Thursday, March 31, 2011

Vlad the juggler, 90/365

This is Vlad, a juggler born in the Ukraine.  He did a sneak peek performance at the Science Center of Iowa today at noon.  Of course, the full Cirque Du Soleil Dralion show is this weekend at the Wells Fargo Arena.  Vlad was an impressive juggler and acrobat.  He combined juggling with somersaults, spins, and other tumbling type moves.  He then did a question and answer session and told a little about himself.  He was was born into a circus life, where his parents worked.  His father was a juggler and taught him how to juggle at the age of 6.  By age 9, he was doing his own performances.  Now, I'm happy to say that I can juggle three tennis balls.  But, it's pretty clear that this guy has been focusing on nothing but juggling for his entire life, and it shows.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Reflections in a truck, 89/365

Ok, I know, I've used reflections of downtown Des Moines before.  But, not viewed on the back of a truck.  That should be unique enough to justify it.  And, I've always liked reflections.  So, I lined up the buildings in a pleasing way on the trailer doors for this shot.  The interesting thing about mirror-like surfaces, is the different views you can get from different angles.  Most people probably just walked by on the sidewalk, and never gave this truck a second glance.  And even if they did, they didn't see the reflections that I saw, unless they moved to the same spot where I captured the shot.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ice Skates, 88/365

I walked outside to go take pictures over lunch today, and was quickly reminded that winter isn't quite ready to give up for the season yet.  We had snow on the ground this morning, but it all melted off by this afternoon.  It was still rather cold though.  I switched to a spring jacket already weeks ago, so I quickly decided that maybe this would be a good day to go through the antique store again.  How appropriate that I found these ice skates hanging from a cabinet.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Cathedral window, 87/365

This is just one of the small stained glass windows in the back of St. Ambrose Cathedral in Des Moines.  I love stained glass windows, especially the magnificent designs they used in old churches.  They look great from the inside on a sunny day, and even better from the outside at night when Mass is going on.  They are a wonderful symbol of the glory of God. Do they still put windows like this in modern churches?

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Elevator, 86/365

This rusty old elevator and corn crib are on highway 175 between Jewell and Stanhope.  They've obviously been sitting like this for some time.  I'm not sure why they would have left it in this state, ready for the harvest.  Regardless, it was a pleasant scene, reminiscent of old times.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Bottles, 85/365

The girls were shopping in Hobby Lobby for accessories to decorate their room today.  There are so many vivid colors to see in that store.  It's no wonder that kids can't keep their hands off things.  Here is a shot I grabbed of some bottles.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Blackbird, 84/365

I seem to have a bird theme going on lately for some reason.  It's not intentional, really.  There have been a couple flocks of hundreds of blackbirds making the rounds in Jewell today.  I watched this one at the top of an evergreen and waited for him to take flight.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Clock tower, 83/365

Here is the clock tower on the Polk County Courthouse, shot quickly before work this morning.  It's a neat building and actually not far from my office.  I tried to shoot it one other time a couple years ago.  At that time, I was using a big, ugly, homemade pinhole camera on a tripod.  The sheriff came out and asked me not to take pictures, because there was a murder trial going on.  Oh well.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Above the law, 82/365

I don't have much to say about this one.  It's just a scene I found in Des Moines, which I tried to capture the essence of it, utilizing the old desk, walls, and of course, the writing on the wall.  That's about it.  Interpret it as you may...

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

For the birds, 81/365

I found this bird feeder outside a Thai restaurant in Des Moines.  It looks like they also set out a plate of sliced bananas and rice for the birds too.  There are also the remains of incense sticks in a pot by the house.  All official documents in Thailand have a picture of the Garuda, a mythical half bird, half human figure.  I assume they are taking care of the birds in support of this same symbolism.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Birds, 80/365

If you've ever walked around downtown Des Moines, especially through alleys, you may have seen some of these birds painted on the walls.  I am still trying to figure out their meaning.  There is not always other graffiti nearby, so I don't think it's something gang related.  They are not always the same color or direction, but appear to all be painted with the same stencil.  Researching on the web, I did find one other reference to the bird graffiti, but it was pretty much like what I posted.  Someone asked what was up with the birds, but no one posted an answer.  So, the mystery remains.  My best guess is that it was some artist's unauthorized project to spread the image around town anonymously.  Regardless, there is a certain creative element to them.  Here are a few of the many bird paintings out there.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Bunnies, 79/365

