Jes Lee

Day 9

The city looks so different at night.

I have taken dozens of photos of this building, and this sign. It is a staple of the Minneapolis skyline.

I haven’t thought much of the other images I have taken of this building.

But the one I took tonight came out exactly how I wanted.

I believe it will find it’s way into this project somewhere. For now, it is here.

Sometimes, you just have to look at something a different way, at a different time to find the answer you are looking for. Sometimes that means you have to look up.


Gold Medal Flour Building at night.  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using a Polaroid back loaded up with Polaroid peel apart Silk 125i pack film.  August 2009.


Until Monday~



Day 8

Some days, you just need a little inspiration.

One of the things I love doing is taking photos at night (as many of you may have already figured out). Tonight, while looking back through some older images that I will be working with, I found these. They made me smile.

In Minneapolis there is an event called the Luminary Loppet or Tour of Light. It takes place in February. Participants can walk or cross country ski along a course set on the frozen lakes and lined with candles housed in pillars of ice. It was purely an accident that I found this event last year. I will be going back again in 2010.

These photos were most likely taken with my Mamiya C330 (I’m guessing this because it’s a little easier to load film in that one when you have cold fingers, so I probably had that one with me!). Taken with Fuji color slide film.

I am sure you will see these later as a layer in a compliation.

Long exposure of the ice candles lit for the Luminary Loppet or Tour of Light in Minneapolis.  Color slide film.  I believe this was shot with my Mamiya C330.  February 2009.

Long exposure of the ice candles at the Luminary Loppet or Tour of Light in Minneapolis.  Color slide film.  Most likely shot with my Mamiya C330.  February 2009.

Long exposure of the ice candles at the Luminary Loppet or Tour of Light in Minneapolis.  Color slide film.  Most likely taken with my Mamiya C330.  February 2009.

Long exposure of the ice candles at the Luminary Loppet or Tour of Light in Minneapolis.  Color slide film.  Most likely taken with my Mamiya C330.  February 2009.



Day 7

There are many photos that I took during our trip to Japan that inspire what I am doing in this project. There are so many places there that fit what is in my mind.

I always knew I would feel this way, even before we decided to go to Japan.

One of the first things that started me on this process was an anime that a friend told me about called Serial Experiments Lain created by Yoshitoshi ABe. It is brilliant! I think about it sometimes when I am working.

On that note, today’s images that I have been thinking about are images from our trip to Japan. There is the theme of the old and new placed together in the first image. The second image reminds me of some of the scenes from Lain.

This is a temple in downtown Osaka. We found it on one of our last days there before heading back to Narita and Tokyo.  Taken with a Mamiya C330 using Fuji color slide film (most likely Provia 125)  April 2009.

There are many streets in Japan that look like this near where we were. Wires and signs cris crossed everywhere.  Taken with my Mamiya C330 using Ilford black and white film.  March 2009

Until tomorrow




Day 6

Another with images and words.

Sometimes it takes awhile for the words to find their images.

This is a long exposure of my feet and my hubby's feet in the swimming pool at our condo. The shot was taken at night and we were sitting very close to the pool light.   Taken with a Hasselblad 501 c/m using a Polaroid back and Silk 125i pack film. It was about a 3 second exposure.

I think of her all the time when I’m not plugged in.

I wonder what she would think

if she were here right now.

She’d probably scoff at these people

their attachments to objects

to things just because you can touch them.

They don’t realize the limitations they have in Real World.

They don’t know how, over there, you can not only have the object

but you can also create it,

make every bit exactly how you want it

look, feel, smell, sound, taste,

and then, when it is perfect

you can make it last forever

or however long you like.

It will always be there.

Not like here.

In Real World, people are always losing

things, objects, each other.

The dashboard of my car, including my favorite car CD player, my special cup holder, favorite coffee cup, dragonfly from my last birthday cake, and a price sticker from something I bought in Japan.  Taken with a Holga and expired Fuji color negative film.

Little star lights on our deck.   Taken with a Hasselblad 501 c/m using a Polaroid back and Sepia pack film.

Day 5

This building is in Roseville very close to the Indianhead trucking company. The buildings have been vacant for quite awhile now. Construction workers are tearing down the buildings, making way for something new. It is interesting to watch their progress. Each building is slowly reduced to multiple piles of rubble, separated out for recycling I guess, and taken away.   Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m, Ilford Pan F 50 Black and white film.  August 2009.

In Real World it was barely a building.

Scarcely more than a pile of rubble

most of the walls and ceiling gone

making way for the next thing.

Someone here saved it though

uploading an image of the partial building

and brought it here

coding in windows where there once was brick

skylights where there was only ceiling.

Creating a place to exist and dream and watch.

Day 4

I wasn’t originally planning on blogging on the weekends.

But, I took a few photos today that I wanted to post.

Sometimes you just need a day to take some pictures and it seems to put everything back into proportion.

A couple of the best from today:

The bonfire at a friend's house. The best part of summer!  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using a polaroid back loaded up with Silk 125i pack film!  August 2009.

Bonfires are one of my favorite parts of summer and fall!

Long exposure (about 15 seconds) of us sitting on our deck. <3

A portrait of us sitting on the deck. <3



Day 3

I will always remember the double exposure assignment from one of my first photography classes in college. The challenge was to make as many double exposures in as many ways as you could. I always enjoyed the ‘in-camera’ double exposures. The challenge was you didn’t see the final image until after you developed it. There was no way of knowing before. Not everyone works out. In fact many don’t visually work at all. But each one has something to it that makes you stop and look for awhile.

