[Taken November 2004 | Chinese Lanterns| San Francisco, CA]
Happy Chinese New Year! Those of you who have any firecrackers left over from the Dec 31/Jan 1 celebartions might as well light them off today.
This year is the year of the Dog.
[Taken 19 June 2005 | Graffiti in the Alley | Ann Arbor, MI]
There is some really great graffiti in Ann Arbor, especially in the alleys around the Michigan Theater on Liberty. Sometimes you can see the Michael Jackson Man around there too, giving his performances, but not on the day I took this...
The Michael Jackson Man is this skinny black dude, age uncertain, who basically does all of these 1980s Michael Jackson dance moves. He never says anything, or at least I have never heard him say anything, he just plays 1980s Michael Jackson hits on a huge old 1980s style boombox and dances. He is pretty good.
Ahh, Ann Arbor. How I do miss it at times....
[Taken 19 June 2005 | Empty Shell | Ann Arbor, MI]
This building on Main Street was being renovated last summer, and said renovation apparently involved the total demolition of everything except for the front facade of the building.
I wonder what it looks like now... Were the renovations ever finished? What is in it? A restaurant? Shops? Cool little apartments?
[Taken 1 July 2005 | Red Brick Building | Philadelphia, PA]
When I took this photo over six months ago, I didn't think too much of it. Today when I was going through some of my older folders of images I found it appealing. Something to do with the colors and the quality of the light and the funky odd angles... This is why I don't like to ditch any of my "negatives" unless there is something technically wrong with them (like being out of focus, way over exposed, or way under exposed) I never know when I may find an image attractive that I wasn't terribly impressed with at the time that I took it.
Historical fun fact: The Vatican Swiss Guard was founded 500 years ago today. (Thank you, NPR.) I remember seeing them in their bright red and blue (Costume design by Michaelangelo... painter, sculptor, fashion designer... is there anything that the guy didn't do?) pantaloons with their long pikes when I visited Vatican City during high school. Alas, all of the photos that I took during that trip seem to have vanished into the mists of time. Guess that means that I will just have to go back someday, now that I have a better filing system for my images. Heh.
[Taken 28 December 2005 | Tree in the Cox Arboretum | Dayton, OH]
[Taken 15 January 2006 | Wegrzyn Gardens | Dayton, OH]
Another toy camera I got for Christmas is a Holga 120N. So far I like this camera a heck of a lot more then the Lomo. The above image is one off of the first roll that I shot with the Holga. The primary drawback to the Holga is that it takes 120 film (medium format) and you can usually only get between 12 and 16 shots off of a 120 roll.
[Taken 27 December 2005 | Lomo tree, first attempt| Dayton, OH]
One of the toy cameras I got for Christmas was a lomo action sampler. Basically, it is a little plastic camera that has four lenses rather then one, so that when you take a photo the four lenses go off one after another and you get a funky looking image like the one above. Because the lenses go off in a sequence, it is supposed to be extra good for capturing action shots (hence the moniker "action sampler").
I don't really know if I am happy with it. I don't really know if I like it yet.
First, there is only a very rudimentary viewfinder, so you can't really tell if you are actually taking a photo o what you think you are taking a photo of. Which bugged me. I like to be able to compose my shots. Second, and to me this is the worst of the lomo's two offenses, nothing is in focus. If you look at the above photo, the bottom two images are kind of in focus (the bottom right is the closest to being actually "in focus") but the top two are nowhere near being even vaguely in focus. Which I really don't think I like. Now. Some of this focus/no focus issue might be the result of some shitty printing on the part of the camera store I took the film in to be developed at. Maybe the negatives themselves are fine. But I really can't tell because my scanner is not letting my scan the negatives for some unknown reason. (Plus, I can't find the negative holder for my scanner anywhere... which might be part of the problem.) Aaaarrggghhh!!! Frustrating. So frustrating.
I will give the lomo at least another roll of film (it takes standard 35mm) before I decide if I like it or not...
Honestly, it is the focus issue that I am having the most trouble with. I can handle a little bit of uncertainty about what I am shooting, if I could only be sure that it was at least going to be in focus.
