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Posts tagged with ‘photography’
Swiss artist Ursus Wehrli is releasing a new book called The Art of Clean Up, which features photographs of everyday scenes rearranged into organized rows. So brilliant! And fun to look at :]
Ever since I started doing self-portrait photography three years ago, I quickly came to the realization that taking photos in the same place all the time (my house, my backyard) would start to become mundane. Using the same wall as my backdrop over and over again, while convenient, would start feeling stale. I realized that I became more excited about self-portrait photography whenever I found myself in a friend’s colorful living room, or in the woods next to my neighborhood, or while driving through southern Germany. For me, the more variety, the more foreign, the better.
So whenever the Mister and I take a little overnight trip somewhere, I get excited not only for the upcoming trip, but because I know our hotel room equals instant portrait location! Think about it: it’s a completely brand new space that you’ve never photographed in before, so it feels fresh and new. Some hotel rooms are filled with an assortment of props and furniture that can spark ideas; think chairs, telephones, or big huge windows that let in lots of light.
I shot this self-portrait at a hotel in Ronda last year, and my initial inspiration was the wonderful little desk with the cabinet above filled with books. I had brought my old Polaroid camera with me, so I used that as a prop as well.
Even if you use off-camera lighting equipment at home, you don’t necessarily need to lug all that gear on a trip with you. I certainly don’t. I’m a big fan of using natural or available light, and shooting a portrait in a hotel room should be no different. If you’re shooting during the day, open up the drapes and let the natural light in. If you want something more moody or if it’s after dark, use whatever lamps, sconces, and lighting fixtures the room has to offer. Having a tripod with you is definitely helpful (especially for longer exposure times), but even if you don’t, you can always improvise! I’ve used many a TV stand or side table to prop my camera up.
In this photo I took at my hotel room in Granada, I did just that. I also used the available light to help set the mood; there were lamps on both sides of the bed, plus light fixtures on the wall above.
Try venturing outside your hotel room into other parts of the building for a photo! Some hotels have a great lounge/lobby area, or a bar, or an empty meeting room. If you’re inspired by the space, use it! At the last hotel I stayed, they had a fantastic infinity pool on the roof, and I definitely wanted to take some photos but decided to wait until the morning of my check-out. Turns out it was closed off that morning due to some damages from the night before. I was bummed, but it reminded me that sometimes if you wait, you might lose your opportunity. If you’re unsure about whether you’re allowed to shoot someplace, just ask one of the staff. Politeness and honesty go a long way.
I took this spur-of-the-moment photo at my hotel’s lounge/bar area in Portugal. I loved the clean, airy, minimal style, and my sister-in-law was with me, so we both got comfortable on those awesome suede couches.
Bathrooms. They’re not just for showering anymore. Some of my favorite photos have come from utilizing the often-ignored bathroom, from cheeky to serious. So for me, hotel bathrooms are a bonus! I took this silly self-portrait back in 2009 while staying overnight at a local hotel after a work-related party. The colorful Spanish tiles caught my eye, and I was wearing a colorful dress, so I thought, why not? I used available light and I’m pretty sure I balanced my camera on the sink counter.
So let’s end this with my most recent hotel self-portrait (along with the Mister) taken a few weekends ago in Córdoba! It was inspired by an iPhone, a map, and that huge king-size bed. The bed was facing a huge set of windows, so I opened the drapes only partly to let in the light, and made sure to turn on the wall lamps as well. I set my camera on the TV stand that was in front of the bed and took some test shots to make sure I liked the angle and the lighting. After that, we commenced to put on our we’re-completely-bored-with-our-vacation faces (which was completely untrue. we were having a blast).
So next time you’re traveling to a distant (or not-too distant) land, and you find yourself getting excited about photographing that bridge, or this castle, or that monument, don’t forget to look around your humble hotel room and imagine the photographic possibilities! Short of paying for the room itself, it’s like a free set location! So take advantage of unusual spaces, nooks, props, and try making a self-portrait out of it. Even if you’ve never done one before. You just might surprise yourself.
All photos © Lisa Kimberly
I know my blog isn’t really a foodie blog, but every once in a while when I’m trying out a new recipe, I snap photos along the way. And if it turns out to be delicious, then onto my tumblr it goes!
garlicky broiled salmon and tomatoes
- 2 6-ounce pieces skinless salmon fillet (mine happened to have the skin; I decided to roll with it)
- 2 medium tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- kosher salt and black pepper
- 6 or 7 sprigs of fresh rosemary (you can also use thyme)
- 3 cloves garlic, sliced
1. Heat broiler. Place the salmon and tomatoes, cut-side up, in a broilerproof roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet.
2. Sprinkle the salmon with the paprika. Drizzle the salmon and tomatoes with the oil and season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Scatter the rosemary and garlic over the top.
3. Broil until the salmon is opaque throughout and the tomatoes are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Serves 2. Enjoy!
I’m one of those people who like to have all the ingredients measured out and set aside before I start. The hubby is the exact opposite.
oh, tomatoes, how I long to eat thee….
looks too pretty to cook!
ready to eat! Not as pretty as before, but edible.
a nice Spanish cerveza goes well with this.
this is the Mister. he looks a little irked that I made him stop eating so I could take this photo.
he loved the salmon, but isn’t a fan of tomatoes in general. more for me.
all photos taken with a 5D Mark II + 85mm f/1.8 lens
© 2011 Lisa Kimberly