Wednesday, November 2, 2011

White Blank Page

It's been some time since my last post. For several months I had been trying to finish all of my images for my website. I was actually really close to being ready to put them up but recently I lost/got my laptop and external hard drive (with the only finished versions of my images) stolen. So, now I'm having to start all over. While, I was a little (okay, a lot!) depressed several weeks ago, I am feeling a lot more positive now. I have finally begun re-editing all of the images that are important for my collection. I am even finding images I had previously overlooked to be fairly good, which is kind of neat. I have purchased a new laptop with the help of many of my friends/acquaintances/family members/even teachers and staff at school. It still surprises me that people can be so generous. I am so grateful for everyone's help. Really, if it weren't for them, I would still be moping around feeling sorry for myself.

Self Portrait

Self portraits are kind of strange to me because I always feel vain taking them, but on the other hand, it's always been a way to document how I am feeling at any particular moment. Some people write in journals, but I can't express myself in words. I'm a very visual person. But not just in the act of taking the image, but also in how I edit them. The last few weeks have been very confusing for me. I had never, in my life, felt so much lacking in artistic drive. I've always thought of myself as someone who has to continue working on art all the time to stay happy, it never really mattered what the medium was. So, when I realized all the time I had spent editing those images, images I no longer had copies of, I just felt so upset. It seemed like such a waste of time. Why make art if you can't show it to anyone? While I enjoyed every moment of taking and editing those images, it's also just very difficult to see them go. but they are gone now. I have tried to make my peace with that. I am trying to look at it with a different perspective. I now have a chance to actually go through my images again, and edit them the right way, a way that's very cohesive. The image above will be apart of my self portrait series. I am feeling proactive.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Imagine the Swan

(double click to see fine detail)

I often go to the Cypress College Swap meet on Sundays to photograph people. This lady was standing by herself under the trees, and she really just looked so lonely but in a very majestic way. She obviously was waiting for someone to come pick her up, but I just felt such a warm connection. Sometimes when I see certain people, I can't think of anything other than photographing them, it's something I have to do or I'll really regret it. I watched her for a minute as she "watched the world go by." I finally worked up the courage to ask her if I could photograph her. I could tell she didn't really want to be photographed but she agreed. As I was taking her picture, her daughter pulled up to the sidewalk in a car. and that was it. The lady helped her Mother into the car. The older woman smiled at me before she got in and drove away. I wish I had ask her for her name.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

In my Place

Recently I was in Las Vegas for my sister's bachelorette party and while all the other girls were getting ready, I decided to take a self portrait. I was trying to pin point how I felt there in that moment. It's really a very strange place, and to tell you the truth, I hope to not go back there again, unless I am making a photographic series on it, or to remind myself why I don't enjoy it there. I really felt very strange, and very much like an outcast. This is the outfit I wore to a club. I realized when I got there that my dress wasn't short or tight enough. I wasn't wearing high heels, I was wearing boots. I looked like a flamingo in a coal mine. I remember having this same feeling as a child being at school dances, watching all the other girls look and act older than they actually were. It's like everything and everyone else was moving very fast and I just stood still being wrapped in time. Maybe that sounds a little too dramatic, but hopefully you know what i mean.

Friday, July 22, 2011


You may have read on here that I recently went on a trip to Portland Oregon to go to the Tinhouse writers workshop. I wouldn't say that Jeff and I made a bundle of new friends or anything like that, but we did meet a couple people that were really interesting. This is Antonia. She is from Australia. It was funny because when we first arrived I saw her and another girl walking around, and I was aching to photograph them, they just had such beautiful and interesting faces. Later during the week, Jeff and I were sitting at a table and they looked like they needed a place to sit, so we let them sit with us. Both Antonia and Emily had really interesting novel ideas. After we all had been talking a while, I ask if I could photograph each of them. I'm so glad they let me.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Little Corner of the World

This picture was taken in Carlsbad, if it looks familiar it may be because you saw this and/or this. I took all three of them while I was on vacation with my family. Jeff came down for the day and we went on a walk along the beach, and I really just felt so in love with this bridge. I don't know what it was, it seemed so neglected by the world, but it was just so beautiful, it felt like I found my little corner of the world.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

No, never

(click to see fine detail)

This is a boy I photographed some time back. I never edited it because I knew how long it would take for this specific process. Well, today I was feeling inspired. It only took me two hours to finish it, thanks to my new lap top. But I'm glad I waited because I am very happy with the outcome.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cocktails for Two

(click on image to enlarge)
(click on image to enlarge)

Today has been a good day, besides the cold shower anyway. I mean seriously, cold water is no way to start a morning off.

The breakfast was really good. I had smushy oatmeal and an apple danish (it was amazing!). Then for lunch I had salad and tandoori tofu with jasmine rice. I have to admit, I am not into the tofu. I love dead things that were once alive. So, I ate around the tofu. It's like saying you went to Adventure-land instead of Disneyland, it just doesn't compare.

