Monthly Archives: December 2011

Storyboard – 9/4/2011 – Lake Michigan Lakeshore

In observance of the three-day weekend, Laura and Eric and I took ourselves northward unto the not-currently-frozen shoreline of Lake Michigan. The plan was to see… something and something we did see. It’s endlessly amusing to me that no matter where you go, there’s stuff to see.

It was a windy day which whipped the waves into quite a frenzy. Luckily, however, it seems that the wind and the water are married quite happily and those that wanted time on the water didn’t mind the presence of the wind.

From 2011-09-04

It has also been a weekend for photographers. This was the first of many I saw perched and peeping on the crowds.

From 2011-09-04

And even the kitesurfers can use an assistant in such wind.

From 2011-09-04

Oh, and let’s not forget that the Junior World Beach Speed-Walking finals were in town.

From 2011-09-04

OK, that’s just cool.

From 2011-09-04

Lest you be fooled, these … “surfkites”? Are pretty big…

From 2011-09-04

And the gulls were prolific and relaxed in the gusty gales of September.

From 2011-09-04

They had up these warning signs (which everyone ignored) and then more warning signs for other areas and then even more warning signs for other areas. With this many levels of warning, who can say which ones can safely be ignored? The crowd-think at the time seemed to indicate we should just ignore them ALL.

From 2011-09-04

I love a good lighthouse and the sky was definitely the photographer’s friend on this day.

From 2011-09-04

These guys are cute but they’d as soon peck your eyes out as look at you.

From 2011-09-04

See? Every possible level of warning signage totally ignored. It’s no wonder people get arrested in this country! How can you tell the phony laws from the unbreakable ones?

From 2011-09-04

Ah, perhaps THAT’s the rule. The signs to pay attention to are the ones that don’t actually require reading at all.

From 2011-09-04

This is one of those pictures that you really WANT to take but you’re afraid to. So in the interest of total dishonesty, I just play it cool with the camera at hip level and casually and “unintentionally” click the shutter a few dozen times. Sometimes they come out.

From 2011-09-04

This is a man who has suffered the agony of listening to his own Polka music.

From 2011-09-04

What a wonderful industrial backdrop.

From 2011-09-04

This makes me think mega shot of the century. Evening, sunset behind the Chicago skyline, someone doing something interesting in the foreground. Really need to arrange my sunset activities with more care.

From 2011-09-04

And that’s the day that was.

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Filed under Landscape photography, Michigan, nature Photography, portraiture, sports photography

Random Photos for 12/26 through 12/29 2011

Well, it’s been one of those periods in which I’ve certainly taken lots of photos but not really had much of a theme to tie anything together. As such there’s not a ton of inspiration to empty the camera at the end of the day. Critical mass was reached yesterday, however, so here you have it. Anyone wanting the album without the commentary can just go look at the photos in Picassa.

Lafayette is full of all sorts of wonderful hidden nooks and/or crannies. Get engaged to a townie and you’ll find out what I mean. The day after Christmas we took ourselves unto Prophet’s Rock where … well, as the website for such things puts it:

This rock, overlooking Burnett’s Creek, is where Tecumseh’s brother, Lowawluwaysica, The Prophet, sang to encourage his warriors during the fight against William Henry Harrison’s soldiers at the Battle of Tippecanoe, November 7, 1811. The Prophet’s Rock is located just west of the Battlefield on Prophets Rock Road.

I will say that in the event I”m called upon to battle a much larger and better-armed force I too am very likely to say, “Um, yeah, guys, you go ahead. I’ll just hang out here and sing to inspire you!”

As a geological structure though, it really is hard to do it justice.

Prophet's Rock

Prophet's Rock

And there was just the tiniest touch of interesting fungus this day. I call this fungus “Grandpa’s Toenails”. *shiver*

Grandpa's Toenails

Grandpa's Toenails

Yesterday was only mildly better. I found some old puffballs far past their primes:

Old Puffballs

Old Puffballs

But this find was what made me want to actually decide to download the photos. I think I went a bit overboard with keeping the aperture small as the shutter speed descended to the nutty point of 1.6 seconds. Far too hard to keep the tripod stead for that long on a windy day. At any rate, a decent shot resulted.

Grandpa's Other Toenails

Grandpa's Other Toenails

Grandma's Toenails

Grandma's Toenails

As an end to the day, I went to see the windmills at dusk. Not TERRIBLY pleased with the results but glad at least that I went to the trouble to sit and wait for the sun to set.

Almost Aligned

Almost Aligned

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things is not the same

One of these things is not like the others, one of these things is not the same

Mills at Dusk

Mills at Dusk

Fire at Dusk

Fire at Dusk

And that’s the day that was. Commentary and suggestions welcome as always!

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Filed under Art photography, Lafayette, Landscape photography, macro photography, nature Photography

9/6/2011 – Indianapolis Zoo, White River Gardens, Indy Downtown

I took a random day off on Tuesday with the determination that I would have a random day out of the house wandering about. With that goal in mind I found myself in the zoo parking lot and ready to disembark at 9:03am. It is surprising just how easy it is to park at the zoo at 9am on a Tuesday.

