We jump ahead quite a ways for this week’s Classic Photo Tuesday. The winter of 2009 hit me really hard, and I did almost nothing for several months. What I did was mostly being frustrated at the zoo because my 20D was really struggling. One of the main indoor sections of the Minnesota Zoo, the Tropics Trail, is lit largely by skylights. When they ice over in the winter, the light levels reduced enough to make it pretty much impossible with an older camera. So we got all the way to May before I got both a new camera and more willingness to spend time in the outdoor part of the zoo.
May 11, 2009. Minnesota Zoo. Click to embiggen.
I guess it’s appropriate that the first portfolio shot off of the 5Dii is thoroughly representative of how I felt that winter. Like this leopard, I was completely wiped out and ready to just flop down somewhere. That would last for quite a while – 2008 was very productive, but got there by throwing off a lot of excess energy, and it would take years to rebuild.
I’ve kept a print of this on the wall of my bedroom for a few years now, both as a reminder of those days and as an inducement to sleep. She’s very convincing.
It’s been a while since I’ve posted a recipe, so here’s a simple summer crab salad I made up tonight.
- 8oz crab meat
- 10 really good cherry tomatoes, cut into eighths
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon paprika
Serve on nice bread, with cherries.
The location list is here. We still need some people.
We thought this house said “Carla.” A nice British man was kind enough to let us use it.
So, we’re making good progress, but it’s rained, and rained, and rained, and there’s no way this is going to be done this week. I’ll have a bunch of prints to show off at Fourth Street, and hopefully we can do some of them with Fourth Street people and get this wrapped up. My schedule is such that if I don’t get it done by July 7 it’s likely to drag on for a long time after that. So those of you who still have individual ones to do please schedule them with me.
There are still a bunch available for people who’ve found this from Bear’s post or from the posts I’m about to make to Fourth Street places. It looks like we’re going to have good weather Monday through Wednesday this week, with possibilities for good weather on Thursday and Friday. So feel free to jump in.
I had been hoping not to have to resort to gorgeous models who haven’t read the book.
This week we’re also going to be doing the group reading at Como Conservatory, on Wednesday evening at 8pm. This should take about half an hour. Meet at the steps in front of the old entrance, where it says “Marjorie McNeely Conservatory” above the doors. I’d really like to get at least fifteen people for this one. Please invite anyone you think might want to come. Facebook event.
Pamela and a giant dandelion. They fight crime!
Still some winter in Mill Ruins Park for Classic Photo Tuesday this week:
December 8, 2008, Minneapolis. Click to embiggen.
You can see why these buildings became ruins. Close to the river in the winter water seeps through limestone and freezes, turning both cliffs and architecture into ice sculptures. So a mill basement becomes an ice cave, complete with stalagmites.
And so ends 2008 and the first epoch of my photography. ’08 was something of a festival of learning. I shot a ton, acquired most of my kit, and managed to do some good work, though it wasn’t very focused, and it took a lot of button-clicking to get the photos you’ve seen here. I shot more in 2008 than I would in 2009-11 combined. You’ll see some photos from those years in the next few months, but they were mostly about integrating the mass of information I got in 2008, and really learning to postprocess. It was really mid-2012 before I came back around to the next stage of learning how to shoot.
Spent most of the day today dealing with a hard drive failure. I didn’t lose anything important, but it was an annoying amount of work. Fortunately I have a bunch of things waiting to be posted, including some baby leopards.
March 11, 2013. Minnesota Zoo. Click to embiggen.
I just love the textures of the spot pattern on leopards.
Most new photo processing is going to have to wait until the replacements show up next week, which I guess means I’ll have more time to write. I had been planning to upgrade my hard drive situation sometime soon anyway – with all the panoramas I’ve been doing I really need a solid state drive on this computer – but I would have preferred it not to be today.
I’d much rather be thinking about leopards.
Time for an update on the War for the Oaks Reader Project. Currently we’re about a quarter of the way through. It’s been raining a lot, so that’s only a few days’ worth of actual work. Hopefully it will clear up a bit in the weeks to come and we can plow through the rest.
Another quarter are centered around Minnehaha Falls, so I want to get that scheduled here. It looks like Saturday has a reasonable chance of being rain-free, so I’m going to schedule the mass reading at the Deer Pen for Saturday at 2pm. Ideally then several people will be able to stick around to do individual ones around the Falls.
Marjorie McNeely Conservatory. You’ll probably have to click to find Elise in it.
