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Favourite dA photography groups?

Journal Entry: Fri May 22, 2015, 11:06 AM

I'd like to find some awesome photography groups to join on dA and there are SO many to browse through while looking for active and interesting ones. Plus, I like checking things out based on other people's recommendations, which is why I'm posting a journal about it.

I have no interest in "You may only submit one thing a year and our admins will decide whether it's good enough, based on their personal taste" and I also have no interest in "Everyone submit 20 things a day until all our message centres explode". I'm not bothered about contests, challenges etc. I don't object to that kind of thing - it's just not what I'm looking for. I'm not specifically seeking lots of comments and I have no particular interest in critiques either.

Basically, I'd like active groups where I can share my photos and discover other people's without it being either an uber-elitist validation factory or a total free-for-all. I'm fine with subject-specific and also with general photography. Please don't send me invitations. If you have a favourite group, or you run a group, that you think I might like, leave a link in a comment and I'll check it out.

So...any suggestions?

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Instagram, Wikia, Nostalgia

Journal Entry: Sun Apr 12, 2015, 11:47 AM

After a lot of dithering about whether or not to set up an Instagram account for my art photography (as well as the one I already have for my happy snaps and random crap), I went for it. If you wish to stalk me there, I am (not surprsingly) RockstarVanity. I also wrote a reviewish kinda thing on my blog about Instagram, with lots of love and a couple of gripes, which you can read here.

Also, here's a cool thing you might not know about. DeviantartWikia is lots of stuff about DeviantArt (I will never get used to not writing it like deviantART...sigh, nostalgia etc) that I know almost nothing about cause I only found out about it today but wanted to share it cause it looks kind of awesome. I was asked for some details about my periods of joyous servitude as a Community Volunteer (and a Gallery Moderator, as we were back then...sigh, nostalgia etc) for the History of Community Volunteers page and realised I didn't actually know the dates when I started and finished CVing. I had a hunt through my journals to find said dates and guess what? Sigh, nostalgia etc.

I so rarely have time to spend on dA these days. I so rarely have time to spend on photography at all these days. I miss it so much. I have missed it so much. I pick up my camera and I feel like I've found a part of me that I'd lost somewhere along the way. When I stopped doing photography-as-business cause of health stuff (still putting the bits of my metaphorical heart back together after that) I really needed some time away from all of it, from everything, to figure shit out, find some meaning in other places and throw myself into other things to get over the hardcore sads caused by having to close the doors on the business I'd built. 

Since then, I've found my way back to photography-as-art and fallen in love again. Because I'm not really able to do photoshoots with human models and heavy lights and being upright for hours, I've been noticing the world around me more, pointing my camera at things instead of people, and it's been kind of amazing. As much as I miss photo-work, taking the pressure away has completely changed how I approach taking and sharing photos. It's been more about play and experimentation, the way it was in the beginning. I feel like I'm finding my feet again, but wearing different shoes. I like these shoes. They're good shoes. They're comfortable. When I'm wearing them, I can dance again.

Since starting my forensic psych degree in February, I've realised I need to cut back on the volunteer work I'm doing (health stuff again, because my life is a balancing act) which also makes me a little bit sad but does have a lovely shiny silver lining - hopefully, in a couple of months, I'll have some more time to spend on creating art and enjoying art. You might even see me around these parts a little more often. After all, I've been a DeviantArtist for over 10 year now and this is still my home, even if it has gained a few fresh coats of paint, a massive extension and a few million more residents since I moved in.

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Something Fishy Going On

Journal Entry: Sun Mar 22, 2015, 10:53 AM

After spending some happy chill-out time today pointing my lens at
the scalebabies who share my home, I started looking at other people's
fishy photos on dA. Here are a few particularly lovely ones...

Gold|Fish|7 by Dc-Creative

Gold as they are by van313

Idyllic Pond by CosmicRamble

Black GoldFish by PinkGlitterDragon

Goldfish #2 by MiriamViola

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Journal Entry: Mon Jan 19, 2015, 3:50 PM

Rex by RockstarVanity

You may have met this little guy in my gallery already. He's called Rex Darwin-Rhind
(Rex is his given name, Darwin is his axolotl parents' surname and Rhind is the
surname of the human who grew him) and he lives in a big aquarium tank
in my living room. He's an
axolotl and since axolotls are officially the
cutest creatures in the world (cause I say so, ok?), here are
some more, in various mediums, for you to squee and aww over...

