Jes Lee

Day 22

I've felt a bit scattered today. Not really a bad scattered, just where I don't feel very deep or profound, and I can't quite focus on anything for too long. I have been working on photos for at least a couple of hours though today, and while I have no idea where these are going, this is what interested me today. Who knows where they will show up next.

From last winter when I took a little photo walk around Uptown with my Holga. I was experimenting with not completely advancing the film to the next frame.

Sometime last fall I believe, in the Como Park Conservatory flower garden.

Just a few weeks ago, when I finally found Hidden Falls again.


The next 3 are more that I took at the State Fair the week before it opened. These were very odd parade floats that were parked across the street from the fair grounds.


Life is a b-movie

It's stupid and it's strange

It's a directionless story

and the dialogue is lame

but in the he said she said

sometimes there's some poetry

if you turn your back long enough

and let it happen naturally



Day 21

Fairs and festivals look so different when they are empty of people. They can have a very lonely, empty, feeling. Filled with anticipation, but at the same time kind of creepy.

It is something you don't see when you are walking around the fair when it is open and filled with food and people.

I took these images at the Minnesota State Fair the weekend before it opened as I was picking up my artwork after judging at the Fine Arts building.

They were all taken with a Holga, a cheap plastic medium format camera that is awesome.

The last is my very favorite.


Day 20

I spent a lot of time this weekend getting work ready for Art @ Rice Creek at Banfill and getting work ready to hang up at Blaine City Hall that I didn't have much time left for new artwork.

I did have a great time at Art @ Rice Creek though! Many people came to say hi, which was wonderful, and if you were one of those people, thank you! I am so very happy that I not only sold some pottery for my dad and I, but that I also sold two prints of my newer work! It always makes me happy to think that someone likes what I am doing that much! I also had the wonderful pleasure of meeting in person Rachel Flentje, the Exhibition Director at Bloomington Art Center. I have talked to her a few times through email and snail mail about the specifics of my project and show, but this is the first time I got to meet her in person, and was a very nice surprise yesterday!

Everything made for a great weekend, but did cut back on creative time.

I did take these two polaroids, which I am very happy with. They are of my summer car, right after I dropped it off at my mom and dad's house, to stay there until we figure out some battery issues and other crazy things.


It is a 1976 Volkswagen Beetle painted to look like a firefly, and named Serenity after the Firefly show which I love.

I am very excited about the Polaroids! There are only a few I have taken with this camera that I have been super excited about. These are two of them!

More coming this week.



Day 19

Today was a day I was mostly just searching for inspiration. Not that I have to go very far to find it.  Working on a project like this can be very draining at times, and you need little things to rejuvenate you and give you new ideas to work into what you are doing.  

There have been many inspirations for this project from the start.  

One major source has been books by William Gibson. Being a Cyberpunk author, his fiction deals a lot with the worlds I am imagining in the text of my project. The digital world that exists along side the real world, but is also completely seperate. 

Currently, I am re-reading Idoru one of my favorite books by him, and one that deals a lot with living between the digital and the analog world. I am enjoying reading it for the second time right now, because I feel like it is giving me perspective in my writing again. Making me think about what I want to describe to the viewers of my work. It is also simply relaxing to read an enjoyable book again. A good example of what I am getting out of this book is in this paragraph describing Chia (a teenage girl) in her digital bedroom that she created for herself:

'Chia looked around, feeling disappointed. Things weren't quite the right size, somehow, or maybe she should've used those fractal packets that messed it all up a little, put dust in the corners and smudges around the light switch. Zona Rosa swore by them. When she was home, Chia liked it that the construct was cleaner than her room ever was. Now it made her homesick; made her miss the real thing.' (found in chapter 4 of the book)

I also had a very interesting discussion with my husband tonight about some matters of art history, specifically the Dadaist, Surrealist, and the Modernist movements and bits about certain artists. It was quite fun, I haven't had an art history discussion like that for awhile, and it was fun pulling out things I had learned from the classes that, at the time, seemed to take so much studying for.

One last little source of inspiration has been getting quite a few rolls of color negatives developed at National Camera. Amongst the many rolls of film, was one roll of night pictures I took at the state fair. I am very excited about them, and am hoping to be able to work with them a bit very very soon. Here is a little teaser:

Fireworks just before we left to go home!

An in-camera double exposure of the many lights and food vendors at the fair.

Both were taken with my Hasselblad 501c/m using Fuji color slide film, 100 asa.

More of those to come soon!

Enjoy the weekend!


Day 18

Today happened to be perhaps the most productive day I have had in a long time. It feels like it has been such a long time since I have been able to work this much on my artwork. 

I spent many hours printing images that will be displayed at Blaine City Hall starting on Monday. 

I also worked on a few new images.

First is one that I started awhile ago, but it never seemed quite right. I was working with it a bit again today, and I think it is much closer now.

Japan Lights 

Created with 3 photos taken in Japan. Two images taken with a Mamiya C330 using color film, and one taken with a Canon 40D digital SLR.


I also created two new compilation images today. I am not positive that either one are finished, but like I have said before, this is all part of the process. 

Here they are!

The Sign Says No Trespassing

Created using 3 images – one taken with a Holga camera using black and white film, and two taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m camera using a Polaroid back and peel apart film.

Where You Walk

Created with 4 images, one taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using black and white film, one taken with a Holga using black and white film, and two taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using a Polaroid back and peel apart film.


It was a good day.


Day 17

"Stand tall sweet lady,

you are far stronger than you know"

My mom gave me a card sometime during my teenage years that said that on the front. I used to have it hanging above my bed. Now I have it hanging above my computer, where I spend most of my time when I am working on projects like this at home. It is something I have to remember, and I look at it often. 

Somedays the ideas don't come easy. Somedays things just don't flow right. Somedays the best you can do is walk away from it for the night, and get a fresh start (after a cup of coffee!) in the morning.


Day 16

Today was definitely a working day.

I finished up a couple of small projects, scanned in quite a bit of film, and actually got to spend some time working on some of the images I have been scanning. 

The first batch I scanned is from my trip to the Minnesota State Fair! These pictures might find their place in my project. I never rule anything out. Here are a couple I finished today:

There will be many more photos from this outing coming very soon!

Also, thanks to one of my twitter pals I found this photo website. I love the title so much!!




Day 15

This post is marking the end of a very long, busy holiday weekend. The weekend was not without its benefits though.

We drove to Mundelein, Illinois for a 50th wedding anniversary party on Saturday and stayed in Madison, Wisconsin Saturday night. After a photo walk late Saturday night, and a few hours of sleep, we drove home Sunday morning with one photo stop along the way. 

Today I spent a large part of the day hanging out with my family while developing the 10 rolls of black and white film I have accumulated from the last couple of weeks. All of that film is now being scanned, and I must say, I am very excited about how most of it turned out! It makes me very excited for a day I can spend with it to see what it will work itself into. Of course, you will see the results in future posts. It was a very rejuvenating day, and one that was greatly needed. I am still exhausted after all of the weekend events, but it is a happy exhausted now instead of an overwhelming exhaustion.

I am very hopeful about the other images I took over the weekend. Here are a couple of the Polaroids I took during our little road trip. I am enamored with them, and amazed at the clarity in the images, especially in the two taken with the little Polaroid 600 camera I bought at the Goodwill a couple of weeks ago. 

I'm hoping this inspiring photo weekend will jump-start my creativity for the next couple of weeks and that good things will keep coming!

Taken with my Polaroid 600 Spirit camera at Mill Bluff state park in Wisconsin. The park is very close to Volk Field. We took a chance to get out and stretch our legs by walking around the path that wound around these huge rock formations. It would have been even better if there hadn't been so many mosquitos out there! It was a beautiful place to visit though, and I highly recommend it if you are traveling through Wisconsin.

