Lifting the Camera Again- Day in the City

Not going to lie- I haven't taken any images of quality or purpose since my last paid shoot in early December. I'm not certain what invisible mental hang up prevented me from finding a reason to use my camera, but it was there and it happened.

Yesterday, Hubby took me to a fashion exhibit at the Grand Rapids Art Museum- one I have honestly wanted to see since it opened in October but didn't find time to go see until only yesterday. I know- last minute much? Before we took off bound for Grand Rapids (Gees- I made that sound like it's a four hour trip didn't I? Nope, that would be Canada. Grand Rapids is about 15 minutes from my house)- we had lunch at my favorite place. Myself ordering what I get every single time I go to Panera- the romaine/kale salad with chicken- because I am lame and I love it.

Even before we left the house I made an agreement with Hubby- actually more of a demand. "Make me shoot today... Make me take pictures of everything. You see something you like- make me take a photo of it..." this being said as I primped my hair up high with make-up on the edgy side of glittery pinks mixed with charcoal blacks. He's my driving force. He pushes me to be a better me and even more important pushes me out of my tiny little anxiety filled box to take great pictures when crazy models and photographer friends aren't around to push my motivation- he's always there. And he did just that- starting in the parking garage. "Honey, come over here and take this shot... Honey- come this way, yes I know we're high up, but look at this. Take a picture."



There's something about the buildings downtown on Monroe Mall. I don't know why, and maybe never will, but I always end up taking pictures of the blueish building and it's reflections in the glass every time I'm down there. 

Once we were inside the GRAM, having paid our admissions- the camera woke up and my creative senses starting popping and snapping like a bowl of rainbow Rice Krispies. I also learned something new about Hubby yesterday. In each part of the Iris Van Herpen exhibit- he walked over to the wall displays where plaques gave information on what we were looking at. He needed to read to learn about what he was looking at. I took a moment to look at the mannequins dressed in mind bending couture fashions, took pictures, and instantly had an understanding of it. I'm visual, he's logical.




As if these pieces of "clothing" weren't amazing enough... I fell head over heels for this piece. (Insert the sound of my camera shutter snapping repeatedly) "Hubby! I love this one!" He replies- "Of course you do... It's a creepy dead thing. You love creepy dead things..." I could feel the eyes of everyone else in the room on me. He isn't lying. I found a opossum jawbone in the pole barn last summer. I cleaned it really well, then proceeded to paint it with gold enamel paint and it sits on my art hutch with a collection of feathers, dried leaves, and fake human skulls. I take photos of skeletal remains on nature hikes, fish bones on the beach, and adore walks in cemeteries and peering into the windows of mausoleums... I like creepy dead things.


With my brain crackling and sizzling, fighting the urge to curl up in a corner and start doodling in my notebook rather then take photographs- we walked into another part of the exhibition and there- right there my brain locked up and my inner fangirl started screaming... Lady Gaga wore that dress!!! Omg! Holy S**t!! Gaga freaking wore that dress! I'm in a room with a dress one of my favorite singers has worn...


These are the best four images of the close to 20 I took of that one piece alone. Seriously- my small little mind was blown for a good solid half hour.

All I could think about this piece above was how very much I wanted to go home and do nothing but draw feathers interlaced with honeycombs... I might still do that...

And again it happened... The middle black piece- those are hand blown glass bubbles and you guessed it... Gaga has worn that one too!! Ermegerd!!

These... If I could ever, EVER afford to buy these shoes, much less walk in them... They would be mine. I'd build (actually Hubby would build for me) a special shelf with lights and those damn shoes would be on it. Dear gawd- suddenly I'm a true girl- lusting after couture shoes... What the hell happened to me??

We got to this piece filled with latex feathers and "chicken like" heads protruding from it and I hear Hubby say... "The chicken heads are.... um.... interesting. I don't think I like them very much..." My response... "I like them! Like, really really like them!!"

Hubby didn't know if he liked or didn't like the speaker hat. I was too entranced by the concise geometric bird bone look of the vest and the shadows it made on the mannequin.



These are the best two images of this kind of Steampunk piece that turned out. I couldn't use a flash or my monopod so I was free handing at extremely low shutter speeds and F stops. But this piece is made of suede and lamp chains, accented by motorcycle chain... Below are the shoes to go with that dress.

Again- I want these shoes to.

There was a wall of displays where you could touch pieces of "material" used by Van Herpen. Castings in latex that were formed around magnetically manipulated metal shavings, 3-D printed plastic, and the one pictured above- it fabric made from threads of bronze mental.

I appreciated fashion- especially couture because it's wild and crazy and colorful. But I never once thought I'd been as drawn to and inspired by fashion as I was after going through this exhibit. Like I want to sit a draw from things I've seen yesterday. I also want to start making more of a point to photograph fashion-esque images.

Hubby and I got drinks at the coffee shop in the McKay tower and headed back to the parking ram, fighting the bitter cold wind whistling through the streets. We got in the car and I smiled at him... "Huzziband... Take me to where the bums pee, please??" He laughed and started the car.

Our next stop was into the less then clean and tidy western edge of the city. There's a place called the "Fish Ladder" in Grand Rapids, down on Scribner and Fourth. It's where the major rapids break was built in the Grand River and is a place where spawning salmon can run a course of waterfalls to continue up river to have their little fishy babies. This is also an extremely popular place for the homeless of Grand Rapids west side neighborhoods to collect and linger about. Not so much this time of year, since it's all outdoor with no shelter. But during the summer... Yeah, you guessed it- it kinda smells like pee. I'd love to do a night shoot down there with the water reflections of the Grand Rapids skyline, but like Hubby said- I'd need to have at least three people with me other then a model- and all of us carrying weapons. 

With the thawing/freezing patterns of weather we've had here the past two weeks- a massive ice dam had built here and almost choked off the river completely. Hubby wanted to show me that as it was really impressive when he drove past it Wednesday during his shift on the ambulance. However, by the time we'd gotten there yesterday- the ice dam had pretty much broken apart completely. However- it was still pretty cool to wander down along the river bank, photographing what was left of the ice dam.



Then I started playing with long exposures. Normally you can really only do this when you are operating on a tripod with special ND filters. My crazy ass has figured out the bracing arms against torso (looking like a certain kind of special posture wise to everyone around me) and holding my breath- I can hold myself and camera steady enough to do this free-handed.

Honestly- the first time I tried this was in Otterville, ON with a far better camera then mine- just to see if I could do it. And I did. I was completely amazed with myself.

But, then I did it again yesterday in the shivering cold!! I'd like to think I'm pretty special being able to do this, but in reality, I'm probably not. Who knows. I'm still pretty proud of myself.


But, like I mentioned before- my artistic creative fires have been stoked once again. With that- I will leave you all for the day. I've got to wrap up a couple website things (like add some of these amazing images over there), schedule a few Facebook posts- but then it's off to lighting candles and breaking out the sketchbook!! 

Check out the others corners of the internet you can find me lurking...

Not quite daily updates, but certain full of pretty stuff to look at!!!

Also Another pretty solid daily updated location is my Instragram Feed


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