Polymer clay Axolotl by Zil-Foxxxil

Big Axolotl by ThreeLeaves

Happy Old New Year =) by Anarhia-2013

Lars the Axolotl! by ChaoticDrakness

Little cuties by kuromix3

Painting creatures with Bobby Chiu Assignment 7 by spiderman-mx

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Hello again!

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 21, 2014, 2:37 PM
So earlier today I thought it might be nice to log in to dA and check out some of the new features I've become aware of through other people's posts on Facebook and Twitter. OH MY GOD, I have missed this place so much and after not very long browsing around, I decided that I couldn't stay away. I quite like the feed stuff on the front page and the wee status update module. I know it's all social-media-y, but I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing. Maybe I just take dA less seriously than I used to and can look at new features now and think "Oh, new features" rather than "OMG WHY MUST EVERYTHING CHANGE?!".

I've missed sharing my art here, especially over the last year when I've been on a mission to experiment with different tools and processes in my photography. I wrote a blog post about that if you want to waste some time reading my introspective ramblings. I've missed looking at other people's art...friends' art, strangers' art, random art. I think the reason for my "blergh, I need to be away from dA for a while" feelings earlier this year was a weird kind of burn out. I've been a Community Volunteer twice, I've run a bunch of groups and adminned others and I'd reached a point where I felt like I was doing dA properly if I wasn't writing lots of in-depth comments and critiques. Yep, I actually felt guilty for not doing that stuff, which is utterly ridiculous. dA hasn't been about JUST the art for me for a long time and I really think it needs to be for me to be happy here.

I'm toying with the idea of starting a small group for artistic photography created with mobile devices, if there's enough interest to make it worthwhile. I've submitted some photos from the last few months. I've reactivated all my watchy stuff, left some groups I don't submit to any more and streamlined my watch list to only include people who have been active over the last year or so. I will make an effort to reply to comments cause I'm not an asshole. I doubt that I'm ever going to be super involved in a bazillion different things on dA again the way I used to be, but I'm ok with that. I'm here for the art, wherever that takes me.


[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]
I feel like I should say something here because I'm hardly ever on dA these days and I don't want to be one of those people who just vanishes without a word. I'm not like OMGLEAVINGFOREVER or anything that dramatic. It's just that other things in my life take up more time and energy so I haven't found myself frequenting these parts so much. I've been on dA for over 9 years and have gone through periods of spending hours every day here and periods of not being here at all. It's just the way things go for me.

I've added a list of links to all the other places me and my work can be found online in my deviantID, so if you'd like to keep in touch those are good places to start. I don't post my personal Facebook anywhere ever and all the stuff I have listed as photography links are specifically photography-related and not really social. My personal Twitter or Tumblr, or Instagram, are good places to find me-being-me, albeit under a different name.

As for my activity on dA, I've disabled everything in my message centre except for the things that can't be disabled. I'm in the process of arranging to hand the groups I admin over to other people. I may still post photography or writing here from time to time, but probably not that much to be honest. I've left my gallery, journal and prints all as they are cause I have no reason to delete or remove anything at this point. If you really want to get hold of me via dA and don't have any other way to contact me, send a note but don't expect a timely reply. My stock account still exists, although I pretty much never log in to it.

As far as life-stuff goes, things are pretty interesting at the moment and are definitely keeping me busy. My husband and I are running an IT business, I'm managing social media and online presence for a local art performance charity and as of February 2015 I'll be working towards a BSc (Hons) in Forensic Psychology. I still take photos, although my health mostly prevents the kind of shoots I used to do, and I still write. I can't imagine that I'll ever stop doing these things.

Much love to everyone on dA who has inspired me, supported me and encouraged me. There will always be a special place in my heart for this site and the people who have made it what it is over the years. It is a truly unique community and an amazing resource. If you have just found your way here, I hope you find what you're looking for.

Don't be a stranger.


The Camera In Your Pocket

Journal Entry: Fri Feb 28, 2014, 5:39 AM

Some beautiful pictures taken with cameras on phones. Enjoy!

jelly by pie-is-love

Twiglet by kittywoodphotography

Happy Melon by Hesthea

Foggy Morning by kareynomer

Taiwanese Bus Commuter by bQw

Halloween 2013 by Evil-e33

pink by Savaliste

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Elemental [a feature]

Journal Entry: Tue Feb 18, 2014, 6:05 AM

The Earth, the Air, the Fire, the Water
Return, return, return, return...

