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Monthly Archives: February 2012
Before heading to the Galapagos Islands, we decided to explore Quito, Ecuador for a bit (we also went to the famed market in Otavalo). While we were exploring, we ended up spending a lot of time in the one of Quito’s churches.
I remember climbing a lot of stairs in this particular church.
The first thing was climbing a few flights of stairs to reach the back of the church. Later, we would continue climbing to the very top of the steeple, where my mom decided to ring the bell with everything she had. It may have been the most surprised I’ve ever been, for two reasons: The first, was the deafening blast of the bell ringing, and second was because my normally quiet mother decided to wake most of Quito with the clanging of the church bells.
At any rate, as we climbed to the top of the church, I really, really enjoyed the sun shining through the various colors of the stained-glass windows, thus reflecting them on the church’s floor.
March 2007. (0098)
On this particular day I woke up to watch the sunrise from Chicago’s lakefront, then headed to the West Loop area of the city, particularly the Fulton Market neighborhood.
Fulton Market always entertains me because it’s pretty industrial and has a lot of hustle and bustle going on. Early in the mornings, the various meat suppliers are stocking trucks and heading out for their daily deliveries. Oftentimes, the streets are blocked by cargo trucks and semis loading and unloading.
In the middle of everything, I passed a large, empty warehouse. It was a couple of stories tall, and had panes of windows up and down the side. One of the windows was missing a square of glass, and I could see inside that the light was missing its bulb.
There was something simple and quiet in a neighborhood of chaos that was eye-catching to me.
October 2011. (1292)
Since the Daytona 500 was supposed to be this past weekend, I thought maybe this would be a fine image for today.
This image was taken at the Chicagoland Speedway’s 2011 Geico 400. The race was rained out on Sunday and pushed to Monday, instead. While pushing the race back a day sucks for pretty much everyone involved, I got lucky because I couldn’t make the original date, but I was able to make the makeup day.
September 2011. (9325)
In 2011 we celebrated my friends’ 30th birthday in Las Vegas.
Unfortunately for me, my flight home was canceled because there was a maintenance issue with the plane. The next available flight out was the following morning, so I checked into an airline-provided hotel and immediately left to wander around and take pictures of Vegas at night.
The lights of Vegas will never cease to amaze me. (Even the McDonald’s has a fancy flashing neon light in an attempt to attract attention.)
Later this year I’ll have another chance to shoot more images of Las Vegas. On the 2011 trip to Vegas, I took an airline “bump” and received a $400 voucher for an upcoming flight. That voucher was just cashed in for a trip to, of all places, Las Vegas, for my previously mentioned friend’s bachelor party.
June 2011. (0924)
This is an image taken earlier this week in Champaign, Illinois.
My original intent was to do a time-lapse of the game, but it didn’t work out as well as I was hoping. (For what it’s worth, on Saturday I tried a time-lapse at a previous basketball game and didn’t even “start” the damn thing. Whoops!) From the second attempt in Champaign, however, I did capture a few frames I did like. The picture above is one of the few.
The only issue I have, however, is that blurry line between setting the camera on “auto” and walking away for four hours, and sitting behind the eye-piece and waiting for just the right moment. Sure, there is an argument about “seeing the vision,” but at the end of the day, this is just a picture I got lucky with. (Yes, I got lucky with other pictures — like the lightning picture in the portfolio page — but this is a different type of lucky, I feel.)
This picture would also be helped out a bit if the University of Illinois fans and students came out to support their women’s basketball team once in awhile, too.
February 2012. (2421)
In Gary, Indiana, several buildings are abandoned. Even moreso, the kids have found their way into some of them and run amock.
This image is taken in the Post Office, before it was boarded up to better restrict entrance. All but one window was smashed out of the building, and everything else left in the building was in an equal shape of disarray.
May 2009. (3283)
While up in Vancouver for a few days, some friends and I wandered around the harbor. British Columbia is stunningly beautiful, and it always helps seeing things one doesn’t normally see. In this particular case, watching all of the seaplanes come and go certainly lended itself to some of the charm.
February 2011. (8044)
As mentioned previously, I don’t have a lot of patience in life. Photography has helped me learn it, and this image is another fine example.
One the tall, light-colored building to the right, there was a white-hot glare of the sun on one of the windows. I had to sit and wait for a while to get the glare to dissipate, then I was able to get the picture I wanted.
June 2009. (4511)
While walking around Siracusa, Sicily, Alisha and I passed by an area with a number of locals swimming in the Mediterranean Sea; some were adults, some were children, and others were adults acting like children. As we were watching the people all splash around in the water, we noticed a small boat bumping up against the rocks behind us.
The boat wasn’t tied off to anything, nor was it occupied by anyone. Strange still, no one seemed to care about the boat.
The water was shallow enough that we walked over and checked out the boat, and it looked to be sealed up. We’re not sure if one of the people swimming just dumped it there while they frolicked in the water, or if it broke loose in the harbor and ended up where we saw it.
Whatever the case, the next day we returned with our suits to go swimming and the boat was gone.