That will leave the second large reading, at the Conservatory, yet to do. Hopefully we’ll get a clear day on the following weekend.
Right now, this Friday also looks like it’s going to be nice out, so those of you still waiting to do your individual ones might consider that as a time to schedule. Everybody who has signed up will be getting an email from me shortly.
Sherry’s excellent idea. This isn’t her main photo – we did a big environmental like the others – but I think it might make a good cover.
I’m pretty pleased with how this is going so far. We did Sherry’s Peavey Plaza fountain photo on Sunday, and she had the excellent idea to borrow our friend’s big black dog to stand in for the Phouka. Sonya was extremely accommodating of the last-minute planning, and Tova was a very good boy.
We still need a few people for individual photos, and I’d like to get as many as possible to come out to the Falls on Saturday, so please pass this along to anyone you think might be interested.
Facebook Event. Google+ Event.
For this week’s Classic Photo Tuesday we’re back in Mill Ruins Park. You may be getting the impression that I kind of like it there.
December 8, 2008. Minneapolis. Click to embiggen.
I just liked the shapes and the rust here, contrasted with the snow and the stone wall. I guess this is also my first experiment in using snow fields as negative space, which would pay dividends a little more than four years later.
This is part of a leftover foundation from one of the old riverfront flour mills. The mills that still stand up on the hill were farther back, and had tributary millraces, but these were right on the main one coming down on the west side of St. Anthony Falls. The old races were dug straight into the limestone and erosion tended to undermine the mills built on them.
So, around the end of November, I decided I needed to take a more structured approach toward learning to be a better fiction writer, not in a skill sense, but in an amount of production sense. My biggest weakness has always been managing to get a reasonable amount of output, and I got tired of all the advice on this being basically “just shut up and do it.” My first attempt at a program to get myself in the habit of writing more worked really well for a while:
December through March. Isn’t that a pretty graph?
The last week on that graph is Minicon week. I made a bunch of really bad decisions at Minicon as regards my physical state and my energy levels, ones I hopefully won’t be foolish enough to repeat. But the end result is that I was wiped out afterward for more than a month, and while spending all of my energy on keeping myself together and continuing to make photographs, the writing suffered:
April and May, the eight weeks since Minicon. Not what I’m looking for.
Things are getting a bit better now, and it’s time to climb that hill again. One of the things I learned from playing poker is that the best medicine for a downswing is a really big graph which, over the long run, only goes up and up. So I need to get the overall graph off of this flat stretch and moving forward again. I’ve kind of lost track of what appropriate goal-setting for this situation is, so for this week I’m just going to see what I can manage, and if that doesn’t work I’ll come up with a small goal for next week. If it does work I can get back into the program from there.
** Sale over – prints still available at regular price **
It rained pretty much all month, so why not have some rain in the sale?
May 31, 2013. Minneapolis. Click to embiggen.
I had a nice afternoon yesterday in the scattered showers, driving around under clear skies and getting downpours and hail when actually taking photos. Not exactly the goal. But it turns out Lock and Dam No. 1 is a pretty good place to be when it’s pouring, as long as you’re up on the covered deck. The rain sheeting off the top of the deck here was really nice. This is looking east; the background is across the river.
8 1/2″ by 11″ prints, $30 ($35 for Canadians), shipping and tax included. Artisan-quality signed prints, made by me and not by some lab somewhere. What you get is precisely the final product all of my work is directed toward. Paper size 8 1/2″ by 11.” Print will have white borders. Regular price $60. Sale runs through June 7th.
Try something new this month: pass this along to your social networks and post a link in the comments here, or retweet/reshare one of my social network posts, and I’ll draw somebody to win one at the end of the week. (I’ll refund if the winner bought one.)
This week Classic Photo Tuesday falls on a Wednesday again. Hey, it was a holiday weekend. Besides, it’s a tapir, perhaps nature’s perfect avatar for a lack of a sense of urgency.
October 26, 2008. Minnesota Zoo. Click to embiggen.
Animal feet are fascinating to me. There’s so much variation, and feet aren’t something we tend to pay attention to, so there’s often a lot of detail there that you wouldn’t notice or think about without a photograph. You probably did not expect a tapir to be pink.
In many ways our perception of animals is formed by the language of stylized art, which tends to focus mostly on heads. They’re readily distinguishable, and easy to overlay with anthropomorphic facial expressions. Only the most subtle artists do anything with animal body language at all, and almost nobody draws interesting feet. But while they’re hard to draw, feet can be very characteristic and expressive themselves. They’re worthy of more attention.