Monday, February 15, 2010

The Wrong Type of Snow


Spent last Thursday hauling snow with this amazing architecturally minded man, Justin. Our original plan was to have a massive snowball fight at Belvadere Castle with 10+ people, but thanks to pretty much everyone we knew bailing, that plan never materialized. So instead Jaclyn, Pauline, Justin and I tried our hands at igloo making.

That's actually inaccurate; Justin and I tried our hands at igloo making. Jaclyn and Pauline just stood around looking pretty and documented the whole thing (and each other).


You'll note that we didn't actually create a proper igloo. This is because making an igloo is way more difficult than we had anticipated. It also didn't help that we ambitiously tried to make an igloo four feet in diameter. We did quite a lot of work in the time we spent doing it, although in the end we built more of a snow fort. We rationalized it by saying that snow forts are a lot like igloos, just with a very large skylight built into them.

Making a snow fort also has an advantage photographically: they're basically really big bounce boards!


All in all, it was an excellent and exhausting time. It felt good to play around in the most snow I've ever seen in the city, but it really took a lot out of me. Lifting 30+ pound blocks of ice can be pretty tiring, it turns out. To wrap up, a picture summing up my post-igloo-building experience:


Friday, February 12, 2010


Snow Burden

This.. I'm just... I think the puns.. it's a genetic problem..

St. Francis of Assisi

Wandered around the neighborhood during the snow storm this past week taking pictures of interesting accumulations. This statue of St. Francis in my old grammar school had a really cool robe of snow. It's almost reminiscent of those royal ermine robes that English kings used to wear (which St. Francis would totally not be ok with, being the patron saint of animals). If you click through there are three angles of it, and it's pretty cool how the different angles/framing convey a different feel for each one.

Cutting this one short for now. Snow forts and swings to come.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Abyssinia, Umbrella


I have a message: On Monday, January ... 25th ... a storm hit .. wrecking over 50 umbrellas. They spun out.

There were no survivors.



Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sea Port Views


Wandered into South Street Sea Port with the usual gang - Jaclyn, Pauline, Eugene - looking for photo locations in the absolutely BLISTERING cold. I used to love this kind of weather, but now that I'm taking pictures in it it's really a pain. We found a beautiful location at the South Street Sea Port Mall with the lit up bridges as great backgrounds. Wonderful as a place for photographs, not so wonderful for operating photographic equipment. Huge gusts of wind blowing lights around, cords needing to be velcrod down constantly, and standing right next to a big metal building (which screws with cheap radio trigger's signals) made things difficult from a technical standpoint. Had to weigh down stands with bags and wait for one out of eight frames trigger the flash (if that).


Despite all that, got some really nice frames of Pauline. She was great about standing in freezing temperatures and putting up with all my technical difficulties. Absolute trooper. Big thanks to her, Jaclyn and Eugene for sticking out there. Definitely visiting that location when it's a bit less.. below freezing.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

To Everything...


Sometimes a pun is so bad you have to go for it. I really apologize for that one, though.

Horrible jokes aside, these little terns were really good about being photographed. It was a chilly day at the beach in Florida. We'd managed to go during the coldest two-week period they'd had in decades, so the beaches were pretty barren and the birds were mostly huddled together for warmth. It was surprisingly easy to inch forward towards the birds until I got about 4 feet away from them, enough to fill the frame with them at 200mm.


This little guy was busily moving between big groups of gulls and terns like he had some really important business to be getting on with. I thought he was a baby gull at first, but later found out it was a plover (I also thought those terns were kingfishers; can you tell I live in a city?). He kept weaving in between birds four times his size at lightning speed, occasionally dipping his beak into the sand looking for whatever it is plovers are looking for in the sand. I like to think they're searching for buried treasure. Mostly because I think they'd look adorable with little eyepatches.

He moved so fast he even got into the foreground of a couple frames:


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Shaggy Dog Story

Mac Stare

One of the cooler parts of my trip was visiting my Aunt Marie and Uncle Bob and getting a chance to see their awesome little dogs, Mac (pictures above), Henry and Dylan (below).


Photographing them was a real challenge, especially because I wanted to work with a small 1.8 aperture. They're pure balls of energy, constantly moving around and going from perfectly posed to looking the wrong way in an instant. Patience payed off, though, and I got a couple really choice frames.

I also got a chance to take some video of Henry - by far the calmest of the three - taking a ride down a slide near my Aunt & Uncle's house. Had a lot of fun with those three furballs!

Everything Old Is New Again

My Future Watchdog

Probably the coolest actual place we went to in Florida was the Festival Flea Market. It's like all those big covered markets you see in the center of cities all over the world. Except instead of fresh produce and quality stuff it's watches, perfume and belts. Full of really old white people who don't quite know how to dress themselves. Lots of pleather and ill-fitting pants.

But right in the middle of the whole thing is a gigantic antique store, and as soon as I saw it I knew I was going to be all over it.

Moody Pearl Model

I could have easily spent a whole day in the place. It was full of all sorts of little curios and chotchkies. Drawers of interesting old jewelry, decrepit dress-forms and head wear from time's past.



Busy busy working on a whole bunch of bird pictures from Florida. Expect a punny Hitchcock reference post sometime during the week.