September 2005. (0331)
We arrived at the Great Wall of China pretty much as soon as it was available to tourists. It was nice because Alisha and I were the only two people around for quite some time. Sure, there were others, but everyone kind of spread out and did their own thing, leaving a vast distance in between us and the next people.
In addition to being quiet the first part of the morning, the sky was clear and there was decent visibility. We could see the Great Wall snake off into the distance. Much like the crowds and tour busses slowly growing throughout the morning, so did the weather. Eventually, as we were preparing to leave, both the crowds were deplorable and the weather had turned foul; visibility was far more limited than earlier.
By the time we took the trail down to meet our driver, it had started to rain. After warming up with some tea, we headed to the car and it turned to a solid downpour.
It was nice that we could get some quiet time on the Great Wall of China, before the crowds swarmed, and it was an added bonus to get the weather to cooperate as well.
October 2010. (4718)
This is Spain’s Segovia Cathedral. (I also have a night-time picture of this same cathedral posted in the European Photography Gallery).
The fun part about the town of Segovia, aside from it’s centuries old — and still functioning aqueduct — is it was here Christopher Columbus convinced the King of Spain to fund his trip West to find an easier trade route. Instead of finding India, Columbus and his ships stumbled upon the New World.
July 2009. (0160)
Happy St. Valentine’s Day!
I never really realized how many random and sometimes strange phrases are on candy hearts. I always thought they were short and cute simple phrases (Love You, Miss You, etc.), but just looking at the picture above, Get Real doesn’t seem sweet and romantic.
February 2007. (1985)
Last weekend I posted a photoblog entry about how I’d be willing to take up playing basketball regularly (you can read it by clicking here). Much like that location, I’d play soccer everyday if I had a field with this view.
February 2006. (0230)
It’s always entertaining to me when traveling to other countries and we stumble upon people playing games in the middle of a public way. I’ve previously written about being in Turkey and watching men play backgammon in the middle of a walkway, and prior to that, Alisha and I watched two men play chess with each other in Vienna, Austria.
In the above picture, the gentleman to the left (in the blue shirt) is playing the gentleman to the right (in the orange-colored shirt, with his left hand up to his chin). It was strangely quiet in the plaza, as everyone watched the two men go at it. Since I don’t play chess I took a few pictures, but everyone else around seemed to be playing out their own game in their heads, and what moves they would and would not make.
August 2008. (0435)
As the title suggests, this is the Armenian Grape Hyacinth.
This is another picture taken this spring at the Chicago Botanic Gardens. While we’ve had a fairly mild winter (so far) this year, I’m already looking forward to the colors and temperatures of springtime in Chicago.
May 2011. (9828)
In a previous blog post, I’d written about Alisha and my “off the beaten path” adventure in Panama (you can read that previous blog post here). Something I didn’t mention in the entry was the small village in which we grabbed a 20-minute water taxi to take us to the next town over.
After riding in a pick-up truck for several hours, our driver turned off the paved road rattled his way down a dirt path. After a few minutes, we arrived in Almirante, Panama and a small concrete building along the water.
The water taxi station was, essentially, a boat-house, big enough for only a couple boats. The floor was so filthy I couldn’t tell if it was an actual dirt floor, or a cement floor and was just covered with an inch or two of dirt. The docks appeared to be hap-hazardly constructed, or the wood was pilfered for other things (I couldn’t tell which). The amount of garbage floating around was stunning. Children were wandering around, watching us watch them.
In situations like this, it’s difficult for me to raise my camera to start snapping photos. I don’t want to appear like a standard tourist and fire away, taking pictures of people, but I also want to record the situation for my own interest.
After waiting about ten or fifteen minutes, the water taxi arrived and chaos ensued. The boat held about two-dozen passengers, and people were barely out of the boat before others started piling in. Alisha and I had our bags with us, and they were quickly taken by the dock worker and thrown in the back of the boat. We quickly sat down as close to them as possible. It seemed like only mere seconds the boat was tied to the dock, before we shoved off and were making our way through into the bay and across part of the Caribbean Sea.
Before our boat hit warp speed, we slowly crept through the village of Almirante and its ramshackle huts.
August 2007. (0187)
Sometimes I enjoy heading down to Chicago’s Millennium Park, Michigan Avenue or Navy Pier — the tourist hotspots — and watch the world go by. With this picture, I was doing just that.
I can’t remember if I rode my bike down to Navy Pier or drove, but either way I just watched the tour boats come and go. It was nice and relaxing for a warm, May afternoon.
May 2009. (3444)
Early one morning in Bali, Indonesia, a group of fisherman are prepping their boat to launch it out to sea.
October 2010. (6354)
I don’t play basketball, but if I had a court like this near my house, I’d probably start playing basketball.
February 2009. (2422)
This picture was taken from within the Damnoensaduak Floating Market, located a short car ride outside Bangkok, Thailand.
People have complained the market has become touristy over the years, and while yes, tourists do go through it, schoolchildren and locals do as well. It definitely made for a fun morning and a unique experience.
October 2010. (4893)