Monday, December 31, 2007
My iTunes: In Uomini, In Soldati by Kyle Engler
It's the last time I can put "2007" in a post. The year really has flown! Before I head out to do the usual New Year's Eve festivities, I like to take a minute and think about everything that has happened in the past year and to write down some of the landmark events, both positive and negative. Perhaps I'll share a few of them over the next couple posts...
But anyway, this was a picture I took outside Westminster Abbey. Being an art historian at heart, I like to see the symbolism in pictures (both paintings and photographs). I like the juxtaposition of the old brickwork with the lively vine. It reminds me of the end of a year, with the new and the old right next to each other. Neither is inherently better than the other, but instead they work together to show off a greater narrative thread.
Okay, enough with the philosophical reflections -- have a happy (and safe) New Year's, wherever you are!
Sunday, December 30, 2007
The Hat Lady
My iTunes In Uomini, In Soldati from Mozart's "Cosi Fan Tutte"
I just finished installing the printer-scanner-copier-faxer I got for Christmas. Why is it that technology sometimes seems like more trouble than it's worth? At least the printer installed... I can't say the same for the driver software for the new cell phone I got as well (the old one was the freebie almost 3 years ago, so old it isn't even listed online anymore, and something inside it rattled when I shook the phone). Eventually it'll all work, right?
This is another picture of the same friend in "Girl in a Red Hat." This was another hat she tried on in the antique shop that day. I set out in Photoshop to try to make her look kind of like a statue, but then realized that too much hair and not enough neck was showing for the look I had originally envisioned, so I went with this instead. Kind of fun.
Saturday, December 29, 2007
My iTunes: La Vie En Rose by Edith Piaf
Taking photos at antique stores is quite fun -- you can find some really interesting stuff there if you look. This was one of my favorite finds -- old wooden shoe molds in a hand-made wicker basket. Makes me wonder whose shoes they once filled...
Friday, December 28, 2007
My iTunes: "The Medium" by Gian Carlo Menotti
This is one of the shots I took while in the historic downtown area last week. I like the coral-color of the building contrasted with the almost black-and-white feel from the trees behind, especially when combined with the geometric shapes of the building contrasted with the random, lace-iness of the trees. And, thanks to Photoshop, there are no more power lines! (Really, I hate power lines.)
Thursday, December 27, 2007
My iTunes: "La Cenerentola" by Rossini
I really liked these flowers when I saw them. They decorated the entrance to a bridge in Bath, England. The weather was beautiful the two days I was there, as you can see a little bit from the blue sky behind the flower pot. Unfortunately, much of my time in Bath was spent in meetings so I didn't get to sight see as much as I had hoped to. Perhaps one day I'll be able to go back and see a little more of the city. I did, however, get to see the Roman baths -- definitely a highlight of my trip because I am an avid scholar of Roman art!
Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Tuesday, December 25, 2007
My iTunes: It Feels Like Christmas from "The Muppet Christmas Carol"
I always thought this little chapel looked like it could be a painting. Now it IS, thanks to Photoshop.
In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests." When the angels had left them and gone into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about." So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby, who was lying in the manger. When they had seen him, they spread the word concerning what had been told them about this child, and all who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. The shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, which were just as they had been told."
--Luke 2:1-20 (NIV)
Monday, December 24, 2007
My iTunes: It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas by the Chipmunks
One of my favorite parts about Christmas is all the decorations that you can enjoy for weeks ahead of time. There is something about red Christmas balls that especially catch my eye. Maybe after Christmas I'll try some of my creative juices on a picture of one and see what I can do with it in Photoshop.
Merry Christmas Eve!
Sunday, December 23, 2007
Saturday, December 22, 2007
My iTunes: Clair de Lune, Op. 46/2 by Kyle Engler
I'll bet looking at this shot you have no idea that the tree on the left is really half the size that it appears here. Yay Photoshop. One of my friends was sitting with me as I editted the picture and she thinks I could make it into a Christmas card. Perhaps one day...
