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Posts Tagged ‘photograph’

I’m back to taking walks near my home and looking for interesting shadows. The current collection of photos includes leaf shadows on a tree trunk. Only a couple dog walkers were out when I shot this, but I noted an unusual number of cars outside a house flying “2017” balloons. Probably a late-night graduation bash. All was quiet as the grave at 6:30 a.m.

Nearby, blue lupines caught my attention. I admired many lovely ones in Sweden and was happy to see that, while I was gone, a whole batch was blooming along my usual walking route.

I’m also sharing a grapevine over a bench, a bonsai tree near the church herb garden, and a deep red rose on a white picket fence.

More unusual: the big playhouse at the nursery school and some elaborate digital art by high school students.

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In spite of the drought, Massachusetts trees displayed some of their best colors this year. I’m sharing one photo taken along the Concord River, another that barely does justice to this month’s reds and golds, and a third that intrigued me because the green leaves were pink only on their tips.

Other photographic offerings include a name shadow at Bondir restaurant, where we had lunch today, a pirate skeleton with his skeletal parrot in a Lowell bookshop/café, lovely plants in the café, an artist working en plein air, shadows of ivy trying to break into the house, and four book-themed scarecrows at the public library.

The first scarecrow was inspired by the book Strega Nona, the second by If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. The third scarecrow promotes the library’s seed catalog, and the fourth celebrates the counting books.

Don’t you wonder how the library came to do all that work? There must be 20 scarecrows altogether. I’m trying to picture the meeting where the boss says, “We’re doing scarecrows for Halloween. Who volunteers to do what?” Or maybe it was more spontaneous. It sure looks like people had fun with it.

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Photographic Themes

I’m starting to notice that my photos (all taken on my mobile phone) have recurrent themes. Today’s nine pictures reflect a few of those interests: words on signs, shadows, plants, nature, art. Either I’m in a rut, or I’m going to get really good at a few themes.

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This healthy sunflower is at the Old Manse in Concord. The Trustees of Reservations always plant a big garden there, with pumpkins growing between the corn rows.

The lantern-like seed pods in the next photo embellish a tree beside the Providence River. The leaf shadows on brick were spotted not far away, along a grubby Providence sidewalk.

Can you read the plaque on the Providence Journal building? It shows the crazy height that the water reached in the infamous Hurricane of ’38. Golly!

My husband says the barrier at Fox Point will prevent flooding like that from ever happening again. I don’t know. Were the engineers aware of global warming when they started construction in 1960?

New Shoreham (in the next picture) was also battered in the hurricane of ’38. In fact, the storm wiped out the island economy on land and sea. The fishermen and farmers were not insured against such a catastrophe. No wonder people there remember that hurricane!

One thing that is different since 1938, as I learned in a splendid book called A Wind to Shake the World, communities in the path of a hurricane now get plenty of warning. But in 1938, when houses on Long Island, New York, were washing out to sea, no one up north knew it.

A few other shots of New Shoreham: a Wednesday farmers market, the Little Free Library, a view through a stone wall, a rumpled morning sky, and the North Light.

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The first two photos today are from Wayland Square in Providence. My husband and I thought the shade covering at l’Artisan looked like something we could use at our house, but by the time we walked back from dinner at the Salted Slate, the pretty covering had gotten all twisted up by the wind.

The flowers casting early shadows are Marsh Mallows. The little frog in New Shoreham also cast a long shadow. In the next photo, perhaps you can tell that the herring gull is looking for more of my sandwich.

There’s a sliver of moon above the hanging basket. Hope you can see it. Next is a sample of New Shoreham’s lovely fields and stone walls.

My older granddaughter wanted to know if the car with pink eyelashes was mine. No, but maybe I should think about getting eyelashes for the Fusion.

One of my favorite views is looking down the bluffs to the ocean. Often there are surfers riding the waves at this spot. Finally, see how my youngest grandchild cooks breakfast for me in the playhouse.

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I call this one Downward Facing Dogwood. Taken from above, it shows our dogwood’s drooping magnificence. Next is a view from almost the same angle but including the neighbors’ flowering trees, too. On the back steps is an arrangement of lilacs, dogwood and a ubiquitous yellow flower whose name I don’t know.

Three pictures taken in Providence feature a decorated utility box near the Rhode Island School of Design, the dragon that hovers over the Children’s Museum, and a cryptic statement in small print on the side of a Benefit Street house. My question: Is this the homeowner’s voice or vandalism?

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So, what do we have here? Mysterious pillars supporting a gazebo roof on Canal St., Providence. Toadstools. Tulips. Branch over the Concord River. Boots for sale. Two Seekonk River scenes, one with swans. Nautical rope design on railing along Woonasquatucket River in downtown Providence. Fairy Garden. Shadows on an appleknocker that my mother’s company used to make.

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Something reader KerryCan said in a comment one day got me thinking that I’d like to see if I could get a photo of Providence that could make a part of the city pass for rural. At first, I found only bland vacant lots left over from the rerouting of route 195. Then I went to Blackstone Park, where a treehugger tree and an ersatz teepee caught my eye.

The soccer-playing kid is in a suburban-looking area on the East Side, and the glowing tunnel is right downtown.

I thought the sandbox looked lonely.

In Massachusetts, I went looking for skunk cabbage and jack-in-the-pulpit plants, but it was too early. Not spring yet. I did hear peepers. And I saw gracefully rotting tree stumps, a bird on a mailbox, and a wonderful rainbow.

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Over at the Brain Pickings blog, Maria Popova has a review of a book that features photos of famous meals in fiction.

“Food and literature have a long and arduous relationship … But nowhere does that relationship come alive more vividly and enchantingly than in Fictitious Dishes: An Album of Literature’s Most Memorable Meals  … an ingenious project by designer and writer Dinah Fried, who cooks, art-directs, and photographs meals from nearly two centuries of famous fiction. Each photograph is accompanied by the particular passage in which the recipe appeared, as well as a few quick and curious factlets about the respective author, novel, or food.

“The project began as a modest design exercise while Fried was attending the Rhode Island School of Design a couple of years ago, but the concept quickly gripped her with greater allure that transcended her original short-term deadline.

“As she continued to read and cook, a different sort of self-transcendence took place. [Although] a near-vegetarian, she found herself wrestling with pig kidney for Ulysses and cooking bananas eleven ways for Gravity’s Rainbow. …

“All of Fried’s photographs are immensely thoughtful (Ishmael’s austere dinner from Moby-Dick is not only a nautically appropriate serving of clam chowder, but also appears lit by candlelight), and some bear a distinct undertone of cultural meta-satire (representing A Confederacy of Dunces is the ultimate edible Americana, a hot dog on a classic All-American diner tablecloth).”

Check out Popova’s review here, and revel in photographs that include Sylvia Plath’s avocado and crabmeat salad, Oliver Twist’s request for “More,” Proust’s petite madeleine, Alice’s Mad Tea Party, and Heidi’s toasted cheese.

Photo: Dinah Fried
“On buffet tables, garnished with glistening hors-d’oeuvre, spiced baked hams crowded against salads of harlequin designs and pastry pigs and turkeys bewitched to a dark gold.” — The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1925

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Time for a photo round-up. Winter in New England: warm days, cold days, snow, ice, complicated shadows, empty facades, food and drink.

If you get any time to be alone and quiet — maybe just nursing a head cold — use it well. Everyone needs time to think.

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A couple years ago, I was taken with a newspaper photograph of pink and blue buildings in a lonely North Korean square. So foreign. So melancholy.

I tried to get in touch with the photographer, David Guttenfelder, to see if I could buy a print. That didn’t work out, but I learned quite a bit about him and his special status as an approved photographer for Western outlets in North Korea. I became a follower on twitter and instagram, where I discovered that his photos of everyday life in the isolated country had inspired other Westerners living there. Now I follow posts on instagram by a group of people calling themselves everydaydpk.

So I was intrigued when Studio 360 also took an interest in photographs from North Korea.

