Tag Archives: abstract photography

French Lick, Indiana and West Baden Springs

Our real vacation of the year approaches so it seemed wise to go warm up on some nearby tourist attractions. This previous weekend we went off to see the gem of Southern Indiana, French Lick.

You can tell we’re all really excited.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

First stop, French Lick hotel and casino.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

We’re far from the only ones in evidence on this glorious summer day.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

The interior is decorated in middle-American gaudy.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs
From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

And the front desk guy made sure we saw the “baskilisks”. I guess they are kinda basking.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

The place gets a Fonzi-style thumbs-up from the cherubs.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

Kids got bored more quickly than the adults, as usual.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

In the main formal dining hall, chandeliers as far as the eye can see it seems.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

When photographing, it always pays to look up.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

But there are more modest light fixtures. I love the lines in this one.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

Overlooking the sulfurous gardens…

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

The stench of the springs left some people rather minimally impressed.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

No shortage of fancy

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

“Read the sign…”
“On the door…”
“The Sign….”
“Right there!…”
“The sign!!”
“Read the sign!!!!”
“Oh nevermind…”

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

Pluto never looked so happy.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs
From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

After the first hotel, West Baden offers another more majestic example of the genre.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

The central lobby is a huge domed area 200 feet wide

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

… with a pendulous chandelier hanging from the ceiling 135 feet above the floor.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs
From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs
From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

While you’re waiting for your parents to get tired of looking around, you can even play a game of checkers…

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

…or just fall asleep altogether on one of the many pieces of wonderfully comfortable furniture.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

Lots of stained glass is on offer.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

And the well-manicured grounds also offer a cemetery for those in the mood for such things.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

But watch out for the frogs. They spit.

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs

Alright, enough of that. I’m out of here…

From 7-13-2013 French Lick Indiana – West Baden Springs
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St Louis Day 2 – The Arch, Science Center, History Museum

I started out the day setting the alarm for 5:00am to catch the sunrise.  In my raved and under-researched mind, I imagined the sun coming up in the middle of this…

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

As you can tell, that completely failed to work out. Instead, it managed to come up about 40 degrees to the left. Even so, it wasn’t a bad backdrop.

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

Despite the huge miss in estimation, the Missouri dawn was worth seeing.

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

Hours later, the kids requested the St. Louis Science Center as their first stop. After yesterday’s photos, I felt the zoom lens was more than a bit soft and went with the fixed 60mm macro instead. This isn’t a bad choice for a museum as it’s the fastest bit of glass I have, but the fixed focal length does tend to make my photos more centered on close-ups and textures.

I tend not to take a lot of photos of fixed displays, but these seemed amusing.

From 6-11-2013 St Louis
From 6-11-2013 St Louis
From 6-11-2013 St Louis

The kids weren’t overly amused by the science center; there was a distinct sense of “Is that it?” So we moved quickly on to the Missouri History Museum. Outside there was a van for the local senior living center. The kids’ pointed out, rather amusingly, that it should be “SunSET Senior Living”

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

Everyone seemed fascinated by the 1904 Fair exhibition.

From 6-11-2013 St Louis
From 6-11-2013 St Louis
From 6-11-2013 St Louis

And of course it’s not a visit to St. Louis without seeing the Spirit.

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

After a couple of hours of history, the kids were ready to move on again. The next step was supposed to be the Frank Lloyd Wright house but the picker of said location failed to let us know to make reservations. So we ended up at the sculpture park instead.

We all had endless fun with this giant eyeball.

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

This huge red… something…? Was … well, huge?

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

It at least attracted the attention of some model and her photographer. In the spirit of taking pictures of photographers…

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

The whole thing was rather avant garde

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

This representative from the land of fairie has wings made of airplane propeller blades. Rather apt.

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

The last order of business for the day was the Arch monument itself.

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

I was here a few years ago and I can’t help but feel that I took the EXACT same photos but with better equipment. I’m half afraid to look.

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

OK, I know I took this one. I’m hopeful the color’s better this time.

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

I love this one but it’s fairly hard to tell what it is. Shot at 8mm fish-eye directly under the arch.

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

This time we actually bothered to go up and see the sites from the top of the arch. Not for the claustrophobic that’s for sure.

From 6-11-2013 St Louis

And that seems to be… now that I look back on it, pretty much the day that was.

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Carmel at Dusk – May, 2013

Every single evening when it’s cloudy out, I bemoan the fact that I’m missing the sunset.

Every single evening when it’s not cloudy, I sit on my butt and barely bother to look outside.

Tonight, I made a point to go and chase the sunset.  The colors really are better in the first and final hours of the day.