Happy first (full) day of winter!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Girl in a Red Hat
My iTunes: Bravo (Monica's Waltz) from Gian Carlo Menotti's "The Medium"
My friend and I walked around the historic main street section a few miles away from my parents' house yesterday afternoon. It was fun having a mini photo shoot in the antique galleries and as we walked. She liked to try on the hats in this one shop, and this is one of my favorite pictures both of her hat adventures but from the day as a whole.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
My iTunes: I'll Be Home for Christmas by Josh Groban
Another Florence shot (I seem to be in a Florence mood lately)... This just reminds me of something you would see in a magazine.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
My iTunes: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
I love how this picture seems to tell a story, and that you can practically cut the tension between the two people with a knife. This is, once again, one of my pictures from Florence, courtesy of the amazing zoom my camera has. I was probably 100 feet away. Not bad for a non-digital SLR camera...
Final grades were posted today for all my classes. I've been solid in the past, but one class was a bit up in the air as to whether or not it would break my streak. But I ended up getting two points higher than I had thought! I was slightly in shock when I saw those grades -- I honestly have no idea how I managed to get what I did given everything that happened this semester!
Oh, and for those of you who are wondering, I got an A in my digital photography class. My professor even kept talking about how I have a "good eye" and kept hinting that I might be able to do something with photography as a career! I don't know about that, but I definitely want to keep taking photographs!
Monday, December 17, 2007
My iTunes: Con Te Partiro by Andrea Boccelli
I just found a note I had written to myself when I was in Italy almost a year ago about a song title that I really liked. I found it on iTunes and it takes me back to my Italian adventures... This was one of my favorite shots that I took on the trip, but now that I know how to work Photoshop, I've played with it a little bit. What do you think?
Friday, December 14, 2007
Thursday, December 13, 2007
My iTunes: Die Zauberflote by Mozart
One of my favorite parts about Christmas is putting up the lights and then seeing them each night. Before I hung these around my door, I decided to do a little photo shoot...
I just got a new opera to listen to: "Die Zauberflote" or "The Magic Flute." Unfortunately, when it arrived in the mail, the plastic case was broken into a million little shards. But for the $3 it cost, including shipping, I figured I still got more than I would have through iTunes and I'll just keep the CDs. It's too much hassle to try to send them back at Christmas time.
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
My iTunes: Monica's Waltz from Gian Carlo Menotti's "The Medium"
Taking a 5 minute break from studying for my America Since 1945 exam. I'm still not a big fan of the professor, but after he sent me an email saying, "Your paper rocks," I detest him slightly less than I did this morning. I'll still be SO glad when tomorrow's exam is over, though!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Saturday, December 8, 2007
My iTunes: Minuit Chretiens by *moi* = )
Tonight my church had a Christmas coffeehouse and I sang "Minuit Chretiens," the French version of "O Holy Night." One of my girls came with me and recorded me singing, so now I'm listening to myself. Kind of cool...
Doesn't this picture just exude Christmas-y-ness?
Friday, December 7, 2007
My iTunes: What Child Is This by Josh Groban
Another image for shadows. I like how the shadow for this one appears because a light in shining through the paper and you can see the shadow of what is written on the other side. It's actually one of Chopin's Nocturnes. Any guess which one?
My new Christmas music for the season is Josh Groban's CD, Noël. I am a big fan of this CD. I know that Josh Groban has a bit of a polarized audience -- I have friends who hate him and others who love him. While I wouldn't characterize myself as a Josh Groban afficionado, I really enjoy his sound and how he is so influenced by classical music.
Thursday, December 6, 2007
My iTunes: Joy to the World by Point of Grace
This shot was for an assignment on shadows -- I did a lot that were very Christmas-y, like yesterday's picture, but thought I'd like to do a more modern one of light through a colored jewel case. I used one of my papers in the background -- I thought it would fit with the theme of studying... bring on finals week!
Wednesday, December 5, 2007
Tuesday, December 4, 2007
My iTunes: Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet
Today's assignment is a photo collage that we had to put together ourselves. I decided to do one with a theme of music and how it makes me feel. Music is something that makes me feel at peace, yet simultaneously drives me to action from that feeling of peace. It grounds me, which is why I included the pictures on the right of my great-grandparents because your heritage is something that grounds you. I also love older, classical music and history, so the older photos fit nicely. My favorite part of the photo is how the words of the verses from the song ("Ave Maria") come together to say "Peace above, look now!" Such appropriate subliminal messaging... I lift up my eyes to the hills, from whence does my help come?