Jeff and I are enjoying a glass of Menage Trois Cabernet wine with chips and salsa. I love that wine, it's really good and affordable too.

Besides that, most of today was spent researching on the computer and editing new pictures. It always seems like I don't get anything done when I edit, but I suppose I really do.

Monday, July 11, 2011


I just spent much too long editing this picture of Jeff. But I suppose when you love a picture, you'll do that. I really wanted to put this image together with an image of me- sort of as a diptych, and I tried to edit them the exact same way, but I really just liked this picture edited this way much more. The color sort of drowns you in the grief, if you know what I mean. I also am very fond of his expression. He looks so strong and vulnerable all at the same time. Hopefully you get the same feeling that I get.
Despite how Jeff is looking in this image, we're actually having a very fun time here in Oregon.

Today I took a cold shower- not by choice. I have never showered so fast in my life. I was in and out of there faster than (think of something clever here and pretend like i came up with it). I don't know why they don't have hot water here. even warm water. I'll even settle for luke warm water! I feel like a boy scout, only I'm better dressed- hopefully anyway.

The food today was just as good as yesterdays. For breakfast I had the most amazing bagel, it was a jalepeno or some kind of peppered bagel. It was spicy and good. I also had two cookies and one rice krispy treat, all vegan. I also had an individual pizza (you know like the small ones?) and it had pepperoni and pineapple. I never appreciated pineapple on pizza until today. It's really wonderful.

While Jeff was in his workshop, I walked/photographed around the school's neighborhood. I was amazed to see a couple really peculiar plants. One plant looked like a fort. it was really cool and strange. Also, the ants here are HUGE! who gave them steroids? don't they know that it can severely disintegrate their package?

Jeff and I went to several lectures today. The first was the editor of Tin House and the Novel editor speaking about how to get published. The second lecture was three agents explaining how to get an agent. The third was a man who used to work for Soft Skull press but now he work for Red Lemonade press, and he spoke about the future of publishing. So they all were very informative and interesting.

It was a nice day. I'm looking forward to tomorrow.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Portrait of Madison

This is a Portrait of Madison. Our moms have been really good friends since high school. Madison was actually named after me. You probably didn't know it, but my middle name is Maddison (with two d's- funny story is that a couple years ago I went to get a library card and I had filled out the paper with all my information on it, and the librarian told me I had spelled my name wrong. Of the 19 years I had been alive I had never known that on my birth certificate it had been spelled with two d's. She must have thought I was such an idiot.) So, I am Carly Maddison Cram. Very cutsie, isn't it? Anyway, Madison and I are several years apart and we just recently saw each other for the first time in quite a long time. I was so surprised to find out that we had similar taste in music. But it made me realize how strange it is that people take different paths and come to a similar landmark (that was the best metaphor I could come up with). If you know what i mean.

If any of you are interested in an update of our trip to Oregon here it is:

We arrived in Portland today. I have to say that Portland is a beautiful place, but gee whiz it is confusing to get around. The GPS would say turn right on webbly (i made that name up) and then McCannon would come up and that was the street we were supposed to turn on. Well, I suppose i shouldn't blame it on Portland, maybe it's the GPS's fault. All I know is it was confusing. But we finally arrived at Reed College, where the Tin House Workshop is held.

The College is beautiful and it's surrounded by lots of trees and unicorns. The culture shock is making it hard to believe that this is a real place. So we looked around, and I took pictures. Then we did boring stuff like check in and go to our dormitory room.

I am very happy to say that the food at the cafeteria is actually very good and healthy. Today I had a vegan oatmeal rasin cookie. It was very good. I'm not saying that a vegan oatmeal cookie is good for you, I'm just telling you that I ate it. I also had a really good salad, with corn. I love putting corn on salad. This, unlike the cookie, was a healthy choice. Not the corn specifically, I meant the salad.

During cocktail hour, Jeff and I both got a whiskey on the rocks, which made it easier for us to socialize. We met two really cool girls from Australia. They were both so interesting and after we all had talked for quite some time, they let me take a portrait of each of them. I fear the lighting may not have been the best, but I'm hoping it will be fine (cross your fingers). But they were just so nice and interesting. I love meeting people like them.

I love people. Some times anyway. I love you. Who ever you are. Goodnight.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Packed Like Sardines In A Crushed Tin Box (or rather Tin House)

