curiousillusion

Posts Tagged ‘photography

About this picture… at around 2am I woke up to this really loud thunderstorm. I sleep with a pretty noisy fan in my room (can’t sleep without it) so I usually don’t wake up too much but this storm was loud and there was a lot of lightning. We haven’t had a GOOD t’storm in ages and my first thought was, ‘try to take a picture of the lightning!’. Just when I was about to call myself crazy, some friends on twitter encouraged me to do the same thing. So I dragged myself out of bed and outside in my pajamas to try to take pictures of the lightning.

I tried using the self timer on the camera but in the 5 seconds before it would take the shot, the lightning would happen and then it would be over by the time the shot was taken. So I just went with the good ol’ ‘cross the fingers and take a picture randomly’ method. This is what I came up with. I’m actually pleased with it, good for my first attempt and so even though the buildings are blurry, I’m going with it.

Now, I have to do a mini movie review. I know, it’s not Sunday but this is more like a “I just saw a movie and you HAVE to watch it”. The past few days, the movie “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas” (also spelled Pyjamas) was the talk of the kindergarten teachers. One of them raved about the movie, and shared it with one teacher, who passed it on to the next teacher. Eventually I ended up with it and was seriously forced to watch it. I wasn’t really into it at first, playing on twitter and flickr while it was on in the background. Then suddenly, it got really interesting. Very interesting. Horrifying and tragic but so very interesting.

Anyway, I don’t recommend you find out about the movie before you watch it, just know that it’s set during WWII and it’s about a boy who befriends another boy, who is on the other side of the fence at a camp. Know that it’s sad but powerfully moving. And that I recommend it.

Another movie that I recommend is called “Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father”. It’s a documentary and the best thing I can tell you is do NOT google it. Seriously. Don’t. If you google it, you will ruin it for yourself. Just know that it is one of the most amazing documentaries I have ever seen, and it really is powerful.  I watched it back in January and it got me sad, it got me angry… I ranted about it for days after I saw it. It has nothing to do with “The Boy in the Striped Pajamas”, the only reason I thought of it was because I went into both movies knowing nothing and I think that’s part of the reason why they affected me so much.

I bet you guys are off googling now, aren’t you? Stop that and leave me comment love instead!

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152/365 – bubbles!

Originally uploaded by curiousillusion

So far June is shaping up to be pretty good. Knock on wood, cuz I don’t want to jinx it, you know. But let’s see… next week I get to see Coldplay, and next weekend I get to watch Wicked (I think next weekend… we’re still deciding). I just learned about the McNay Art Museum here in town, and since it’s free on the 1st Sunday of every month, I’ve decided to go there this Sunday. Not sure what I’ll do Saturday though… maybe I’ll go back down to the Riverwalk. Or maybe I’ll go find the other 2 missions. Or the zoo… So many choices! I wonder what there will be to take pictures of when I move to Houston…

Anyway, what else will June bring? Well obviously my move to Houston the last weekend of the month, which I’m definitely not looking forward to… but it also brings the end of the school year, summer vacation, sleeping in and staying up late and going out… I’m getting excited. Hope it’s not a let down!

I have to talk about my bubble pictures. Today was bubble day at work, so the kids got to bring in bubbles and I took them outside 3 separate times to let them blow their bubbles. Of course I brought my camera along and they had fun, blowing them at me and trying to get me to take their picture, or a picture of their bubbles.

Meanwhile, I’d like to say that taking pictures of bubbles is hard! Very hard. So much to worry about – lighting, background, focus… plus the wind kept blowing the bubbles up and away. Or the kids would try to pop them from right under me. I got a few that I’m happy with though…

P6019344
I thought this one was kind of neat, although I wish the background could have been different.

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Man that was fast. Feels like I was just thinking about all the pictures I have to take this month and suddenly it’s time to make my May mosaic. Edited to add: so I had originally taken a different shot of the blackberries but wasn’t happy with how it turned out.  Turns out the ISO was at 1600 so the pic came out grainy.  Once that was pointed out to me, I reshot it, and since I turned on the overhead light, I think it made the bokeh more sparkley.  Yay, I’m happier with it now.

