Milky Pix

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

milky pix

milky pix

When you’ve lived with someone for a while, as I have with Geoff, you start to develop your own vocabulary -- or, rather, you start to externalize your own internal vocabulary without feeling embarrassed about it. This isn’t something that we talk about very much outside the confines of our apartment, although I do love it when friends share their secret vocabularies with me. A term that we use quite often and which I would like to discuss today is “milky pix,” which is pretty fun to say. For a long time I had been struggling to describe a particular photographic quality -- I would say, “I want this picture to look like those washed out ones,” "I want this to look like it was taken in a cloud," or “I want this to be ghosty.” But those words were never quite right. Once we had the term, identifying milky pix became much easier.

Lately we have been collecting milky pix that we come across on Flickr or other websites, and I thought I would share them here on Hila’s blog, where I think they are right at home.

I love these pictures for their light and soft, desaturated tones. Quite often they seem to be taken on beaches, on overcast days. They can be hazy, and they are always dreamy. Sometimes they are taken with a little camera called the Minolta Hi-Matic, sometimes with medium format cameras, and sometimes even with Polaroids.

It is a goal of mine to take some milky pix of my own. I’ve come close (some of my colour photos taken for Other People’s Houses, for example, might be close) but I’ve never quite gotten there. There is magical combination of film/exposure/light that I have yet to achieve, but hope to, one day.

milky pix

milky pix

milky pix

milky pix

milky pix

milky pix

milky pix

milky pix

Image Credits (from top to bottom):

1. Untitled
2. * live
3. 如何能夠找到一陣大風,完全把我吹向你的來路
4. rushout
5. * 暮光
6. Untitled
7. 小貓腳
8. Green Orb
9. negli angoli.
10. Untitled

: : Guest post by Anabela from Fieldguided : :


s a m said...

anabel (& hila),

I loved these photos - diffused light will get me every time.

It's funny how shared words are one of the little things that come from sharing your life with some one. It's nice to hear another pair does that despite themselves.

stjaerna said...
only five minutes after reading this post I found another quite "milky pic". taken at a beach as well. I love the photos shown here!

Miss Flying V said...

I like it! These photos are all beautiful and dreamy...
I'm sure you'll succeed in taking your own milky pix soon :)

xx Viola

Tana said...

milky pix a quite delicious title :) In fact this effect is so gentle and adds so much i`d say tenderness to a photo. wonderful collection of images!

Lyndall said...

Milky pix is such a perfect way to describe them. I call them 'vintagey photos'... my catchall term for anything that looks, well, vintagey! Hehe. I'd love to get that effect on film. For now I know how to fake them in photoshop, which isn't quite as exciting :)

her persona said...

great pics, love the last one

Caitlin Rose said...

wow, I haven't been checking blogs in awhile and I just got so confused, I kept thinking I was reading Fieldguided, and then I thought maybe this was Hila and it was really weird that you b/f had the same name. I think I'm all caught up to speed now though. phew. beautiful photographs and yes, sometimes I think about how annoyed everyone I know would be if they saw how jon and I spoke together in our home : )

dianne @ icefloe said...

beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing them! the inside of my brain feels like this right now. Also, as I am about to move in with my boy, I am looking forward to our internal language merging.

... I fear its going to be really scarey to other people and will essentially be now we don't have to go to other peoples houses we talk in our talk to the budgie voice 24/7 WOOPS.

lizzie said...


also, we're organizing a style shoot for isaiah's mom's salon and we're working with photographers and models and all of that...1/2 of the photographers have had "milky" portfolios and we're not sure how to describe it. that's the perfect name for it, hila.

elliottwithlove said...

"Milky" - what an apt description! Definitely a feel that I want to accomplish in my photos as well. Thanks for sharing these beautiful images with us!

Siubhan said...

I think what you said about being able to externalise your own internal vocabulary without feeling embarrassed about it so nicely sums up what's great about living with someone for a long time - it often works with housemates too, in my experience!

I might have to steal this particular term, actually, because I'm aways struggling to describe these kind of ethereal images too. Such a beautiful selection - I particularly like that they mostly feature water.

Jen said...

So beautiful! I also love what I call the "moonlighting effect" of vaseline on the lens. I wish I could walk around looking like I'm glowing and a little blurry.

Naomi Bulger said...

Funny, I love these photos, and I tried to describe the effect seen elsewhere to Mr B just the other day. I said "kind of washed out, but creamy." I think milky pix says it just right, and keeps the dairy theme going ;-). I wish I knew how to do this.

Sam said...

Lovely post, lovely images.

Jane Flanagan said...

I love this - and I love your description Anabela - milky pix is right! And it matches your aesthetic so perfectly.

(I also think your new Endless Summer shot is milkerific.)

naomemandeflores said...

Also love the "milky pix" feel. Thanks for this amazing images!

Camila Faria

Monisia said...


carissa said...

ha- totally know what youre saying about the vocabulary.

these photos are beautiful. thanks anabela and hila.

Rambling Tart said...

Sigh, I love milky pix too. They are so soothing to the spirit and make me want to curl up in a cozy bed while rain falls on the roof.

jamie cassell said...

I love these pictures! Definitely a fan of the milky pix.

My boyfriend and I make up songs about our cat and have little words and dumb inside phrases for everything. I guess that's what happens when you've been together for 3 years, most of which living together in a room or TINY apartment.

Jackie said...

I love these images. They are very relaxing to look at. I swear my 2 youngest children have their own vocabulary for talking to one another so as the rest of us don't know what they are saying. LOL

hila said...

thank you anabela, this post is so gentle and calming. I totally get the 'milky' terminology - also, I associate milk with bed-time :)

Sweet Harvest Moon said...

Great post and beautiful pictures!

zoë, lion heart vintage said...

milky pix!! this is epic. this term just encapsulated the kind of pictures i also adore.

PS the cats paws picture is adorable to the max.