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Preview: photosteph


photos and words by steph parke

Updated: 2018-03-05T11:44:20.792-07:00


Turn Around


the loyal are the left behind
and I won't turn around

So Many Reasons


Sigh. Big, big, happy sigh. For so many reasons.



When I was in college for my undergrad, my favorite photography instructor would go on and on about how much she hated vertical photos. She taught four (or maybe five?) of my six photo classes, and after just one semester, I started to develop my own dislike of them. I found them aesthetically displeasing. They seemed truncated, as if I tore out the last chapter of a book, or left off an essential garnish on a favorite dish. Horizontal or square seemed to make much better sense in my head. But I also had a fear of being marked down for producing a body of vertical photos, so there was that.My instructor's sentiments stuck with me though, and it took almost 10 years before I shot anything vertically. I shot a roll of 35 last summer and forced myself to think up-and-down, instead of left-to-right. I could feel my instructor rolling her eyes at me. But I did it, and I sort of liked it. I really love the idea of shooting two vertical images and pairing them as a diptych, a la my most favorite photos ever of Heather Howard's (but let's be honest... everything she does is amazing), and when I have more time to shoot this summer, I'm going to give it a try. I don't think in pairs, so it'll be a fun challenge.And since I'm posting again, twice this month even, how about another little list? I've been working on gathering some links over the past week, so here you go...1. The Subversive Charm of Day Drinking - It's from 2012, but was a fun little read. Bonus points for the playlist at the end.2. The Salt and Pepper Diner - Anything John Mulaney, but especially this.3. Urban Farming Magazine - Hooray for a new subscription! Can't wait to get my first copy.4. Egg Quesadillas w/Poblano Corn Relish - These are going on my table tomorrow. Fo sho.5. Which classic rock band are you? - Led Zeppelin. Rightfully so.6. Barack, Between Two Ferns - So much of me wants Zach Galifianakis to be like this in real life.7. Want, want, want x4 - I love Klean Kanteen!8. Tour de Coffee - There should be a tour for the entire Oregon Coast. Just saying.9. Crunchy Quinoa Granola - Getting a batch in the oven this afternoon.10. The Doubles Project - You need some new art on your walls.[...]



Every fiber of my being is consumed... by thoughts of the months ahead, of road trips, sand, and fog, of relationships new and old, of gardening and sunshine, of music and photography, and projects galore. I have been so consumed I forgot it was my blog's anniversary. February 2005 to February 2014. Nine years last week. So much has happened in that time. So much growing, loving, and learning. So many photos and snippets of my life shared with the world. I can only hope the next nine years are as beautiful as these past nine have been.I haven't been much of a blogger lately, and in the olden days, I'd make an effort to try to correct that, but it's just not my thing anymore. Maybe it's temporary. Maybe not. Life is just too busy. I love the idea of posting often and being more involved, but I can't promise to make it a reality. It doesn't help that I haven't picked up a camera in months. Really. September was the last time I shot anything, besides iPhone photos I post over on Instagram. I always have a lull this time of year, but this time it's different. My whole world has sort of been shaken up, in a good way, and sometimes I think about phasing photography out of it and the thought doesn't entirely bother me. Maybe I'm just getting older, or more conscientious of where I spend my money. Or maybe I'm just shifting my focus onto other things. My fridge is still full of (now expired) film though, and my closet is full of cameras, so it's not like I'm closing up shop any time soon.But since I'm here, why not make an honest-to-goodness blog post? I began reading bits of Shutterbean over the weekend, where Tracy shares lists of things she loves. And we all know about Andrea's penchant for lists... So, instead of posting a bunch of photos (because as a photo editor, the last thing I feel like doing is editing my own photos), here's a list of things I'm loving these days...1. The best/weirdest-looking espresso maker ever.2. Long email conversations with faraway friends.3. This Tiny Desk Concert from 2010.4. Dreaming up an epic road trip.5. Chocolate, but not just any chocolate.6. Anything and everything by Amy Hamilton.7. This post about the anonymity of the internet.8. Somehow I've fallen in love with New Girl.9. Chocolate croissants and lattes.10. We have gone through hundreds of these since Christmas already.11. Karly's snow day.12. A new recipe for soup.13. These two and the ensuing laughter.14. Croc-like but oh, so much better!15. The trifecta: booze, espresso, ice cream.[...]

Today I'm 36


Today I'm 36. I won't lie. 35 kicked my ass. It was a good year, but a very, very tough year in which I faced a few things I never imagined I'd have to take on. I came through ok, not exactly with flying colors, but life goes on and all I can do is go right along with it. 

I decided several months ago not to share a birthday list this year like I've done in years past. This time, I'm just keeping it to myself. I'm sure I'll share bits and pieces of my year along the way, but for the most part, I feel like I want to unplug and disconnect a little. 

I did a lot of wonderful things in 2013, saw beautiful places, drank a lot of coffee, cooked quite a bit, traveled more than I hoped I would, and spent good amounts of time with people I love. And really, I couldn't have asked for more. But I'm hoping for more of everything good in 2014. It started off quite well in Jackson, Wyoming and Grand Teton National Park, and I can only hope it gets better from here.

Colorado on Redscale


We love Colorado. Last year, 2012, we flew to Denver for a concert at Red Rocks, it was Yonder Mountain String Band, I believe, and rented a car we called "the pickle" - an ugly, ugly pickle-green, cheap compact that got us around not in style. It was brand new, had less than 100 miles on it, but ugh, it was ugly. It got us where we wanted to go though, which included Estes Park, Rocky Mountain National Park and Trail Ridge Road, Grand Lake, and Red Rocks. And Boulder the next morning for breakfast and a river walk.I took along my Pentax K1000 and a roll of redscale film, which is regular color film rolled backwards into its canister. It ends up with these crazy red, yellow, orange, and purple tones, and since I always wanted to shoot a roll, I did. Now I never need to again. I like the results, but they are pretty wild. Stay tuned for some not-weird images from our Colorado trip from this year, also in August.[...]



I can't believe it's October. I can't believe it's October 12! The month is half over. We have been everywhere but outside enjoying the crisp fall weather and the colorful displays up in the mountains. The past few months, as usual, have been a whirlwind of busy. I haven't photographed one single leaf yet, and to be quite honest, I don't plan to. So how about a few Fuji instant photos from last fall? These were from a drive we took up Big Cottonwood Canyon and over Guardsman Pass. It was a Sunday. There was coffee. There was beer. I think we ended up at Squatter's that night for dinner. Either there or Porcupine Pub, which is where I'd like to end up tonight for beer cheese soup. Mmm. I can't believe it's October.

Yankee Fork & Custer


Yankee Fork is one of my favorite places in Idaho. It's just outside Stanley and very near the Sawtooth Mountains. It's got gorgeous mountain scenery, a crystal clear river, a dirt road, remarkable mining history, and a ghost town to boot. These photos are from last summer, in July of 2012, when I was photographing campgrounds in the Sawtooth National Forest for my second-to-last Forest Service trip. Soon after I left, lightning started the Halstead Fire, which forced the closure of Yankee Fork and the ghost town of Custer. And this year, other fires worked their way around the area, some forcing evacuations at Redfish Lake. Fire changes the landscape time and again, but it'll always be a place I love and want to visit.On this trip to the Yankee Fork, I had no assignments and no time constraints. I drove up alongside the river (the Yankee Fork of the Salmon) and stopped wherever and whenever I wanted. I wandered down to one of the ponds left by the Yankee Fork Dredge (in the third photo) and saw a giant snake skin. I screamed (of course I did) and then quickly climbed back up to the road. Ugh. I wandered around the dredge a bit and really wished I'd gotten there in time for a tour. I drove a little further up to Custer for a self-guided walking tour. I was the only one there, and being in a ghost town in the Idaho backcountry, it was a little unsettling, but cool nonetheless. I headed back to Stanley for the night before the sun set, and caught a beautiful view of the Sawtooths (above). The first time I saw that little cabin, I wanted to stop for a photo but had no time. The second time it had about 6 feet of snow on it. The third time was in late spring and was pouring rain and throwing out an occasional wet snowflake. But fourth time proved to be a charm. The fifth time was so smoky it was barely visible. Good thing I stopped on the fourth visit![...]

