Eagle Creek Park in Winter

Today Laura and I traipsed out into the cold and sunshine to see what could be seen at the local park.  Armed only with a 100mm prime macro my results were fairly abstract…

Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN I can’t resist a good tree stump… Any plant is a wondrous thing drawing nourishment from the dirt and the sky to become a towering giant. Even after they’re cut down, their mark on the world remains for years until nature slowly reclaims them. Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN

The last winter hangers-on from the cattails pondside.
Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN At some point I’d like to sit down and learn enough about the various fungi of the forest to identify them on sight. I adore these quiet reclaimers of the forest. Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN
Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN

Not to mention lichen, nature’s truest collaborator.
Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN I like the contrast of metal and ice but it always surprises me to find such things in the middle of an urban forest. Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN
Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN

One can’t help but stop and look at the crispy sheets of ice.
Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN
Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN We close with a solitary hanger-on… perhaps he’ll last until the spring. Misc macro fun from Eagle Creek Park in Indianapolis, IN

It was good to be out. We bought the annual pass so we’ll be back.

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Well poo… it’s been six months

You know, every few months I pop on here and suddenly realize that it’s been far too long since I’ve made any update. You know it’s been too long when you have to scroll back 12 pages in Flickr to find the last picture you made commentary on. Oh well. No time like the present to catch up.

Alright… well, since June we’ve gone on vacation. We got in the car with three kids and said, “OK, oh children of ours, which direction?” After some discussion they said: “West!” so west we headed. A few more directional questions later we found ourselves in…

Madison Wisconsin for fireworks over water…
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and a nice view of the capitol building…
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Even the teenagers were happy and unafraid to show it for just this brief moment.
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After another “Which way, kids?” we found ourselves in Milwaukee. This ultra-realistic statue of a security guard still haunts my dreams. Milwaukee WI 099

But the art museum is nice…
Milwaukee WI 037 And we even got to see the “wings” flap. Milwaukee WI 028

From there it was on to Green Bay where the youngest got eaten by a dinosaur…
Green Bay WI 001 … and there was this Lambeau field place on a cloudy day… Green Bay WI 022

Asking the kids again which way to go they voted to head over the top and loop the loop over Lake Michigan so we made our way up the long way to the Mackinac bridge and home through Michigan
Mackinac Bridge 011 Later, back in Indiana, the rain was record-breaking which made for great fungus Lake Mississinewa 041

but didn’t do a thing for the accommodations at the parks. You can just make out the top of the roof of the shelter house in the water.
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But the bugs didn’t mind in Skiles Test Park.
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And as the weather changed all manner of these little things were found laying about.
A poor dead house fly has come to dinner Immediately on the heels of GenCon, the state fair is always a wonderful place to see people… 2015 Indiana State Fair012
2015 Indiana State Fair038 With October, comes football and these guys rolled into town 2015 Colts vs Patriots027

Much to the disappointment of these guys
2015 Colts vs Patriots082 With the close of the year upon us, my muse was only awakened because of a realization that I was missing an opportunity. I get lots of products for review yet I wasn’t using them as photographic subjects. So over the past couple of days I’ve taken to exercising my macro lens. LED Bulb 024
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Glass Crystal Glass Crystal
Glass Crystal

So it’s been a heck of year, in retrospect. Aside from those things pictured, there are a few events I should note. In October I moved out of my apartment and bought a house. In November we saw Elle King in concert and while she was profoundly foul mouthed she was deliciously entertaining. Best concert I’ve been to in years. And lastly, earlier in December my house was broken into and all my best camera equipment was stolen along with the majority of other electronics. So that’s been fun.

At any rate, it’s been a delightfully varied year. I promise I’ll write more often. But then, you’ve heard all THAT before I’m sure.

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Indy Downtown Randomness – 6/6/2015

On Saturday I did a thing that most people don’t really understand terribly well.  I intentionally stranded myself downtown in Indy for the day without a car so that I would be forced to go forth and make the best of the day.  I also intentionally didn’t look at the events calendar so I had no clue what (if anything) was going on downtown.  If I was going to find anything at all then I’d have to do so on foot and at random.  As it happened, it worked out wonderfully.