- E A R T H -

-TIMELESS- Mud Men in Kyrgyzstan Salt Lake by yavuzozer
Tables Turned by 3feathers
Brain by panzer-Gulwen
The Water's Fine by itsnotrocketscience1

- A I R -

Fly by I-Am-A-Flying-Bird
Swing Beautifully by JakeWhiston
Wind by Lalwendee

- F I R E -

Body. Art. Movement. - Fire (Inferno) by ElleFX
Vanuatu Fire Dance by little-spacey
Fire 1 by Scribbletracks
Fire Hooping by MissGeminiCosplay

- W A T E R -

Under water by DollK
Wash by necrooptics
Underwater 1 by MeghanaLynn
Girl Under The Water by jabrovc

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Flying visit?

Journal Entry: Sun Dec 8, 2013, 9:20 AM

I just posted my first photo here in for-bloody-ever. Even though I've been logging in regularly to look after group submissions and stuff, I've not really being dA-ing all that much over the last few months. Things have been busy, my muse took a holiday for a while, I've been inspired in other directions. Photography ideas seem to be finding their way back to me at the moment though and I'll share them here as they happen, however infrequently that might be due to a general lack of time for indulging artistic things at the moment. 

My message centre had reached that point where the number of things in it was genuinely terrifying so I hit the bad button and blasted it all away rather than procrastinate about dealing with everything that had built up in there since...whenever I last looked at anything other than group submissions. I suck. Forgive me?

My feelings about dA have been kind of caught in a drift lately. Even during the times when I don't visit often, I still think of this place as home. It's the place where I was first inspired to create artistic photography, where I've found lovely net-friends who I've been connected with for years since, where I feel like I can always return to and be accepted. For those reasons, it will always be special to me, as it and I change and grow.

I never really leave.
I just go travelling.
And I always come back


[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]

Support for a friend

Journal Entry: Tue Sep 24, 2013, 3:15 AM

Yesterday my friend Nadia (bleedsopretty) had some very sad news following an extremely difficult time. Her father, who had been suffering from cancer, passed away. Her family have fallen on hard times financially and are struggling to pay bills and medical costs associated with her father's illness. They are also finding it tough to cover the cost of the funeral, so have set up a fund on to ask for help.

If you are able to contribute anything at all to help Nadia's family during this painful time, you can donate via this link.


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Still alive!

Journal Entry: Sun Sep 8, 2013, 5:35 AM
It's been sooo long since I've done anything on dA apart from group admin stuff, so I just wanted to post something to say hi and let you all know that I haven't been abducted by aliens or anything. Life is super busy at the moment and although I'm still finding time for photography, other things are stealing my focus right preparation and rehearsal for the Samhuinn Fire Festival in October (yay!).

If you have the desire to follow/stalk me, you can find me in the following places which I update a wee bit more regularly...

[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]

Sometimes you will see things you don't love

Journal Entry: Sun Jun 16, 2013, 8:09 AM

Time for a bit of a rant. You know what I'm totally, utterly and completely sick of? People whining about having their entitled little eyeballs polluted with (gasp!) stuff that isn't to their personal taste while looking at the front page of dA. If you're one of those people, here's a tiny little violin, playing just for you...

Violin :) by thirteenday

I'm not talking about people who don't want to see Mature Content. That's cool. If it doesn't float your boat, you can filter it out of your dA experience by following the instructions in this FAQ FAQ #93: How does the Mature Content option work?

I'm not talking about people who want to filter certain terms out of their searches, cause you can already do that by making use of the helpful information here FAQ #577: How do I use the Search?

I'm talking about people who actually believe that while using a massive, global art website which caters to artists who work in different mediums and different subject matters, artists all over the world of all ages and skill levels, they should actually have some sort of right to demand that when looking at one small section of the site they should only have to see stuff that they personally enjoy. Maybe those people need one of these...

Blindfold 1 by syrinxfox

Seriously, please just grow up and accept that sometimes, you will observe, in passing, a small thumbnail of something that doesn't float your boat. Create your own viewing experience with your watch list, by browsing specific galleries, visiting groups with subject matter that you enjoy, searching intelligently, browing More Like This, even setting up channels if you want FAQ #45: What are Channels and how do I use them?

