Thursday, December 8, 2011

Giant Alphabet Blocks

The photo below is my Flickr upload with the most views to date. At 756 at the time of this writing, it is almost 100 views ahead of the next runner-up. It is also one of my favorite photos ever, because it captures an image of my favorite graffiti art creations ever.

Giant Alphabet Blocks ~ Black & White with Color Splash

Though the photo is treated to get the black and white with a touch of color effect, the graffiti was really there and was not a photo shop trick. Loved the creative use of what was there and reinterpret into something else. Which I guess I also sort-of did when I decided to make the original below into what you see above.

Pillsbury Park Giant Alphabet Blocks

Similar to the Stone Arch Bridge study from earlier this week, this is a photo I have wanted to recreate. It is located near the bridge, so as soon as I finished taking that series of photos, I walked over to where I could find this scene. I was disappointed with what I found.

Covered Alphabet Blocks

Okay, so it was a different time of year (fall versus spring) and so of course it was overgrown compared to the last time I was there. But the art below the foliage has changed and I am less of a fan. It was bound to happen, of course, because the nature of a public canvas includes a susceptability to alteration (or even obliteration in the case of city graffiti cleanups). But it doesn't mean I have to like it!

Sara Duane-Gladden is a freelance writer and photographer in the Twin Cities area of the great state of Minnesota.  

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Stone Arch Bridge Series

The photo below of the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis was taken on one of my very first photohikes in April of 2009. It was taken with a Kodak DC3400 Zoom, a digital camera manufactured in 2000. Needless to say, when I got my Canon Rebel XSi, there was more than one photo I wish I could retake with the new camera, including this one.

Stone Arch Bridge A

Since it is a stone bridge, of course it is still there and I've been in the area repeatedly. But since the last time I was in the spot where the photo was taken, something had happened to the stairs and they were blocked off. On repeated visits. But then one day in September when I visited, the stairway was open!

Stone Arch Bridge ~ Angle #1

The photo above was my favorite from the series.

Stone Arch Bridge ~ Angle #2

This photo most looks like the one taken in 2009.

Stone Arch Bridge ~ Angle #3

Trying to get an image of the length of the bridge here. Island was in the way of the best shot.

Stone Arch Bridge ~ Angle #4

Minneapolis prominently displayed in the background.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


After Pinterest and Scoop.It, another fun toy I have been playing with is carbonmade. Does it make it less of an online toy if it actually serves a professional purpose?

Carbonmade is an online portfolio service for photography, illustrations, video and other imagery. For free, one can make a portfolio with up to 5 projects and 35 images (but no video). For $12 a month, though, you can have up to 50 projects, 500 images and 10 videos.

For now and the foreseeable future, I have the free version. See my carbonmade photo portfolio here! But even with its limitations, it absolutely did the trick.

I had to create an online portfolio for work. I recently made a big career change from being a primarily freelance and contract copywriter to being a full-time lead copywriter at a marketing agency in the Twin Cities metro. During a team-building exercise, one of my co-workers proposed that I, being an amateur photographer with some published photos, create custom images for some of our clients. The stock service we use doesn’t always cut it.

Of course I loved the idea and went about creating an online portfolio to prove that I could do it. And 5 projects with 35 photos were more than enough to make my point. It was easy to customize my portfolio's appearance to make the images look their best. I'm a little disappointed with how the resolution looks, but that's probably because I'm using the free version.

Now it is up to me to determine how to best start this project and create an action plan for how to implement it. So yeah, the easy part is done, now comes the hard part. But I can see the value for having original imagery as part of an online content marketing plan. Everyone has the same stock photos, it’s the online marketing campaigns that create their own imagery that tend to stand out because it more closely aligns with their brand values and standards.

I'm going to help with that to the best of my ability! And probably expand my ability while I'm at it!

For the moment, my portfolio will remain as is. If I have to create another portfolio in the future for a different purpose, at least I will have a start. This served its purpose for now and isn’t needed at the moment, but one may never know when opportunities will arrive!