'Roid Week Offerings


Already a month ago, 'Roid Week 2013 was a big deal. It always is. It's a weeklong celebration of Edwin Land and his magical legacy of instant film. I meant to post these as the days went by, but it didn't happen. I have had good intentions with my blog this summer, but it's just been too busy. I've started posting over on my food/recipe blog, Budding Foodie, once a week and that has sort of gotten my blogging attention since I've had time to cook but not to play with my film cameras. It's been so long that I honestly thought of selling some of my cameras just recently, but then thought, "Don't be stupid, Stupid." So settle down. No one's going to get a steal deal on any of my cameras. Or my film.

So 'Roid Week. These were my offerings this year. Goodies from Oregon, Capitol Reef National Park, Mirror Lake in the Uintas, and cozy little Ogden Valley. All places I love. All shot with people I love. It's been a beautiful year so far.

Out Back


We had a long, cold, deep winter this year. A blanket of snow sometimes 2, 3, 4 feet deep covered everything in sight, and for months straight. The monochrome landscape had me dreaming of my garden, and as soon as the soil warmed enough, and the threat of a major frost subsided, we planted the hell out of our backyard. You know, to say "Take that, snow! And don't come back till November." So far, so good.On a warm, bright mid-May day, my husband tilled our elevated bed so I could get in there. I bought starts from the local nursery, Rockin' E, which also happens to be where I pick up our CSA share (I'm sure you care.). I planted Brussels sprouts, two varieties of broccoli, red onions, celery, peppers galore (Anaheim, Big Bertha, orange bells, jalapeno, poblano, and Purple Beauty), San Marzano and Roma tomatoes, acorn squash, straightneck squash, zucchini, bush beans (Royal burgundy and Blue Lake), peas, and pumpkins. And that was just in the garden. I also potted basil (Italian, cinnamon, and lemon), Italian parsley, dill, cilantro, rosemary, oregano, chives, mint, and English thyme. The garden one month ago. Growing, but sparse and kind of sad.The garden last week. Healthy and full. Quite a difference!I've read so much about a decline in pollinators, and after a Memorial weekend visit to Capitol Reef National Park, which is full of historic fruit orchards but is suffering from a severe lack of bees, I was inspired to create a little mason bee house. Capitol Reef has man-made mason bee houses hanging from nearly every fruit tree in the park, each intended to encourage bees to nest and pollinate and keep the orchards viable. I made mine from a log from our cabin, and a 5/16" drill bit. I haven't noticed too much mason bee activity, but thanks in part to the bee- and butterfly-attracting perennials I've planted in the backyard, we've got pollinators a-plenty.I harvested my first produce last Friday (on the left), and again this past Monday (on the right). I've been cutting herbs several times a week since I potted them, and to keep up with how much I'm using, I've had to plant additional Italian basil, cilantro, dill, and parsley seeds. It's a dream having fresh herbs to use in our meals. I have loved marching outside with kitchen shears and coming back with a handful of this or that. I'm going to be so sad when they die back in the fall. I'll be dehydrating and freezing like a fool, just to preserve that fresh flavor!I've got another small head of broccoli to harvest over the weekend, a few onions maybe, and a handful of beans, but the unbearable heat wave (102-107˚!) that rolled through all of last week sort of slowed my garden down. It much prefers mid to upper 90s, which is what is forecasted for the next week, so I should have more beans, more squash, and maybe an orange bell!Between our garden, our CSA, and the Salt Lake Farmers Market, we are eating extremely fresh and local, and that makes this girl incredibly happy. It's been a joy coming up with new recipes and perusing places like foodgawker for ideas. Cooking and gardening have become my two favorite hobbies lately. I actually enjoy meal planning, grocery shopping, all the prep work, and even working in a hot kitchen. Maybe I should have gone into the restaurant business. Or catering. Something.Now if you'll excuse me, I've got some weeding to do...[...]

