Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Black & White Photography, Pt.1

photography 1
(Assignment 1: shallow depth of field)
photography 1
(Assignment 1: stop-motion)

After taking a film photography course this past semester, I can definitely say that I know more about my DSLR than ever before. I used my dad's old 35mm and it served me quite well. But with film, taking the photo is only half the process, and developing and printing is where the other half of creativity and discovery happens. You can spend 2 hours on printing a photo, burning and dodging and changing filters until its to your liking. And you can either end up loving your image more than when you started, or despising it due the negative's difficulties. 

Even though the course if over, I do hope to continue shooting with film time to time, it's quality is entirely different and incomparable to digital.
photography 1
(Assignment 1: blurred action)
photography 1
(Assignment 1: far depth of field)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Mixtape Monday: Santigold


I appreciate when artists take years to complete an album because they want it to be "just right." Such is the case with Santigold, whose debut album came out in 2008. Her most recent gift to the world, Master of My Make Believe, is perhaps better than the album that earned her much due critical acclaim. We had this album on rotation the entire trip to New Orleans and back and never got bored of it. This week's playlist is inspired by her rad, new album:

1. Disparate Youth - Santigold (such a standout on Master of My Make Believe)
2. Bamboo Banga - M.I.A. (both she and Santi use lots of tribal sounds)
3. Youth Knows No Pain - Lykke Li
4. I'm A Lady - Santigold
5. Nothing to Worry About - Peter Bjorn and John
6. Sour Cherry - The Kills
7. Black and Blue - Miike Snow
8. Never Enough - Santigold
9. Y Control - Yeah Yeah Yeahs (Santi was definitely influenced by Karen O on this album)
10. Lights Out - Santigold (ultimate summer song)
11. Knowing - Big Boi
12. The Garden - Mirah
13. This Isn't Our Parade - Santigold 
14. Tonight - Lykke Li
15. Creator - Santigold
16. I Bet It Stung - Tegan and Sara

Master of My Make Believe is only $4.99 on Amazon - I highly recommend getting a copy!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Fresh Mint and Curry Vinaigrette

Beet Salad
Life in the "real world" means packing your lunch the night before because a) you don't want to spend the money everyday going out and b) you want to stay in bed until the last moment possible in the morning, leaving little time to prepare food. After having this refreshing salad at a order-out restaurant,  I realized how easy it would be to make it myself. Here is how it goes...

Beet Salad with Goat Cheese, Fresh Mint and Curry Vinaigrette 
The night before, boil beets in a pot of water for about an hour. Cool, peel and dice.
To make your salad, start with a bed of leafy greens. Top with chopped beets, goat cheese (I love the honey chevre from Trader Joes), shredded carrots, chopped pears, toasted almonds and fresh mint. Make a curry vinaigrette by whisking a teaspoon of curry powder into equal parts olive oil and balsamic vinegar

Its the mint that really elevates this salad. Mint and I are going to be best friends during these summer months...
Beet Salad

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

NOLA: Cathedrals

Jackson square st. louis cathedral st. louis cathedral candles
New Orleans has such a European flair, as seen mainly through the architecture. I am in awe with their centuries-old Catholic cathedrals, especially St. Louis Cathedral. You're just immediately transported elsewhere the moment you walk in.
st. louis cathedral st. louis cathedral st. louis cathedral st. louis cathedral st. louis cathedral NOLA

Also, here is a little video I made of our New Orleans trip using the 8mm vintage camera app on my iPhone. The song is "Sweet Jazz Music" by Jelly Roll Morton.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Mixtape Monday: Feel It All Around

The Lake
(A picture off my Diana F+ roll, the lake last summer)

Summer has set in finally as I am about to compose my summer to-do list (mainly places I want to eat and see before I leave Charleston).
Here is a summery playlist to welcome you into the season (lots of songs from new albums I just got):

1. Hollywood - RAC feat. Penguin Prison (super catchy and easy going)
2. The Keepers - Santigold (her new album is amazing, get it now)
3. Warrior - Mark Foster + A-Track + Kimbra (I think Kimbra is on the verge of becoming huge in the US)
4. Eyes Wide Open - Gotye (Making Mirrors has a lot of range and genres, kinda disconnected, but I am still really into it)
5. Say Goodbye - Norah Jones (a favorite since 5th grade never fails to impress me - her new album is a departure from her normal sound, in a good way)
6. Eyes Be Closed  - Washed Out (Just saw them live last week - super talented and passionate)
7. Soon, My Friend - M83
8. Think Too Much - Paul Simon
9. Sweetheart - M. Ward (another fantastic new album)
10. Myth - Beach House

Friday, May 18, 2012

NOLA: Masquerade

masks masks masks masks
Because New Orleanians celebrate Mardi Gras all year long (practically - or maybe just the tourists who visit do), mask shops are set up all over town. Our favorite one, where we spent a good long while at, was Maskarade. The owner let us try on all sorts of masks ranging from frilly and French to leather phantom-esque ones to cute, furry animal disguises. In the midst of all the fun and changing of characters, I managed to capture a few moments. 

