Posts Tagged ‘ illinois ’

Autumn in Champaign

Lily and I went to the Urbana arboretum to go photo exploring and just generally enjoy the weather. It’s been unseasonably warm this past week so this was our last hurrah.

Lily had a great time playing in the leaves and basically running around. We only lasted an hour, but it was a good one.

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Birthday pictures

We finally got in Lucy’s 4th birthday pictures. Lucy is my middle daughter, and she turned 4 a couple of weeks ago. We just got around to getting her pictures. We do a birthday shoot for each of the kids on their birthday (or there abouts) so that we can see how they change as the grow.

It’s been a while since we’ve done one, and I’m now reminded how challenging it can be taking pictures of Lucy. All in all I think that it worked out, but she’s a strong minded person.


My personal favorite (above), except for her foot. We were running and gunning, and I didn’t notice it at the time. Dang! Perhaps with some cropping….


An out-take. Knock-knock jokes work great on Lucy.


My wife’s favorite. She took this one (have to give credit where it’s due).


Ah, the picture that could have been. Lucy just didn’t want to cooperate for this one. This is my “the-one-that-got-away” for this shoot.

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Dinner on the Farm

I seem to be veering from photography just a bit….

This past weekend we had a chance to go to a “Dinner on the farm.” This is the first time that I’ve been to something like this, and I believe it’s a first for the Champaign area, if not Illinois (though that may be a stretch).

The dinner was put on by Prairie Fruit Farms. It was a great meal. There were approximately 40 people that attended.


Windmill and sunflowers

All of the food was made with food from the farm or from local farms. It was held outdoors, and the weather was fantastic.


Our table

We met some new people and had just a great time. Highly recommended.


Talking about the farm

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Sunset silhouette

There seems to be a common wisdom running through the blogosphere (or at least my view of the blogosphere) that you need detail in the shadows of a sunset / sunrise picture. I’m not entirely sure why this is.

After all, isn’t a sunset mostly about color? Color is the primary here. Isn’t it simply distracting and unnecessary to force detail into something that I most likely want to be a silhouette anyway?

Picture of the Champaign sky at dusk. No mods, converted to JPG via Adobe Camera Raw.


Not to contradict myself (though I may), but the next picture (a different frame) I feel needs the bit of detail right in the foreground. Overall I’m undecided on whether I like the picture, but I’m pretty sure that without the detail in the front, it’d be crap. Might be a depth thing.


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Documenting Champaign, IL

I’ve started my project to document Champaign, IL. I’m sure that I’ll bleed into Urbana as well. Jim Talkington over at has started a “soft” group project documenting the places we live.

I was able to get out during lunch today and managed to get a few pictures of the University farms. The University of Illinois is located both in Champaign, IL and Urbana, IL. The two cities are essentially abutted next to each other, and not separated by any distance.

This will be an interesting project for me because:
1.) I’ve only lived here for 9 months and
2.) This is my first attempt at some sort of cohesive project spanning any length of time (save vacations).

Here is a barn on the University farm:

University Barn

And a silo:

University Silo

While I was driving around trying to find something I wanted to shoot (I’m very self-concious about walking around in public with my gear), I saw this horse “playing” with what looked like a hippity-hop. He was thrashing the thing around like crazy the first time I passed him. By the time I returned, he was sort of running out of steam. I stayed in my car, rolled down the window and started to shoot. Once the shutter tripped it was (apparently) prime-time again. He started going nuts again.

Horse "Playing"

Odd, but I guess that’s part of Champaign too.

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Illinois State Fair… Almost

We went to the Illinois State Fair this past weekend. It was the first time that I’ve been there. Truth be told, the place was huge. There was a tremendous amount of stuff to see and do. We were there for 4 hours, but we could have easily stayed longer.

It wasn’t a very good shooting opportunity for me, so no joy on that front. But, here are a couple of pictures that I had taken from the “Taste of Champaign” in June.

Both are taken on Ilford XP2 Super 400 film with a Pentax K1000.

Fun in the Bounce House:

Bounce House

In the Crowd:

Taste of Champaign

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Start of a Photo-A-Day, sort of….

This is my start of “A photo-a-day.” In practice, I’ll probably make it “a posted photo a day during the week.” I’ve been following a number of blogs for quite a while, and have admired the daily posting ability of the blog The Daily Photography of Andreas Manessinger

So, here’s to it.

My first picture today was taken this week at a local park (Meadowbrook Park in Urbana, IL). It was a tough day shooting. I went out over my lunch break, so I only had a bit of time. Within the first 5 minutes of arriving, I dropped a lens. Nuts! Fortunately, it was my old 135mm lens for my Pentax K1000, as opposed to something newer and more expensive. I’ve got a replacement coming from A used Pentax 135mm f/3.5. It’s supposed to be sharp, but I won’t know until I can shoot it myself. Until then it’s hope and pray.