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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Plants and animals at the Japanese Garden

Then today, it was so sunny and nice that my family and I went to the Japanese Garden to scope out possible plants for our garden. Unfortunately I left my extra camera battery in my dorm, so about halfway through our trip, my camera died :( But here are some shots I got off before the battery bought the farm :)

These beautiful flowers are such a deep and beautiful shade of purple.

While looking at this picture I notice the unfortunate shadows from the right, a problem due to the bright sunlight out. However, I do like how the sunlight lit up the fuzzy "hairs" on the stems. They create extra light to keep the picture from being too dark.

This butterfly was fluttering all around the Japanese garden. It stopped on a juniper bush near me, and I took a careful step forward and caught a picture when it relaxed its wings. I'm surprised how close I was able to get to it!

The sunlight in this instance really lit up the details and colors of the butterfly. The blue became quite prominent and popped among the black, brown, and white.

This little bunch of flowers reminds me of a wedding, with the small tight bunch of white and the complements of green. I had to take this picture twice because the first time I couldn't get my shadow completely out of the picture. This second one turned out better though! I find it eye-opening how many different shades of green were able to be captured in this one picture.

I saw this rocks on one of these benches, and liked the contrast of texture and color here. I don't know if you have ever made a rock rainbow, but I made them in Girl Scout camp in middle school. That is when I learned that there are so many more colors to rocks than just blue and gray, as evidenced above.

Once again, I was conscious about my shadow in the bright sun. I actually had to crop out a shadow in the top and bottom portion of the picture. I'll have to work on this!

These are turtles crawling up onto a large rock by an island in the middle of the pond. I love the different parts of the picture; the muddy green/brown water, the gray rock, the bright scraggly line of turtle shells, the green moss... Also, usually as a rule of thumb, I observe the Thirds rule. For this picture, I positioned the turtles slightly above center. 

My dad likes Vinca minor, a crawling ground cover with periwinkle flowers. We found some, and I thought I would try a picture with the sun "lighting up" the flowers. I like the resulting effect, as well as the positioning of the single periwinkle flower in front with the sea of other out-of-focus flowers.

Hope everyone is enjoying the weather whether it is sun or rain or snow!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Lion Cubs at the Zoo!

The past few days I've been busy running errands, but they included swinging by some fun places! On Thursday, I went to the zoo to get my zoo membership (my family loves the zoo. Last summer, when we originally bought the passes--yes, it took this long to actually get around to pick up my official membership card--we went 5 times in about 2 weeks...). Here are some resulting pictures!

The lion cubs just got named by the public, but I don't remember their names yet. There are three male cubs, and one female.

I really liked the differing emotions on the faces of these lion cubs. I'm amazed by how they so closely resemble little children. The tired one resting its head on the cinderblock, and the cub on the right with its nervous and almost sad expression. The eyes on the right one are so expressive!

This one was sleeping. I love the little eyes squeezed shut!

And the mother eventually came over and looked over her cubs. I like how strong and yet worn out she looks. I never realized how similar these animals are to us.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

My attempts at some artistic photos

Along the way, I've found a few shots I took with more than the intent of capturing life and happiness. For whatever reason, I never intend to go out and pursue an artistic shot, but more likely, stumble upon something and experiment. Here are two of them and my thoughts as I took them :) 

I was with The Boyfriend when I saw these two guys. Don't they look like twins? I tried to take it so your eye is drawn to the guy in the foreground, and then to the similar shirt of the guy in the background. There were other people in the background, so I used objects in the foreground to block and cover other people and misguiding clutter.

But isn't it uncanny how similar they are? The color and pattern of their shirts, the slouch of their backs, the color of their hair and style of their beard. The jacket on the back of the chair, the act of listening to music, the computer they look down at.... it's a game of "find the 8 similarities" as The Boyfriend cleverly said :)

This picture is perhaps slightly more morbid, but with not direct intention. I was at the art museum with my family, when a new exhibit was opening up. There was a VIP special presentation preceding the opening, and I could view it from the balcony above. The car suspended from the ceiling with lights shooting out of it is part of another permanent art exhibit. From my vantage point, it looks like fireworks are exploding from the car as it flies above the group. It reminds us of our unsuspecting nature, and how we must find the beauty of life.

Are you enjoying life as much as you can? Or should? Please try to make your happiness.

Photos from the week

Sorry I have disappeared all of a sudden!

It is spring break now, so I've been busy just trying to relax. But here are some photos from finals week and this past week!