I think sometimes when you are working on a big project, one of the best things you can do to give yourself a boost is to go back to something you tried early on.

In an effort to continue collecting images to use in this project, I went back to early techniques.

These are all ‘in-camera’ double exposures. In a way it is truly the ‘analog’ way of what I do with my layered images in Photoshop.

A double exposure I took at a nature preserve we drove through on our way home from Winona.   Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using a Polaroid back with Silk 125i pack film.

Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using a Polaroid back.

Double exposure taken of a nature preserve we drove through on our way home from Winona.   Taken with a Holga.

Taken with a Holga.

Taken at a Locke and Dam we drove past on our way home from Winona.  Taken with a Holga.

Taken with a Holga.

A double exposure I took while sitting on the patio at Punch Pizza in NE Minneapolis, having dinner with my sweetie.  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using a Polaroid back and Silk 125i pack film.




Day 2

Today’s post is just images. Somedays, that is all you have. Images that you are drawn to, though you don’t know exactly why.

I take a camera with me all the time. This is one of the reasons. You never know when you are going to see something that draws you in.


This was at an Okinomiyaki restaurant in one of the top floors of Yodobashi Camera. It was one of the first places we ate at with Joni (besides Subway!) The melon soda was awesome and was always served in a Coke glass.  Taken with a Mamiya C330, probably with Ilford film.  March, 2009.

This was taken during a walk around our neighborhood shortly after we got back from our trip. The duck is sitting on top of a skateboard ramp.  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m. Ilford film.

John.  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m. Ilford black and white film.  April, 2009.

A window I saw walking back to our car after going to a few Art-a-Whirl openings with some friends.   Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m.  May 2009.


Day 1

Day 1 update.

I’ve made it this far!

I have two images today. One that was taken today, one that I took on our trip to Japan. Both will somehow fit into the final images of this project. For now, this is how they exist:

This was taken in downtown Osaka. It amazes me to see the mix of new and old there. It was not uncommon at all to walk down the street and see and old building (usually a temple) right amidst sky scrapers and very modern architecture. It is one of the things I see showing through this project. That new and old, analog and digital can work together and exist together and can in their own way be beautiful.  Taken with a Mamiya C330, most likely on Ilford Pan F 50 film.   April, 2009

I took this photo during our Japan trip. This is in downtown Osaka, not very far from our hotel. It always amazed me how often you would see the old and the new mixed together there. Just walking down the street in downtown, you would see an old building (usually a house or a temple) right in the middle of very modern sky scrapers. This is what I see coming together in my project. Showing the mix of old and new, analog and digital together. I’m not saying that one is better than the other. I’m not sure yet exactly what I am saying about them. Just that they are. Technical stuff: this image was taken with my Mamiya C330, probably with Ilford film, most likely Ilford Pan F 50. That’s one of my favorite types of black and white film!

I sat on our deck and took this looking straight up at the sun and clouds. Of course, you lose a lot of detail taking a picture of the sun, but it captured the feeling I wanted.  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using a Polaroid back and Blue pack film from Polapremium.  August, 2009

This image I took today from our deck as the rain was finally stopping and the sun was coming out. Of course you lose a lot of detail in the sky area when you point your camera right at the sun, but it captured the feeling I was looking for. In another the image ‘Industrialized‘ that will be included somewhere in this project, I included a dialog by a character who was talking about how if he/she (I haven’t decided yet, don’t know if I will) moved completely into the Digital World and away from Real World that she would miss the clouds and the sun and trees and grass. Taking this image made me think of that character. I think it might be a she. She loves clouds.  Technical stuff: taken with my Hasselblad 501c/m using a Polaroid back loaded with Blue pack film from PolaPremium.

That is it for today.





Documenting the act of creating art can sometimes be as important as the finished work. Sometimes the effects of the documentation are visible, showing pieces the viewer wouldn’t normally see and adding another layer of meaning. Other times, I think, the documentation is just simply part of the background. The story of the journey leading up to the finished project. 

So why am I rambling about this today?

I just finished reading a book by Wafaa Bilal about his project ‘Domestic Tensions‘ that took place in Chicago in 2007. The book and project are very amazing and made me think about quite a few things as I was reading it. 

One thing he did during his project was keep a video blog on YouTube documenting the progress, his feelings, etc.

In the past, I have not documented the creation of any of my projects very much. In fact, I often hide everything to do with them until the very end. I don’t think I am wrong in doing that, but I do think the project I am working on now needs a different approach. 

My goal in this is to document the continuation of this project here in this blog. Everyday, Monday through Friday, I will be posting another piece of the puzzle. It may be an image, it may be a few lines (I do need to add text to this project), it may be links to things that have inspired me that day, who knows. Most posts will be short, but my goal is that they will be there. Please feel free to comment and critique. 

If you would like to know a little background on the project:

The working title is Digital Dreams of Life. Previous images I have created that fit with this theme are in this gallery and many other images that I think will fit in there but I’m still questioning are here. The artist statement about the work is here. The show will be up at Bloomington Art Center in September, 2010. It will be in the Atrium gallery which is gorgeous, well lit, and huge! 

I’m hoping that by posting all of these bits, it will help me to stay on track with the work I have ahead of me for this project, and give some of you a little insight into the art journey I’m on right now. I hope it isn’t boring for you!

Stay tuned!