Wednesday, August 31, 2011

my Lulu

I love this picture of Lucy.

i've said it before

...and I'll say it again:

Grading papers blows!

It is, without a doubt, the worst part of my job. Kids threatening to light me on fire? Bring it. Papers needing to be graded? NO! Erg.

Monday, August 29, 2011

and we're back!

Okay, so I had to hit the archives, but I've been working like crazy, and have not been able to make taking photos a priority. :( But! I'm going out of town to places pretty, so hopefully I will snap some delights. In the meantime, check out the serious back-log of photos.

the sky's the limit

City Garden, St. Louis, MO

summer evening in the loop


St. Louis, MO

Glacier Love


Glacier NP

end of summer

Near Billings, MT

hidden picture




Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis)

take over


Klondike SP

trouble



tybee


Although it seems so, I'm not actually obsessed with light houses.

no trespassing

Outside Congaree NP

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

where has the week gone?!!?

Sorry I'm behind on posting. Work & life have been crazy busy. I will make up for all my days with out pictures starting Friday. For those of you who actually care: sorry! :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

lighthouse 2



lighthouse


oops! I didn't post yesterday, so this is for Friday. :)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

firewood




This seems a bit cruel...

modesty


Well, hello 26 foot tall statue of Marilyn Monroe in downtown Chicago. Psst...I think your drawers are showing! So, for this photo we are back in Chicago. My sister, mom and I stumbled upon this, and it is hilarious and random, but also a little awesome. I don't know that I would want to look at it everyday if this was my view from my cubical, but as a tourist, it was pretty funny, made all the more so when I went around to the back and saw the detail on her panties.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

meep


I thought I'd take a break from Chicago photos. I stumbled upon this little guy in St. Louis. I just imagine him as a little alien or robot peeking his head out to say "meep!"

blue chicago


I took this while on the boat tour. I just love the hues of blue in it, and am happy that my flash didn't white everything out or that the lack of flash didn't blur it all. Again, the boat tour was awesome. I recommend it!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

distorted


Alright people, I see a few skylines in our future (or many photos of one skyline to be precise). This one is a bit of a cheat because it's not really another picture, but simply a section of an earlier picture (Chicago Raindrop). I just think it's cool that the buildings are distorted. I can't quite get enough of this sculpture. I wasn't sure what the big deal would be, but when I saw it I knew: it's just immensely cool.

the noble duke of chicago


Do you remember that children's song, The Noble Duke of York? This photo get's that song stuck in my head.

The noble duke of York, he had ten thousand men.
He marched them up to the top of the hill and marched them down again.
And when you’re up you’re up.
And when you’re down you’re down.
And when you’re only half way up you’re neither up nor down.
He marched them to the left. He marched them to the right.
He marched them almost upside down, oh what a silly sight.



Monday, August 15, 2011

ominous


The first word that came to my mind when I saw this photo was "ominous," While we had a lovely time at Navy Pier, the evening was not without dangers: we found ourselves on a party boat that played "Sweet Home Alabama" no fewer than 3 times (all to the excited "whoo!'s" of drunk girls), then had dinner wherein we were rained on and my "medium well" hamburger was raw at best (still alive at worst). These obstacles were not about to get out our way of our trip; however, we managed to escape with our good humor in tact. All in all it was wonderful trip; I had a great time with my mom and sister.

chicago raindrop


Millennium Park is awesome and gorgeous. While we were there, we stumbled upon a group of about 200 people doing zumba (not pictured). It was amazingly awesome - and free! Chicago is cool. Crowded, but cool.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

chairs about town

My cat, Lucy, sitting anywhere but in one of the 300 chairs in this room.

In other news, I will be out of town this weekend, so while my posting will be suspended, hopefully I'll snap some cool photos. I'll post when I get back.

rainy day croquet


Today I tried to take pictures of ordinary objects.

I thought about cropping this a little differently, but kept going back and forth. I'm still not 100% sure I made the right choices, but I cropped it with a little more on the sides than I originally wanted because I've made the mistake in the past of cropping without taking into account the amount of space mats take up and have been screwed when going to frame something.

happy national s'more day!

I did not mean to have two S'more related posts so close together, but it was brought to my attention that today is National S'more Day. How could I let that go with out a word?

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

yeah, i'll keep him


This is photographic evidence of one of the rare instances in which Cooper is worn out.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

sprouts of happiness


While it's no Central Park, St. Louis' City Garden is a bright spot downtown, and a promise of how vibrant and inviting St. Louis could become if we commit to its development.