First I took myself off to the oceans section of the zoo. Several times in the past I’d thought it would be nice to get some pics of the small selection of life aquatic but I completely failed to properly estimate the difficulty of the lighting conditions. It was all I could do after an hour to reel off a few even decent pictures.

From 2011-09-06
From 2011-09-06

Luckily, the giraffes did not share this problem. Their distinct chewing motions make for grand portraiture that reminds me strongly of the toothless bald guy on Benny Hill who was repeatedly patted on the head.

From 2011-09-06
From 2011-09-06
From 2011-09-06

Not far off from the photogenic giraffes, we have the walking corpses of the animal kingdom, the Marabou Stork. These guys look like their faces are rotting off and their posture is comical to say the least.

From 2011-09-06
From 2011-09-06

The lawn at White River is a popular venue for concerts. The Indianapolis Nilharmonic was playing John Cage’s 4’33” the morning I was there. Quite magical.

From 2011-09-06

There is a small urban garden across from the Indiana State Museum. It’s interesting but I was most impressed by this artichoke flower.

From 2011-09-06
From 2011-09-06

In general, I despise parking garages but the views are astounding.

From 2011-09-06

And the Citizen’s Gas Thermal plant which supplies steam to many surrounding buildings is quite an eyesore.

From 2011-09-06

State Capitol…

From 2011-09-06

Further wandering, I found myself down by the circle only to realize that they were in the midst of an event. Apparently the statue at the top of the circle city monument has been down for repairs recently and on this day they’d planned to replace it. This never happened because the wind was too strong, but it did cause quite a crowd to gather.

Cops doing crowd control were certainly jovial…

From 2011-09-06

And there’s a lot of history in the face of this homeless gentleman…

From 2011-09-06

We’ve become a very camera-focused society. (no pun intended)

From 2011-09-06

And finally the lady herself. She’s a lot bigger than she looks.

From 2011-09-06
From 2011-09-06
From 2011-09-06

And that was the day that was…

19 Comments

Filed under Indianapolis, nature Photography, Oddities, portraiture, Urban Photography

Storyboard – 9/10/2011 – Lebanon and Zionsville, Indiana, USA

The tenth of September was an unusual day in that I found myself in several places at once.  In the morning we sallied forth unto the Zionsville fall festival and in the afternoon I simply awaited what randomness fate bestowed upon me in Lebanon.  As it turns out, fate was kind.

The Zionsville fall festival always features a panoply of pets in need of adoption and this toothsome beasty was among them. If this look doesn’t say “adopt me and take me home”… well, it doesn’t. But he is what he is.

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

Ferrets were also in evidence at the festival. The man said that they had almost 80 ferrets at their shelter awaiting adoption. That seems like a ton. I had no idea the underground market for ferrets was so large.

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

The trip to Lebanon started out pretty standard… “Oh, there’s the courthouse… *yawn*”…

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

Boy. That is boring. The plastic owl has hung himself.

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

One thing I realized on this trip is that in many cases people WANT to be photographed. The antique shop owner seemed really glad to have me and even showed me her Mortimer Snerd ventriloquist dummy. Unfortunately, when I saw him he was indisposed… I wonder if there would be a market for toilet pillows?

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

In many ways, I’m glad that this sign is forgotten and faded.

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

It was about this time that I spotted the urban blight between the old Boone County jail and the neighboring building.

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

Um…. really? Sexy phone home, I guess.

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

This was simple but I liked it. The empty socket, the contrast of not only color but material… Also the shadows played well in my mind…

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

And there was even more blight in the building behind the jail.

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana
From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

So after the blight, I happened upon a music store tucked away in the corner of the square. After a brief discussion with the proprietor (which is quite against my natural tendencies; I don’t talk to strangers) I got to photograph his wares.

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

Lighting was really tough, but I felt like I got a few shots that really set an interesting mood.

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

After an hour in the music store, I made myself back into the daylight. I’m still surprised that they have to actually SAY this…

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

Not long after I went on my way north and happened upon a park full of sporting activity…

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana
From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

This guy was really giving it up to save the point…

From Misc 09/10/2011 – Zionsville and Lebanon, Indiana

And thus the day ended. Like what you see? Head to Facebook and like Rob Slaven Photography!

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Filed under Art photography, Indianapolis, Lebanon, sports photography, Urban Photography

Vegas in the Dark

I’ve written previously about the lucky happenstance that sometimes seems to follow me about. Last Halloween happenstance took Laura and me to Las Vegas, Nevada. We arrived around 6, took photos for several hours and then promptly moved on to more natural wonders. While there we spent the heady sum of $1.19 and only spent that because we accidentally ended up in a McDonalds drive-through lane that we couldn’t back out of and felt like we should order SOMETHING. I can’t recommend the place highly enough for night-time photography though I will say that I wish I’d been a tad more patient and a tad more experienced with the camera at the time. So much potential was, I’m sure, lost to my own inability to capture it.