My fiancee has class downtown on Saturdays all day so I went downtown with her and walked her to class.  On the way, we noted a large yellow tube in the road and also that the road was blocked off to traffic.  We questioned what this could possibly be but since she was due in class she had to go on her way while I was left to investigate.  After dropping her at class I wandered up New York Street and found a gaggle of people making their way down Blackford.  Heading that direction the first thing I noticed was that the Indian State Museum is a HOTBED of Ingress activity.  There must be 50 portals in a single block area.  That distracted me for quite a while as I took out some Resistance Portals (which, since that time have been reclaimed by the Resistance and then re-reclaimed by the Enlightened)

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So wandering down that way it quickly became clear that that the day was dedicated to “The Color Run” in which runners make their way around the 5K course and get squirted with all manner of colored powder on the way. Interestingly, it was one of my long-term goals to photograph a Color Run so in some weird happenstance of randomness, I managed to wander exactly into the thing I had been trying in vain to do for a long time. Which, if you know me at all, you’ll know is one of my key life ideas. That the best things happen to you when you’re not really trying to make them happen at all. At any rate, let’s get on to the pictures.

So to begin with I got a surge of energy from the opening. Here’s a shot of the crowd before they get colored on at all. It’s whiter than a Zionsville baseball game!

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After a bit of photography at the opening, I decided that the best course of action would be to find my way to the end of the course and walk it backwards. That way I’d catch everyone head-on and as they were coming around the course. Essentially, I was walking the 5K course backwards.

At first, this worked out poorly. This gentleman was the first to finish and I didn’t realize he was a runner until he was already past.

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But soon things started to get more lively. This group of four was places 2-6 and I told them so as they went past.

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After a bit I came upon a color station. Which was quite an amusing waypoint, plus or minus the obvious danger to my camera equipment from airborne orange dust.

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Moving onward, I noted that the course doubled back on itself a bit. The blue checkpoint is apparently the first and it is at this point, more or less, that I noticed the death fog of colored powder and when my camera started to complain of the airborne particles.

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Between checkpoints orange and pink, there is a fairly large gap and it is in this section that the crowd began to thicken. I had worked my way through the hard core runners and found myself in the land of the casual attendees and they were exceptionally happy to ham it up for the camera. To be frank, their energy and verve for the event was one of the most delightful moments in my life as a candid photographer. They posed. They strutted. But they were their own happy selves. And that was profound. This really is the happiest footrace on the planet.

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I have to admit that I find myself rather sad that I was only an observer of this happiness and that I can’t share any of these moments with the random strangers that were involved. Sad as usual that I feel disconnected from the world around me. Any rate… I traipsed manfully onward until the pink station reared its head.

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My camera was already having fits about the dust so I opted to bail out at this point to save the equipment. In a rather desultory manner I wandered downtown….

I didn’t find much of interest until I heard Indian music a couple blocks away. I hurried to determine the source of the ruckus but even after seeing it…. I have no clue what this was about.

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All I can say for sure was that it was amazing, very musical and distinctly Indian in nature. I regret, as usual, that I’m on the outside of such events and not in-the-know. I adore Indian culture (and, honestly, people in general) so I regret that I was an ignorant witness.

At any rate, from there I wandered on downtown and then back to IUPUI but didn’t take any pictures. The day turned out to be rather a scouting event for future days. The point is, I suppose, that the city is extremely picturesque and given the right open-minded attitude, there is always something going on. Even in the event when you don’t actually PLAN anything but just let the wind blow you wherever it will. Such is the joy of human experience.

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What’s going on in Carmel…?

My youngest is doing a 4H photograph project so I got her out and about this Saturday to take some pictures.  No idea where she gets the idea that photography is fun…

First stop was the Museum of Miniatures in Carmel.  As always, we just stumbled across this place not knowing that it had previously existed.  I always say that the best trips are those whose plans are simple blank slates.  Sometimes you end up in a cornfield and sometimes you end up seeing tiny suits of armour…

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or playing a tiny game of chess

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or sitting in a really uncomfortable chair. I have to admit that I wasn’t very well equipped to look at tiny objects in a poorly lit environment behind glass but some of these vaguely suffice.

