Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Holidays, The New Year, and The One Year Anniversary!

Well, I must apologize. I have rather neglected this photo blog over the holidays. I have less and less time to take pictures and upload them. But now, as I find time to do so over Christmas break, I must catch up!

So today marks the official 1-year-Anniversary of Lens Of an Amateur! Woohoo! Not that it means much, but still, why not celebrate? We have finally taken a deep breath after the "GO GO GO!" of Thanksgiving--Christmas. First its Thanksgiving, then school and exams, then Christmas, which really keeps all of us busy.

So I grabbed my camera on a few occasions this holiday break. I took this on Christmas Eve. I have found that I am rather obsessed with reflections in photography. Pay attention to the reflection in the ball. I had been trying to take one while on my knees up close to the tree, but finally I tried a different approach, and sat on the couch and zoomed a little bit. So you can see our den, and me sitting on the couch, trying to take a good picture! (Which turned out good!)

So, now, the Christmas rush is through (song reference unintentional.....) and I can sit back and post to my much neglected blog! Well, at least for now. Then I have to get up and get my clothes out of the dryer so I can pack for the beach..... and we're leaving tomorrow.... and its 1:30 am. But hey, what are car rides for? sleeping. and knitting. but sleeping too.

I should get some good shots at the beach! With any luck I can upload them and post while I'm down there. If you remember, some of my first posts last year were from Grayton beach on our (is it annual now?) new years trip.

Anyhow. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas! Hopefully 2012 will be a good year for all.... and LOAA!

-Rip


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Autumn has Arrived!




Finally!! Fall has arrived. For a period of a few days, I would look out the window to see if the tops of the trees were turning yet. I was impatient for the wonderful temperatures we are having now. This is my absolute most favorite time of the year. The weather, the leaves, the holidays.... I love it all.

So these photos were taken (as I find many of my blog photos are...) in my front yard. I wasnt sure what I set out to get, but all I knew was I wanted the leaves! I love the brilliance of the sunlit color of the first one. The second one, I debated over posting, because I love the sunlight, the leaf, and the lovely fall colors in the background, but I am disappointed in the appearance of the leaf.... it had such wonderful color, I regret that I wasnt shown more.

I havent posted here in WAY too long!! I miss my blog. I hope I still have people that check in every once in a while for something new. Well surprise! Here you are!

I have been so busy with school lately.... lots of homework, studying, reading, and writing. We've had two long weekends in a row these past two weeks, so now we have to make the stretch before Thanksgiving break! I think I can make it.

Tomorrow we are taking this test thing at school.... it supposedly tests what we know as 8th graders, and based on that, predicts our ACT score. I am sort of freaking out, because I feel like the ACT defines the rest of my life. What college I get into, which will determine what jobs I get, which will determine my salary, among other things. I suppose I'm over thinking. Like I over think everything else. But whatever. That was yet another one of my pointless rants.

Well, I must go. I am volunteering at Boo at the Zoo. I would love to take pictures, but I think I'll be too busy for that.

Oh, also, I am kind of looking at DSLRs. I mean not super seriously, but it's just I think I'm ready for an upgrade. I currently have a high-end point and shoot. Its really a superb camera--it takes all the shots I post here! But, it does have limitations that I am starting to realize as I become more experienced. And, my mom has two really nice lenses that I would be able to use. So any suggestions for lower-end DSLR cameras? (Nikon, since my moms lenses are Nikon.) I have looked at the D3000 and the D3100. I dont know... its so confusing.

-Rip

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Alabama: Like Never Before!

Hello friends! I havent spoken to you all for a while through my blog. I have been busy, busy, busy! With school, homework, and other things, its hard to find time to take pictures, much less post them, as I have said before.

A week or two ago, Ms. Virginia Jones gave me an exciting opportunity to come along as she and some photographer friends went to shoot the Alabama Theater, and the nearby Lyric. It was one of the coolest things I have ever done in Birmingham. I got to see the inner-workings of the Theater, not to mention being able to roam around without the crowds.

