Sunday, October 31, 2010


I bet you're expecting today's photo to be Halloween related. My apologies.

Brian and I spent the day doing laundry. I also edited some photos and he finished up his weekend homework (something I never seem to have anymore. Hmm.)

Since we live in apartments, our laundry is done via coin operated machines. Which means we need LOTS of quarters. I have this huge jar full of coins which I've collected over a few summers of waitressing. I separated the pennies from the jar, so it is mostly just quarters. I hate having to dig into it for laundry money, but I'm glad it's there. I've tried estimating how much money is in there, but it's pointless. After a few months of laundry quarters taken out already, it's a good $20 short of what it was earlier.

I'm actually hoping to continue this tradition into my REAL adult life (you know, the one that includes my OWN washer & dryer....Ohhhh that day can't come soon enough!)...I want to see how much change I can collect someday.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Halloween is tomorrow. I've come to the conclusion that, in college, Halloween is just an excuse for girls to grab attention by seeing who can dress the most promiscuous. That's definitely not something I'm interested in taking part in. On the other hand, it is so much fun for kids. They get to stay up late and dress in fun clothes and, of course, FREE CANDY!!

Needless to say, I have no plans for the holiday tomorrow.
As for tonight, I'm spending it with a Party Pizza (love them!), Ginger Ale (my drink of choice), Hocus Pocus (my favorite Halloween movie, of course!), and a headache. The headache part is no fun. I rarely get them, so when I do, I feel like I'm dying. Ha. I think I just need some sleep.

Last night Brian and I drove down to Beresford and hung out with my two brothers and Emily and Halle. My sister was going to join us, but it didn't work out for her. Someday all of us will be able to get together. We played Cranium and dominoes and stayed up way too late. We stayed overnight and had breakfast with them (french toast...mmmmm!) before heading back to Madison.

Some POTD's:

29/365: Halle twirling, as Cinderella. (She wore that dress today and last night, but she's being Tinkerbell for Halloween. So cute.)

28/365: The art studio on 3rd floor Beadle. This was before we began some gesture drawings. I love how all our paper is ready and waiting for us. That's my buddy Dylan standing in the background.

27/365: The only photo I took on Thursday. It was our supper. Honey-ginger pork chops with rice & broccoli. It was pretty good. =)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Of dreaming and possibilities.

How incredible dreaming big can be.

Paul and I both sent out emails to a few of our favorite musicians, asking them if it would be possible to play acoustic shows at DSU. Something I had always dreamed of, but simply considered unrealistic.

His was to Tomas Kalnoky from the band Streetlight Manifesto.
Mine was to Kevin Devine of ...well, Kevin Devine and the Goddamn Band. (Also recently of Bad Books...Side projects are exciting!)

Anyway, I was incredibly nervous about doing it. But Paul put my head on straight. "What's the worst that could happen?" he asked, "At least we tried. And this is our last chance before we graduate. Why not?"

Agreed. So, to start things off, I used my Twitter account for only the 5th time and took a shot in the dark, mentioning Kevin in a tweet, asking the chances of him playing a solo acoustic show next semester. Not an hour later, he replied back, saying "@ If you reach out to my booking agent, info on all my websites, your wish is my command"
That, alone, was one of the most incredible feelings of accomplishment. I was not expecting a reply at all, let alone a positive one within the hour!

So today I crafted up an email to his booking agent and hesitantly sent it, with the help of Paul's encouragement.

It is funny how we forget how possible things are. Immediately when Paul suggested these events, I said something along the lines of, "There's no way. We don't have enough money, first of all. And second, we live in South Dakota. Nobody cares about us here." How terribly wrong I was.

Our faculty adviser reminded me that we have the help of other clubs on campus, as well as the community. Fundraising and collaborating can do wonders, something easily overlooked in a situation like this. I am feeling very accomplished right now. Even if I get a reply from his booking telling me that it's not possible at this point, at least I tried. It has cost me nothing to TRY...Even if it had, it would have been worth it. And maybe, maybe if Kevin can't make it, I'll try for someone else. Maybe Conor Oberst or even Jesse Lacey. Who knows what could happen. But we must continue to try.

I am still waiting for a reply. But Paul has already found some success. His contact replied to him right away last night, and they are already talking numbers. This could be huge!

A quote (from where, I don't know. Maybe I made it up without knowing it...) I have been referring to throughout this process: "Dream big. Then dream bigger." Powerful, is it not?

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

First Snow!

Last night I barely slept, due to the wind howling outside/inside/around my window. We had predictions of some snow overnight and into the morning, but I wasn't going to get my hopes up. After an incredibly windy day, I just figured the gusts would continue, all by their lonesome, with no flakes to accompany them.

However, I woke up pleasantly surprised.

26/365: The first snow of the season.

This cute dusting of snow was waiting for me on my balcony today. The first snow of the season. As a South Dakotan, I know there is much more to come.

The wind continued to be ridiculous throughout the day, and it's still blowing like mad, but I guess tomorrow it's supposed to be a bit more pleasant.

I am definitely ready for the winter. The chill of the wind and the bite of the low temps are so amazing to me. One of my most favorite feelings in the whole world is the feeling of warming up after being outside in the cold. So comforting.

And I looooove the snow. Last year we were blessed/burdened with a massive snowstorm during Christmas. At first it seems like it would have been terrible, especially when your family has a tradition of traveling to the homes of your aunts & uncles & grandmas & grandpas & cousins & such, as mine does. But we spent that Christmas morning playing a board game with our neighbors. We brought over some snacks and just simply enjoyed some stress-free time, something that doesn't seem to exist anymore during Christmas. (Which is really sad, I think.) It will always be one of my most memorable holiday seasons, and I have the wonderful snow to thank for that.

Expect many more Christmas-talking posts from me...It is my ultimate favorite holiday. =)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


It's been a good night. I have no homework or exams or anything to do, really. So I watched some TV (Glee, and then TWO episodes of Raising Hope. LOVE!) and played around with some long exposure shots.

Result? Today's photo of the day:

25/365: Adding some light to this Starry Night. Lame caption...I'm sorry. 
24/365: Waiting for the show to start.
 Last night we had a musician playing at DSU. His name is Nick Motil and he is excellent! Check him out here:

Tonight Brian is studying for a test (ALL NIGHT, it sounds like!), so I've been sitting around relaxing and being bored and playing with lights. The wind on my windows and door sounds like it's going to blow over the entire building. We've had over two weeks of near perfect weather, until today. Now it's cold and wet and super windy. Ick.

We might even get some snow tonight/tomorrow! I am actually pretty thrilled about it. It will be my first winter with my Nikon....I can't wait to see what I can do with it.

Now it's time to hop in the shower, drink some hot tea, and then try falling asleep through the sound of the wind.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Catching Up

Fell behind on posting over the weekend.

20/365 - My boyfriend's eyes.

21/365 - An in-progress painting in the art studio.

22/365 - My niece's super adorable boots on train tracks. (Had their family photoshoot on Saturday...I'm extremely happy with how their photos turned out.)

23/365 - My friend Sara and her baby boy. So cute!! Had their family photoshoot on Sunday. He was fussy the whole time, but I think we got some fun shots, still. =)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Feeling down.

Yesterday's Photo: Can you guess what it is? Probably...It's easy.


I'm feeling a little down today. It's sort of a "I'm not good enough" feeling. I see so many photographs every day, and I check out tons of websites featuring amazing shots and processing...And I sort of feel like maybe I'll never get there. I look at my photos and just feel "blah"...

I know I need to continue with my project in order to overcome this, eventually. I read somewhere that your first 10,000 photos are your worst.

Do you think it's possible that someone, someday, will look at my work as inspiration? Maybe that is my ultimate goal; I'm not sure.

I have the afternoon off today...My paper is finished and I don't have homework (aside from an accounting quiz to study for)...I am going to play around with my camera quite a bit. Here we go!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Paper, paper, paper.

I spent nearly my entire day working on a paper. Got out of class at 12:15, and worked on the paper for said class until 7:00 pm. I think it's going well, though.

Anyone know the story of Theseus and Ariadne and the Labyrinth and the Minotaur? Yep...That's all I've been thinking about for the past six hours.

My back is killing me and I'm going insane from staring at a computer screen, reading small text from the internet and my textbook, and typing like a maniac. Hopefully it will all be worth it.

Here's today's photo:

18/365 - The view from my balcony.

Monday, October 18, 2010

16 and 17

Busy week ahead.

I've got some projects to finish, an accounting quiz, and a paper to write.

I need to get out of my apartment and/or town, and find something FUN to photograph. Numbers 16 and 17 are both pretty lame. It's hard to stay inspired with such a monotone life. Someday things will be more interesting.

17/365 - Yep, that's me. I need to remember that I always, always, have a subject...Myself.
16/365 - A lei hanging off a handle in our kitchen. Slowed the shutter and tried to keep my hand still, while pulling the flowers with my other. Turned out alright, I suppose.

Saturday, October 16, 2010


So apparently more people somehow end up here than I had known. I checked my "stats" today and found that there's over 200 views, just this month. WHAT! Who are these people and where are they coming from?? It's sort of scary, but awesome. Please comment if you stop by...I'm interested in where people are from and what you think of my photos. =)

I need to find someone to teach me how to put some sort of design on this thing. Right now it's just some template from blogger. LAME. Someday it will look pretty...Someday.

Two photos for today to catch up!

15/365 - Tonight Brian and I made this yummy dish with butternut squash, pecans, and penne pasta. Isn't it perfectly pretty for fall?

14/365 - Our next photography project is a collage for the upcoming play at DSU. Here's one version of mine. Wish I could go back and change a few things, but it will have to do for now.

Friday, October 15, 2010

All you need.

 Besides love, all you need is good friends, good music, coffee, and photography.

Yesterevening (yep, just made that word up) my buddy Paul and I attended a small acoustic performance at a coffeeshop in Madison. The performer was DSU's new audio production professor, and our new FNL advisor, Nate. It was pretty incredible. Paul was going to record it, but his equipment wasn't cooperating. I went along and shot some photos, which I'm fairly happy with.

I've noticed a problem that I have is shooting without flash, which I do because I really love the warm tone of no flash...However, it often results in more blurry images. Sometimes it does work to my advantage, but I need to remember that I can achieve that warmth through filters and other techniques in post. So last night I experimented with both using flash and not.

Paul was having a blast watching me use my backwards lens to take macro shots. He just kept handing me objects to get close to. It was a lot of fun because he's the first person who I showed that to that was excited for me. Anyway...We also got some iced mochas and then chatted with some DSU faculty who showed up. It was one excellent night.

Paul talked me into giving the coffeeshop my email address so they could contact me if they wanted some photos of their performances taken. I really am lucky to have friends who want the best for me and motivate me to achieve more.

Nate taking a break to mark his setlist. I enjoy this photo a lot.

13/365 - My photo of the day for yesterday. I enjoy this photo even more. =)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Thumbs up for Progress.

I really don't know how I'm going to stay productive when there are such fun shows on TV this fall. Strongly dislike being drawn to shows when I should be doing something productive. However, the freedom of a laptop and wireless internet make it easy for me to multi-task. I can work in Photoshop, check my email, eat a freezee, and watch Raising Hope all at the same time.

We're making lots of progress on our drawings in my figure drawing class. Today was the first day that I felt like it was actually turning into the drawing that I was imagining. Maybe that will be my photo of the day soon.

I had trouble choosing today's photo. I had two that I really liked, but after some outside opinions, finally settled.

Here they are!

12/365 - Not really sure what we were doing, but I liked the way it looked. Ha.

11/365 - A peek into my personal life. Yay for showertime! Not sure why it looks so grainy. Maybe I'll try to fix that and repost this one.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


The long weekend is over. Giant sigh of sadness on 3. Ready, 1, 2, 3, "awwwwwww."

Yesterday we drove to my home in Irene so I could pick up some props for a photo project. We were delightfully surprised to find out that Dustin had a football game later that afternoon. So we went to the game and, thanks to it being at 5:00 instead of 7:00, I got some pretty alright shots of the game. (Something I'd been struggling with...My lens just can't keep up in the dark, even with the stadium lights.)

And TODAY is Dustin's 16th birthday. I can't believe my little baby brother is all grown up and stuff. He just keeps getting older and older. I didn't buy him anything for his birthday, but I did stay home much longer than anticipated to help him finish a biology project. Didn't get back to Madison until about 12:30 am, but it was worth it. When I was a sophomore in high school, he and his friends helped me with that exact project. (The project is to collect 30 different bugs and classify them, then pin them to a piece of foamboard. Needless to say, he was much more willing, at 9 years old, to find a bunch of bugs than I was.)

So anyway...I have three photos to post for today from my 365 Project.

10/365 - Dustin's football game. I chose this photo over more clear ones of him because I LOOOOVE all the action going on here. Dustin is the one in the white with the guy flying over him. My favorite part of this is the kid on the right (can't see his number so I'm not sure who it is) mid-fall. I was surprised my camera could capture action like this, to be honest. Still learning.
9/365 - Brian and I went for a walk late-evening on Sunday. Loved the way these trees looked surrounding the streetlight.
The trees outside, along with the streetlights, make some awesome shadows on my wall. I've been wanting to get this shot for a while now. Since lots of leaves have fallen off the trees, it makes the shadow a big spookier. I will probably revisit this idea in the future and try it out with a tripod so there's no blur.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

One week down.

After today's photo (yet to be taken,) I have my first week of 365 done! Many weeks to go, but I am enjoying this. So far I'm not having trouble getting a photo each day. But looking in my folder, I already see that I am attracted to angles. Deep low angles or funky diagonals are prevailing. Should I challenge myself to find some symmetry or continue with where I'm comfortable? Hmmm....

Today is a lazy day. Slept in pretty late..Then Brian and I got some breakfast/lunch at our new favorite restaurant in Madison. Now he's finishing some homework while I watch HGTV and work on a 1000 piece puzzle. It was one of my birthday gifts from my parents. ...Am I the only 23 year old kid who LOVES doing puzzles? Honestly...I would rather sit at home with a good movie, some tea, and a difficult puzzle, than be out at bars or parties. I often call myself boring because of it, but really, maybe I'm the opposite. Doing something different and not following the popular crowd has always been my way of life.

Here are my photos from Thursday and Friday. WARNING: Thursday's photo is ickyyy.

Yesterday's photo. It was just myself and another student in figure drawing. He left early so I had some fun with my camera and the paint splattered tables in the studio. The funky purple color is from Lightroom. Couldn't resist playing with it some more. =)

Thursday's photo. Brian lives in a basement apartment and has these little guys occasionally crawling on his floors. We knew they were coming in from the windows, but since the windows are a bit higher than eye level, we didn't realize how huge the problem was. We ended up sucking all these guys up into the vacuum cleaner and then formed a barrier with duct tape. So far, so good...There are no more bugs! This photo was taken with my phone. I wish I had brought my Nikon to his place that day, but this worked, I guess. Grossss!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Blue & Green.

I would really like to keep this updated with life, along with photos. So I have some time now between classes to do just that. Kind of.

School is going well. Classes are fun and relatively easy. The challenge is to stay motivated when my creativity levels aren't being pushed. To help me continue to notice everyday events and objects as art, I've been carrying my camera everywhere with me. Even if I know I probably wont use it, I still bring it. It's resulted in some shots of trees and leaves while walking to class, and some random ones of desks and classroom objects. I sort of stole the idea from the TV show "Made" on MTV. I remember they would make the wannabe basketball players carry a ball with them everywhere, and the wannabe supermodels to wear heels all day.

This practice has opened my eyes even wider to the possibilities of photos.

A side note: Today I'm wearing one green sock and one blue sock. I fully enjoy the randomness of it. It sort of reminds me to have fun. ...As if my shoes don't say that already. =P

I downloaded the trial version of Adobe Lightroom yesterday. How did I ever live without this??? Hopefully I can purchase it when my trial is up. I've been spending nearly all my free time playing with it. As always, still learning and have a lot to figure out...But for now I like making wacky colored photos.

One of our performers at and Open Mic event: Dan. He is excellent!
I will be posting my 365 Project photos for yesterday and today tonight. That is one messed up sounding sentence...

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

4/365 and 5/365

Soundproofing material in the KDSU booth.

Our FNL "Soundboard of LIFE"

Monday, October 4, 2010

Two and Three

So I already faltered on Day 2. Woops! I had my camera with me ALL DAY...But I quickly found out that I left my memory card at home, 70 miles away. SO...I did end up grabbing a photo of Brian on my phone, but it was after midnight so technically it was today and not yesterday. AND it's a terrible picture...Just a quick shot before bed to say that I had a #2. Anything to stay official, I guess.

Today I rummaged around my room and found a 256 MB card, which I popped into my camera and can fit a whole 100 photos on it! It's rather slim compared to my 4 Gig....Oh well. Until I can get back home, it will have to do.

I am going to start taking my camera everywhere with me. Today I lugged it to class, minus the bag. It felt nice having it with me at all times. Like, no matter what, I was ready to take the shot.

Here are my numbers two and three:

Brian allllllmost sleeping.

The basement of Beadle Hall, as I waited for today's Studio Processes class.

Saturday, October 2, 2010


#1 is here.

Today I spent my birthday taking photos of my cousins. First, my three youngest cousins, and later on, senior pictures for another cousin. I learned a lot today...And I actually felt like the real deal for a while.

So here's the first photo of my documented 23rd year of life.

October leaves...How beautiful.

The big 2-3

So here we are. Today is the day. The first day of me being 23 years old. That seems like such a big number. Like just the other day I was 18 and starting school....

Anyway, today I begin my 365 Project. I'm a little nervous, a little excited, and a little wondering what I'm getting myself into. I'm hoping Brian will help me stay on track with it. I guess we will see...

I don't have a photo yet today...but I will.

This afternoon I'm going on my first photo-shoot. Technically, it's not my first...But it will be my first time with a family who isn't my sister's. I'm going to be shooting my aunt's kids, my three young cousins. (They should really find a word other than "shooting" when it comes to photography...That sentence sounds so wrong.)

Wish me luck!!


My name is Denise and this is the home of my Photography 365 Project. Here you will find many photos and lots of words and hopefully something interesting. Feel free to leave comments and kind words whenever you wish. Thanks for stopping by!