Sunday, July 22, 2007

My new pinhole "Can-mera"

Well, I've finally done it. I've made a pinhole camera from one of those decorative popcorn tin cans with houses covered in snow and decorated for Christmas. Just perfect for a hot July! Can't tell if there is a light leak or if it was the fact that my paper was expired. Not to worry, there will be many more to come! Here is one of my successful images from it.

Friday, June 8, 2007

I am old.

Yes, at the age of 35, I am officially old. You see, here I am in Charlottesville, VA for the Festival of the Photograph and it is just after 9PM and I am in my tiny little dorm room with a glass of wine and soon a good book. There is a huge event with dancing, drinking, and a slideshow of up and coming photographers tonight that goes until 2AM. 2AM? Yikes, I am only up at 2AM if my 3 year old wakes me up. This afternoon, I listened to Sally Mann speak of her current work and she showed for the first time 2 new bodies of "works in progress". She is one amazing woman. She is the reason I came to this event this weekend.

It was a nice 96 degrees and humid today. Lovely for strolling outside weighed down with camera equipment. It's funny seeing SO many people carrying cameras or camera bags all over this little historical downtown mall. Oh, and these cool tags that everyone is wearing. It's like a being in a not-so-secret club.

So, off to bed for me. Tomorrow is a documentary film about Sally Mann's photographic process and probably some shopping.

Monday, May 21, 2007


Well, it's been 10 days since my opening and it went very well. I sold 4 photographs, so I'm only $100 in the hole. Yes, I was told this by a UMW art professor, "Of course you've sold them, they're pretty cheap." So, I was selling them at $100 a pop which is a nice markup for me, but still affordable. I guess I was there to sell some stuff, too! Ah well. One individual said he wanted 8 pieces, but he needed to talk to his wife. Well, I sent him a Thank You note for just talking to me, I'm still waiting for that phone call. Now, *that* would be a nice ending to the show! Here are a couple of pics of the opening that my sister-in-law's boyfriend took for me.

Check out my flickr account for images from the show!

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Oh NO... Only 5 days left and...

As I'm preparing for my show, framing my last 6 photos, I realize that I have 6 mats that I ordered with the wrong window size! Yikes! And yes for all you purists out there... I DO NOT cut my own mats. But, I think after this bit I will be. Actually, if I sell enough pictures I just may go out and invest in one of those super cool mat cutter devices. Anyway, 5 days and counting! Keep checking... I'll post some pics from the opening here. And on my flickr site!

Monday, April 30, 2007

11 more days!

Well, the next 11 days will be spent cutting acrylic (husband is doing that!) and framing, framing, framing. Also, I hope to have a couple of collages (rose petals and daylily stems and lots of black) to show as well. Funny, how the "fun" goes out of art when you HAVE TO GET IT DONE!!! Ah, well. This is my only "hu-rah" this year. Husband is quiting job, starting a business, and well, we'll be basically income-less (except for that nice home equity loan to live off of) for the next year or so. Ah, to live like a starving artist... :) I'm still shooting and LOVIN' CS3 (once it finally installed correctly!).

Monday, April 16, 2007

Photoshop CS3 is HERE!!

Finally, the download has started... You see, I pre-ordered CS3 a few weeks ago and have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of that e-mail saying it's available. Well, while checking my e-mail in F'burg this morning (my daughter in school after a VERY long Easter vacation), my wait was over, CS3 was available for download. I rushed home to start my download and ... WHAT!!! ... The huge storm that has been blowing for the past 36 hours knocked out our cable internet. Oh the horror!!! Well, it seems that our cable tv is still not working, but our internet has just come back (6:15PM). Who needs a stinking TV when they have CS3 to play with!!! Oh, I see a late night ahead of me! Yippee!!!!!! 15 minutes to go!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My first ETSY sale!

I just sold my very first print on I am SO excited. Bye, bye "Under the Colonial Beach Pier"! Enjoy Florida!

Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Well, actually I'm talking about LOOK3 in Charlottesville, VA on June 7-9, 2007. I luckily get the Aperture monthly newsletter where I found the advertisement for this amazing looking photographic weekend long event. It is the first year for the "3 days of peace, love, and photography" festival. There will be world renowned photographers giving lectures, classes, and exhibits of their work. Not to mention the "Yourspace" where apparently anyone can upload, print and display their images for all to see. Seems like a great place to be discovered. I've got my ticket... Get yours soon!

Sunday, April 1, 2007

You are invited!

I have finally published my invitations to the opening of my solo show on May 11 at the Margarita Restaurant in Colonial Beach, VA. Please e-mail me for more information. There will be stuff not seen on any of my various sites! Come check it out.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Pinhole Photography

Seems odd that after all these years of photo classes and my use of "toy" cameras that I haven't ever used a pinhole. Not that I didn't want to, it just seemed so limiting since you basically need a darkroom nearby. Now, I'm talking the box (or paint can) with a pinhole and a piece of photo paper in the back. That nice big paper negative. Well, I was lucky enough to sign-up for the last spot in a pinhole workshop at Gari Melchers home in Fredericksburg, VA. It was taught by Steve Griffin, a professor of Art at UMW and pinhole photographer. His favorite subjects include the beach scenes of Colonial Beach, VA. This is quite convenient since his studio (including traditional darkroom) is just blocks from the water. Anyway, he set up this make shift darkroom a kitchen and 11 of us walked around the grounds with our pinhole paint cans that Steve provided. It was an amazing experience! I am even more motivated to build my own and get the darkroom in my basement back to work. Here is my favorite catch of the day. I scanned the paper negative and positive and combined them as a diptych.

Want more information on pinhole photography? Check out the Pinhole Resource and Eric Renner's book "Pinhole Photography".

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


"Here is the story of how Rusty came into my life... As the volunteer photographer at Friends of Homeless Animals in Northern VA, I would go to each dog run to find the new dogs that needed their pictures taken for the web site. While passing this particular overweight beagle mix with the name "Money", I was compelled to stop. I looked at him, he looked at me, and I said, "Ok, I'll go get a leash." And that is exactly what I did. Asking the FOHA staff about his past, I found out that he was at a yard sale with a sign around his neck saying, "take me or I'm going to the pound." Some good samaritan had taken him and brought him to FOHA. I had already adopted Dinah a year before, so I was not looking for another dog. But, he insisted that I walk him and spend the entire day with him in my Jeep. I left him at the shelter that Saturday, knowing I'd see him again the next weekend. I could not get him out of my thoughts. So, I decided that if he was not adopted that next weekend, he would come home with me. When I showed up that next Saturday, I was told that an application had been approved and he was one of the dogs the family was interested in. When I took him out of his run that morning and brought him over to my Jeep for treats, he immediately jumped in and again made himself at home. The family that came to see him wanted an immediate "bond" with the dog they were taking home. Well, seems "Money" had already bonded with whom he wanted because he completely ignored the family and they ended up adopting another dog that "bonded" more quickly. So, "Money" and I went back to the Jeep, he jumped in and I filled out the adoption papers. That was July 1, 2000."

Rusty (Adopted: July 1, 2000 - Died: March 10, 2007)

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Call me Judge Shari

Well, I judged the Northern District of GFWC photography show today (see earlier post). Was a nice experience. Saw some wonderful stuff there. Funny thing about it is that I was there with 2 other artists from the Fredericksburg, VA area that I was acquainted with. Elizabeth Seaver is truly a multi-talented artist. Starting off as a b&w photographer, she finds herself now painting, using mixed media, and block printing. She has stunning stuff. Deb Booth is predominantly a watercolor artist, but she seems to excel and most anything she attempts. I first saw her work during Pawsitively Fredericksburg exhibit where she airbrushed this amazing cat for charity. Check out their sites, tell them I sent you!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Another "Proud Mama" moment

My 3 year old daughter drew her first self portrait (in orange dry erase marker) complete with toes & fingers! Gotta love it! She's an artist in training.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Frances Billes - Photographer