Monday, December 3, 2007
My iTunes: Wiegenlied by Luciano Pavarotti
Now that I have Photoshop CS3, I'm starting to pull up some pictures I've taken on my travels and editting a few of my favorites. The first time I went to London, I wanted to take a picture of Westminster Abbey without any people. But the problem was: it's a tourist hot-spot. So the next time I went to London, I went to a Sunday morning service then walked around a bit afterward. There were no people, but there was a sign in this shot that irritated me every time I looked at the picture. But now, thanks to Photoshop... it's gone!
Sunday, December 2, 2007
Boys Will Be Boys
My iTunes: Gesu Bambino by Kathleen Battle
These little guys were just too adorable. Noah is Chloe's little brother and Jackson's big brother, the second in the clan of three. He was sitting behind his friend Zechariah and they looked like they were having the time of their lives. Definitely captures the essence of boyhood! 3 is such a good age...
Saturday, December 1, 2007
Fountain of Coins
My iTunes: Cantique de Noel by Luciano Pavarotti
Happy December! How appropriate is it that tomorrow's weather is supposed to be freezing rain and sleet... We just decorated our house with lots of Christmas-y and winter-y decorations and I'm burning my mistletoe candle. We're having people over tonight for a Christmas movie marathon and I treated myself to a cheery red patterned sweater for the occasion. I love the Christmas season!
Friday, November 30, 2007
My iTunes: Angels We Have Heard on High by Point of Grace
This is a shot I took for the assignment "water." It's a fountain just outside the dining area of the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. I thought it would be fun to play with the idea of water being blue, even though it isn't. It kind of looks like ice -- fitting for the weather we're having around here lately!
Thursday, November 29, 2007
My Little Scholar
My iTunes: When Love Came Down by Point of Grace
I'm listening to one of my all-time favorite Christmas albums now: Point of Grace's A Christmas Story. Now I know it's Christmas time!
This is Chloe. She is 12 years old, almost 13. She is one of the people who brings me the greatest joy every time I see her. I've been her Latin teacher since she was in 3rd grade and she's become like a little sister to me. One evening in late October after we were done our tutoring session, I put her hair in sponge curlers as she started her reading assignment for the night -- Homer's Odyssey. Yes, 12 years old and reading The Odyssey. She's a smart one and I'm so proud of her. Incidentally, the baby whose picture I posted a few days ago is her youngest brother.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
My iTunes: Nativity Suite: Visitation by Phil Keaggy
This is a shot I took in New York (surprise, surprise -- I seem to use those shots a lot). Only this one has been through the magic of Photoshop CS3. I'm hoping to get it for Christmas (it's one of the last year's I'll be able to get it at the student discount price, which is $700 off the list price), but for the meantime, I've downloaded the 30-day free trial version. If you're considering purchasing Photoshop, I recommend giving the trial version a test run. It's pretty awesome. But I warn you, if you get used to CS3, you might just become addicted and have to purchase it...
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
My iTunes: March from Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker Ballet
I just love babies. One of my good friends has a little boy who is just over 3 months old named Jackson and he was baptized on Sunday. As I had some free time over Thanksgiving, I got to spend some time with their family and do a little photo shoot of the little guy. Something about his eyes is absolutely captivating. And I love how his eyebrows are raised as if he's in a perpetual state of curiosity. In this shot, I think he bears a close resemblance to the famous Gerber baby. What do you think?
Monday, November 26, 2007
My iTunes: It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas by Bing Crosby
Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's official -- the Christmas season has begun. (Someone tell Walmart that Christmas decorations before Halloween is a little too early.) I can listen to Christmas music and start decorating with impunity. This is also the beginning of the busiest season in New York City. This is one of the shots I took a couple weeks ago when I went up there -- if you think the streets are busy then, just see what they look like now! One of my friends went up to New York to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade. I can't wait to hear all her stories!
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Aisle of Books
My iTunes: Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince
Sorry for the lack of posting the past few days. I haven't forgotten about you all! I've been having some computer issues: I ended up having to wipe my hard-drive and have spent the past few days reloading and reinstalling everything, which included spending about 7 hours talking with different technical support people. ALMOST everything is fixed. So naturally what is the only thing that I can't get to work? My camera. For some reason the computer won't recognize the camera or the memory cards. Not to fear, though -- maybe a few more hours on the phone will solve that little problem.
