Do you remember “Choose your own ________” items from childhood? Fill in the blank with words like “story” or “adventure”. And then there were Mad Libs, the stories with blanks you filled in for things like nowns, verbs, colors, people.Read More
Ambiguity. I can’t escape it. I face it each day. It is a double-edged sword. Work that comes with clear directions and a direct path to completion with all variables accounted for is a luxury. I often work with half the information I wish I had. It feels like much less sometimes!Read More
Have you recently left your 9-5 life to work for yourself from home?
Now comes the part that many of us didn’t think too much about. Removing the 9-5 job removed our daily structure. In order to be effective and happy in our new role, we need to create that structure for ourselves. This is challenging for some people and the following 3 tips to help you make the shift are an easy way to get started.Read More
I came across an article on the Forbes website from February last year titled “7 Things To Know About Freelancing Before Quitting Your Job”. The author became a freelance writer without intentionally trying to do so and writes about what she learned in the article. The following are several of the article's points with my perspective:Read More
Michigan's Upper Peninsula, and especially the Copper Harbor area, provide amazing opportunities for fall color photography.Read More
This past weekend was beautiful in Chicago with hints of Fall at every turn. I visited the Chicago Botanic Gardens with some friends and really wanted to enjoy the day without a focus on photography.
I couldn't help myself in the cactus gardens. The symmetry in cactus design always catches my attention and I took my iPhone out for a few shots. I used Camera+ to add a quick correction filter, frame and caption text. I love how having a good quality camera phone in your pocket allows for instant creative exploration.
Like any big city, there are many reasons to fall out of love. I sometimes feel this way when the congestion, weather, crime, "fill in the blank" gets on my nerves here in Chicago. And then a day like yesterday comes along.
I spent the majority of the day along the lakefront walking in the parks, the zoo and along the edge of the water. The weather was glorious, and I was thrilled to be able to live in this great city. I fell in love again.
I'm also continually impressed by the creative options available to me via my iPhone and the images I can capture with it. A photo often stands on its own merit, but there's something I love about taking a photo and manipulating it to either create a new image entirely, or enhance and alter the captured image into something more representative of what I saw with more than my eyes. Feelings and emotions are attached to any photo I capture and I enjoy finding ways to visualize them.
This photo struck me for its vantage point offering a large skyline view of downtown Chicago with the harbor filled with boats in the foreground. This really captures what Chicago is all about. It's a magnificent city of towering skyscrapers poised on the edge of a large body of water with countless beaches. The relationship between the work and progress in the buildings versus the activities on the lakefront is very different. However, those same people in those buildings are the ones out on that lakefront. As opposite as they may seem, the city and the lake truly balance all who live here.
It's hit or miss when I race out to the lakefront for what I think is going to be a great photo opportunity. Yesterday was such a day. Storms wracked the midwest the past few days and Chicago received its share of thunderstorms. A low cloud ceiling kept some storms from forming, but provided great views.
I headed to the lakefront after work in the hopes of getting dramatic cloud shapes and lighting. Instead, there were a few distinct clouds with most of the sky under very low contrast. Without the distinct contrast between the clouds, my drama shots proved hard to get. After analyzing what I had to work with for a subject, I decided to take some photos with the intent of manipulating them later. This set shows the end results of my experimentation to a some photos I captured yesterday and after a previous storm on another day.
This great church begun by Antonio Gaudí is perpetually under construction with a currently planned end date of 2026-2030. Signs posted by the entrance ticket booth claim that all who enter are partners in the construction. Lucky for us, we bought our tickets online and were the first to enter the church when it opened, avoiding what was a line that snaked around the block when we left.Read More
The Barcelona Bus Turístic was recommended to us by friends who said it was a great value and easy way to see a large part of Barcelona. How right they were! The side benefit for us was it provided a way to handle inevitable jet lag from a 7 hour timezone difference.
We arrived in Barcelona before we could check into our hotel. After some quick reorganizing of things, we stashed our bags with the front desk and walked the short distance to Placa Catalunya to pick up our bus passes from the tourist center. Placa Catlunya is a major transportation hub and public square. Passes in hand, we headed for the red line bus, which would take us on a circular route of the northern part of Barcelona. We weren't the only ones with this idea in mind.
Our intent was to ride the bus and plug in the provided headphones for prerecorded commentary on what we were seeing on the ride. It was a very sunny day, so we opted for sitting downstairs rather than on the exposed roof of the bus. As a result of that seating choice, we were able to board the bus ahead of anyone who was waiting to sit on top. We decided that was a better choice than getting a potentially bad sunburn on our very first day of vacation after many months of gray, sunless skies in Chicago.
The bus stopped every half mile or so. It felt like we were keeping a good pace and people moved quickly on and off the bus. It was nice being able to sit and not have to think about navigating ourselves. I'm sure we both nodded off once or twice, but stayed awake for most of the journey.
Our intent was to ride the bus, get the "lay of the land" and make note of places we'd want to revisit when we're more awake. We ended up getting off the bus for a few locations instead, including the site of the 1992 Olympics and the National Museum of Art.
Click a photo for a larger slideshow and captions.
Before heading back to Placa Catalunya, our bus made a trip through the waterfront area and past some famous landmarks like the statue of Columbus and "The Barcelona Head" by Roy Lichtenstein.
The sun, fresh air and ride helped to forestall jet lag as we'd hoped and gave us a wonderful introduction to Barcelona.