From 5-28-2013 Carmel at Dusk

Did I mention…. soooo green.

From 5-28-2013 Carmel at Dusk

Low perspective on the water.

From 5-28-2013 Carmel at Dusk

I’m always a sucker for the contradiction between nature and the stern and metallic man-made objects…

From 5-28-2013 Carmel at Dusk

Coxhall Gardens.

From 5-28-2013 Carmel at Dusk
From 5-28-2013 Carmel at Dusk

Love the gentle curve above and its reflection.

From 5-28-2013 Carmel at Dusk

The fiery dusk

From 5-28-2013 Carmel at Dusk

And that was pretty much the day that was.

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Zionsville, Indiana – May 2013

Lately it’s occurred to me that it has been a frightfully long time since I’ve posted anything. Apparently photography is at times a daily obsession and at other times a semi-annual one. At any rate…

The Midwest is officially in the verdant throes of Spring officially it seems, though in Zionsville the roads diverging in the woods are paved with tarmac.

From 5-20-2013 Zionsville

For once I bothered to wander out in the hours just before dusk. They call this the “golden hour” of photography but I’ve never been a huge believer in that. Doubt aside though, the lighting is fairly gentle and the colors true.

From 5-20-2013 Zionsville

I’m a sucker for contrasts; here a harsh metallic bridge hides a starburst sun.

From 5-20-2013 Zionsville

Since I was last here the city has put in a new pedestrian bridge over this little creek. Not a bad view.

From 5-20-2013 Zionsville

Remnants of the older vehicular bridge, complete with some grim history.

From 5-20-2013 Zionsville

OK, I said a couple of photos ago that I wasn’t a fan of the “golden hour” theory but I love the lighting in this shot. So maybe I am a fan, though a reluctant one.

From 5-20-2013 Zionsville

The denizens of Zionsville, though they are close to a major metropolitan area, aren’t far from their smalltown roots as demonstrated by their outdoor decor.

From 5-20-2013 Zionsville

And nothing says Indiana like this. Again, the angle of the lighting…

From 5-20-2013 Zionsville

Missing from this picture is the adjoining sign that says to use the front door. What? No special Hippies-only door in 2013? feh!

From 5-20-2013 Zionsville

And so the day ends with a golden and thorny crown.

From 5-20-2013 Zionsville

Also, I’ve been asked in the past about prints of my photos. If you want a print just click the album link and download a copy and have it printed by whatever lab you prefer. I don’t make any money off of that and don’t expect to. We live in a free and highly visual world. Share and share alike. Print my photos all you want and hang them on your wall but don’t go around selling them for your own profit lest the wheel of karma crush you like a bug.

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Misc Photos for 11-18-2012

As of late I’ve found myself rather uninspired.  At least part of this is late-season ennui but I also have come to feel that my “art” is rather unfocused.  (No pun intended.)  While other photographers tend to specialize, I just photograph absolutely anything from random people to found objects.  My camera has been accumulating photos for the past couple weeks that I haven’t bothered to upload.  Today I have a bit to show for the time that’s passed.

#1: Someone can probably tell me what this odd-looking bird is.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#2: I like the colors and lines here. The bird itself is of no great note but it does leave a trail in its environment.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#3: I spent a fair amount of time the other day trying to get action shots of ducks on the water. My eventual assessment was that I needed a longer lens. At 270mm I can just barely squeeze out a reasonable level of detail.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#4: Some shots I just love the romantic aspects of a road vanishing into the distance.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#5: In the category of odd found-objects, I give you this child’s toy long trapped in a retention pond.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#6: Similar to #4, I like the irony of a No Trespassing sign overrun by nature.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#7: In the city where I live there’s a 106th street and there’s a forgotten “Old 106th” street. The homes on Old 106th street seem to have been trapped in a timewarp since the traffic on them has declined substantially. One features this ancient flag and gate.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#8: Not far from #7, it seems that a house has moved and birds now make their homes in this forgotten mailbox.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#9: Some photos you just take because they seem artsy.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#10: After the trip down Old 106th street I came home and played with some macro shots.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#11: And took apart an old computer. Here are the pins for an old Pentium processor.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#12: The heatsink on the processor on an older video card.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#13: The internals of some HP hardware. No comment on the countries of origin.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#14: I also took apart an old hard drive. A very chiaroscuro experience.

From Misc 11-18-2012

#15: Oops. Sure hope I didn’t void the warranty.

From Misc 11-18-2012

Anyway, such is the two weeks or so since the last post.

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Filed under abstract photography, Art photography, Landscape photography, nature Photography, Philosophy, Urban Photography

Misc Photos for 11-5-2012

A rather random assortment of shots from yesterday.

