Friday, April 30, 2010

Big Red Ball - Chicago

About two years ago, Chicago artist Kurt Perschke brought his Big Red Ball worldwide tour to Chicago. Ok, seemed like a scam to me, but Stephie's senior high school class came down to see it and talk to the artist, so I showed up to listen in. They put the ball in random spots in and around Chicago and people would wander by and wonder what the heck was going on. I liked the colors so I took a shot. Can you guess the location? As a public service, I will mention that if you see a ball bouncing down the street while driving, red or otherwise, always look for a kid running after it.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Cattle Crossing -- Champaign County

You never know where you will find strange and interesting shots. This one was taken on a road trip home from seeing my son in Champaign. Took Rt 45 home rather than the old boring I55. By the way, it was really tough getting that horse in the background to get into a proper pose. Enjoy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

California State Route 1

I mentioned it before and I will probably say it again, you have to find an excuse to drive down California State Route 1 along the Pacific Coast. Just a beautiful drive. This shot was taken during my ride in early 2009 from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Great ride, but keep your eyes on the road. You don't want to see those waves up close!!!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Colorful Chicago

Lots of color in this shot in the park area just in front of Navy Pier. Great place for the tourists to get a beautiful view of Chicago.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Greatest Sport -- Andy in Memphis

Most of my shots are of places, but I thought I would post a shot I took of Andy Hawthorne, a top 10 professional racquetball player that Michael and I trained with a few years back. This shot was taken at the US Open Racquetball Championships in Memphis. Caught him in mid-dive, something that I have never been able to do for some reason. Anyway, I am in the finals of the Men's 50+ Open Regional Championships tomorrow and I hope this shot brings me good luck. So, good luck to Andy next season, and hope his training pays off tomorrow!!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Original Starbucks -- Seattle

I don't have interest in this one, but my wife and daughters visit Starbucks a lot. I was out driving for an early morning meeting in Seattle and I drove by this old Starbucks in a touristy area near downtown Seattle. I guessed, correctly, as it later turned out, that this must be the original Starbucks. Anyway, took a shot for my wife and bought her an original Starbucks mug. They sure have a lot of Starbucks and coffee shops in general in Seattle. On that block alone, there was at least 4 other coffee shops right nearby.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Summer Palace--Beijing

This is a shot of a walkway in the Summer Palace just outside of Beijing. With the trees and shade and the cool breezes coming off of the lake behind me, this area was a welcome reprieve from the hot Beijing summers for the Chinese ruling families.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Boston Street Scene

Love these little smart cars. Like to put one in the back of my SUV one day. :) Actually, I think you should be allowed to park a Smart Car anywhere you want, just like a bike. Great area to visit in Boston, by the way, is the Back Bay area. Lovely buildings and wonderful restaurants, shops and bars. I also nominate the Marriott Hotel at the Copley Center as the best hotel sports bar in America. At least 30 TVs with complete sports packages.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

March of the Torches -- San Juan

This statue celebrates a story of how a priest led the children and women out of the town of San Juan when it was under attack by the British. The British saw all the torches and thought the town was being reinforced and withdrew, even through they had actually won the engagement. Anyway, interesting story and beautiful view of the fort from the hill. San Juan is actually a separate island and the island of Puerto Rico is across the bay in the far distance.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Winter Stream -- Boulder Colorado

While the last cool days (hopefully) of spring pass us by, I thought I would post one last shot of Old Man Winter, with this picture of a stream in Boulder Colorado. Not much of a shot, but I walked down to this stream in my suit while waiting to give a talk at a restaurant right nearby. My traveling companion thought he was going to have to fish me from the river and give the speech on his own.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Navy Pier Ferris Wheel

Did you know that the first Ferris Wheel was debuted in Chicago at the World's Fair in 1892? The new one at Navy Pier is a worthy replacement.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Korean War Memorial -- Washington Mall

Took this shot in 2006 when visiting the Washington Mall. Really liked the realism of the Korean War Memorial with these 19 soldiers coming out of the trees near the Lincoln Memorial.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Three in Beijing

Saw this shot of three visitors to the Ming Temple in Beijing. Liked the spacing and the colors. Turned out to be one of my favorite shots from our China trip.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Beautiful spring day -- Dallas

Missed the last two days of posts as my traveling computer decided it didn't really want to connect to the internet. Looks like I will have to upgrade soon. In any case, we have a beautiful early spring day here in Naperville, so I thought I would post a shot I took last week from the Dallas Arboretum. Anyone know what kind of flowers these are? I took some pictures of the flower signs, but this grouping didn't have a sign associated with them? Anyway, lots of great color for a nice spring day.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Fallteration of Reality

Got lots of nice responses from the recent motion shots so I thought I would throw another one out there. You are going to have to click on the link and then on the picture itself to see the fall colors in motion with this shot. This time, instead of moving the camera lens, I used motion created by the liquefy filter in Photoshop. Thought it looked kinda cool and represented the nice fall windy days that we see here in Chicago. The surreality of the shot makes it looks like one of my daughter Stephanie's paintings.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Ferns in Motion -- El Yunque Rain Forest