Nothing bad will happen to you if, for a fleeting moment, a tiny picture of a My Little Pony or an anime chick or whatever traumatises your delicate little soul, falls into your field of vision. Ignore it. Click on the stuff you like. Hell, avoid the front page altogether if you find it too emotionally draining to look at. There are MANY other ways to view art on dA in a way that DO cater to your individual taste.

Customising your own browsing and viewing experience is fun and it's also completely down to your own choices and preferences. It's ok to have those. It's good to have those. It's better if you can take responsibility for them and know the difference between what you can do to enhance your own dA experience and what everyone else should have to do to stop your whining. Demanding that dA customises specific areas of the site (which exist as an over-view) based on what you personally do and don't want to look at is ridiculous. Seriously.

Korra - DEAL WITH IT! shirt by a745

[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]

Thoughts about community

Journal Entry: Fri May 17, 2013, 5:26 AM
Community is a word that is used on dA a lot. It's a huge part of the site and the main reason why I love this place so much and have stuck around for so many years, even when I haven't had time to indulge in my art or felt like sharing it for whatever reason. I've made true friends here who I care for deeply and can't imagine not using dA in some capacity to keep in touch with all of you wonderful people.

The thing with a community, in my opinion, is that it's kind of a by-product. I don't mean that in a bad or belittling way. What I mean is that you can't actually force a community to thrive, or even to exist. You can provide a context (like a website or a message board or a physical-world organisation) and tools (like comments or chat features online or a room to meet in for offline events). You can invite people to join in, encourage them to interact and even moderate destructive or negative behaviour but you can't make a community - it's something that happens by itself, through the involvement and passion of the people who create and maintain it.

Conversely, I don't believe that a community can be destroyed by the introduction of additional features to the context. For example, I've seen so many people complaining on dA (for the entire time I've been here, not just recently) that things like prints, merch and Points are killing the community. You know what? They aren't. Yes, they are additional features for people who use the site and yes, they generate (OMG!) money, but they don't actually prevent you from engaging with the people you care about, interacting with strangers, making new friends, creating and sharing art, commenting on, critiquing and collecting other people's art or doing all the other things that make this community what it is.

These additional features don't (or at least shouldn't, in my opinion) reduce your desire to be a part of the community that you create just by being here, being yourself and doing your thing. You may choose not to get involved with areas of the site that don't interest you, but they don't actually stop you from enjoying the things that DO interest you. We are not only more than the sum of our parts, but we are more than simply the context and the tools provided for us.


[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]

No more DD suggestions please!

Tue May 14, 2013, 5:42 AM
As I'll be standing down from my CV position very soon, I'd like to ask everyone to NOT send me any more Daily Deviation suggestions please. Moonbeam13 has very kindly offered to look after Photography > Darkroom until a replacement for me is found. I will NOT be queuing up any more Daily Deviations so please don't direct your suggestions to me as I will not be featuring them.

Thanks :heart:

Big Traditional Darkroom Feature

Sat May 11, 2013, 8:05 AM
Before stepping down as CV for Photography > Darkroom, I'd like to shine a light on some beautiful images which were suggested as Daily Deviations but didn't have a chance to be featured for whatever reason during the last year...

Crying Raptor by 1-Liphorium ......... by InPluvia Angel Diptych by DustinPanzino Thigh High by Gettsie Solarized by XxAnimeWolfxX * by agatafotografia Hidden Series 4 by TheRockMonster Celeste by elultimodeseo Stools by JDigiacom0 gray mornings by InPluvia Mea Culpa by Les-Diables

Big Digital Darkroom Feature

Thu May 9, 2013, 3:44 AM
Before stepping down as CV for Photography > Darkroom, I'd like to shine a light on some beautiful images which were suggested as Daily Deviations but didn't have a chance to be featured for whatever reason during the last year...

dying city III by ra-gro Memories of summer by marjarah Least squares method by freMDartet grolimacon2 by shitpitcher The Pier by Vitaloverdose Summer Garden by KayleighJune HDR Photo 5 - Set 1 by blookz Winter blues by MikkoLagerstedt Inclination by IvanAndreevich Stack by clemlef Strange Light by busangane Corvus Peak by Miguel-Santos Art by Poromaa february tulip by BlauBeerKuchen Only In My Dreams by PHaarhus Transports by Petronille61 Img 6721 by Petronille61 1.12 by OliaRei week1: no more dreaming by cloe-patra Fiat Lux 3 by ratinrage :thumb289966234:  landscape by ElaynaTeos Recurring Reflections by insolitus85 Cactus sunset by cameraflou First Strike by aquapell

Taking off my hat

Wed May 8, 2013, 3:47 AM
It is with much love that I'm making this little announcement - I'm going to be stepping down as CV for Darkroom Photography within the next week. Due to a general overdose of volunteering over the last year (not just on dA), I've reached a point where I need some time for myself so am cutting back on volunteer responsibilities.

