Science Is Super

After attending Megan’s wedding in Florida, I flew to San Francisco to spend the rest of Thanksgiving week with my parents and my brother’s family. We stopped at my uncle’s for a few days, during which my mom and I visited the California Academy of Sciences.

The Academy (the name is a little misleading, since its focus is definitely more on the life sciences than anything other areas) underwent a huge series of renovations a few years ago, and it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re ever in the Bay Area. They’d just started their winter programs, which included bringing in a couple of reindeer, installing a snow machine in the main pavilion, and putting up a Geodome for watching the Borealis. I was surprised by how crowded it was—the line to get into the rainforest exhibit was ten minutes long—Bill Nye would have been proud.

Now. Here is a question for other photogs out there. There is a photo in here (guess which it is!) that I like now and liked when I took it…but I didn’t get any names because I didn’t know what the best way to approach it is. I’m not on assignment. I’m not in a class. I don’t want to be creepy and say “I am a stranger and took your photo and might like to put it on a website some day,” despite the fact that…that’s what I’m doing, basically. Has this ever happened to you? How did you phrase the request?

Anyway, these were all shot with the 7D and my 20mm (which, as I’ve mentioned before, is my favorite lens in the arsenal). Enjoy!

You can just barely see the anaconda’s head in this one.

This picture has probably never, ever been taken before. 😉

And, because they’re just so cute (and a lot smaller than I thought they’d be!)…here are the holiday reindeer!

My Favorite Holiday

We spent Thanksgiving in Napa with my sister-in-law’s family. For Molly and Liza, my nieces, this meant Thanksgiving with four grandparents, one auntie, and Mommy and Daddy. I hope they’ll remember the day as just as wonderful as I thought it was. If nothing else, they’ll at least remember the key lime pie!

Here’s what I’m thankful for:

Megan Got Married!

Last weekend I flew down to Pensacola to go to the wedding of one my oldest friends. Megan and I have known each other since seventh grade, and it was a real honor to be invited to the ceremony. I wish I’d had a little more time to check out Pensacola—it seems like a neat place to be—but just being around friends was good enough for me!

I took photos during the preparations, ceremony and reception, and later converted them to black and white because the whole event took place in three very different lighting situations (and, because I wasn’t the official photographer, I didn’t bother bringing my flash along).

All of these were shot using either my 20mm f/2.8 or my 50mm f/1.8. The 50 is no match for the f/1.4, but it IS very portable, so I just tucked it into my purse. Awesome!

Some selects:


Choate Sports: Water Polo [lots of photos]

Went back up to Choate today to practice some water polo photography. This is yet another sport I had no experience shooting, but I have (sort of) played before, and I know the basic rules, so it was pretty easy to adjust to shooting. Water polo is an intense sport; not only are you treading water or flat-out swimming the whole time, but you have to fend off fouls from the other team. The ref was pretty good at catching them, but I had a far better vantage point than he did (the viewing area for the pool is elevated, which was great for nice clean backgrounds), aaaand he missed a lot.

The lighting in the pool area is awful and dark (and red- what?), and I was already intentionally underexposing in order to get the shutter speed I needed…so there was a lot of color correction involved in these. I know that in a perfect world you’re supposed to shoot correctly in-camera, but it was more important to me to have that shutter speed (I was using 1/250, and in some cases even that wasn’t fast enough) than to listen to my light meter.

It’s basically an advanced game of “Not touching! Not touching!”

After several failed attempts to actually get the ball in mid-air, I had a brainwave and decided to try shooting vertically instead. This led to a couple of compositions that I liked (I’m a big fan of busy compositions), as well as a freaking photo of a goal save, which I had also been trying to nab.

Color-corrected for the pool…not the sidelines, which remain bathed in red (why red? can some swimmer help me out?)