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Tiny loo, anyone?

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You have to admit, the level of detail on these guys is amazing. I’m tempted to go back with a tripod and take some much more solid shots if they’ll have me.

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You can never have too much armour.

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After the small stuff, we hit the streets and saw some real characters in the Arts and Design district.

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Catching up on some old news…

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And there’s always a friendly policeman to show the way.

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Spring is in the air. It’s time to water the flowers…

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I’ve tried to teach Izzy that the best photographs you take are those in which you’re least comfortable. Here she is getting the low shot.

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We always stop to listen to the music. Such as it isn’t.

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And we close with this dude who is…. well, have to admit, rather sinister.

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And that’s the day that was on March 21st in Carmel.

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So what have I been doing for almost … well, since September of 2013?

I look at this blog rather infrequently, obviously, and realize that I’ve not done a great job of keeping it up to date.  To be honest I’ve felt rather crestfallen about photography over the past year or so and imagined that I was just throwing all my time and effort into a big hole and that nobody really cared or noticed if I took photos or not.  As it turns out, nobody did say anything so it tended to lend credence to the idea that I was wasting my time.  I didn’t snap out of my ennui until I happened to Google myself and realized how many of my photos were being used by websites under the Creative Commons license that I grant to all my Flickr pictures.  That made it seem like it all might be worthwhile, so here I am back on the horse again.  So what HAS happened over the past year or more…?

In reverse chronological order… I visited the Depauw campus in Greencastle, Indiana. A wonderful locale and delightful architecture.
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Spent a bit of time at ComicCon in Indy
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Did some photography for the Special Olmpics
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OK, well, that was actually all just yesterday.

And there were dozens of soccer games, of course…

As always Zionsville had its classic car show

And we saw this guy from field level

Oh, and we went to Oregon and goofed about on some big rocks.

Found a sunset or two
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And some water did its waterfall thing.
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So it was a pretty good several months. I’m sad that I didn’t document it in more detail but I promise that I’ll think about doing better next time.

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Of National Parks and Classic Cars

Looking back on the past week or so I realize that I’ve spent a lot of time uploading slightly refined versions of photos previously taken rather than taking anything new. As much as I may enjoy looking back on old holiday snaps, I’ve come to realize over the years that no picture of crater lake…

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… can really do the place justice. While I’m reminiscing joyfully in my head about the place, the rest of the world just says, “oh. lake. Cool…?” Totally understandable. Those determined stalwarts who wish to may check out Crater Lake National Park, Diamond Lake, Oregon, and the Umpqua River. I don’t really expect you to necessarily do so, but as this blog is primarily dedicated to what I’m doing photographically, there’s your answer.

No, what I’m really here to chatter on about is the Zionsville fall festival. As the seasons turn here in Indiana we find ourselves ready to celebrate the coming onslaught of winter. I wandered out see what could be seen on Sunday of last week and ran into a classic car show. I’d rather forgotten how much I adore the visuals at these things. All the wonderful chrome details are just generally dazzling. I need to make a point to get out to more classic car events.

I just can’t get enough of these shiny, gas-guzzling old birds. Even when I was a wee lad I dreamed of owning a 57 Chevy in cherry red. Until, of course, I realized what it would cost to drive a 57 Chevy in cherry red. Ah well.

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And that’s the day that was, more or less. If you’ve got a classic car or anything else that needs photographing drop me a line. I’ll be there with bells on.

PS: Click any photo for a closer look and go look at flickr if you want even more photos.

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Hire me!

In the vein of needing things to take a picture of, I gave in to the pressure of 57 Facebook adverts and signed up for a new-ish site called ‘thumbtack’. It claims to connect professionals with jobs in their field. At worst it’s a site that mines personal information for some sort of nefarious gain. Either way, I signed up. Worst case scenario I don’t have any more gigs than I did before. So that said, go hire me!

Rob Slaven Photography

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