As part of the photography class I took, we went on a field trip through the town I live in, and took photos. I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. The town is really lovely and quaint. Originally, it was a logging town but now it’s primarily a university town, and has quite a few bars. It has beautiful old brick buildings as well. A few of the stores are vacant, which suggests to me that the economy may have hit a little harder here. Regardless, the town still has a lot to offer. I hope you like these photos as much as I do! Have a great Monday!
I’ve already mentioned, that one of the things I really love about our town is the farmer’s market. Since we moved here, Jon and I have spent almost every Saturday morning shopping at the farmer’s market. The local organic produce is plentiful and gorgeous.
I figured you wouldn’t mind if I shared a plethora of photos from the market. It’s a daily presence in the town square (but has the most venders on Saturdays). I love strolling through the booths and I take far longer than necessary to pick out the produce I want to buy.
These pictures are a bit different from the ones I shared from Portland’s farmer’s market. The produce available in Wisconsin in October is very different from the produce available in Portland, ME in July. I love all of the different pumpkins that are available, especially the bluish-green ones.
There’s one stand that I stop at every week. This baker brings his wonderful French baked goods, all the way up from Madison (It’s a two-hour drive!). His breads are amazing, but I’ve made it a habit to eat a chocolate croissant every Saturday. They are divine!
One of the most challenging things for me is taking photos of people or in the presence of a bunch of people. I’m trying to break out of my shell a bit and take more photos in public places, as well as more photos of people. I really love candid portraits. I was pretty happy with the ones I got at the market this day.
The only being who knew I was photographing her, was the beauty below. Her name is Mable. We met at the farmers market, and I fell in love immediately. She is quite the ham about having her photograph taken. I was happy to oblige. I really miss Tex, so when I encounter a friendly dog in public, I make sure to get some love.
Sorry for the photo and text heavy post! I’m a little bit in love with the farmers market. I’ll be a very sad girl when it ends for the winter. What produce is in season in your area right now? Happy Monday!
Since I was a little girl, I have loved farmer’s markets. During family visits to Montreal, I always enjoyed perusing the giant farmer’s market there; from the cheese shops, butcher shops, fish shops, and cafe’s that lined the square, to the plethora of venders selling their farm goods in the center, it was heaven.
Now, whenever I travel, I love the visit the farmer’s markets. When I was planning our visit to Portland, Dean made sure to let me know that the farmer’s markets were on Wednesdays and Saturdays, so I could time our visit to coincide with at least one. We ended up going to the smaller Wednesday Market which is in the center of Portland, along the streets.
The market had a plethora of seasonal veggies and fruits, and flowers as well. A few venders sold meats and cheeses as well. This was where we purchased the veggies for Dean’s Kale Kasserole. Jon also bought himself some organic grass-fed sausage, which he thoroughly enjoyed. I have to say that I think my favorite was all of the beautiful flowers.
Farmer’s markets are really awesome, and I’ve been to various markets in a plethora of places. When you travel it can be a worthwhile experience to seek out the farmer’s market in the area, to sample some of the local cuisine, observe the differences in what’s offered, and chat with the local farmers. It’s definitely one of my favorite travel experiences. Thanks Dean for making sure we made it to the one in Portland!
On Saturday, I spent the day at the National Aquarium in Baltimore with my good friend Jessi. I hadn’t been to an aquarium in a very long time and I was very excited to see what this one had to over. It was a lot smaller than I anticipated and also more crowded. Regardless Jessi and I had a great time. I took over three hundred photos, and about half of them were of jellyfish. Seriously, the jellyfish are amazing! It’s worth the money it costs to get in, just to see the jellyfish.
I had several issues while trying to get the photos I wanted. The first obstacle for me was the lighting. I tried everything but the lighting was not quite natural and not quite flourescent, and there was never quite enough of it. I couldn’t figure it out. Combine my lighting frustrations with subjects thatmovereallyfast and I’m surprised I walked away with any photos I liked. Another big inconvenience were the sheer number of people who also wanted to see the tanks. I felt bad blocking the view of a two-year-old so I could get a decent photo. Also, I should have played around with some reflection photos, but I didn’t actually think about it until I looked at the photos later, and got upset by accidental reflections ruining a few. Despite these issues, I enjoyed myself immensely and I am quite delighted by a few of the photos. I hope you like them as well! Happy Monday!
