MOONCHEEZ

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It took me a long time to fall in love with VSCO.  After multiple attempts at downloading and trying, I kept finding myself seeing the icon on my phone and realizing that I hadn’t opened it in months.  My go to editing app has always been Afterlight, and it seemed like VSCO didn’t have much more to offer to me that Afterlight didn’t already provide.  I was a one app girl, and that one app for me wasn’t VSCO.

About a week ago, though, everything changed.  Something compelled me to try it again and this time, something was different.  This time, there was The Grid.

The Grid is a clean, beautiful photography showcase similar to Tumblr or Flickr without all of the extra imagery you might not want to see when looking at photos.  It’s as if someone curated my Pinterest board and cut out its tongue.  That’s right – cut out its tongue!  And what I mean by that is that what the Grid does that other social media platforms don’t do is that it doesn’t have any text other than the user’s name, maybe a small profile and a caption that you can only see if you click into the photo.  No comments, no likes, no follower counts, nothing.  Only beautiful photos without the nonsense.

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I know that VSCO’s Grid serves a different purpose than other platforms.  I still like looking at pictures my friends share from their lives, and sharing mine too.  What I don’t like doing though, is how some photos I take that I love, may not be ones my friends care to see.  Call me insecure, but it’s hard for me to not be hung up on someone laughing at a photo of my drizzled sriracha omelet.  VSCO has held my hand in this.  VSCO doesn’t judge.  VSCO lets me be me.  I don’t care if anyone sees them, and with VSCO I can’t find out if they do.  It’s like pasting photos into a photo album for you to look at and maybe someone finds one day.  That being said, here’s my link.  Look or don’t look, but I’ll still be making it either way.

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I could look at cinemagraphs all day long and honestly, up until I saw Moscow-based Daria Khoroshavina and Olga Kolesnikova’s Kitchen Ghosts images, I had forgotten all about them.  These beautifully styled and eerie cinemagraphs have made me stop and take a long stare at the artists’ work in this vast museum of the internet.

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I’m not going to lie, these images make me feel weird.  Maybe it’s the facelessness.  Maybe it’s the slow and deliberate use of kitchen tools that look oddly violent.  Maybe it’s that glass of sangria I drank with dinner.  Despite the reason, I can’t help but want more.  More please!

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All images found on the artists’ tumblr, Buttery Planet.  Can’t wait to see what these two friends and collaborators have for us in the future.

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Although I’ve been celebrating Chinese New Year my whole life, visiting my grandma’s to eat a meal and enjoy each other’s company, I’ve never been to a public celebration of the festivities.  This year I made sure to take advantage of city living and check out Philly’s Lion Dance Parade.

Truthfully, I had no idea what to expect having never been to a parade in years, and especially one that didn’t have floats.  A parade without floats?  I’m confused!  I guess I’m used to the typical parade celebration – floats, bands, people in matching outfits looking very tired, but this was a different thing.   Loud drums and firecrackers, groups of people dressed in dragon costumes.  All this and a bunch of teens in matching hoodies keeping the crowd under control.

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I learned a little about my heritage.  The meaning behind most of the traditions relating to words that sound lucky or mean “lucky.”  For example, during the parade lettuce is thrown because lettuce in Chinese means “good fortune” or “prosperity.”

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It was a nice day to be out and I met up with my friend to take pictures, but once I got enough of the dragons I focused on photographing the cute kids perched on their parents shoulders or standing impatiently on the sidelines, probably with their ears blown out from all the loud firecrackers.  Interestingly enough – not a one earplug to be seen.  Hmm..

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There were also a couple of teens wearing these awful creepy masks (see above).  I never found out what those were all about.  They seemed like the hype men for the parade but I think they knew their masks were scary and were taking advantage of it.  No sleep for this girl that night.

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All in all it was a good day and it made me want to go out on more adventures to photograph.  The weather’s getting nice, guys.. (as if no one’s mentioned that yet.)  ;)

All these photos were taken on film and spruced up in Photoshop. 

On another note, I reorganized my portfolio site a bit and added a Pattern Design section!

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Fruit Loops Landscape, 2012

Wow.  When I first saw Fruit Loops Landscape by Chicago-based Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Louchman from Milwaukee, I was blown away.  The two collaborating photographers referenced the work of Carleton Watkins, a 19th century photographer to create these fascinating landscapes from the processed foods that Americans are so familiar with.

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Carleton Watkins, Albion River, 1863

Processed Views interprets the frontier of industrial food production: the seductive and alarming intersection of nature and technology. As we move further away from the natural sources of our food, we head into uncharted territory replete with unintended consequences for the environment and for our health.”

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Deep Fried Bluffs, 2012

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Cola Sea, 2013

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Saturated Fat Foothills, 2012

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I’m so excited to announce that I’ve recently gotten my hands on some vintage Polaroid Land cameras.  After lusting over some of blogger Kaylah’s results over at The Dainty Squid, I knew that I wanted to add one to my collection.  Lucky for me, on the way home one day I spotted a 335, 103, and 105 in the window of a local antique shop.  I got a chance to ask them the price and he offered me a pretty good deal for all three, throwing in all of his cases, bags, flashes, and flashbulbs he had.  Of course I don’t need all three but I figured a couple friends might be interested and I couldn’t pass up the deal.

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I spent a few hours cleaning all of the gear and upon closer inspection noticed that some of the batteries have been corroded and need some love.  Luckily, however, the 335 didn’t have batteries in it and looks like it’s almost ready for use!  It’s funny because that’s the one that I was eyeing up to begin with.  Now I just need to save up a few sheckles for batteries and film and I’ll be able to test this baby out!  Yay!! I can’t wait. :)

Photos taken from iPhone 4S and from my Instagram @mooncheez