Again, another great Photo Challenge from the WordPress folks to get me inspired to publish a new post. The theme of this “challenge” is to create and share a photo album of what a typical day looks like in the world of the blogger. For me, any given day consists of:
I’m married (25 years) and have a daughter (17 years). We love coffee. We discuss life’s most significant challenges over coffee. We have modeled our home around the feel of the coffee house motif because we have never felt uncomfortable in any coffee house wherever we have been.
I spend my working days solving real business problems enabling my customers to get products to market faster, erasing costs of duplicating efforts across departments by finding and producing critical business information. Many of the golden hours of the day involve working on my computer developing proposals, customer interactions and preparing for travel. I love to cook and doing so enables me to release the stress of the day. We are at the complete mercy of a soon-to-be 11-year old Cocker Spaniel named Sadie May, although she usually goes by “Sadie, NO!” We spend our family moments relaxing, monkeying around, traveling, attending concerts, and Iowa Hawkeye football games. We are faithful churchgoers and try to positively impact the lives of others through our faith.
Middle age has also inspired me to see the world differently – to appreciate all of God’s amazing creation, to appreciate the details of the vast world that surrounds us. Enjoy the photos in the gallery that I’ve taken to describe a day in our life.
I like the theme of this week’s WordPress.com photo challenge. The theme is “future tense” and that resonates with me as I fully anticipate the coming Spring season. Wait, it’s supposedly not coming – it’s here. Although in my home state of Iowa, it feels anything but Spring. In fact, we received another winter blast yesterday with a couple of inches of fresh snow. Thankfully, it won’t stay around long. Anyway, with that said, the photo below captures everything ‘future’ to me right now.
In a recent post, I described the quality of the St. Louis Zoo being very good. Mostly, that is because the zoo is large, free, and has a wide array of animals. Not only that, but the animals always seem healthy and active. All of those qualities make the St. Louis Zoo a great place to visit, and certainly a must-do if you travel to St. Louis. Undoubtedly, if you go, you’ll want to bring your camera. What I hope to do in the next few posts are provide some tips I have discovered that will help you get more out of your photographs and your post-zoo experience.
The first tip I’ll provide is all about the photograph backdrop. That is, look for a spot to shoot that allows you to focus on the animal, but also gives you a background that doesn’t have “zoo” written all over it. You know, like a fence, especially a chain link or mesh fence. Or signs, or huts. One of the great characteristics of the St. Louis Zoo is the aesthetic qualities of the zoo exhibits themselves. Here are some examples of what I mean. Of course, they are all clickable to a full screen view.
So, again, if you want better shots of animals you’re only likely to see at the zoo, think about how you’re going to compose that shot so that it doesn’t just look like you went to the zoo. Think about the backdrop and how you want the animal to look in its final form in your family vacation scrapbook. More tips to come! Leave a comment if you have other tips on this subject.
OK, this is my first post aimed at the Daily Photo Challenge. We just returned home from a week around Nashville, TN. One of our favorite joints there is a place called Bongo Java. It is a totally hipster coffee house just steps from Music Row and Belmont University. Last Tuesday, we decided we needed some midday caffeine intake and I needed some solid food to accompany it. So, I had the edible arrangement pictured above. Of course, you have your everything bagel with egg, cheddar, and smoked ham. The plate of goodness at the top left is the “Big Bad Hashbrown”. Let me tell you, there was nothing bad about them whatsoever. Amazing. Best hashbrown plate I have ever had. Hashbrowns, cooked perfectly topped with grilled tomatoes, cheddar cheese and red onions. They are topped with some kind of seasoning that I simply can’t put my finger on, but the flavor is simply amazing. Finally, chased with the dreamy silky smooth cappuccino also pictured.
Yes, I ATE IT ALL.
Bongo Java Nashville….ya gotta go.
We just returned home from our family Spring Break. We spent most of our break in Nashville, as our daughter is strongly considering attending Belmont University as a student in 2014 and we took an official visit on one of our days there. It seems we’ve been to Nashville about twice per year for the last few years. St. Louis is about our half way point from a driving perspective, so we typically spend a day there and see some sights. Yesterday turned out to be a beautiful late winter day, so we did what seemed like half of the city also did: visited the St. Louis Zoo at Forest Park. If you have never visited the St. Louis Zoo, you need to include it on your bucket list. There are so many fine qualities of this zoo, not the least of which there is no admission fee (although it does cost $15 to use one of their 2 parking lots, but there is ample street parking available free). The zoo is huge and it is hard to take it all in in a single day. It has a well deserved reputation for being one of the top 5 zoos in the US.
I took a ton of pictures. I will share more throughout the coming days along with some tips I have from gathered from my own lessons learned to enable you to get some good shots that don’t look like they simply came from a day at the zoo.
Until then, here are some shots that will hopefully whet your appetite for the zoo this summer. Don’t forget to take your camera.
We live near the Sac & Fox Trail in Cedar Rapids, IA. In the previous post, I captured and posted some shots I took of deer while hiking the trail last weekend. I hiked until sunset, hoping to catch some good sunset colors bouncing off of the snowy landscape. The sky was kind of hazy, so not much for the sunset light to reflect off of to provide much color. What I wasn’t expecting so much was the full moonrise. Enjoy the winter scenery.
Sunday, I decided I had enough of the winter blues. I decided it was time to get outside and take some pictures. We have had plenty of snowfall over the past few days and I thought it might be a good opportunity to get some snowy landscape shots with some colorful sunsets across the fresh blanket of snow. Even with the snow, Sunday was a nice day with sunny skies and temperatures into the 30′s. I decided to hit the Sac & Fox trail in Cedar Rapids primarily because I thought I could get some variety in scenery with the Indian Creek hugging so closely to the trail. I also knew I would see plenty of deer.
Here are several shots of the deer I saw while on my 3 mile round-trip hike.
I will show a few of the landscape scenes of the creek in an upcoming post.
As most of the US knows, we were expecting a major snowstorm in the midwest yesterday. We received one, but it wasn’t as bad as most anticipated in our area.
Sadie is our Cocker Spaniel. She is going to be 11 in May. Sadie loves to go out into the snow. However, she doesn’t always give you the look as though she is enjoying it. You be the judge.
OK, seriously. Have you ever met anyone who does not like freshly baked soft pretzels? Me either. Or, better yet. Have you tried the frozen ones in the grocery frozen foods section and baked them at home only to realize they don’t taste like what you buy in the shopping mall? Or, better still. Do you wish you had your own receipe that tastes JUST AS GOOD as the original Swiss Pretzel store soft pretzel? From me to you: Here it is. We mixed ‘em, baked ‘em, ate ‘em, photographed ‘em, loved ‘em, and blogged ‘em.
Here is the recipe:
Yield: 20-24 hand-sized pretzels
Serve fresh. Compliment with pizza sauce, parmesan cheese, melted cheese, or just plain with the butter and salt! We’ll probably make these again the next time we make some homemade chicken noodle or beer cheese soup.
I have never tried this shot before, but just read about this technique last night. The technique is how to put your house in a snow globe. First, you have to have a house, then you have to have snow. Then, the snow has to be falling at night. Having those conditions synchronous with the Christmas season, and then you just have to have a camera, a tripod, and some dry, warm clothing. If all that adds up, you can have a house in a snow globe kinda like we do tonight. I still have some learning to do.
Merry Christmas to All and to All a Good Night!