Tag Archive | "photography"

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Reel Reviews: “Instagram is…”

I am someone who believes that social media has magical powers. I know some people believe it makes us all less sociable and that’s true sometimes. But only if you use it for evil.

In fact, I think social media brings the faraway closer to you. It brings different perspectives. I get happy whenever my friends in other cities post their adventures on Instagram. It’s amazing how a little snapshot, taken just moments ago, can make you feel connected to someone at the same time that it reminds you how much you miss them.

Instragram is also a way of reminding me how much I admire the vision and creativity of my friends. I like learning about what captures other people’s attention. And when you truly break it down, Instagram is all about POV and bridging the gap of distances, not creating more space between us. It’s an ideal platform for a visual discussions.

This little film directed by Paul Tellefsen highlights some famous Instagramers and the journeys they took using the program. (Best believe I started following a lot of these people after watching this.) I’ll admit that the movie sometimes comes off as one big ad campaign for Instagram but it also inspires and informs you about how something as silly or tiny as an app can touch millions.

One could see Instagram as just a tool to share photos (or for stupid things like #selfies) but to people like Allison (@allistrange) and Brenton (@brenton_clarke) it’s more about connection, sharing, art, and being amazed at all the friends you can make.

And if a picture is worth a 1,000 words, then let’s start talking.

Instagram Is from technopaul productions on Vimeo.

For more info check out the website: instagramis.com

(Or follow me too! @missestelle)

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Elijah and Co. Amber’s Cambag Camera Bag Review

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Elijah and Co. Amber’s Cambag Camera Bag Review

Something I always take around with me is my camera. I love capturing moments, and you can never predict when the perfect photo opportunity may arise. Although I love having my camera on hand, it comes with two major issues…

#1: DSLR’s (and the gear that comes with one) are big, bulky, and heavy, which makes them a bit inconvenient to carry around. They’re also not cheap, so I need to make sure my gear is protected.

#2: There are no cute bag options. I don’t want to look like a tourist with the typical camera bag, a handbag isn’t gonna be able to fit/support/protect my camera, and I don’t want to carry around a diaper bag just to house my precious DSLR.

Fortunately for us ladies, the awesome crew at Elijah and Co. came up with a solution to our predicament. Meet Amber’s Cambag…

Amber’s Cambag currently comes in three colors: red, black, and plum (the one I received to review). It’s made of a smooth, water-resistant nylon and comes with a detachable leather strap and shoulder pad. The entire bag is padded, and also includes 3 removable, padded dividers. I think the gold-tone hardware is so beautiful, and I like that the bag comes with a number of compartments. There’s two zippered pockets on the side, one on the back, and one on the inner flap of the bag. Don’t let the pretty exterior fool you, this bag can do work!

Since Elijah and Co. did such a great job covering the product photos on the Elijah and Co. website, I thought I’d go a different route by showing you how I personally use the bag.

For typical outings, I like to have my Canon XSI attached to my 35mm f/2 lens, external flash and diffuser, wallet, phone, and other knick knacks (LensPEN, lipbalm, mustache bandaids, mini Moleskine notebook and pen… the list goes on and on). All of these things fit perfectly with plenty of room to spare.

If I know I’m going on a shoot, I like to have all of my gear with me. That includes all three of my lenses (35mm f/2, 50mm f/1.8, 18-55mm kit lens), as well as extra batteries for my camera and external flash.

As you can see, the bag is still quite roomy with all of my gear! Here I have my external flash, my 50mm stacked on top of my 35mm, and my camera attached to the 18-55mm. I like using the longer compartment to keep my wallet, but you can also use it to store your tablet if that’s something you like to carry with you. I took out the third divider because I felt like it wasn’t needed at this time. The bag is also pretty tall, so for those of you who have longer lenses, it shouldn’t be a problem.

I like that the side compartments come with a pocket. It’s great for keeping band-aids or batteries from mixing with all of my other things!

Even though this bag carries a lot, it’s very comfortable to wear. The wide shoulder strap distributes the weight so that I don’t feel a strain on my shoulders. The bag is also very lightweight, so it doesn’t add much to the overall weight of the contents. I’m notorious with my friends for hating to lug heavy things around (one of the reasons why I haven’t gotten a battery grip yet), but they won’t be hearing anything from me with this bag!

I really like how simple, yet clean cut the bag is. I’m sure anyone can pull of this bag-no matter what their style. I also love that it’s disguised as pretty handbag, and not a tourist-y camera bag!

Now for the super exciting part… Elijah and Co. has kindly provided me with a promo code to share with you guys-just in time for the holidays! Enter in 15off at checkout for 15AUD off your order. This promo only runs until December 20, so don’t sleep on it!

You can check out their entire selection here. If you’re feeling their bags, don’t hesitate to like their page on Facebook here! I’m already a fan (;

What do you think of Amber’s Cambag? Are you feeling any of the colors, or is there a color you wish they came out with?

