Sunday, February 28, 2010

Day 59

Settling in for the evening for a night on the couch. Fondue, a good movie and great company.

In PS I added an exposure and selective layer to bring out the chain within the ice. I'm ready for summer.....I'm sick of the snow and ice pics

Fire 'n Ice:

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Day 58

What an absolutely perfect day!! Aside from the KU loss that is - but we won't bring that up.....
My wonderful husband started the day by driving me to perhaps the best bakery we've found in Chicago. The Bleeding Heart Bakery is a local, organic and sustainable bakery. We sampled the donuts today and you'll hear no complaints from us. They were AMAZING! You're seriously missing out if you haven't yet discovered this place. There's no question that we'll be going back. If you live in the area (or really anywhere in a 200 mile radius) you should make the trip to try the sweet potato donut/donut holes, the peanut butter chocolate donuts, or the unbelievable scones....just to name a few.

In PS I added a combination of contrast, exposure and saturation layers.



Bleeding Heart:

Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 57

FRIDAY!!!!! I was seriously starting to wonder if my life becoming a constant continuation of Mondays. Awful.
But we made it! Looking forward to a fantastic weekend with the husband and some quality girl time with some great friends!

I love tonight's photos. I love the bright colors and the peeling paint. My favorite parts are the rust eroded hinges and the way the blue line and green line cut through each photo to divide the shot yet bring it all together. Hope everyone enjoys these as much as I enjoyed taking them!!

In PS I added contrast layers to each as well as an exposure layer. Nothing new, but then again I didn't think these photos needed much. The first is not simply a cropped image of the was taken completely separate.

Peeling Paint Hinge:

Peeling paint Window:

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Day 56

Tonight reminded me of how much I love living here.
Troy met me downtown after work for a date. We started with some shoe shopping (I know, how could it get any better right?), then we headed to the Art Institute. It's Free February so no admission fee! In a city with as many museums and galleries as Chicago one can spend a small fortune on admissions so it's worth taking advantage of something like this.....especially a museum that has an entire area dedicated to photography!!

We ended our date at Eve. A newer restaurant downtown. Food was great, but service was slow. Friendly, but slow.

This photo was taken tonight in the photography wing. In PS I added an exposure, contrast and saturation layer. I like the silhouette effect and the position of the guy. A slight bit out of focus, but I like the picture. It was hard with the museum lighting and no tripod rule to get enough light in the shot.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Day 55

Ok, so Wednesday went a little better. Hey, I'll take what I can get!
Stopped to enjoy a couple of libations tonight with a couple of coworkers and now I'm home catching up on some overdue 30 rock episodes with the husband. Great end to a no so perfect day!

I took this on my way home while waiting for the train. One of my favorite things to do with the camera is slowing down my shutter speed. I have some trouble still keeping my point of interest in focus, but I still like the effect this one had.

In PS I added an exposure later and a posterize layer.


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Day 54

Wow, what a grueling day at work. Tuesday did NOT go better than Monday. C'mon Wednesday!!

The below is an abandoned loading doc near downtown.

In PS I added an exposure layer to help define the brick. I also added a b&w layer.

Loading Doc:

Monday, February 22, 2010

Day 53

Really crappy Monday. Long day, too many meetings, not enough productivity. Hoping for a better Tuesday.

On a positive note I really like tonight's post. I love the bokeh effect and the way the wire is dangling over the top of the sign. I also like the way the chain-link fence is so pronounced on the lower half of the picture and the rust on the sign.

In PS I add a layer of contrast as well as exposure to make the colors (the few that there are)stand out more. Best part is the gate was actually open when I shot the photo. :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Day 52

Troy needed to get some work done today so I took the opportunity to visit some lesser known areas of the city. Or lesser known to myself.

I always see really great photos of railroad tracks, but we're never near any (excluding the El that you can't step on without a jolt of electricity). So, I set out to find some today. I was successful but ended up focusing more on the logs that had been left on the vacant track more than the actual track itself.

In PS I added a layer of contrast and selective color to help bring out the different colors within the wood.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Day 51

It's always surprising how fast the weekends go. We spend the whole week looking forward to them and they seem to be over before you know it.

This is one of those shots that looked so much better through the lens. These trees had grown between the brick building and the chain link fence. In areas the tree actually broke through the fence where the space was too narrow.

In PS I added some layers to try bringing out the black fence more. Unfortunately it ended up looking bland and everything blends together with no obvious focus point.

Bustin' Out:

Friday, February 19, 2010

Day 50

Wow. Day 50!! A mini milestone. Thank you to everyone who has been following. The comments go a very long way in motivating and encouraging me to continue. Thank you!!!

Tonight's post was taken at my friend Nicole's place. I had to make a run up there tonight so I brought my camera along with. I've noticed that I'm drawn to anything with repetition so naturally the stairs caught my eye.

