Thursday, February 4, 2010

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Lights and Shadow

Just off the popular and touristy Ramblas in Barcelona, Spain, lies a wonderful and elegant plaza known as the Placa Reial. The large open space with palm trees and lampposts designed by famed architect, Antoni Gaudi, provides a respite from the hawkers and souvenir vendors along the Ramblas.

Surrounding the plaza are arched walkways fronting the stores, taverns and restaurants. Some walkways are filled with tables for outdoor dining ranging from take-away resting spots to white tablecloths.

While walking through the plaza I noticed the repetition of the shadows on the columns created by the sun shining behind the hanging light fixtures. It took a few return trips to the Placa Reial to capture the shot I envisioned, but I think it was worth the wait.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Cowboy in Baja Mexico

Earlier this year, I spent two weeks traveling in a circle at the tip of the Baja California peninsula of Mexico from La Paz to Todos Santos to San Jose del Cabo. The three locations provided wonderful variety from the largest city in Baja to a quaint small town with a thriving artist colony to a town full of resorts and tourists.

The Mexican cowboy plied the beaches outside the resorts in San Jose del Cabo leading three horses while keeping a lookout for potential customers. Jewelery vendors, jet ski operators and others were frequently seen on the beach, but nowhere near as annoying as the relentless time-share salespeople in Cabo San Lucas.

Still healing from a broken hip, I had a great excuse for not hopping into the saddle -- maybe next time.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Blurred Golf Ball

Last summer, I thought it would be interesting to try attaching a camera to a golf club and swinging to see what kind of blur effects could be achieved. First off I should confess that I am not a golfer, just married to one.

I briefly considered using a club from a set my husband purchased recently, but then decided that a Bogen clamp screwed tightly could dent a club and found an old one in the basement to use instead. Creating art is important, but so is a harmonious marriage.

Swinging a club with an SLR camera attached was challenging as the camera weight threw off the balance of the swing and fluidity of motion, and trying to fire the cable release at the same time required more than my usual coordination. Still it was fun to play around the with the shutter speed and swing. Posted here is one of the photos where most of the blur occurs around the golf ball.

Friday, February 6, 2009

DeKalb - Barbed Wire Capitol

For years I've driven the Ronald Reagan Memorial Highway, (I-88), and only stopped in DeKalb, llinois to visit the bathroom at the tollway oasis which is a "must" when heading west. In spring of 2008, I headed to the home of Northern Illinois University to roam around and see if the city was more than a college town.

Little did I know that DeKalb was home to Joseph Glidden, the inventor of the most popular barbed wire fencing which was key to the development of the western half of the United States. The home and barn built in 1861 are featured in the photo here, and can be toured a few Sundays during the summer months.

A visit to the Ellwood House Museum and Victorian mansion give a sense of how much money was made by the inventors and manufacturers of this fencing material. The museum's second floor features samples of many designs which were patented and manufactured.

While in town, check out the Egyptian Theater and drive a section of the Lincoln Highway, America's first transcontinental highway.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Barcelona Geese Guard

For many, many years, 13 geese have served as an alarm system in the cloisters of the Cathedral of Barcelona. The strutting white fowl are there in memory of Eulalia, Barcelona's patron saint and the patron saint of sailors. As a 13 year old girl, she was tortured 13 times for her faith before being crucified in 304. Her tomb now rests below the high altar in the cathedral sanctuary.

The geese take full advantage of their celebrity status by accepting handouts, posing for photos and strutting about with beaks in the air. In the cloister garden, atop a fountain, is a statue of St. George slaying the dragon, and also a public restroom that is easy to miss.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Lurie Garden in Millennium Park

Native spring wildflowers blooming in Millennium Park's Lurie Garden provide a wonderful contrast to the architectural marvels of the Pritzker Pavilion and the Hancock building.