Thanks Oregon


It's high time I shared some of my photos from my trip to the Oregon Coast back in April. My dad invited me and my niece Maggie on a vacation house-hunting adventure. We looked at probably a dozen homes from Cannon Beach to Pacific City, from cozy cottages to an all-out giant of a house. Most with ocean views, some ocean front, and one Nehalem State Park-front. All beautiful, all so much fun to see ourselves vacationing at as a family. In the end though, none spoke up to my dad and said, "Buy me!" so he'll continue the search, which for him, is sometimes more fun that the actual purchasing.We flew to PDX on a Tuesday, stopped at Kenny & Zukes Bagelworks (of course) on our way out of town, and got to Cannon Beach and our usual little rental that afternoon. The sun was out and Haystack Rock gleamed in the misty sunshine. Maggie was in heaven - it was her first time at the ocean. She chased birds while the waves chased her. She touched kelp, threw rocks, tasted salt. I loved watching her explore her new environment.The next morning, we meandered down the coast to Pacific City, where Vanessa met up with us. We all toured a monstrous, three-story oceanfront beauty (3,000+ square feet!), then my dad and Maggie headed back to Cannon, and Vanessa and I drove the Three Capes Scenic Drive and shot a whole lot of film along the way. We also stopped at Garibaldi's harbor, and wandered the docks. Vanessa stayed with us in Cannon that night, and we all toured homes in Manzanita, Nehalem, and Tolovana throughout the day, before she headed back to Portland.On Friday, we took a leisurely drive through Arch Cape, where a few of these images are from. The weather was quintessential Oregon Coast weather - swirling mists, clouds, fog, heavy rain, spots of sunshine - and the trees in Arch Cape combined to create epic photo opportunities. I shot almost an entire pack of Polaroid 600 in five minutes there, several images from this roll in my Pentax K1000, a bunch of iPhone pics, and half a dozen Fuji instants too. It was a whirlwind, and so much fun. After that, we drove through Manzanita and on to Cape Meares so Maggie could see her first lighthouse, and she ended up seeing about 100 harbor seals too.On our last day, we took the long way back to PDX, up through Astoria and into Portland via Highway 30, with a short detour across the Astoria-Megler Bridge and up to Dismal Nitch in Washington. That way, Mags got to add another state to her list of those visited, if only for a few minutes. It was a lovely drive, and a beautiful way to end such a nice, relaxing vacation. I have stacks of Polaroids to share, and I will eventually on my Flickr page. Head over there to see more from this roll. Thanks Oregon, for another beautiful visit.[...]

Me and Espresso


A few days before Christmas 2012, as I was climbing into my car, I saw a bright banner on a nearby building: Two Creek Coffee House Coming Soon! I got back out of my car, snapped a photo of the banner, and sent it to my husband. A couple days later, he saw that Two Creek was open and he practically skipped inside.

You see, the town we live in has no coffee shops except Starbucks (we try to support local, and well, Starbucks coffee tastes like shit) so he was ecstatic, and he said the coffee was phenomenal. At the time, I had never before had coffee or espresso or tea. Ever. (This is where you can probably put two and two together - I live in Utah + I've never had coffee = yup, I was a Mormon kid.) But my husband and the barista at Two Creek were determined to change that.

I was never much of a hot drink person (again, thanks to the Mormons), but I have always loved hazelnut hot chocolate, so that's what I'd order. Within about a month of frequenting Two Creek, I'd walk in and say, "Make me something" and the barista would create something amazing. I found that I really loved steamed milk with hazelnut and honey, and peach tea lattes.

Then summer hit. I can't do hot drinks when it's 95˚ out. Hell, I can't do hot drinks when it's 55˚ out. The barista made me a blended mocha, but he used more chocolate than coffee, just to get me used to the flavor. A couple of weeks of blended mochas went by, each time with less and less chocolate, and soon enough, I was ordering a blended latte. No chocolate. One shot of espresso. I felt so cool. I could finally go to a coffee shop with my husband and order a real drink. (Although my husband still begs to differ. He says if it's cold, it's not coffee. Whatever.)