In PS I added a b&w layer and then in addition added a tint.

Going Down? :

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Day 49

For today's photo I'm posting one that speaks for itself. I particularly like the blurred out person walking away. This is an everyday occurrence in the city and one that I'm particularly sensitive to. No one is entitled to give and everyone has his/her reasons. Just something I wanted to try to bring into the light. Not my best, but one that 'speaks' to me.

In PS just added a B&W layer.


Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day 48

Blue skies and sunny. Tonight's post reminds me of summer!
Unfortunately that is NOT the case and sadly won't be for another 6 months.

In PS I added a contrast layer to bring out the blue in the sky and the green in the building. The only give away in the photo that it's winter is the bare tree limbs toward the bottom of the shot.

It's been a long day that started ridiculously early so I'm keeping it short. Hope everyone's week is going well!

Church Top:

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Day 47

I took this on my way home tonight from outside our friendly neighborhood dry cleaner. I say friendly because in the winter they let us bring the dogs inside while we pick up our stuff. They even have dog treats for the boys! And, they know who we are without asking every time we go in. It's funny how much like a small town our little corner of the city can be.

In PS I added a few different layers to help bring out the colors. I cropped this from a much larger picture so the final image turned out a bit out of focus. Plus, shooting through a glass window doesn't help. What I like best about the photo is the wood paneling behind the spools of thread. That stuff hasn't been popular since the 70's yet unlike avocado appliances and Atari this stuff won't die.

All in all, not super happy with the shot, but it'll do for today. I have 318 days to redeem myself!

Sew Out of Date:

Also including another shot tonight.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Day 46

Happy President's Day! Hopefully everyone is having a great Monday - especially those that had the day off like myself.

The husband and I went to a movie this afternoon and dinner tonight at Sunda. Highly recommend this place. It was our first time and we'll definitely be going back.

Shot this while we were out tonight. This is looking north from the Chicago River Bridge on Michigan Ave. I really like all of the light reflecting off of the river. I had to turn my ISO up to 1600 to avoid flash. In PS I added a few different layers to bring out the lights/reflections.

Wabash Bridge:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Day 45

Happy Valentines Day to everyone!! Troy and I had a great day. We spent it watching season one of 30 Rock and then a walk with the boys over to the park to snap some pictures.
For dinner tonight the husband made me my favorite - homemade chicken and noodles (minus the chicken for me) over cheesy biscuits. Fantastic.
We enjoyed dinner on the couch while watching movies. Absolutely perfect. Who wants to fight the crowds and wade through the snow in 5 inch heels? Not me.

I liked the checker tables at the park tonight. It's funny how different things look throughout the different seasons.

In PS I added a b&w layer. I wish I would have shot from a lower level so I could have seen the checker board on the table in the background as well. Guess I'll try for a color shot tomorrow as the weekend has been lacking thus far.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Day 44

I took tonight's post while we were out running errands this afternoon.
This building was built the same year we moved here and is a mix of stores at the street level and lofts above.

In PS I added contrast and a b&w layer. I like the grid of the building structure.

Loft Building:

Friday, February 12, 2010

Day 43

Happy Friday! And, the start to a fantastic three day weekend....I hope!

I took this out of one of our conference room windows this afternoon 41 floors up. We have beautiful views that sometimes distract the actual meetings taking place!
This view is of North Beach.

In PS I added a selective color layer to bring out the colors of the sunset. I also added a contrast layer and cropped the photo so that the the water took up the majority of the shot. It came out a little less focused than I would have preferred but it was today's best shot. I struggled with the the glass reflections out of the windows for a lot of today's photos.

Sunset at North Beach:

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Day 42

Two of my favorite things: Photos and Food.

I made a stir fry tonight that turned out delicious! Troy picked out all of the meat so I guess I'll have veggie stir fry for lunch tomorrow. I also embraced my inner child and played with my food. Sorry Mom.

In PS I added a selective color layer to bring out the reds and greens. I also added some contrast. I really need to spend some time learning new PS stuff!

Stir Fry:

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Day 41

Had a work happy hour tonight so I tried to snap some pics this morning so I wouldn't have to lug around the camera all day (actually I planned to take it but left it at home accidentally).

Luckily one of my shots this morning worked! Or at least I think it did. I may be a little bias though as it's of one of our boys!
Tried to get some shots of our lab Riley to share some blog love but seeing as how we had a foot of snow dumped on us last night a white dog with white snow didn't turn out well.

In PS I didn't have to do much at all, which makes me happy. I just cropped and added a layer of selective color to add some contrast. I love his expression! It's so honest. Let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Snow Day:

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Day 40

SNOW!!!!! Went to bed last night with no snow on the ground. Going to bed tonight with close to 10 inches. Worse yet, there's absolutely no end in site. I can't wait to wade through it in the morning. Ugh.