Khrista Rypl posts on the radio show’s website, “North Korea’s seclusion makes pictures from inside the country irresistible novelties. But while the country’s borders are tightly controlled, visiting isn’t as difficult as you might expect. Almost anyone with enough cash can book a tour (although the US State Department advises against it) and people even travel there to run in an annual marathon. Officially, North Korea says it hopes to attract two million visitors by 2020.

“One of the tours available is an architectural survey of the nation’s capital, Pyongyang. Oliver Wainwright, architecture and design critic for The Guardian, recently visited the country with that itinerary. He’s been posting photos of interiors of the city’s buildings, and wrote a nice piece about his visit. It’s a fascinating glimpse inside a closed society. The empty interiors look like they’re part of an abandoned theme park from the 1980s.

“Wainwright notes that pastel colors appear everywhere in the city and calls the aesthetic ‘kindergarten kitsch’ — ‘the logical next step for a regime intent on projecting an image of carefree prosperity.’ …

” ‘In every refurbished building we visit, there is a peculiarly consistent style of preschool colour schemes and shiny synthetic surfaces, the pastel palettes and axial symmetry giving an eerie feeling of walking into a Wes Anderson film set, or a life-size Polly Pocket toy,’ [he adds].

“The decor certainly has a child-like quality, both in the color palate as well as in how each room has been pared down to a few essential elements, like a dollhouse.”

See if you agree, here.

Photos: Oliver Wainwright/Tumblr
The National Drama Theater in Pyongyang

Below, a rendering of an architectural project from the Paektusan Academy of Architecture in Pyongyang 

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Today I thought I would post a few photos that other people have taken.

First, we have my great nephew at a Christmas concert. He is right up front, but I confess I can’t be sure I spotted him. My niece, a violinist, sends lots of music photos. She teaches orchestra in middle school in North Carolina. Her husband is a fine piano player. Their daughter, in college, is highly accomplished on the flute. One of their 10-year-old boys plays violin, the other plays piano but is considering taking up cello, too, in order to play in orchestra concerts like the one pictured.

The next photo shows Erik’s niece in a Sankta Lucia service last month. She lives in Denmark. I have also included snapshots of Suzanne and Erik’s kids. My husband took some at the Children’s Museum and also at the house. Erik or Suzanne took the one of two grandparents struggling to get the ballet shoes on a young lady with a mind of her own. I’m not sure who was behind the camera as I was really concentrating on the shoes.

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These photos are from my rambles in downtown Boston, which I will be leaving at the end of the year for a new commute to Providence.

The first picture shows strange reflections on an iconic piece of local architecture. Then we have musicians in South Station, an octopus sculpture at the convention center, a lovely floral display by the landscape genius where I currently work, fall color in the Greenway, and more color along Fort Point Channel in front of the Children’s Museum.

What a neighborhood!

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It’s getting chilly around here. Thirty degrees this morning. I’m getting wimpier about taking my walk outside and just go ’round and ’round indoors. I need to toughen up. The NY Times health columnist Jane Brody is older than I am and not only swims every day (vigorously, I’m sure) but walks five miles. Whoosh. I would have to walk back and forth to the high school — twice — to do five miles. It would take me half the day.

Here are photographs from the last couple weeks: shadows at the zoo, where my grandson ran into a friend he usually sees only in summer; milkweed and shadows; leaves casting shadows; an abandoned bird nest; overdevelopment reflecting on the waters of Fort Point Channel; and a burning sunset.

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Time to share a few more pictures. The sunlit chestnut grows in Rhode Island. (I didn’t know chestnuts were around anymore.) The colorful dahlias are in John’s front yard.

The brick wall with shadows is in the Fort Point area of Boston. The decorated pillar is one of several opposite the Greenway. It’s called “Harbor Stripes” and is by Karen Korellis Reuther. The work on all the pillars was sponsored by the Design Museum, which, among other enterprises, promotes public art.

The colorful shield is at the Swedish consulate in Fort Point, where I went to pick up my granddaughter’s Swedish passport. She has dual citizenship. I had to show a letter from Erik and also his Swedish driver’s license. I collected a lot of brochures about Sweden and about upcoming Swedish  activities in the Boston area.

Wrapping up the photo presentation with more shadows.

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