Lots of ferns around in the El Yunque Rain forest, but it is hard to get an interesting shot as there is so much clutter messing up the shot. Your eye and brain can sort it out, but with a camera shot, often it just looks too busy. Thought I would try a zoom/motion shot to get the sunlight coming through the ferns to the forest bottom. I pointed the camera straight up, looking for sunlight streaming through the cover. Set your exposure, and zoom all the way in with as slow a shutter speed as you can get with the sunlight coming in. Doesn't have to be perfect as you are going to zoom out during the shot. This shot was taken at 1/5th a second. The end result is color trailing through the shot. Take an couple and maybe one turns out interesting. Thought that was the case here. Enjoy.

Friday, April 9, 2010

El Yunque Rain Forest -- Puerto Rico

El Yunque is the only tropic rain forest in the United States. It is also the smallest national park of the US Forest Service but it has more diversity in plant and animal life than any other park in the system. This shot was taken while standing under a canopy of ferns. Got lucky with a sunny day while visiting last week as it rains over 200 days a year.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Ponte Vecchio Bridge--Florence

Florence is of my favorite places in the whole world. Can't wait to visit it again. Lots of photographic possibilities. Lots of history. The Ponte Vecchio bridge is particularly interesting, having been built in the 1350's. Originally it had lots of butcher shops on it but the smells bothered the local prince so he banished the meat cutters to another part of town. Since then, it has mostly held small jewelry shops, a tradition which continues through today. The allies agreed not to bomb the bridge during WWII, a great gift to future generations. Hope you all get to see it one day too.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Two Winning Shots

Coke Machine -- Honorable Mention

New York Rise Against -- Award

Two of my photos won awards (out of four that were submitted) at the Chicago Area Camera Club Association (CACCA) Spring Salon. CACCA is an association of camera clubs in the Chicagoland area. I am a member of the Naperville club. In March CACCA sponsors a Spring Salon (a juried show), where club members and the general public may enter their prints, slides and digital projected images in various divisions. At the end of the year there are judgings held for the best prints, slides and digital images of the Year. My shot of the Coke machine (posted on this blog on February 3rd) won an honorable mention and my shot of New York 8th street (originally posted on February 11) won an award. Pretty cool for my first photo contest. Normally, urban shots don't score very high as CACCA seems to go more for landscapes in exotic places. Anyway, a nice piece of recognition.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Its a new season

Here is the shot that I wanted to post yesterday, but was unable as I was on the road. Hopefully, tomorrow, weather permitting, I will be able to attend a game in person. Always love the start of a new season. Now 161 games left and anything can happen. I think this shot is from the Cubs - Sox game from 2006. Always a great weekend series to see the two Chicago teams going at it--especially if the southsiders come away with the win.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dallas Arboretum--Flowers In Motion

Opening day today (Sox Win, Sox Win) and I am stuck in Dallas and missed the game. Oh well, drove by the Dallas Arboretum and took a few shots. The Arboretum in Dallas is ranked as one of the 15 top Arboretum's in the world and it was quite spectacular. After taking lots and lots of static flower shots, some of which you will see here in future posts, I took a few while moving the zoom to get a sense of motion. I thought for some reason, this shot looked pretty cool. Kinda gives you a bit of motion sickness. You want some of the picture sharp, so it is a fine line you walk with motion shots. Hope you like it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Gallery Inn--Old San Juan

I stayed at a part bed-and-breakfast, part art gallery called the Gallery Inn in Old San Juan. The place was incredibly decorated with sculptures done by the owner, Jan D'Esopo in a 600 year old series of buildings connected by stairways going up and down in all kinds of directions. The antiques and heirloom artifacts were sometimes freaky, sometimes wonderful in this strange hotel. My bathroom was down the hall from my room and no TVs. A definite change from the Marriott's I usually frequent.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Old San Juan

They have an unusual building code in Old San Juan. Your building must have a different color from any building to either side. Windows and doors must generally be highlighted by white. In return for keeping this building code, you are exempt from paying property tax. The area ends up being very colorful and great for the tourist trade. Eventually, they plan on turning the whole area, about a mile square on each side, into a no car zone. Would make a great area even better.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Old Guitarist--The Old Accordionist

Well, I thought they looked alike. The Old Guitarist is of course, a famous Pablo Picasso painting from his blue period. A couple of days ago, it occurred to me that my shot from San Juan was a little similar. Are they? Let me know.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Cerveza Fria Time-- St. Croix

I only had 24 hours in St. Croix and I had meetings and sleep take up most of that. It is tough to get to St. Croix. Have to go through Miami or Charlotte and it is an all day affair. Left the house at 6 am and got to the beach by the hotel just in time to see the sun set. Just time enough for one cold one to end the day and take this shot. Wasn't able to get a lot of picture time, but have to find a way back to St. Croix for some real R&R. Seems like a fun place.