Saturday, January 14, 2012

6 books that rocked my world in 2011.

I am one of those people who just loves to read. I have been that way since I was 8 years old and discovered I could wander out of the children's section of the library and into the world of real, adult, books. Books that were not all pictures and easy sentence. Books that had real stories and would tell me things about the world that I could not find out from asking adults who deemed me just a child.

I renewed my library card this year to save money on books since I am not having the excess cash for book buying that I used to. I found that renewing the library card has freed me up to read all sorts of books I would not have picked up if I were to buy books. I think that was the best move I made all year in 2011.

I ended up reading about 87 books that year. A lot, I know, but I am a fast reader so it seemed like not that many to me. There were a few stand-outs and I want to share them here with you.


Ready Player One was the book that blew me away this year. It is set in the future when the world has gone to crap due to over-population and lack of resources to support this. Most people live in a virtual reality world called OASIS. They work, go to school, socialize, shop, play games, and do almost everything in OASIS by use of virtual reality headsets and controllers. The creator of OASIS dies and decides to leave control over OASIS (and through that, the world) to whomever can complete the scavenger hunt with the virtual world. Wade Watts, a 17 year old, decides he will try to win and has to compete against friends as well as an evil corporation who seeks to control OASIS. A very fun read full of 80's/90s pop culture and geek culture references. 


What can I say about George R.R. Marin's latest book in A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Dance With Dragons? I may be biased because I love this series almost as much as I love Tolkien's Lord of the Rings series. It does not follow a lot of the characters in Martin's world but it furthers the story and left me wishing the next book was already written. I missed Jaime Lannister a bit but have hope he will be in the next book in the series since his character had a bit of setting up for the next book in this one. Lost of fans are starting to complain about how the story is dragging and how dare Martin not focus on certain characters. Me? I enjoy the ride and the story as it progresses and don't try to force how I want the story to be on an author. It is the author's story to tell. So, I loved this book and eagerly await the next book in the series. I miss the characters and wonder what they are up to.


I picked up The Radleys after seeing a write up about the book in a magazine. I totally enjoyed it. It was fun to read about a modern-day vampire family that is trying hard to fit into to normal life.  The parents are hiding what the family is, vampire, from their teenage children. They are living the life of abstainers (from blood) and suffering through the health effects that brings just to be normal. Then their daughter Clara decides to go vegan with horrible consequences that force the Radleys to face what they really are. Throw in a uncle who is nothing but trouble coming around to "help" the family with the fall-out of Clara's situation and add a bunch of sarcastic humor. It makes for great reading and Matt Haig really really does a great job of creating his own vampire rules within the story.


Room is a book that blew me away. Jack is a child who grew up in one, small, room that was his entire world. Literally. His mother was kidnapped and held captive by her kidnapper in the room. Jack is a child she had with her kidnapper. Ma tries to make his childhood happy in this small space but she never gives up hope of escaping. Finally, when jack is 7 she sees the chance and has Jack escape and bring help back to her. The book deals with the aftermath of this and how hard it is for Jack, and his ma, to adapt to normal life after seven years in the room. It is a riveting read and I ended up reading it, without stopping, straight through to the end.


I wasn't sure I would like Divergent when I first picked it up. I had been burned by The Hunger Games series that ended on a real sour note and with a big mess of a book. It had me skeptical about the whole "after the world ends society" genre...especially when it came to young adult books. I was truly glad I took a chance to read this book because it blew Hunger Games out of the water. Roth's world is fully realized and violent but her heroine is made of tougher stuff than Hunger Game's Katniss. Katniss wishes she were as tough and cool as Divergent's Beatrice! I enjoyed the fact that Beatrice knew what she wanted and was certain on what boy she loved. She also was not afraid to fight for her family and what she believed in. So refreshing in a YA literary world full of weak females waiting around for a boy to love them. Beatrice kicks ass and I cannot wait for the next book in the series.


In 2010, I was at Comic Con in San Diego. I had heard about American Vampire in Entertainment Weekly so when I saw the first issue of the comic was on sale, I went to purchase it. To my surprise the woman at the booth where this comic was being sold said, "Oh the artist is at a table signing right this moment! Come with me and you can get it signed!" So, I was lead over the the table where Rafael Albuquerque signed my comic. Fast forward to 2012 and American Vampire Vol. 1 is released and I pick it up to see how the story-line progresses. It is totally involving and exciting! The art in it is perfect for the story and I ended up reading Vol 2. as well. Now I eagerly await Vol. 3 in the world of American Vampire. Definitely a great comic to check out if you love vampire stories.

And those are the books that rocked my world last year. It will be interesting to see what books catch my fancy in 2012. There is a whole year ahead and it is perfect for reading.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Curses, Foiled Again!

I have been waiting (and waiting, and waiting, and waiting...) for snow to fall and stay on the ground this winter but it seems Mother Nature does not want to make this happen.

We received a skiff of snow the other day but it has already melted. It is currently raining when it was forecast we would get snow so the world will not be white when I wake up tomorrow morning. This really is disappointing to me because I was hoping to get some snow themed photo shoots set up and we are into January with no snow in sight.

I may have to rethink my photo shoot plans and instead have grey, bare, wet, background for some shoots near the end of the month. I guess the bright side of this is that I can really get a grungy. urban, look when shooting downtown with that sort of setting. Still, it would be cool if it would snow so I could stick to my original plans.

Something like this would be nice:

Above: Snow 2010 photo by Brie A. Edwards

Mother Nature, are you listening? Please send some lasting snow my way so I can photograph models in it? Thanks.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Evolution of the Superheroes Project.

I started the Superheroes Project in 2010 after talking to a comic book artist friend who was interested in working with a photographer who would take photos of people so he could convert them to drawings and show the process in a book.

I figured why not give it a shot and if all else fails, I can do the photo portion of project on my own and maybe offer it as a photography style along with my portraiture. Halloween always is a great time of year to take photos of people who want to pose in costume so I could always have that as an option in my photography business.

I did a lot of test shoots and I will share a few photos from them here.

Above: First test shoot of Leigh-Anne done in Sept. 2010 by Brie A. Edwards

I was trying to get a style down and explore concepts to get something I could build off of in future shoots. This was my first ever shoot for the project and this was the image that sticks out in my mind. I wish the buildings were taller in the background of the photo but it was a difficult location to get to for the model and for me to shoot since I had to shoot up while balanced on rocks. I had a lot of "trial and error" during this shoot and learned a lot while doing it.

I then set up another shoot and shot a model that I have used before in different locations downtown to get an idea of if certain locations would work for the shoots I was planning for the projects.

Above: Second test shoot result of Lexi by Brie A. Edwards

Lexi did not have access to a costume at the time of the shoot so I took photos of her to test out locations because she is a fierce pose thrower and super easy to work with as a model.

From there I built on what I learned in the test shoots and got to where I am today with the project.

Above: Rebecca by Brie A. Edwards

I hope only to expand on the project and improve with posing/location in the future as the project continues on into 2012.

If you live in eastern Washington and are interested in posing for me (or having me photograph you), let me know through this post. I am always looking for people who are interested in posing in costume for this project.

Monday, January 02, 2012

Welcome 2012!

It has been a rough end to 2011 and a weird start to 2012. Yes, that is my reason for not updating this blog for so long. I know many of you will find that rather a lame excuse but it is the reality of my life right now.

I am hoping to get back into the swing of blogging within the next few weeks after kick starting projects and getting some life things squared away. After all, 2012 is a new year and I am thinking it won't be that bad of a year.

So, keep an eye on this blog. Watch it continue to slowly evolve and see what photos I share.