May 31, 2008

My Kingdom for a Boot

I went up to hike on Old Rag Trail in the Shenandoah Park on Saturday with a friend.
I wore my beloved hiking boots that I'd had since highschool.

It's a pretty steep trail, and I actually hiked most of the way without having a wheezy asthma attack like I did last year. Yay. I did have to stop a few times, mainly because I was either just plain tired or overheated - humidity, yuck.

We also saw a pair of very cute cubs hanging out in a tree, watching us watch them. Didn't linger long though - didn't want to risk running into the mama bear. I was bummed I didn't have my camera.

Close to the summit, we stopped for lunch. That was when I realized my boots were in a bad shape.

Just when we were cresting the summit, one of my boots' sole decided to commit suicide and started to peel away from the toe area. So it was flapping with each step. I had to put it out of its mercy.

Took a few steps and realized that the inner sole wasn't going to stay put.

I jury-rigged the dying boot with its shoelaces to try keep the inner sole from escaping and hiked over the ridge summit, leaping from boulder to boulder verrrry carefully. Right after we passed the summit, it started to POUR. I was really happy I didn't bring my camera. But not really happy because it meant I had to navigate down a slippery, muddy mountain with broken boots.

Thankfully, my makeshift fix lasted until we got to the fire-road. Then the laces committed suicide too. The brown wet strip you see going across the toebox (in the pix) is where I had the laces wrapped around it.
And you can see the frayed laces, of course.

Oh and! We also saw some kind of baby snake. It was gray with darker gray stripes. Anyone know what that is? Rat snake, maybe?

In all, it was a nutty sort of day, but despite the problems, I enjoyed myself. I'm just really glad that I was able to "fix" the boot, otherwise I'd be in deep shit - imagine having to hike down in bare feet? Ugh.


May 29, 2008

Doggy Landscape

There's this photography style where the goal is to take closeups of humans (or in this case, canine) and try make it look like a landscape. I didn't use any special lighting setup or strobes. Just a trial run. I don't think I quite accomplished it, but these still looked cool.

Um. Human.
This one is pretty darn close, no?

In other news...
1. Yesterday, I ran 9 minutes (or 10, if you count the potty breaks Apollo took), roughly 1 mile. That's quite an accomplishment considering that, back in January, I could barely run 1 or 2 minutes without needing to stop. Huzzah! I secretly daydream about being able to run 10 miles like I did in my highschool days, but I'm not in any hurry to do that. Any progress is good in my book.

2. I decided to help the economy and splurged on a new computer system. Hopefully in few weeks, we'll see better photos -- I'm getting CS3 as well, thanks to a generous friend.

3. Uh...I got sunburned over the weekend. I'm really itchy now.


May 27, 2008

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Took Apollo on a nice, leisurely walk over to a nearby cemetery that I'd been meaning to check out for some time now. It was a little warmer than yesterday (Saturday), but not terribly hot. I could tell Apollo hasn't adjusted to it yet - after awhile, he started to do his old "walk as fast as I can to the next shade" routine. Nevermind that walking faster probably takes more of a toll on him.

On our way there...
Wish I framed this better. I'll go back later.
There're a bunch of little Asian shops (I won't hazard a guess at which country, specifically) near my apartment.

At graveyard. This particular one has been around since 1779, or so the sign said.

An old carekeeper's shack
I was fiddling with the focal's called hyperfocusing, I think. The goal is to get everything in frame in-focus.
Same set of marker stones, different angle.
Huge old tree, all chopped up. It was at least 5 or 6 feet across in diameter.
Old gravestone. It's hard to make out, but this guy was born in 1878, and died 1890.
Overexposed shot, but I like it.


May 24, 2008

Lazy Saturday Afternoon

It was plain gorgeous out today, so I decided to go check out a small park nearby. We staked out a spot in the park and just hung out there for a few hours. It's rare that I take Apollo somewhere to just relax, so he wasn't sure what to do.

They say the eyes are the windows to your soul. Can you see mine?
As mentioned, Apollo wasn't sure what to do he barked at...nothing.

Gorgeous clouds
Sun makes an appearance.
Surveying his domain.
Udda udda! Apollo shakes his head.
Surveying his domain some more.

More to come later.


May 19, 2008

Random Thoughts

Looking over my pictures, I have a tendency to photograph stuff at an angle...It's partly because I have a hard time getting very straight lines perfectly lined up. (See the government door picture below for example). Oh well! Other reason is cause it can be more interesting at an angle.
I was talking with a friend on Saturday about moving (we both want to get out of DC) and now I'm toying with the idea of moving without a job lined up prior. It's a scary notion. But I know I can get by on my savings and on "grub" type jobs if I do that. Dog-walking pays pretty well in a good location. Plus, companies would be more motivated to interview a local as opposed to someone on other side of the country.

I was all set to do that not too long ago - move to DC without a job - when my current gig fell into my lap. I won't be doing this anytime soon though. I'll wait until I hit my breaking point...probably by next spring. Hopefully it won't come to that though.
I'm going to start looking for photog contests to enter into. Maybe I'll find one that bans photoshopping. I think that's the only way my photographs have a chance. Good way to get my photographs out there, maybe gain a little recognition - and who knows? Maybe some cash too.
Ok, gotta go bug some people for their articles. Earn my paycheck by nagging. Yeah, not my idea of fun.


May 18, 2008

More pictures

I went wandering around DC with a friend Saturday. We didn't hit all of the sites we planned on, but still saw plenty. Most of you have seen typical touristy stuff, so I'll restrain from posting those.

Happy accident. I was trying to photograph a truck on the highway while on the metro train. I rather liked how this one came out, blur and all.

The letter Q is for...
Self portrait
A gorgeous church arch.
Some government door.
General Lee's architectural feature
I love the marble. I want it.
An army of orange people invades...
Much later in friend had this for his dinner.
Twas very tempting, but I'm glad to say I didn't indulge.


May 14, 2008

Really Bad But Funny Pictures

Feeling a little Irish...
Yippie yi ki oh ay! Hooommme on the plains where the antelopes roaaaaammm
Screen shot audition for Weird Science
Work with me here...Picture the background a snowy scape instead of apartment clutter. Too cute.

Bring me your tired, your poor...
Uhh...canine in boots doesn't have quite the same ring, does it?
Someday (hopefully not too far off), I will have photoshop.


May 12, 2008

After Zoo Pictures

Holding on for his dear life...?
Cute couple on the train.
Cute guy on the train.


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