Uppercase Magazine

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Oh the excitment !

I've been a fan of Uppercase magazine for quite a long time. Yes, its expensive, whether you buy loose copies or subscribe direct, but it is beautifully curated and visually delicious – no matter what the theme. I used to buy the magazine by issue at a local bookshop, but what really helps the magazine to survive and thrive is the subscriber base. And so after I heard Janine Vangool, creator of the magazine, give a talk at Hello Etsy in the Netherlands I just had to subscribe.

If you'd like to hear her , then here is a link. (I couldn’t link directly to her speech – this takes you to the collection of various Etsy videos – you are looking for Hello Etsy 2012 )
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So fast forward another little while and I happened to spot that one of the requests for submissions was based on “What colour means to you” – in whichever way that could be interpreted. I couldn’t resist sending something in – and hurray – it was accepted. So if you have a copy of issue 22 see if you can find my little snippet.

To whet your appetite, or introduce you if you haven’t come across Uppercase before, here is a trailer for this issue. If you want to subscribe you can do so here and hopefully the little secret code “roygbiv” is still current and will give you a $15 discount.

 

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I am cooking up some changes and new things at StarryBlueSky / Rhiannon Connelly over the next while – if you’d like to make sure you are in the loop then I’d invite you to subscribe to my studio newsletter – you can do that here , or at the top of the sidebar on the right.

Happy Birthday Dr Edwin Land

Maison Bleue, Edinburgh, SX70 Polaroid PaintingMaison Bleue, Edinburgh, SX70 Polaroid Painting

Maison Bleue, Edinburgh,
SX70 Polaroid Painting

(This image was taken soon after I started using this technnique.)

As I was about to sit down and write a post this morning I happened to glance through my emails first – and promptly abandoned my previous subject. Today is Dr Edwin Land’s birthday ( Thank you, Impossible folks, for the reminder.) He is the inventor behind all things Polaroid, but most importantly in my book, created the SX70 camera and the film it used.

If I were to compile a top ten list of people who have influenced my creative life then he would have to be on it. From the day I discovered what could be achieved with his materials I was hooked. The person I have to thank for this introduction is a Hungarian photographer, Turi Geza who was working in Edinburgh at the time. Around 2002 He had an exhibition of his photographs,referred to as from a Polaroid Land camera. At the time I had no idea what the “Land” referred to and was rather mystified. As soon as I got home I set about finding out what I needed to try my hand at the technique.

An SX70 camera and TimeZero film was the answer. Ebay came up with the former , and in those days the film was still readily available in high street camema shops. There followed a steep learning curve, with lots of images falling by the wayside – but soon there were more hits than misses.

Why was this combination of film and camera so special ? The camera itself was such a lovely object to work with , transforming itself with a slight tug from a rectangular block into a recognisable camera. The magic of the film was that for a short period – perhaps an hour or so – the film emulsion remained fluid and could be manipulated. So the resulting images were not from computer manipulation , but rather created on the actual image.

This is a little video I made a few years ago showing how it works.

From that time until the film went out of production (sob ) this was my principal medium. Of course I bought up as much of the film as I could ( and I still have a tiny bit left – but probably it will not function properly after all this time.) but I hit a huge block. What had previously been quite a carefree process became rather gloomy. In an effort to move past this obstacle I launched into my “12 City Project” which saw me travel to a different city every month for a year , using my remaining film. In the end it turned into a wonderful adventure. ( As I searched through my archive for a post that neatly summed up the whole idea behind this project, I realised I hadn’t written one – so keep a look out for that in the next few days if you’d like to know more.)

There are two consolations for me – one – I have a huge archive of images shot with the film and I continue to work with them to this day ( for example in my cushion collection) and secondly The Impossible Project have worked hard to create new films ( completely new formulations of film) so that those amazing SX70 cameras still have a future.

So Happy Birthday Dr Edwin Land and Thank You !

Other resources – The Impossible Project’s Blog today.

The image at the top of the post is of Maison Bleue restaurant on Edinburgh’s Victoria Street – highly recommended.

