Wednesday, September 29, 2010


I can't wait.

One more day and I'll be on my way back to Wisconsin.  I'm headed to my very first Packers game and will get some quality family time to boot.  It's only for a weekend, but it will be good to be home.  Especially after the long days I've been having lately at work (which you may have figured out from my mentions in recent posts and well, to be frank, my lack of recent posts).  I need some quality R and R.  

Thinking about Wisconsin made me go through some of my photographs from my last trip to Wisconsin, when I went home for a family reunion.  My dad and I went to Merrill and Tomahawk, two small towns in Wisconsin, and visited the Lincoln County Fair.  And I gathered an interesting collection of photographs from those adventures.  This time, I hope to come back from with some great ones from Lambeau Field....

And I almost forgot that it is Wednesday! The days have blurred a bit lately.  But it being Wednesday means that it is Black & White Wednesday, hosted by The Long Road to China.  Although this post is more colorful than most of my B&W Wednesday posts (sorry!), I did specifically choose that top shot of the clover field and this bottom shot of my gin and tonic as my B&W shots from my last trip to Wisconsin.  And as a side note, that was just not any gin and tonic... It was a very special gin and tonic.  It brought much comfort after a long day of socializing at the family reunion with a hundred relatives I hadn't met before.  

(Wisconsin, photographed July 2010)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Grapes of Wrath (B&W)

As I mentioned here, I visited the Duoro River Valley while vacationing in Portugal earlier this year.  My friend Laura and I rented a car and drove through the hills overlooking the river, stopping at quintas to quench our thirst (for port that is).  But we didn't just sit and sip our port and enjoy the scenery.  We trekked through the quintas, taking photos.  Laura had encouraged me to experiment more with black & white photography, so I kept alternating between taking photos of the luscious grapes in vivid greens and trying to capture in black & white the contrast played in the leaves by the bright sun and dark shadows, as shown here.

I figured that this little study of mine, in black and white, would be perfect for black and white Wednesdays, hosted by the Long Road to China.  I wish I had more time to tell you more, but work beckons.  But once I finish what will surely be a long work week, I'm going to celebrate with a glass of port.  Seems fitting with these photos.

(Quinta do Panascal, Portugal, photographed in June 2010)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shanghai'd by Work

Work this week has been crazy.  I don't even want to begin to think about how many hours I've been billing.  It's kept me from things that I like to do, like bowl in my league with my friends, going to a nyc fashion week party, finish reading "the hunger games" (such a good book!) and update this blog.  Thankfully, today ended mercifully early (relatively speaking that is), giving me a chance to put on my sweats, curl up on my couch and make a new post.

I started flipping through my old photographs, wondering what to share tonight, when I came across these photos.  They were taken when work had taken over my life, but in a slightly different way.  I was on an assignment in China, spending up to three weeks there at a time.  Although some of the days were long, I often had nights to myself to wander around Shanghai by myself.  Well, just me and my camera that is...

(And if you think the smooshed pig face hanging up in the one market picture, just wait until I post my photos of the street "meats").

(Shanghai, photographed February 2008)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Pearls of Wisdom

It's fashion week in New York City.  Glamor and tall skinny models abound.  Because of my friend Katy at Sugarlaws, I've been able to attend a few events.  I've gotten dolled up and put on my high heels (ouch blisters) and had cocktails with the fashion elite.  And it's been fabulous.

But I'm not posting photos from Fashion Week or Fashion Night Out.  I've taken a few photos for Katy's blog, but mostly have just been soaking it in sans camera.  However, as I was going through old pictures to decide what to post tonight, I saw these.  Strands of pearls from China.  Strands upon strands of pearls.  How glamorous, right?  Reminded me of the fashion festivities going on right now...

When I was in China, one thing I quickly learned how to do was pick out cheap but nice pearls.  Each booth in the markets would have hundreds of strands, just waiting to be picked through to find a decent set to be made into a necklace.  I would weed through them, and, after much haggling over price, I would buy one and (in what was my favorite part) the saleswoman would quickly knot up the pearl strand into a beautiful pearl necklace.  It was amazing how quickly these strands became beautiful necklaces to wear or share.  And I bought plenty, both to wear and to share.

(China, photographed April 2008)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Day at the Beach (B&W)

This Labor Day weekend was exactly what I needed.  Time out of the city with my friend Susie.  We went to Cape May, New Jersey, and had a perfectly splendid mini-vacation: scrabble, bike rides, brunch, good wine and dinner and, of course, the beach.

Oh, the beach.  How I love thee.

Hurricane Earl had threatened to ruin the weekend, but he proved no match for the Jersey Shore (must be all that fist-pumping that scared him away).  And I could tell you how beautiful the weekend was, but it's much easier to just show you.  They say a picture is worth a thousand words, after all.  And these pictures should amply explain why I came back from the shore with renewed spirit.

Earlier I mentioned that I am in love with my new iPhone.  And my day at the beach underscored that love.  All of these photos were taken with it (vintage b&w free app and the hipstamatic camera app).  I love how it allows me to take some pretty amazing photos without risking getting sand all over my nice canon camera baby.  It also helps me take my photos of strangers on the sly.  My friend Susie didn't even know I was snapping away, even though I was sitting a mere foot away from her.

Because it's Wednesday, I posted my black and white photographs (but trust me, the sky was a beautiful shade of blue).  I love how black&white Wednesdays, hosted by The Long Road to China, keeps me exploring the art of the black and white photograph (if even just on the iPhone).  Go check it out!

 (Cape May, New Jersey, photographed September 2010)

Monday, September 6, 2010

The Writing is on the Wall

One thing that stands out in my memories of Portugal is the graffiti (especially in Lisboa and Porto).  Around every street corner there was another spray-painted image.  My friend Laura and I were intrigued by this street art.  Yes, although I don't want anyone to tag the side of my house, I think that sometimes graffiti can be quite beautiful or thought-provoking.  The strawberry above falls into the former category, but a lot of the graffiti that I saw in Portugal fell into the latter category, rife with political messages and expressing personal discontent.

(And sorry for the short message today.  I certainly fulfilled the "labor" part of labor day, meaning there's wasn't much time left over for posting.)

(Portugal, photographed June 2010)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

One Fish, Two Fish, Black Fish, White Fish

First of all, let me apologize if you don't like fish.  And let me say, you should just quit looking at this page if you don't like fish.  Because this whole post is all fish.  

Yup, all fish.  

I'm just as surprised as you that I have this many photos of sardines.  But, like I mentioned here, when I was in Portugal I visited this amazing open air market in Oporto.  To confess, Laura and I went there specifically to take photos.  We thought a bustling market in Portugal would provide plenty of photo opps.  And well, it did.  Just a lot of those photo opps were fish.  It seems that almost every other stand in the market was selling sardines or fish of some kind.  I guess that shouldn't be surprising as I was in Oporto, which, as the name gives away, is a port city on the Atlantic Ocean.  I'm more used to my Wisconsin farmers markets that have cheese at every other stand.  

But sardines, with their slippery shiny scales, are far more interesting on film than cheese -- especially black and white film.

And thanks again to everyone at  Black&White Wednesday, hosted by The Long Road to China,  for being great.  Hope you don't mind all these fishies.  I promise cuter photos next week.

(Oporto market, photographed June 2010)