Friday, November 28, 2014

48/52 - Photo Project 2014

The week is barely done, but I already know what will be this week's winner.

This is one of the murals painted on boarded up windows on South Grand, as a result of the protest turned riot after the Grand Jury decision in regards Darren Wilson and Mike Brown.

I saw it on the news and it resonated with me just about as much as next week's New Yorker cover.

S Grand Murals - STLtogether

May this be a turning point for progress.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

47/52 - Photo Project 2014

Sunday brought the first good snowstorm of the season. And by good, I mean that the snow stuck around for a little while. I braved a headache to take these pictures. Well worth it.

Since this snow came so early, things were still in bloom.

Tough call:

First Snow 2014/2015 Winter

Close runners up:

First Snow 2014/2015

First Snow 2014/2015 Winter

I'm looking forward to more snow! But perhaps not Buffalo-level snow, okay?

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Happy List, Weeks 45-47

Macro Water Droplets

Because of the behind-the-scenes glimpse at the exhibit, I missed posting Week 45. Here's both last week and this week's.

Happy List, Week 45

1. Meeting new people. Met a new person through the sale of one of my pieces.

2. Halloween. Haven't dressed up in ages but when one of your BFF's kiddo wants to go trick or treating... when in Rome.

3. VLAA. This wonderful service (volunteer lawyers and accountants for the arts) provides low cost workshops for artists. Check them out:

4. Daylight Savings. I know it's darker earlier, but at least sunset is right after work. Makes it more convenient.

5. Election Day. Because it is your and my civic duty to participate.

Happy List, Week 46

1. Theatre colleagues. We had a one-woman show at work recently and it was lovely to spend time with her and her stage manager.

2. Friends. It's wonderful that a friend drove in from far away to see my show before de-install.

3. A full day. Saturday had a photo shoot, an exhibit pickup (from this summer), an art fair and a show. Sometimes being busy is fun.

4. Family photo Shoot.  I had a photo shoot with one of my BFFs and her son. It was a lot of fun! We had a beautiful day for it. And my models were gorgeous.

5. Monday Funday. Pippin and I spent Monday together and it was a lot of fun. We got to enjoy the most beautiful day of the week outside and I still managed to do several loads of laundry. Didn't get everything on my to-do list done but almost all.

Happy List, Week 47

1. The Imitation Game. What a movie - thank you SLIFF for bringing it to STL just a hint early.

2. Benedict Cumberbatch. After seeing the Imitation Game, I'm now thoroughly a fan of Mr. Cumberbatch. I've now seen him exercise his acting talents in three different major roles and he's been brilliant in all of them.

3. First snowfall. The first snowfall that sticks is always kind of amazing.

4. Time with BFF. Though she's been apart from her husband for awhile (because of being state-side temporarily), I've personally enjoyed having LA in town a lot. I am, however, looking forward for her to have the opportunity to spend some time in her other home in Germany!

5. Poker night. Monday night no/low stakes poker night with friends. Good times.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

43-46/52 - Photo Project 2014

Well, between being behind on uploading on Flickr and posting the "Behind the Shot" series of my solo show... I'm a might behind on posting the Photo Project.

Some weeks had many more opportunities than others, so I'll post the winner and at least a runner up for each.

Week 43:



Runner up:

Brick Bones



Week 44: 


October 27 Sunrise

Runner up:

October 27 Sunrise

Week 45:


Frosty Tree

Week 46:

November 9 Sunset

I really only had two choices for this week... so it's time to remember to pick up the camera again! 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Behind the Shot: Alternate Views #11


This is "Lyrics" - the only photo out of geographic order because I needed another vertical piece to balance out "Arch/Crunden Martin". This is also the one that people still don't get after looking at it and looking at it.

This is part of the Chuck Berry statue in the Loop. Part of the statue is in the concrete plaza and there are 5 lines of lyrics that make up guitar strings. That particular lyric is from "Johnny B Goode", FYI.

I took this photo on a night photo walk with a now disbanded group.