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Amanda Lopez Vans True Story Series & Interview

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Amanda Lopez Vans True Story Series & Interview

Amanda Lopez Vans True Story

I’ve know Amanda Lopez for years and she’s hands down one of my favorite photographers - I love her photos and I love working with her. She brings a warmth and calm to everyone in front of the camera and captures beautiful moments. Though she’s usually behind the lens, there’s one instance when she’s front and center - well, at least her feet are! Amanda Lopez has worked on a series called True Story which documents her life and travels all with her Vans checkerboard slip-ons. With so many images to work with, Amanda has now devoted an online space for the Vans True Story images on her website. For the launch of the site I sat down to chat with Amanda about her True Story…

When did you start taking these photos?

I started when I was in college. One summer I wanted to learn to skate board but was unsuccessful so instead I sat down to watch my friends skate. I happened to be wearing my checkerboard Vans and started to snap some shots. That summer the series was born.

Why checkered vans? how many pairs have you gone through? or is it the same pair?

I’ve gone through probably 6 pairs of shoes. Once they get funky, I throw them out. I wanted the pictures to look cohesive so I decided that I would use Vans that were in pretty good shape. I chose to use the checkerboard Vans because they have a graphic quality to them that I thought lend it self well to colorful, interesting, backdrops.

Amanda Lopez Vans True Story

How many images in your series?

I’ve worked on this series for quite some time so I probably have around 100+ images.

Favorite places you took photos?

My favorite place I’ve taken photos would have to be Paris. Paris has so many iconic locations that I was really excited to see and document through the perspective of my shoes. My favorite shot from the series at the moment is a photo I shot of some pigeons eating in front of Notre Dame. It was a tricky shot to get but worth the time it took to shoot it.

Amanda Lopez Vans True Story

What place do you want to visit that you haven’t had the chance yet?

I feel like this is a series I could work on for a long time because there are so many places in the world I’d like to visit. The Pyramids in Egypt, Machu Picchu in Peru and the Leaning tower of Pisa in Italy, and The Parthenon in Greece. One day :)

Thanks Amanda! Can’t wait to see more from your Vans adventures!

All images: Amanda Lopez

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My Latest Obsession: SFMOMA

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My Latest Obsession: SFMOMA

My Latest Obsession: SFMOMA

Earlier this week, I spent some time at the SFMOMA, taking in their new exhibits featuring Cindy Sherman and Naoya Hatakeyama. I wasn’t in the respective galleries two minutes before I was completely enveloped in their respective worlds. And what incredible places they were!

First, there’s just not enough words to describe Cindy Sherman’s talent. I’ve seen some of Sherman’s work in the past (the MAC campaign and the Balenciaga work for Fashion’s Night Out), but never up close in a gallery. The scale is just impressive. While walking through the different rooms, I found myself utterly pulled in by her gaze, color and subject matter. These images demand your attention, and I found myself going through a range of emotions as I looked at each photo. You don’t just idly stroll by and look at the paintings, you experience them. My favorites in the collection were the black and white Untitled Film Series, which reminded me of Italian films of the 50s and 60s, as well as her homage to European portrait paintings, History Portraits, which is in glorious color.

My Latest Obsession: Cindy Sherman at the SFMOMA

My reaction to the Naoya Katakeyama exhibit was markedly different, but no less emotional. The Japanese are masters at minimalism, so while Sherman’s work jumps out and demands a response, Katakeyama’s does it in a quieter way, through light, shadow, geography and disruption. His talent is found in his ability to find and capture beauty in natural chaos. Photographs feature quarries, mines, construction sites, abandoned subway tunnels and the devastation of the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami. Looking at landscapes through hsi very focused lens, Katakeyama invites the audience to view the world quite differently. On the one hand, you see the power of machinery and human intelligence at work on the land; but the very dramatic flip side of that coin is the power of nature itself and how small, helpless and inspired it can make us all feel. The exhibit is Katakeyama’s first solo show in the US and something truly special and thought provoking.

My Latest Obsession: Naoya Hatakeyama and Cindy Sherman at the SFMOMA

The Cindy Sherman exhibit runs through October 8.  You have a little more time to catch  Naoya Hatakeyama, which will wrap on November 4.

Until next week (and my next obsession)!

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Marina Stenko – Portraits of Beauty and Strength

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Marina Stenko - Portraits of Beauty and Strength

Marina Stenko
When you’re online all day looking at fashion and design you come across many great (and many not so great) photos and I scroll through things so quickly and make snap judgements about whether I like something or not. But, sometimes you see something that makes you stop in your tracks, slow down and really look. That happened to me the other day when I came across Marina Stenko’s photography.

Marina Stenko
Marina Stenko has a series of photographs that are enchanting, romantic, bold and fierce all at the same time. She juxtaposes textures, colors, and moods and her photos seem inspired by queens, fairy tales and enchanted places. See the photos below - are you as struck by them as I am?

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