Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mushroom Condo

This photo was made at Cheaha State Park on Mt. Cheaha in early August.  When I saw this cluster of mushrooms, it immediately brought to mind a cluster of high rise condos, hence the title of this post and picture.  It was actually located on the campsite next to the one where we were located.  And I got creative with the camera putting it nearly on the ground, letting it auto-focus, and snapping the picture.  I then looked to see how it was composed and this one came out well.

The mushrooms were growing out of an old stump which is very hard to see since there were so many mushrooms.  Unfortunately the cluster did not last long and was completely wilted just a day or so later.


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Nature Unleashed

One of the main objectives of my recent Chicago trip besides seeing my daughter was to see the "Nature Unleashed" exhibit at the Field Museum.  My daughter is a photo-holic and just loves using my Nikon D70S, so I loaned her the camera to take a few shots to prove that I was there.  Of course, in today's digital age, I could do this with Photoshop, but I didn't.

"Nature Unleashed" is a tremendous exhibit developed by the Field Museum with a focus on natural disasters and educating people about them.  They tackle topics like tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and tornadoes.  Naturally my interest was with the hurricane and tornado portions of the exhibit.  And there was one aspect to the tornado portion of the exhibit that blew me away - sorry for the pun.  Professional storm chaser Tim Samaras designed a cone with seven cameras pointing in all directions that he was able to place in front of an oncoming tornado.  So you step into the middle of seven screens and watch the tornado come right at you.  The center of the tornado passed within feet of the cone, so it is about as close as you can get to going through a tornado.  We were so taken with it we went through the video presentation about nine times - it only lasts about 3 minutes.  Unfortunately I cannot show you any photos of the exhibit since they asked that no photos be taken inside the exhibit.

The exhibit is supposed to go on the road in 2009 and might come to Atlanta, but that has not been firmed up.


Chicago Air Show

During my visit to Chicago over the weekend of August 16 and 17, a big event going on was the Chicago Air and Water Show.  The Air Show featured the Navy's Blue Angels from Pensacola, FL.  I did not actually attend the show, that is, I did not go to the Air Show viewing area along Lakeshore Drive.  But an Air Show like this one takes up lots of sky, so as my daughter and I were doing our site seeing, we could often catch glimpses of the various planes.

Just after getting off the 'L' at the Sheridan stop, we heard the planes, so we stayed on the elevated platform and watched them come overhead.  The main action, naturally, was along the lake front, but it was pretty exciting for us to see them come right over us as they made their turns on the northern side of the Air Show main stage area.

I captured several shots of them flying in formation, and yes, I enhanced this one just a tad to bring out the colors in the airplanes.  If you want to get some great information on the Blue Angels, their web site is  It was such a treat to get to seem them and without braving the huge crowds along Lakeshore.


Chicago Skyline

My good friend, Leigh Bratina, has made a very nice post about me and my photo blog on her Blog site, so I'm going to try to get back into the groove posting some of my amateur photos.  I saw Leigh during the municipal election yesterday, and her posting has kicked me into action.

The shot above was taken on my recent visit to Chicago to visit my daughter, Rebecca.  When I visit, we usually do the touristy thing and really cram a lot of visiting and activities into a few days.  More about the visit to the Field Museum in another post.

The shot above is from the Sears Tower in Chicago which at the time of my visit was still the tallest building in Chicago.  That will probably be changing in the near future with a new taller building under construction.  The observation floor is 103 which is about 1300 feet or so above the streets of Chicago.  The view is commanding and the visibility was great the afternoon we were there.  In this photo you are looking over the city and out over Lake Michigan.

So let's hope I can stick to posting a few more pictures.