One year after Two Creek opened, it closed. No fanfare, no warning. They just up and closed. The barista would grumble to us about the absentee owner and the pushy landlord, but we didn't think the shop would go. It was sad. It was one of the very few bright spots this town had, and it was gone. We were depressed for days.

And then I realized I had a problem. An addiction. I craved espresso. Starbucks was not an option. Instead, when I wanted a drink, I'd have to get in my car and drive nine miles one way to the nearest coffee shop. And this is what I'd been doing since January, until yesterday. I made my own cold brew coffee concentrate so I can make my own cold coffee drinks at home. It's heaven. And cheaper!

I think my husband is pretty proud of me though. In a matter of months, I took my first sip of espresso, heavily muted by milk and chocolate. Now I take two shots in my lattes, straight up when they're iced, and with a little honey when they're hot. In the 15 years we've been together, he's turned me on to booze, beer (we make our own!), and now coffee. Life is so much better with beer and coffee. And that's the story about me and espresso.



We're kind of obsessed with double exposures, Vanessa and I. First, back in May 2011, we started our little 35mm film-based project that we originally, aptly named 35mm Doubles. We've developed 19 rolls of film, and posted 16 on our blog (we'll get to the others, promise). Then about a month ago, we decided to branch into the digital world, and start pairing our iPhone images via an app called Blender. We opened an Instagram account @thedoublesproject, where we post daily. And in the last couple of weeks, Vanessa moved our blog over to, so we've got nice and tidy, uniform names.We've also got an Etsy shop, where we sell prints of film and iPhone doubles galore. Go check it out. You'll see some of these images here, plus lots of others. And follow us on Instagram @thedoublesproject to see new double exposures from us every day.[...]

Her First Visit


My dad took my niece and me to Cannon Beach last week for a few days of sunshine, beach-walking, house-hunting, and just good old-fashioned relaxing. It was Maggie's first visit to the Oregon Coast, her first introduction to the Pacific Ocean, and her first time traveling without her family. She was in heaven, both because of the beach and the undivided attention she had from her grandpa and her aunt. It was a lovely trip, and one that I hope we'll be able to make again soon. The coast is just too beautiful to stay far from for long.

And a side note: I used these iPhone images for this week's post over on Words to Shoot By. Head over there, won't you? So many great images.



Hey Victor!


I don't know how Idaho does it. Even a trailer park looks beautiful in the tiny town of Victor, just west of the Tetons. And as a side note, have you ever seen Smoke SignalsHey Victor!

