Last October was our 10 year wedding anniversary. For fun, we loosely follow the traditional anniversary gift list. For example, one year the gift was ‘iron,’ so we got ourselves a waffle iron. The ten year gift is tin, so we decided to get tintype portraits taken. 

Tintypes are made using metal plates painted with light sensitive photo emulsion. The image is developed and fixed right away…a fancy, old fashioned polaroid, if you will. Tintypes are now considered an alternative photography process, but they are actually at the roots of photography. With modern lighting techniques the process is fairly quick and easy, and can be more relaxed than in the past. Each one is unique and the chemistry involved makes striking images.

To be honest, I think I’d like to do my part all over again with a glass or two of wine and a shopping trip…but it really is a raw, honest snapshot of the moment, and I love having a set of unique family portraits. Thank you so much to Kari Orvik for the beautiful photos.

Mansfield Family, 2015 by  Kari Orvik

Mansfield Family, 2015 by Kari Orvik

Summer is gone. Long live summer.


Woosh. No...more like clackity clackity clackity clackity. The sound of the calendar days turning over quickly like a train station schedule board. It's mid-September already and the calendar says summer is ending. But in San Francisco it's really just beginning. The fog lingers less each day. It's a bit disorienting...beach weather is coming soon. I'll get my apple cider on ice. Travels and visitors and new work schedules and new nap schedules and new ideas swirl around me even faster than my daughter does. Blink and it will be fall. Take a breath and it will be Christmas.  Wake up and find it's a new year. I must rememeber to keep my eyes open. To jump in...participate. Choose. Take pictures...unless I'm just enjoying the moment. You never know, I might find someone small took the perfect picture for me.

it had our name on it


I spotted this under a table at a flea market last year. Even though it has our name on it and a "Lifetime Warranty," I couldn't quite justify bringing it home. Scott isn't really a "motion picture" photographer anyway (not yet...?). Pretty cool packaging though...I can definitely picture an excited 50's kid unwrapping this on Christmas Day.

Diatoms Floating in the Interwebs

Rarely I mention that I work in the geology department of the California Academy of Sciences. In most museums these days there's a push to digitize the collections...photograph and database all the specimens for modern record keeping and to provide global access to holdings (among other reasons). One of my main tasks at my day job is to photograph specimens within the Geology Collections (Thanks, Scott Mansfield, for mentoring my photographic efforts). Awhile back I photographed some interesting microscope slides. These slides contain arrangements of microscopic algae called diatoms. The arrangements are generally meant more for beauty & novelty than for research (though arrangements sometimes show all the species found in one location, which could potentially be useful). I posted the pictures on Flickr as usual and they've...well, they've gone viral. This week I was surprised to open up my feedly reader and see the pictures posted on one of my favorite blogs, Colossal. Woah. I've had inquiries about prints...we're looking into logistic and copyright issues...stay tuned!

UPDATE: Prints can now be ordered. Send me your email and I'll send you an order form.


Stop what you're doing and get ready for a fabulous trip to parallel universes. Photographer Irina Werning's Back To the Future project takes old photos and recreates them with the same people...from wardrobe, to poses, to lighting.  It's a fun gallery to look through...check it out HERE.

It's hard to choose a favorite, but this one was the most hilarious:


Flashback bonus:

Today sfgirlbybay paired vintage+modern fashions in a great post HERE.