This is a mirror-reflection shot from the main staircase in the foyer of the Theater.

This one I got when Mr. Tom Cronier, our ever-so-passionate and kind tour guide, took me into the attic of the Theater. This is looking down through a light-hole in the dome at the grand organ. I really like this shot....


And, well, recently I have become rather obsessed with homemade cake baking, and this is one I made a few weeks ago. Two Layer devils food, filled with chocolate ganache and iced with chocolate buttercream! Yum!

I will try and get to posting more often. Gotta get out there with my camera!

-Rip

P.S. Like my new template? Finally figured out how to download a 3rd party template--so many more options that way.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Summer Harvest

Well, school is almost back. On Wednesday, we go back for our first day! I am excited for the beginning. The first, 10 days, maybe; they'll be fun. Then I'll be tired of it and want winter break to be here. Speaking of winter, I am so SICK of summer!!! I detest heat. I hate it. There are no advantages to heat.

I was bored yesterday, so I went outside in the back yard with my camera like I often do. I set out to photograph my dog, like I said before, but gave up after several failed attempts. We have a garden out back with some herbs and flowers,and next to the garden in a pot with this tomato plant, and er.... whatever you might call the iron cone shaped thing that it grows on. I stuck my camera under the cone-shaped-thing and pressed the shutter button. I say, I must have some talent with blindly taking photographs, because I quite like this one, and have liked many more taken with the same (if you can call it this) technique. Maybe I'll change the title of my blog to The Blind Photographer. No, just kidding. That wouldnt go over well....

Well I hope your summer is going well. And I hope you are enjoying the heat even if I am not.

-Rip

Dont forget to visit my Harry Potter blog! http://www.hpadventures.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Someone's Got The Right Idea.

Our dog Elvis, calls the screen porch in the back of our house his home. We have a ceiling fan out there, but lets be honest. In 100 degree heat? That doesnt cut it. So, we put a box fan out there for him to enjoy. As you can see, he plans on doing just that!

Today, I conclude that photographing a dog is virtually impossible. I made a valiant attempt, but good ole Elvis seemed to hide from the limelight. I dont see whats up. Resee Cup loves it. She will let you take pictures of her all day. Elvis? not so much.

Well school starts in a week exactly. I am sort of looking forward to it. The first week will be great; seeing friends, and actually being productive during the day-- but then it gets really old, really fast. How are all of your summers going?

Check out my previous post about my new Harry Potter blog. www.hpadventures.blogspot.com
Stop By!

-Rip

"Hogwarts, Hogwarts, Hoggy-Warty Hogwarts, Teach us something please!"

Well hello strangers. It seems like I havent posted anything in FOREVER! I have been so busy this summer. Beach trips, mission trips, summer reading--and much more! I havent found hardly anytime to take photos, or make a blog post.

I wanted to post this "Special Post" before I give you a photo today, because I have begun a new project. Please say hello to my NEW blog! http://www.hpadventures.blogspot.com/. Now, if you didnt guess by the title of the post, this new blog will focus on one thing: The magical and wonderful world of Harry Potter! I have been an avid Harry Potter fan for years--seen all the movies, and more importantly, read all the books! But now I have decided to re-embark on the journey through Harry's years at Hogwarts, and take a closer look. I want to share my thoughts, opinions, and questions with everyone, and hopefully readers will share along with me.

I will still be busy photo blogging on LOAA of course, but I decided to take another one of my loves and blog about it. So if youre a Harry Potter fan, please stop by! The link again: http://www.hpadventures.blogspot.com/.

Thanks!
-Rip

P.S: Someone once asked me if I made up that quote in the title when I shared it with them. The answer is no! The quote is the first line of the Hogwarts school song, found in Book 1!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Food, Fourth of July, and Launching Rockets

Wow. It's been a while since Ive posted.... or maybe it just feels like it. I have returned home from my Alabama Rural Ministries mission trip, been to visit friends in Decatur for the 4th, then brought my friend home with us to stay another few days in Birmingham.