A close up of the rock towers. I was trying to capture a good image of the feathers that were strewn across the rock base. I took this with my Hasselblad 501c/m using a Polaroid back and super yummy awesome Chocolate Polaroid Peel-apart Pack film!

Another close up of the rock towers. They have amazing texture!

This is the Madison State Capital building at night. It was about a 20-30 second exposure, also taken with my Hassey and Chocolate Polaroid film. I was exhausted after our night walk, but it was worth it! I am anxious to see the other film shots!

Here begins another week!!


Day 14

Somedays all you want to do is slow down, and notice the little things. Sometimes when you feel like that, you actually have the chance to slow down. Other days you don't.

Today, there were many little things I was noticing in some of my images. Very little things, often quite insignificant, but it was enough to draw me to the image.

The images in this post are a mix of images from a few different photo outtings. If you click on the image, it will take you to a page with a description of where I took the image, and what little thing I was noticing about it today. See if you notice any of the same things I did! I'm curious to know if anyone sees these things, or if there are things I'm missing that others see.

Rubber Ducky in a stream of water in the gutter along our street. The depth of field is pretty perfectly centered on the duck.  Taken with a Mamiya C330 using Ilford Pan F 50 Black and White film.  March 2009.

Train tracks near Lake Street in Minneapolis. You can no longer see the wood rails.   Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using a Polaroid back loaded up with Chocolate pack film.  June 2009.

The window of the old Indianhead Trucking Company building.  The glass has been taken out and the curtains are pulled through the opening.  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m with Ilford Pan F 50 black and white film.  August 2009.

The doorway to the Indianhead Trucking Company building in Roseville. The 'Keep Out' sign has been taken down and now looks like it could read 'Out Keep'  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using Ilford Pan F 50 Black and White film.  August 2009.

The parking lot of the old Indianhead Trucking Company building. There are two lawn chairs sitting there staring out at nothing.  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using Ilford Pan F 50 black and white film.  August 2009.

The side of the old Indianhead Trucking Company building. The graffiti at the bottom of the building says 'Rad'  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using Ilford Pan F 50 black and white film.  August 2009.

The parking lot of the old Indianhead Trucking Company Building. A small pile of broken glass from one of the windows being removed.  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using Ilford Pan F 50 black and white film.  August 2009.

A fence near Monroe Street in Northeast Minneapolis. There is string on the fence that spells out the words 'Hot Tea'.   Taken with a Holga camera using color film.  July 2009.

Road and Hills, somewhere in southern Minnesota between Winona and Minneapolis. There is a gas station in the lower left of the image that looks like it is abandoned, but isn't.  Taken with a Holga camera and color film.  August 2009.

Thank you!



Day 13

Today has been packed full, and right now it feels pretty amazing to just be back home.

John and I went to the Minnesota State Fair with a couple of friends today after work. We had an amazing time, ate way too much, walked all over the fair grounds, and took lots and lots of pictures. As I was running out the door this morning after packing up my bags for the day, I realized I was taking 4 cameras with me (all film cameras, no digital this time). It was the first time, in my many years of going to the fair, that I have ever taken pictures of it. We had amazing weather, and I’m excited to get the film developed!

In the mean time, tonight I am posting a few of the polaroids I took that came out pretty decent! My only complaint about them is that the scans came out much redder than the actual polaroids. I did my best to color adjust them for now, and I’m planning on rescanning them soon.

For now, I leave you with this:

These 3 images were taken with my Hasselblad 501c/m using a Polaroid back loaded up with Chocolate pack film from Polapremium (where I spend most of my paychecks!)

Photo of the ferris wheel looking straight up at it.  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using a Polaroid back loaded with Chocolate film.  September 2009.

The Ferris Wheel

A ride called the Thriller at the State Fair.  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using a Polaroid back loaded with Chocolate film.  September 2009.

Crazy Thriller – Fighter ride.

Fireworks at the State Fair.  Taken with a Hasselblad 501c/m using a Polaroid back loaded with Chocolate film.  September 2009.