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Apr. 30th, 2008

spin me right round, baby

spin me right round, baby, originally uploaded by Rachel-B.

I'm nearly done with my sofobomo project! I finally got some last minute photos today, and will be finishing it all up tomorrow. :D I started April 1st, so May 1st is my last day to finish up . The pressure is on, but I always did work best under pressure. There's a reason why in college I started papers the night before they were due. ;)

It just occurred to me today that I didn't have anywhere to upload my finished pdf to. Anyone have suggestions?

Apr. 26th, 2008

contact sheets

brick stripe, originally uploaded by Rachel-B.

Here are some more contact sheets from Monday's day of shooting.

These are from Lafayette Elementary, where I went to 3-5th grade. I really wanted to get inside to shoot some (it was about 6 PM), but all the doors I tried were locked, and they had signs posted everywhere about visitors needed to enter through the front doors and check in with the office. I shot around the perimeter, and my friend Kimberly is going to get me inside something next week, I think - her sister-in-law is a teacher's aide there, so it shouldn't be a problem.

From Lafayette, I walked across the street to Hiawatha Playfield, where we used to have field days.

By this point, it had begun to rain, so although I swung over to the West Seattle Library to shoot, and shot some inside, I want to head back again to get some outside shots. This place has not changed at all. :)

more sofobomo shooting

caught up, originally uploaded by Rachel-B.

We had another beautiful day last Monday, and i was able to get down to West Seattle to try and wrap up some of my shooting for sofobomo. Having begun on April 1st is starting to be a nightmare - I have to have everything wrapped up by May 1st! At this point, I have most of the shooting done. I have a couple more places to hit, and then i just have to put it all together. But that it is a rather significant "just".

Here's some of my contact sheets from shooting on Monday. These are from Lincoln Park, where my brother used to play baseball and where we used to come swim during the summer, and play on the beach. I shot some here on my first day out, but it was getting dark that day, and I hadn't made it all the way down to the beach yet.

Apr. 18th, 2008

mid-month crisis + sofobomo contact sheets

play time, originally uploaded by Rachel-B.

The month I have to complete my SoFoBoMo project is over half past. And I will admit, I am starting to feel some panic. My original plan involving beginning sometime around this weekend, but I couldn't resist those first two beautiful days of April, and went out to shoot both days. I knew ahead of time that I wouldn't have much time to shoot the first few weeks of April, and I was right. Between a visit from my brother's family, my twin nieces' birthday, and a good friend's wedding, my days have been filled with other obligations.

So it comes down to this. As of today, I have 12 days left to wrap up my project. My main issue is not that I don't have enough photos; after 3 days of shooting, I have plenty to choose from, and plenty of photos I like. Now my main problem is that I think the scope of my project is too wide. I've been having fun, tripping down memory lane, but I'd like this book to be as complete as possible, and I haven't even hit half off the locations on my list.

Add to that the writing I was planning on adding to the photos, none of which I have worked on, and I am feeling quite a bit of pressure. I think this is all leading me to realize what my true challenge is in this project. One of the main things that keeps me from doing things is my need to be perfect. If I can't do it right, I don't want to do it. This is something I have battled with in both my personal and professional life. Hopefully, SoFoBoMo can help me overcome this. I might have thought at the beginning that I could still do a "perfect" book; I have come to the realization that perfect is unlikely, and no matter what, I just need to finish. This might seem simple to some of you out there, but it's actually a pretty big deal to me.

Anyways, I'm glad I was able to go out and shoot yesterday. It was refreshing to be out and about, and I finally feel as though I am at least making a little bit of progress. Yesterday, I headed up to our private camp site near Lake Stevens to walk around. When I was a kid, I always thought it was so far away from our house. I find that funny now, as I work maybe 15 minutes away from it. When I was growing up, we used to spend almost every weekend of the summer out camping, so these camp grounds hold a lot of memories to me.

I've really enjoyed seeing everyone's contact sheets, so, as others have done, I've decided to make contact sheets of my photos from yesterday. I did go through and do my first round of chimping (deleting accidents, duplicates, and shots that were blurry), but other than that, these images have absolutely no processing as is.

Apr. 6th, 2008


lady, originally uploaded by Rachel-B.

The weather has turned. The beautifully promising first 2 days of April have turned into gray rainyness. blah.

Luckily, I have been pretty busy the last 3 days, and it is unlikely I would have had time to go out and shoot anyways. It just doesn't bode well for the next 2 weeks. I'll just keep processing what I've already shot.

I also realized today that my finished SoFoBoMo book in my head has text to go along with it, recounting memories from my childhood. I guess I should start working on that, too. ;)

Apr. 3rd, 2008

walk this way

walk this way, originally uploaded by Rachel-B.

Today was a long day at work, plus the weather was back to being gray and cloudy, so I didn't head down to West Seattle today. Although I'm itching to keep moving on my SoFoBoMo project, I know logically that I can't shoot everyday. :)

My plan is to try and upload a photo every day, even if I am not out and shooting that day. I want to keep on top of my processing, so I don't get so far behind that I won't ever be able to catch up.

This shot is from my first school, where I spent K-2nd grade. Man, a lot has changed. But I guess that's what this project is about.

sofobomo, day 2

fenced in, originally uploaded by Rachel-B.

Today was another gorgeous day, so I finished work early again, and headed down to West Seattle. Today's main goal was to try and get some shots of the house where I grew up.