Sooo.....tonight's post is about, you guessed it, snow. If you can't beat it, move. If you can't move, photograph it. I added a b&w layer in photoshop. This was taken at night and I was avoiding flash so it turned out slightly out of focus.

Snow Tree:

I'm also including another shot for fun tonight. I'm trying to learn the panning technique, but I think the situation really calls for a mono/tripod. Plus, this shot was taken in less than ideal lighting conditions so any hand movement really affected the shot. As you can see, rather than having the bicycler in focus, he's blurry as well. On an unrelated note, I have no idea why this individual thought it would be a good idea to ride a bike in a blizzard.

Snow Biker:

Monday, February 8, 2010

Day 39

Troy and I love diners. The crappy chairs and torn booths. The greasy food, the occasional pile of fries on the floor. And don't forget the paper menus and plastic baskets lined with that paper that becomes transparent once it's soaked in grease. Ahhhh....anyone for a milk shake?

In PS I upped the exposure levels to try bringing out the condensation on the windows. I also added a layer for contrast to focus more on the window writing.
Not my favorite photo, but it's my best shot from today.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Day 38

Keeping it short tonight. I have football (read commercials) to watch! Hope everyone is having a fun and safe Superbowl Sunday.

Shot this while downtown today. I shot the light while it was red, yellow and green with the intention of doing something along these lines. I ended up choosing one of the shots and duplicating it. I then selected the color light I wanted in each layer and pasted it over the new image. Ideally I would have been able to just merge the three different shots together but seeing as I didn't have my tripod the shots didn't end up exactly the same.

Stop Light Life Cycle:

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Day 37

Went to an early kettlebell class this morning followed by a fantastic brunch. Great way to start the weekend!

I took this while we were at brunch. We tried a new place around the corner from the kettlebell studio. Great food, but even better decor! The chairs and bar stools were modeled after the old wooden school chairs and the walls were all painted bold colors.

In PS I just boosted the color by adding a contrast layer. Really not much editing for this one. I'm cutting this post short so that I can enjoy an afternoon nap!

Wooden Chairs:

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 36

Wishing everyone a great weekend ahead!!

Changing it up a little bit tonight. Today's photo is my take on the ever famous Robert Frost poem. My little way of reminding everyone not to settle for the easy way out.

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Road Less Traveled:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Day 35

What a long day. I'm not gonna lie, I'm glad it's over.
I had to drop our car off to get some work done this morning so I had the chance to take a different route to the train and see some new stuff. Probably a good thing because I don't think I would have had the energy to get out and take pics tonight.

In PS I added layers for exposure, saturation and contrast. I also used the clone stamp tool to get rid of some car reflections in the door windows. Lastly I changed the hue to modify the colors. The door was originally blue and the wall was yellow and red. I think I may have overdone the saturation though as the pot looks a little fake.

Yellow Door:

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 34

Another ode to the children of the 80's. What a great decade to be a part of! Here's to the international sensation that taught me organizational skills(Tetris), responsibility (Paperboy), and how to aim high (Duck Hunt). It also helped my close friends, roommates and myself make it though countless nights in college. A special thank you goes out to Super Mario Bros. 1 & 3.

I shot this with f1.8 so that I could bring into focus only one of the controls. In PS I added an exposure/saturation layer to mute the color. In the second photo I added a Posterize layer to give it the video game effect.


Nintendo (posterize):

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 33

I love public transportation - trains in particular (my good friend Anna just did a post about trains as well that I can completely relate to - check it out here ). In fact, public transportation is one of the biggest reasons that we made the move to Chicago. I have to say I haven't been disappointed. I take the train twice each day and on average drive only 10 miles each month. Public transportation has a whole slew of advantages, but perhaps the best is that it's better for the environment. So, for approx. 20 minutes twice per day I do my small part for the environment while someone else drives me to work!

Tonight's post was taken while I was waiting on the platform during my evening commute.

In PS I added layers to adjust the contrast, saturation and exposure. Nothing new.

Talking Commuter:

Monday, February 1, 2010

Day 32

Hello February! I was hoping that the start of a new month would mean the beginning of warmer weather. No such luck. I'm hoping that little pain in the ass Punxsutawney Phil won't see his shadow tomorrow. I'm ready for summer! :)

Just like every other kid from my generation I played monopoly growing up. With my frugal, hotel-less, house-less, non-aggressive strategy it's a wonder I ended up in the finance industry. I was "investing" like an 80 year old man at the age of 10. But I digress. Here I am in the finance industry, and enjoying the hell out of life. Including my new found interest in photography!

In PS I added a b&w layer and then erased the letters "GO" to bring back the red.
This isn't one of my favorite techniques, but one that I'm sure will come in handy once in a while.

Must Pass Go: