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From Camera to Paper

Wednesday, August 5, 2015   |   News
With all the changes in the photographic industry in the past 15 years - digital is the driving force of change. Then add in the smart phone… and you have a revolution. Its the modern day Brownie Camera - its available to everyone, everywhere. 
 
But with this amazing ability of everyone being able to photograph everything we are at risk of losing one valuable thing. The images themselves. The current young generation is the most photographed ever, but also one of the last generations to actually, see and feel a print of themselves. The images remain on the phone which hopefully is backed up to a cloud or hard drive, but they remain digital, the good old print is not happening. I would like to see its revival! I would love to see families sharing their holiday memories in books, snapshots on paper and frames on their walls. 
 
So to help you make your summer memories surround you into fall here are some handy tools and apps for you to improve you initial image and places to print images. 

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Apps to improve and tweak your images beyond the abilities of your phone. My favorite has to be Snapseed - its a phone version of the powerful Nik filters that professional photographers love to use. It has quick filters and a super easy to understand interface. 
 
Another great tweak image tool is PIC-TaP-GO- this is great and versatile you can add multiple filters, adjust the strength and save your own recipes. Plus Doug Boutwell one of the founders has a zany sense of humor so you can’t help but get a giggle when you read his blog posts or twitter feeds. 
 
Now to print those images!! For a wonderful range of products and simple to use straight from your phone is Artfact Uprising - I love this company - their design aesthetic just makes my heart sing and then the quality of the products is top class. Here is an image of the image block the boys and I made Don for Father’s Day. They have just added large prints 40x60 to their line up so you can go and make what ever you like here!!

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Another place I recommend is the side lab of my main pro lab. Mpix - they do everything and will even help you with retouching and color correction. A wide range of products and easy online ordering. Fast, efficient and great delivery too. 
 
If you are looking for something different then think about printing your images on wood. I have tried Woodsnap and they do a good job with great customer service. 
 
Finally my favorite album, is to use Milk Books…. yes I think I am a total sucker for the overall look and feel of a website and this one also just makes me off the chart aesthetic value happy! This company based in my homeland of New Zealand offers a wonderful range of books for different occasions and budgets. I love ,love, love mine!! 
 
So I challenge you to make some tangible prints or products from all the images you create of your family, travels and adventures this summer. Please share some of what you create. Enjoy and have fun. And let me know how it feels when you sit curled up in a chair this winter with your kids flipping through an album that shows all your adventures from this past summer. I bet it is priceless!

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Fine Art Play - Imagination and Creative Retreat

Tuesday, July 14, 2015   |   News
Fairy series... why? I have no idea why - I have never been the dress up girl! But when I was with the wonderful Julianne Jonker studying in May I found myself drawn to her magical closet of fairy outfits... I had totally ignored them four years ago. This time it was a magnetic pull. 
 
I wondered why... and now I think some light has been shed. When I first met my husband it was a magical time in New Zealand, where in the woods when it rains the greens are so vibrant, the moss glows and the feeling of magic permeates the air. We used to joke about pixies in the woods and the magic of the elves. I was a huge fan of Lord of the Rings!! 
 
Anyway the symbolism of the fairy folk - the magic of the ways all intrigues me. But really the essence behind the pull is the excitement of a new journey, the vision of where I can go and the magic of a new beginning. Enjoy!! 
 
Here is a sweet girl who modeled for us on the bridge in Julianne's yard.

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This shows the power of vision. This would be my disenchanted fairy!! Sometimes the new way is not always easy. This was the image straight out of camera (SOCC) but I knew where I wanted to go....

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When you get to study with an artist like Julianne - other amazingly talented people also go. So this workshop was a great in connecting with others and learning from them. Al DaValle kindly showed me some new tricks in Lightroom and this is the image after his tweaks... He had no clue why I wanted to keep going with this... but sometimes its all about the idea in your head and just playing...

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Here is the final image, inspired by the wonderful work of Kamil Vojnar The final piece was printed on Japanese rice paper and mounted to a wood board which I then textured and overlayed.... but I can't implant that to a website - basically its this with more!! 
 
So thank you for your time and joining on the pursuit of new visions. Have a wonderful day - Crackle

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Happy July 4th

Thursday, July 2, 2015   |   News
I can not believe it is already July... in fact almost July 4th. So wishing you all a very Happy and Safe Independence day. 
 
Even though I was not born American (though I am now a citizen!!) The holiday always strikes a cord with me, as it was on July 4, that I board a plane in London to leave on a year's travel around the world. Who would have guessed that I would just keep going and home would become a number of places! Best of all is the one in the Last Best Place, Montana! And this marks year 25 of travel. 
 
This is definitely a great state to celebrate independence day - though stay safe and no fireworks due to the fire restrictions this year!

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If you have a senior in 2015-2016 its time to start thinking about their senior pictures.

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We can do them at the lake

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On location in Missoula

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Capture your moments in a way that is true to you

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But mostly I want to create portraits that reflect who you are, and that you have a fun time creating them.

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Enjoy the fun time with family this weekend,

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And celebrate the joy of every moment

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And soak up the magnificent vistas of this place we call home.

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Out of the Void

Monday, June 1, 2015   |   News
OMG I just looked it has been since October that I have appeared on my own blog... how lame is that... I do know that I declared a void of social media and websites for the first quarter of this year, but apparently I have been more errant in my ways than I wanted to admit. 
 
So now I am re-emerging from the worm hole!! HELLO WORLD!!! I have been in deep thought of direction to take my photography. The studio is listed for sale and this is freeing up my mind. 
 
So a large part of this first part of the year has seen me pursuing my passion for fine art. I began the year just by cleaning house. Then I was lucky enough to go to California and study again with the wonderful Joyce Wilson. This is the fourth time I have spent time with Joyce and it was more than wonderful. We played with alternative processes and I found my spark for passion and enthusiasm for play reignite. 
 
My total passion is now creating images that look totally old school. The process is called Photogravure - basically your take your image and then create a digital negative. From here you transfer your image to a metal plate which you then ink and then place the ink plate with a fine art paper on top in a press and roll the press over it... then the image transfers - its totally magic and I love it!!! So anyone wanting to gift me a press - please feel free!!! Here is an example of the Photogravure process.

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Here is the finished image, however shown here you can't see the cool indent from the press and the finished framed image is impactful and beautiful... ah makes my heart sing!!

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Another playful thing is Encaustics... By adding pigment to wax which you warm you can basically paint on your medium of choice. This creates images of depth and luminosity - its so much fun!! Here is an example from that venture... more drying here in my house as I type. 

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So Art is becoming a more integral part of my ongoing business. Creating unique pieces of finished art has always been a goal of mine for each client. But I am now looking for ways to further create art from the heart for your home that is totally a more artistic process.

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Noteworthy Paper and Press

Wednesday, September 24, 2014   |   News
So we have our very own elf workshop here in Missoula. If you ever go to Noteworthy right on Higgins by the Wilma, you may be unaware that there is a huge amount of magic going on downstairs. Amy and Taylor have some great old old school printing presses and all kinds of cool things and this is where the magic happens. This is where they design, create and make hand made cards, invitations, menus, anything you can imagine you may want that involves paper and a press.  
 
Whats more they are up for as an American Made Finalist with Martha Stewart - so give our hometown ladies some love and HEAD ON OVER AND VOTE!!!
So here is a short video of the happy elves at work 
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