Thursday, October 29, 2009

sometimes nothing goes according to plan

In my last post, I promised photos from the golf cart parade. Of course, all the golf carts were broken and there was no parade.

I wanted to go shooting during the golden hour/around sunset but when we drove east, we drove right into the rain clouds.

I feel kind of like this right now:
wake up exhausted
It's cold and rainy and gray in my field of view but I can see the sky and the flowers.

Occasionally, things need to go 'wrong' so that I can appreciate when they go 'right'. I got all my submissions into University Press on time. I'm currently part of some of the funniest 'interoffice correspondence' I've ever seen in my life. (And yes, I realize I'm not part of any office, nor do I really wish to be.)

This is my home away from home.
sunset over the HC
Even when there are icky gray days and I can't always see this, I need to remember that Jupiter has the potential for some really amazing sunsets. This is the view I have most evenings when I'm on my way to dinner.

And if everything went "according to plan", there would be no reason for innovation and creativity.
cradled wish
Today wasn't a complete disappointment for me. I can only hope this post doesn't disappoint any of you.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

the best way to see magic is to make it

I know I'm supposed to be working on homecoming photos and/or homework but I couldn't resist doing something absolutely brave and uncharacteristic: experimenting. Sadly, my dorm room isn't big enough to build myself a darkroom but I do have Photoshop and a crazy imagination.

I've recently been itching to play with a tilt-shift lens (which is funny, considering I have a Lensbaby) but they are so far out of my price range. Once I realized I couldn't afford one, I decided to see if I could imitate one. After reading a few tutorials, gazing lovingly at other people's shots, and pricing out a lens, just in case, I decided to plunge in.

I am by no means an expert at photography or Photoshop. That being said, I occasionally enjoy trying to piece together how to use what I have to achieve what I see. In this case, I decided to use multiple layers of blur with a reflected gradient to try to mimic the way the focus gradually decreases in 'bands'. (By the way, I cannot describe for the life of me what I was trying to attempt. I figure since this blog is read mostly by people who know very little about photography, I can eschew technical terms in favor of easy-to-understand words.)

tilt shift beach
In case anyone was curious about the photo, this is Kevin doing his best imitation of me, circa June 2008.

Tomorrow, I'm covering the golf cart parade for University Press so I will be resuming my regularly scheduled homecoming coverage.

homecoming? I'm already home

Please forgive the rediculous title. I'm running on very little sleep in an attempt to be productive and the first thing to go is the filter that stops me from making terrible jokes.

Sunday night, homecoming week officially kicked off with a 'decorate the Burrow' event.
decorate the burrow
I feel that these photos are pretty much self-explanatory.

Monday night (can I still say 'tonight' if I haven't slept yet?) was the homecoming carnival and it was fan-freaking-tastic. That isn't even a word but I'm so excited, I'm going to use it anyway.
homecoming carnival
Highlights include (from left to right):
-the swing ride
-Owlsley, our beloved burrowing owl mascot
-pieing our peers for donations to Invisible Children
-Candice's excited dancing (which I have to draw attention to, since I used it in the collage)
and, of course, the glider ride that made me really dizzy. But it looks so pretty all lit up.

Even though it looks like I was working hard the entire time, I promise I chose to have a little fun too. In between taking photos and collecting info for my captions (which I'll write once I've slept and can form a coherent sentence again), I managed to ride the rides.
retro love
I'm pretty sure the entire day can be summed up by this photo. I have my camera in my arms, my boy next to me, and I'm flying! I must be home.

Monday, October 26, 2009

I prefer tricks to treats, any day of the week

Dearest 'home', whomever you are--
Please look forward to seeing lots of post, most of which will contain massive amounts of typos and sound like a monkey with a typewriter wrote them. Homecoming week has begun and I am covering it for University Press. I am the only photographer covering the Jupiter campus so I will be getting intimately acquainted with deadlines and the crazy hour of 3am. There will be pictures and plenty of them but don't expect a coherent, cohesive narrative to accompany them.

That being said, because the homecoming game falls on Halloween, we had the Halloween ball early. And it was insane. I went as Peter Parker and carried my camera with me everywhere, which I feel lends an air of credibility to my costume. Yes, I said 'feels' as I am still thinking about why only a few people actually understood who I went as. As usual, there are very few photos of me all dressed up and I most likely won't post any of them here. (I can't say 'never' because then I'd have to eat my hat and I rather like my photojournalist hat.)

