Archive for December 24, 2009

Ice Storm… and I Hear it Snowed in Texas Today

Through the wonder of Facebook, I hear from several friends that the Dallas area got snow today.  We’ve had our share of unusual weather here in Chicagoland in the last 24 hours as well – freezing rain yesterday and through last night.

By the time I woke up today, everything outside was coated in ice.  The trees were bent over, icicles hung from every street sign.  So naturally, the first thing I did was grab my camera and boots and dash out the door.  Click the image below to see the best few on Flickr…

Crabapple Tree

Mmmm… Arils

For my wife, pomegranates are sacred.  For just a short time in the winter, they’re readily available, and she’s giddy when she gets hold of one.  Heck, I’m giddy when I watch her eat one – it’s absolutely infectious.

Sometimes, I come home and spot one of these dark red fruits on the counter.  She looks at me and smiles, and then her gaze slowly travels to the pomegranate.  And then, don’t ask me how she does it, but her eyes actually twinkle a bit – just like in the cartoons.  With the little bell sound and everything.

You see, separating the arils from the rest of the pomegranate takes some measure of patience.  It’s not particularly difficult, but you have to work slowly and carefully to avoid damaging the fruit (not to mention spritzing the kitchen with red juice that stains practically everything it touches permanently).

As I was peeling away on this one, it suddenly struck me how incredibly photogenic this fruit is.  Hope you enjoy looking at it as much as we enjoyed preparing and eating it.

See the original on Flickr

Photographic Details:

  • Lens: 50mm f/1.8
  • Exposure: Manual,  1/100 @ f/7.1
  • Flash: Nikon SB600, straight TTL with a Lumiquest Softbox III, about 8″ from fruit to camera left, handheld and controlled by Nikon CLS
  • Post-processing: some sharpening, a little black clipping, cropped about 50% of original framing (couldn’t focus any closer with this lens) and to 1:1 aspect, -1/4 stop exposure adjustment in Lightroom.

The challenge, of course, was working quickly.  After all, someone was eagerly waiting to eat the subject of the photo.

Incidentally, this would probably make a good wallpaper.  If you want one,  just let me know what resolution (contact link above or here), and I’ll be happy to recrop and send it to you.

Photo Featured on, 12/10/09

Wahoo! featured one of my photos in their Around Town section yesterday.  Always nice when someone picks up one of your shots – thanks y’all!  Gothamist LLC‘s blogs (for each of a number of major cities) receive approximately 2.6 million hits per day.

Screenshot from Chicagoist

Steam Over the Chicago River

1 Degree this morning when I got off the train, -20 with the wind.  The river was doing its best not to freeze, and the steam was swirling in a wonderfully ominous vortex because of the way the wind whips between the buildings -