Archive for the ‘Photography’ Category

ACen 2015 Cosplay Photos

October 7, 2015 Leave a comment

I have no idea… but amazing!!


I’ve finally gotten around to editing my photos from Anime Central 2015. They are just snapshots from my crappy pocket camera. I need to get with the times, because the higher end smartphones take wayyy better pictures. Alas, I spent all my money at the convention. Enjoy!

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Categories: Chicago, Fun Stuff, Photography

Sandhill Cranes Fall Hike in Indiana

November 10, 2014 Leave a comment

sandhill cranes flying overhead

I went on a guided hiking trip with Skokie Park District and took some nature photos this weekend! We traveled to the Jasper-Pulaski Nature Reserve in Indiana for the sandhill crane migration. The nature preserve is in a really rural area. And there is no cellular coverage there, either.

I only had a 300 mm lens on a Nikon DSLR and was looking at envy with anyone that had a 600 mm or larger lens. It turns out that sandhill cranes are sensitive to being disturbed and the nature preserve has the viewing area is well back from the feeding and roosting areas. Binoculars were really helpful for viewing; photography was difficult. At least I have some images that will be okay as visual references for drawing or painting.  Also, the weekend had a big surprise; so that will be the last photo!


river birch trees

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ACen Chicago 2014 Cosplay Artists

May 23, 2014 5 comments

Are you wandering around a fluorescent lit cave taking pictures of people’s cosplay? That’s a fan convention for you! It is great to see the mad love people put into their cosplay. I was going to just put up a few favorites and then I decided to blog a ton more. I was just carrying my crappy pocket camera and using the sport setting to not blast people with the flash. All pictures are from ACen (Anime Central) Chicago at the Rosemont Convention Center.

I identify characters where I can and take wild guesses where I cannot. The joy of cosplay is that people are taking from a wide range of movies, anime, manga, webcomics, comics, cartoons, video games and memes. They are further mixing up genres, genders and mash ups to the point that no one can know everything… or can they? If I get anything wrong or you know what something is, please let me know! I love that just about anything with a fan base has some fans passionate enough to cosplay characters.


ACen 2014 Cosplay 01 Bioshock

This Bioshock was off the chain! Lights with sounds from the game keyed to the costume.

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Categories: Chicago, Fun Stuff, Photography

Journalism Photography Project

Sal Barry (my HBBF, Hockey Blogger Boyfriend) is working on a second Master’s degree in journalism and had an interesting instructional assignment to photograph the same subject from different views. The professor required a wide, medium and close-up shot of the same subject for the assignment. This is a great exercise to practice good framing and composition. Sal was going to go to the Picasso sculpture downtown but I told him to head to the Chagall mosaic. He lucked into good diffuse lighting and few people, just enough to give an indication of scale of the work and to be focal points. In summer months, this courtyard is mobbed and the Chagall piece is harder to see through a sea of people.


Photo Essay: Marc Chagall’s Four Seasons

An explosion of color amidst neutral tones. That is how I would describe artist Marc Chagall’s mosaic Four Seasons and its surroundings. The gigantic, four-sided artwork, is the centerpiece of Exelon Plaza, downtown near Dearborn St. and Monroe St. While I knew about the mosaic and seen it many times in passing, before now I never really bothered to look closer at it or explore the surrounding space. [source]



Wide Shot


Medium Shot


Close-up Shot

Sal submitted two additional photographs with his assignment. I particularly like the cropped close-up with the couple because the woman is gesturing. The animated GIF gives you a feel for the vibrant color of the mosaic mural.


Sal panned the mosaic using the “burst mode” for speed and sports photography to make this animated GIF below.



Categories: Chicago, Photography

Nature, Only More Indoors…

March 8, 2014 1 comment


I spent yesterday at the Garfield Park Conservatory and took a lot of reference photos which I uploaded to my MorgueFile account. is a great resource for free high resolution photography and digital image resources. It was good to be around the plants for a few hours and pretend there was not massive amounts of snow all around the greenhouse. I took photos, did some drawings and wrote letters. I can’t wait for actual spring to arrive. Here are a few unmodified photos that I added to MorgueFile stocks. Free photos get approval from admins and the rest will be live for downloading in 24 – 48 hours on the site. Here are four favorite shots.


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Girls’ Game Hockey Photography

January 13, 2014 Leave a comment


Chicago Young Americans December 17, 2013

Chicago Young Americans December 17, 2013



Chicago Young Americans December 17, 2013

Chicago Young Americans December 17, 2013

These are my two favorite photographs from a  girls’ game back in December 2013. I wanted to get some reference photos of a goal net for an animation that is in progress and had some down time waiting for other people. I took some shots for the fun of it and love how fast these young players can zip around the ice. Now only if some of their parents would STFU or at least cheer without thinking they can coach from the bleachers…

Lemon by Candle Light

January 3, 2014 Leave a comment



I may have had maybe a few too many cocktails, but I noticed the candle on the dinner table on New Year’s Eve was lined up behind my water glass and the lemon looked great. (Hey, I woke up fine the next morning.) I spent a few minutes messing around taking pictures of the glass with my crappy pocket camera. This is the best shot. We’ll call the genre “a still life with fruit at night”.