Thursday, April 29, 2010

Environmental Encroachment

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I'm surprised I didn't post a picture of these guys from Chiditarod. I guess I just had so much other great material. Here's a good group shot from that. They describe themselves as a "magic circus band" and put on quite a show. It was a fitting closing act for Resonate. This shot doesn't showcase them quite as directly, but I love the projections behind.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Resonate

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This past Saturday was Resonate, an annual party that raises money for the Bold Urban Renaissance Network (BURN). BURN is an organization that gives out grants for people to create the art which makes events like Burning Man, and Resonate itself, such unique experiences. Resonate is kinda like the Freakeasy, which I've mentioned before, on a much grander scale.

This was a small stage set up in front of the main stage, with black lights shining up around it. Which accounts for the glowing effect on the scarves these ladies are twirling - it wasn't just from my flash.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Treat Up Close

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The chicken tikka masala at Treat sure had color going for it. It's pretty standard Indian fare, but very bright and fresh flavors came along with those colors too. The lamb shank below pretty much speaks for itself I think. And the chick pea polenta it came with was a nice little inventive twist. As per the BYOBSC custom: two tongues up!

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Monday, April 26, 2010

BYOBSC

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This was stop 1 on a long and fun Saturday night. BYOB Supper Club is a group of folks who do a different BYOB restaurant each month. I went for the first time last month (gorged on Filipino food at Isla Pilipina), and had the honor of making this month's selection. I went with Treat, an Indian and modern American fusion restaurant, and it was very well received. It's also a pretty raucous group, in a good way. I don't think we annoy the rest of the restaurants too much, but we definitely have a damn good time. This here is just a small slice of our table for 25.

Also, tech note: this is the first time I used the lens correction filter in Photoshop for correcting the distortion in my super wide angle lens. Worked pretty great! The folk at the edges here were originally quite stretched.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

RESERVED PARKING

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Another shot with the toy camera Photoshop action I mentioned yesterday.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Toy Camera Action

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I've been hearing and seeing peripherally about people using iPhone apps to alter the pictures they take to look as if they were taken with "toy" cameras, i.e. something like a Holga. I was out for a stroll yesterday and only had my iPhone. So I snapped a few shots with the regular camera app, and then poked around for filter apps later. Most of them cost money, and I can't figure out what they do that Photoshop can't. I guess they can apply the filters at the time of taking the shot. But then that's kind of limiting, right?

Anyway, I found this free Photoshop action to apply a toy camera feel. I wasn't previously familiar with actions in Photoshop. Check out a brief on them here. This shot came out pretty cool, but I think I can come up with better in terms of the shot itself and tweaking the action settings.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Eat Your Greens

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Another shot from Rockwoods outside St. Louis. Getting back into the swing of things here in Chicago. Will have to shoot some randoms this week, but there will be extremely visually stimulating hooplah to come this weekend.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Morel of this Story

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I did some hiking today southwest of Saint Louis. I was looking to check out a place I used to hike back in high school, but didn't quite remember exactly. I ended up out at Rockwoods Reservation, which was not the place I remembered, but was really great. Nice hilly hiking, some cool rock quarries, and morel mushrooms! I spotted a cool looking mushroom and poked at it to get a better view for a photo. Then I realized it looked like a morel. Thanks iPhone for helping me confirm that! And then I spotted another one right next to it! Unfortunately I didn't find any more, but these two big guys will make a pretty good contribution to dinner tonight.

While I had my phone out to research morels, I tried searching again for the park I was trying to think of. Turns out I was off slightly on the name. Not Castle Rock, but Castlewood. It's also really great. There's a trail up to and along a bluff overlooking the Meremac River valley. So I headed over there and captured the below shot, among others.

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Love's on the Road

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I drove to St. Louis after work last night. It was a lovely evening for it. I switched between blaring music with the windows down (best moment of that: Van Halen's Panama) and zoning out on Radiolab podcasts.