In the meantime, I've been listening to books on tape. Or books on CD to be more specific. Gone are the days of wandering in and out of aisles of books like these, looking for a good book. Now we just download them from iTunes and listen as we type away. Normally, as you might be able to judge from my attitude in writing, I'd much rather read a real book than listen via computer. But while audiobooks should never replace real books, they are pretty darn fun sometimes. And a great thing for multi-taskers like myself. However, even I can't fix my computer, listen to Harry Potter, do laundry, vacuum, AND sleep, and since I've been enjoying my beauty sleep the past couple nights, I think I'll opt for more of that before church tomorrow. Or should I say today since it's approaching 2:00 a.m...
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
My iTunes: [Nothing -- it's broken] = (
Sorry it's been a while since my last post -- life has gotten quite busy. All my professors are cramming the work in before the Thanksgiving holiday. Thankfully it's all done now. So for the next 5 days, I'll be working on the assignments they just gave me, and taking a brief break for turkey on Thursday. Yum, yum!
There is something interesting about photographing through water. Fountains intrigue me. As a kid, I always wanted to throw pennies into the fountain and then take my shoes off and run through the fountain and pick up all the coins.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Friday, November 16, 2007
My iTunes: Clair de Lune, Op. 46/2
I didn't get a chance to post yesterday because I was out of town (again). I seem to be doing that a lot this fall. I spent the day in Washington D.C. at the National Gallery and the National Museum of the American Indian. The National Gallery is one of my favorites, but I'd never been to the other museum, and since I'm taking a course in European-Indian relations in the 16th and 17th centuries, I thought it would be a good idea to go. I'm not entirely sure I liked the museum -- there was a lot of empty space and relatively little artwork. When I have a bit of free time (haha -- what's that?), I'd like to look up some reviews for the museum and see how people have liked it. It's a relatively new museum, too. The best part about it was finding wampum. (If you don't know what it is, go look it up.)
But anyway, this picture is of a detail of "Madonna and Child with Saints in the Enclosed Garden" by a follower of the famous artist, Robert Campin. It was painted in the Netherlands in the mid-1400's. Northern "Renaissance" is such a fascinating time period to study. Most people focus on the art of the Italian Renaissance, but the art of the North at that time was extremely influential. One of the quickest ways to tell the difference between a Northern work and an Italian work at this time is to see how much detail there is. Northern artists are known for their attention to detail. After seeing something like this, you can begin to understand how the telescope and the microscope were both invented in this area of Europe. Art historians refer to the Northern perspective on detail as the "telescopic-microscopic view" sometimes because everything, whether in the distance or up close, is seen in great detail.
And there is your art history lesson for the day!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Sprinklings of Red
My iTunes: Clair de Lune, Op. 46/2 by Ian Bostridge
If you've ever been to an open market in a big city like London or New York, it's likely that you'll have seen displays of signs where the vendors lay out all the signs in a big rectangular area. For the color red assignment, I thought it would be fun to play a bit with the idea of being color blind, but instead of being unable to see red, what if that were the only color you could see? Well, perhaps the world would look something like this...
(Doesn't it just make you want to watch reruns of I Love Lucy?)
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
My iTunes: Giovinette Che Fate All'Amore in Mozart's Don Giovanni
I'm taking a brief break from writing a 14 page paper this evening to post a picture that makes me happy. Why? Because it is red. And I'm tired of this paper. It's proven to be an interesting topic, or at least I think it is interesting. I'm writing about Plotinic aesthetic theory: it's place in philosophical history, its influences on art, and its responses to contemporary events. Really, any time I get to write about Roman art or art in general, it makes me happy. I just wish I didn't have 11 pages left to write... and that it wasn't due in less than 24 hours...
Monday, November 12, 2007
By Any Other Name
My iTunes: Clair de Lune Op. 46/2 by Ian Bostridge
There is something about red that I am just drawn to. For example, I am sitting here in my red henley, wearing socks that I bought because of their red accent stripes, drinking tea from my red tea pot, posting a picture of a red rose. I also love classical music, like what I am currently listening to and what serves as the background for this rose. I suppose this picture is the conflation of two of my loves, then. I'm embracing the artsy-ness that I've discovered to be me.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
My iTunes: La Ci Darem La Mano from Mozart's Don Giovanni
I babysat an adorable 1 1/2 year old little girl last night, and as her mother was saying goodbye, she gave her a cuddle that only a mother and child can share. It made me think of this window.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Friday, November 9, 2007
My iTunes: Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered by Celine Dion
It's becoming harder and harder to find picturesque little chapels in this area. American architecture has been heavily influenced by modern artistic trends and because the turn-around rate for buildings is so high, very few buildings have any history. If a sports stadium is 8 years old, it's time to tear it down and build another. If you ever run across something that is 100 years old, you're shocked at how long it has lasted. But visit some cities in Europe, like Assisi, Italy, for example, and you'll hear buildings that were built in the 1400's referred to as "the new buildings." That's one reason I like this little chapel. It still has character and it looks so picturesque. It's not quite like the cathedrals I love in Europe, but it's better than most buildings in America.