[Taken November 2004 | The World's End | Edinburgh, Scotland]
[Taken 18 December 2005 | Oberon | Springboro, OH]
Happy Friday the 13th!
Look out for the black cat!
[Taken 26 November 2005 | Light fixture| Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland, OH]
Beautiful day today... beautiful and totally unseasonable. When I came home for lunch I just left my jacket behind when I went back to work. Afterall, it was in the 50s and I was wearing a merino wool top. What did I need a jacket for? Not that I wish to sound overly critical of a nice, sunny, clear day... but this is January. Shouldn't a nice sunny, clear day involve a little bit of snow at this time of the year? Gotta be that global warming....
[Taken 9 December 2005 | Katy Anaya | Centerville, OH]
I have been really getting into working with high contrast, high saturation images lately...
A lump of bright orange silly putty has become my new favorite desk toy at work... I can smush it, stretch it, squeeze it, shape it, and let it ooze all over other stuff on my desk and it bounces back every time.
Note to self: obtain more silly putty!
[Taken 28 October 2005 | The path to the top of Clingman's Dome | Great Smoky Mountains National Park]
Since I wasn't able to go see my folks for Christmas, they came to me. This weekend my parents and two of my brothers drove down to Dayton for dinner and a visit. Other then when John's folks and my folks came down in the summer to help us move in, this is the most guests we have ever had, as well as the first overnight guests.
We had reservations at Bravo for dinner... and I am glad that we had reservations. Even with reservations, we still had to wait about 20 minutes for a table to open up for us. As we were being seated, I could hear the hostess telling one unlucky couple who had come in without a reservation that the wait time was 2 hours. Ouch. I don't think I have ever seen a restaurant that crowded, even in Ann Arbor on game days.
After dinner we all played Scrabble (3 teams of 2 since Scrabble only allows for 4 players) while we sipped some wine and nibbled on cheese and crackers.
A very nice evening. A very nice visit.
John and I both got some very nice belated Christmas presents. One of mine was the book The Chronicles of Narnia which contained the unabridged copies of all seven of the Narnia stories. I read it (the whole thing) on Sunday. Granted... none of the Narnia tales are much over 100 pages and they are all quick reads. Still. That is 700+ pages. Perhaps I ought to have savored it rather then devouring it in a single day? Nah. :)
[Taken 28 October 2005 | Sunset on snowy pine trees | Great Smoky Mountains National Park]
[Taken 25 December 2005 | Water Droplets | Dayton, OH]
[Taken 19 December 2005 | Snow | Dayton, OH]
The holidays are over. John and I took down the tree yesterday. The ornaments and lights are packed up in boxes until next year. The tree itself is currently on the back patio, hopefully drying out. Our neighborhood might do something where you can drag your old tree to the vurb and have someone haul it away for you, but since John and I plan on hacking our apart and burning it in the fireplace, we will not be availing ouirselves of any such service.
Today I vacuumed up the aproxamitly 5,000 pine needles that the tree left behind... a huge pile in the library and a trail through the front hall, through the kitchen, and out the back door. It was like one of those commercials where the salesman dumps a whole bunch of shit on the floor, and then some housefrau vacuums it all up while exclaiming loudly over the miraculous properties of the vacuum. Except that I don't exclaim over my vacuum... it is old and doesn't always suck so well anymore.
[Taken 4 September 2005 | The Chocolate Cafe | Ann Arbor, MI]
So. Happy New Year.
John and I went to The Melting Pot, a rather swanky fondue place, with Sarah and Mike for a late dinner. (Mmmm.... cheese....) I suppose that it is now far enough past the 70s that fondue can be considered to be swanky, rather then cheesy (pun not entirely intended).
I guess, I didn't have to get as dressed up as I did... red silk dress, vintage pearl earrings, vintage crystal choaker, vintage cynnabar bracelet, vintage ring, 1940s mink jacket... (yes, I was going for the classy, vintage look) but I really wanted to. How often am I going to get a chance to wear the mink? This is the first time I wore it out since I got it over Thanksgiving, and I think that it may be a while before I get to wear it again.
After dinner we went back to Mike and Sarah's house to toast the new year and watch the ball drop on TV. It just isn't the same without Dick Clark.
All in all, a good New Year.
Resolutions? I am still working on those.....