Halloween hat Doug
Note Doug, who went as Mary Jane, has stolen my hat. It is a lovely hat and I do not want to eat it.

My friends always have amazing costumes and this year was no exception.

Cassidy and Melinda went as my Peoples Around the World (anthropology reading).
Halloween Ball
Selale, Candice, and Gina took Alice in Wonderland to a new level of DIY greatness. (All three lovely ladies made their own costumes. I cannot even begin to describe how excited I am that they were willing to let me photograph them repeatedly.)
But the best group theme I saw all night was Rachel, Megan, and Val as three badass roller derby chicks.
roller derby girls

I'm not entirely sure whether I'll be going to the homecoming game or trick-or-treating. So just in case I go with school spirit, I am going to ask you now: trick or treat? I can only hope that someone will decide to trick me out of my room and treat me to some sort of adventure.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

welcome to paradise

I feel like I've been slacking lately in blogging. My course load this semester is killer and I feel like I'm always reading about bombing Vietnam or crunching numbers. I constantly feel like I’m running around, working myself too hard. So today, I took some time to just breathe...

welcome to paradise blog board

I don't think too many people know this but the deciding factors for me coming to the Honors College were the arboretum and the bougainvillea trellises. (Actually, I think the only person I who actually knew that was my mom.) I find that having access to gorgeous flowers and butterflies gives me a little something to be happy about, even when I'm stressed out. Let me amend that: having a place I can disappear into the plants for a while is an amazing way to destress in a hurry.

field of grain
playing in the garden
field of wishes

Anyway, today I took a walk in the late afternoon. Hello golden hour! For those of you who don’t speak photographer fluently, as the sun gets closer to the horizon, the light becomes a rich golden hue and looks absolutely stunning.

maple flare

The only thing I can think to say is "welcome to paradise."

Monday, October 19, 2009

sunflower weather

The weather right now is fantastic. The cold front has cooled it down just enough that the mornings are a tad chilly but the afternoon is perfect. Apparently I am not the only one who thinks this.
Susan sunflower 2
This is Susan. Susan is my friend Eva's sunflower and she has chosen this weather to bloom.
Susan sunflower and bee
The bees also appreciate the weather and buzz by lazily.
I wish the weather could stay this wonderful all the time. I also wish there were more sunflowers in my life.
Susan sunflower

Sunday, October 18, 2009

some nights all I do is watch the stars

Tonight was a gorgeous night. Between the cold front and the new moon, I just *knew* the stars would be lovely. Tonight is the kind of night that 'nightbeaching' is made for.
nightbeach 01
'Nightbeaching' is the term I use to describe going to the beach at night. Specifically, nightbeaching encompassing sitting in the sand and staring at the stars for as long as possible, usually while I'm waiting for a shooting star to wish on.
I was mildly disappointed to note that the only shooting star of the night occurred while I was facing slightly to the left of where it passed. Doug managed to wish on the star and I'm pretty sure he wished for a telescope or a dedicated astrophotography setup for me.
stars 01
And I did manage to capture a static star field, which is all I really wanted.

I also attempted to get some star trails but unfortunately, even with a new moon and the streetlights off for turtle nesting season, there was too much light pollution.
stars 02
stars 03
If you look carefully, you can see along the horizon the lights from Juno Beach. I never realized quite how bright the city lights are until I noticed the distinct orange glow. (I actually attempted to fix the overexposure that the light pollution caused. This is better. Can you imagine how orange my initial shot was? It made me sad.)

For as much as I love nightbeaching, I'd love to just be able to see the stars without any interfering light pollution. I once saw the Milky Way above me, like glitter spilled across the sky, and I wish I could see it again.

In the mean time, I enjoy laying on my back at the beach, staring at the stars. Paradise is only a ten minute drive from my dorm room.
nightbeach 02

Thursday, October 15, 2009

a light at the end of the tunnel

sunshine on my window diptych

I'm not sure if anyone else was curious as to why, shortly after announcing a sexy new lens found its way into my bag, I suddenly took a break from posting. I personally would assume that an individual in that situation would be shooting nonstop, followed by editing themselves into a coma but alas... I was writing an anthropology midterm instead.
The past few days have been spent at my desk in the pursuit of higher education. Everything has been dark, lit only by a finicky lamp that was dropped on location at a photo shoot. But now, there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
gazeebo sunburst
Oh, how I've missed sunshine.