#1

Mostly just enjoy the contrast here. Harsh metal versus soft rustling leaves.

#2

The birds are busily cleaning up the fall… whatever those are.

#3

Wandering in the forest we came upon an orange construction barrel. Mother nature has gone a bureaucratic.

#4

One finds the oddest litter in the forest.

#5

The find of the day was this compost bin full of jack-o-lanterns.

#6

This whole situation strikes me as rather iconic of all holidays. We feast, we celebrate, then we discard.

#7

Later in the day back in the apartment I had some items to photograph so there was a brief spate of random puttering.

And that ends thus ends the day. Now if only I’d written proper descriptions for all the photos I took and tagged them with proper keywords. So many layers of work here. Any volunteers?

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Filed under abstract photography, Indianapolis, nature Photography

Adventures in Shutterstock or “We’re sorry but your content was not accepted at this time”

Let’s begin with a bit of background. I’m a computer programmer by trade, Purdue Class of ’96 in Computer Science and I’m currently unemployed. Not the “OMG, if I don’t find a job soon I’m going to be homeless” sort of unemployed but more along the lines of, “I’m unemployed, maybe it’s time to reinvent myself and choose a whole new way of making a living” sort of unemployed. I realize that this is a massive luxury that most people don’t have so hold your boos of derision for the end. I get it that I’m among the 2% if not the 1%.

Since I was let go I’ve pondered rather fitfully the eternal question of “what to do next?” I’m endlessly amused by the written word so the idea of writing… something… occurs repeatedly but I’m absolutely clueless how to break into that vocation or anything related to it. I also tend to go out and photograph things (see, “things”… just the sort of wonderfully specific word that a writer would use. You can tell I’m the next Henry James can’t you?) and since photography is reasonably in demand I dipped my proverbial toe into the proverbial water of stock photography. The initial result of which is to verify that I don’t know a damn thing about stock photography.

I chose as my first point of submission Shutterstock which, after more careful perusal, appears to be a royal pain to get into. They require an initial portfolio of ten photos with detailed descriptions and to qualify you must have 7 of 10 photos “accepted” based on some rather nebulous set of criteria. Below find my ten submissions and Shutterstock’s response to them. As well as my own thoughts after having been rejected.

#1:

From 10-24-2012 West Lafayette, Indiana

This is the one photo they did find acceptable. It’s a fish-eye view of fall foliage from above and below in a Lafayette park. Personally I like it but it has a rather other-world quality that creeps me about a bit. I don’t consider it my best work but people seem to like it. I don’t claim to understand exactly why but it’s probably that lack of understanding that makes this at least a somewhat doomed prospect.

#2:

From Misc Weekend of 4/1/2012

This was rejected for “Poor framing, cropping, and/or overall image composition” just as all the images except for #10 were. Again, personally, I like this shot. It has an interesting perspective, the name tag is in the lower left but just as ghostly presence, lots of contrasting colors. The only thing that bugs me is the appearance of the trees on the right but they do offer an interesting counterpoint. Not quite seeing the argument against I suppose unless it’s just so damn cliche.

#3

From Random Trip around Purdue – 02-20-2012

Really this one is a demonstration of texture. Nothing magical really but the color here is just off the scale. I could be argued that this is junk but on the surface it seems a reasonable example.

#4

From 6-30-2012 Oregon Day 2 – Crater Lake

OK, I accept that this one is probably in the “holiday snaps” category. You had to be there. But Crater Lake is just so COOL! *shrug* I accept this rejection.

#5

From St Louis, Missouri

Alright, well I don’t care what anyone says, I like this picture, though maybe it’s one of those “you had to be there” shots too.

#6

From 03-19-2011

I could see plenty of arguments against this one too, I suppose…

#7

From Douglas Michigan, 7-23-2011 **

A bit cliche too perhaps. Basically just another #2 honestly.

#8

From 2012-01-08

I like this shot too but perhaps it’s too hard to tell what exactly is going on?

#9

From 6-2-2012 Kickapoo Nature Preserve

I can understand if this is rejected as it is just terribly depressing but it still manages to move me. Probably because it is just so idiotically depressing to think about it.

#10

From 7-6-2012 Day 8 – Mt St Helens – Astoria

And this last was rejected due to poor focus. I’m not sure I see that but I allow that it’s possible. The tree bits in the foreground aren’t happy, looking at it in retrospect.

So there you have it in a nutshell. At the least it’s clear that I have no idea how to chose what will sell in the realm of stock photos. It would seem this needs some detailed analysis that I just haven’t done yet. I’m trying to do something artistic while they just want… marketing. Ah well.

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