Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Urban Cowboy

Urban Cowboy, originally uploaded by sMacshot.

So I'm walking through my neighborhood at night, you know, as I often do. Everything seems in order; old buildings, streetlights casting heavy shadows, sounds of distant sirens, graffiti. Everywhere. Tags, pasteups, stickers. The usual.... um.....ok, hold on.... What the what-what??! Get a camera out, now, because this may be the last time you ever see that in New York City! Tumbleweed.

Monday, November 29, 2010

More from the Survivor Series

Some more prints of my little sketches and paintings from my Survivor series.  I hope those of you who celebrate survived Thanksgiving and Black Friday weekend.  Oh yes, it's that time of year, facing Holiday shopping; something I dread and try to get done online or in-home as much as possible.  That's how I survive it!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Walk With Me

Central Park isn't the only place with trees in Manhattan.  I think most people know that, but perhaps are not aware of how important the attempt at preserving small pockets of nature the way it exists 'out there' is.  I have trees on my block, as do many of the blocks in Soho and elsewhere, (ok, some of you might laugh at what I am qualifying as a tree - - some are in planters) and this time of year I am most aware of their presence.  Falling leaves for me are so full of nostalgia; whether witnessing their flight, or seeing them stuck to the streets and sidewalks, I am brought back mini 'eras' in my life, replayed with such vivid detail.

Now, while we have no 'proper' grocery store in Soho, if I walk above Houston Street, there is a small one, and this is the path which leads to it.  It's a mini oasis at night when you can pretend the rest of the city beyond doesn't exist.

Friday, October 29, 2010


These are sketches of my "Survivors".  We're all survivors.  Heck, if you're reading this, you've at least survived being born, (that's a pretty traumatic and dangerous thing) anything could go wrong; life literally hangs in the brink!  So, pat yourself on the back, (and your Mom, and others who assisted) and remind yourself that you started out surviving; you have it in you already to continue if need be.  I've recently seen some light at the end of a very long (year-long) tunnel, regarding my computer and related equipment.  I have been through the wringer with this, and now finally, though drained, I'm happy.  Tomorrow I'm headed out to the PDN PhotoPlus International Conference + Expo 2010 here in NYC to actually thank in person someone who's been giving me life-saving technical support.  Have a Happy Halloween to all who celebrate it.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

And The Winners Are....

The Halloween giveaways, cards, and my Halloween cat.
We had 31 entries, and 50 chances to win (many were sMacVision Facebook Page Fans, thus had two entries).  I thank all who participated, and hope that those who weren't drawn, as well as those who were continue to 'play'.

Winner of "A Little Batty" is Matt Hendon.
Winner of "Do Not Be Afraid" is Ana Amanti.

Congratulations to you both, and I will ship them safely out as soon as you email me with addresses.  (Contact me at smacvision at gmail dot com) They are packaged and ready to go!
NOTE: The Halloween cat in the photo above was made by the super-talented Crystal.  She makes spun cotton ornaments and figurines for all occasions, and they are simply amazing.  Check them out here.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


It's that time again.  Leave a comment to this post in order to be entered for the drawing.  That's all.  No need to follow my blog, "Like" my Facebook Fanpage, or purchase from one of my online shops.  Just comment here and you will get one name in the hat (the hat being an online random generator/picker.) In addition, as we've done in the past, Facebook Fans will get two names in the hat, yes, two chances to win.  Please tell me here in your comment if you are a Fan-- some names are different there than here.  The first number drawn will get to choose which sMacTack they'd like to have.  Second winner will take the other sMacTack.  Look for the other sMacTacks in my Etsy shop soon.

OK, up for grabs are these two Halloween-themed sMacTacks, my jumbo magnets capable of holding a stack-o-papers to the fridge or elsewhere.  Each comes signed on the back, and features prints of my original art.
'A Little Batty' sMacTack

The back view of 'A Little Batty' has an image on it as well.  Normally, my sMacTacks are blank on the reverse.  Double fun!  :)

This one, entitled "Do Not Be Afraid"  is plain on the back.  He is saying "Mommy?"

As usual, the sMacTacks will be shipped in my handmade packaging.  Drawing will be in 10 days on Oct. 19th.  Good luck, everyone!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

What Are YOU Lookin' At?

IMG_2988, originally uploaded by Sandy Mastroni.
My friend Sandy is so talented. Who wouldn't want a dolly like this?!  She'd be mine, but someone already reserved her.  Pah!!
PS: So long since my last post, I know....sorry!  Will come back full force with a giveaway very soon!

UPDATE: the person who had reserved this dolly changed her mind!  (Can you believe that??) So this it's mine now.  It was meant to be!

UPDATE #2:  Oh my golly, she arrived today.  Came home from work and there was the box by my door.  I unpacked her right away (Sandy, thank you for the extras!) and sat down at the computer to take a quick webcam pic (sorry, no time for color adjustment; just upload as is.  I still have my scarf on - - NYC was chilly this evening!)  Yay.  Love her.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rise Above

Rise Above, originally uploaded by sMacshot.

May this Monday quickly find itself very far behind you, and another weekend with free time to do the things you so desire lay before you like a welcoming carpet. (I will tell you, coastal life has a way of putting so many things into perspective!)

Friday, July 30, 2010

New Jersey Wears A Pointy Hat

New Jersey Wears A Pointy Hat, originally uploaded by sMacshot.

Taken on a late summer day on a man-made pier across from New Jersey over the Hudson River. This is an odd, metal tent structure where some people were setting up big speakers which blared old Sinatra tunes. The streaky skies and paintbrush-looking swipes across the film are just due to this old expired stuff I use to shoot with. It's a pinhole Polaroid, taken on a Holga (plastic toy camera). All of that accounts for the dreamy quality. The white section in the lower left is where there was a blank spot in the emulsion of the film -- hey, it's expired! And the skinny white arm thing is the railing to the steps which leads to this end of the pier.... I held the camera on it to keep the shake to a minimum.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Summer Magic

Sand Castle No.15, originally uploaded by sMacshot.

I've had some financial delays in my summertime this year, one being the demise of my beloved computer monitor, a huge CRT with solid glass and loyal service. The replacement took time, and has finally arrived --thus my absence (no monitor is as good as no computer).... and now that I can catch up on my art and photography scanning, I've realized how quickly the time has flown. It's high time to get rid of my pastey white appearance and get my summer going before it's gone. I hope some of you have been able to do the same!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

What I Do With My Pinhole Polaroids

Normally after I take a Polaroid photo, I write on the back: film type and expiration, date, time, weather conditions, and camera used.  Then I scan it, and store them safely together in order.  I will do several scans of the same photo, the first done as close to the original photo, flaws and all, with subsequent scans adjusting to compensate for, or enhance the flaws.

In rare cases, I make adjustments in Photoshop, as I've done here, using the very first photo taken by my Arunas cam, my new Polaroid-backed pinhole camera introduced in the last post.  Making a Levels Adjustment for each color channel on separate layers, rather than on one adjustment, created the 'pop' version, shown here in my second photo.  Adding a Hue and Saturation adjustment, I desaturated and toned the whole scene to create a more vintage style, which you see in the third photo.  I would imagine even if you don't have Photoshop, Google's free Gimp program, or any other image editing program has these two basic Adjustment features.  Try them out yourself!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

My New Camera

A couple of weeks ago while at the Impossible Project Store's grand opening, I had the pleasure of meeting one of my Flickr contacts.  Long story short, he ended up offering to make me a pinhole camera with a Polaroid back - - how exciting!  About a week later, I received an email showing me the work in progress....

AND THEN.... it was finished.  Before I knew it, I was holding this camera in my shaking hands!!  (See below, left....sorry for the small pic; I will later take one with my digital)  It's hard to see that the Asian coin in the photo above which surrounds the pinhole is now covered with a fancy brass latch and hook with snug material inside to prevent any light from reaching the hole.   Also notice the polaroid 'back' which Arunas has amazingly developed using a vintage Polaroid camera; the kind with the bellows.

In order to take a photo, just aim at your object, and open the latch for the number of seconds, minutes, or hours required, given the available light.  I've been estimating outdoors in bright sunlight, and for indoor projects (which I've yet to do because the film I'm using now is better suited to bright sun) I'll utilize my (borrowed from my twin sister) manual light meter to measure the light and calculate/estimate the necessary exposure time.

So here are the first results:
(I have to learn now to 'aim'.  It's a bit of trial and error, but I just love that it is imperfect.)

This is my kind of camera; one which uses the basis of photography - allowing light inside to expose a piece of sensitive film for the proper amount of time to make a picture.  Take away all those expensive lenses and focusing devices.  Get away from the digital thing.  It's a hole made with a pinprick.  Simple and good.

I highly encourage anyone interested in having one made for themselves to contact Arunas.  He is a wonderful person who loves to share his passion for photography with others.  Quite less than $100 can get you a one-of-a-kind pinhole beauty which makes a great gift to you or someone you know.  I get nothing from this; just want everyone to share in the joy!  Take a look at some of the cameras he's made so far, and then shoot him an email at akulis2 [at] gmail [dot] com to have your own made...... Oh, and tell him Susan Mac sent you!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Brooklyn Flea Market

I spent an unusually chilly Sunday (complete with gale force winds) at an indoor Flea Market in Brooklyn's One Hanson Building, which used to be a bank at one time.  It was a beautiful setting for vintage finds, and a nice time with my best friend.  Check it out if you're in the area!

Monday, May 3, 2010


Mystery, originally uploaded by sMacshot.
Walking back home on a street west of my neighborhood, I came upon the most curious creature on a cellphone, dramatically smoking a cigarette. She wore a boldly printed, belted shirtdress, some chunky pumps, and big black glasses. The pièce de résistance was the hair! What a great shot this would make with my plastic Diana, I thought! The whole scene was perfect... the blue skies and late afternoon sun shining down the street upon her, the scrolled iron work of the brownstone's gate she leaned on, huge puffs of smoke from the cigarette, oh my! Speaking a language which I decided might be Russian, I approached and asked if I could take a picture of her beautiful hair. Barely looking at me, she nodded slightly, and remained silent on the phone, apparently listening. "Could you take a drag on your cigarette?" I asked. She acted as if she'd not heard me, and eventually when she did, I snapped the picture.

And this is what I got. No cigarette. No sunshiny day. No background.
BLACK. What the freaky-deaky-ding-dong?? Call the cops.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Carbon Prints No.18 & 19

For lovers of film noir, old comic books (think Dick Tracy and Batman), etchings, nyc, fedoras and trenchcoats, speakeasys, dames, dark shadows, and old architecture.  The photo shows two of my working prints (I print them small, on a variety of papers in order to find the best one - note the bad trim job) leaning up against an old cloth covered book, but the real deals may be found in my shop, [in fact, there might be a secret third one hidden somewhere in the shop.] They are 5x7" (about 13x18cm) prints, and look wonderful!  

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Congratulations Giveaway Winners!!

Sorry it's taken me this long to get this thing up.  I did the drawing at 11pm, as planned, but then had to go through my Facebook Fans to see if the names drawn by the random chooser over at random.org were a fan or non-fan.  Fanpages don't list Fans alphabetically like a regular Facebook lists friends, so it took a little bit of time.  Then I wanted to make a photo for the announcement (seen above) ... let's say writing with a mouse is not too easy.  So congrats to the winners, please email me at smacvision [at] gmail [dot] com with your print choice (click the photos in the post below this one to see them larger) and mailing address where I should send them!

FB Fan Winners:
1) Melissa Sue - 2 prints!
2) Tom G.
3) Galit

Non-Fan Winner:
1) Madelynn Holmes - (I must note that it is purely coincidental that I recently won a giveaway over on this beautiful talent's blog, I swear!!)

Congratulations to all!!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Facebook Fan Page Giveaways!

Three (3) lucky Facebook Fan Page Fans will each receive a mini print of their choice from my birdie series from the four shown here, the first Fan drawn will win a second print.  The image size is roughly 3.25-3.5 x 5 inch (8.25-8.9 x 12.7 cm) on Hahnemuhle German Etching archival matte-finished paper.  To enter, one must be a Fan of sMacVision on Facebook (link on the right - sMacVision on Facebook- if you aren't one already) and leave a comment to this post.  That's all!

But wait!  What if I don't want to become a Fan?  What if I just want to win something with no strings attached, you ask?  Well, I have something for you, too!  One (1) non-Fan will be entered for a separate runner-up drawing for a single print of their choice.

So to clarify:  By commenting on this post you are entering to be in a drawing for up to two birdie prints; only a Fan can win two items, and it is guaranteed that there will be 3 winning Fans, (one winning 2 prints.)  If you are not a sMacVision Facebook Fanpage Fan, it's ok; there is one guaranteed non-Fan winner as well, making that a total of 4 winners (one of whom will be winning 2 prints).  Winners will be drawn April 16, 2010 at 11pm EST, so let the games begin!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Down But Not Out

Suddenly it's almost Easter.  So much I intended to have finished during Lent, and I'm starting to worry I won't have everything completed!  Don't count me out, though.  I've amazed myself sometimes with what I get done!  Also, everyone, stay tuned for a nice little Giveaway right on the horizon!