Archive for the ‘photography’ Category

New Books.

Can't wait to sew and cook my way through these.

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New Recipes
(Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls recipe from Land O’Lakes)

Delish! (And I've finally conquered my fear of yeast doughs).

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Cleaning out my childhood room.  Digging up old treasures.

Pretty Origami Papers.

Old toys, new life. (I loved that Happy Meal toy once - it's a mini-transformer!)

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A couple of bento.
(I finally convinced my parents to let me pack meals for them. The pear-ginger muffin is from Nigella Express).

Dad's lunch, Mom's snack.

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A new craft.
(From Megan Nicolay, via Threadbanger.  I’m SO sad that the hosts are all leaving that channel!)

Infinity t-shirt scarf (DIY'ed), vintage brooch (from my grandparents).

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LOTS of syllabus prep for my new job this Fall
(teaching Freshman Comp at Notre Dame).

I didn't end up using most of these.

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I’ve gone shopping a lot, too. Trying to update my wardrobe to be more teacher-appropriate. (My official hiring letter says that I’m an “Adjunct Assistant Professor” during the term of my appointment.  0.o  It’s just for the fall term, but the thought still kind of boggles my mind!)

Issue 1, and then the syllabus have taken up most of my time (and mental space) so far.  They’re done (finally!) but still, there’s SO much left to do (as always, the holiday seems way too short). I haven’t had much time for writing, hanging out with friends, re-learning to drive, or finishing the cleaning/repainting/redecorating of my room (it’s currently a complete disaster zone — not that it isn’t usually, but trust me, it’s much worse than usual at the moment).  Still, I’ve been so glad for the time to complete my own stuff (it’s the first summer I’ve had since junior high in which I haven’t had to report to some combination of work or class!).  I’ve been working my butt off morning to night, but the freedom to wake up at leisure, spend the whole day working on my projects, and take time off at a moment’s notice to fulfill family obligations or socialize without the constant fear of major ramifications is so precious. Who knows when I’ll have another summer like this?


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More photo backlog. Fall is the one time of year that is truly breathtaking here.

View from behind Wilson Commons

Outside the laundry room

The Golden Dome in the background

Yellow maple leaves

Carved pumpkins done by M & L

Glowing (mine’s in the middle; I think I cut away too much b/c it rotted early)

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They carry produce that Americans normally won’t touch unless introduced to it as a “gourmet item.” And for cheap, too.

Case in point: fresh, tender watercress. For soup, or for yummy egg, cress and prosciutto sandwiches.

Egg, Cress, and Prosciutto Sandwich

Case in point: sweet, mellow golden kiwi. (2 for $1). For breakfast, or for a treat in a bento.

Airplane Bento - July 30, 2009

The bento, by the way, is an airplane meal from last Thursday, when I traveled to Kentucky for my uncle’s wedding. The sushi is a ready-made “shrimp california” maki roll from the HK Supermarket down the street (there’s actually 8 pieces, but you can only see 4 because I stacked them). Ginger candy lozenges and my favorite fish-and-almonds are in the plastic packets. The rest is pretty self-evident: carrot sticks, golden kiwi. It was too much for me on the plane (didn’t eat the carrot sticks), but by the time we got to the hotel, I was starving again, so I ate dinner a second time.

The wedding was beautiful. There was a bit of family drama, but fortunately nothing too crazy. I was asked to be a 3rd photographer, which was kind of a neat experience. I always take photos at weddings, but I’ve never actually officially been asked to help cover one before. I really enjoyed the challenge of shooting under changing lighting conditions (for example, the ceremony was outside, and I couldn’t believe how much difference it made in terms of the exposure I needed when the sun was shining directly overhead vs. when the same spot was partly hidden by clouds), and of trying to coordinate my position so that I stayed out of the primary (pro) photographer’s way, didn’t obstruct the other guests’ views, and yet moved around enough that I could shoot from different positions and angles than the other two photographers. I finally sort of found my stride more during the second day (when the big reception was held). I love taking pictures of small things at weddings – candles, flower arrangements, table settings – since I’m a very detail-oriented person and (confession time), having read a lot of wedding-photography related blogs (a secret guilty pleasure of mine), I know that the bride and groom often like it when the details are recorded since they’ve put so much time into preparing them. However, as I was compiling shots for the digital display at this weekend’s Saturday reception, I changed my mind and decided to cut any photos that weren’t of people. (It was late and I had a lot to post-process, my mom recommended against it, and anyway I didn’t think any of the guests would care about what Friday’s escort tags looked like!). But when I showed my uncle what I was doing, he picked up on the photos of candles and desserts and nametags right away, and requested that I put them back in. Apparently the other photographers had focused pretty much exclusively on people! (Something that admittedly surprised me, since if you look at a web site like The Knot, you’ll see that at the very least, photographers will be sure to include pictures of the dress and/or shoes, the rings, and the flowers/decorations). So I put the detail shots back in. And on Saturday, I stopped worrying about trying to get candids of every single guest, and allowed myself time to focus on the details instead. It ended up working out really well for me that way, as I’m still pretty inexperienced with portraits, and it allowed me to do a lot of my shooting under the natural light coming from the windows, since the swing band, the bar, and most of the decorations were ranged around the walls. It also allowed the other photographer (the pro wasn’t there that night, so there were two of us) to focus mainly on the action and the guests, and while I still backed him up, I was able to focus primarily on environmental textures – the curve of the trombone player’s bell, the glow of candles, the colors of the flowers, the twinkle of wine glasses, the varying shapes and opacities of the treats in the candy bar – a task with which I have a lot of practice, thanks to blogging! I’ve no photos that I’m ready to post at the moment, as I still have loads of post-processing to complete. But the experience was really great overall. I was honored to be asked to take part in my uncle’s wedding in such an intimate way, and I think I learned a lot in the bargain.