Thanks for sticking through this behind-the-scenes tour of my first solo show. As of today, you have ONE more week to check it out in person before it is deinstalled to make room for the next one (not mine)!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Behind the Shot: Alternate Views #10

Creve Couer Sunset

For those of who have been following my photography lately, you've noticed that I'm obsessed with sunrises and sunsets. The cloudier the sky, the more dramatic and colorful. The key is the right type of clouds and the clouds that stick. And I'm quickly learning that clouds and sunsets can be completely different in different places.

But I digress... my obsession with Creve Couer Lake stemmed with a challenge of sorts. It was told to me that if you follow Midland from University City to Maryland Heights, you never have to change streets and you dead-end at the lake. Well... one promising looking day, I tried that experiment and what did you know... it was true! 

In addition to it being a beautiful place (that I know I haven't even BEGUN to explore), it's also home to a rowing club or two. Often, they are out practicing at sunset, making themselves wonderful photo subjects.

I love the extremely dramatic sky combined with the silhouette of the rowers. (And it took MANY passes to get this because ironically, not all the rowers row every time!)

Up next: Last but not least, the most hidden and closest to 'home'

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Behind the Shot: Alternate Views #9

Forest Park - Early Fall Morning

"Curves" became the title photo, so to speak of this exhibition because it embodied the theme of the piece, yet wasn't my overwhelming favorite of the exhibit at the time. I didn't want to put my 'best' photo out there. I know that sounds counter-intuitive, but at the time, I was really thinking that "Arch/Crunden Martin" was my favorite and I didn't want to give the best one away.

The story behind this photo is that this particular photo had been "hidden" from me my entire life. I've spent lots of time in Forest Park, at Art Hill especially... but I'd never looked at Art Hill from that particular perspective.

This was taken after climbing just about the steepest part of the Art Hill, straight up. We were gasping for breath when I looked over and saw my shot. What delightful curves and colors and just a peek of the building that gives away the entire location.

Up next: My new favorite place.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Behind the Shot: Alternate Views #8

"Snowy Contemplation" was the overwhelmingly popular favorite of the night. It has long been one of my mom's favorite photos, pretty much ever since I took it. But I had no idea of the mass reach. 

Everyone wanted to know if it was staged.

The answer is a resounding NO - it's called good timing! 

I was driving (very carefully) through Forest Park, near the Muny. This is Pagoda Circle in the midst of a late March snowstorm in 2013. You know, the one with the near record snowfall? 

I happened across this person under that beautiful rainbow umbrella (likely another crazy photographer like myself) and saw the concept in my head. I rolled down my window and quickly took the photo before the subject moved or the snow started sticking to my lens.

In "post", I did nothing but a little 'dodge and burn' to highlight that beautiful rainbow umbrella just a hint. 

Almost everyone who came up to me said that "Snowy" was their favorite of all. I truly had no idea how powerful/popular of a piece it was!

Up next: The advertisement image.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Behind the Shot: Alternate Views #7

STL 250 Celebrations

"STL Love" is one of my favorite photos from the last year. This is from STL250's Burning Love Festival... supposed to happen on Valentine's Day, but had to be rescheduled due to ice. It probably had much lower attendance because of the weekday move plus Art Hill was so muddy. But it was a fun and unique celebration.

That purple STL heart later "caught" fire and was a beautiful burning heart. I thought about using that photo instead but I really love the three hearts, the purple (because I'm still me) and the beams of light in the background. It was a beautiful event design and I was happy to capture it.

Note - this one was also shot without a tripod (because I hate dragging them around) and hand-held. And on a low battery (oops!). 

Up next: The most popular photo in my exhibit.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Behind the Shot: Alternate Views #6

This is "Shadows", also know as the Zoo Gate. This one is one of those hidden-in-plain-sight wonders of St. Louis. I love this photo because the snow has stuck gloriously to that patina-d sculpture. 

This photo was taken from my car while driving through the Hampton roundabout. (Well, I was stopped because the Zoo Gate all lit up with the snow sticking to it begged to be captured.) (And I'm not THAT crazy of a photographer.)

The most significant thing about this photo that is a behind-the-shot story is the fact that originally, I had it printed in color. But I didn't really like it as much until I printed it in Black and White. And then I loved it. 

