PhotoClub Challenge: Orange/s

What is the PhotoClub Challenge?

Are you out of ideas? Check in here on Mondays for a weekly 7-day photography challenge to get your vision roaming!

Each week the challenge requires that you take 36 images during the following 7 days. Your deadline is always next Monday morning for the current week’s challenge. The challenges might be thought provoking, might be silly, and could even be tedious.

This Week’s Challenge: Orange/s

This next assignment-challenge in PhotoClub is focused on Orange/s.

This week’s challenge is to take 36 images that represent the subject of Orange/s. It’s the season for citrus fruit, but the challenge could also be about color. The goal is to get at least one photograph, that represents the idea of Orange/s – it could be anything from images of the fruit, color, texture, still life, a solitary orange or a group of oranges, orange and oranges in relation to each other … Out of the 36 images, there should be one (or more) images that if I, or other members of the group, looked at it, we’d be able to guess this week’s subject.

Images should be in color but if you are creative enough, they could be in black and white.

Make sure that the composition of your images are 100% about the challenge.

Use your camera as the cropping tool and post full/uncropped images.

It’s nice if you go deep with your concepts, but you can swim on the shallow end as well.

The challenge is 36 studies of Orange/s as the main subject in the photographs, all taken in the next 7-days and posted in a gallery on your blog or web site by next Monday. Post the link to the gallery below by commenting on this post and we’ll come over and comment on what we see, how and if, it visually answered the challenge.

** OR **

You can also post images in the Orange/s forum on the site (look in the Shutterbugs Group).

Always experiment with variations on the weekly theme within the subjects of the challenge – composition, contrast, shape, texture, colors, shadow …

Poll: Field Trips

I’ve been thinking, for a long time actually, of doing simple walking “tours” of certain neighborhoods in San Francisco with the focus being on sketchbooks and photography.

One of the neighborhoods I’m thinking of is Chinatown because it is so full of energy and color, but also North Beach and the Ferry Building Farmers’ Market. We’d meet at a cafe and then wander around for a couple of hours, working in our journals or taking photos, and then go to a restaurant or cafe for lunch and a sharing of our images and findings.

So here are my questions:

Would you be interested in a sketchbook/photography walk in San Francisco?

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What is your creative interest?

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Which day/s of the week would appeal you? (Pick as many as you like.)

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I am thinking of doing this as a morning to lunch walk. Would you be interested in evening walks?

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How much is too much? I am considering a donation range + lunch (pay for own lunch). Group would be limited to 10 persons.

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Let me know what you think, and anything else can be added in the comments!

PhotoClub Challenge: Stone

What is the PhotoClub Challenge?

Are you out of ideas? Check in here on Mondays for a weekly 7-day photography challenge to get your vision roaming!

Each week the challenge requires that you take 36 images during the following 7 days. Your deadline is always next Monday morning for the current week’s challenge. The challenges might be thought provoking, might be silly, and could even be tedious.

This Week’s Challenge: Stone

This next assignment-challenge in PhotoClub is focused on Stone.

This week’s challenge is to take 36 images that represent the subject of Stone. The goal is to get at least one photograph, that represents the idea of stone – it could be anything from images of rock, stones, color, texture, still life, solitary stone or a group of stones, stones relation to each other … Out of the 36 images, there should be one (or more) images that if I, or other members of the group, looked at it, we’d be able to guess this week’s subject. The images should be a visual statement of Stone.

Images can be in color or black and white.

Make sure that the composition of your images are 100% about the challenge.

Use your camera as the cropping tool and post full/uncropped images.

It’s nice if you go deep with your concepts, but you can swim on the shallow end as well.

The challenge is 36 studies of Stone as the main subject in the photographs, all taken in the next 7-days and posted in a gallery on your blog or web site by next Monday. Post the link to the gallery below by commenting on this post and we’ll come over and comment on what we see, how and if, it visually answered the challenge.

** OR **

You can also post images in the Stone forum on the site (look in the Shutterbugs Group).

Always experiment with variations on the weekly theme within the subjects of the challenge – composition, contrast, shape, texture, colors, shadow …

Starting Out With The Vanlife: The Build Out

The Escape Pod
The Escape Pod

Thirty-five off and mostly on years of camping and living the vanlife is no joke. I never really thought about how long it has been for me living in my pods until I noticed that on twitter and youtube the vanlifers seem to take pride in how long they’ve been able to sustain living in their nomadic vehicles.

It’s a thing now, this vanlife. This nomadic existence.

I had always thought that one of my missions in life would be to teach people how to live in vans, off the grid, once the shit hit the fan. Given the climate, the economy, our political situation, and the seemingly devolution of humanity, I didn’t think that this would be too far into the future. But it seems that the future is now.

As our climate changes, and the poles shift, and the next mini ice age comes upon us (no kidding, all of this is happening as you read this) the people who are well adjusted to a nomadic lifestyle are going to be the survivors. People are going to have to move with the seasons to find food, and sustainable weather.

