Friday, September 17, 2010

Beautiful Balloon Glow

The past few days life has been nothing but goodness. Absolute goodness. I have a new job. A job that I still can't believe I have because it's at the perfect place...a bakery, The Cakery Bakery. My co-workers are wonderful, the job involves lots of different tasks that I'm really enjoying, and it's where I can see myself staying happy for a long long long time.

I decided to top off the good week with some Balloon Glow goodness over at Forest Park. My new job is located just across from Forest Park so since I had the evening to myself with Josh being out of town I figured I'd take a nice walk after work over to the field to see the event. I have recollections of going before but I definitely don't remember how amazing the whole thing was.

The weather was absolutely perfect and the lighting was beautiful for some awesome pictures. I should have brought out the tripod but I forgot the attachment. Oh well, the pictures are still pretty great.

The walk from work was long but this was so worth it. Now I'm all cozied up in bed with some XFiles playing (yeah, I'm awesome I know) and I'll share some of my night with you.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Light as Subject and Laumeier Sculpture Park

Our first assignment in the photography class was basically to get a feel for our camera and all of its buttons and functions. We were testing different apertures and shutter speeds and ISOs. I'm feeling much more confident in my skills as far as knowing what apertures and shutter speeds to choose in given situations.

This weeks assignment is using light as a subject. After each class I'm always itching to go out and work on the assignment right then and there but that day and a few days after it was nothing but cloudy and rainy. Can't really get much out of those kind of days when you're needing the big yellow ball of fire in the sky to be your subject.

Yesterday afternoon the clouds parted and a beautiful day appeared so I decided to take advantage of it and head out to Laumeier Sculpture park to work on the assignment. I figured there were a lot of abstract statues and pieces of artwork for me to work creatively with and the sun was at a perfect spot in the sky to cast lots of awesome shadows.

Our assignment includes a total of 6 printed images, 2 images that are to be abstracted compositions of light and shadow, 2 images that are to be non-abstract compositions of light and shadow and 2 images that are to be photographs showing a mixture of different light sources.

I'm really happy with some of the images that I took but I still have until the 23rd to turn in the final images so I don't want to settle on anything quite yet. Here's some of what I took yesterday along with a smattering of other photos from the park.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Leland's Tree

Many moons ago when I was in the 7th grade...ahem 12 years ago, our teacher took us to the Botanical Gardens to practice our black and white photography. We had to find one object in the park that really stood out to us and we had to photograph that from all angles. I happened upon a large tree with a giant bending branch coming out of the bottom of the trunk growing nice and strong next to Henry Shaw's old home. Something about this tree just seemed strong and stable and comforting so I decided to use that as my subject.

That same year my parents decided to plant a tree in Benton ,Illinois in honor of my Great Grandma and Great Grandpa Brown. They had been residents of Benton for many many years and my parents had the wonderful idea to plant a tree to represent them in the community. My dad, being graphically talented like he is, decided to make a card to give to them to explain the gift. Well he happened to choose that black and white picture I took of that tree months before. I thought it was very fitting because my Great Grandpa, as fragile as he may have seemed at his age, was a strong and firmly rooted man, who was able to bring great comfort and reliability to the family. He was a gentle man offering up unconditional love, much like a tree offers up its shade.

When he passed away it really shook my world and woke me up to realize how important it was to cherish your family and your life.

Now when I visit the Botanical Gardens I always walk to that tree and in my head I say hello to Grandpa Brown. This past weekend when Josh and I were at the Botanical Gardens for the Japanese Festival I decided to try and recreate the picture I took 12 years ago. I know this post really isn't about photography that much, it's more about a memory associated with a picture, but that's part of photography, finding out what inspires you and moves you.

So here 12 years later, is Leland's Tree.