Wednesday, July 29, 2009

So full of "et cetera".

This post is so full of "et cetera" that I'm having a hard time coming up with a name for it, so I've put that part off till the end to see if I come up with anything awesome. Otherwise, I'll just stick to something vague and lame. :)

Anyway, these pictures are from two weekends ago when Billy's parents came to visit. On the first day, I was frustrated because I couldn't find the body cap for my camera and it looked like it was going to rain, and I didn't want to be lugging some big heavy beast of a wet camera around, so I just said eff it and took my point and shoot. I was totally mad at myself for a second because the weather cleared up and there were some really beautiful scenes, but then I got over it because Murphy's Law dictates that if I had in fact went ahead and brought my camera, it would've rained, and besides, at least I remembered my point and shoot, right?!?!

So anyway, we headed out to Navy Pier and it was gorgeous, and when we got there, I realized that the end of the pier was open. I could NOT believe it--that hasn't happened one single time that I've ever been there, because it's always closed off for weddings and events. So I'm all in disbelief that this is even HAPPENING, so I'm like motoring it to get down there before someone changes their mind and throws a huge quinceanera or something RIGHT AT THAT VERY MOMENT, because you know, that could happen. But I got there and it was real and it was magnificent. (Anyone catch the reference?)

So I wondered what I would see when I went around to the other side of the end of the pier, the side I've never been on, and I was SO not prepared for the gorgeousness. Not even close.


WILL YOU GET A LOAD OF THAT? The view was totally majestic, with the skyline and the Hancock right there, and the sun peeking out from behind it, and the clouds, and the WATER! I was so excited, and I'm just glad I had a camera at all.

On the slightly down side, I shoot entirely in RAW on my big camera and I've gotten used to editing as such, and the P&S shoots in jpeg, and I'm not going to lie, the editing was a little bit challenging. But I also had a really good time with it, using layers and layer masks and curves and all that fun stuff. I don't know that I'm entirely done tweaking this one, but I do think it'll eventually go on my wall, probably with my Indianapolis skyline. :) I'm going to have to start a wall with all the skylines of the places I've lived. And I bet you all can't wait for that glorious Plainfield, Indiana skyline. Or that stunning Muncie, Indiana skyline. Don't forget to breathe, people.


It was such a beautiful day and so the boats were out in full force. Like I said, I was playing around in actual Photoshop, just experimenting, and this is how this picture turned out. I have no idea how this picture actually ended up coming to look like this, although I have a suspicion that it was by adjusting the blue and green curves. Anyway, it obviously doesn't look anything like reality and it doesn't even look like anything I normally do, but it kind of grabbed me and I let it be. I like how it looks like an illustration almost, or a rendering, and it's good to branch out sometimes. :)


And here's a black and white of the same basic scene, and I have two things to say about that. First of all, I think my grandpa would have really liked this picture and I probably would've made him a print. He liked transportation about as much as I do (and probably more, in the case of trains), and sometimes I see pictures I've done and think about him. And secondly, this boat was moving SERIOUSLY fast. Billy pointed out to me when it was coming in to dock (or whatever--you guys KNOW I suck at the boat lingo), so I had to almost run (not my favorite thing) to catch a few shots, but it was so worth it. I loved how this came out. I think it's a pretty well known fact that I started photography on black and white film in a darkroom (and I swear, it was 2006, not 1925 or something), and working on this picture kind of took me back to it with all the dodging and burning I was doing. Maybe I should've turned all the lights off and set up some tubs with chemicals around me for the full effect, but I probably lost enough brain cells in the real darkroom as it is, so perhaps not.


Okay, so here we are at the horse track (Arlington Park, for anyone who is interested), and I had my big camera back with me--better for close ups, obviously. I had another version of this picture where the horse was actually looking right at the camera, but I didn't like it as well--I like how the horse and the jockey are just kind of one unit here, facing the same way.


And can I just tell you all, I did awesome at the horse track? I just make little two dollar bets since I'm not much of a gambler and I don't consider myself all that lucky anyway, but the horse track really treated me right. In fact, this race that I photographed is the only one that I DIDN'T win anything on, a fact that was making Billy's dad a little insane because he was making informed and knowledgeable bets, and I was picking the names that I liked (i.e. Drinks to Go, which is obvious to anyone who knows me at all, since I love a good gas station beverage, Hong Kong Superstar, since it reminded me of Billy's Hong Kong Phooey pajama pants, Hug It Out because of Entourage, etc.). It really cracks me up to beat Big Bill at stuff he knows more about, such as horse racing and also such as music trivia at BW3's, since he has a very deep knowledge of music. However, I have a very wide and shallow knowledge of music, and that comes more in handy for trivia. And he gets super pissed. It's awesome.


And finally, this one. It's my favorite of the horse pics. I love it, love the action, love the dirt being kicked up, and love how pretty the horses look. Sigh. Makes me happy.

I'm working on another set of pictures (from this last weekend), so we might actually get a bonus blog post in this week! It's a fun one, with the bowling and dog beach and lake action that I mentioned in the last post. And then we're gearing up for a MAJOR August! Stick with me, peeps!


Brandi said...

Those are some incredible skies. I love photos of the sky. It blows me away how amazing nature is. I love the racing pictures too. I went to Churchill Downs for Oaks day once, it was very exciting.. I've always loved horses.

M.Redman said...

I love love love the black and white with the boat! Oh and P.S. you should definitely make sure to add the Columbus, IN skyline to your wall. Ha!!

Gail said...

I love seeing Chicago through your eyes. And I must admit, as I copyedit this Chicago title, it's making me want to visit you BADLY.

Damn lack of time. I blame it for all my problems.

Lynn said...

Oh man, I can totally see you beating the pants of Big Bill (love that) at the horse races. Too funny. I am so sad we don't live closer sometimes!