* If you’d like to keep up to date with behind the scenes snippets and subscriber offers I would invite you to subscribe to my studio newsletter here *

Early Flowers and an Update…

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This winter has been so mild and today even has a bright blue sky hinting that spring might be on the way. But there is always the thought that there might be a cold snowy snap still lying in wait. The flowers in the garden are starting to peek through , and not just the snowdrops . Crocus are up and lots of the bulbs are starting to push through little green points.
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As most of my flower phtography has been happening inside until now, and I thought I’d post a little round up of the most recent ones here. I am missing the Dutch flower markets at the moment – at this time of year the tulips are starting to be in full flow – but even more lovely are all the branches of different types of blossom. I only rarely find them in the florists here. Time for a trip perhaps ?

“Normal blogging” is a bit disrupted at the moment due to the upper floor being renovated. Sounds quite nice and contained , but in fact means that all the stuff from up there is filling every available space. Once the joinery has been done it will be time to spring into action with a paintbrush, so Starrybluesky matters are on a bit of a go slow. I do have a lot of plans bubbling so hope I will manage to keep on track with them all the same.

If you want to make sure you stay “in the know” you can subscribe to my Studio Newsletter here.

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Etsy shop – last day !

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I’ve had a few questions about why I’m closing my Etsy shop so I thought I’d just expand on that a bit. It is something that has been brewing for a little while, in fact , ever since I opened the shop at my main site over at www.rhiannonconnelly.com . It has just seemed a bit confusing to have two places selling work based on similar images. In order to make things a bit more streamlined I’ve decided to close my Etsy shop, review the range I was selling there, and add an edited collection to the Rhiannon Connelly site.
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So a lot of the items currently available ( for one more day ! ) will be disappearing once I close the door.
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I will admit to feeling a bit sad about the huge policy changes that Etsy have made in the last couple of months which has completely changed the feel of the site and it is no longer the resource for hand made products that it once was.

That said, I do still feel very attached to the Starrybluesky name, after all, I’ve been working under that name for quite a few years. So I may well revive it for another project in the next few months. I’ll need to wait and see how things evolve.

If you’d like to make sure you are kept informed about any changes or studio news you are welcome to subscribe to my studio newsletter.

January Colours

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I’m joining in the latest of Stephanie Levy’s online courses – this one has a seasonal flavour. And this week she encouraged us to take a walk around our neighbourhood paying particular attention to colour. Well, I am always walking and snapping, looking at colour and pattern . But it is interesting that when you really focus on one element the subtle differences seem even more pronounced. I was surprised how many variations I could even find amongst the brown shades ( a colour that I have been known to call “not a colour” ). Luckily the day I picked for this was one of those crisp bright winter days. Others have been posting lovely snowy images but if it had been white here there is no way I would have managed this route as there is a steep hill at both ends of the town.

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Also, wee reminder that there are only two more days to pick up a bargain at my Etsy shop before I close the doors. I will be discontinuing a lot of that range in their current format – although some images will find their way over to my other shop at www.rhiannonconnelly.com A few people have been asking me more about why I’ve decided to do that , so will address that in the next post.

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January in Pictures

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This is how South Queensferry looks on the first day of the year – the participants in the Loony Dook marching down the High Street , led by the town crier.

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And Queensferry on a quieter day.
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Looking back at the town from the harbour.
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Wintery skies on the edge of the town.

Although I’ve taken this month quite slowly on the blogging front that doesn’t mean that there has been no picture taking going on. Here’s a little round up of the year so far – part two tomorrow.

And a wee reminder that my Etsy closing sale is running until Saturday.

Brightening up December

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Now that it is December and there is precious little left in the garden ( although I am impressed by the few hardy plants that are still flowering ) I thought it was a good time to finally hang up the second Ixxi that I had made while I was in Holland.

I showed the other one I made a while back – which was of pictures from a “Leiden Year”. This second one is of flower images taken throughout a year. As with a lot of things that you leave for a while and come back to , there are changes that you would make second time around, but I still enjoy the reminder of all these flowers that have crossed my path. Some were taken out and about in Holland , others on my favourite Scottish windowsill and yet others are wildflowers from the meadows of Transylvania.

Even if you don’t live in the Netherlands you can use Ixxi to create a design for you, or you can also select something from their own collection.

If you’d like to know a bit more about the “behind the scenes” and get tipped off about my regular subscriber bonus you can make sure you get the studio newsletter by subscribing here . There should be one coming along quite soon.

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