ARM was great. We travel about 2.5 hours south of Bham to Tuskegee, AL to do our mission work. Our church (Trinity Methodist) team was divided into smaller teams of 6-7 people. Each of these teams then go to a work site, to do construction and repair work for those who do not have the means to do so themselves. It's a great thing, and this past trip was my 2nd time going.

You know, honestly, I sort of feel like I skipped the 4th. We didnt do anything terribly special or shoot off fireworks or anything. At one point in the day I said to myself "Oh. Its the 4th...".

The shot above is of our meal (well, part of it) on the 4th. Or maybe it was the 3rd. I dont know--either one. We had Beef Carpaccio, which is thinly sliced raw beef, topped with an aioli/horseradish sauce, arugula, and caper berries. It was delicious. I believe the recipe came from Birmingham chef Frank Stitt's new cookbook,  Bottega Favorita. My friends laugh at me when I tell them what we eat on holidays like the 4th, where most just throw some hot dogs on the grill. My parents are foodies. But hey--there's nothing wrong with a good cookout.

I had a good action shot of my friend Manny beating the slices of meat in order to thin them. My dad didnt think to get them sliced at the store when he bought the meat. Anyways-- the photo got lost somewhere in between my memory card and Picasa. I'll see if I cant dig it up.

Manny (my friend who was visiting from Decatur) and I like science stuff. Particularly stuff that flies, explodes, shoots, etc. So, we went to Hobby Lobby, and got a rocket to launch. We got setup with the launch pad, electronic launching thingy, and the rocket itself. We put it together and shot it off on the Shades Cahaba Elementary field yesterday. It was so cool. I posted a video of the launch on youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EQinPNBugZQ I'm in the blue shirt.

Ha ha-- I'm a total nerd.

-Rip

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Perfectly Framed Art

I took this photo while riding a NY subway, the Purple 7 line, from Queens to Manhattan. Just as you descend under the East River, this rooftop and surrounding buildings is visible out the window. I like how the train door window frames it, too.

The frame also sort of reinforces what I like about grafiti. In my opinion, although grafitti is illegal, and is some cases, very destructive, I think it is a real form of art. These people pour their emotion into the art they display on these buildings. And I imagine many of the citizens who are doing this have quite interesting stories, too. Just like the "You Are Beautiful" graffiti in Birmingham... not all graffiti is bad. Illegal or not.

I just returned from our annual Gulf Shores, AL beach trip. Believe it or not, my camera never left its case the whole time. Sometimes, I just dont have that push to get up and shoot. I should have many good shots from our next trip to Grayton Beach, FL as I did last time. (See January posts.) Tomorrow I am leaving to go on my church's Alabama Rural Missions (ARM) trip. We are traveling to Livingston, AL (no, not my last name, the town...) and will be assisting needy residents in construction/renovation/home repairs.

I apologize if my blog bores you all. Its kind of just a mush of photography/travel/my-thoughts-on-everything/my life that no one cares about. Ha ha- I am going to try and steer back in the direction of photography and not just blogging.

So thank you to all of you who have put up with my long, drawn-out rants about the various issues of the world. Have a wonderful week. :-)

-Rip

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Lady at Her Finest

I have returned home from the trip to NYC I took with my church's (Trinity United Methodist) youth choir. We did all sorts of cool stuff--sang at missions, local churches, and toured the city. The first few days were wonderful. 75 degree weather, sun--it was awesome. Then it joined the ranks of Alabama, hitting 90+ degree temps.

I have to be honest, I was really worried about how it would work out with 90 teenagers. But luckily, no one got lost/hurt/..... anything else.  I took this while walking the perimeter of the Statue of Liberty, with the summer sun in the background.