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Filed under Art photography, Nevada, night photography, Oddities, Urban Photography

Christmas … 2011 Part C

Christmas ended this year, as it always does, with macro shots of fungus. As usual, anyone wishing to bypass my diatribe may simply view the whole album here.

So as Christmas day winded down Laura did the only natural thing and betook ourselves unto the forest not-so-primeval. The first thing to catch my eye was this wonderful shelf fungus. This was sufficiently colorful to motivate me to whip out the tripod in the middle of the forest and kneel in the mud.

Colorful Fungus

Colorful Fungus

More Colorful Fungus

More Colorful Fungus

The last of the colorful fungus, really

The last of the colorful fungus, really

These little guys are about the size of dimes but if you’re kneeling in the mud on Christmas Day… well, they’re fairly amusing.

Fungus Frills

Fungus Frills

Next we got on to the Davis Ferry Bridge. This is about the 5th time I’ve been here but I’m always struck by the contrast between the hard, rusty steel of the bridge and the gentle organic shapes of the trees behind.

Steel and Wood

Steel and Wood

Birds are still in season it seems (for photographers only; put your BB guns away)

Birds in Season

Birds in Season

OK, yeah, I’ll admit that I asked Laura to sit down and be in this shot but it seemed poignant and artful. This was done at the Lafayette Amphitheatre. You’ll know it when you see it because it’s the one that looks like a penitentiary.

Audience of One

Audience of One

Self-portrait in shadow. I didn’t notice how well framed my shadow was until I got it home. Read that: Happy accident.

Happy Shadowy Accidents

Happy Shadowy Accidents

So as I’ve late I’ve been feeling rather lazy. As a result I’m determined to be more patient. We waited an hour for this sunset though I’m sad that the sun slid south so much and found its way into the trees before it hit the horizon.

Sunset on the Wabash

Sunset on the Wabash

While we were waiting that hour though, I did at least find a woodpecker or two.

Punk Pecker

Punk Pecker

I kept this only because I thought it a bit abstract.

Abstract Pecker

Abstract Pecker

So now we’re on to Boxing day. Having caught the sunset, it only made sense to pop up at the crack of dawn for the sunrise over the celery bog.

Boggy Dusk

Boggy Dusk

Finally, after waiting an hour (I’m early to everything) the first tiny specks of the sun made their way over the horizon.

First Peek at Rosy-Fingered Dawn

First Peek at Rosy-Fingered Dawn

And when they say the dawn comes up like thunder… they mean it even on an icy-cold day. It’s about 6 minutes between the first tickling pin-pricks of the sun to “Oh my God, I’m blind!”

OMG, I'm like Blind, Ya know!

OMG, I'm like Blind, Ya know!

And we close on the quiet contemplation of the dawning day, so full of potential.

Reflections on a New Day

Reflections on a New Day

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Filed under Lafayette, macro photography, nature Photography

Christmas 2011 … part B

At some point during any festive occasion… well, at least for me and at least for this year, it eventually became less about Christmas and more about just finding things to photograph around the house while we waited patiently for the rest of the whole Christmas thing to happen.  I’m not sure if this is consistent with any of your own experiences, but there you have it. As usual, those wishing to forgo the random commentary on my part can visit the album directly for purely visual stimulus or if you’d like to have a higher resolution version.

It is at times like these that I realize just what a motley assortment of oddments litter our shelves.  As I looked about our domicile I realized that we had … well, judge for yourself.  Nothing says Christmas like a mysterious vertebra found in the woods last summer and the sad remains of a few dozen well-enjoyed wine bottles…?

Motley Crew

Motley Crew

The band played on in their tiny, legless way.

The Band Played On

The Band Played On

I’ve been meaning for a while to take a picture of Laura’s engagement ring. Now seemed as good a day as any. Next time though I’ll wipe the fingerprints off first.

Diamonds are Forever

Diamonds are Forever

And what’s a depth of field study without some corks.

Corky Park

Corky Park

Christmas is a season in which we tend to drag out things from storage that we don’t see every day. Perusing the abode, several odd combinations of things caught my attention. Laura’s daughter looks on from behind…

Montage

Montage

And this particular combination has been on the kitchen counter for as long as I can remember but looking at it this time, it struck me as a sort of happy summation of a year of holidays.

A Whole Year of Holidays

A Whole Year of Holidays

Santa has left the pocket on the advent calendar. It must be Christmas.

Santa has Left the Pocket

Santa has Left the Pocket

Laura’s son Eric makes a perfect backdrop for this Santa.

But Who's Watching Santa

But Who's Watching Santa

This whole bit of photographic fluff was done just poking around in two rooms of Laura’s house yet there seems to be some fairly good stuff here. It makes me wonder a bit of it would be even remotely possible to convince people to let you come into their homes and just photograph. I’m not looking to meander through the laundry, of course, but I think there’s something to be said for the art that lurks everywhere in our lives. Our homes we tend to take for granted but as time passes and we’re left with only memories it would be really nice to have some of this captured forever. Ah well, yet another photographer’s wish doomed to go unfulfilled, I suspect.

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Filed under Art photography, Lafayette, portraiture