Archive for category Travel
After spending a few days in Palm Springs I spent a day in Los Angeles with my dear friend Jasmine. Practically a native herself, she showed me around the city and took me to the Getty museum where I put my camera to good use.
A quick word, all of these images are on flickr to see them in their larger state.
I didn’t have my macro lens with me, so trying to get a good picture of all the bees on the flowers was largely unsuccessful. But when I was reviewing the images I realized that this one captures the bee and the barest hint of a spider’s web. I had to crop it in quite a bit to provide focus to an otherwise lackluster picture, but the result was interesting. Because I’m still reliant on autofocus the focus is completely on the stem of the flower rather than the bee or the spiderweb.
Autofocus and its limitations is the game of the day.
Portraits and taking pictures of people in crowds terrifies me. It feels invasive even when I have permission. But I’d like to take better pictures in general and so Jasmine briefly allowed me to use her as one of my guinea pigs. The best shot I got though was this one before she had said yes and started posing. She may disagree, but I think it captures her real smile and personality.
I really wanted this image to work better than it did. Another problem with autofocus in that it focused on the bark instead of the images. I still really like the colors and the light shaft. It’s really a shame that the focus is weird.
The final two images from this trip I like for very different reasons and it’s hard for me to pick a best for the day. The hidden beauty of these flowers under the tree with the city in the background make this an interesting show. The one thing that bothers me is the branch that protrudes into the foreground and is so out of focus. I mostly don’t see it until all of a sudden BAM! it’s there, distracting me with its unruly greenery.
The other is equally disorienting because of out of focus activity in the foreground, but I find it intriguing because of that. The yellow/red colors of the succulent are so striking that it’s the first thing I notice before the out of focus-ness of them leads me towards the background and to the right where they are in focus. Then suddenly there’s the background, in focus, and such a darker color, that it leads me back to the foreground.
Autofocus: super helpful, but it’s difficult to tell on the review screen whether it actually picked the point of focus I was trying for or something close but not exact. It makes a difference when doing these macro shots.
On day 3 I was able to spend a good amount of the morning wandering around Palm Springs just playing with my camera. I got one image I really, really love, and a few others that I rather like. Because this is my blog and I can do what I want to, prepare to be subjected to my favorite 10 (in no particular order – except the best for last!)
I really wanted to capture the shadows of brown on the mountains juxtaposed agains the green and brown of the palm trees. I wasn’t certain the best way to do this, so I just shot a bunch. This is the one that turned out the best. I hate all the smog that mucks up the colors that I know are so vibrant, but I’m not ready to try my hand at photoshop to attempt to correct that.
Next is perhaps the best sign I saw on my trip. I like this photo because I just think it’s absurd that there’s a law against this behavior and because I just like the light reflecting off metal that both draws me into the text and pushes me away from it as well.
Then there was a series of pictures I took using my macro lens. The first set is a bush of pink and orange flowers I wish I could identify. This one has a certain understated glow about it. Even though the colors are muted, they are still vibrant. Plus being able to see the veining on the petals and leaves is always fun for me.
This one has the opposite feeling. Everything is bright and cheery (slightly blurry) and it looks equally surreal. Both are backlit, I guess, but it’s the shading for both that gives them their mood.
The next two I like to look at against one another because they are from the same angle but the focal point is different. I also had to crop them differently to remove some of the background distraction, so they aren’t a very good “pair.”
Finally there are three where I was trying to capture the interesting contrast of shade and intense light against a pot of succulents. The first of the three does that, sort of, but I think the framing to make either the succulents or the shadow on the pot interesting doesn’t work as well as it could.
The other two are again the result of me framing the picture just slightly differently with drastically different results. One is balanced so the extremely light is directly in the center of the image and only that petal is in clear focus. I really like the composition, but compared to the next one it just isn’t as strong.
This one is my favorite. So much so that I am planning to print it out to add to my wall as I decorate my new apartment. I like the tight framing of the succulent that is contrasted by the light and color in the background. The colors, and the red/green/yellow palette I find pleasing.
The past month has flown by. It started with a bang in DC with friends and 7 museums in 3 days. I’ve been to DC twice before, but this was the first time I had the wherewithal to wander the city and get to know her heart. After doing so, I can say that although I love the dedication to shaping America’s history and identity that happens within the city, I’m very glad I don’t live there. When it comes to getting a job after grad-school, I will likely let my colleagues apply for those amazing opportunities within DC. Unless of course someone offers me a job in the Library of Congress.
I didn’t take many pictures as I browsed the museums and partied with friends, but here are a few that I did collect. They are mostly of the Capital building, because I find the structural presence and statement of the Mall and surrounding buildings a great narrative of America’s perspective of herself. Walking around the area, I can understand the academic arguments for how places can create certain identities – something I’m skeptical of in my readings because the omnipresence doesn’t translate well unless you have experience of the place.
Yes, that was a coral reef, with hanging jelly fish, crocheted out of hundreds of colors and types of yarn from the Natural History Museum.
But now classes have started, in the typical whirl that always accompanies the first week. I’m overwhelmed and intrigued and excited and ready to dive back in. On the docket this semester: Intro to Archiving (complete with a fight for one of ~60 internships), Oral History (something I’m increasingly fascinated with as it draws together multiple strands of interests), and Topics in Modern European History (aka my history of porn class.)
I hope to be better blogging about the strands of thoughts I process this semester, but so far my track record for such public musings is less than stellar. But, on the docket for next time: memory, oral history, and the possibilities of technology.