“Found” ©Gina DeGideo
Years ago, I made this photograph on a family day trip up to small rural town in northern Arizona for my nephew’s fourth birthday party. My son, along with a couple of his cousins and I, ventured down a pathway leading from the party for a quick walk. I carried my small point and shoot digital camera to take some snaps of the boys by the creek. I had remembered that down this path was also an amazing tree house my cousins and I had grown up climbing and playing in.
Just minutes into our hike on the trail, often used as a roadway for everyone in town to ride quads, jeeps, and dirt bikes, I stumbled upon this completely flattened and decomposing rabbit in the sand. The animal’s fascinating form, preservation, cleanliness, fluffiness, and unfortunate situation demanded my full attention. I responded to my found object by photographing it (how could I not) including my foot. Its perfect face and form make this one of my favorite photographs to date.
I finally was afforded the one-way opportunity to be a passenger, instead of a driver, on our most recent road trip from Arizona to California. I am a natural observer of the land and I love to look! It has always interested me how while passing through the world at such a high rate of speed your eye creates a visual pattern of objects in your view. You know this to be true if you’ve ever driven by a cornfield in a car. When passing through the desert, my gaze is always focused on the far-away mountains and the curious things I can see in the distance. On the trip I found myself photographing with my cell phone. What was revealed were the patterns, shapes, colors, and alien objects that exist in the middle of nowhere. Looking at all of the images together worked even better to affirm the idea of a deconstructed view and an abstracted landscape.
Last week on April 27th photo nerds celebrated Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day by going out with their pinhole cameras and photographing. My weapon of choice: my home-made wooden 4×5 box pinhole camera with an aperture or f/455, designed by James Hajicek and built in one of his workshops. My ammo: some expired and out-of-production Fugi positive color film given to me by a friend to play with. I was a little nervous about getting a good exposure as color positive film is so finicky when it comes to exposure and with most pinhole cameras, “You just accept what the universe gives you,” says James Hajicek. But, behold, I did get a worthwhile exposure and an image!
There is something awesome about creating an image with such simple tools (a light tight box and a tiny hole), that makes you realize photography is pretty rad.
I’m taking everyday photography to a new place, via my Holga and some 120 B&W film. I feel like my true everyday shooting can happen in this way. I’m working on accepting the gift the universe gives on my walks with Holga (she is appropriately named). Here’s a lil peek at what I’ve been up to…
Traveling to Italy was an amazing lifelong dream that finally came true for me last month. I couldn’t have picked a better a better group to go with. My lovely mentors and friends Carol and James put together an out of this world program to inspire others to live creatively. For 10 days in the gorgeous Tuscan hills we woke up to church bells ringing from our ancient castle-like home, enjoyed a morning of yoga, fresh-baked bread and espresso, then filled our days with writing, art-making, amazing food-eating, and of course a bit of vino and laughs. This trip allowed me to connect in a deeper way with many others on the journey with me, but most of all truly served the purpose of getting me back into living creatively. My batteries are charged and I have been on overdrive since returning home, but functioning on high speed now certainly wouldn’t have been possible without sweet Italy.
These are some of my favorite photos from the trip…
…other artwork from the journey coming soon…
The concept of daily photography is one that I think can be helpful to some. Although it is fabulous to get those creative juices flowing, I think I must side with my former professor Chris Colville in that it results in a lot of really crappy photographs that I get tired of looking at. While the exercise is valuable, I don’t know that posting all is valuable to the viewer. What do you guys think?
Instead of committing to a daily photograph, I use my cell phone camera to capture anything I see as interesting. I keep these as visual notes and I feel they do improve my more artistic shooting. However, I am a fan of editing – not of digital manipulation that is, but of editing out terrible shots. From now on I will post some of my mobile pics as I see fit and hopefully you all will feel inspired… or at least think they are of interest 🙂 .
* * * UPDATE: You can now find my mobile shots on my Instagram * * *
Leaving the Hospital
Back to the motherland… Italia here I come!!! Although my ancestors came from a significantly lower portion of the country (this explains the brownness of my skin after sunlight exposure,) I have almost uncontainable joy for the journey I will soon be on to Bagni di Lucca in Toscana, to enjoy the splendors mother nature has to offer and to reconnect with my inner happy/artist.
This week has been tumultuous and I feel as though the universe is somewhat out of alignment. I have no control, but am trying to keep from spinning out of control. A moderate amount of control, at least over your own mental state is usually a good place to be. At a time when the negative aspects of the world seem inescapable, I am greeted with a reminder that yes, there will be an escape.
The first informational meeting for the annual Italy trip hosted by the spectacular Carol Panaro-Smith and James Hajicek, both artists and teachers, was held last night. They lifted my spirits a lot with the details and pictures of the adventure we will be on together next summer in the hills of Toscana for an enlightening and creative workshop. If only we could leave tomorrow! The meeting last night was such a great reminder to keep your eye on the prize. Although we cannot understand why things work the way they do, it seems there is always a greater purpose and what’s meant to be will be, no matter how hard you fight it.
I cannot wait to feel the breeze on my skin as I stand on the hillside…