Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Piece of Me

Mirrored Time

Urban Muser has a lovely photography blog and is running a year long self-portrait project. I'm not all that keen on self portraits as I don't like to see myself, ever, in front of the camera, but what can be better self-therapy for camera shyness than posting pictures of myself. Muser started easy anyway with a request for a piece of oneself. This little piece of my came through playing with a mirror and my arm reflected. I kind of like the effect.

Grandma's Wedding Ring

Here is another piece of me. The wedding ring was my grandmother's, now mine, and the mirror was my mother-in-law's. It has a warm feeling although the two never met and both are now gone.

In The Picture

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Sketchbook Project

If only summer
Sketchbook cover

Last summer a touring exhibit came through my local art center. It was called the Sketchbook Project and was a collection of sketchbooks from artists from all over the country (and some international folks too, if I remember correctly). The little books could be checked out and viewed and I just loved looking at and handling them.

Sketchbook pages 1 and 2, doors open

I decided with heavy trepidation to try one myself for 2012. The trepidation results from my awareness that I am not talented in the drawing/sketching department and don't want to parade myself as being on a par with the talented folks who will be submitting theirs. On the other hand, there were many styles of sketchbooks and why not? Don't I need to lighten up and live a little? At 50 do I still care if my peers think I'm a dork and a geek? (Answer is, often, yes). So in the light of getting over myself I am submitting my little sketchbook this week (the deadline is the 31st). It will be out there for others to mock, ignore or enjoy as they will.

Sketchbook pages 3 and 4

The theme of my book is Travel with Me. There was a choice and I chose to take my little book along with me to France this summer. As you can see from the pages I'm posting, mine is a cross between journal and scrap book with a few awkward sketches thrown in. I rebound the book and added additional sheets of paper, some from recycled paper items and a few from purchased sheets. At this point, I need to say, "It is what it is" and release it. I'm in the process of putting on the finishing touches and will likely post more scans in the next few days.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cold Seats

Cold Seats

Bikes and snow don't mix all that well.

For Photo Sunday: Winter.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Winter is Here

Mountain of Glass

Well, worries about global warming aside, winter has arrived a few weeks late, but here at last. We've had our second heavy snowfall of the month and temperatures are in the 20's (Farenheit that is, for people who live in the rest of the world). I went to the University of Chicago campus to look for a few good pictures and here is what I came up with.

Bench and Ornamental Grass

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Play with Your Food

Kiss Me, Maybe

I was thinking of taking a food macro for a photo meme and realized I had access to an unusual but interesting background material--fresh snow! So I grabbed some candy in a pretty dish, and a few veggies and ran outside. Unfortunately my green pepper didn't come out well but here are my two best images.

Warty Gourd

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

After the Storm

After the Storm

All that snow makes for a lovely picture (and cold fingers).

Monday, January 16, 2012

Derivative Art or Homage a Irving Penn

I admit it, I'm bored. I hate going out this time of year and am at the tail end of a long weekend. Don't take me wrong--I like being off work but these winter days are so dreary! I don't feel all that sociable either.
So, I've been looking for a few photography memes to play with and found Photoblog Challenges. This month one of the challenges is to imitate another photographer's work and since I've found myself interested in still life photography of late, I surfed the internet looking for photos to mimic.
Given the winter shortage of fresh flowers and green leaves and my desire to imitate on a budget, the number of choices wasn't all that large. I did discover a new photographer (new to me that is) by the name of Irving Penn. They do say that imitation is the best form of flattery so here is my version of one of his still life photos.

Homage a Irving Penn

For his original, you will need to go to this site or do your own internet search.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Visual relief from winter

Wild Hibiscus

Growing wild in the Bahamas.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Danger de Mort!

Danger de Mort

I believe this is warning fisherman not to get their lines caught in the live wires which were, incidentally, at least 20 feet up in the air. Electrocuting oneself would have been quite a feat.

For See It Sunday--theme "danger."

Global Snowing


Well, winter was a little late in arriving but it's here! We get to participate in all those delightful activities such as making puddles on the floor of the house with melting snow, listening to the anti-lock brakes go as your car slips on ice and, of course, my personal favorite--shoveling! Fortunately fresh snow is pretty enough to almost make up for the hassles.

Snowy Yew


Of course if you don't like winter you can always make like a cat.

Napping Cat

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Shadows on a wall

My son and I were playing with our shadows on a walk we took over vacation. Three to six inches of snow heading my way today. I miss the sun.
Our weather reports are increasingly histrionic. No snowpocalypse comments, after all six inches is quite manageable, but the report I read included such phrases as: "extremely hazardous travel conditions," "very slippery roadway conditions and very poor visibility," and "plummeting temperatures, snow, howling winds and blowing snow." Aack, we're all going to die!

