Clearly we have lost our bloggin’ mojo. I think it has something to do with coming to terms with the pieces of my child I no longer should share so freely as she claims ownership of herself and her experiences, and maybe also something to do with my willingness to share certain areas of myself.
Am pondering a revamp/refocus that will reinspire us, but so much to do, so little time.
In the meanwhile, just arrived back from a brief Cinci/Columbus jaunt and have some pics to share:
Sorry for the lack of posting — I think I’m still trying to get both of my feet firmly planted back on the ground. Coming back from vacation is always a challenge for me, as is the entire month of August, for a multitude of reasons. Anyhoo, it was a great trip; Alli did amazingly well with all of the driving (about 3,000 miles total), as did our trusty Subaru with all of the miles and mountains. We found a few good, kitschy stopoffs to break up the drive out; crossing the state of Nebraska on the way back was a bit more arid until Omaha, which was nicer than I’d expected. Photographically speaking, while I didn’t have the kind of time or energy I’d envisioned in my head to sit for hours and carefully compose shots, playing around and taking full advantage of my camera and a few different lenses, I guess I did ok with quicker, touristy shots. Most importantly, I finally got all of my pics offloaded and uploaded. For those with a spare 20 minutes, here’s the slideshow I threw together (those with more limited time might just do a quick glance at the full photoset on Flickr):
Spent Monday in the Black Hills, visiting Mt. Rushmore and Custer State Park. The landscapes (and variety) were stunning. Pics follow:
After a long day’s drive yesterday through the final portion of South Dakota and part of Wyoming, we are happily ensconced in our cabin in Estes Park, just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. Alli has declared Colorado her favorite state, and our cabin “way more awesome than our house and she’d like to live here if she could have her cats come with”. Will surely post pics as we travel this area for the next few days.
We left Evanston Friday afternoon, and have traveled through Wisconsin, Minnesota and most of South Dakota. Staying one more day in South Dakota, then on to the Rockies in Colorado. It’s been a nice trip — lots of driving but punctuated by some great, kitschy/funky stopovers and mainly good weather excluding one of the worst rainpours we’ve ever attempted to keep driving through. Last night we went to a rodeo (my first ever), and Andrew and I were both struck by how different and also maybe how (over-?) complicated our lives feel relative to folks in a small town in South Dakota. Toured the badlands today, which were really stunning. Alli’s done great in the car thus far, is immersed in collecting “states” from license plates, and seems to be having a blast.
I find myself having a really difficult time getting on the patriotic bandwagon these days, politically speaking. Nonetheless Alli enthusiastically donned her red, white and blue, and I was hit with crashing waves of nostalgia thinking back to July 4, 1976, when I was just about Alli’s age, organizing all kinds of fetes in honor of the bicentennial. I find myself funnily struck by the onset of the times in her life that she will surely remember for all time, as if somehow that means that any slack I was cutting myself in parenting is no more.
Somehow this is the first holiday we were around and actually made it to the renowned Evanston 4th of July parade, and it was also Alli’s first parade experience. Excluding the moments of tears and massive ear-holding over the emergency vehicle sirens and the over-the-top-load rally car engine revving, it was a highly entertaining way to spend 2 hours. A real showcase of the eclectic, eccentric, simultaneously big and small town nature of Evanston.
Last week I went on a photo shoot with Marie, friend and fellow photographer — we met at the Shakespeare Garden on the Northwestern campus. I’ve enjoyed contrasting my shots with hers; it’s so interesting how two different eyes can capture the same subjects with different styles. We’ve been swapping learning and even image editing, and I’m enjoying the inspiration. Some of my shots:
When you’re playing around with a fancy schmancy new camera, don’t forget the basics. As in check things like film speed settings during your shooting. All of the first round of shots on a reasonably well-lit outdoor day I took at ISO 800, which makes the relatively non-grainy results all the more impressive. Wonder how pretty they would have been at 100…
A collection of saved gift funds, income from an extra side job or two, a nicely-timed Canon instant rebate and the promise of selling my original, entry-level Digital Rebel on E-bay have allowed me to trade up for a Canon 40D with only a modicum of guilt. Ok, a little more than a modicum. It’s really, really nice, and I’m still trying to convince myself that I’m responsible enough to have it… 🙂 Hopefully I’ll become well-acclimated in advance of our summer road trip, which promises lots of fabulous shooting opportunities.
Some of the first quick trial photos from my few minutes in the yard today: