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Monthly Archives: October 2011
Today is Halloween. When I a kid, I’d walk up to a stranger’s house at night, knock on the door and they gave out candy. Lots of candy.
Over the years, Halloween has changed quite a bit; the act of trick-or-treating is now usually done on a Sunday afternoon between the hours of twelve and three. Even as an adult things things continue to change. No longer is Halloween dressing up and getting candy, now it seems to be “whoring it up” and going to the bar.
Some friends and I were talking about going to the Blackhawks’ game tonight, but the one didn’t want to because they like to stay home and give candy to trick-or-treaters. Sitting on the couch with a magazine and handing out candy seems to be a nice idea.
When you go from the kid collecting candy in the “Oscar the Grouch” mask to the adult handing out candy, not only does it make me acknowledge I’ve “grown up,” but it makes me wonder where time has gone.
October 2009. (1116)
A couple of weeks ago I watched the sun come up from Chicago’s lakefront, then wandered around the Fulton Market area for a bit.
I wasn’t sure what I was looking for, but the trucks and forklifts dodging and weaving around each other was entertaining to watch. I stumbled upon a small coffee shop, got a breakfast sandwich and enjoyed the “ballet.”
October 2011. (1273)
Autumn seems to have come and gone very quickly this year. For being my favorite time of year, I didn’t get as much photography in as I would have liked.
Like any fan of the Chicago Cubs, “there’s always next year.”
October 2009. (3063)
When I first started shooting pictures at the Chicago Botanic Garden, I was very dutiful in also taking a pictures of the flowers’ name for general record-keeping.
That lasted about ten minutes.
It wasn’t intentional, except I’m such a child so I’d take picture or two, walk to another flower and say to myself, “Oh my, those are so pretty!” and snap away. Then, I’d look to my left and say “Oh my, those are so pretty too!” and run to the next flower. So I had good intentions, it just didn’t work out the way I hoped.
These, however, were early enough that I noted their name. They’re “Rem’s Favorite Triumph Tulip,” part of the lily family, apparently. You could call them “klsdghjlkwehsq wjafb” and I’d still think they are pretty.
Difficult to pronounce, but pretty.
May 2011. (9508)
This is another picture of Anish Kapoor’s Cloud Gate (or, lovingly called “The Bean” by most everybody).
The sculpture has some crazy curves, and it’s fun to watch people watch themselves in The Bean’s reflection. It’s like a circus funhouse mirror, but it’s cleverly disguised as art so adults can play around without seeming too childish.
April 2006. (0203)
In Thailand, we made our way to the Damnoensaduak Floating Market. It’s, unfortunately, quite touristy and lost most of its innocence, but no matter how touristy it gets, locals still head to the market for their daily goods. The waterways are fairly narrow and there is a lot of “bumping and banging” within the market. Most of the boats with motors use old car engines to get around, but a few still stick with rowing the oars.
October 2010. (4878)
Out in Maine for a week, we went to Fort Knox in the town of Prospect to take some pictures.
It was getting close to Halloween, so they were setting up the facility as a major haunted house. As I weaved in and out of scary things getting ready to jump out at some unsuspecting fright-seeker, I passed this broken light.
The fact that someone broke it and left it (perhaps to go get a broom and dust-pan) was amusing to me, and the simplicity of it was appealing, too.
October 2009. (1124)
My step-father opened a grocery store just outside of Madison, Wisconsin in the town of DeForest. I’ve used the store as an opportunity to try different types of photography. I have those grungy photos from when we were in the store jack-hammering, welding, sweeping, building and cleaning. I have some images from the store getting stocked, with boxes upon boxes getting loaded onto shelves. Then there are these pictures, when the store is open for business.
It’s nice to wander around in the store with the camera, because most places won’t let anybody with a “real” camera anywhere near their place of business. In this case, though, I “know a guy,” so I get free reign.
As the sign (and subject of this post) states, these are California Naval Oranges, part of the end-cap display in the produce department.
February 2010. (1703)
Today’s entry comes to us from the Sossusvlei region of Namibia. There are towering sand dunes all through the area, but not everything of note has to be a 1,300-foot sand dune. This is just a bunch of weeds growing in the hot, dry, desert. I like the weeds and their shadow up against the orange sands of the desert.
July 2011. (3487)
I have always been a sucker for markets in other countries. Whenever I pass one, I need to walk through. More often then not I buy something (usually some local fruit) for pennies compared to here in Chicago. For example, at a market in Vietnam I bought two pounds of dragon fruit for 35 cents. In Chicago I paid $10 for one.
October 2010. (6223)
Chicago, Illinois has one of the best skylines in the world. Part of why it’s so good, is the Planetarium provides a fantastic viewpoint that every TV show, news crew, tourist bus and photographer stop by on occasion. You could sit there every day for a week and see seven amazingly different sunsets, and people of all walks of life.
Part of the fun from hanging out there would be watching everyone bustling around you as you sit. For this image, there were segway tours, photographers, lovers, walkers and the kids all running around watching the sun set (well, the kids were playing tag, but everyone else was watching the sun set).
Chicago is a beautiful city, and opportunities like this really enhance the experience.
September 2011. (9874)
On our first safari in South Africa we were motoring around in the Range Rover, looking for whatever wildlife we could find. As we were rumbling along on some trails, we scared a small deer-like animal from the underbrush and it fled in terror of our vehicle. As we approached the area where the small animal was hiding in the brush, we saw a leopard who had been lying in wait.
Apparently we interrupted its dinner plans.
So, an adult female leopard (named Nottens) gave up her hiding place and set out in search of other potential food. We followed her through the brush, and our guide recognized she was heading towards and opening where a large group of impalas (more deer-like animals) were milling about.
Nottens crouched low in the grass and waited for her chance.
About this time the impalas split into two groups. A few went a direction away from the hiding leopard, while the majority blindly wandered directly into the leopard’s vicinity. With lightning speed the leopard jumped into action, scattering the impalas. With one of it’s giant paws, the leopard grabbed a fleeing impala from mid-air and dragged it to the ground. Dinner time.
The above picture is of Nottens, as she moved from her original hiding spot to her new location near the impalas.
August 2011. (3808)
A couple of weeks ago Alisha and I took in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” at Wrigley Field. It was a different way to spend a date night as we both enjoy the movie quite a bit.
The event was a mix between a drive-in movie and a viewing of “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” The bleachers were far more rowdy then those sitting on the grass, so a few times througohut the night someone from the bleachers would yell out something at the movie screen. It wasn’t anything too distracting, but there was a definite “family section” and ”not-so-family section.”
Also, seeing a movie in a setting like that was fun. Everyone was there for a good time and laughed at the same jokes. The people organizing it had look-alikes sitting in Cameron, Sloane and Ferris’ seats for the Wrigley Field scene; when that scene came on, they hit the look-alikes with a spotlight. The ribbon-board out front ran various quotes from the movie all night, and as the photo above shows, they changed famous Wrigley Field marque to match the “Save Ferris” message from the movie.
October 2011. (0505)
Every year around this time I try to visit my parents. My work schedule doesn’t allow a couple of days off regularly, until the calendar gets to October.
The journey to their place involves passing several roadside stands selling fruits and veggies. This particular year I stopped and bought a few apples and such, but decided to load up on some other things. I had my camera gear with me and I was curious if I could pay around with some Fall fruits and vegetables.
The result was what you see above. I like close-up shots of things, and the gourds provided a good opportunity for just that. My step-mom and I took turns taking pictures and trying new things. She later turned one of her images into a water color, which, to this day, is still her single best-selling painting.
October 2007. (1088)
I’m a big fan of pictures of people doing their jobs. More often than not, the only pictures we have of ourselves and our friends is from those nights drinking at a bar. While those pictures are fun and serve a purpose, it’s nice to have a picture of yourself doing something other then holding a cocktail in your hand.
That being said, every now-and-then I grab my camera and take pictures of people doing one of the things they do best — their job. It’s good to show other people that we’re not just another bunch of lushes at a bar, and it’s nice to have a record of you actually working somewhere (you know, make mom proud!).
This picture is from inside the Comcast Sportsnet television truck for a Chicago Blackhawks broadcast. Mike Leary is the producer (closest to the camera) and Dave Turner is the director (wearing the black sweater).
In the simplist terms, Mike will organize interviews, meet with the announcers to ultimately decide what the show’s broadcast may cover (in addition to the game, obviously), and then watch the different cameras while the puck is in play to decide which has the best replay angle to show on TV. Dave’s job is to choose which camera angle is the best and watch everything going on to make sure the viewer at home sees what they need to see. Dave and Mike really work well together in weaving all of the different variables together to make the broadcast come together smoothly.
Not pictured is David Ross. He is behind the stack of books on the right side of the picture. His job is to check the various numbers and stats and help the producer and director get the different graphics built. If it’s a particular players 100th goal, he knows that and has a graphic built to show the viewer at home. If it’s a player’s 1,000 career penalty minute, he knows that too.
Those three travel mostly with the Blackhawks hockey team to keep Comcast Sportsnet Chicago‘s hockey broadcasts looking similar each and every game. In each city they’ll also work with various people (like camera guys, replay operators, audio technicians and such) to make sure things get done.
On a typical broadcast from the United Center, Comcast Sportsnet Chicago will employ about 30 people to make it all happen, and each day they’ll all start setting up six hours before he game starts.
During that particular lightning storm, I took a lot of different pictures. Some lightning bolts were brighter then others, but I scored a few good ones. There is one picture (the aforementioned portfolio one) that really stands out on its own, but there are several others that, I think, can be impressive as well.
This is one of those pictures. It isn’t as dramatic as my favorite shot of the night, but it’s still pretty spiffy.
The place on the Great Wall of China that was recommended by a friend was unexpectedly closed for repairs by the Chinese government (even though it had been several months and no work had been done). My wife and I decided to hit Mutianyu instead and asked the place we were staying what they recommended. “The earlier, the better,” was their suggestion. So, at 7AM a car picked us up and whisked us for the two-hour journey to the Great Wall of China.
It. Was. Awesome.
We were extremely fortunate to have the ancient fortress to ourselves for quite some time. Alisha and I took turns running up and down the wall taking pictures of each other. We called our mothers. We just sat and enjoyed the beauty.
Eventually the tour buses showed up and droves of people started to join us on the wall. No longer was it our quiet, historical place. However, being on the Great Wall of China by ourselves, or with any number of people, we found it to be incredibly awesome of a place.
It’s a true testament to those who have come before you if they can build a massive wall that stands the test of time, and still emotionally moves visitors, even with busloads of people marching up and down the wall with their radios blasting.
This past weekend we had the Chicago Marathon take place throughout the city.
It’s amazing to see the amount of people come out to support the runners, and the runners are amazingly impressive, in their own right.
The participants come from all walks of life. There are old runners and young runners; thin runners and not-so-thin runners. Every single person on the course made an active effort to be there, and it’s pretty inspiring.
October 2011. (1412)
The other picture in every photographer’s pile of pictures? Looking out at an airplane wing.
July 2009. (0001)