Tag Archives: winter

Desktop Background – February 2013

February 2013 Desktop Background

February 2013 Desktop Background

One month down, only eleven more to go. The weather has decided to play a little hacky sack, knocking around from foot to foot, going from cold and bitter one day to warm and sunny the next. There are plenty of people out there who would like to say it’s global warming, but I think Mother Earth likes to keep us all on our toes.

As for me, I’m a bit torn between which weather pattern I’m holding out for. On one hand, the coming spring holds the promise of getting back outdoors and capturing images, but on the other hand, the cold is forcing me to actually sit down and get some solid editing of old photography sessions and travels done plus motivating me to stay indoors and finish remodeling the second floor of our house.

So, with that in mind, I was a bit torn about what to offer up as a desktop background this month. Do I go with something warm and tease you all with thoughts of brighter, sunnier days or do I stick with the depressing, dismal, yet somehow beautiful stranglehold of winter?

About the Photo

  • Click on a Size to Download
  • Standard
  • Widescreen
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet
  • All these backgrounds are free because I’m a nice guy. Not only are they copyrighted, but I’m friends with Chuck Norris so please do the math and don’t do bad things with them.

As you can see, I obviously decided to play nice and not force unwanted daydreams of summertime that would only lead to frustration on both our parts. Instead, I pulled out a “B side” photograph from my collection.

As I do more of these desktop backgrounds, I find myself drawn into sharing images that you won’t see in any of my photo-streams and portfolios. It isn’t that these images aren’t good captures or moments in time, but they just didn’t make the “only pick one or two from each session” cut. Such was the case with this skyline of Peoria, Illinois.

Any professional photographer can tell you that the best camera to shoot with is the one you have with you. If we all had a nickel for every time we missed “the shot” because our camera was at home or in the car, we could all retire today, myself included. In this instance, I had my camera with me on the way into work. I was trudging through the slush of the parking deck behind my office and the gray haze out across the city skyline drew me in.

I pulled out my trusty Nikon with my old 18-55mm lens, and using the parking deck wall as a makeshift tripod, snapped a couple of frames. I didn’t think much of the image until I dove into the processing. I wanted to really bring the “dismal” into focus from what I remember seeing and nothing speaks louder to those emotions of separation than a retro post-processing treatment.

Why is that, you ask? Well, if you think about it… retro treatments make images look like they were taken decades ago; the largest separation that any of us ever experiences is from our own past. See the connection?

So what do you think? Does the retro treatment work for this skyline photograph? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Tuesday Viewsday: Black & White Winter

It’s finally happened… the temperature has dropped to the mid to low thirties and the bone chilling wind that likes to gust and whip at your extremities has started blowing. This can only mean one thing: winter is finally here. While we may not have snow on the ground here in Illinois, make no mistake that the time for wool caps and socks is upon us.

Waiting for Spring (2012)

Waiting for Spring (2012)

As we wait patiently for the first flurries to drop from above, it’s always good to take this time to catch up on the year’s projects and to reflect on where we’ve been and where we are going. As always, I’ll do my annual reflections and resolutions postings sometime in the near future, but I hope that you take a few moments of quiet time over the next few weeks and reflect on your lives, the people around you, your relationships, both old and new, and anything else that has caused an impact in your world over the last year.

And, since we are looking back, I wanted to share this photograph with you. I snapped this black and white image at the beginning of this year shortly after moving into my new home. For me, this year was marked with a whole load of new experiences and projects to keep me busy, but nothing was more instrumental in the effect on my life than purchasing my first home with the girl.

This image was captured as part of my Project 52 series, which, like most of my time-based projects over the past few years, quickly got derailed and I never returned to it. In the past, realizing this derailment would upset me, but I realized that this year was about setting priorities and, for me, Project 52 quickly took a back seat to remodeling my home, building a garden, landscaping, pursuing my Master’s degree, traveling, and teaching.

The assignment that was given for this piece of the project was to photograph something around your home that demonstrated a personal “vision” statement that you also had to generate. For me, this image is about the untold story. When Caitlin and I moved into our new home, we saw this old bird bath pedestal and concrete tire with a pole sticking out of it in the yard. We still have no idea what these were used for, but I suspect the pole was for tying up a dog.

Vision Statement
Every moment, past or present, has a story. Whether that story is clearly defined or written “between the lines,” I capture the moments that bring those stories to life.

For those who know me and my photography, you know I’m drawn to “leftovers” – items that used to be a vital part of our daily lives and then were just left alone without anyone ever returning. To me, these two items, being so close in proximity to me and representing a new chapter in my life, are also “leftovers” so I had to capture them.

And, nothing says winter like white so a black and white treatment went a long way toward making this image come to life.

So what do you think? Do you like it? Hate it? Does it tie in with my vision statement? Let me know in the comments below!

Tuesday Viewsday IV

Here we are again… another week down. We are almost to the end of January already and I barely remember New Year coming and going. Sheesh!

The weather continues to be bipolar in nature – one day in the 50’s followed by a day in the teens with snow. As for me, I’ve been chugging along with the remodeling at my new house. I put the final touches on the new bathroom this evening and then it’s on to the living room where I’ll be [hopefully] conquering my first hardwood floor. We’ll see how that goes.

For this week’s image, I decided to go with something to tie in with the weather we’ve had.

Out the Back Door

Out the Back Door

Out the Back Door

I shot this photo back in 2008 during my first year working at my new job. As I was leaving one night, I noticed the way the air was a very purple/blue tint with the coming snow storm we were about to have. I walked to the edge of the loading dock behind the office where I work and saw the glow of the orange lights from our parking deck.

With the contrast of the purple and the orange, I had to snap a shot. I pulled my camera from the bag, put on the 18-55mm kit lens I had at the time, and snapped a few images. I am truly amazed this shot came out as clear as it did being a hand-held photograph. When I got home and loaded up the image, I was pleasantly surprised at what I had. In case you were wondering, this image has very little post-processing edits; I think I boosted the Saturation just a bit to make the entire thing more vibrant.

I shot this image shortly after starting down the path of a professional career in photography and it was one of the first images where I remember actually seeing a landscape and wanting to capture it with my camera as it looked to me exactly. It was also one of the first images I remember taking my time to line up the shot, check the composition, and truly CREATE the image.

What I love about this image is the colors, of course, but also the composition. The leading lines in this image are really great; the walkway on the right, the hillside sloping from foreground to background, and the parking deck levels flowing from left to right all point toward the central focus of the elevator shaft. I also love the silhouette of the tree on the right side and the slight haze that the falling snow caused around the globes of the sulfur lights.

All in all, this image is truly “winter” to me.