A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to experience the Busch Garden's Elephant Trainer for a Day program. It was an amazing day where I was able to work along side the Elephant Trainers. It was a lot of work and mildly (aka completely) exhausting, but I got to spend the day with some really cool people and some amazing elephants. I learned a tremendous amount about the elephants, and found that they were even more beautiful, sweet, smart, and ornery than I had imagined. Each of them had such a distinct personality... and distinct preferences in food. I had to love my vegan sisters.
Believe me, you haven't really experienced morning breath until you've had a curious elephant exhale in your face while trying to smell you... and then, you surprise yourself when you still think they're beautiful and amazing.
Anyway, these are a couple of my favorite photos so far. Will post more on Flickr later.
While off for a few days of vacation, I signed up for the Trainer for a Day program at Busch Gardens. It is an interactive experience where you go behind the scenes and learn about the animals and how to take care of them. Last year, I did the Marine Mammal Keeper Experience at Sea World, and last weekend, I did the Elephant Keeper for a Day
; I loved them both and need to post photos about both soon.
Anyway, the Trainer for a Day program was a lot of fun, and I learned a ton about the animals, which included the hoofstock (giraffes, zebras, wildebeest, etc) on the Serengeti Plain, kangaroos, tortoises, and the animal ambassadors (sloth, flamingos, armadillos, raven, etc). It was a great day, and my tour guides and the keepers were awesome about taking photos for me, so I thought that I would share some. I totally fell in love with that tortoise, and that face on the kangaroo while eating just won my heart.
I have been so focused on photography lately that I haven't posted or spent as much time doodling, so I thought that I'd share one.
I have been really fascinated by stilts and things being oddly unbalanced. I started this on a page where I was testing patterned stamps, added the stilts between them, and then filled them with color.
It was super meditative and relaxing, but it did take me a few hours to complete. I think that I'd like to do another page with just stilts and colors.
While checking on the Ducklings
, a crow landed on their ramp and got a drink of water. I find crows so fascinating and beautiful, so I snapped photographs like mad. I didn't plan it, didn't realize the interesting pattern the gate's reflection made on the water, and really believed that I was too far away to get a decent shot, but I am so happy with the way this turned out.
Black Crow Reflected on Water
As a side note, I've started a Zazzle store, SughaDust
, with prints and postcards of some of my favorite photographs (including this one). I like to use Zazzle to buy interesting, inexpensive, original artwork to hang around my house. I've always been a fan of postcards with black and white photographs, so I just went a but crazy buying Ansel Adams prints from the Life Store
I was having one of those days where you begin to totally question humanity. Then, I walked into my backyard and found that my neighbors, who had found ducklings in our pond, had made a makeshift ramp so that the baby ducks could get in and out of the water safely. Icy heart = melted.
The last few weeks work and life have been hectic. While I hate to do it, when i get really busy, my creative time always takes a hit. If I had a choice, I'd spend all of my time creating... well, 80% creating and 20% on the couch watching dumb TV. Even though I've been busy and not posting much, I have kept my camera close and have captured some fun shots. One particularly stressful afternoon, I found a nature preserve close to my house, which is where the majority of these shots came from.
Life is getting back to normal, and my sketch book is back by my side; I've been obsessed with doodling boxes and stilts, which I'll post a later when it is more complete. For now, these are some of photographs; as always, I'd love to hear your feedback. I'm still learning post processing techniques and am particularly frustrated with the glow around some of the subjects.
A few weeks ago, I went kayaking at Weedon Island (Inspiration: Kayaking in the Mangroves
), and I immediately knew that I had to bring my camera back to take photographs. The place is very difficult to describe, but sometimes it is even more difficult to capture in a photograph.
I spent my Sunday hiking and taking photographs. In the mangroves, the trees are dense and have a complex, knot of roots. Even at the brightest point of the day, there is a deep green shadow over everything. The water is shallow and still; it is an optical illusion, perfectly mirroring everything above it. When you stare too long, you start to forget which side is up. You can see and hear animals, birds, spiders (Spiders), and insects all around. It is one of the most beautiful places I've ever been, but in the wrong circumstances, I can also see it also being one of the most terrifying.
Anyway, these are some of my favorite photographs from the day. I did a mix of b&w and color photographs. Normally, I prefer b&w, but some of these images just looked so much better in color. Click on an image below to view the slideshow.
While hiking at Weedon Island (Weedon Island) on Sunday, I never dreamed that I'd spend 45 minutes photographing spiders, but they were completely fascinating. They seemed very docile. Their webs were very well hidden in the trees, so they probably don't have a bunch of dorky lurkers (me) hanging around too often. I love their back markings and their very Tim Burtonesque stripped legs. The skull patterns on their heads is pretty badass too.
This experience has really motivated me to learn more of the manual settings on the camera. There are a few blurry areas and I would have loved to have captured more of their webs, but I was having some issues with the focus. Click on an image below to view a slideshow.
As always, let me know what you think. I love getting feedback. Also, you can check out more of my photography on Picasa or Flickr.
About a year ago, I bought my first DSLR camera, but I'm just now learning how to use it. I grew up with darkrooms and film, so artistically, this is a bit of a new world for me. It is strange to come home with 200 photos (vs 2 rolls of film) and then head to my iPad instead of my hidey hole of the darkroom. However, I have been really been enjoying this process and getting interested in photography again.
When I first got the camera, I took it with me to Home Depot while plant shopping. At the time, I found the shots a bit boring. I am not a big color photography fan, so changing them to black and white gave me a fresh perspective, They were fun shots to play around with.
Any thoughts or suggestions, I'd love to hear them. I'm in a learning phase, so I love to get feedback. Also, you can check out more of my photography on Picasa or Flickr.
One of the best parts about living in Florida is how I can wake up on any random morning and make it a beach day. One of my favorites is Sunset Beach in Tarpon Spring, FL. It is small and not to crowded, so sometimes I'll drive down there just so I put my toes in the ocean for a few minutes. I also love to watch the birds. Life has been hectic the last few weeks, so I'm extremely jealous of their ability to fly away.
I brought my camera on Saturday and took a few photos. I've been playing around with them using the Noir Photo
, Dynamic Light
, and Snapseed
apps on my iPad. I love to up the drama with extreme black and white and lots of contrast. These are a few of my favorite photographs, but you can view more from Saturday on Picasa.
Completely unrelated, but the last few days, I have been completely obsessed (repeat, repeat, repeat) the Amos Lee song Violin. I always love to share great music. Plus, it goes well with looking at photos of the beach. Let me know what you think.