I was a little nervous that it didn't fit in with the rest of the color pieces in the show, but a little adjustment in the lineup and all was well.

Up next: Celebrating St. Louis at 250.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Behind the Shot: Alternate Views #5

Fox Alley Stairs

Entitled "Escape", I chose a very literal title for a very literal thing. This is the fire escape as seen from Washington Avenue on the side of the Fabulous Fox Theatre.

This piece speaks to me on many levels - I have spent my adult life and professional life in the arts; I have had theatre as part of my life for as long as I remember.

I also enjoy the technical composition of the photo itself, how the stairs flow like a negative data graph. I enjoy the texture of the brick and the aging of the rust, "dripping" down the sides.

But most of all - I love that I took this on the way back to the car after an incredible opening of the "City at 250" exhibit at the Sheldon Art Galleries, with the previous picture in the exhibition.

Up next: A gate in a different light.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Behind the Shot: Alternate Views #4

Garden Glow at MoBot

"Limelight" is one of my favorites of the show. I have always been a fan of the Climatron, but the Climatron lit up for the Garden Glow... glorious.

What's special in my heart about this photo is how I took it. You aren't allowed a tripod so I had to hold my breath and take multiple shots in order to have one without any shake. Something that one has to contend with in low light, below freezing conditions and even with a fancy new camera (this is one of the first series of shots taken with the new Canon 70D).

I'm proud not only of the subject and the composition but what I had to do to get there! I'm still in awe of my ability (and luck) in getting a clear, shake-free shot.

I can't wait to try again this year!

Up next: An unexpected side of a famous place.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Behind the Shot: Alternate Views #3

I titled this one "Lines" because that's the main focus of this composition. I like this because it's one of the really not quite obvious inclusions in this exhibit. These are the old rail lines that are under (or next to) the Union Station Train Shed.

Now with LHM having taken over Union Station, hopefully these train lines might actually see some action. I know it is their plans to have a la carte train traffic (i.e. not Amtrak).

I just love the way I composed this picture, the lines disappear into the trees and end in the radio tower. And not a hint of those famous red towers. Not everything can be hidden in plain view!

Up next: A familiar sight in unfamiliar light.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Behind the Shot: Alternate Views #2

Item #7 - Bridges

Let me introduce you to "Intersections", also taken in Choteau's Landing. I had to do a little digging, but I took this back in 2010 during a meet-up. We were doing a photographic scavenger hunt in Downtown St. Louis along the theme of "Decay/Isolation/Creepy/Weird" and had a list of things to cross off. It was wildly fun and it makes me want to do one again soon. I wonder if I have the original list written down somewhere.

Obviously, the Crunden-Martin photo was a revisit to the space but I hadn't been down in the area for awhile and didn't realize I'd actually be there before. My up ticking interest in urban decay and historic preservation has brought me back to that mostly vacant area. It is all hauntingly beautiful.

Up next: A different view of a familiar place. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Behind the Shot: Alternate Views #1

Since some people just won't be able to make it to my exhibition at Third Degree Glass (up until November 18th!), I thought I'd tour folks through the exhibit, the background behind the photos, etc. I had so many questions about some of the photos that it prompted me to remember the story behind photo. Some are more interesting than others but I'd still love to share with you.

If you are in St. Louis, I highly recommend seeing them in person... I'm really proud of this exhibit.

So without further delay:

Downtown STL Explore

This is "Arch/Crunden-Martin".

I took this on a Photo Flood of downtown St. Louis. This building has been on my radar after it spectacularly caught fire in 2011. That fire brought my attention this area of Choteau's Landing that I was previously unaware of.

This was the first time I'd explored this area on foot (I generally don't enter areas that are relatively unoccupied alone unless in a car).

Perhaps this is one of the images that really compelled the curation of the "Alternate Views" because I really love that it isn't your "standard" Arch shot, yet it still celebrates two parts of St. Louis history.

Tomorrow, I'll move on to "Intersections". Similar place, different perspective. With the exception of the last photo in the exhibit, the pieces are laid out geographically from downtown to far west.