I am here late today because I was up all night at an event.  An event that I did the flowers for, amongst many other things. For these events I am usually relegated to ‘staff’ photographer, which I actually don’t mind because I am a bit of a shutterbug, but last night it was an intimate party, no photo night and thus I concentrated on the flowers.  I had visions of harnessing my inner Amy Merrick, but the client wanted a single floral story so I went wild with the Casablanca lilies, well as wild as one can get with utilizing only one floral. Again, no photos as it was banned from the evening.  If I had my druthers I would have created Dutch vanitas type arrangements, not that I know how to, I only wish I could attend Chelsea Fuss’s floral class and get some floral design chops. I am only obsessed with floral design right now for one sole purpose (see shutterbug above). When I saw Alexander James’s work and learned his process I was duly inspired. Mr. James recreates Dutch painting vanitas, not via painting in the traditional way, but via painting with light.  Yes, my dear friends, the above image is a PHOTOGRAPH!  How are the painterly effects created?  Not via Photoshop or some texture but rather by shooting these still lifes underwater and allowing the ripples to create the allusion of paint strokes.  Why this man not one of the world’s most celebrated photographers is beyond me.  Pure Genius. I hope you enjoyed this find and decide to celebrate his work with me.


As I draw this week to an end, I figured I would end it with some secret resources for replicating film effects. The trend for the look of film is at an all time high and a lot of savvy entrepreneurs have created some pretty convincing doppelgangers. I have gathered a collection of links for you to explore if you decide film is not for you right now but you still want the look.   The key to any simulation of the ‘real deal’ is moderation. Who knows, you may even develop your own film + Photoshop processing hybrid.


  • Clickin’ Moms (don’t let the name dissuade you) just released a set of film presets for Adobe Camera Raw + Lightroom.  I was very impressed with the samples and even happier when I knew they were available for Adobe Camera Raw (I don’t work in Lightroom…yet).
  • I mentioned a truly talented photographer Sean Flanigan a few weeks ago. Sean offers both private classes and workshops.  I hear he is generous with sharing his post processing techniques which include film inspired looks. If I could afford a private class I would have booked it yesterday.
  • Totally Rad Actions, you may have heard of these Photoshop actions and I do have to say if you are going to lay out some dough for Photoshop actions you should lay them out for TRA. They are highly customizable, organized and just really good. For the filmy look try their Detroit B+W, it’ll give you that low contrast, soft gray effect without being too contrived.
  • FloraBella classic film action, this just arrived in my inbox yesterday.  I think FloraBella creator Shana Rae does a superb job with her offerings.  I haven’t tried the new set yet but I do own a couple of her other Photoshop action sets and they are excellent.
  • Tutorial for creating natural film grain in Photoshop.

If you have any resources you think I should add to this list please let me know in the comments.

 photo by:tristan b.


This here photograph (an outtake of Ms. Grace Kelly) is from a favorite Flickr photographer, although in retrospect he may not want to be referred as that so I shall recant and just add him on my list of favorite photographers, does that work for you Mr. Palumbo?  I sure hope so.
As promised I was going to share an amazing photo processing workshop. It’s called the Photographer’s Formulary and it’s located in Montana.  I want to go so badly it hurts. If you are like me and are on a shoestring budget they do offer kits.  The only problem I have with that is that I am not known to follow directions very well and when you are working with caustic chemicals that could be a disaster waiting to happpen. Why is this so exciting?  Well because they show you how to work with antique processes that are not readily available in this here 21st century.  I know a lot of you (like myself) have a predilection for vintage and this feels like the ultimate in creating a non-phony vintage, heirloom quality memory, but what do I know?
I am assuming these posts were either– A) a bust, since it’s been crickets in the comment section or B) a total success and you all have been rushing to the links.  I still have one more day of posting but Friday I think I will give you a guide to digitally achieve film looks.  It seems to be all the rage.


This post is going to be filled with links so get ready to procrastinate!  As promised I am sharing where to buy film for your vintage Brownie and how to load it.  You can pick these cute cameras up for about five bucks just about anywhere.  If you are paying more than that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn I wanna sell ya…Speaking of over paying, you will be paying quite a pretty penny to buy this film when you could re-spool your own or try your hand at modifying 120 film.  I say time is money, so just let me pay premium for the film and call it a day. You? You can save the money by developing it at Target, or Walmart (World renown for their photo developing skills) so I think this can be a win-win no matter which route you take.  Even better yet you can learn to develop the film yourself and be really smug with your film prowess.
I’ve decided to save the coolest film photography workshop ever until tomorrow, because it really deserves its own post.  Before I close up this series, if you have any questions please let me know, I just may have a resource for you. Gosh, I sure hope I have inspired a few of you to break out those Brownie’s and shoot your heart out and haven’t just been flapping my gums here all week in vain.
::photo by tristan b.::


Elliot Erwitt is one of my all time favorite photographers. I was fortunate enough to catch an Erwitt exhibit at the International Center for Photography (if you are in NYC they have classes too).  If you are familiar with his work you may not have realized that a lot of his seemingly spontaneous and ‘at the right place at the right time’ shots were staged. I think for any budding photographer this offers a glimmer of hope that you might be able to create your own magic. If you are looking for the challenge of treasure hunting a magic moment don’t fret, there is a whole booming community dedicated to street film photography. Photographer Nitsa is a dedicated explorer of techniques and experimentation calling her style Non-photography, her blog is filled with information and she even created an e-book guide.  I stayed up one night way too late going through her archives. 

Tomorrow I am going to share with you what looks like the coolest film developing workshop ever and where to get film to shoot with your vintage Kodak Brownie or Argus and better yet how to load them! So for those of you that have been bummed that you don’t have Photoshop to create all those vintage photo effects that are so popular you will be able to thumb your nose at those fakers (like me) and shoot the real deal.  If you can’t wait until tomorrow perhaps you would like to visit Lomo?  Did you know you can take very inexpensive photo classes at their stores? I hope you have decided to loot your parents garage for an old film camera or are planning to do some serious garage sale-ing this weekend (I bought a near mint condition 35mm Canon film camera with three zoom lenses for $40 at one) the deals are out there but people are buying them up fast and with everything you are going to learn this week you are going to want to go out and practice.