Sunday, December 13, 2015

Mulder Dreams

So, I have this plaster cast of David Duchovny's face...yes, I realize that's a little weird. When I show this to people they usually say 'Where did you get that?' when I think the real question is 'Why the hell do you HAVE that?!'

In my defense, this was part of the decor around our XF Pinball machine back at the old house. The machines (We had XF, Star Wars, and Elvira) sat in a nook off the living room, and I had the face and some other memorabilia decorating the nook. We sold the pins back in 2003 and put the money into the Airstream, and so 'Mulder' has been kicking around ever since. Hung on my office wall for a long time, eventually got stuck in a drawer I rarely used, so every year or so when I went to look for something in the drawer I'd open it up and be momentarily shocked to find a head in it!

I got the idea that maybe I could turn him into a cool piece of art that I would want back on my wall. I contacted Tonette and Cindy, a couple multi-media artists I know from photo club. We discussed all the things we could do to him, but I kind of wanted to be non-destructive. Back when XF was big, it cost me like $20 tops, and they were plentiful. I looked up on eBay to see if I could get another one in case we broke it, and nobody sells them anymore, so I held off on the project because I wanted to make sure I didn't accidentally destroy him.

The following month we got a new assignment for photo club - take an object and photograph it everywhere you go for a month. Photograph it in every way you can think of. Free yourself to find new ways to see things. Tonette immediately encouraged me to use Mulder. 'I can't do that', I said, 'people will think I'm crazy and my husband will kill me if I drag this around with me everywhere!'

But really, it was for the best...

Just to see if the idea would work, I took Mulder outside and buried him in the leaves in the backyard. Right off I got my favorite shot of the whole project!

 So I tried some other shots...


I tried de-saturating colors to make him stand out or disappear

Tried some detail shots. Wrapped him up in a scarf and played with textures.

At this point the project is a go, because I'm having fun. Time to break out the speedlight and play with lighting a bit. I was taking a portrait class at the time, and wanted to practice with lighting, but Dave got impatient if I wanted to flash him over and over again. Turns out Mulder just patiently takes it. I spent hours doing all the lighting tricks I could think of, like the classic lighting techniques, including the one at the top of this post, edge lighting, silhouettes, etc.

The only rule is you can't get plaster wet, otherwise I would have dipped him in water and played around with reflections and distortions. But, I can do that in photoshop.

 And maybe a star chart would be a nice background, because, you know, it's Mulder.

And let's try projecting something onto the face. Like maybe the XF logo, or a classic shot...

Well, you can't expect everything to work, but it's fun to try.

By now Dave was enjoying this ridiculous project as well, and we were going on vacation to the Olympics, so Mulder came along with us! Here's Dave trying to find places to pose Mulder in the forest.

We took him to the beach and buried him in the rocks.

I like it when you don't see him right away.

By the time we got back from vacation and it was photo club time again, so the project was over. I called it Mulder Dreams, since he looks like he's sleeping, and it was very well received, but I'm not sure I'm done. It was so much fun, I have a few other ideas I'd like to try on him. I warned them, they probably have not seen the last of Mulder.


Sunday, October 25, 2015

Portrait class

I've been taking a portrait class at the local community college, and I needed a couple more shots, so I had Dave pose in the front yard for me before I rushed off to work.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

OMSI Maker Mini-Fair

I saw our artist friend Tim Klein post that he would be down at the Mini-Maker Fair at OMSI with his 'Yarn Car'. Since I had not gotten to see the yarn car in person yet, we decided to head down there and see what was up.

There was so much cool stuff going on!!

Human powered rides!

Crazy bicycles!

You know you're in Portland when...

We had a nice long chat with a drone pilot who was flying his drone out over the Columbia river, which seemed pretty daring to me!

Finally we got to what we had originally come for: Tim Klein & The Yarn Car!!


Here's how you polish a sphere.

Or maybe you want to just wood-work a sphere with amazing inlays.

One of my favorite pictures: New and old tech merge as a guy makes a Plein Air painting of a CNC Router.

Portland Center Stage Prop Dept brought a Dalek!

This guy was doing ice carving...

Finally stopped for lunch.

Hey, it's Dave!

Last stop: the newly-opened Tillikum Bridge - for MAX and pedestrians only!

Dave with Dunce-cap spire :) After a day in the hot sun, he is no longer amused...


Sunday, September 06, 2015

Downtown Photo tour

Dave took me on a tour of places downtown he thought I could get nice pictures of the city from. These were my favorites.

Downtown from under the Marquam, near OMSI.

Downtown looking East from the Vista St Overpass.


