Posts Tagged ‘orange’

Alaska: an ideal escape

Monday, March 7th, 2011

After working basically nonstop for two months over the holidays on my graduate school applications and portfolio, I was completely burnt out. I needed to run away for a while and relax, and luckily Catie and her family were happy to have me come up to Alaska for just that purpose. We did what we always do – eat far too much of Linda’s exquisite cooking, play board games whenever we can find a third player, and play outside with the dog (and the sister, and the sister’s dogs) whenever we can’t. I tried to keep my computer packed away as much as possible, and I am rather proud to say that I did not do more than an hour or two of work the entire three and a half weeks I was there. (I work hard, and I laze hard, I suppose.)

Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)

Photo taken in Anchorage, AK on February 4, 2011.

I’ve had a few people ask me recently what Alaska is like in the winter… I guess I still don’t really know how to answer that question. It is beautiful, above all else. There is always a good deal of fresh snow on the ground, and the mountains absolutely shine. It’s true that there isn’t much daylight, but, being a lifelong night owl, that doesn’t really bother me. Plus, it just means that a good portion of the day is filled with magic-hour light from a recent sunrise or an impending sunset!

Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)
Anchorage, AK (Feb 3, 2011)

Photos taken in Anchorage, AK on February 2-7, 2011.

My last day in Lyon

Wednesday, November 24th, 2010

The day I had to leave Lyon snuck up on me much faster than I expected. I don’t feel like I was there for three months. It’s hard continually introducing myself to a new place to live. I feel like right when I start getting the hang of it, it’s time to move on again. It is great to see so many parts of the world and experience such different cultures. (I’m not sure I could name five similarities between Bangladesh and France…) But, I still don’t really have the hang of such a nomadic lifestyle, I think. It takes me a long time to warm up when I wake up in the morning, and similarly it takes me a while to warm up in a new city.

Catie and Emma gave me free reign on what we should do my last afternoon in the city. It was a beautiful day after a couple blanketed with rain, so I steered us toward the Parc de la Tete d’Or. (Just like a Minnesotan to spend his last day in a great city at the park.) Emma hadn’t been there yet anyway, so it was a good fit. The park felt different from the other times we had visited. The trees were almost all bare, and there was hardly anyone walking about, so the place felt very open. It was quiet, and a nice way to say farewell.

Lyon, France (Nov 16, 2010)

Photo taken in Lyon, France on November 16, 2010.

I will miss France. I wish I felt like I had become a bit “French” myself, but I don’t think I had enough time (or perhaps I have just too much “goof” coursing through my veins). Maybe Catie and I will make it back again someday, and I can try again (and maybe learn a decent bit of the language too, although Catie definitely has us covered in that department). In the meantime, I’ll be in MN for the next month and a half working on art projects and applying to graduate school, and generally enjoying the holidays at home for a change. (And unfortunately, I will probably be making a concerted effort to neglect this blog while I focus on those other things…)

I have no idea what is coming next… Domesticity? A hemispheric shift? Anything is possible…

Lyon, France (Nov 16, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 16, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 16, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 16, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 16, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 16, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 16, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 16, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 16, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 16, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 16, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on November 16, 2010.

Initial wanderings

Tuesday, November 23rd, 2010

Despite a forecast of a solid week of cold rain, Emma seemed to bring a wave of delightfully good weather along with her to Lyon. We spent most of her first couple days with us just wandering about the city and soaking in the late autumn sun. I’m glad Emma came at the end of my own time in France, because it gave me motivation to get back out into the city and see it all (figuratively speaking) through one more time before I left. (To be honest, I’m actually writing this from Minnesota. I got back last Wednesday, and I miss France a great deal. I know – big surprise!)

On a technical photographic note, you might notice a slightly different visual quality to the images in this post (or you might not – I can’t yet decide). I’ve gotten tired of spending a fair portion of my life sitting at my computer coddling RAW image files, so I have been experimenting with shooting in JPG and tweaking the in-camera picture processing controls. A photographer and camera guru that I admire has his own preferred style that emulates one of his favorite types of film, achieved by using Nikon’s VIVID picture setting and cranking up the saturation to maximum (as well as upping the sharpening a bit). I decided to try that out myself for these shots. I’m fairly happy with the results (although I don’t think I’m going to abandon RAW just yet)…

Lyon, France (Nov 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)
Lyon, France (Nov 11, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on November 10-11, 2010.

Up the hill again, with a different lens this time

Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

About a week ago, Catie and I met up with a couple friends and headed up Fourvière Hill once again to visit the ancient Roman Theatre and the Basilica. We took a different route along Montée du Gourguillon, a charming street that winds up the hill through the Renaissance neighborhood of Vieux Lyon.

I had been feeling lately like I wanted to shake my photography routine up a bit, so I decided to show some pity for my old 60mm macro lens and use it for the day. In fact, I used it exclusively and left the rest of my equipment at home. Sometimes it is nice to have my camera bag and its full contents with me for a trek as it provides the tools to ideally capture just about anything, but a lot of the time I find this ‘ultimate flexibility’ to actually detract from the quality of images that I generate. I get so consumed wondering if one lens might be better than another for the subject that I spend more time swapping lenses back and forth than I do actually shooting (and more importantly, looking). In the end, I almost always just get frustrated with myself and stick my favorite 70-200mm on the camera body and ignore the heavy backpack for the rest of the day. So, I have decided recently that I am going to try to leave the bag at home and commit to a single lens shooting experience over the course of a day as much as possible. This is what I did most of the time in Bangladesh anyway (because the weather was too hot to carry a bag, the air too dusty to switch lenses, and I too conspicuous to relish flashing expensive equipment to everyone on the streets) and I think my images were the better for it.

So far, this decision is working out great. Sure, maybe I lose the ability to capture a potential photo or two because I don’t have a long telephoto or extreme wide-angle with me, but I can focus my creative ability on making the images that I can create the best that they can be. I live here, after all, and I constantly have my GPS tracker with me, so I can always go back to some particular location another day with another lens!

Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 17, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on October 17, 2010.

What to do on 10/10/10?

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

A few days ago, the date was October 10, 2010, otherwise known as 10/10/10. Some people may have thought this was cool, and others may have not cared or noticed. It meant something to me because 10 has been ‘my’ number for a long time. (I guess you could just call it my ‘favorite number’, although I think it has had a bit of a larger role in my life than that phrase might normally suggest.) I felt like I should do something dramatically impressive or fantastic (or at least something repeated ten times) to match the unique coming of this date in my lifetime. That thought was rather self-defeating however, as it put way too much pressure on me and I froze up and simply took an extra hour’s nap in the morning – during which the climactic time of 10:10 AM and 10 seconds unfortunately rolled on by… Woops.

The day was not lost though. In fact, Catie and I met up with some other Alliance Française students in Place Bellecour, and then we all headed up to Parc de la Tête d’Or, which is easily one of the most beautiful destinations in Lyon. I had a great time wandering about the park and taking photos of the first Autumn I’ve seen in two years. Upon looking at our GPS routes of this and our previous visit to the park, I was amazed to find that we still have only seen a very small portion of what it has to offer! Perhaps another tour is in the cards for us this weekend, while it is still relatively hot and there are more orange, yellow, and red leaves than green.

Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)
Lyon, France (Oct 10, 2010)

Photos taken in Lyon, France on October 10, 2010.