Yes, I am still working on back issues of LensWork. And in the same issue as Radek Skrivanek (Sep-Oct 2005), is Frances Billes. This is a woman after my own heart. Her portfolios consist of hauntingly beautiful black and white images from abandoned structures or homes still occupied by family and all the physical memories that remain. One image in particular, "Aloha, LA - Doors" from her Transitions portfolio is a view consisting of many doors and doorways. This gives you the feeling of passing, through death or simply through growing up and leaving home. It is one that could capture me for some time. Luckily, many of the places she photographs are ones that she can visit over and over with new ways of seeing. Go check out her website. You will not be disappointed!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Radek Skrivanek - Photographer

While reading the Sep-Oct 2005 issue of LensWork, I discovered photographer Radek Skrivanek. He was born and raised in the Czech Republic, but immigrated to the US in 1989. He received his degree from Tufts University in 1996 and is now teaching photography in San Francisco. The images I viewed in LensWork are from his Aral Sea portfolio. The Aral Sea has lost more than half its size and 2/3 of its volume due to redirection of water for irrigation purposes. The toning of the images cause make the viewer feel the loss of this very important body of water to the people of the region. His use of the large format allows the viewer to see details that would otherwise be lost in a smaller format. I am particularly moved by the images of the stranded ships, with no water in sight.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Proud Mama...

First you need to know that while I love art, I don't really like the mess a 3 year old can make with art supplies... So, I have a HUGE plastic box full of paint, oil crayons, chalk, glitter, stamps, sponges, paint brushes, salad spinner, you name it. It is our summer activity... painting. I mean the kind of painting that makes our paved driveway have paint spots from last summer. Well, yesterday Alexis and I broke out all those supplies and painted... canvases, wood, packing foam from a computer box, and SNOW!! Yep, we still had little piles of snow on the north side of the house and half a snowman. So, we painted them. No, not with the snowman spray kits you can buy, but with craft acrylic & paint brushes, Pollock style! What fun.... Now, here is the "Proud Mama" part. I was off doing "real" art (yeah, right!), and looked over at Alexis and she is painting with a branch of pine needles!!! It's funny how you would normally be proud of your kids reading or counting, but I'm proud because my girl is painting with pine needles!!! I just hope to keep this experimental state alive as long as I can. Because one day, it will be "wrong" to paint with pine needles. Ah, she is such an inspiration to my creativity!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

May 11th, 2007 - Mark your calendars!

This is a very important date because I will be having my very own show in Colonial Beach, VA at the Margarita Restaurant. This will be my first "solo" show! I'm so excited about this. I've got lots to prepare! And I'm lucky enough that I have such a good friend (and a terrific cook) to help with the catering. She's already planning the menu (including dark chocolate cameras!) and it's still a few months away. So much to do... I need to get that camera out there and make some pictures! I'll be posting more as the event gets closer!

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

I am a Judge!!!

I am SO excited. I just received an e-mail from Arts Chair from the Northern District of General Federation of Women's Clubs of VA. It seems they are having a small arts & crafts show at the Fredericksburg Country Club and want me (ME!!!) to judge the photography section. WOW! Here is the email I received:
"Ms. Pastore,
I am the Arts chairman for the Northern VA District General Federated Woman's Clubs. We will be having a small arts & crafts contest on March 10 at the Fredericksburg Country Club. Would you consider being a judge for the photography section? We usually have around 40 entries total divided into regular, digital and enhanced digital categories. We pay a small stipend of $25. The judging time would be 10:30am-Noon, although it probably wouldn't take but 30-45 minutes. I have looked at your photography on line and it is beautiful! I am hoping you will agree to be a judge. Please let me know if you have any questions."
Isn't this great? I just might make it in this little arts town after all! I'll be sure to let you know how it all goes!!!