 I have a few notes in my inbox and will get any remaining DDs queued up over the next few days. Moonbeam13 has kindly offered to look after Darkroom Photography until a new CV can be put in place, so please send your lovely DD suggestions to her for now.

I'm not going to be vanishing from dA or anything dramatic like that. In fact, you'll probably see a lot more of my photography than you have over recent months since I'll actually have time to be creative again! Thank you all for your support and encouragement over the last year. It has been an absolute honour to be a CV for a second time and I've loved every minute.

See you on the flipside :heart:

Darkroom DDs: April 2013

Fri May 3, 2013, 6:22 AM
These beautiful darkroom photographs were featured as Daily Deviations in April 2013.

:thumb259497668: :thumb303509373: :thumb320101297: Bowling Alley by similomo the dreaming place by Moon-Willow Magical Day by manaphoto Jessica Drue on instant film by kittywoodphotography Zenit - Melinda by misspelledink Maria SS Del Belvedere by PAMDavi Quiet Storm by KrisVlad Tossing Daddy by swiftmoonphoto Untitled by pieton she be there forever by MimusVitae thess (2) by DanPanPan Flamingo by kaiya880  Mm-1800 by HocEstCorpus Playing With Fire II by holly-acosta dreaming wide awake by mikroi Spot the Banana! by Ieatflowersforlunch RoseMarry Goodness by onixa

Beltane Fire Festival

Journal Entry: Thu Apr 25, 2013, 8:47 AM

Hello lovelies! If you're wondering why I haven't been around much lately or haven't replied to your notes over the last few days, here's why. I'm on the Board of Directors for the Beltane Fire Society, the charity who run the epic Beltane Fire Festival in Edinburgh on 30th April every year. Yes, 5 days away. I'm currently putting in upwards of 20 hours a week (on a voluntary basis - the entire thing is run by volunteers, which is rather amazing when you think about it) working for the festival on top of my actual job, so everything else in my life has taken a back seat, at least for the moment.

Normal dA service will resume soon but I didn't want anyone thinking I was randomly slacking off or ignoring notes or comments. As well as numerous other tasks and missions, I look after the social media and online presence for BFS. If you want to check us out online, you can find us in the following places... (which currently redirects to our blog)
Twitter (our current hashtag of choice is #beltane2013)

Tickets to the festival can be purchased here if you want to come along and watch. I shall be clad in purple, hanging out at the green Contact Point tent on top of Calton Hill, manically uploading photos, Tweeting, Facebooking and doing all sorts of other online stuff on the night, as well as chatting to audience members and press, so come and say hello!

[ Shower of Blood skin by RockstarVanity with Exodus 7:19 ]

Darkroom DDs: March 2013

Sun Mar 31, 2013, 9:56 AM
These beautiful darkroom photographs were featured as Daily Deviations in March 2013.

The Cold River by SindreAHN Erosion by dodadart tristesse d'automne by IrinaJoanne Balls by skyblue-13 Printshop stories by JanneO Untitled by SalvadorDewald znikam. by agnsun The Dance by CantPickaName735 
<da:thumb id="183092431"/> Seeing Double by angelstandingby towards dreamland by a-b-n <da:thumb id="355745944"/> Holga Black and White CHapel by newjuventud Dis-abled. by whitelightwings Emerald light by kil1k Pianoforte by graviloquence Fun Time In Our Secret Neverland by perigunawan Hypnotica by x9mmxtragedyx wrapped in piano strings by ashenweepingwillow Up by mutanteyeball 26400021 by YaprakKocak Buss Park by Mishkin-Rayman Memories by KosmioS Blue Madonna by alisinwonder Voyeurism by Cocytus-Crocus Runaway! by InstantPhotographer Bedtime by crazyovce Polaroid V by witchlady750