Saturday, August 06, 2011

two guesses as to how i'm spending my saturday night...

Laundry sucks. Here's why:
  • The one good thing that can be said for doing laundry might be the fact that while it's washing and drying, you don't have to actually do anything. But you do. You have to wait. You can't leave the house - it might burn down! (that happened to a friend of mine) Sure you can do other things around the house, but you are still at the machine's beck and call. You are its bitch.
  • The washer and dryer do not take the same amount of time. It just seems so inefficient. I could wash two loads in the time it takes to dry one, but then I'd have wet piles of laundry hanging around, so there's no point.
  • The dryer buzzes and you are elated, then you remember you still have to fold/hang the clothes and put them away. Or: dryer buzzes, no elation, decide you'll get laundry at the next commercial break, forget about it, later find all your dry clothes wrinkled and your wet clothes mildewy, curse yourself for not just pressing "pause" on your TiVo, decide to rewash everything because you don't own an iron. This process may or may not repeat.
  • The dryer is now empty, everything is clean, put away, and your bed sheets smell like linen breeze (or fragrance free in my case), and you think "This was worth it," and you change into your pajamas, dropping the clothes you were wearing into the f'ing laundry basket; it's a viscous cycle.

toaster oven s'more

You all know how I feel about s'mores (I love them), but it's been too hot to even consider going camping around here, so I haven't had any all summer. Last night I decided to try to make a s'more in the toaster oven. While better than most people's attempts to make the treat, it still was not perfect, but it did satisfy my craving.

water plants


Last night I went for a nighttime stroll around my neighborhood, and I stopped off at the farmer's market. I know they'd go out of business if it was vacant all the time (which would be bad), but it was really peaceful to be there alone at night.

I really like taking photos at night, but I don't really know how to do it well. They usually are out of focus, and lighting is problematic. I'm still learning how to use my camera, and I'm sure there are better settings I could use to get better shots, but I still need to figure that out. Any pointers?

Friday, August 05, 2011

the lucky duck

if you take my cell phone, you will kill my child!

Last night I had the opportunity to see an advanced screening of the movie 30 Minutes or Less. I get these passes occasionally through a pretty awesome website (gofobo); it's a great way to see movies for free if you are willing to put up with some inconveniences (like arriving at the movie nearly an hour early to ensure your seat). I am willing to put up with minor inconveniences because I love movies, and I am cheap.

Another inconvenience that free moviegoers sometimes have to endure is giving up their cell phones. The studio of the movie makes this decision, and it is a preventative measure against piracy attempts. When faced with this, you have three choices: you can either leave your phone in the car, check it (like a coat check for phones), or decide not to see the movie. Whenever this happens, people grumble. I can understand a little grumbling, especially if you are there alone and you have an hour's sit awaiting you before the movie, but what I can not understand is the sky is falling mentality that the world is going to end if you don't have your cell phone on you for 2 hours; that's insane. But what I cannot stand for is people being rude about it and acting as though saying "no cell phones allowed" is somehow taking away one of their inalienable rights. Last time I checked, the Constitution didn't say anything about cell phones. Unfortunately rudeness abounds, and last night was no different.

I'm in line relinquishing my cell phone, and the woman in front of me becomes irate, yelling at the young phone check girl that, "It is absurd that you are taking people's cellphones when they have children at home with the babysitter. Something could happen!" To which I jumped in and said, "You know, there was a time when we didn't all have cell phones on us all the time." I'd like to think several people said, "YEAH! You tell her!," but really it was only one guy. She stormed off.

Look lady, you are seeing a movie for free. It is your choice to be here, and if you really don't want to turn over your cell phone, go buy a ticket to see one of the other 16 movies playing at this theater. Do not take out your crazy sense of phone entitlement on this poor 19 year old who is just doing her job.

Okay, so here's where all the parents chime in, "But what if there IS an emergency!?! This is crazy! I have to have my cell phone for my KIIIIIDS!" To that I say: hogwash!

It shouldn't surprise you that not so long ago people went places - out to dinner, to a movie, to a play - without cell phones even though they had kids! Egads! How reckless! So, what did people do in these olden times (10 years ago)? Well, they hired reliable and responsible babysitters, and they left the location and phone number to the place they were going, as well as 1 or 2 other emergency contact numbers with that babysitter. If there was an emergency (a REAL emergency), then the babysitter would call 911 and then get a hold of the parents. As hard as this may be to believe, businesses still have phone numbers, and babysitters can still call these numbers in an emergency. This is exactly what your parents did when you were a kid, and somehow you are still alive to disregard the tale.

