Jes Lee

Film is a harsh mistress

And today it is leaving me bummed that out of all the instant portraits I took on Saturday, the shots that didn’t turn out were all shots of my husband. It is frustrating, and hard to remember sometimes that this happens with all film, not just instant, and that in a strange way this is why I shoot film, because it is fickle and not perfect, and more unique. But there are times it is disappointing. Anyway, I’ll be posting more instant film shots here and on Flickr later today, and in the mean time, I think maybe it is time for me to take a medium format camera with me today.

Catch up on my instant 365 project

My instant photo 365 is a challenge. There are days when I take an image, realize it isn’t going to work, and have to stop for the day because the conditions won’t change and I don’t want to waste the film. Some of these kind of crummy shots will still get used somewhere else, in a layer for another image, or just as a book mark. I’ll post a few of the crummy ones because right now it is showing that I am learning how to use some new films, and a new camera, but after awhile, I won’t post them, just a little note about that day.

Here we go!

Instant photo #7


Our living room window is one of my favorite parts of this little place we live in.

Instant photo #8


This one didn’t come out at all because it was too late at night and too dark. The blue and green and the texture are cool though, and they will look great as a layer in one of my compilation images.
Instant photo #9


I’m learning the limits of the new TIP 680 film and low light…

Instant photo #10


My tulips are starting to pop up! Also, I like using the old Chocolate film in my Land Camera.

Instant photo #11


Who doesn’t love the spoon and cherry at The Walker? :)

Instant photo #12
This one was really dark and murky. I was testing the low light capabilities of my Land Camera and discovering that it really depends on the film that is in it. I don’t feel like posting it, but it does exist.

Instant photo #13


The Vandercook I was printing on most of the day.

Instant photo #14


Getting ready for spring

Instant photo #15


My moons that hang by our door to our deck.
Instant photo #16


I met John for dinner before he had to go to an afterwork meeting. The wait staff really liked my camera ;)

Instant photo #17


That feeling of laying on the floor, listening to music, and staring up at the ceiling.

Instant photo #18


It snowed last night. The only good thing about it was that the trees were very pretty this morning. It seems like all the snow is gone now.

Until next time,

Yesterday was awesome


There isn’t much else I can say about yesterday except that it was pretty amazing.

For the first time in a long time I gave myself the time to develop some film. I stash rolls in a drawer in my studio until I have time to process them. Yesterday I looked and found 6 rolls waiting for me. Many were taken over the summer, right before I got busy framing work for my show. I can’t wait to get everything scanned in now. I’ll post a few here I’m sure.


My dad and I finally got a chance to work on making some new pottery. It was nice to get back into that. In case you didn’t know, I have been listing a lot of our pottery for sale on Etsy. (


I also got my Christmas present early! My family and husband all went together (and with some divine help from my granny!) got me a piano! I have missed having a piano at home for so long! This one is digital, it takes up much less space than a regular piano would, but still has weighted keys, a full keyboard, and sounds amazing! I played quite a bit last night after we got it home. It is so nice to be able to play and unwind again. For the longest time, playing music has been my way of unwinding, of relaxing and dealing with frustrations. My wonderful family knows this and realized that I needed one I could play whenever I needed (I have always had one to play at my mom and dads house) and we found this one. It took a bit of rearranging to have a space for it, and some kind of hard decisions. I had been keeping a lot of furniture that had been my granny’s for quite some time. Much of it was just being stored for when John and I had a bigger place. Not much of it fit our tastes, but it held many childhood memories for me (the server she hid all the glass marbles in!) and I was keeping it just because of her. I have come to realize though that furniture doesn’t embody a person, just their tastes (though stuff made by someone can often be a different story, it isn’t the case here) and often their tastes for a short time in their life. Memories don’t have to be tied to furniture or other objects. Memories don’t fade just because you don’t keep objects from the event. Those are just things, memories are experiences in your heart. In fact, it doesn’t always make sense what triggers a memory. I have had many people now comment on my artwork that certain pieces remind them of experiences, dreams, people, etc.

My granny will live on in memories and photographs forever without her furniture being stored. So, the server that always held glass marbles when I was little, and mostly just hid random things while I was using it at our condo, has moved on to be used by someone else, and in its spot is a new piano that some of the people I adore most, including my granny, helped me get. So what will today bring? For me, more time with family, and perhaps a bit of piano time this afternoon. Tomorrow is back to artwork and other creative bits, and probably more piano time. And being present. And enjoying where I am at.

Until tomorrow,