 First: The cherry trees are beginning to blossom int eh Quad! I'm so excited!
I was walking my friend back to her dorm after having breakfast, when we came to the quad. I hadn't been through because my finals took me elsewhere, but all of a sudden, I was met with this sight of pink!

I like the effect of the trees creating this curve that dips down in the middle, sandwiched between the blue/white sky and the green grass.

I finally had a chance to hang out with my boyfriend (for only two hours, unfortunately), and noticed these chairs back to back, creating this symmetrical yet non-identical curve. I loved it! I like how there are such simple details that can make one appreciative.

In the middle of the backyard back home, there is one lone daffodil. This is it. But it's beautiful out there, all alone. The petals are so delicate, folding and bending as they wish.

I really need to learn how to photograph flowers from more original and inventive angles.

Downtown, this was the view in the sun was setting. The cherry blossoms matched the pink of the clouds!

I saw this little rainbow above the rooftops of a building. A tree nearby, was such an interesting sight complementing the oddity of the rainbow.

My old camera has two weird lines on the lens, but I can't find it when I look for them. I'm getting it cleaned soon, hopefully. In the meantime, I try to camouflage them in the dark areas of the picture, haha. One is in the shadow of the building.

The bright blue sky brings so many possibilities.

The wide angle created such an interesting point of view, making the sky stretch so much further than usual.

Do you see the mysterious shape in the left top corner? It looks like a birdcage. But in reality, it is the lantern inside my house, backlit by the sunset.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Some beautiful things today

Hello! I'm in a great mood right now (as in this past hour, haha), even though things in my life are complicated and hectic right now....and add onto that, it's final's week!

But here are some pictures I was able to capture on my way to the last day of class on Friday!

This bird was so quick, but it stayed still for just a moment so I could take a few pictures. I had another one that had a better composition, where the bird was facing the camera, and its body matched the line created by the line in the sidewalk, but it came out blurry :( Boo. Oh well, this one captured every detail of the bird, down to the gleam on its eye, which I thought was interesting too.

It was difficult to focus on the bird instead of the cement, so that was the challenge for this picture. Finally got one right!

This picture was too good to pass up. This mother and her son were crossing the street to catch the bus, and I kept my eyes on them until I saw them approaching the bus map. Then I pulled out my camera and took a picture. I was going to walk away, when I decided to take one more, as I realized the boy was beginning to stand up on his toes to reach the same spot his mom was pointing at. I thought that the coordinating color of her pants and his coat, combined with the joined pointing was a great combination for this moment. I'm glad I took another shot because I like this one better than the first one!

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

One of my favorite pictures as of late...

Something about this picture amazes me.

I really like the effect of the crisp white flower in the center, panning out into a blurred background. The first time I looked at it on my computer, I was startled and very pleasantly surprised.

I found this flower/plant among a few others in one of the gardens around campus. I thought I would take a picture from above, like this one. I particularly chose this plant out of all of them because it had only one flower that was completely opened, and the others surrounding it were beginning to emerge. For once, I did not get the camera really close up, and instead held it further away than usual. The contrast is very stark, and think it may be because the white is a bit over-exposed since it was raining. I'm not sure though...

Does anyone know what this plant is called?

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Today's picture is of one of my drawings!

Today's photo is actually a picture of one of my pencil drawings. I do art on the side, along with photography and jewelry making :) This drawing is more of a print with a small drawing, but whatever. Lately, I've been motivated by quotes, so I thought I'd do this one, and post it up on my wall somewhere. In this picture, it's on my magnetized (!) cork board. I made the square magnets out of old bathroom tiles!

"let her sleep for when she wakes she will move mountains"

This picture was taken at night, so the lamp light was my only light source, and it was on my right (as you can tell by the shadows and light gradient).

I was mainly trying to square the drawing in the picture. I liked the colors of the cork board border and magnets; it adds a little contrast. And yes, that may be a flash card for the planck's constant in Chem ;)

Monday, March 11, 2013

Today's picture: 3.11.13

Today's photo:

I was drawn by the many lines in this photo. My regret is not getting the full arch in the picture :( I got the inner ones, but not the main one! I think that if I had, it would have had a better framing effect. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Some things I am loving today

I know I'm constantly saying how much I love birds. Well, today this duck was sitting on the side of Drumheller fountain, and as I was going to take a picture, it stood up and started doing funny things like preening itself and fluffing its wings while standing on one leg...So I took a picture, and I think this one above captures the humor I find in them :)

The sun came out today! I love it when this happens, and flowers have been blooming around here, adding to the beauty of everything. I don't know what these flowers are called, but I've seen them around campus (this one ironically wasn't taken on campus, but nearby) in various colors varying from green to pink to deep purple. They are quite interesting!