A Favorite Place


Wyoming. It's the only other state I can claim as my home, and it was fleeting at that. I lived there for five whole months in 1999. My husband (then boyfriend) and I moved there together and worked a summer at Old Faithful in Yellowstone. It was ages ago, when we were babies, but most of the memories are still just as fresh as the days they happened. We ended up returning a year and a half later, when my husband proposed to me on the widow's walk there on top of the Inn, just beneath the American flag on the far left. Though, back then, it was the Montana flag. (The Inn only flew four flags - US, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming - prior to its renovation for the grand old building's centennial in 2004.) Four months after that, we were married at Mammoth Hot Springs, and will celebrate our 12th anniversary this September. Needless to say, Yellowstone is a very special place to us. So it was bittersweet to visit the park without him back in June of last year (yes, I'm really that slow posting these). I had some work to do on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, which lies south of the park, and when you're that close to Yellowstone, you just go, even if it's only for a few hours. My friend Heather joined me on that trip, and as always, we had an awesome time. She's such a great road-tripper who's always up for anything, and always has a camera or two at the ready. (See her beautiful photos from the trip here and here.)We left early on a Monday morning at the end of June, and drove north through the farms of extreme northern Utah, and lava fields of southeastern Idaho, past Palisades Reservoir to Alpine, Jackson, Wilson, and over Teton Pass to Victor, Idaho for the night. The next morning, after uh... two trips over Teton Pass and a lost ID/credit card situation (lesson I learned: don't pack up your tent until you empty the pockets inside it) we drove north to Grand Teton National Park to snag a highly desired campsite at Jenny Lake Campground (we ended up getting one of the last four available), then headed up to Old Faithful for the day. That evening, we had dinner at a great little pizza place in Jackson, Wyoming, and as we sat on the patio above the main drag, a bluegrassy/country-ish band played down the street. I enjoyed it but didn't think much of it till I saw a poster at Pearl Street Bagels the next morning for One Ton Pig. I took a picture with my phone and once I got home, I bought everything of theirs I could find. They are one of my favorite bands now. So happy I heard their tunes on the wind that night! After dinner, we wandered the dock at Jenny Lake, catching the last light with our cameras (the two images above).The next morning, we set out pretty early for our long drive home, which involved heading deep into the Bridger-Teton to photograph cabins. When I picked up keys from the Greys River Ranger Station in Afton, Wyoming, I was told that the Fontanelle Fire, on the opposite side of the forest, had closed my planned exit route on the LaBarge Creek Road, and the only other options were to either double back on a 75-mile dirt road, or take a road that may or may not have been covered with snow drifts and/or mud. Promising, eh? We drove south down the beautiful Greys River Road - a favorite place of mine of all that I visited for the Forest Service - passed a dusty cattle drive, prep for a timber sale (above), and stopped so I could photograph Meadows Cabin, Cazier Cabin, and LaBarge Guard Station. We stopped for a little while at LaBarge Meadow (below), both to exclaim our happiness for getting through the last stretch of the Grey[...]



Eight is great, but apparently not that memorable. On February 27, my own little corner of the internet turned eight, and I completely forgot until just now. Sorry, little corner. I didn't mean to neglect you on your most important day. I wish I could give you a cupcake, but you get these tubes at Silver Creek Plunge on the Middle Fork of the Payette River in Idaho instead. Here's to another eight!

Into the World and Onto Your Walls!


After months of emails, a few phone conversations, a lot of hemming and hawing, and one day of kick-ass hard work, Vanessa opened our Doubles Etsy shop! We are so excited to finally be offering prints of our doubles exposures. We've devoted so much time and love to this project, and it feels so good to be able to send little pieces of it out into the world and onto your walls.

To celebrate this grand achievement, we're giving away the 8x10" print Daisies in the Windows above TODAY and discounting the two 5x7" prints above, Fireworks on Film and Moo Mail, just $15 each!

To win the 8x10" print, please leave a comment here or follow @stephparke on Twitter or Instagram. I'll choose a winner by 4pm MST today! And please be sure to drop by our shop!

Like Some Picture Show Across Idaho


If you haven't guessed by now, I have an ongoing love affair with Idaho. I've covered just about every corner of the southern half of the state, and there isn't one single place I don't love. The combination of the endless sunshine and big blue sky, the Ponderosa pines and rugged mountain peaks, the loneliness, the expansiveness... It enchants me.  This set of images is from a September trip to the Boise National Forest in 2011. It's from a roll of Doubles that didn't entirely work out (my fault), at least not as doubles, but I'm happy these images worked out as singles because they showcase so many pretty little places on the Boise. The top image is from Mores Creek Summit on Highway 21. Next is Johnson Creek Guard Station, an awesome little rental cabin deep in the forest. Above is Dutch Creek Guard Station on the Middle Fork Boise River. Below in Bonneville Hot Springs, just off Highway 21 near Grandjean. Next is the beautiful Ponderosa forest surrounding the tiny hamlet of Yellow Pine, Idaho, a place famous for its harmonica festival. Below that is the road to Mores Creek Summit, looking north toward tiny Lowman, Idaho. And lastly is an outbuilding at Dutch Creek.I made an iTunes playlist with songs titled "Idaho" by Jeffrey Foucault, Gregory Alan Isakov, the BoDeans, Delta Spirit, Josh Ritter, Nerina Pallot, Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, Benny Goodman and His Orchestra, Yonder Mountain String Band, and the B-52s. I listen to it often, recalling memories of so many visits to the state I love, and hoping for many, many more. One day, I dream of having a cabin on Warren Wagon Road on Payette Lake, or a yurt on property with unobstructed Sawtooth views. Someday...[...]