I was thinking of actually doing in person workshops, but the youtubers beat me to it. There is no end of youtube videos about living the vanlife – build outs, day to day stuff. I even made a couple myself, but I haven’t really gotten into it. It didn’t seem like what I had to put in a video was all that important. I’ve got vanlife down. Nothing really changes. It’s difficult to know what people want to hear.

Plus, I’m better at writing.

It seemed most appropriate that I start off a vanlife series with considering a build out – the layout and materials used for turning an empty van into a home.

The first thing you want to consider is your simplicity or complexity factor. I’m all for keeping things as simple as possible, at least in the beginning. You can always add as you go along. I’ve done more than a couple of build outs and nothing is more depressing than when I realized the design in my head, the one that I built, doesn’t really work for the day-to-day living experience.

Start out with considering your bed positioning. In many vans this is almost a no brainer, given the width and height of most vans. But even so I made my first mistake with my first bed install. Considering the inside of a VW Bus tin top, I built a single bed platform that I installed along the wall, with my head right behind the driver’s seat. What was I thinking?

The obvious place to build a bed platform in a VW bus is over the engine compartment, with the head at the back hatch door. This means that because the engine compartment will be supporting half of the bed, you can use lighter plywood (I think I used 1/4 of an inch), and that you can put a single bed on it and use the extra platform as a base for shelving or storage. Or you can use all the platform space with a double bed.

The weight of wood that is used in a build out is important. Wood is heavy. But it is our standard material for building. The heavier the wood you use for your build out the lower your gas mileage will be. This is why tongue in groove knotty pine, while being really pretty, is probably not a good choice for flooring, walls, or ceiling. There is a reason why RVs use a lot of particle board in their buildouts – and while particle board is really cheap (in all meanings of the word) stuff, it is lighter in weight than solid wood. So think about what materials you can use for your build out that won’t add a lot of weight to the vehicle.

Instead of thinking “This Old House” remodel, think NASA.

When I think about getting a new cargo van and building it out into a more sustainable nomadic home, one that I can stand up in, I think about what alternative materials might work … Instead of plywood wall panels, why not masonite? It’s thin, strong, durable, can be painted, and if it’s just varnished, it’s a really nice chocolate brown color.

Do you really need permanent flooring? In my VW bus I have the original metal floor, with the original rubber mats (or at least they were the mats that came with the bus when I bought her in 1996), and on top of that, I have a bamboo mat that makes it seem like I have a bamboo floor – but it is removable should I ever want to switch it up. It also only goes between the cab area and the bed frame. Underneath the bed is just the rubber mat which is just fine for the plastic storage boxes to sit on.

One thing you really don’t want is carpeting. It traps dirt, moisture, and bugs.

I am based in California and never do snow travel so the lack of floor insulation is not a problem. If the floor and my feet are cold, I put on my slippers.

Considering environmental issues. I tend to like to be as environmental and eco-conscious as possible. Even though my house uses gas to run, I park and walk as much as possible. I try to use recycled materials or hand-me-downs if I’m building something. I go for quality over cheapness.

The order of building things is up to you. I put in my bed first, so that I could start living and traveling in the pod immediately and then added things as I went along. But I haven’t added much. I think it took me two years before I bought a cooler and a camp stove. My space is pretty much just a rolling bedroom.

PhotoClub Challenge: Winter Weather

What is the PhotoClub Challenge?

Are you out of ideas? Check in here on Mondays for a weekly 7-day photography challenge to get your vision roaming!

Each week the challenge requires that you take 36 images during the following 7 days. Your deadline is always next Monday morning for the current week’s challenge. The challenges might be thought provoking, might be silly, and could even be tedious.

This Week’s Challenge: Winter Weather

This next assignment-challenge in PhotoClub is focused on Winter Weather.

This past week has given most of the US, and a lot of the world, a run for their money where weather is concerned.

This week’s challenge is to take 36 images that represent Winter Weather. The goal is to get at least one photograph, that represents this arctic weather we are having – it could be anything from images of icicles and frozen lakes to images of what you doing while you are staying indoors … Out of the 36 images, there should be one (or more) images that if I, or other members of the group, looked at it, we’d be able to guess this week’s subject. The images should be a visual statement of Holiday Cheer.

Images can be in color or black and white.

Make sure that the composition of your images are 100% about the challenge.

Use your camera as the cropping tool and post full/uncropped images.

It’s nice if you go deep with your concepts, but you can swim on the shallow end as well.

The challenge is 36 studies of Winter Weather as the main subject in the photographs, all taken in the next 7-days and posted in a gallery on your blog or web site by next Monday. Post the link to the gallery below by commenting on this post and we’ll come over and comment on what we see, how and if, it visually answered the challenge.

** OR **

You can also post images in the Winter Weather forum on the site (look in the Shutterbugs Group).

Always experiment with variations on the weekly theme within the subjects of the challenge – composition, contrast, shape, texture, colors, shadow …