July 26, 2011

Napa Valley

The day had finally come. Katie and I packed our bags, hopped on different planes from different origins and landed in San Francisco within minutes of each other. Our Napa Valley adventure was on.

After a fun whirlwind afternoon spent in San Francisco and a relaxing evening with Katie's relatives, we headed north to Napa Valley. The drive up through the wine country was a treat in itself.

We found this fountain at Clos Pegase winery, which boasts art displays, fountains, and imposing temple architecture in addition to its wine.

We found beautiful views of rolling landscapes in Napa and Sonoma Valleys, as well as in the neighboring Wooden Valley.

While Katie attended a conference for work, I continued to explore and photograph to my heart's content. Queen Anne's Lace, which was in bloom everywhere, turned out to be one of my favorite photographic subjects.

And grapes, of course!

On an overcast morning, I found more flowers to photograph in a local nature reserve.

Nearby, more vineyards caught our eye. Just driving through the area was relaxing... we were in the midst of postcard-perfect scenery.

We enjoyed visiting Beringer Winery. Their large estate, historic house, beautiful gardens, and fountains made for the perfect afternoon rest stop.

But the best part was the trip itself: enjoying a travel adventure with a treasured long-time friend (and world's best roomie). Thank you, Katie!

July 17, 2011

Parchment Paper Frame

For the past year, I've enjoyed experimenting with different analog photography projects. But one of my recent projects has quickly become one of my favorites so far. It involves creating custom masks for the plastic Holga camera that will show up on each frame. The images below were taken with a piece of parchment paper mounted inside the camera body. I carefully tore a large hole in it to create a frame, then taped it down so that each photo would include the torn parchment paper edges. Simple!

Or perhaps not quite so simple. On the first attempt, I didn't tape down the parchment well enough, and this was the result.

On the second attempt, I made sure the paper would stay put.

I took the camera with me to a local Virginia Beach park to try it out. And it worked!

And now, to experiment with different shapes and materials! The possibilities are endless...

July 11, 2011

The Holga in Naples

A few more Holga images from our favorite city:

The 15th century Porta Capuana, next to Santa Caterina a Formiello and not far from where one of our good friends lives.
Ciao, Gianni!

Piazza Bovio

And a muti-city multiple exposure: I took a photo of the Pantheon in Rome, then forgot to advance the film before I photographed laundry in Naples hanging out to dry from a balcony.

July 10, 2011

Santa Caterina a Formiello

Santa Caterina. I'm not sure I can put into words exactly what it is about this church and this neighborhood that I find so fascinating. But I'll try. I think it has something to do with its thoroughly Neapolitan character: Raw and real, it has the characteristic grittiness of downtown Naples, combined with the energy of scooters, kids kicking orange soccer balls, outdoor markets, and granita kiosks selling various flavors of snow cones. The church's beautiful interior is reason enough to visit, but there's so much more to see. Perhaps parts of Naples are an acquired taste for travelers... but for me, Santa Caterina gives me the thrill of exploring a well-kept secret, an area often overlooked by visitors.

On one of our walks through Naples, I pulled the Holga out of my purse for a quick photo. In the year that had passed since I saw her last, Santa Caterina had lost none of her charm.