Tourmaline .

Miniature Diorama Photographer

Posts from the ‘About me’ category

When Life Gets in the Way, Revel in All the Miniatures Around You

Life

Traveling for work, preparing for a move, planning a wedding, all while trying to keep up art motivation has been trying. That said, I’m still buzzing with ideas, but creating when I’m more in the mood for relaxing leads to half hearted photos that don’t match the vision in my head.

Instead I’ve been reading fiction and memoirs, rather than reading for research, watching movies, spending time with family and truly basking in the life I have around me. Allowing myself the space to breathe, and not stress about not living up to social media posting standards and my own harsh criticism of my artistic practice, has given me time to find fulfillment in other things, and to form new artistic ideas. Read more

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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Figure looks frustrated at laptop in all grey environment, toy photography by Tourmaline .

Being in the Game

I originally wrote this post, and published it on Toy Photographers in 2017, but it constantly remains oh so relevant.

The very first play in The Photographer’s Playbook asks the reader to figure out what game they’re playing. So, I say to myself, “I’m creating because I have a creative drive.” But this needs to go deeper. What are my goals, how do I intend to achieve them, and what is the best way to go about this? All things I have very vague answers to in my head.

And then I remembered a quote from Netflix’s The Incredible Jessica James, spoken by real world playwright Sarah Jones.

“And you’re doing it. That’s why we’re here right? This is it! There’s kinda not more to it than that.”

And maybe, if there’s a way to be content in that answer, that’s really all there is to it. I am creating art, so I am an artist. Forget the fine art world, selling, amassing a huge following – I am exactly what I set out to be. That’s great and all, but in no way does it feel that simple. Read more

FIgure steps out front door in all grey environment, toy photography by Tourmaline .

On Measuring Success

By dictionary definition, success is ‘the accomplishment of an aim or purpose (it’s also ‘the attainment of popularity or profit,’ but let’s focus on the first one for now.

I think the path to creative success begins with a pride in your work. Are you creating work that you love, that fills your creative craving? Maybe your work isn’t always your definition of complete perfection, but can you look at your latest image and think ‘this is it, I’m getting it, this is where I need to be?’ If not, why not?

Maybe there’s something wrong, or something missing. Maybe it’s a matter of finding your passion. You’re a toy photographer and you are fascinated by toys. Great, but what else do you love? Whether movies, animals, morning light, combine it with your toy photography and you’re one step closer to creating images you love.

I get so excited about my new images and ideas, and then a few months, weeks, or days later I hate them. A few stick, but some I just wonder what I was ever thinking. Over time, I’ve come to see this as a good thing. I stop myself from deleting them from social media, I instead have chosen to learn from those bad apples. Read more

A Foggy Path

It all started with the word ‘humid.’

In Florida it’s always humid. Go outside with your camera and the lens immediately fogs up. If you want a non-fog filled image quickly you have to wipe the condensation from your lens and hope for the best. Otherwise you wait up to 30 minutes or more until your camera acclimates to the sticky weather.

A couple years ago, I decided I wanted to replicate a fogged camera lens effect indoors. My mom suggested placing something in front of the lens. So really I owe the whole development of this process to her. I had some textured transparency film left over from a college printmaking class and there it was.

I had a eureka moment…

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Wordcamp Jacksonville 2019 attendee badge

What I Learned at My First WordCamp

June 29 & 30 I attended my first ever WordCamp. If you’re not familiar with the concept, WordCamps are WordPress based conferences that happen all over the world. They include talks by many knowledgable people in the field from web security, design, hosting, community building, etc. The particular one I attended was in Jacksonville, FL.

First and foremost, I learned that WordPress is a huge supportive community of tech and creative geeks. Maybe I already knew this, but being around just WordPress enthusiasts really re-enforces it. I feel like I made some legitimate connections with some super smart, kind people, and that’s truly the main thing I wanted to get out of going.

Check out some of the cool people I met at these links:

I also learned some valuable information regarding updating and better using my WordPress site, and each course got my creative juices flowing, whether on or off topic. I have a pretty decent list of future blog posts I want to write.

So let me take you through my Saturday and Sunday, of which I largely attended the ‘user’ based topics. Read more

Figure sits with camera on porch steps in all grey environment, toy photography by Tourmaline .

How I Began My Toy Photo Journey

Most of us mini enthusiasts can attest that we’ve loved the tiniest of objects from childhood. I, myself, absolutely adored Polly Pockets, and still have much of my collection to this day.

Add to that, a passion for photography I discovered around the age of 14. My family and I took a vacation to the Smokey Mountains. We stayed in a KOA cabin for a week and hiked daily. My dad and I even climbed the side of a waterfall. Through all those hikes, and even the waterfall climb, I carried my mom’s camera with me, loaded with Kodak film. Upon arriving home, and getting the 2 rolls developed , I fell in love. I made 2 collages of the images I liked in poster frames and hung them on my bedroom wall for years to come. I still have them in my closet now. Read more

Photo Focus: The Effectiveness of Blur in Toy Photography

I recently picked up ‘Why It Does Not Have to be in Focus: Modern Photography Explained” by Jackie Higgens, on recommendation from a toy photo friend. Within it’s pages, Higgins offers short conclusions on the photographic genres – portraits, document, still life, narrative, landscape and abstract, followed by numerous examples. This allows the book to be read in short chunks, rather than as a whole, if desired.

While, to be clear, in large, the example images in this book are not literally blurry. Instead, they blur the lines of presumed photographic proof. That being said, literal blurred images serve the same means. As Higgins asserts, this figurative or literal blur creates mystery, conceals truth, insists on a different way of engaging with what is before us, and allows for the limits of photography to be challenged.

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