We took some Easter family pictures today, bunny ears and all.  So, I want to share one of these today.  Kim told the kids to do a hugging picture, and here is the result.  I'll give you one guess which kid is the snuggly one...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Playground, 78/365

I love old playground equipment like this.  Kid's don't even realize that they are playing on what was designed to look like a bomb.  But, it was from an era when people saw it as a symbol of patriotism, which isn't as strong these days.  This play set is at the park across from the Extension office in Webster City.  But, if you enjoy this, you should really pay a visit to Union Park in Des Moines to see the rocket slide sometime.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Daisy, 77/365

Happy Friday!  For only having worked two days, it's been a long week.  For some reason, everyone seemed to have taken today off work.  I was actually the last person in my group to head out this afternoon.  Kim and the kids came for lunch with me at work today, so I didn't even take the camera with me.  When I got home, Matt and I walked around the house to snap a few pictures.  Here is Daisy, my scruffy dog in desperate need of a clipping.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 76/365

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone!  I don't have any Irish blood, but Kim brought some along for the rest of the family.  Here are a few shots from the annual parade in downtown Des Moines.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Shoes 75/365

Last day of my spring break vacation.  We didn't wander too far from home today, going to Ames to play at a couple parks and have a snack at Dairy Queen.  I took this picture of my shoes at the fish park while the kids burned off some energy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Horse, 74/365

We finished our long weekend off with a drive over to Cedar Falls today.  Went to the Goodwill store, they had one old film SLR camera, but nothing that interested me.  I shot this horse on the carousel in Crossroads Mall.  It's good to be home.  We will all still be home tomorrow, so we are going to have a movie night tonight.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Jelly fish, 73/365

We spent the day in Minneapolis today.  The Underwater Adventure has changed a little bit since we'd last been there a few years ago.  Here is one of the many jellyfish on display, amazing creatures, no heart, no brain, no blood, no gills...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Bighorn sheep, 72/365

We headed out of town for a couple days away for spring break.  While most logical people would head south for warmer temps, we went the other way, to Minneapolis.  Everything is still covered with snow up here.  It would be criminal to drive by without a stop at Cabelas along the way.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Grocery Shopping, 71/365

Another busy Saturday gone by.  Noelle went to a swimming birthday party, I taught a photography class, Rachael sang and played in  Mass tonight, and went to Ames for an oil change and shopping.  I took my camera into the grocery store with me, hoping that I could get a picture of Claire with a giant Clydesdale horse statue they had there (which was actually part of a beer display).  But, it was a life size horse, and Claire loves horses!  Unfortunately, it was gone.  

Since I had the camera over my shoulder anyway, I grabbed a few shots of the kids in the car shopping cart.  Kim said she didn't think I was getting her in the picture, so she doesn't like this shot.  And, frankly, I had other pictures with the kids smiling and looking cute.  But, this is the one that I was most drawn to, from a photography standpoint.  It's just a natural shot, nothing posed or planned, just a shot the way it was.  I also like the strong lines from the shelves and light fixtures.  Of course, the fact that Matt is obviously into some real, serious driving doesn't hurt the picture either.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Cinderella Dance, 70/365

Rachael, Noelle, and Claire all performed at the dance show tonight.  Everyone put on a great show.  One of the interesting things that the seniors did was a daughter/father "Cinderella" dance.  It started with silhouettes of two fathers dancing with young daughters.  Then, the senior dancers and their fathers walked out from different sides of the screens for a dance.  It was a very sentimental piece, that makes you stop and think about how quickly kids grow up.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Door to yesterday, 69/365

I've always loved old doors and windows.  They are like a gateway to the past.  This old garage door, in the west part of downtown Des Moines, has a lot of character.  No doubt, one of these years, someone will tear the building down to put up a parking ramp or office building.  I'm always glad to see signs of the past hanging on.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Claire's song, 68/365

We got a little snowstorm last night, which will no doubt be melted off in a couple days.  But, it was enough for a two hour late start.  Claire made up this song while waiting to go to school.  Oh, to see the world through a child's eyes...


