Saturday, October 30, 2010

New Look and Double Fun

You probably have noticed a few changes around here.

Once again, I'm playing around with the format of this blog.  Besides changing the heading to be more colorful, I've added some links to my posts on travel photography and portraits to help you navigate around my blog.  I plan on adding more tabs like these in the near future.  I'm also trying out some new formats for showing my photos.

Like this one.

It's fun, right?

As you know, I sometimes take photos for my friend Katy and her blog Sugarlaws.  She had the great idea of doing a joint photoshoot with Jordan of Ramshackle Glam.  I was a little nervous, but Katy and Jordan were so much fun and fabulous to shoot.  Be on the lookout for some more great photos from this photoshoot.

(Katy & Jordan, photographed October 2010)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Rolling with It

As some of you may know, I'm in a bowling league (Yes, I really am from Wisconsin).  My team, the Jackie Treehorn Allstars, named in honor of the Big Lebowski, of course, went undefeated in regular play last season.  Yeah, we're good like that.  

I took the opportunity during the last two games of the season to whip out my iPhone with the vintage and hipstamatic photo apps to take some photographs.  My team loves my blog (hi guys!) and I thought I would give them a big shout out.  But don't worry, I won't post any of the videos I took.  I promise that those are private.  And if I go over a little bit with the posting of photos this week, you'll have to excuse it.  It's our bye-week for bowling, and I'm going through a little withdrawal.  Just give me a ten pound ball and ten pins, please.

As I mentioned a couple of times on this blog, I really am impressed with how much fun the iPhone and it's creative camera apps can be - especially in social situations when I want to take some photos but don't want to drag out my big SLR camera.

(NYC bowling, photographed October 2010)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Street Photography

I had the wonderful opportunity today to do a fashion shoot with Katy of Sugarlaws and Jordan of Ramshackle Glam.  Although I often take Katy's photos (some of my favorites you can see here), this was the first time I did a joint fashion shoot.  The ladies were fabulous - super cute and fun - and the weather couldn't have been any better (perfectly overcast for portraits).  All in all, it was a great day and a great shoot.  

So what does that have to do with the photos on this post, you may ask.  These certainly are not the vogue-esque shots from today.  So what's the connection?  Because it is one thing to do a photo shoot with friends who are eager to be photographed, and a whole different thing to take photos of strangers on the street, who, um, really don't want me taking their picture.  And while I love the staged photo shoots, there's something about taking a photo of an unsuspecting stranger that I just love.  You remember that from this Portugal post (and one of my favorite posts).

These photos were taken while I was in Shanghai a couple years ago.  Most of them are from one afternoon that I wandered around Old Shanghai by myself, camera in hand.  I tried to sneak portraits of the interesting strangers on the street and only occasionally got caught red-handed and shot disapproving looks.  

(Shanghai, photographed February 2008)

Thursday, October 21, 2010


This afternoon some of my colleagues headed to a beer garden (in Harlem of all places, but I digress) to celebrate the beautiful fall weather.  And me?  I had to stay in my office.  Working.  I thought about them drinking steins of beer while I made corrections to a client presentation.  Sigh.  

But, really, I shouldn't complain that I missed one outing to a bier garten.  Because I once had the pleasure of going to the ultimate beer party.  Oktoberfest, aka Wiesn, in Munich Germany.  And while I would certainly have loved to raise a stein of beer today, I had my fair share (or maybe more than, but let's not discuss that) of prost-ing with friends during Wiesen.  

And, despite the piles of work, I thought tonight I would dig out a handful of Wiesn photos to share and to remind me of some of the good times I've had.  

And yes, those hot dogs are a meter long.  There's no "foot-long" dog in Germany.  Metric system.  That, and the Germans are really serious about their sausage.  I just don't recommend going on the rides after eating one. 

(Oktoberfest, photographed October 2008)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Prime Time

Lately I've been asked to take a bunch of portraits for my friends.  My friends' engagement photos, another friend's wedding, some more baby shots...  I'm super excited and honored (thanks, guys!).  But this also got me thinking that maybe it's about time that I invested in another prime lens for these portraits.  I really wanted a prime lens that would give a sublime bokeh - photographer-speak for that dreamy blurry background effect in photos.  I did my research and I found that an 85mm / 1.8 was exactly what I was looking for.  And I bought it.

I had a chance to play with it this weekend while doing another fashion shoot for my friend Katy at Sugarlaws.  I really think some of the portraits turned out quite lovely.  But those photos aren't ready to be posted yet.  So instead, I'm sharing with you the other portraits that I took this weekend.  Of my favorite cat model Bella and Katy's adorable puppies.

As usual, Bella was not as cooperative of a witness as I would like.  See below.  Haha.  The puppies were better behaved.

(Bella and Coco & Calvin, photographed October 2010)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Studying Portuguese

I had a lovely (and much needed) evening with friends tonight.  Over a couple of glasses of wine, I caught up with some dear friends, including my friend Laura, whom I traveled with in Portugal for my summer vacation.  You may recall various posts about her - including this one dedicated just to traveling with a fellow shutter bug.

Well, Laura and I got to talking about how great our vacation was and how, after the daily toil of our jobs, we really wanted another vacation.  Which, of course, made me start thinking even more about how great our last vacation was.  We traveled through Portugal, without a set itinerary, traveling wherever the road took us.  And we wound up in the great university town of Portugal - Coimbra - where we followed Rick Steves' recommendation to a underground fado club.  Which was perfect, except for the creepy man who wanted to um, let's just say, get to know Laura and I know better and who insisted on "translating" the fado songs for us.  Ya, thanks but no thanks.  But that's a whole 'nother story...

Coimbra was made for black and white pictures.  From our amazing hotel, pictured above, with film noir art deco decor inside, to the cobblestone streets, I just had to take photo after photo.  And it being Wednesday, I figured it was about time to pay homage to Coimbra for Black & White Wednesdays, hosted by the Long Road to China.  I can't imagine what it would be like to actually study in this place -- I can't imagine being anything than a history major here. Or maybe graphic design, with its vivid graffiti.

(Coimbra, Portugal, photographed June 2010)