Bekka Palmer

Carry A Nation

Culture, PoliticsBekka PalmerComment
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I was so charmed by this story of Carrie A. Nation. In the late 1800's and early 1900's men were acting like drunk assholes and women had no rights. So she took it upon herself to support prohibition and then went one step further and walked into illegal bars and starting smashing things with her hatchet. Hear a much better version of her story on Criminal episode 73.

An Open Letter to My Sister, Miss Angela Davis

Change the World, PoliticsBekka PalmerComment
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I took some time this morning to re-read James Baldwin's letter to Angela Davis as it applies now as much as ever to the treatment of the asylum seekers knocking at our borders.

One might have hoped that, by this hour, the very sight of chains on black flesh, or the very sight of chains, would be so intolerable a sight for the American people, and so unbearable a memory, that they would themselves spontaneously rise up and strike off the manacles. But, no, they appear to glory in their chains; now, more than ever, they appear to measure their safety in chains and corpses.

Take a moment to read the entire thing on the New York Review of Books, and then put your money where your mouth is with Act Blue.

The number one most important thing

Change the World, ConservationBekka Palmer

I woke up in the middle of the night last night in a panic. For the first time in a long time my anxiety wasn't about my financial situation, but about the state of the world. I kept seeing this image of a starving polar bear. It's hard to get a grasp on global climate change, it's such a massive idea, and we don't always get images that allow us to relate to it, but the bear is sticking in a lot of people's minds.

Custom Denim for Wrangler

Made by HandBekka Palmer

The PR company representing Wrangler reached out to me a few weeks ago to do a custom denim activation at one of their NYFW events. I couldn't have been more thrilled to be considered for this. The team at Bollare (the PR company) was great and I spent an awesome (although physically exhausting) two days at their office customizing jackets and jeans. Above are some of the finished pieces.

Summer Photography Course

Photography, New York CityBekka Palmer

This summer, I will be teaching a photography intensive course in Brooklyn. Details below.

In this course you will learn from start to finish a professional photography process which you can repeat over and over again to get professional level photos on your own. We will start with taking photos on manual which gives you control over your images to importing, organizing, backing up, color-correcting, retouching and exporting. The course spans several weeks and gives you the chance to practice between classes. You will walk out with an advanced set of skills, it’s up to you to continue your practice to gain more experience. The class includes time in a classroom setting and time practicing taking photographs together.

June 29

Classroom: Camera setup, manual settings and importing
Practical: Spend time outside shooting on manual
Goal: Comfort with manual settings and importing photos.

July 13

Practical: Photographing people
Classroom: Lightroom basics
Goal: Master talking to real people and using Lightroom for color-correction.

July 27

Practical: Shooting still life
Classroom: Going from Lightroom to Photoshop for retouching.
Goal: Proficient in arranging a still life and retouching blemishes, trash, etc.

Add-on Class August 3

Classroom: Advanced Photoshop techniques
Goal: Proficient in more advanced retouching techniques such as combining multiple photos, masking, cloning.

Details

Dates: June 29, July 13, July 27, 2017 6:30 - 9 pm
Cost: $1250
Add-on Advanced Class: August 3, $300
Requirements: Must bring your own DSLR, memory card and lens Rental information available Must bring your own laptop with Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop installed (you can get a trial version)

Payment is due in full to reserve your space, class is limited to 6 participants. 

Check out the Workshops tab in the shop to reserve and for more dates.

Joshua Tree

Getaways, Photography, WritingBekka Palmer

I had one terrible day in January: Inauguration day. I had been sick for weeks and the overwhelming anxiety of a new presidency finally became too much. I stayed in bed with a migraine all day. The following weeks became a blur of heartbreak and uneasiness. The news worsened each day. I needed to escape, at least for a moment.

One longish plane ride and a short car ride later, I was facing the outside of a geodesic dome. It came with the promise of interstellar travel, if you are just willing to open your mind. I walked through the door and closed my eyes.

It was transporting... sort of. I definitely went to another world, but maybe not an interstellar one. It's a place where the trees don't make sense. You know they are trees even though they don't really look like trees. A place with seemingly zero water supply, but somehow, against all odds, life has found a way. The plants are in abundance, just not the kind you see on a regular basis: cacti, Suessical trees, long grasses, succulents.

Clambering over rocks, we found a place to rest. Let our souls soak up the sun. It had been months since the sunlight hit my skin and warmed me from the outside in. My worries melted away and I found I really had traveled to another planet. One not so far from here, but also not easy to get to. The most difficult kind of travel doesn't involve turbulent flights or winding bus routes, but instead an open mind.

We were welcomed with open arms, but only briefly. We were discouraged from staying too long. The real world is still moving forward and it needs you to move with it.

To return, you have to go back through the door you came from. It seems futile walking into place so briefly and then backtracking your way home. While, physically, you end up right where you started, you never forget what you saw on the other side of that door, in a parallel universe.

I returned home to politics, bills, emails. After seeing the other side, the determination of life in the desert, regular life did not seem so insurmountable as before. I returned without complaint, and with a new set of eyes.

When it all seems so hopeless, I just close my eyes and think of the Suessical trees. How they found a way despite harsh conditions, and realize, we will make it too. We just have to find another way. Things aren't going to be as they were, but they certainly don't have to be so bad. It's time to put panic and complaint aside and do something positive for this world. Because as far as I know, it's the only one we have. There is no place for me on the other side, only this one.