Another Tale of the Sacramento Woman’s March

Until last Saturday, I took living in the Capitol of California for granted. As people from all walks of life collected in front of the familiar white building I grew up with- the one I associated with prom pictures and senior portraits-I felt a swell of pride as I recognized the political importance of my hometown. Being at the Woman’s march among sign bearers, pink cat-hatted women, and people with passion was an awe-inspiring experience. Even as a simple spectator, I felt like I was part of something greater, a witness to torrential storm of people ready to take action in the name of woman’s rights.

However, the greater message of the March transcended woman’s rights, serving to communicate that we must not lie dormant if we want to see change. Sitting at home and yelling at the TV screen is not going to quell the injustice we see. It is our freedom as Americans to be able to stand up and protest peacefully, run for offices, and organize together. So why don’t we?

The country wide marches are a step in the right direction for those who are serious about getting their voices heard. Isn’t it more fulfilling to be a part of creating change, rather than standing idle by, frowning at our screens?


 
I couldn’t help but document the day in photos…

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“The City” is (even more) Pretty After Reopening of SFMOMA

 

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SFMOMA exterior.

After a three year closure, the SFMOMA boasts having “three times more gallery space” open to art lovers of all ages and free to those 18 years or younger. Last week, I had the pleasure of accompanying a bus full of individuals over twice my age to see the newly remodeled San Francisco Museum of Modern art. I must say, it was a bit intimidating to listen to all the others in the tour group discuss artists and styles that I had never even heard of, but I knew my job wasn’t to be an expert, it was to photographically document the trip held by the Sacramento Fine Arts Center.

 

This may go down in history as one of the best work days of my life. I got to roam around a stunning museum all day in my favorite city drinking over priced coffee and clicking my camera’s shutter button relentlessly.

The building itself beckons and the remodeling has created extra perks  ,including six art filled terraces that allow for city dwellers to breathe fresh air, appreciate sculptures, and take in the urban glory that is San Francisco.

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View from one of the SFMOMA’s outdoor terraces. Perhaps I am strange, but I was hoping for a foggier day… Photo by Carly Christine Photography.

For almost an hour, my friend and I sat enjoying the view. There was a great deal to explore during our visit (and an even greater number of stairs to climb), so we were thankful to have a place to rest that still made us feel like we were participating in art admiring activities.

We didn’t have to move a muscle to check out this stoned guy (am I punny yet?)!

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This outdoor sculpture is next to a glass window that reflects the cityscape. Photo again by me.

Although the building’s exterior had much to offer, the SFMOMA’s interior brought the eye to something exquisite. More than ten floors of crisp white walls supported art of all media, size, and color. Over one day-even more than 2- is needed to digest all the works. Even the sitting areas with random splashes of  blue were worth appreciating . And don’t even get me started on the bathrooms…

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One of the only spots without a white wall.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The bathrooms (at least the woman’s) were the most vibrant shade of red-a hue so intense, that my eyes needed to readjust after taking a potty break and admittedly a few selfies. I never thought a hand washing station in a public restroom would be so inspiring, but leave it to SFMOMA to blow my mind.

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Yeah, I made my friend model in a public restroom. Deal with it.

The loo aside, my favorite exhibit hands down was a two wall section filled with photos by Jim Goldberg: an excerpt from a series titled “Rich and Poor” that takes an uncomfortably intimate look at the desires and feelings of Americans on various levels of the social spectrum. The concept of “a picture is worth a thousand words” is challenged by Goldberg as he quite literally meshes his subject’s own words into his photographs, giving the still picture subjects a haunting, yet strong voice.

 

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Photo from Jim Goldberg’s exhibit. The intensity of the collection had me messed up for a while…That’s how you know art’s good.

 

I was sorry I couldn’t spend another day at the SFMOMA, but impending wine and cheese on the bus ride back definitely made saying goodbye a little less difficult. Besides, I will be back. Hopefully many times more.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Do Smart Photographers Travel With Smartphones?

For a long while, traveling without my Nikon DSLR made me feel anxious. Actually, I felt naked. I needed the security of a strap slung over my shoulder and a lens cap in my back pocket. Lately however, I’ve been thrown into situations that require my photo happy self to take a deep breath and ditch the extra luggage. And this is where the withdrawal begins…

Perhaps what I fear most is lacking the ability to capture an image in a moment of intense inspiration- a kind of fuel that makes a me stop in the middle of the street and take a knee to get the perfect shot regardless of the people running into me, the kind of creative outburst that interrupts vacation activities with friends. Not being able to act on this photographing habit (or dare I say impulse) is like being a junkie without his or her fix. I become obsessive, thinking over and over again, “damn that would have made a great picture. If only I had my camera…”

Then one day, I got my hands on an old issue of American Photo that talked about the budding realm of smartphone photography that was supposedly revolutionizing the practice. I was obstinate and unconvinced-until I saw the photos. They were stunning and admittedly way better than anything I have ever taken on my digital camera. Moreover, I’ve been constantly seeing the “Shot on iPhone 6” billboards displaying exquisite images. A new hope emerged and I vowed to be unafraid of losing my picture potential on excursions as long as I was armed with my Samsung.

The result: painless and fairly picturesque. Below are some of my favorites so far.

*all images taken on a Samsung Galaxy S4 by Carly Christine Photography

 

 

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Surprise Bouquet

 

With all the different filters out there, you don’t need anything fancy to convert your photos to black and white!

And the overall quality of the image is surprisingly high.

 

 

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Rain in the Window

 

 

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San Fran Salutations

 

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Sunset

 

 

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Truck on the Road

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Carmichael Botanical Gardens

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Summer Bonfire

 

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Somewhere Near Wine Country

The best part is that the device fits in a single pocket! My smartphone will never replace my Nikon, but it helps conquer that craving for creativity. To any photographers like me who shy away from their phone camera, don’t dismiss the functionality of your cell! Since many of us carry around our phones 24/7, repurposing your mobile device as an art tool can open up even more opportunities to be inspired. So be spontaneous next time you travel and leave behind your clunky camera. Afterall, this is the 21st century.

July Jitters and Caffine Creativity

There’s no better time to sit down with a cup of coffee and take in the scenery than a month before moving to a different city. And not just any city, The City. My stomach is in knots from due to the excitement and anticipation (and maybe a little of the caffine). The whirlwind of change, although positive, is stressful.

My current dabbling in art avocation for a non profit started out as the perfect gig for me as a rookie photographer. But even that is becoming yet another pressure and my most recent photo job ran my creativity dry.

I needed to wind down, so before the fourth, I took a much needed break to go hide out in the woods and take a bunch of photos of the cabin I often visited in the summertime as a child. It was amazing how every twig and every dilapidated object suddenly became something to reminisce over.

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As much as I am looking forward to the hustle and bustle of urban life, stepping back and getting close to nature again was just the thing I needed to ditch my anxiety and get out of my creative funk.

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Each morning, I sipped a cup of coffee and photographed at my leisure.

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And I quickly realized that the wildlife  makes for a much more patient portrait subject.

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No time is wasted fixing hair or photoshopping skin.

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The beauty is natural and effortless.

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Although, it flies away fast if you don’t have a quick shutter…

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So I enjoyed it while I could and will remember it while studying in the city – a place that has a natural beauty of it’s own.

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I’m sure when I get there, I won’t be left uninspired.