Today, the image I'm posting has little to no relevance to what I'm talking about. But for all you know this image could have been taken here on our trip. And supposing I had that fast of a turn around, that I could download them, import them to lightroom, export them to my desktop, import to photoshop, and then download to blogger, that would be pretty good of me ( but it really is too much work!). So, instead I put this image up, which is a picture of Jeff, that looks somewhat like many of the pictures I took of Jeff today.
Jeff and I are 15 minutes outside of Portland now. Today we drove for 5-6 hours. On our way here we saw a sign that read "antiques" and me being the person that I am, I looked at jeff with that "can we? can we please?" look. Luckily Jeff is just amazing and of course said yes. So we pulled off the freeway. But while we were trying to find the antique stores Jeff mentioned that it felt a lot like the beginning of a horror film, which I agreed. It was something like a ghost town, which was also kind of a cool thing (picture wise), but I am surprised that we made it out alive. There was a funny point where we wandered off the road to the train track, but as soon as we got near the train we heard a very strange high pitched buzzing noise and we both stopped and looked at each other worriedly. we both thought it was a rattle snake. Neither of us know if there are snakes in Oregon, and we definitely don't know if there are rattlers. We later realized that there was a broken electricity pole and it had been right above where we were standing. It looked really strange and scary. So, in a way if it had fallen and killed us, it would have been like a scary horror movie. Or rather a documentary about a cute couple (too presumptuous?) who died in a freak accident. Or it could be like a part in the new Final Destination 4 movie. Are they on number 4?

Anyway, while at the antique stores Jeff bought me three new tintypes. When I get home i'll scan them in so you can see them, they are so beautiful. He also bought me a new pair of earrings (they look like playing cards- very alice in wonderlandy). I saw this 1860's photo album a lot like one that I found in a trash when I was eight (yes, I was a dumpster diver at eight years old) and I really probably should have bought it, but it was $65 and while that's not bad since it was filled with old tin types, it's also more than I'd really like to spend.

Well, now we're here outside of portland. We had dinner and now we are very tired. Last night we got 9 hours of sleep. tonight I hope we get 10, is that asking too much?

I'm sorry you wasted your time reading this.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Portlandia Journey (day one)

Here's a picture that I took of Jeff. I find it appropriate for what we're doing today, which is driving to Portland, and when I think of Portland I imagine it looks like the background of this picture: really mystical and dreamy. So I decided to post it, and share it with you good folk.
We arrived several hours ago at our halfway point, here in Redding, Ca. We had been driving for about 7 hours when the GPS said we had 46 more miles to go. We were so excited until we saw a sign that said "prepare to stop- accident ahead." They were not kidding. we could have walked that mile back and forth twelve times faster than we made it through that traffic (and I'm out of shape, too!) So anyway, the last part was kind of a bore, but Jeff and I just listening to music and enjoyed each others company.

We checked into our hotel, which is actually very nice. The first thing I did when we got to our room was start taking pictures. what a photo junkie I am! but in my defense, there was some really nice lighting outside, and also I was feeling inspired from our drive (it's hard when you're trapped in a car for so many hours and all you wan to do is stop and photograph everything!).

We had dinner at this Mexican restaurant right next door. The chips and salsa were some of the best I've ever had (the chips certainly were at least). Jeff and I shared "the hugest burrito around" (according to their menu) and ceviche. Jeff liked the Ceviche, but I thought it was too limey. The burrito was really bland. and now we're both too full. bad idea.

anyway, I know you were all really dying to know how my day went, so there you go.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Post Process

So, this is a little different. I didn't have enough time to do a big post, and yesterday I didn't post a blog at all. Shame on me. So, today I thought I'd show you sort of a process of how I edit. I realize now that this would have worked better had I taken screen shots during the process, but I didn't realize I was going to do this till afterwards. So I apologize!

So this is the beginning image. I could see it had potential, I just knew I needed to put some time into it.

I took out the plant directly behind my grandma because I thought it was distracting.
If you notice the walker in the bottom left corner, it's sticking up in the frame so I removed that as well.

I made a copy of the post on the left side and flipped it so I could put it on the right side. I did this so it would look more symmetrical.
I brightened up just her, but I left the background as it was, because it has a sort of nice glow to it.

Then I Gaussian blurred the background so it was out of focus, and i sharpened just her, so she became the main focus.I'm sure now that i've explained it you can probably see all the little mistakes I made because you'll know where to look for them. but I just thought I would give you a little insight into how I do things.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Drag Queen going away party

So, I apologize if this is much too long of a post, but a couple weeks back I went to a going away party for a friend at school. The party's theme was Drag Queens.

Tim was the prom queenJasmin was a pimp
Kyle was an 80's mother
sundeep was a bohemian beauty

adam was a grandma

this is me as Charlie Chaplin?
Brian as a sexy lady

this is the photobooth area.
some nice patriotic streamers.

here's some props for the photobooth

everyone getting ready to surprise Nadia.after we surprised her she seemed very confused. she ask us, "why are you guys dressed so funny?" and we told her it was a "drag queen going away party" and she said "you guys just look really weird." it was funny.

Coco and Kyle's couple portrait.
Brian seducing us with his cupcake.
Coco modeling for me.
here's a panorama of the group hanging out.
Jasmin was just such a good looking boy!
Jasmin was dancing with Kyle.

me with Bieber's hair.

pin the tail on the kitty (Nadia's kitty to be exact.)
Kyle wasn't comfortable in his dress, so he ripped the sleeves like he was the hulk.

Margret was a handsome chip and dales dancer

we will miss you Nadia.