Saturday, August 08, 2015

Mid-Summer Casino Beach Trip

Ordinarily, you could not drag me anywhere near the Oregon Coast in the middle of summer. It tends to be a madhouse. But here it was August, and we were itching to take a trip, and I had heard that the casinos have free RV parking. I love free parking, and Dave loves Casinos - what could go wrong?! So with no reservations in hand, we decided to grab the trailer, and roll the dice that by the time we got there, we would find a place to park it for the night.

We headed down after work and got there after dark. We went straight to the Chinook Winds casino in Lincoln City, signed up for a membership card, and got directions to the RV parking. It was actually not bad at all. The parking lot was up above the regular parking lot, and it was quiet and secluded, but had lots of other campers there, and security patrols, so I felt relatively safe leaving the Airstream there. It wasn't visible from the road, and there were several other Airstreams there already.

We headed off and had a nice dinner at McMennamins, just up the road from the casino. and came back to the trailer. Dave wanted to go play slots, and I think we played for a while, but I just wanted to relax and read a book I had brought. So I retired to the trailer, while he went back out to gamble some more. The following text convo ensued as the evening wore on (note the time stamps)

Dave: [Aug 7, 11:56PM] Test, you get this?
        Me: [Aug 7, 11:57PM] Yes

Dave: [Aug 7, 11:58PM] just wanted to make sure that worked. playing batman..kinda fun..kinda ha ha

        Me: [Aug 7, 11:58PM] Cool, let me know when you are heading back.

Dave: [Aug 7, 11:59PM] probably around 2

        Me: [Aug 7, 11:59PM] ok, if your money holds out ;)

Dave: [Aug 8, 12:03AM] Yeah

I read for a while and then go to sleep.

Dave: [Aug 8,  2:05AM] Still playing, doing ok

Back to sleep. Wake up and he's still not home.

        Me: [Aug 8,  2:47AM] Checking in...

Dave: [Aug 8,  2:59AM] still having fnu. notbroke

        Me: [Aug 8,  2:59AM] Lol, ok, going back to sleep...

Dave: [Aug 8,  3:00AM] see u in the morning, ha ha. Feels like playing videogames all night

        Me: [Aug 8,  3:00AM] :)

Read for a bit, back to sleep...

Dave: [Aug 8,  4:20AM] still going

Dave: [Aug 8,  4:45AM] wearing down  can't stop

        Me: [Aug 8,  4:46AM] Lol, yo need to come back and tell me all about it

Dave: [Aug 8,  5:15AM] Almost done

        Me: [Aug 8,  5:20AM] How have you not run out of money?

Dave: [Aug 8,  5:40AM] still have about what I started with ;)

        Me: [Aug 9,  5:40AM] Well, come on home and tell me about it

Dave: [Aug 8,  5:43AM] ok, gunna play flintstones and im out of here

        Me: [Aug 8,  5:45AM] Ive been half expecting some thugs to come knock on the door and say 'Hey, we ownz dis trailer now, giddoutaherez!'

Dave: [Aug 8,  5:59AM] ha ha, cashing out and headed to u

So, I think I can safely say Dave enjoyed this new concept of living in the casino parking lot.

The next day after getting a little sleep, we headed off to explore our way down the beach and have lunch at The Chowder Bowl in Newport.

It was a gorgeous day!

Sea and Sky

The Devil's Punchbowl was not being very 'punchy'

We saw some surfers.

We saw a squirrel who was not afraid of people.

We saw these cool old floats hung on a tree.

We went down to the tidepools and saw this stuff, which feels exactly like you think it would feel.

I picked up this lovely little shell, photographed it, and put it back so the next person to come along could enjoy it.

Saw this fuzzy caterpillar.

We continued on to Yaquina Head.

And you know what, the crowds weren't as bad as I had feared. Actually we had a pretty nice Saturday wandering around the beach.

THIS GUY was having a pretty spectacular Saturday too.

So, having spent the day in the sun, we headed home to the casino. Since Dave felt he was played out, we decided to get a head start on the trip home and drive to Grand Ronde, to the Spirit Mountain casino. Again, the casino had a nice FREE RV parking setup in a parking lot away from the general parking area, patrolled by security, and it seemed very safe.

We went and played slots a bit, and had a very unmemorable dinner at the casino restaurant. Unfortunately there aren't many choices in Grand Ronde. But it did the trick. We gambled until he got tired, and headed back to the trailer.

In the morning we tailored our route home to take us to Roth's!

No trip to the Willamette Valley is complete without swinging by Roth's for their spectacular fresh donuts! They did not disappoint!

After that, it was an uneventful trip home. But it was one of the most relaxing, easygoing trips we had taken in a while. And it was FREE, so you can't really beat that.