I am determined that one day I WILL attend a masquerade ball. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mixtape Monday: Graduation

graduation graduation
I keep waiting for the reality to set in that I am officially a college graduate. All I feel right now is a sense if relief that school is finally over - forever.
My college has a beautiful and unique tradition of holding its commencement ceremony on the cistern in front of Randolph Hall, the original campus building that was there since the college opened in the late 1700's (College of Charleston is one of the oldest universities in America). Instead of caps and gown, girls wear white dresses and boys wear white dinner jackets - adorned with red roses. 
Graduation (which fell on my birthday - 23 y'all!) couldn't have fallen on a more beautiful day. It was in the 70's, dry and cloudy. Highly unusual for Charleston and it seemed to me like a good omen for the future.
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Here is a playlist inspired by graduating and "the world is your oyster feeling":
1. How it Ends - DeVotchka
2. Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
3. You Only Live Once - The Strokes
4. The Edge of Glory - Lady Gaga
5. We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monae) - fun.
6. Viva la Vida - Coldplay
7. Forever Young - Youth Group
8. Chicago - Sufjan Stevens
9. First Train Home - Imogen Heap
10. Scenic World - Beirut
11. Blue Skies - Noah and the Whale
12. Save Me - Gotye
13. The Riot's Gone - Santigold
14. We Turn It Up - Oh Land
15. Dance, Dance, Dance - Lykke Li
16. Heartlines - Florence + the Machine

graduation
P.S. My dad always tells me, "Lauren, the world is your oyster, it's just too bad you don't like oysters."
Classic dad humor. 

Friday, May 11, 2012

NOLA: Eat.Walk.Shop.

NOLA po-boy 
Po-boys from Verti Marte

It seems like every time I go to New Orleans, my thoughts and worries of work and school, etc go away. There, I am in the moment focusing only on what I want to accomplish and see that day. We all forgot we were graduating soon and that when we came back to Charleston we would have to return to work and routine. Those things you just forget in New Orleans. It's lovely. 
NOLA NOLA co-op 
Here are some suggestions of places to eat/walk/shop/stay in NOLA:
> Walk up and down Magazine St. where there is great shopping and food - we ate delicious brunch at Riverluna and had Cinco de Mayo margaritas at Juan's Flying Burritto. It's impossible to have a bad meal in that city. 
>We walked to the New Orleans Food Co-Op (pictured above) for some healthy breakfast goodies and snacks
> Walking around the French Quarter is always a must. We ate some shrimp and oyster po-boys at Verti Marte. It's always the hole in the wall places that surprise you with both affordability and deliciousness. We split some po-boys and a pint of New Orleans Ice Cream Company Baked Alaska Ice Cream and devoured it all on a park bench in Jackson Square.
> We also loved shopping at Roux Royale for last minute and non-tacky souvenirs.
>As poor college students we stayed at a hostel downtown in the Bywater district in the Upper Ninth Ward. Bywater Speakeasy Hostel was super inexpensive, comfortable and safe - I highly recommend it if you're on a budget and its about a 30 min walk to the French Quarter. You also meet interesting people at hostels (we met tons of Austrailians!). 
>We explored our neighborhood which was very up-and-coming. We ate twice at Satsuma, once for dinner where I enjoyed some seafood chowder and for breakfast where I had a green breakfast sandwich and beet lemonade (Also Michael Fassbender who is currently filming in New Orleans was spotted there several times throughout the weekend. Of course we never saw him.)
> Explored the art galleries in the warehouse district. 

horse morning glories
    nolanola
nola Brunch 
Brunch at Riverluna
NOLA NOLA

Thursday, May 10, 2012

NOLA: Art and Music

street art
jazz fest
street art
Jazz fest 2012
With such a rich culture it's a no wonder you see artists and musicians at every street corner. The city breathes with art of all forms. 
.
I love following the sound when you're in the French Quarter because you will come across the most talented musicians who are completely improv-ing jazz.
And at the nightclubs on Frenchman St., instead of top 40 crap, there are live brass jazz bands that set the mood for dancing and fun. It's like taking a step back in time. 
.
I experienced much more art this time around in New Orleans, such as:
 NOMA- New Orleans Museum of Art where we saw Picassos and Warhols as well as renown Southern artists
A Gallery for Fine Photography in the French Quarter where we marveled at the sight of Diane Arbus and Ansel Adams
Swoon's street art (pictured in this post)
and of course the locals selling their funky works in Jackson Square

I want to go back to there.street art
flo
audience
street art
Also, here are some acts we saw at Jazz Fest you should check out:
Julio y Cesar
Silky Sol - the Red Afro Queen
Chico Trujillo of Chile
and last but not least Florence and the Machine


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Mixtape Mondays: the sounds of Jazz Fest

Jazz FestTime in New Orleans always passes a little too quickly and by the last day you realize how much more you need to see. It's how the city keeps people like me needing to return. 
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Jazz Fest was everything I thought it would be and more  - music, art, and food. Everything from Latin music, to Saturday afternoon Southern rock jam bands, to gospel, to African drums, to Top 40 and of course Jazz - were present. Sharing space, sharing culture and sharing a love and passion for music. 
Here is a little taste of types of music I heard:

1. Oh My God - Mark Ronson feat. Lily Allen (brassy Jazz)
2. I'll Be Waiting - Adele (powerful, belting female songstresses)
3. Me & Mr. Jones - Amy Winehouse (bluesy)
4. I Feel Better - Gotye (uplifting)
5. A Day in the Life (Feat. John Lennon) - Cee-Roo (funky smooth Jazz)
6. Hold On - Alabama Shakes (southern rock)
7. Yalira - The Very Best (African)
8. A Little Bit - Madeleine Peyroux (contemporary blues)
9. Rave On - Julian Casablancas (classic rock)

Stay tuned for more NOLA...
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