Some Snaps. Nothing Fancy. Baby Squirrel.

7 Sep

So, it’s been a little while since I last posted I think, and truthfully, I haven’t been up to much. I can only take so many pictures of Lake Harriet before it starts to get a little old. However, I did take some pictures as they were having some sailboat races one night and the lake was full of white sails at sundown.

Lake Harriet Sailboats

Lake Harriet Sailboats

I also took some pictures of some sailboats that were at bay while an airplane flew overhead. Lake Harriet is directly in the path of a couple of the runways for MSP International and that means that sometimes you can get some good shots of the planes as they come in for a landing.

Lake Harriet Sailboats

Lake Harriet Sailboats

Lake Harriet Sailboats

Lake Harriet Sailboats

FedEx Airplane

FedEx Airplane

On Labor Day I biked down to the Wood Lake Nature Center to see what was up with that place, and found it to be pretty serene. It’s a nice place to go for a jog or sit in nature and read a book. I happened to find this nice view of the wooden docks that you walk across the marshes on.

Wood Lake Nature Center

Wood Lake Nature Center

Wood Lake Nature Center

Wood Lake Nature Center

THEN, as I was leaving the nature center, this really small, baby squirrel was following everyone around. I’m guessing it was lost or scared or it’s parents had died somehow, but it would not leave me alone and followed me up the path from where it was to my bike without any provocation from myself. He/she was really cute, but I couldn’t adopt it as it’s still a rodent and I had no way to transport it or keep it. Here’s hoping the little guy/gal makes it.

Baby Squirrel

Baby Squirrel

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Wheels of Italy

30 Aug

Normally I would post car stuff on my other blog, autopinionsbyvolk.wordpress.com, but I figured that I would put these here today because it was what I did with my weekend and the Wheels of Italy show was going on. This car show features lots of exotica from the boot-shaped peninsula known as Italy (hence the name) and includes cars, motorcycles and scooters. Some of the big manufacturers represented included Ferrari, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Maserati and Ducati among others. There was also some other exotica like Lotus, Audi R8s, Vipers and Bentleys, but these were relegated to the parking lot, as they could not officially be in the show proper. Since there are a lot of pictures here, I’m going to put some of them into a gallery at the bottom today. Enjoy the cars!

Ferrari Dino

Ferrari Dino

Ferrari Racing Car

Ferrari Racing Car

Rare, Classic, Expensive Ferraris

Rare, Classic, Expensive Ferraris

Alfa Romeo

Alfa Romeo

Ferrari 355 F1 GTS

Ferrari 355 F1 GTS

Lamborghini Diablo

Lamborghini Diablo

Audi R8

Audi R8

Weekend Out and About

23 Aug

This past weekend was filled with another excursion to a cemetery (a new one this time) as well as some music at the West Bank Music Festival.

I like cemeteries because they offer a lot of opportunity to take pictures of unmoving objects that are fun to mess around with in the camera. Different focal points, zoom length, angles and EV levels all make for different pictures of the same statue or tomb. Plus, I find cemeteries relaxing, as no one else is usually ever there, and you can just wander around all by yourself with your thoughts on a nice day. These are from St. Mary’s cemetery in Minneapolis.

St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery

St. Mary's Cemetery

As I was near Lake Nokomis, I decided to bike around it. While doing so, I saw this large butterfly. I stopped and tried to get some pictures, but butterflies are actually pretty hard to capture while standing up, shooting with one hand and in the wrong sunlight direction. Plus, this dude is sort of an ugly butterfly (at least to me) and wasn’t that great a subject. But whatever. He’s a butterfly.