On a slightly different note, I was introduced to this link-party at pret-a-vivre (which means ready to live, in French; and if you don't know a tiny bit of French, I encourage you to learn! I love French; it's a beautiful language with a beautiful culture and yummy food :) ), called "Ready to waltz!" Check it out! I think we all need a little positive in our lives (Like I mentioned in this post here).

Photos from today: 3.8.13

Here are some pictures from today:

I woke up this morning, and it was incredibly foggy! But thankfully it cleared up and the sun even came out for a bit!

I like how this picture mutes all the colors, and the resulting look is very somber.

By night, it was cold and the cars were streaming down the freeway. I always liked watching cars at night. I think the sound of them rushing by is peaceful and calming; I don't know why, but it just is. 

Also, the first thing I noticed when I took this picture was the one awkward car with only one headlight...did anyone else notice it? It doesn't really help that it's in the middle of the picture...oh well.

Drive safely!

Monday, March 4, 2013


Today it was sunny! So I was inspired to upload some photos with the theme of "blue". Enjoy!

This was decorating a mail box on campus. I thought it looked a bit like fish scales, which reminded me of the book, The Rainbow Fish, from my childhood. Anyone read it? 

This little diorama was in the art building advertising umbrellas that the School of Art was selling. I visited a few weeks ago with my friend from Girl Scouts, who is interested in art. It was the first time I had been in the building to look around, and was quite interesting! I really enjoyed the artwork displayed on the walls (and in showcases like this one). 

Because this picture was taken through a glass, I was presented with the challenge to photograph without having a weird reflection. I think I succeeded. What do you think? I also like how the lines of this picture aren't level with the border of the picture. I think it adds some character. however, I wish the foreground lines (the dark shadowed parts) were cut out...

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Don't worry! I just changed the blog background.../ Pictures from today

Hi! I'm sure you've noticed that I changed the background and colors of my blog. I decided I wanted my blog to feel a bit less sterile (you have to admit that all that white space was begging to be in a hospital or lab) since I ended up using it more than I first anticipated. So I've warmed up the background and chosen colors that I think are a bit more complementary to the colors of the photos/weather (haha) around here.

That said, if anyone did a double take when they ventured here, it's still me, Kirsten, and this is still a photography blog. If anyone has troubles with reading headings or anything, let me know!

Anyways, enough of my jabber. On to photos from today:

I thought this was an interesting perspective of the chandelier of lights in a nearby dorm. It really fits the theme of "light" (if I were to have one, that is...)

I saw this kid and his dad on a walk across campus. Thought it was really cute. I was trying to get them in mid-step, but I think it looks a little like the kid is not on the ground at all, haha.

Someone tied this flower onto the statue's hand. I'm not sure what it was for, but there was also a necklace with a star of David on it on the statue's other hand. I really like it when people do art and stuff like this, and I love that the campus is open and receptive of it.

As I walked past this patch of grass, it was completely littered with leaves. I thought it made for an interesting picture. I really liked how the leaves were not flat or droopy. They were sort of frolicking in the grass instead.

These two twins were in the Quad today. The more outgoing one was dancing around and having a lot of fun. I thought this picture showed his enthusiasm.

I don't know what's wrong (if anything) with this flower, but part of the flower is...gone? I thought it made for an interesting picture, like a "window" into the flower.

Isn't this a great view? I'm so lucky to have such a nice view of the mountains. This was taken during sunset, just as the clouds opened and reveal the range. It's been cloudy all weekend, but I was happy to see some nice colors finally, even if it was only for a bit.

Hope your weekend was great!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Midterms are over!!

But not for these people... :)

I think this picture captures the time period around midterms. The white boards in the background with equations, and the students in a circle studying together...

I'm so glad my midterms are over...2 weeks and then finals...oh boy.

Rainy day

It wasn't rainy today, but previous days it has been drizzling. So here are some pictures post-drizzle!

I think this picture gives the rain drops more dimension...

Not a spectacular picture...

The tree of life? :)

For some unknown reason, I really like reflections. I look in windows, and especially puddles. Who knows why... Recently I've been focusing on the reflection of tree branches. I find them quite delicate. Anyways, This picture turned out as I had hoped, with just one tree reflected in the puddle. I thought it was quite interesting. What do you think?