Travel theme: Below

These days when I peek down below, I get a view a bit like this:

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Usually, I’ll look down below and discover she’s pulled apart a magazine, or is busily ripping apart paper towels, or maybe is trying to squirt shampoo into her mouth… But it’s a pretty good view, nonetheless.

Some “low” shots!

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I like how taking this picture from below made the cross seem more imposing and spookier than it otherwise would seem. I love the look of moss creeping across stone…

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View from the top of Libe Slope at Cornell, looking down at West Campus and beyoooonnndddd… I remember trekking up this hill back in the day. My quads were awesome!

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Lastly, a shot of my friend Jess hanging out at a playground in London! Look out below! And check out her new blog too 🙂

Black & White Sunday: Quiet

After fresh snowfall (of which we have had a lot up here lately) the world seems blanketed not just in snow, but also in a thick layer of quiet. Everything is hushed and muted by the fluffy snow, perhaps also because ones ears are bundled up in a hat or earmuffs. And there’s no place quieter than a park on Christmas Day after fresh snow.

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This post is in response to Lost in Translation’s B&W Sunday and PODcast B&W, check them out for more interesting pictures 🙂

Black & White Sunday: Lines

Black and white photography has never really been one of my strong points – so that’s why I’ve decided to take on some B&W challenges to explore the world of monochrome photography and push my own limits. Without color, certain aspects of a photo come more into focus and it’s interesting to see how black and white can make an otherwise flat photo look dynamic… and vice versa!

This week’s photograph is focusing on lines:

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When I originally took this photo, I wasn’t too impressed by it. I liked the pattern of the lines and the angle of the photograph, but overall it was just kind of “meh”. However, once I put it into black and white the pattern of the lines really popped! I actually like it a lot better as a B&W vs the original color version.

This post is in response to Lost in Translation’s B&W Sunday and PODcast B&W, check them out for more interesting pictures 🙂

Weekly Photo Challenge: Symmetry

There have been studies showing that people who have symmetrical features are found to be more attractive and beautiful than their slightly more lopsided counterparts. However, most people aren’t symmetrical – our eyes might be a little off, or one bigger than the other, ears not even (apparently this is very common according to my optometrist!) and so on and so forth. Maybe our natural asymmetry makes us pursue symmetry even more, whether in architecture, design, or beauty.

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This photo is from Oak Alley Plantation near New Orleans, Louisiana. The name is pretty self explanatory – the walkway is lined with amazing centuries old oak trees, creating a beautiful tunnel of greenery leading to the grand house. Although the symmetry is striking, I really like the juxtaposition of the oak trees themselves –  asymmetrical, gnarled and totally perfect in their own way.

Also a little fangirl note for those Nora Roberts fans – they used Oak Alley as the filming location for Midnight Bayou =D

Weekly Photo Challenge: Saturated

When it comes to colors, I love rich jewel tones – glowing ruby reds, rich sapphire-blues, and almost every other color in an intense shade. Maybe that’s why my living room is a vivid turquoise and my bridesmaids wore bright teal dresses (totally re-wearable, I swear!). Color is so appealing to me – my camera trigger-happy finger twitches whenever I enter a farmer’s market, brimming with multi-hued produce and vibrant flowers. The challenge for me was trying to keep from adding too many photos!

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An oldie but goodie – I took this last year at Green Lakes State Park, just a ten minute drive from where I live. The fall colors were in full force at the park and it was really a joy to behold!

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Another local picture – this time at Dinosaur BBQ in downtown Syracuse. I love their beef brisket – tender and juicy and full of flavor! The crazy mural of the dinosaurs chowing down isn’t too bad either.

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Produce at farmer’s markets – love it! Colorful tomatoes, blushing peaches, shiny red cherries and everything in between.

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My first time at an Indian wedding and I had a blast! It’s just so full of energy and fun – and of course color!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Kiss

Valentine’s Day has just passed and I’m sure plenty of us were giving or receiving kisses, either in the candy form or in a lippy way! At The Daily Post, they want to continue that theme of Kiss, so it’s time to pucker up!

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I’ve always loved Greek mythology, starting from first grade when I first encountered D’aulaire’s Book of Greek Myths. First what attracted me were the colorful illustrations, but the vivid stories (toned down for the kids!) were just so fascinating! It was so amazing to imagine that the rising of the sun was caused by a specific god riding this fiery chariot across the sky… to imagine that thunder and lightning was caused by Zeus’ powerful lightning bolt… Not exactly scientific, but absolutely mesmerizing for a young child.

Sorry for being so longwinded… I just love mythology! Anyway, this statue is of Cupid and Psyche and it’s called “Psyche Revived by Cupid’s Kiss”  by Antonio Canova. In current times, Cupid is always depicted as a chubby little baby with wings, flying everywhere and causing loves-stricken mayhem. Cupid does the same thing in Greek mythology… except he’s a curly-haired hunk with rock-hard abs (literally in this case). The story of Cupid and Psyche is wonderful as well, in that it has a happy ending – although it starts off kind of creepy. To have a lover that one cannot see… is strange, to say the least. I don’t blame her for wanting to see she’s been making love with!

Travel theme: Festive

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…” – Now that we’ve been hit with snow, it really is starting to look a lot like Christmas (the music has been playing at work nonstop since Thanksgiving, all the holiday classics are lodged firmly in my brain!). Honestly I don’t really mind a green Christmas that much either (more like brown and barren, but I guess green sounds better!), but snow does make everything seem more… festive! This week’s theme at Where’s my backpack? is festive indeed, and it’s fitting that today we got to visit Skaneateles (pronounced skinny-atlas!), where they have an annual Dickens Christmas festival every weekend from Thanksgiving til Christmas.

This weekend we finally got a chance to go, thankfully since it is the last weekend, and we were hit by a lot of snow so all the shops were charmingly covered with snow. Not so charmingly covered with snow were the roads, which are twisty, turny and hilly and require a bit of careful maneuvering to get from Syracuse to Skaneateles. On the way there we passed by a car that had flipped into the ditch… a little scary. When we were on our way back, they were just towing the car out! And that was a good 4 hours time difference. Stay safe when driving out there people! Drive slow if you must and screw all the tailgaters!

Anyway, we had a great time at the festival despite it being cold and windy! People go around dressed in Dickens era garb, and there is a re-enactment of the classic Dicken’s Christmas Carol (also the only Dicken’s book I’ve read!). Free roasted chestnuts, free hot cider, and lots of festivities abound. I only wish I’d come more often!

And to end it here’s a little video of the Dicken’s Christmas carolers singing Jingle Bells!