Sunday, April 07, 2019

Sunday #74: Bonjour Avril


Hello, April!  I am not sure where the time went, but I've now lived in Seattle for a full year!  I remember how lonely it felt when I initially moved here, but I've settled into a routine, like my apartment, found my gym, and made friends.  With the exception that my partner is still far away, it's decent here.  I'm also stoked about breaking through the Seattle Freeze to meet so many wonderful people!

I.  My partner came to visit me at the end of March.  We saw Captain Marvel (highly recommend) and went to visit the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle.  It's been awhile since I've photographed plants or trees so I decided to bring my camera.  I am experimenting with different floral shots that aren't just "zoom in on this flower and create bokeh."  For a long time, I sought to create images that are bright and full of light (both consciously and subconsciously leaning towards the Instagram-friendly aesthetic), but I've been purposefully including more shadows and darks in my images.  I like the starkness of contrast.


II.  When I decompress, I alternate between watching brainless TV or cerebral shows.  I am a huge fan of the show The OA.  Season 2 premiered on Netflix in March.  I've been rewatching it in the evenings to see what details I've missed because the show is so complex.  I like science fiction that is within the realm of believability (though we can argue that aspects of this show are a stretch of the imagination).  Quantum superposition + many-worlds interpretation?  Sign me up.  Do you have recommendations for shows that are similar to The OA?

III.  In the past few months, I've improved my relationship with exercise.  Exercising has become a way for me to take time to myself, the 45 to 90 minutes in a day I get to focus solely on moving and improving my body.  Anyone who brings up exercising with me gets an earful because I'm so excited to talk about it.  I have been doing workouts with some friends.  It's rewarding and fun!  I'm so enthusiastic talking about it that recently someone asked if I wanted to train clients for several hours a week at a wellness company.  Alas, I am not a certified trainer, but this got me thinking about getting certification from NASM.  It's expensive, though, and I already have a lot of other hobbies and interests (not to mention a full-time job).  Maybe somewhere down the line?  However, expect to see fitness-themed content here very soon!

IV.  Speaking of full-time work, I've been doubling down on learning biology recently.  I work in both chemistry and biology groups.  Now that I've largely wrapped up my chemistry work, I want to dedicate all my focus on biology.  There's a steep learning curve with biology (or any branch of science) so I have been making it a goal to read more, aiming for 3 to 5 scientific journal articles a day.  I figure if I'm not leisure reading, I should read academically.  My goal is just to read every single day.  Good for the soul, good for the brain.

V.  Setting some goals for this week: not eating out or spending money with the exception of a Friday night dinner.  I've been noticing how much I eat out which is neither good for my health or wallet.  I have plans to get ramen with coworkers later this evening.  After that, I'm going to meal prep and work for the rest of the evening to prepare for Monday.  My other intentions this week are to exercise 5X, read 10 to 15 new academic articles, and to gain traction on my biology work.  Let's make this a productive week!

Recommended

•  Natalie's guide on how to henna your hair.
•  Michelle's 4 Ways to Keep A Blog (from a few weeks ago) that the community found useful!
•  Downtown by Majical Cloudz which is the most calming song on earth.

What are your intentions for the week ahead?

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Sunday #73: Crossroads


Hi, I'm Alyse, and I have a coffee shop + pastry problem.  Ok, really just this one shop because the coffee is freshly roasted every day, I go there so much that I have A Spot, and know all the staff.  Look, we all need our sanctuary spaces and this happens to be mine on the weekends (or weekday mornings occasionally when I want to do computer work).  I swear this is 90% of my feed and stories.  That being said, I haven't done a Sunday post since January, so here goes the catch up!  I think telling y'all I've been busy is kind of a given because there's always something that needs doing.  I'm hunkered down over writing, poring over the literature, and generally looking for different ways to get my projects moving.  Sorry if that's intentionally vague, but hope you understand.  On a more personal end, less full-time work focused end, there's a bit to catch up on!

I.  I've done about four photoshoots in the past month between photographing Taylor, doing my friend's headshots, a Women's Day event at Flywheel Sports in Seattle, and recently, a collaboration with Aiko.  With the exception of Aiko, the shoots were all kind of on the fly.  The Flywheel Sports one was the most challenging because I've never had to shoot in a dark room before and had to push outside of my natural light comfort zone to work with (built-in) flash.  I'm at a crossroads where I'm debating if I should invest in a full-frame camera and start advertising for more paid gigs or to continue this solely as a hobby with the occasional job.  The difficult thing is that this would be entirely freelance and always come second to my full-time job.

II.  I redid my blog layout (again!) and got my photo website back up and running.  One thing I struggle with is the direction I want to take Lumière & Lens.  On the one hand, I write conversationally and love to connect with readers, but on the other, I want to create more curated content.  At the moment, I write these posts like a train-of-thought.  For the future, I'm thinking of a fitness and photography series, but have to figure out how it will fit into the overall theme.  How do I better my "brand"?!

III.  Speaking of fitness, I can now say that I'm a verifiable gym rat because I've kept pretty well to my resolution this year of exercising more.  With few exceptions, I've managed to exercise 5 to 6 times a week since the beginning of January.  If you're interested, I post tidbits of exercise here.  This past week, I tried barre and spin, both for the first time!  I'm drafting posts on those experiences.  All in all, I can say I LOVE exercise because it's become a meditative space for me.  I've still got insulation, but I also have more strength and muscle than I have had in my entire life.

IV.  Spring has officially arrived in Seattle. Whilst everyone is rejoicing the arrival of longer days and the sunshine, I'm already missing the winter.  We had a big blizzard that was dubbed Snowmageddon2019 where the city effectively shut down this year and I loved it.  As a person who is perpetually warm, I love the cold and snow!  Future plans: move to the Arctic Circle.

I have to sign off and get some work done before my spin class this afternoon.  Tell me what you've been up to in the comments!

Saturday, March 09, 2019

Ink


I recently met Taylor, a fellow photographer in Seattle. We both do photography for fun.  In general, my time has been largely committed to work, exercise, and decompression.  Honestly, if you don't work at my job, the gym, or my favorite coffee shop, then you haven't seen much of me at all.  I haven't made concrete plans for quite a while, but since this fellow artist was in the neighborhood, we had an impromptu trade shoot (time for prints, you know the drill).  Here are some of my favorite photographs from the day!  


I'll post some of my favorite shots he took of me soon, too, though you know I'd much rather share images of others than of myself.  Let me know what you think of these?