Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Approaching Storm

It's monsoon season in Tucson, and so every afternoon it rains, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. You can see the storms off in the distance, rolling over the mountains, heading for the city. Yesterday I was in Saguaro National Park shooting, and I got a closer-up eyeful.

Storm's comin'

Best viewed in large size.

I did get back to my hotel in time. Good thing, because I didn't bring an umbrella! Who would, to the desert?

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sunflower Fields Forever

I'm in Tucson, but haven't had a chance to get some good shots yet. (It's been raining and is expected to rain the whole time I am here. In the desert! But I already have some places scoped out that I want to shoot when it *isn't* raining.)

In the meantime, here are some sunflowers from my last trip to Chicago Botanic Garden.

Field of Sunflowers

Field of Sunflowers II

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Butterfly from two angles

No idea what kind of butterfly it is, but it was striking!

Butterfly, sideview

The detail and pattern of the wing astonished me (best seen in large).

Butterfly, head-on

He looks so fierce from this direction. :)

Also, my Beach From Above shot was selected as the Focus, People, Focus feature on the Chicagoist this Friday. I'm so flattered!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Worker Bee

Worker Bee

He's hustling so hard he's completely covered in pollen!

Which reminds me, I go back to fulltime work today. :) But next week will be training in Arizona, so expect a sudden burst of desert photos...

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Crown Fountain

Today's series continues with more from Millenium Park, this time in the Crown Fountain area. I'd only ever seen it in the winter, and all I saw were the moving faces. I didn't even realize in the summer there's water that streams out of it. But I guarantee it's like no "fountain" you've ever seen -- people are encouraged to play with it, and believe me, they do.

Crown Fountain in summer

This is why I'm not a kid anymore.

This is why I would make a terrible kid now; it would never occur to me to swim on ashpalt!

Beats playing in a fire hydrant!

It sure beats playing in a fire hydrant, though!

The water is on a synced program, and after a while, it stops pouring down from the top of the fountains (there are two, on each side of the area). All the kids take their positions as they get ready for what comes next.

Waiting, waiting...

Waiting, waiting....

Just one little kiss, please?

Still waiting...come on, come on...



Okay, maybe I still would make a good kid. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

And the food is good, too!

One of the many things I love about Chicago is the way we adapt everything to the changes in the weather -- even the uses of our tourist attractions! For example:

Ice Rink - slash - outdoor restaurant

Much different than 5 months ago!

And the food is good, too!

The food was really quite good here, too; I had the grilled lamb sausage with feta cheese, grilled onions and a creamy Greek sauce. A nice cold lemonade and my meal was complete!

Once re-fueled, I was ready to get all arty.

Umbrella Patterns

Umbrella Patterns, now with red!

I love my pretty city.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Summer from Above

Crowded Beach on a summer day

Best viewed in large, this is Oak Street Beach in downtown Chicago, as seen from the top of the John Hancock building. I particularly love the volleyball courts from above (on the left). Hee!

Boating in the summer on Lake Michigan

We were boaters for a lot of years, out on the East Coast; it was never crowded like this! Best viewed in large format, this is inside the breakwater next to Navy Pier, as seen from the top of the Hancock. (That's 95 stories up, in case you were wondering!)

Monday, July 23, 2007

Summer Men at Work

Taken on a perfect Friday afternoon in Millenium Park downtown. It's tough to always be smiling and happy when you're a clown, but on a day like this, how could they not be in a good mood?

Super High Five!

In the larger version, you can see that the little girl's feet are off the pavement as she jumps. Haha!

Smiling Juggler

What you can't see is that he is on top of a rolling wheel six feet above the crowd. He has to keep moving it with his feet and still manages to juggle the balls perfectly.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Purple Coneflowers

Purple Coneflowers

Ahhh, so this is what a polarizing filter can do! The image is completely untouched in Photoshop - just me, my camera and the filter. I'm pleased!

Best viewed in large.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

A Tale of Two Foci

One of the things I'm learning to play with on my new camera is changing the object of focus in the shot. Yesterday I had some fun with it downtown at Millenium Park, in the garden area.

Front Focus
Front Focus

Back Focus

Back Focus

Which do you like better?

Friday, July 20, 2007

In the Monet Garden

My dad asked me yesterday where I had been taking all the pictures of the totems and art pieces I've been posting lately. I told him they all came from the Garfield Park Conservatory, which is actually a greenhouse garden, not an art gallery as you might have thought from the photos I've been posting. Garfield Park is located in Chicago, and is one of the largest conservatories in the country.

To prove it, today's photos will all be flowers, specifically from the Monet Garden, one of the few outdoor gardens of the conservatory. (Something else you may not have realized from the photos; it's mostly greenhouses!)

This is the Monet Garden. Gee, I wonder why it's called that? :)

Monet Garden

Black-eyed Susans, one of my favorite flowers of the summer.
Black-eyed Susans

Butterfly walking between two purple coneflowers (even nicer viewed in large size)
Butterly moving between purple coneflowers

Summer, summer, summer!
Summer, summer, summer!

