to say, "I'm over here on the corner, and the cows got out!" The cows live just a bit down the road from us, and apparently, there were four of them, including a small calf, in the street! Luckily, they seem to have found their way back into their field, but it reminded me of this photo I took last summer of one of these cows. I think they are a very beautiful bunch of bovine, that's for sure!

A White Faced Cow (2007)
Camera: Holga FN
Film: Fujichrome ms 100/1000 rms 120, expired 11/2000
Location: Denton, Texas, USA

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Story Behind the Photograph

One of the ideas I've had for this site is to talk a bit about the story behind some of my photographs. I'd like to start with the story behind this photograph:

I'm ready for my closeup... (2007)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70 Alpha 1, Model 2
Film: Polaroid Time-Zero (very expired)
Location: New York City, USA

I shot this photo in Soho, Manhattan, in the dog days of summer 2007. I was walking around the Lower East Side, then Nolita, and then Soho, lugging several cameras in my bag and sweating on a super-hot-and-humid NYC afternoon, stopping whenever I had a chance to enjoy a cold drink or an ice cream from Mr. Softie to cool off, and of course, shooting photos. Suddenly I noticed a small crowd gathering on a corner. I walked over to said crowd to discover a fashion shoot taking place. The model was wearing an ultra-retro dress while the photographer squatted to shoot her photo from low angles and his assistant desperately reflected light onto her face, shaded as it was among the buildings. This was the moment I had been waiting for. However, the only camera in my hands was my SX-70, and it was loaded with precious Time-Zero film, a now-discontiued commodity. Every shot is precious to me. Dare I potentially "waste" it on a street photo that may turn out terrible? Dare I waste time digging out another camera from my bag? The shot could be lost by the time I got a "safer" camera out and ready. I went for it, shot the Polaroid, and I was so happy that I did! The photo came out exactly as I had dreamed, only better. I knew it was pretty special when street photographer extraordinaire Chris Weeks singled it out one day on his blog as a fine example of street photography. I was humbled, to say the least! This photo is exactly why we should never leave our houses without a camera!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Welcome to Futurowoman Fotographie!

Welcome to my new blog, devoted to my own photography and the photography of others whose works I admire. I'll also add, from time to time, posts about some of my favorite craftspeople, artists, writers, and other creative types. I hope you will find something to enjoy here!

An Afternoon in Amsterdam (2006)
Camera: Polaroid SX-70, Alpha 1, Model 2
Film: Polaroid Time-Zero (Manipulated)
Location: Amsterdam, the Netherlands