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Lost and found glove, 67/365

Contrary to what you might think today, I did actually go out and take some real pictures over lunch.  But, in the end, I had to share this camera phone shot anyway.  Someone apparently lost a glove by the stairs at work this morning.  It had been picked up and left on a table, hopefully for the rightful owner to find.  Sometime later in the morning, this sign appeared by the glove.  It just goes to prove that not all IT guys have a dry sense of humor.  :-)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Enchilada Casserole, 66/365

I whipped up this enchilada casserole while Kim and Rachael were out on a run this afternoon.  Ok, I admit, it's a boring picture.  But, the kids were amazed that I just made this up off the top of my head.  It's basically just about four layers of crushed tortilla chips, browned hamburger, and cheese, all topped with enchilada sauce and more cheese.  Four out of six hugerichs ate it, some with great surprise that it was good.  And you'll never guess which four...

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Strawberry, 65/365

65 days down, 300 to go.  I just got back from 4-H with the girls a little while ago, so we had to come up with supper on our own.  Kim got a big batch of strawberries at the grocery store yesterday.  I think strawberries are the perfect food.  They're delicious fresh, in pie (grandma Clement's recipe), or as an ingredient in countless other foods.  One of my favorite ways to eat them is to get a big pile of strawberries and pour vanilla yogurt on top.  Anyway, after eating supper, I grabbed the macro lens to shoot a quick close up of the remaining strawberries.  There are a lot of foods that, when you look at them close up, it's hard to believe that we eat them.  But, they taste so good...

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Claire reads Dr. Seuss, 64/365

I just got back from teaching a photography class at the extension office in Webster City.  It's a two part class on exposure, which will continue next Saturday.  So, I've spent two hours discussing apertures, shutter speeds and ISO.  Kim and I are having a date night tonight, so I needed to come up with a picture quickly before we leave.  Claire said I could take a picture of the book she was reading, Oh Say Can You Say, by Dr. Seuss.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fountain, 62/365

I am teaching an advanced exposure photography workshop at the Extension office in Webster City this Saturday and next Saturday.  It is for 4-H members, but we've also invited parents/adults to this one as well.  So, I've been preparing for the class a little bit at a time, but need to find additional time to work on it over the next couple evenings.  Anyway, I grabbed this shot of their interesting fountain in the lobby of the Downtown Mariott today.  When I showed Matt the picture, he asked me if it was a spider.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Gordon, 61/365

I hoped to get a picture for today over lunch, because it was to be a busy evening.  It was still a bit cold out, so I threw a camera over my shoulder and went for a walk in the skywalk over lunch.  There was a street performer playing guitar over by Capital Square for tips.  I've seen him performing before, but never stopped.  I'm really not much of a street photographer, I don't like to ask people if I can take a picture, nor do I like the intimidation factor of big, SLR cameras.  Well, I've always wanted to photograph this man, so I threw something into his guitar case on the floor in front of him.  Well, I need not have worried, he immediately thanked me and obviously seeing the camera, said I could take a picture if I wanted.

I've always been curious about what type of people street performers really are.  He turned out to be a very down-to-earth fellow named Gordon.  He said that he performs to give to charity, so he's giving back to society in his own way.  Gordon was a very interesting person to talk to.  He told me that he grew up in West L.A. and when he was 13, he wanted to go down to the harbor and get a job.  His mom told him that no one would want to hire a kid to do a man's job.  But, as soon as she turned around, he was out the door and on his bike heading down to the harbor.  He did get a job, cleaning 7 fishing boats a night for $20.  While that doesn't sound like much today, gas was 19 cents a gallon, and he was making more than either of his parents.

So, here's the part that is intriguing to me personally.  This is the second time I've photographed a stranger for this project.  The first time was back in January, when someone posed in the form of Jesus on the cross.  The day that happened, on the way home, I saw sundogs so I stopped and took a picture of that also, and blogged that I had to post both, because they were both unusual subject matter or events.  Well, the second time was today.  When Gordon introduced himself, he said I could find him on Facebook as "Sundog".  A strange coincidence?  Maybe.  But, Albert Einstein once said, "Coincidence is God's way of remaining anonymous."

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Get a rope... 60/365

I found this frayed rope on a walk through the West End Architectural Salvage in downtown Des Moines today.  There are an abundance of interesting subjects sitting around in this multi-floor old warehouse, turned antique store.