Beware of the Shadow

I've my 35 minute each way commute today under these terrible, very dangerous, frightfully frightful conditions. I'll let you know tomorrow if I survived. Have a nice day. S

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sea shells by the sea shore

All in a Row

I collected these on the beach in the Bahamas. The picture had no color to speak of so I adjusted it to black and white. The animal is a mollusc known colloquially as Flamingo Tongue. Its scientific name is Cyphoma gibbosum. I actually saw one of these feeding on a sea fan while I was snorkeling. Alive, they are gorgeous but I didn't have a camera to capture how they look. They look sort of white with orange and black polka dots. I can't do justice to them so if you're curious do a brief image search on line.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Warm Place for a Nap

 I already told you, no napping on my laptop

Just my cat being cute.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Mangled Money

Mangled Money

I'm rambling from past to present with my posts but bear with me.
We left the Bahamas the day after Christmas which was a holiday. We had time on our hands between the ferry from Great Guana Island to the airport in Marsh Harbor and nothing local seemed to be open. Our taxi driver suggested we go to this little cafe just outside of Marsh Harbor International Airport--one of the smallest airports you'll ever see that claims (truthfully) that it is international. It was one room with customs, immigration, baggage and ticketing all mixed up in and outside the building. On boarding a sign notified passengers that conch shells had to be checked in luggage not carried on the plane. I had to ask. It occurred to me that if they weren't well cleaned they might stink up the cabin but it turns out they might be used as a weapon. Who would've thunk it?

Penalty Imprisonment X Months $XXX Fine
Sign in airport declares: "Penalty Imprisonment: X Months $XXX Fine."

At any rate our cabbie told us that her mother worked there and that we should mess with her by calling her by her first name when we walked in. We did so and she gave us a funny look, then said: "You met my mom." I think this gives one a feel for how small town the Bahamian islands feel.
Anyway we had breakfast/lunch at the cafe which was plastered with ornamented cash from prior diners. I found cash from multiple locations in South America as well as the expected US and Bahamian dollars. What fun. The food was "interesting." I ordered (for the experience) grits and tuna hoping for fresh fish. What I got was grits and a ball of tuna salad. I wouldn't especially recommend it. I should have ordered the fried plantains.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Out and About

Golden Angel
January 2008

I'm trying to get back to touring Chicago looking for the perfect(?) shot. Too often I get the feeling of "been there, done that" which I think is beside the point with photography. To continue the theme of past and present, here are three pictures of a nearby Chicago small church. The church added an awning since the first photo. I am puzzled by the words on the awning under the church's name. It says: "The church where Jesus is bigger than that?" I'm at a loss.

Golden Angel
October 2008

Golden Angel
January 2012

Note the first and last photos were both taken in January. Where's the snow this month? 36 degrees this morning and we've had weather in the 50's this week. Everyone is talking about global warming. We're also all going for walks.

Friday, January 06, 2012

Two Old Doors

Two Doors

I loved this image when I took in in 2007 back when I was just starting to take pictures. I still like the look of these two doors so I went back to them a few days ago. I'll be saddened when they are repaired or the building is torn down.

Two old doors

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Old Houses

Post Office Hill Road Junction
Vermont in the summer.

Fixer Upper
Bahamas in winter.

H is for Home for Sale
Chicago in winter

Gotta run to work now. Stay warm wherever you are.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Winter Begone

White Sands, Blue Sea, Blue Sky

Happy me--I spent a week with my family in the Bahamas for break. It wasn't a very wired trip so I didn't post for the duration but I did take a lot of photos. I will share a few with a tale or two now and maybe more as the week progresses.

Peeking Lizard

To begin with, we stayed on a small (10 mile long) island in the Abacos, called Great Guana Cay. Initially I thought "Guana" was the same as "Guano" which seemed a bad start but actually Guana is a name of a lizard. Although we did see a couple of small lizards, they weren't the highlight of our trip. As might be expected that was the beach! I'm a bit of a gourmand for beaches but this was pretty special. The sand was as soft and fine as anywhere I've walked on and the water was so many shades of blue that I wouldn't know words for them. The camera definitely doesn't do it justice.

The Beach

It is still winter in the Bahamas so temperatures varied from chilly, with a stiff wind, to balmy, sleeping with the windows open. After being home in Chicago for 4 days I especially miss the windows open part. I get cold easily so the one day we took a boat trip to a snorkeling preserve I actually wore a short wet suit and still found it cold. My memory of my last trip to the Bahamas (my honeymoon 22 years ago) was much warmer weather and water but of course that was in September.
The island was quiet--only 150 or so permanent residents and not too many tourists when we were there--and only accessible by ferry. Mostly residents walk or drive around in golf carts. We rented a cart one day and the kids had fun driving it. We tried to explore that day to both ends of the island but found that each is occupied by an exclusive club and is closed to the public. One end apparently houses a number of celebrities, we heard tell of Martha Stewart and Matt Damon. Apparently riffraff such as ourselves are not invited.