At this point, I'm burnt out on words and feel that they're pretty superfluous anyway so enjoy a few sunny, cheerful shots to celebrate being thirteen pages closer to Thanksgiving.
wishing weeddune sunflower

Sunday, October 11, 2009

21 and invincible, meet nifty fifty

Yesterday was my twenty-first birthday. Somehow, I don't feel all that different. Surprisingly, Marjorie [my camera] spent the evening in her bag so I don't have any pictures from my party.

Instead, I have pictures to share of what happens when I finally get my dream lens.
50mm portrait
Basically, I hold people hostage to play with it.

Doug had the misfortune of having gorgeous eyes and being on the hammock during the afternoon golden hour.
nine in the afternoon
lazy hammock afternoon

I feel as though I should talk more about my birthday and being an adult or something but really, nothing had changed. Besides, I'm pretty excited about my nifty fifty and isn't that the only reason anyone reads this blog?

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Preston always seems to steal the show

Early this morning I posted about Kat for her birthday and my post uh... made her cry. I swear I didn't mean it! But it's true: Kat is a gorgeous person, inside and out.

I figured since I showed you Miss Kat, I might as well show you Mr. Preston. He is absolutely precious, albeit gigantic. I'm pretty sure he spent a year in the womb because he's entirely too big and too smart to be so young. Feel free to guess how old he is. You most likely won't be able to.

little bookworm
Seriously, he's not even one and he's already trying to read. Several times last night, we found him with one of mommy's books.

funny face
He has the most squishable cheeks ever. Everyone wants to eat him up. And not only are his cheeks pinchable, he also has those chubby thighs that make everyone female within a half mile radius want to hold him.

Personally, my favorite thing about him are his eyes.
om nom Preston
Aren't they gorgeous? If he looks me in the eye, I can't help but want to do anything/everything to protect and love him.

I don't have too many pictures of Derek [yet!] but the entire family is just so wonderful and I love to be around them. They make me all mushy and sentimental. Let's just say Kat and Derek made a precious little boy and a wonderful niche for all three of them to live in.

To the lovely dancing lights, I begged, "may I cut in?"

Yesterday was Kat's birthday. [I want to say 'today' because I haven't slept yet but it's no longer October 2nd.] I remember when she first found me on MySpace to tell me she saw me around campus and decided we should be best friends. A few months later, we moved in together and started making Odd Couple jokes. Yes, Kat is one of those people who cleans when she's stressed while my desk accumulates random paper. That is what makes us so great together. We are so alike in so many ways, yet we are just different enough to be able to carry on a conversation.

In honor of her twenty-third birthday, I brought her a balloon and told her I was giving her an impromptu photo shoot. I assume she was expecting it because she bought a new dress. Here are my three favorite shots from the night.
Kat birthday triptych
She looks absolutely gorgeous and I think anyone who knows her should go remind her. Usually, I see Miss Kat in comfortable clothes, playing on the floor with Mr. Preston. It's so nice to see her having a night off from being mommy to live up to her rock star potential.

Happy Birthday Kat! May you have many more and remember that you're still young, totally beautiful inside and out, and capable of everything.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

great things come to those who...

First of all, I finally sat down and made a pretty blog header. I'm still fidgeting with making the header the right size but I like it. And I changed the blog's color scheme to match-ish.

My twenty-first birthday is coming up and as resident photo dork, my wish list was very camera and Photoshop intensive. I specifically asked for some amazing MCP Actions and true to form, my aunt ordered them and Jodi sent them out immediately. I am a huge fan of instant gratification so I already tried them out on old photos.

I also got the free trial Totally Rad actions because I was torn between getting those or MCP. They're pretty sweet but I think I made the right decision for my workflow. [Ha! I sound like a grown-up.]

I guess my stance is that great things come to those who are ready to receive them. I can't say I worked hard specifically to get them because really, I used a template for my header and the Photoshop actions did not cost me anything. But I worked kind of hard to be at the point where I am ready for such awesome things in my life.

And when my 'nifty fity' [50 mm, f/1.8] lens gets here, I am going to work my ass off to get some amazing shots for the blog. A girl's got to give back.

And just to reward anyone who read all these words, here is my favorite lens flare [so far]:
tree flaregasm
I initially was trying to catch raindrops dripping off the trees but the sun came out and... *boom!*