Monday, November 30, 2009

"Story" - A New Collection...

...As in Storyboards... or Storybooks...

The other day, I decided to start a new collection called: "Story" (name pending) that would blend two of my favorite things -Poetry and Photography.

The idea is to (and this isn't a new idea by any means) relay a story, that would (for the most part) be open to interpretation through a series of images (the storyboard), accompanied by a one liner poem I've written, to kick the story off...

So, without further delay, I'd like to post the first from this series.
Feel free to click the image to view the imagery a bit larger, but please don't steal. ;)

The image on top is called: "The Ever Unfolding"
The image on the bottom (a new selfie) is called: "Of Silt and Silk"
Together they meld to spell out the story of:

"The Ever Unfolding of Silt and Silk..."

Please enjoy. :-)

Oh, and p.s. Since so many of you come over here from my wonderful facebook & twitter crowd, I'd like to express a very sincere and heartfelt thank you to all who took the time to vote for my poem.

Voting has closed, and winners for the contest will be announced on Dec. 9. I have my fingers crossed, thanks to all of you ;)

Talk soon-
Ash | Bottle Bell x

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Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Voting for this contest has been closed. My sincerest THANK YOU to everyone who took the time to head on over, sign up, and support my writing. It truly means the world to me. Winners will be announced Dec. 9th, at which time I will update this again ;)

PLEASE READ THIS WHOLE THING before voting. Voting is here: To cast your vote for my letter, My name is listed as: "Ashley L, Minneapolis, Mn"

::FINGERS CROSSED:: ---> This entire effort's end result is to replace MY BROKEN CAMERA...

Alright FRIENDS AND FAM!!!! My lips have been sealed.

Here's the backstory. This photo above, entitled: "Gracianaughta" (a made up word that symbolizes everything 'beautiful' so-to-speak) was inspired by the reason I am writing and posting this.

THE MOVIE 'BRIGHT STAR'. <--- Not only was this movie my favorite movie of ALL TIME, but I also entered, after seeing the film, a hand made love letter contest sponsored by the movie, and it's website! About 3 weeks after entering the "Be My Bright Star Love Letter Contest", which was a nationwide call to the public, I got a call from a man in New York telling me I was a finalist for my writings, and presentation of the letter.
HERE IS WHERE I NEED YOUR HELP!!! The letter has been photographed, and put onto the movies official site, and is open to the PUBLIC FOR VOTING FOR JUST A FEW DAYS! The PUBLIC (and I am seriously hoping my network of friends will cast a vote) DECIDES THE WINNER. Yesterday, when I looked at all the finalists' hand made love letters, including my own, I was very impressed and proud of the writings (this is the first poem I've EVER shared publicly, and you can read it) but was a bit disheartened to see that in photographing mine, they left out a TON of the presentation. So in this post, I wanted to share with you how I made the letter, in hopes to give those of you that might have a moment to vote an idea what it all looked like.

So here goes...
I wrote the poem on handmade, antiqued parchment with a quill, and ink (a task in itself) and folded the letter in the old fashion - (into itself). I then fashioned a handmade envelope to house my poem out of beautiful bright red & yellow fall leaves that i gathered at a park and sealed them with dripping waxes, and an old metal seal to hold it in place.

After the envelope of leaves was made, I sewed it into a more sturdy holder made from vintage cloth and laces, and finally, it was held together by twine. I spent days on this project, and I wrote the poem myself.

Now for the prize...
The prize is a $5,000 dollar ring, which I was hoping to trade in (after 3 and 1/2 years of waiting) for a better camera. Can you believe I am still working on an entry level DSLR, with a broken sensor?... It's time.


Please take a moment to vote. It would mean the world to me. HERE'S THE LINK:

My picture and letter are under the name: "Ashley L, Minneapolis, MN" if you have time to cast a vote :-) ;) Again, THANK YOU. And thank you to those who've already voted. I really believe that with positive thinking, and the help of my networks, I CAN DO THIS. Ash. xxo

Additional info on this contest: As I mentioned, the public decides the winner, and you can vote once a day through the 30th on their website. Link listed.
Further, you do not need to confirm an email. It's a quick few seconds to vote, and it's anonymous. :-)

And that's it. Pheeew.
Wish me luck, and Thank yoouuuuuu(!!!)

Ashley Lebedev | Bottle Bell

Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Hey Everyone :)

Just a quick post. Recently I was published in Digital Camera Magazine! (In their "Hotshots" section)

It will be available in all major bookstores by late November in the USA. (i.e. Barnes & Noble, Borders, etc) I believe it's already on shelves in Europe.

I've been checking Barnes & Noble, and it's not quite in yet, but will be in Issue 92 (see picture below for the cover)

I'd like to thank both Digital Camera Magazine for publishing these works, as well as Miss Aniela (the lovely Flickr self-portrait artist) for being kind enough to send over the scans, so I could have a sneak peak. :)

Hope all is well with all of you!

Talk soon, and best always-
Ash x | Bottle Bell

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Behind the Scenes of My Life...

Hello everyone,

I rarely post photos like this, and they never end up in a portfolio or my website, but I thought it might be fun to share with you a few photos of what my life (and home) looks like behind the scenes and 'behind the lens' so-to-speak. - Though, clearly, these were taken in front of one so I could share with all of you... :p

I think one of the biggest things one can do for their art (writing or photography, etc...) is to create an environment (within the home) or atmosphere that speaks to you, and encourages that state to grow within you.

As you can see, I have an affinity towards feminity, poetry, antique everything, and low light ;)
If I could have lived in the 1930s... or even earlier... I'd have taken the opportunity in a heartbeat. x

Hope you enjoy!

-Ash x


My Writing Desk...

Another From My Writing/Editing Desk...

My Bedroom...

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Monday, November 02, 2009

Best Photography Quotes. | November Edition.

Happy November! Hope everyone is staying [somewhat] warm ;)

I will keep it short, since I hope these quotes say it all...
These are some of my favorite photography quotes I've gathered over time.

Hope you enjoy these, and if you have a favorite one I haven't posted, feel free to share yours as well! ;)

* "You don't take a photograph. You ask, quietly, to borrow it..." ~Author Unknown

* "It's weird that photographers spend years or even a whole lifetime, trying to capture moments that added together, don't even amount to a couple of hours." ~James Lalropui Keivom

* "While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see..." ~Dorothea Lange

* "There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer." ~Ansel Adams

* "I hate cameras. They are so much more sure than I am about everything." ~John Steinbeck

* "The goal is not to change your subjects, but for the subject to change the photographer." ~Author Unknown

* "All photos are accurate. None of them are the truth..." ~Richard Avedon

* "You don't take a photograph, you make it." ~Ansel Adams

* "I just think it's important to be direct and honest with people about why you're photographing them and what you're doing. After all, you are taking some of their soul..." ~Mary Ellen Mark

* "If I could tell the story in words, I wouldn't need to lug around a camera." ~Lewis Hine

* “Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow..." ~Imogen Cunningham

* “It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best picture was the one that was hardest to take." ~Timothy Alle

* “Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still.” ~Dorothea Lange

* “Whether he is an artist or not, the photographer is a joyous sensualist, for the simple reason that the eye traffics in feelings, not in thoughts.” ~Walker Evans

* “Photography can only represent the present. Once photographed, the subject becomes part of the past.” ~Berenice Abbott

* “When you find yourself beginning to feel a bond between yourself and the people you photograph, when you laugh and cry with their laughter and tears, you will know you are on the right track.” ~Arthur Fellig

* "I realize more and more what it takes to be a really good photographer. You go in over your head, not just up to your neck." ~Dorothea Lange