So here’s my May mosaic:

05 May Mosaic

Seems more random than usual, lol.  I kind of dig some of the macros but I’m more proud of the San Antonio pictures… and I’m really looking forward to taking more of those pictures in June.

Oh movie review! So after much debate, I went to see “Angels & Demons”. I had originally wanted to see it because I read the book back in college, but then the friend that I saw “The Da Vinci Code” with reminded me that I fell asleep during that movie. Not a good sign. Anyway, I ended up going… and since I read the book over 5 years ago, I went in knowing absolutely nothing and expecting the same.

I’m still not sure how I feel about the movie. I didn’t love it enough to watch it again (or buy it on DVD for that matter) but I didn’t hate it enough to tell people not to see it. I loved the way they captured Italy, it was really beautiful to watch and made me more determined to go there and take pictures of my own… I thought it was quite violent to a point… there wasn’t a lot of violence but what was portrayed was, I thought, particularly gruesome… which I didn’t really appreciate. Beyond that… I guess I’ll say, if you are looking for a thriller, you might enjoy this movie. Looking for comedy, or a light ‘sit back and enjoy’ movie… this isn’t it, it requires a bit of thinking.

One more note. You might have noticed that my reviews (if you could call them as much… they’re more like my random observations) don’t contain any spoilers. They never will. Last night I was directed to a blog that had a review about “Angels & Demons” and the author of the blog totally spilled the beans as to a major plot point. (Sidebar: saying SPOILER in capital letters a mere space away from revealing something isn’t helpful… my eyes move faster than my brain and I read the spoiler before my brain could process what was happening. Or something.) Having forgotten what happened in the book, it was kind of a bummer because as soon as the actor she referenced came on the screen, it was all I could think of and I think maybe I would have enjoyed the movie more if I didn’t see it coming.

Last thin, I promise.  During the opening (and end credits) I had a funny thought: you know you spend too much time on flickr, when you’re watching the beginning of “Angels & Demons” and all you can think is, “ooooh look at all the pretty bokeh dots!” Lol!

So I’ve been looking forward to today for a few weeks, as soon as I learned that today was the day they were opening the new part of the San Antonio Riverwalk, called Museum Reach (because, yeah, it reaches the museums).  I knew that I was going to take pictures of the Riverwalk at some point before I left town, I figured this would be perfect. I did NOT realize that the new part of the river is pretty long so I didn’t get to do the whole river… I’ll have to go back one day to get the older part.

Anyway, I had a great time. Everything was decorated and everyone was festive, the weather was great… the only thing is that it was hot. Very hot. Over 90 degrees. I was melting. I mean, they at least thought it through and had some little booths where they were passing out water and paper fans, but still… I got a slight sun burn… on the tops of my arms, stopping where my sleeves were. Yuck.

Oh and I did a LOT of walking… I guess that was what I was aiming for right, exercise? The new part of the river is 1.5 miles long and I did it in a loop, so that was 3 miles in itself. Plus I walked down and back part of the regular river. Not too shabby!

Okay, more pictures.. but first one piece of unrelated, good news: I was talking to a friend who I haven’t talked to in ages and I mentioned that Coldplay was coming to town in a few weeks. Right on the spot, he said we should go and so… we’re going! I’m excited!

Colorful
I love how colorful everything looks… plus it just shows the gorgeous sky, the riverboat, and the Riverwalk.

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There’s so many things that I could list for which I am thankful. But this post isn’t about any of those things. This blog post is to offer my thanks for the many wonderful friends I have found.

First off, I have to start with how thankful I am for those of you that donated to my dSLR fund. I honestly didn’t expect anyone to and I’m so appreciative of those of you that did. I also appreciate everyone’s support in my decision to get a dSLR, no matter which form it comes in… all your fantastic advice and helpful words mean so much to me.