Yesterday my family spent the morning at Round Valley Reservoir or what we refer to as “The Lake.” My dad’s boat hasn’t been made seaworthy since it was made winter-worthy in December, so we all relaxed on the shore. My mom, brother and I read, while my dad fished, and Tex frolicked along the shore.
My dad caught two beautiful brown Trout. One was big enough to keep, but he eventually threw it back because it wouldn’t have been enough for all of us. I had to laugh because as soon as my dad had one on the line, both my brother and I whipped out our cameras or in Erik’s case, camera phone. My dad goes fishing at least once a week in a decent-enough weather, but it’s always a photo opportunity when we get to see him catch one. Those fish probably felt like celebrities, with my family playing the part of the annoying paparazzi.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have the perfect settings to get the photos I wanted at the lake. It was weirdly lit, cloudy but extremely bright, add the reflection of the water and I just couldn’t get my settings where I wanted, quickly enough. Luckily there’s always a chance to make something out of nothing with the help of an editing program. Picnik, the website I usually use to edit my photos is closing in three days, so last night I decided to try picMonkey. I was pleasantly surprised by how much I liked it. It has all the basic editing options plus a ton of extra special effects. For these photos, after a few basic edits to color saturation and exposure, I chose one of the presets under papyrus. It gave the photos a grainy quality I enjoy. Unfortunately, there is no collage feature on picMonkey yet, which irks me, that was my favorite thing to use.
I appreciate the fact that I was able to get some decent photos of the memories I made, despite less-than-steller camera skills. It was a treat to go to the lake for the morning with my family. We were all happy to be there together, but Tex was perhaps the happiest. However, no one was happy when my dad and I washed him and I found FOUR ticks in the process. It was really disgusting, but I guess it was a small price to pay for all the fun we had at the lake.
On Saint Patty’s Day, we went into the city to have dinner with my aunt and uncles. My uncles live in a beautiful apartment building with roof access. After dinner, we went up there and I tried my hand at some night cityscapes.
In my photography class in October, we discussed night photography so I knew enough to attempt to get some decent shots. First I turned my Aperture Priority to the smallest value possible which in this case was either 4.5 or 5. Then I adjusted the shutter speed until I got the shot I wanted. I started with 1 second but got a lighter photo than I wanted. I think I ended up having the shutter speed at “.8. I did not have a tripod, so I knew I was going to have to rest the camera on something, as it was very windy on the roof, and I have a pretty shaky hand as it is. So I rested the camera (with the band still around my neck) on the ledge of the roof, angled it to get the view I wanted, and then stepped back to click to get the shots.
While I don’t think that these photos are any great shakes, (as you can see in the bottom one, the wind did still shake the camera a bit despite its resting on the ledge), I’m content with how my first attempt at night cityscapes turned out. I was especially pleased with the middle one; the soft blue light just makes me happy. It’s also nice to have pictures of things other than trees, buds. flowers, and my pets. I can’t wait to try my hand at this again, hopefully with a tripod next time.
Have you ever tried your hand at night cityscapes or night photography in general? Any tips? And how about capturing the stars, do I need a special lens for that? Does anyone have any tripod recommendations? I may be in the market for one…
I have been taking so many pictures lately. I walk around my yard or neighborhood and feel like I photograph everything I see. But then, I get home and notice that ninety percent of my pictures are of branches, trees, or the bark on the trees.
I have a slight obsession with trees (and birds- but that’s another matter.) I love the lines that are so apparent in a photograph of a tree or branches. They’re different from the stark lines of a cityscape, more organic, but just as in your face. These lines combine with the new buds and/or the dew that accumulates on the branches, working together to create sweetly delicate images of an everyday sight.
My recent obsession with branch photos, reminds me of a favorite poem, Birches by Robert Frost. I took an entire semester-long class on Robert Frost and his poetry, and when I finished, Birches was still my favorite of his poems.
“I’d like to get away from earth awhile/ And then come back to it and begin over,/ May no fate willfully misunderstand me/ And half grant what I wish and snatch me away/ Not to return. Earth’s the right place for love:” Earth is the right place for love, and in Spring the Earth showers us all with love in the new life sprouting and blooming all around us. I love Spring because of all the possibility and hope it brings. What’s better than the first day of spring, with branches budding and flowers’ releasing their sweet fragrance into the air? Everything seems possible in Springtime.
