Friday, December 29, 2006

Marshall Fields and Christmas Memories

Holiday treks from Springfield, Illinois to Marshall Fields' State Street store were highlights of my childhood. Lunch with my family in the Walnut Room and the Christmas tree seemingly seven stories tall towering over us are precious memories. Toys of every shape and size and more than I had ever seen in one store amazed me.

When the news story broke in September 2006 that the name would be changed, I was surprised at the sadness I felt. While the landmark clock and Marshall Fields plaque remain on the building, the name on the chain of stores purchased by the Federated Department Stores was changed to Macy's.

This Christmas the Frango mints could still be found, the tree reigned again in the Walnut Room and the decorated store windows enchanted children as they had me so many years ago, but it wasn't the same.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Toughest Shoot of the Year

The Karpeles family has a long-standing tradition of non-traditional family photos for our Christmas cards. From shadows on a soccer field, to bare feet sticking through a pile of leaves, to a rowboat on the ground in the backyard, we are challenged each year to come up with a new idea.

This year's concept of chair-ishing your loved ones came from Ryan -- the senior in college with a marketing major. Using an exposure setting of a 10-second delay and a cable release, I manage to jump into position most of the time. But as I'm not behind the camera, I can't keep an eye on what the rest of the family is actually doing when the shutter releases. There have been a few surprises over the years...

Uncooperative subjects voicing complaints about how many shots are taken and how many variations are required are heard annually. I still hold out hope that one day they will look back with fond memories of the family Christmas card production. But until then, "Shut up and smile!"

Thursday, December 14, 2006

San Miguel Street Sign

As a participant in the Santa Fe Workshop , "Digital Travel Photography", taught by well-known photographer, Nevada Wier, in October 2006, I had the opportunity to wander the marvelous streets of San Miguel de Allende with my camera.
Colorful buildings, Colonial architecture and friendly people provide fantastic photo opportunities. Narrow streets and sidewalks create limited parking spaces. Sign in Spanish saying "No Parking Both Sides", appear quite frequently in the heart of the city.
Stay tuned for more photos and stories from San Miguel de Allende.

Friday, December 8, 2006

Keep Austin Weird

My second visit to Austin confirmed my initial reaction -- Austin isn't really Texas. Though one can feast on mighty fine barbecue and quench a thirst from a long-necked bottle, the dearth of cowboy hats and pick-up trucks makes one ask, "Am I really in Texas?" But if live music, quirky fashion and vintage boutiques stir your soul, this is the city for you.