Lake Nokomis Butterfly

Lake Nokomis Butterfly

Lake Nokomis Butterfly

Lake Nokomis Butterfly

Then on Saturday, I went over to the West Bank (or Cedar Avenue as it’s more commonly referred to) to see some music. Dessa was going to be headlining and Retribution Gospel Choir were also going to be playing. Both of these acts have been on my “To See” list and so for $5 I figured what better way to see them than outside on a great day with a ton of other people? Both acts were great, but I think both needed to have a sound system that could keep up with both of them. Don’t get me wrong, I liked both performances, and would certainly see Dessa again for sure, but they needed a better venue (like the Varsity Theater or something) to really make them shine. Other acts included a pregnant Haley Bonar playing in her other band called Gramma’s Boyfriend, and the Goondas, who I’ve seen before and really enjoy their energy and music.

Haley Bonar "Grandma's Boyfriend"

Haley Bonar "Gramma's Boyfriend"

Haley Bonar "Grandma's Boyfriend"

Haley Bonar "Gramma's Boyfriend"

The Goondas West Bank Music Festival

The Goondas West Bank Music Festival

Dessa West Bank Music Festival

Dessa West Bank Music Festival

Dessa West Bank Music Festival

Dessa West Bank Music Festival

Dessa West Bank Music Festival

Dessa West Bank Music Festival

Grasshopper

15 Aug

I saw a grasshopper yesterday and surprisingly, it didn’t immediately leap away from me (which most things, insect or not, tend to do when I show up). I was thrilled that it did, as it allowed me to get really up close and personal with it to take its portrait. I named the little dude “Frank” though I am not actually sure it was a dude or dudette. Regardless, here are the closeups of Frank, a little green grasshopper, should that ever have been what you wanted to see on here. Which I have to believe it is.

Frank the Grasshopper

Frank the Grasshopper

Frank the Grasshopper

Frank the Grasshopper

Frank the Grasshopper

Frank the Grasshopper

Frank the Grasshopper

Frank the Grasshopper Looks to the Future

Como Zoo and Conservatory

12 Aug
Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

I went to the Como Zoo the other day to shoot some stuff using the 35mm camera with the zoom lens that I have and I was pleasantly surprised by many of the pictures. Some of them aren’t that great of course, but the zoo is the perfect place to try the zoom and the wide angle lenses, as the animals are far away sometimes and they have a great conservatory with many types of flowers and plants to really get up close and personal with. For my first time using the zoom with the 35mm camera though, I felt good with some of the results and will now be experimenting more with this. Also, it should be noted that I was not using a tripod for these shots either and holding that dang thing steady and getting the animal in the perfect position and in focus is quite hard. Overall though I feel good about the results. The 35mm pictures start after the little baby orangutan. These first ones were all taken with my digital point and shoot. Enjoy!

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Como Zoo and Conservatory

Minneapolis at Night

3 Aug

I took it upon myself to go out last night around the city and take some dusk/night shots of this town. I think Minneapolis is a really beautiful city that is easy to photograph from many angles. In fact, I heard one time that it is one of the only major cities to have skyline planners so that no matter what building went up, the view of the city would always be aesthetically pleasing from whichever angle you are looking at it from. I don’t know if that is true or not, but the city really does look great when the sun goes down.

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Minneapolis at Night

Using the Macro on my Camera

29 Jul

Lately I’ve been toying with shots that feature soft-focus backgrounds. They aren’t super hard to take (at least, not at the amateur level that I take them at) and they are fun to look at and try to perfect. These are just a couple of quick shots that I’ve tried (some more successfully than others) to take recently. I really want to go back to the Hennepin Avenue Bridge to try and get better shots of the Grain Belt sign from farther away so that it looks more like the Grain Belt is encapsulated in the heart shapes that the bridge has on it. Also, flowers are a great source to practice on, as you can get really close to them and easily learn the basics on how to do soft backgrounds.

Tour de Fat

Tour de Fat

Uninteresting stone block with Grain Belt in background

Uninteresting stone block with Grain Belt in background

Grain Belt a little too close

Grain Belt a little too close

Soft focus flower

Soft focus flower

Soft focus flower

Soft focus flower

Can't get enough spoonbridge and cherry

Can't get enough spoonbridge and cherry

Soft focus flower

Soft focus flower

Soft focus flower

Soft focus flower

Soft focus flower

Soft focus flower

Soft focus flower

Soft focus flower