Can you sense how excited I am about Spring’s presence? Although we didn’t have a particularly rough winter, weather-wise, winter just breeds boredom and sadness for me. I feel like winter drains my creativity and my spirit. It locks me indoors and requires me to don extra layers of protection from the elements. Spring wraps you in its sweet-scented warm breezes and kisses your skin with sunshine. Spring is so welcome. How are you feeling about Spring’s arrival? Does it make you feel happy and hopeful?
On Saturday morning, I awoke to the beautiful light that accompanies fog. It was wonderful and just slightly cool. Not wanting to miss the chance for such glorious light, I threw on some shoes and took a walk in the woods behind my house,(in my bathrobe and pajamas.) I really like the set of pictures from the walk. I hope you like them too.
According to dictionary.com, a gaffer can be any of four types of people; the chief electrician on a motion picture or television production, an old man, a foreman or overseer especially of a group of physical laborers, and a master glassblower responsible for shaping glassware. In my world, the only one that’s important is that last one. Actually, it’s the only definition I had for gaffer up until about ten minutes ago. My Jon is that type of gaffer.
It’s the reason he’s in Wisconsin. He’s teaching the art of glass blowing to sculpture students at a university there. It was my pleasure to get to attend his personal blow slot, a period of time during which his students assist him in creating his art. I’ve watched Jon blow glass before, a bunch of times, all of which he’d forgotten about. However, this time was different. It’s been a while since I last observed, and he’s become calmer, more poised, more purposeful and fluid in his movements, or maybe that’s just how he seemed to me.
Despite feeling like a creeper, I decided to photograph him and his students while they worked. It was hard; they move around a lot, in unpredictable patterns, quietly, with extremely hot glass. It did not want to get in the way and I was a bit afraid of accidentally getting burnt, despite their near-expert awareness. I was also lacking a tripod to attempt to get the motion shots I’d have liked to capture.
And yet, I’m happy with the photos I got. I enjoyed watching and photographing their working, but I was also enamored with the tools, the hot glass, and the overall greyness of this immensely creative space. The hot shop, as it’s called, is where the glass is melted, manipulated, and slowly, strategically cooled in the annealer. It’s where glass changes from solid to liquid and back to solid, a great practical science lesson in outside forces changing physical properties.
In my opinion, this strangely scientific art form is a fluid, collaborative, brave process. Touching glass that was melted at 2,200 degrees, with nothing but specially-folded wet newspaper between your hand the only-very-slightly-cooled material, does not seem sound to my-overly-logical-very-fearful-of-pain-self.
But for them, it’s part of the everyday; glass blowing accompanied by a cup of coffee. I’ve done other things with glass, but not working out of the furnace, like they are in these photos. I have immense respect, pride, and awe for what they do, for what Jon does.
With almost all of my creations, minimal to no planning is involved, despite my being such a life-planner. But for Jon, the planning and strategizing and researching are integral aspects of his process; the glass blowing and annealing and cold-working are almost secondary (but definitely more fun to watch.)
Sometimes, because of glass’s fragility, a piece veers off course, and Jon, my perfectionist, will scrap it mid-way to completion to start over. The glass is broken off the blow pipe into a metal container and left to self-destruct as it cracks and explodes from cooling too quickly. It’s tragic and frustrating to me, the onlooker, but there’s also strange beauty in the temperamental side of glass as well.
When I met Jon, he was only just beginning to become interested in blowing glass in this manner. Soon he decided to pursue glass in a collegiate and professional environment. Six years later, glass has taken him many, many places, Canada, New York, North Carolina, Ireland, the Pacific Northwest, Portugal, Japan, and now, Wisconsin. He’s earned his BFA, had his work displayed at a NYC gallery, assisted well-known artists, been flown around the world to teach, and he’s only just getting started. Somewhere along the way, Jon’s passion for glass transformed him into more than a gaffer, he’s happily grown into an artist. I’d seen glimpses of this throughout our relationship, but my Wisconsin visit cemented that fact in my heart. I feel so grateful to have been a part of his journey so far and I can’t wait to see where it takes him in the years to come.
Yesterday, we went to the Olbrich Botanical Gardens in Madison. I took a ton of photos throughout the day. This morning, we woke up to snow and no power in the house. (It’s back now.) I decided to go outside and take even more pictures of the snow-covered landscape. When I just edited the photos, I fell in love with the contrast of the photos I took yesterday and the ones I took this morning. I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. Enjoy.