doubles | instagram


kayak | aspens
one way | cows

 <<  >> | 250

 logs | fog

 balloons | bike

hardware building | highway 191

Success on a Smoky Idaho Morning


I bought my first Polaroid camera and a 5-pack of 600 film from Costco in the early 2000s. In 2008, I snagged an SLR 680 off ebay, stocked up on Polaroid like it was going out of style (turns out soon after, it was!) and I've still got eight of nine packs stashed in the fridge. I started shooting film from the The Impossible Project in 2010, starting with the very first test film they ever released to a few handfuls of photographers around the world. Their film has dramatically improved over the short time they've been creating it, and it's been both a nightmare and a joy to shoot. It's expensive, which means when you're trying to learn it, there's not much room for error. That was the nightmare, but once you get the hang of the film, you're good to go.All that said, this past August, on a trip to Little Redfish Lake near Stanley, Idaho, I finally reached a milestone with TIP film. I've usually been very cautious about when I shoot it because I didn't want to waste my money or be disappointed with the results. The conditions always had to be perfect. But after several days of TIP success in the mountains of Idaho, on the last morning of our trip, I grabbed the last pack of PX680 I had brought with me, popped it into my SLR 680 and shot it with no reservations. I didn't cover the film as it ejected. I made no adjustments to my camera. I just shot. And I loved it. These five images are some of my favorites from the trip (disclaimer: I probably have said that about every image from the trip). I love this smoky morning on the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, the colors of this beautiful film, the memories of the trip in a place I adore, and the excited feeling of finally being able to use TIP film like I've used 600 in the past. To see all of my Redfish Lake photos, click here.To see all of my Impossible Project images over the years, click here.[...]

Places Like This


It's Sunday afternoon, snowy and cold. We had spicy sausage, kale, and potato soup for lunch. My hellish homework for the week is done. I've got Jeffrey Foucault playing. And I have a moment to post this beautiful Polaroid I made at Little Redfish Lake back in August.

It's been five months since our trip, but it's still fresh in my mind. I think about it often: that late summer sunshine, the cool, clear lake, those rugged peaks, the wildfire smoke. Idaho. I plan to live there someday, so I can be nearer places like this.

I'm a Forgetful Photographer


So Vanessa and I have been collaborating over on Doubles for a couple years now. We each shoot a roll of 35mm film in our own camera, then swap, and I shoot her roll and she shoots mine. Simple enough, right? Well, sort of.There are a few tricky elements we've had to figure out over time, but nothing a few rolls of experience didn't teach us. The most important thing, however, is the one I always seem to forget: adjusting to the appropriate ISO. If we are shooting an ISO 400 roll, we have to shoot at 800. If we're shooting an ISO 50 roll, we have to shoot at 100. This is where I went wrong in the past. (I have since made a note and stuck it to my camera when I've got a Doubles roll inside.) I would adjust my camera to 200 for an ISO 400 roll, and so on. I was allowing twice as much light to hit the film than was necessary, and when you're shooting double exposures, you've got to be extra careful because the film is being exposed twice.These images are among 27 that didn't work, thanks to my forgetfulness. They are from three or four different rolls, so it's not like I'm a fast learner. But I like these images, and thought I'd share, even though they didn't turn out as I intended.[...]

Best of 2012


I'm a little late with a 2012 recap, but who cares? It was a wonderful year, full of memorable times with family, new and old friends, kiddos, cameras, kayaks, Texans, bees, homebrews, and the great outdoors. I'll let these 48 Instagram images speak for themselves. They're among my favorites all year. I hope your 2012 was just as happy as mine, but I also wish an even better 2013 for us all. Happy New Year, friends!