Within the Walls of my Home

“Unmade Bed”

I can be stuck at home for days at a time.

It’s not that I want to be, but rather a combination of being a stay-at-home mom and having no license due to epilepsy. Then, when my husband comes home, we are both usually too worn out to get out and do anything.

Needless to say, I can develop quite the case of cabin fever, which is usually treated with quick trips to the grocery store, and weekend daycations to nearby hiking grounds and/or the mall.

But on top of this, I also begin to take my home for granted. And I think we all do this, not just those of us who are stuck at home, but also those who work outside of the home. We stop seeing our house as we did when we first bought it, fresh and new and empty, and instead begin to eye it as an inevitability. Our day-to-day lives become so routine that we often overlook the tiny fingerprints on the window, the pictures on the wall, the blue stain on the rug your daughter made when she spilled her nail polish.

Recently, a fellow photographer named Monika began to post images from a series she called the Housebound Project. The beautiful black and white images, taken with a pinhole camera–A Reality So Subtle 6X6–showed the subtle changes of light throughout her home. Each photo is almost a metaphor for the life she’s lived in this home, dozens of memories all caught within one motionless frame.

And soon enough, I began to notice the light in my own house. Those same patterns as the sunlight slipped through blinds in the early morning hours, or as the trees drew shapes on the closed drapes in the living room.

But not only this. I also began to see the flaws. Flaws I had to capture with my rolleiflex.

“Broken Keys”

“Reflection”

“Patterns on the Wall”

When I began to scan them, I saw they were foggier than normal, grittier and grainier. They looked almost as if they’d been taken a hundred years ago. Bad fixer seems to be the cause, but it was a happy accident. Because it gave the photos a timeless appeal. They show how I felt, at that moment, that my house was only a second in time.

One day, it will be gone. One day, I will be gone.

And these memories, these muddy pawprints and fingerprinted windows, will be in the past forever.

“Flowers on the Bed”

“Sunlight through the Blinds”

My husband and I bought our little condo in 2009 after looking off and on for nearly a year. We were picky, and because of that we have yet to fall out of love with it. I wish I could pick it up and take it with us wherever we go in life.

And a lot has happened in nine years. We’ve had pets, we’ve lost pets, we’ve had crazy dreams that have lived and died.

We had Goo, painted her room a color called “Marshmallow” and put in wood floors. This condo, once barely lived-in and empty, is now covered from top to bottom with our messy and awesome lives.

“Muddy Pawprints”

“Closed Drapes”

If there’s anything I’ve taken from this roll of FP4, it’s that inspiration can come in the most unlikely of places. Sometimes the “perfect light” is just down the hall.

And, of course, if I ever begin to feel stuck in the routine again, I know now that all I have to do is simply pick up my Rolleiflex and start shooting.

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I Am More Than Black & White

Style: A distinctive appearance, typically determined by the principles according to which something is designed…

(As per Google)

To an artist/photographer, the word “style” is often very important. For me, it’s always been something I was striving toward. Not necessarily something I’d already found.

I vowed that someday someone would look at my work and exclaim: “oh! That’s Lina Forrester!” It was going to be my greatest accomplishment or something. Not the photos themselves, but the fact that they were recognizable. Continue reading

My First Roll from the Rolleiflex

I think the Rolleiflex is the funnest camera I’ve ever had in my possession. The waist-level finder is so cool, and bringing it up to my eye to focus is even more visually intriguing than freelensing. The world is placed into a box, is given a vignette, is blurred around the edges.

I wasn’t taking pictures of the beach of Lake Erie. No. I was taking pictures of how the Rolleiflex was interpreting the entire evening. Continue reading

My First Canonet Roll in Five Years

My husband bought me a Canonet as a Christmas present in 2011. I wanted a small, vintage camera that I could tinker with and carry around with me when I needed an artistic nudge. At the time I was still using all of my cameras on auto (I know…bad Lina) and I had no idea how to use this thing.

It only added to the intrigue, really.

Sadly, I was only able to get about one good roll before the shutter button stopped working (on my 25th birthday…while on vacation in Chicago).

I was brokenhearted, but after calling around we realized it was going to cost more to repair the Canonet than what my husband paid for it. I sighed, placed it on the shelf with my other cameras, and figured it was over. Occasionally I would lift the camera and make a pouty face, sigh again, and return it to its place.

Goodbye Canonet….or so I thought. Continue reading

I Went Monochrome for the Entire Month of April. Here Is What I Learned

Monochrome for a Month was a challenge I gave myself so that I would be forced to overlook color when shooting. I love black and white photography and it used to be my go-to edit, but during 2016 I went through a color phase. B&W became something mundane and drab. I shrugged at photos that used to invoke inspiration, and I ignored most of the Lightroom presets I’d made the previous year and instead created a whole list of new ones with cool-toned hues and mattes.

Then, at the end of March, I went to the zoo and decided to shoot in monochrome when I reached the zebras. Seeing their stripes and tweaking the settings to make them the most invasive pattern on the LCD display, I began to experiment with the other animals and their unique textures and patterns. I spent the entire day shooting in monochrome and my love for black and white was rekindled.

So, I decided to forgo color for the entire month of April to re-acquaint (hopefully) myself with what drew me to B&W photography in the first place. Continue reading

Monochrome for a Month: Week Deux

For those of you who don’t follow the blog, I decided to go entirely monochrome for the month of April. Week one was a bit of a struggle, but this week I was determined to make better progress. I went out and bought a polarizing filter for bright sunny days and planned a family trip to a hiking ground that has a few caves on its maps. Chris urged me to try to d choose only ONE camera, so I chose my Nikon D5300, but wound up bringing four lenses: the deconstructed 50mm, the 40mm, the 35mm, and my 55-200mm. Continue reading

Monochrome for a Month: Week One

All images © 2017 Lina Forrester

A week ago, I decided I would go monochrome for the entire month of April. I changed my camera’s settings and loaded my Instax and Pentax with B&W film. After the dull and snowless winter I’m ecstatic that the trees are greening and the flowers are blooming, and so I knew this would be a big challenge for me, but I suppose that was the point. Challenges, no matter how frustrating, are often great learning experiences.

I learned just how difficult this challenge might prove to be on day one, when we headed to a nearby cave for some exploration. Continue reading

Monochrome for a Month

Going monochrome always changes my perspective with photography, even if it’s only for a day. I begin to *see* the world in lights, shadows, tones, shapes, and patterns, and it really improves my skills.

This year, I’ve decided to challenge myself to go monochrome for an entire month. And I’ve chosen the month of April because it’s no doubt one of the hardest months (for me, at least) to go monochrome. Everything is blooming and the sky is finally blue and the grass is finally green.

But I am eager to witness these spring changes without the distraction of color. In black and white, nature tells an entirely different story… Continue reading

Lifestyle Practice with the 50mm

It was a cold day yesterday. Nothing like the beautiful, spring-like weather we’ve been experiencing lately. Not wanting this flu thing to relapse (again), I spent most of the afternoon indoors. I’d thrown some chicken into the slow cooker earlier because I knew I wouldn’t feel like doing anything elaborate for dinner, and while I boiled some noodles to go with it, I figured I’d get some indoor practice with the new 50mm.

I never actually planned on sharing any of these, so I didn’t mind the “character” of our seriously lived-in house. The dead rose on the kitchen sink, the wilting flowers my husband gave me for our anniversary on the dining room table. Continue reading