Look, cellphones are great; I love mine, but the crazed dependence on them is getting out of hand. Everyone needs to chill out and learn to disconnect every once and a while. The world will not end, nothing will explode, and your heart will not stop when you hit the "power off" button on your phone. Try it; I dare you.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

sunflower surprise





Yesterday as I headed home from my downtown photo adventure, I was feeling somewhat defeated. Although I did take some pictures that ended up being not terrible (which I'll post at some point), I wasn't really happy with any of them; none of them were of something I loved. And then BAM! sunflowers. Seriously, I was taking a shortcut home, and what do I see but a gorgeous patch of sunflowers. A small patch in someone's yard, but sunflowers just the same. I love sunflowers! Naturally, I stopped the car and promptly trespassed to get some photos. I was really annoyed that sun was behind them, and vowed to go back at another time of day to have some better luck (which I still may do), but I actually kind of like this picture all the same.

missoula path, 2010



This photo makes me happy, so you all get a bonus picture! Missoula Path, 2010

I was looking through old photos that I like to figure out what it was that liked about them, so as to capitalize on that, but I realize it may just be the subject material and not actually that there is anything special about them beyond that. Anyway, this photo is from a path that I spent a lot of time on when I lived (or now visit) Missoula. I would ride my bike on this path to reach tennis courts, or take it to reach the Mountain in the background so I could hike up to the M. So, I'm going to list some of the things I like about it, and I welcome you to tell me what you like about it and/or give me suggestions 0n how it could have been better.

What I like about it:
I tend to like paths, roads, train-tracks, etc, and they are prominent in many of my photos; this may stem from my love of travel, or I just like the lines, or both. Anyway, I like the path, and the idea of where it might lead. I also like the colors; the sky is a beautiful blue, and I love that the shades of green add dimension without being "showy." The benches, streetlamp, and the people on the path gives this place a sense of community and makes it feel alive. So Of course, I feel this way -in part- because of the memories affiliated with this photo; in other words, I'm biased.

Summer Bay Resort

My friend Billy said, "Take pictures of what you love," Well, most of the pictures I've taken and loved have either been taken in the wild or in Missoula, MT (otherwise known as the place wherein my heart lives), but today I could get to neither of those places,so I tried to love downtown St. Louis during a heat-wave. I headed downtown to walk around, and I stumbled upon this:

This photo, admittedly, has problems. I'm not at all experienced at taking photos of urban landscapes, and hopefully I'll get better, but this was just too hilarious for me not to post. "Summer Bay Resort" in downtown St. Louis, um... what? Not surprisingly, it appears to be out of business.

30 day photography challenge

I had the idea that I should post a photo everyday. I am not a professional photographer, but occasionally I do take some pretty cool photos. I definitely need to get better, so I thought this would be a good way to motivate myself to try to take one interesting photo a day.

I decided I needed a theme, and immediately the idea of "Place" popped into my head. I am generally drawn to photos that evoke feelings of time and place (great photos also hint at a deeper story that one has only glimpsed), so it seems natural that I should try to capture that with my own lens. Of course, when I say "place," that could mean a specific place, but it could also just mean a sense of place, so don't look for pictures of landmarks everyday (although there may be landmarks sometimes), and I can only hope that a few of my photos conjure up stories for people as they look at them; we'll see what success I have.

Constructive criticism of the photos is welcome as I am learning, but please keep in mind: I'm learning. I'm not proclaiming that I am a great photographer or that I am a better photographer than you or anyone else. I just like photos, and would like to better be able to express myself through photography in a way that ends up being pleasing to the eye.

I am not going to use PhotoShop or any other kind of photo-manipulation, aside from turning a photo black and white (I'd switch film, but we're in the digital age and I don't have film). Why no manipulations? Well, on Google+ I follow several photographers, and this has caused me to give quite a bit of thought to photo-manipulation lately. Is a photograph really a photograph once it has been manipulated with PhotoShop to get ride of "blemishes" in the landscape or to make colors more vibrant - or different all together? It's artistry, but is is photography? For me, it's no longer true photography. A photograph is a snapshot of time, place, emotions, etc, and as such is raw and truthful. Once manipulated, that truth is gone.

I'm not saying there isn't a time and place for photo manipulation; there is, and those images can be breathtakingly beautiful (or just good fun if you want to make a photo look "retro" for a Facebook post), but they aren't really photographs anymore. Art, potentially, but not photography.

Anyway, those are just some thoughts that have been going through my head lately. You may agree or not, but right now it's my story and I'm sticking to it. Meanwhile, I'm off to take a photo.