I wasn't quite sure how to handle this one - the issue is that this is someone else's house now. I didn't want to invade their privacy or upset them in any way, so I tried to stay under the radar, and just get some shots outside the house. To be completely honest, I would love to be able to see how things have changed inside the house - although I'm sure the decor is completely different, basic structural items would remain, and my dad built half of this house himself. But I just can't do it. I can't bring myself to go up to the door, knock, and see if they would let me inside. Because frankly, I doubt I would let anyone inside our house, even if they came up and told them my story. So I'll have to settle for noticing changes outside. We never had a fence in front, and we used to have these big bushes right outside, between those two windows. And the color. Our house was a gorgeous chocolate brown. Around back, the fencing is the same, and I can still see the stone pathway my grandpa help my dad place so many years ago. The deck is twice the size, and appears to be without a railing at this point, and there is a basketball hoop over the driveway, which we begged for for years, and didn't get until after we moved.

It could be I'll go back again sometime. There are 29 more days left of the project. But I'm really glad to have gotten some good shots today of such an important place in my childhood.

I also had enough time to get to the bridge over fauntleroy (which was how I got to my paper route), the intersection where someone found me trying to walk home by myself at age 3, the YMCA where my mom worked, my school bus stop, and my first elementary, Genesse Hill.

I was really excited that Genesse was unlocked when I got there around 5:00 pm. School had long been out, and I figured I would just walk around the building outside and take pictures. Luckily, I thought to try the door, and it was open! It was fun walking through those halls, and trying to remember which room was my kindergarten classroom (I couldn't).

All in all, it was a good day of shooting, and I'm glad to keep the momentum going. I'll be pretty busy at work the next 2 days, and then I am busy all day on Saturday with our district caucus, a birthday party, and a bachelorette party, so it might be Sunday or Monday before I can head out a shoot more for the project.

Hope everyone else is doing well in their projects, and I look forward to seeing the progress!

Apr. 2nd, 2008

and the project begins!

across the deep, originally uploaded by Rachel-B.

So, I did it. Today, I started my SoFoBoMo project. I really was going to wait, but I couldn't contain myself. Luckily, I was able to finish up at work early, and head the hour down to West Seattle before the weather shifted.

My list of places to photograph keeps growing as I think back to my childhood. One of the places that really requires great weather to photograph, though, is Alki Beach. My first stop on this first day (not counting the out-the-window shots I took from the bridge, which were mostly crap) was at my favorite viewpoint of the city. From there, I drove around to Alki Beach and walked the length, taking photos left and right. At one point, my friend Jen joined me, and I talked her into swinging around to Lincoln Park to try and catch the sunset.

Even though the sunset was pretty much a bust, I had a great afternoon and evening shooting, and I am thrilled to have the project finally underway.

It will be interesting to see how this project develops. I'm still not sure what sort of shots I'm going to use for the book, and I think I might need to reserve those sorts of judgments until I see everything that I have, and see what direction I unconsciously went in. As it is, I took almost 500 photos today, and their subject matter, although unified by place, is quite varied.

As far as tracking my progress through the project goes, I've decided to blog and post at least one photo from every trip out to shoot. These may not be photos that make the final book, but I want to show what I am doing these next four weeks. I'd like my project to develop in front of your eyes in the same manner (to an extent) that it will develop in front of mine.

Oh, and I think I've picked a name: Remembrance.

Apr. 1st, 2008

photo books and the start of SoFoBoMo!

photo book!, originally uploaded by Rachel-B.

My book of photos from Northern State Hospital is nearly complete. It was invaluable to work through the process of selecting and processing photos, figuring out a layout, and designing a cover. Right now, the main decision I have to make regarding this book is whether I was to get a proof printed right now, or whether I want to take more photos for the book next weekend when some of my friends head up to Northern State again. Either way, I'll let you know when this book will be available for purchase, because you know you'll want to buy one. ;)

In the meantime, SoFoBoMo has begun! This year, it is a fuzzy month, from April 1 - May 31. Whatever date you choose to begin on, you must have your project finished in one month. Originally, I had planned on starting right away. Last week, I reconsidered, and planned on beginning mid-month, when the weather will have hopefully improved, and I will have more weekends free.

But today. Today is a beautiful day. Blue sky, big fluffy clouds. How can I resist starting? So we will see. ;)

Over the past few months, I've had a lot of ideas for my SoFoBoMo book, ranging from local photostrolls to road trips, community histories to portraits. In the end, though, I've decided to focus on something that means more to me. When I was 11, my family moved from West Seattle out to the suburbs north of the city. At the time I was angry - how dare my parents take me away from my friends and my home! Looking back now, their decision to move has shaped who I've become, and I can have no regrets in regards to that.

But I do sometimes wonder what would have been, if we had never moved. And I always feel like I am returning home when I make my way across the West Seattle bridge. So for this next month, I'm planning on heading to locations that were significant to me as a child, and photographing them as they are now - my neighborhood, my schools, the library, the beach, the Y, the park, downtown. I'm not sure what I'll shoot, but that will come, I'm sure.

For more on the SoFoBoMo, check out Paul Butzi's blog and the SoFoBoMo blog pipe (blog posts from all SoFoBoMo participants).

Mar. 18th, 2008



I've started working on my book of photos from my trip to northern state hospital a few weeks ago. As of right now, all of the photos I am considering have been processed. The next step is building the actual book. Instead of building the book from scratch in InDesign, I've decided to get 4x6 prints made (through - upload to their website, and pick up in an hour). This way, I can layout the photos in front of me, and really see how they will look together in spreads.

I think this practice will benefit me come SoFoBoMo time in April. I'll probably follow the same workflow, but it will be nice to test it out over the next few days, to see if it works. I want to get this book wrapped up in the next week or so. After that, I can really focus on my book for SoFoBoMo, which is quickly approaching!

In other news, I've been clearing space on my laptop, moving files to an external drive, and I found a bunch from last fall that I processed and never uploaded, including the one at the top of this post. I'll probably be uploading them over the next few weeks as well. :)

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