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All right you-all, I know my blog has been imageless, quiet, and boring lately.  And this is my 100th post (yay, milestones!).  So I’ll devote this one solely to photography for a change.  These are poladroids I made from shots I took when my friends and I went down the shore (to the beach, for all you non-NJ people) a couple of weeks ago.  Because my Poladroid obsession has not yet waned. (Will it ever?)  And to show you that I haven’t been cooped up in an office ALL summer.

Seaside Heights, NJ – June 2009

Umbrella (alas, not ours).

Lonesome beach chair.

Casino Pier
View of casino pier

Kickin' It
Kickin’ it in the surf


Pizza Parlor
Jersey does junk food right.

What Goes Up . . .
I think this poor fellow must get dizzy staring at that ride all day, don’t you?

See more of my Poladroids at Flickr

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I’m currently sitting in the San Jose airport waiting for my plane to Philly. After moving out of South Bend on Wednesday, I flew out here to CA and spent the weekend attending a wedding, doing research in Monterey, and spending lots of quality time with my boyfriend. Summer has been coming on way too fast – and by that I don’t just mean the weather (it was 95 degrees here yesterday). This year, I’ll be spending a few weeks at home for vacation, and then working in New York City for 10 weeks. It’s hard to believe that my first year of graduate school is already finished. My papers are turned in, my apartment packed up into boxes, and I’m all moved out. It seems downright surreal that I only have one more year left in my program. About a year ago, when I started this blog, I was just applying to MFA programs, and now I’m already starting to plan out options for post-graduation.

I haven’t blogged very much in the last few months, but I have been doing a lot of cooking, crafting, and photographing. So here’s a few poladroids from the end of last semester, as a retrospective of sorts (there’s a lot of them I’ve been saving up, so I’ll do a second post later, with more):

Homemade cheese crackers.

Spring tulips from the Farmer’s Market

Research for my nerdy, nerdy poetry manuscript.

New watch. (The old one died so I upgraded to something more grown up).

Discarded shoes and toys at a bridal shower.

It’s wedding season, full force, around here!

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This week has been crazy. So this post is (very) short, but sweet.

In an act of shameless self-promotion, here’s a bit of news:

This photo that I took during last week’s round of our department’s National Poetry Month celebration readings . . .

. . . ended up being chosen as yesterday’s “Photo of the Day” on the ND web site (our awesome dept administrator submitted it – happy Administrative Assistants’ Day, Coleen, by the way – and thanks for all you do!)

That is all. Over and out. 🙂

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I have an alarmingly long to-do list for the next two weeks, but I haven’t been able to get very much work done since the weekend.  (Hence my being up at 2:00 AM listening to Pandora and blogging).  Thought I might as well post some photos of my Easter table, since I wrote about all that food in my last post.

Centerpiece / Flower arrangement #1
(daffodils I bought from the Farmer’s Market):

Flower arrangement #2
(on the side table; daffodils that someone gave my roommate on the same day that I bought mine- likely also from the Farmer’s Market):

Friends opening a bottle of wine in front of the full spread
(Yes, ED and MM, you’ve appeared on my blog, just as you predicted . . .):

Closeup of the spread
(S’s pretzel rods and veggies w/ guacamole are hidden behind the flowers, but can you guess what everything else is?):

I discovered during the course of the party that the spiced nuts I made (using Nigella Lawson’s recipe) taste REALLY GOOD when mixed with jellybeans. S is still quite skeptical, but I maintain she doesn’t know what she’s missing.

While shooting these images, I had some trouble focusing properly (the light in my apartment is quite uneven, so I was spending most of my energy thinking about metering and exposure, and shot the latter two photos, in particular, very quickly so as not to be rude by taking lots of fangirl photos of my own food instead of being hospitable to my guests…), but I was rather pleased by the soft warm cast my images acquired as a result of the fact that the sun was setting and I had the front door and the drapes on our front windows wide open (the front of our house faces pretty much due West, so we are privvy to absolutely spectacular sunsets with breathtaking afterglow, and really interesting effects when the sun rises on clear days – as we live directly across from several large buildings whose bricks turn orangey-gold as the sun comes up, and then reflect the red sky in their windows, so that they look like they are on fire).

I’ve really been enjoying the Spring weather this month. It’s rained miserably for the last two days, but the weekend was glorious, and I keep reminding myself that when it’s raining, at least it’s not snowing, and when it’s sunny, it really is sunny and golden. 🙂

All right, bedtime now. (My Pandora list has also reached a Regina Spektor song I dislike – so I want to finish this post and stop typing so I can go turn it off . . .)

[By the way, in case you were wondering, the visible foods in the last image are, starting at the top right: egg and cress on mini baguette slices, Nigella Lawson’s Union Square Cafe Nuts, roasted vegetable skewers, mini apple strudels from Meijer, roasted lamb and eggplant skewers, ED’s homemade hummus and pita chips, cracked pepper water crackers with herbed goat cheese and peppered smoked salmon, more egg and cress slices, dark chocolate eggs, Starburst jelly beans; beverages half-visible in the distance are “French berry” (strawberry) sparkling lemonade, fresh mint iced tea, and a bottle of red wine].

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