I pulled over at one point to take pictures of the sliver moon in twilight, and unfortunately didn't get anything quite perfect. Lesson learned: if you're mounting your mini tripod on top of the car, turn both the engine and the music off. Any little vibrations may blur the celestial elements enough to notice.

I did get this kind of cool snap at a stop for gas.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Sky Full of Bacon

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This was a bacon-making demonstration at Baconfest by Michael Gebert, the guy behind the Chicago-based food blog and video podcast Sky Full of Bacon. I had actually never heard of it, but his blog might be a new mainstay for me. Gonna have to check out the videos too when I get a chance.

Those little piggies along the table are the Golden Rasher awards for the fest, which you can read about the winners for here.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Back to Bacon

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Love the Chicago flag mashup logo for Baconfest.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Atoms for Peace

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Wowza. This show last night was one of the best I've seen in a while. Thom Yorke from Radiohead is touring with his solo material (a few years old now, strangely) and a few new songs. The band he put together for it is called Atoms for Peace, after one of the songs on The Eraser album. That in turn is named after a speech Eisenhower once gave to the UN. Anyway, the band notably has Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers on bass. And he was awesome. His bass and the drums too lent an unexpected driving funky energy to the whole show. Thom Yorke, who I've seen at a few Radiohead shows display at most a little grin or head bob in terms of physical expression, was positively boogie-ing. Check out the breakdown in the below video about 3/4 of the way through. Really, you should watch the whole thing.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Baconfest

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Wow. I don't have much time to expound on this right now, but Baconfest was awesome. I went to the first shift today, where 12 restaurants each presented a bacon-centric dish. There was a second shift later in the day, with 12 different restaurants. I don't think it would have been advisable to do both. It was almost too much, but still really worth the experience.

This was the people's choice winner from the first shift, a bacon waffle with brown sugar bacon ice cream and candied dehydrated bacon. And it was from the great new restaurant around the corner from me, Longman & Eagle. Wow. The candied bacon in particular was incredible. It was crunchy, sugary, BACON-Y. Awesome. And yes, that's a bloody mary in the background. Bacon-infused, of course.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stubble

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A quick snap from the garage at my gym the other day, in nicer weather. Come back, nicer weather!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Listen to Your World

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I think this may be my favorite shot that Turrell may actually use for his promo materials. We're gonna go back over everything this weekend and see what his picks are. This is much better large, BTW. Check that out here.

Monday, April 5, 2010

It's All Rellevent

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Yesterday I did a portrait shoot with a friend of a friend, Turell, who goes by Rellevent for his stage name. I haven't actually caught his music yet, but he seems pretty confident in himself. It was fun. I haven't done a whole lot of portrait work, but I'm pretty happy with what I got. This one is my favorite photo. I don't know if he'll actually use this one. It's got less of a hard/cool edge than some of the rest. But I think that's why I like it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Woodsheddin

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I love how at this time of year the evening sun shines right between the houses and into my shed.

Are you familiar with the term woodsheddin'? I learned it in guitar class - I really like it. It means to go practice something in privacy until you've got it down.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Twisting in the Wind

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The magnolia in my back yard is just starting to bloom! I snapped this in the evening light today after doing some yard work for the first time this year. Felt really nice. That thingee hanging from the tree used to be longer - I think it got in the way of some pinata destruction last party I had.

PS Thanks to all for their kind condolences about my cat. I really appreciate it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Goodbye Little Buddy

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It's been a tough couple of days. I took my almost 3 year old cat, Mr. Whipple, into the vet because he was breathing heavily. But he seemed basically fine otherwise, and hadn't previously let on to any kind of problem. As it turned out, he had a large lymphoma tumor in his chest cavity. And all the stress and procedures to determine that and start to alleviate it just put him over the edge. He stopped breathing on his own and had to be put down.

This picture was from not long after he came to live with me. Still a kitten there, although he never got very big or totally outgrew his kittenish nature. He was an awesome cat, and will be sorely missed.