Westbound

November 20, 2014 § 1 Comment

Westbound

Bright Lights, Big Library

November 19, 2014 § 3 Comments

A local library that was closed for renovations reopened this week. I made my first stop there tonight. It’s a nice space, well organized, and brightly lit. (Actually it’s a little too bright for me — I’m more of a mood lighting kind of girl.)

Aside from the books, I was most enamored with the accent lighting and the children’s section. I took abstract photos of both, as the harsh overhead lighting would have made regular shots look stark and unflattering.

Intersection: Seventh Street East and North Wacouta Street, St. Paul

November 18, 2014 § 1 Comment

After a lunch date at the Buttered Tin with a dear friend, I stepped out and was reminded how photogenic Lowertown St. Paul is. Its energy, mixed architecture, local color, and meshing of the low with the high brow satisfies the eyes and kisses the soul.

Pop Color (and Reads and Recs)

November 17, 2014 § 7 Comments

Little color exists in Minnesota these days now that the leaves have dropped, dried, and been enveloped in snow. This made today’s Photography 101 assignment, “Pop of Color,” challenging, for even human-made color is elusive in this climate.

A few scraps of color peeked out from the drifts and dried stems as I walked a mile in the bitter cold just to find something bright and shiny. I’m content with what I found but worry it’s going to be a long winter of photographing outdoors if natural color won’t rise again until April or May.

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Some recently read works and pieces you may enjoy:

  • From Poems to Paragraphs” by Donald Hall (Slice, Fall 2014/Winter 2015) — An aging poet laureate and essayist reflects on the art of writing and how his fading mind and body affect his process and work. A lovely, and informative, essay for writers of any age and genre.
  • Hannah and Andrew” by Pamela Colloff (Texas Monthly, January 2012) — A painful, true tale of an adoptive mother wrongfully accused and convicted of her troubled child’s bizarre death.
  • A House Is Not a Credit Card” by Bethany McLean (The New York Times, November 13, 2014) — A cautionary opinion piece about the trouble with cash-back refinancing — a problem that should have been addressed during the housing crisis but seems poised to return again due to the lack of regulations and restrictions on using one’s home as a piggy bank.
  • How We Look When We Look at a Painting” by Peter Schjeldahl (The New Yorker, November 13, 2014) – Frederick Wiseman is a genius documentarian, and it’s comforting to see him still churning out perfection. His latest documentary subject, “National Gallery,” focuses on the London museum of the same name, and the film, like all of Wiseman’s work, does not include voice-overs or interviews. Schjeldahl describes the film as eavesdropping on museum-goers and art lovers as they revel in the works that move and fascinate them, leaving the audience to wonder how each interprets a painting or sculpture or relic, how it forms their thoughts, how it heals their hearts.
  • The Humans by Matt Haig (2013) — This book wasn’t on my radar until it came up as this month’s selection for a local community book club some friends and I attend semi-regularly. I had no interest in reading it, turned off by the science fiction plot — an alien is sent to Earth to destroy the person who solves a mathematical problem that will advance humankind and allow human beings to, among other travesties, eventually travel between galaxies and destroy the universe because, well, humans just kind of screw things up (e.g., relationships, wars, the ozone layer). Yet in the end, I was surprised by how much I liked this story and the complicated evolution of an alien who grows to find human qualities preferable to that of his own advanced species. He even finds wonderment in our inherent flaws and disappointments, including the ability to love, which with death or a relationship’s end, leads to unspeakable grief and loss. An uncommon take on what it means to be human.

The Humans

Snow Last Night

November 16, 2014 § 2 Comments

Sun today.

Modifying the Unfocused

November 15, 2014 § 6 Comments

Blurred. Unclear. Muted. Ghost-like. Foggy. Hazy. Dim. Smudged. Murky. Indistinct. Confused. Unknowable. Suspect. Alien. Doubtful. Untrustworthy. Secretive. Matted. Blended. Dreamy. Tranquil. Calm. Serene. Peaceful. Still.

DSC01809

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And there were other scenes that caught my eye today, all focused.

Intersection: Prior Avenue North and Feronia Avenue, St. Paul

November 14, 2014 § 6 Comments

The days are shorter and colder. My stamina for standing outside for long periods of time looking for the perfect photo op is waning with the light. However, intersection montages continue to pique my interest, and usually don’t require more than 10-15 minutes of exposing my camera and bare fingers to the elements.

Today’s travels took me to a St. Paul intersection in a neighborhood that borders Interstate 94. It’s a mixed area bursting with old buildings, industrial warehouses and businesses, and grand Victorians and pre-war homes tucked away from the main traffic. The side streets curve and slope, keeping you guessing what’s around each corner.

I stopped at this particular intersection because I liked the light reflecting off the windows of a restored brick building and the Rothko-esque graffiti spray painted on the nearby railroad overpass.

Sundown

Sundown

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