But not only that, I think more importantly I’m just so thankful for the amazing friends I have met, both on flickr and twitter. In such a short time I’ve found so many fantastic people… that make me laugh, that challenge me, that encourage me… At nights, before I fall asleep, I’ve found myself thinking lately about how lucky I am. Really. Oh and sidebar, I guess I have to be thankful for the technology, that brought us all together!

Anyway, I’m rambling and probably not expressing myself eloquently at all but I hope you get the gist of what I’m saying. Thank you so much.

I was driving to work this morning and it must have rained over night, because there were puddles everywhere. Every time I passed a puddle, I’d catch a glimpse of a reflection inside it – a building, or the sky – and I just wished I wasn’t running late so that I could stop and take a picture of it. Well, that and I wished the puddle wasn’t in the middle of the road so that I could take a picture of it, lol.

There’s just so many pictures waiting to be taken on the drive to work. This neighborhood I drive through has a house with the most beautiful purple flowers, and another house has a gorgeous magnolia tree… I’d love to take pictures of both of them but I’d feel embarassed to explain what I was doing if someone asked me about it. Not to mention, there’s never time to stop.

Anyway, after work I was driving home, trying to think of what to take a picture of and reflections popped into my head again. I drove around, looking for a nice, shiny building with lots of windows but I didn’t find any that reflected anything great. I took some default flower pictures in my apartment complex, nothing exciting and then, as I was walking away from the car I caught sight of this…

Maybe it’s nothing special. In fact, I’m sure it’s not. But I kind of just love how the sky looks in the window. I don’t know… it just struck me as a picture. So I made it one.

Oh and P.S. in dSLR news.. I’ve decided yes, I’m going for it. After making 2 donations to my dSLR fund yesterday (because I found myself wishing I had one) and 1 today, I’ve decided I should get one. I was talking to my co-workers today (who aren’t photography people at all, but they are sweet and like my pictures) and they think that I should totally go for it… and not to settle for a camera that I’m going to want to upgrade rather quickly. They think I should save up and get the camera that I want, that I’m not going to want to upgrade, even if it takes me that much longer. So… here goes!

Oh and if anyone wants to donate or knows anyone who wants to donate (yeah I’m not holding my breath), I’ve added a donate button to the right side of the side. :o)

One last thing – I’ve made the decision today to elimate sodas from my diet. I’ve been drinking too many and I bet they’re a good chunk of my recent tummy “issue” so starting today, I’m going to wean myself off them (and hopefully off Starbucks too)… my goal is to be done before I move.

Sigh. Thanks for your thoughts on my blog and flickr page yesterday, I appreciate all of them. I’m still thinking about it and I’m not sure what conclusions, if any, I’ve come to. Some comments have made me more reluctant to get a dSLR… and some comments have made me more determined!

Someone suggested that I just get a better point and shoot camera, with more manual options. Mmm, nah. I think that while the point and shoot camera that I have right now is limiting, I don’t want to “upgrade” to another point and shoot. If I’m going to spend money on another camera, I’m going all out. I mean, not ALL out, but dSLR or bust.

On the other hand, some comments mentioned that since a dSLR isn’t as portable as a point and shoot, it doesn’t get taken out as much. That’s another concern I have… that I’d be too lazy or “embarassed” (for lack of a better word?) to take it out.

And btw, yup, I know that a camera doesn’t make one take better pictures. But for me, it’s the *possibilities*. The different lenses out there and the potential pictures I could achieve with them.

I liked the idea a few people had on my flickr page about starting a separate account and every time I wish I had a dSLR, make a donation to that account. Well, right now my savings account is my dSLR fund but I think it’s a good idea. Every time something about my camera irks me or I see a fantastic picture and I think “man I want a dSLR” I’m going to donate some money to my savings account. Probably only like $2 because it might add up fast and I still need to afford to live, lol…

Anyway, in non-dSLR news… I told my mom this weekend I was going to maybe join a gym when I moved and my mom’s reaction? “Good, I think that’s an excellent idea. You could lose a few pounds.” Lol, thanks mom. I mean, yes she has a point (actually I think my weight is probably alright, it’s just where it has accumulated that is the problem… I need to figure out the right exercise to target the tummy area).

Gotta love parental support, no?