Monday, February 5, 2007

Thomas Kellner - Photographer

A while back I was doing the next best thing to actually making photographs; I was looking at photographs. Actually, I was trolling the web looking for photographers that inspired me. And it didn't take me long to discover Thomas Kellner, a German photographer. What I love most about his work are the "deconstructed" portfolios. These consist of architecture as well as portraits and are shot entirely on film (check out the negative info on the prints). This technique consists of taking many images of a subject, with each image being just a part of the whole. Each image is carefully composed moving the camera as if it were a typewriter (left to right, return, next line, left to right) and twisting the camera to create a dynamic view on each negative. Then the negatives are placed in rows and contact printed (which becomes the finished product) so that when viewed together, they create a brand new vision of the original whole. Needless to say, I am impressed by the mere determination it must take to execute the whole process. Each row contains the same number of negatives and every negative is perfectly composed as to fit the whole image. It almost seems as if you could straighten each negative and have a complete image with no missing pieces. I hope to have the patience one day to actually attempt a Thomas Kellner "deconstruction".

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Photographer George Barr

I have been slowly trying to catch up on 3 years of LensWork magazines that I have been unable to read until recently. In the Mar/Apr 2005 (no. 57) edition, they featured a portfolio of a Canadian photographer, George Barr. Although, he was "brought up" using classic large format cameras in black and white, he is now using digital and shooting more color. He tends to shoot mostly industrial and abstract type of work, which is some of my favorite subjects. I just love the lines and the large range of values in his photographs. Check out the portfolio that was published in LensWork. And if you haven't yet...Go get yourself a subscription to LensWork!

Friday, February 2, 2007

Pam Allen - Artist

Wow. I just returned from First Friday in Fredericksburg, VA, where I take pictures for the FCCA. Well, I just discovered this wonderful artist who paints with watercolor on yupo paper, which is a synthetic waterproof paper. This allows her watercolors, inks, and acrylic mediums to pool and bead on the surface of the paper before drying. One benefit, however, is that if a mistake is made, you can easily run the yupo under water and wipe it off with a towel even after the paint has dried. Please visit Pam Allen at her website and see some of the beautiful images she creates. Unfortunately, the computer screen cannot begin to capture the depth of color and emotion of one of her large 20"x30" paintings.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Lomographic Society International

If you are one of the photographers that always shoot by the book. You know who you are... Exact meter readings, perfect focus, perfect compositions, just the right amount of contrast, lock up that mirror and use that cable release. Sound like you? Then you need to head to the Lomographic Society International 2007. There you will learn how to take pictures with no rules. Get yourself a lomohome, go shopping, and "Don't think, Just shoot."

Oh, and while you are there, say hi to me!

"Itchy Dinah" shot with a SuperSampler.

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

JPG Magazine Rocks!

I just discovered one of the coolest photo magazines! It's JPG Magazine. If you love photo magazines for and BY its readers then this is the magazine. The pictures chosen for each magazine are voted upon by the site's registered users. And the selection of pics come from uploaded pictures from the site's registered users! Of course, editors always have the final say, but what an amazing idea! And the magazine is BEAUTIFUL! It's hard to find in a book store in my neck of the woods, but when my husband went north (to Northern Virginia, that is), he picked it up for me at Barnes & Nobles. I read it cover to cover in a sitting. Go get one now!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Camera Phone

No wonder no one reads this blog. I hardly ever write in it. I would write more if I could take more pictures! Blah, blah. I did take some pics with my LG Cherry Chocolate cell phone this evening. I still say, it's damn good at night shots. I LOVE this little camera. Check these out!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Not a shot...

Well, I never even looked through the view finder for anything except to take pictures of other peoples art work for the FCCA. Ah well. And my painting class was canceled today! So, a whole lot of nothing creative going on. I will be tackling my daughter's montessori school web site over the next week or so. Maybe that will get the juices flowing. Until then...

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Starting on Friday (Jan 19), I will be taking another acrylic painting class at Liberty Town in Fredericksburg, VA. Ruth Ann Loving will be my instructor, you should check out her website at My goal is abstract painting, so I'll be adding images of my painting progress to this blog as well! See you next post!

shari pastore photography © 2010. Chaotic Soul :: Converted by Randomness