Thursday, November 8, 2007
My iTunes: Clair de Lune Op. 46/2 by Kyle Engler
I like how this shot has a lot of movement in it, yet the one "still" object is in the middle of taking a step. It's like a picture of a split second in which time itself stands still and you can take a step back and notice all the little details. (Don't you wish you could actually put your life on pause sometimes?)
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
My iTunes: Batti, Batti O Bel Masetto from Mozart's Don Giovanni
Never in a million years would I classify myself as a sports fanatic, and probably not even a sports fan. But I occasionally enjoy going to my college's football games. Even though we rarely (if ever) win. My excuse is that they are fun to photograph, and because the college is so small, I can get pretty close to the action with camera in hand...
Tuesday, November 6, 2007
My iTunes: Ma Qual Mai S'Offre, O Dei from Don Giovanni
I've always thought fountains are fun. Photographing fountains at night is kind if like photographing fire works. There isn't much light, other than that produced by your subject, but there is movement that you want to capture. I like fountains especially for the lines, though -- even though nothing is stable, engineers can determine based on water pressure and directional vectors exactly where each stream of water will go, and then they arrange multiple nozzles accordingly to make some sort of display like this one from New York City.
Monday, November 5, 2007
My iTunes: [One of my voice lessons] = )
As I sit here listening to the beginning of one of my voice lessons, I'm hearing myself do an exercise meant to warm up the vocal chords and work on two specific vowel sounds: "eh" and "oh." You're supposed to sing "mellow, mellow, mellow, mellow, mellow" up and down the scales. I think it's funny that I'm telling myself to be 'mellow.'
One of the recent assignments was doors and windows. I took this shot from a little chapel close to my house. I like stained glass windows, so I thought they'd be fun to take pictures of.
Sunday, November 4, 2007
Saturday, November 3, 2007
My iTunes: Music for a While by Dawn Upshaw
Today I set a new record for sleeping in. I made it all the way until 11:35. Never slept that long before. The problem is, now half the day is gone and I still have a million things to do. Still, it was nice to get some much needed rest!
This has been a fun shot to play around with. I like the colors, lines, and textures in it. I think the poster effect nicely accentuates the good features of the shot, too.
Friday, November 2, 2007
Impression of Fall
My iTunes: Rejoice Greatly from Handel's Messiah, performed by Kathleen Battle
One of my favorite periods in western art is the 19th century, which spans a variety of artistic movements. Two of my favorites are romanticism and impressionism. In playing around in Photoshop, I realized that I could turn a photograph into an impressionist-style painting using filters. This shot reminds me of paintings by Monet because he liked to paint in a similar style. I'd go off into a bunch of art historical jargon and explain the history of the impressionist movement, it's goals, and some of it's famous painters, but I think that for now, posting this picture and expressing my love of the impressionist movement will suffice.
Thursday, November 1, 2007
Red House By the Lake
My iTunes: Sarabande from Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major, BWV 1007 by Yo-Yo Ma
How did it get to be November already? Time seems to be flying past like nobody's business. I like listening to slow classical music as if I'm fooling myself into thinking that time is passing slowly and I can savor each moment. Why is it when I have a lot of projects due time flies and I never seem to have enough, but when I am waiting for something, time crawls?
This little red brick house was right off the lake where I stayed this weekend. I like the combination of colors -- the red of the house, the burnt orange of the leaves, the green of the bull rushes -- and textures -- the repetition in the house, the random lines in the foreground, and the mottling in the background. Seems peaceful, like a flock of geese should be flying overhead and the crickets chirping in the background.
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
My iTunes: Ah! How Sweet It Is to Love by Dawn Upshaw
Mmm! Apple pie! What a wonderful symbol of fall. Apple pie at any other time just doesn't have the same flavor to it. There is just something about freshly picked apples, homemade crust, and a little bit of whipped cream to top it off. I had to practically beat my housemates away with a stick to get this picture before they completely devoured the rest of the pie!