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.

Bay Nature


Scott has a little cameo in the newest issue of

Bay Nature Magazine

.  It's a great issue focusing on Pt. Reyes in celebration of the 50th anniversary of its designation as a National Seashore. Pt. Reyes is a great day trip from the Bay Area and a favorite destination for us when we need to get out of the city. We saw whales spouting offshore on our last outing there! If you want to know more about the history and ecology of Pt. Reyes, read

Crowning Glories: 50 Years of Pt. Reyes

...and look for 'Hiker on Sky Trail' (that's my Mr. ♥). Bay Nature is a great local organization focused on exploring and protecting natural places around the San Francisco Bay, and their magazine is always lovely.


This post originally appeared on Photogwife in October 2011

Last week I ordered some 'designy temporary tattos' from Tattly.  The first one put to use? RGB 


Go check it out...there are quite a few photo related choices. You usually get two of every tattoo you purchase, so you can share (yep, Scott put on RGB too...we're temporary nerds!).  

(This post was definitely not sponsored by Tattly, FYI)

photo 101

This post was originally published on Photogwife in July 2011


After being around photographers for almost 10 years and having a photo-heavy job myself for almost 3 years the technical details of taking a photograph are finally starting to sink in...but you can bet that I'll still be consulting this beautiful cheat sheet created by Miguel Gantioqui.  Do you have someone in your life whose eyes glaze over when you start talking f-stops and depth of field? Show them this!

19th century adventures

This post was originally published on Photogwife in July 2011

Recently our home has been filled with activities related to Scott's alternative photo process projects.  It started last fall when he was browsing the bookshelf at home at picked up this book...


He built his own box camera based on a project in this book.  The camera is made for a 6x6 inch negative.  He even built a beautiful carrying case.


And of course, you can't build your own camera and not also build your own a few weeks ago the book came out again and the next phase of what I'm calling The Old Timey Photo Project began. The book Primitive Photography is a little strangely worded at times, so while building the camera and preparing the negatives Scott has been juggling information from it, his own brain, and another book on alternative processes. He's trying a few different techniques for making paper negatives...some with wax, some without, some with extra silver nitrate...


Our bathroom now converts within a matter of moments into a darkroom capable of supporting a variety of photographic processes of the last 150+ years...which of course requires a variety of chemicals...


...and safety equipment too. The fun/interesting part of this project is that it follows the ancestral roots of photography...a slow, complicated, and somewhat unpredictable process. What an interesting challenge for a modern photographer and an opportunity to more fully understand the subject he is so passionate about. And then there's me...I've been having fun jumping in with my iPhone and taking photos in an instant which I convert to 'Old Timey' with the flick of a finger (all the pics here are via my iPhone, converted with the Sutro filter on Instagram).


The first round of exposures yielded some promising results when they were developed (above) and Scott will try making prints from these in the coming weeks.  The second and third rounds have been an exercise in problem solving (too much gallic acid? not enough contrast in the scene? ...?). I'll keep you posted. 

If you'd like to read more about this project from Scott's perspective (and see his self-portrait wearing safety gear) check out his blog Mountain Over Water under the category "Projects" or feel free to drop me a comment or email with your questions.

night moves

This post was originally published on PhotogWife in June 2011

Awhile ago Scott came home from Yosemite with this stunning night shot: 


Scott Mansfield Photography

I fell in love with the colors and the cool, quiet feeling of sneaking around a meadow at night. Ever since, I've been seeing night-photography related items on the interweb.  Coincidence? Hive mind? I don't know, but I like it! 

Another thing about Scott's photo star trails. It makes it feel more like you're there, don't you think? If you're thinking about doing some night shots, HERE's a link to a nice little video tutorial we saw on Petapixel...including a nice trick to figure out a no-star-trail exposure

from the desk of...

This post was originally published on PhotogWife in April 2011

This was posted the other day on Letterheady. I'd never seen it before...but it's nice visually, as you'd expect.  And not too different from Scott's brand i.d., ha ha! Well, his old branding, his recent revamp has tweaked the design a bit (font, size, etc). People still need letterhead you know...which reminds me to ask the Husband if he's redone his letterhead and mailing labels yet ;)

bricks & butterflies


In December we took a quick little trip to Santa Barbara. We lived there for a couple of years when Scott was in school at the Brooks Institute of Photography and it was fun to see how things have changed and visit some old favorite places. Our BFF Jenny Kim came up from L.A. too (yay!) and we stayed with another good friend who was working in town. One stop on our nostalgic tour was Samy's Camera, where I looked at everything 3 times and played on my phone while Scott and Jenny shopped and chatted with their old favorite Samy's guy (ask for John, he'll take good care of you!).  They were each gifted an Argus...the first camera that was mass produced in quantities over a million. We nicknamed it The Brick...can't wait to see the pictures come out! We also went out to Ellwood Mesa...a preserve of beautiful bluffs above the ocean where thousands of monarch butterflies overwinter each year. We were there just when the sun was hitting the orangish clumps of cold butterflies and it was cool to see them slowly start fluttering and flying.  If you're near Santa Barbara, you just might see a few still there (this is the time of year they mate and migrate). Besides that we rolled by our old apartment and the old and new school campuses, wandered and had dinner on State Street, and watched The Change-Up (way funnier than the previews suggest). It was a great weekend!   

check your focus


Back at the start of the new year I posted THIS about my word focus that I received as part of fantabulous Diane's word project at The Dew Drop Inn.  Back in July she reviewed and revisited her project HERE

My word FOCUS is relevant to me in many ways.  I am easily distracted and overwhelmed, plus I procrastinate, which can make accomplishing goals difficult. Also, photography is a big part of my life...I live with a pro photog and photography has challenged & rewarded me in my own work.

I have held my word in my brain...encouraging myself to be mindful of the task at hand,  to work on tackling small parts of big projects, to make sure I do the best I can, and most of all (sometimes hardest of all) to stick to what's important to ME. 

Thanks again to Diane for the WORD. I'm already wondering what my word will be next year!


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.