I'll be making another trip to Garfield Park this weekend. So there will be more!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Totem Heads and other pieces from Nikki

Bird Head Totem, 2000
Bird Head Totem, 2000

Grande Step Totem, 2001
Grande Step Totem, 2001

Cat Head Totem, 2000
Cat Head Totem, 2000

More from the Nikki in the Garden exhibit can be found at Flickr. It was just so COOL!

Also, one of my photos from yesterday was selected as the "Extra, Extra" shot on Chicagoist. Yay!

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

My, what pearly teeth you have!

Taken at the Nikki in the Garden exhibit at the Garfield Park Conservatory. Really worth seeing if you can.

Most fun skull EVER

The teeth were my favorite part!

My, what pearly teeth you have!

You could go into the skull, too, and play. Guess what I played with the most?

Inside the Skull, about to chomp down

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Three Butterflies

Taken at the Peggy Notebart Nature Center, in the middle of downtown Chicago.

Green and Yellow Butterfly

Orange and Black Striped Butterfly
I love his polka-dotted body!

Can you see him actually drinking from the orange slice?
Can you see him actually drinking from the orange slice?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Big Camera on Campus

I spent the day yesterday at Museum Campus downtown, visiting the Shedd Aquarium, the Adler Planetarium, and the Field Museum. There were some major lighting and blurriness issues for most of my shots (no flash photography allowed, and the aquarium especially is pretty dark), but I was able to get a few I really liked. There is also a Globe exhibit all over the outside space, with about 50+ globes all decorated by different groups and/or artists staggered throughout the area. Very pretty!

Just another sleepy Friday afternoon
Penguins lazing about on a sleepy Friday afternoon. Their viewing area was packed, but they didn't seem to notice or care.

Globe and Skyline
Globe and Skyline

Pinwheels from around the world
Pinwheels from around the world placed around the world

Three lords a-leapin'

Three lords a-leapin'

You can see the whole set at the Museum Campus set at Flickr.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

I love my new camera!

I finally got my dream camera, the Nikon D80. I still have much to learn about it, but for now, it's a lot of fun.

Green Butterfly eating a banana

A lot of fun.

Berries on a palm tree

I mean it!

Petting a Polar Bear in July. Seems crazy, but it's true!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


The Three Graces, closer

The Three Graces, by Niki de Saint Phalle. A few more shots can be found here.

These are some of the "nana"s on display at the Niki in the Garden exhibit at the Garfield Park Conservatory this summer and fall. I love the style and joy of their forms, and I especially loved the way the artist herself described them:

"Nanas are like goddesses to me, even superwomen of the sort, primitive tribes idolized. Perhaps they're aggressive -- that's what some men think. They certainly know what they want, but they are warm, not mean."

There were many other nanas exhibited, and I'll be making a return trip this month with my new camera to get better shots of them. I wasn't thrilled with how some of them came out, and it certainly wasn't the nana's fault! They were glorious.

Monday, July 09, 2007


Autumnal Beauty Sunflowers

A new breed, called "Autumn Beauty", being grown at the Chicago Botanic Garden. The colors are untouched in Photoshop.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

The Police Concert at Wrigley Stadium

We attended The Police concert at Wrigley Stadium on Friday, July 6th. We paid a lot for tickets on the field -- the first and last time I will ever do so, mainly because there just isn't another band in the world I would want to see as badly as I wanted to see The Police reunited -- but they were worth every penny. It was an experience I will never forget.

As my husband noted, The Police are no longer the tightest band in the world, but I gotta tell you, it just didn't matter. They were together, and as ornery and individualistic and hot and weird and charismatic and fascinating as ever, and everyone just wallowed in the nostalgia and the moment. The crowd around us was in turns hilarious and annoying (the weird dancing couple! the Block of Wood!), and provided all of us with stories for years. I danced and laughed and sang along (wildly off-key) to my favorites, AND I didn't fall asleep once! Yay for me!

I'm kicking myself for not sucking it up and buying a tiny new camera in time that I would have snuck in my pocket like the dozens of people around me did. But I did get a few with my camera phone, three of which are worth posting. They're still not very *good*, but I like them.

Oh, um. None of them actually have any members of The Police in them. Heh.

The Stage During Roxanne
The Stage During Roxanne

Hand Upraised at the End of the Concert
Hand upraised at the end of the concert
(These are the guys behind us, who provided much of the entertainment of the night with their group-sing and group-swaying and general joy at being there. At the end of the night, one of the guys confessed to us, "Aside from my wedding, this was one of the greatest nights of my life! I've been singing to these songs since I was ten years old!" Hahahaha, me too, buddy. Me too.)

The Crowd Behind Us
The Crowd behind us

It was so, so, SO GREAT. I'm so glad we went.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Light Up The Sky

Gotta post again tonight with these. Four other shots are available in the Fireworks set on Flickr.