Tourmaline .

Miniature Diorama Photographer

A Personal Connection to a Toy

On the heels of my ‘Own What You Do‘ post, it only seems appropriate to talk about my bonds formed with photo props (in this case toys).

Each of my pieces is in some way a self portrait, feelings vomited onto the page (or maybe the camera sensor, the miniature scene, however you want to see it.) The items I use to create those moments, especially the ones I use over and over, come to hold a very high importance.

My dining room is my art studio, and by art studio I mean 2 tables, one with 2 dollhouses, the other with a pop up table top photo studio. Underneath is storage, mostly contained in plastic drawers, but some being larger parked toy pieces. Now, picture a small child coming into that space. Are they going to see it as a hands-off artistic space? Absolutely not. It’s a toy room…

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Astronaut covered in putple, white, aqua and lime green growth, toy photography by Tourmaline .

Color your World: Burnt Orange

burnt orange color your world photo challenge badge

Welcome back to this weekly Crayola color based blog challenge!

This week, the color is Burnt Orange.

  • Between now and next Tuesday share a post inspired by the color on your own blog or social media. A poem, flash fiction, photo, drawing, whatever you’d like!
  • Link back to this post and include your post link in a comment below so that I can share your link next week.
  • Tag your blog post ‘coloryourworld’ so others can find your post in their WordPress Reader.

Check out the CYW home page with links to all weekly challenges as they post.

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2012, A Look Back

While certainly not the only images of note that I created in 2012, I began this blog in July of that year and am going to go with the assumption that the images I chose to share here were some of my best. I have delved deeper in my collegiate and prior photo history, and while I appreciate those images for where they’ve led me, I can’t say they’re good, so I’l stick with showing off the below.

2012 was my junior year of college. I had firmly decided that miniatures were going to continue to be a part of my photographic work, but was largely creating for course assignments. That summer I studied abroad in Italy, and prior to arriving, knew my main photo goal was going to be photographing the street-sold souvenirs alongside their full size counterparts.

2012 was also the year that my dad wrote a book and had me create the cover. Only my second ever book cover, and I enjoyed having relative freedom with how I chose to depict his words.

Let me know what you think.  Check out my 2017 post here.

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Astronaut mech sut hands holding glass orb with face reflected, toy photography by Tourmaline .

Own What You Do

You will have fears

I recently saw a post on Instagram where someone was explaining that they’ve been making toy photographs. They said something along the lines of “yeah I thought it was a weird hobby too at first.” 1. No they didn’t. No one looks at something in a negative sense then immediately picks it up for themselves. More likely they saw that people were making photos of toys, they thought it looked cool or fun, but then immediately thought people might judge them for participating in it.  2. People will accept or not accept whatever they do or don’t. You don’t have to try and normalize yourself and go “wait, wait, wait, don’t worry, I know I’m weird, and knowing that makes me less weird.”

I get being afraid of being judged. We all go through that from time to time or maybe all the time, but owning what you do can be so vital for your mental health. Be proud of your passions. If other people don’t approve, so be it, you don’t need their approval. Enjoy your life and your hobbies and you will meet like minded individuals along the way. Read more

side profile of vintage barbie, toy photography by Tourmaline .

Lensbaby OMNI Filter Effects for Free

The handed to you, but pricey way

Lensbaby is a popular photography company that makes more unique photographic lenses and gadgets. And don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan. I have one of their, now discontinued, Control Freak tilt shift lenses. However, they recently released an OMNI creative filter system, and while it’s a clever idea, the price point, in my opion is way too high for what you get. Considering you can make all those effects with stuf fyou have around your house, instead of paying their $100 price point.

The OMNI filter comes with a screw on ring, similar to a filter ring, and 3 effect wands that attach on the ring. You can also get a 3 additional wand expansion pack for another $50.

They do make sure to note that these are repeatable effects. And I do have to slightly concede there, as having a plastic effect piece mounted in front of your lens, without moving it, focused the same way toward your light source, will possibly have a more easily repeatable effect than the more hand held options I outline below. But I’m going to save you $150 so that vague chance of reputability is a wash in my book. Read more

Tourmaline . toy photograph of Wild West David Levinthal Smithsonian Diorama - Man riding horse

Color your World: Brown

Welcome back to this weekly Crayola color based blog challenge!

This week, the color is Brown.

  • Between now and next Tuesday share a post inspired by the color on your own blog or social media. A poem, flash fiction, photo, drawing, whatever you’d like!
  • Link back to this post and include your post link in a comment below so that I can share your link next week.
  • Tag your blog post ‘coloryourworld’ so others can find your post in their WordPress Reader.

Check out the CYW home page with links to all weekly challenges as they post.

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2017, A Look Back

Over the years my creative process has changed. As of late, I’ve been focusing on longer form photo series, as well as life outside of my artistic practice. And as I consider where I want my art to go from here, I’m reminded of pieces I’ve created in the past. Lately I’ve been enamored by my 2017 work.

You have to understand that this is not normal for me. I tend to create, be proud of what I create for a bit, then heavily dislike whatever it is for awhile. Eventually I’ll settle back into a level appreciation, but always feel like I could do better. Overall, I think this is a good creative drive, but it’s also a good feeling to legitimately feel proud of what you’ve made.

From changing my artist name, creating book covers,  youtubing, being a part of gallery shows and publications, to the beginning of my vitamin deficiency struggle and  pulling away from blog challenges and zine publishing, 2017 was quite the year on all sides of the spectrum.

In any case, here I present my favorite images I created in 2017, in order of creation.

Let me know what you think in a comment below. Maybe I’ll do some other look backs soon. :)

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Color your World: Brick Red

Welcome back to this weekly Crayola color based blog challenge!

This week, the color is Brick Red.

  • Between now and next Tuesday share a post inspired by the color on your own blog or social media. A poem, flash fiction, photo, drawing, whatever you’d like!
  • Link back to this post and include your post link in a comment below so that I can share your link next week.
  • Tag your blog post ‘coloryourworld’ so others can find your post in their WordPress Reader.

Check out the CYW home page with links to all weekly challenges as they post.

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