Monday, October 29, 2007

Autumn Leaves

This is the continuation of my "Fall" series, begun a couple of weekends ago. I had been hoping for a while to get some pictures of the leaves changing, but New York City sadly does not offer as many opportunities (or as many trees) for that as I would like. Fortunately I got my fix in Connecticut this past weekend. We went to New Haven to see a talk, visit a friend, and take a little break from the city. The vibrant fall colors were an unanticipated bonus, and I was absolutely thrilled to get out there with my camera--so much so that as I was walking home with friends, I fell so far behind that at one point I got up from crouching on the ground (taking pictures of fallen leaves) and realized I had lost my companions!

Fear not, I found them, and we passed the afternoon in cozy conversation after coming in from the crisp (and slightly wet) weather outside.

By the way friends, thank you for the outpouring of sympathy and support about my lost shoes. You'll be happy to know that the story did not end where I left off. I returned to the cobbler's the following week with a Negotiator (my husband), whose calm and collected tactics in the face of extreme duress finally got me a minute behind the counter to search for the shoes myself. Naturally I found them in about 30 seconds, bearing a *different* tag number from the one I had been given. Big surprise. No apologies from the shop-owner for yelling at me and accusing me of trying to steal shoes, however. Another big surprise.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

My Brother is Famous!

Breaking News: My very own brother is a world-renowned documentary filmmaker! How do I know he is world-renowned? Because today an interview with him about his recent film on the situation of the Bhutanese refugees in Nepal was featured on the opening page of the website for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees--a site that gets hundreds of thousands of visitors a day, and that I have visited myself on numerous prior occasions. He has been in the South Asian press before, but this is Global Exposure. How thrilling! The Oscars are coming up in March--does somebody want to give The Academy a heads up about this bright new talent?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Events of a Saturday Morning

I set out on Saturday morning in high spirits with a specific purpose in mind--to have an enjoyable morning of experimenting with my camera, such as I have not had in many weeks. I was hoping to shoot a particular scene in Manhattan, but sadly never made it that far.

As I left the apartment, tripod in hand, camera bag slung over my shoulder, I made a detour to pick up a pair of shoes that were being repaired at the cobbler's downstairs--bad idea. Turns out they *lost* my shoes! Yes! And they did not apologize! On the contrary, they implied that by presenting my ticket at the counter and insisting my shoes were still there, I was illegitimately trying to score ANOTHER pair of repaired shoes (whose, I can't imagine). Truly, I could not make this stuff up. The gentleman rifled through a shoebox full of dog-eared old tickets, found the match to my ticket, and proceeded to state it was proof-positive that the shoes had been picked up. The natural question was: why did I still have the companion ticket in my possession if I had indeed picked up the shoes already? You have to hand those in when you get your shoes, after all. Is it possible there had been a mistake? But of course such logic got no hearing in the ensuing discussion which, suffice it to say, was not pretty.

That pretty much ruined my carpediem mood for the morning, so I ended up leaving my tripod at home, canceling my ambitious plans to shoot in Manhattan, and deciding to take a walk around Brooklyn instead. I began at the farmers' market. Just looking at the pumpkins and smelling the apple tarts lifted my spirits. I didn't forget that I promised to blog some fall photos (pumpkins and such). Here's my first installment!

I passed by the Cadman Plaza field where I took a few shots of my husband and his friends playing soccer, and then I headed towards Boerum Hill, where I knew I would find doorways filled with Halloween decorations which might be fun to photograph. I was not disappointed. I loved the grouchy little pumpkin in the photo below. (In fact, that's just about the look I had on my face when I exited the shoe repair place a few hours before.)

Photogenic stoops were not the only find of the morning. While wandering around I happened across an adorable little place called Blue Ribbon General Store--basically a country general store for modern folks. They had a little bit of everything, and there was not a dull item to be found (even the laundry detergent and doggie biscuits looked like fun to have around the house). I picked up a couple of baby gifts for friends, and I saw many more gifts I would like to buy (just gotta decide who to give them to). I got into a conversation with the owner about our mutual enjoyment of Tintin (yes, they even have Tintin stuff!) and discovered the store only opened two weeks ago. I was so charmed by it all, I feel I have to pass on the word about this happy new addition to the neighborhood.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Unsuccessful Experimenting

Taking pictures of rapidly spinning forms are not as easy as you might imagine. The carousel in Central Park caught my fancy last Saturday when we were strolling in the area with my cousins (visiting for the weekend from Chicago). They were kind enough to wait while I took about a hundred pictures, not one of which came out the way I was hoping. I was going for a picture that had a sense of movement, but where you could still clearly discern the subject of the photo. I failed miserably, as the colorful blur above can attest. Maybe I should have increased my shutter speed a little more?

Next time I plan to go in with fully researched techniques at my disposal. I'm sure Digital Photography School has a "how-to" section for just this sort of thing.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Sushi Heaven

Last Friday was my husband's birthday, so I chose to surprise him with a dinner out at a restaurant I thought he would appreciate--Blue Ribbon Sushi. Pacific Northwesterners are hard to satisfy when it comes to sushi, but I thought this might do it. What I think I may have done instead is ruined all normal sushi restaurants for myself forever after. It was amazing--from the soup, to the oysters, to the silver cod marinated in white miso, to the sushi and sashimi, to the decadent chocolate dessert. So tasty, in fact, that although I brought my camera in hopes of getting some photos of mountains of raw fish and wasabi, I forgot about it completely until the meal was over and we were drinking our green tea. As a result, the photo above is the only one I have to share.

In other news, I've been tagged. By Amy. And it's an odd one. Who comes up with these things anyway, and why do I go along with them? I have to open the book I'm currently reading (Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali) to page 161, and read the fifth sentence on the page. What I found was:

"The scabies and lice drove us mad too."

Yikes! Not looking forward to getting to that part of the book! I'll have to tag Chelly for this one.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Until Next Year

This afternoon I was mournfully looking over some of my photographs of summer days gone by. As of about yesterday, fall seems to have finally begun in New York. It has been weeks since I have had a proper opportunity to wander around with my camera (hence, the lack of recent blog posts) and I have a feeling that if I don't get out there soon, I will miss the new season and it's photogenic qualities entirely. I am, however, feeling newly motivated and promise to follow soon with pictures of pumpkins, leaves changing color, premature Halloween decorations, and people wearing tweed. In the meantime, I'll leave you with an old photo rediscovered--one of my summer experiments in depth of field.

Friday, October 5, 2007

When it Comes to Weddings...

... India has them all beat. It's a fact I recently realized when we had the pleasure of attending a gorgeous Indian wedding celebration for two lovely people, whose families gave us a lesson in what "celebration" really means. I thought this particular photo captured the mood of the weekend. (That groom could dance!)