The common disease of summer boredom is encroaching upon me...in May we're all like "Yea! We can sit at home and do nothing all day!" And now we are sitting on the couch passing time by drawing faces on our lesser-liked teachers in the yearbook. I try to avoid that by filling my summer with activities and things... church youth functions, mission trips, beach trips, that sort of thing. We are heading to Gulf Shores, AL this weekend for our annual "Mom's-side-of-the-family-beach-trip". My grandfather rents a big house and we all stay for a week.

Well, I hope all of your summers are going well. You know it literally just dawned on me that adults with most jobs have to work over the summer. Alas, it is something to do.

-Rip

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Don't Forget

I feel like sometimes, after a disaster such as the one that struck Alabama in April, people feel sorry and send their best wishes... and then move on. I'm not saying we have to stop dead in our tracks, but I do think that we should continue to pay mind to the on going recontruction. Especially after our attention is being thrown to tornadoes all over the country!

This is a piece of insulation (yes, you heard me) from someone, somewhere's home, that got blown into our front yard after the storm. This is just one of 10-15 bits we've found, ranging in size from 1 to 4 inches in diameter.

Well, I am in NY right now, and wrote this last Friday. So, if my attempt at scheduled post doesnt work, please forgive me.
-Rip

Friday, June 3, 2011

It's so hot...


that even ever-so-valiant Reese Cup gave up. Last time we met up with RC on LOAA, (a friend just introduced me to that acronym for Lens of an Amateur!) she was freezing her poor little (yet absent...) tail off and was making an active attempt to get in the house. Now, I think she threw in the towel.

It probably looks and sounds like that we dont care for our cats and that they're always outside. But be assured, RC has plenty of time inside... after she has done her business. Some day I will try and get our other feline--clover. Anyhow, yesterday, she had good reason to quit. We were on the downhill slide to 100 degrees!! If there was one thing that drove me straight out of Alabama, it would be the summers.

Well, this is my last blog post until I head off the New York with my church group. I am going to prepare one post for sometime next week, so we'll see how I do with pre-posting.

My dad and I have been playing tennis most mornings lately, around 9-10, and we can hardly stay out there 45 minutes before we are worn out from simply the heat! It's especially hot for just the beginning of June. If June is this way, kill me before July.

Soap making went well the other day. Rather than melting some glycerin bars, coloring and re molding them, I actually made it from scratch. All it involves is Lye, Distilled Water, and Olive Oil. Click here to see the recipe. We didnt want 20lbs of soap, so despite the instructions, I scaled it down quite a bit, just to make a few pounds. Email me if you would like my smaller version, as it turned out fine, contrary to what the site says. Currently, the cut-up soap bars are sitting on some wax paper curing for two weeks.

Wish me luck traveling to NY with a group of 50 people.
-RL

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

In Memory

I know, I know, it's not exactly on time. But I felt like even though I missed the actual day, that I should post this picture in honor of our veterans. I heard someone say, on TV or radio that "Rather than a day of remembrance that happens to be a day off, Memorial Day is now a day off, that happens to be a day of remembrance in most people's minds." I like that quote.... I think it is very true. I mean, obviously, because I forgot to do this on the actual day, I am not one to talk about paying a whole lot of attention to Memorial Day. But I still think it should be advertised as a day that we honor those who died for us, rather than a day off from work or school.

Anyhow, regarding the photo, I really, really like this picture. I suppose it was a good day for this shot, but it also just captures so much of the US. The famous NYC skyline, framing our beautiful flag waving in the breeze. It was quite a nice day in NY, as I recall.

I know this is entirely irrelevant, but does anyone else get on a site called StumbleUpon? It is (seriously) one of the BEST things EVER invented. When you register (for free!) it has you go through this long list of all sorts of interests. Some of mine include Photography, Design, Gadgets, Humor, etc. Then, you enter the interface and click "Stumble." Then, it pulls up a website that has to do with your interests. For example, it recently showed me this site about all of these innovative, awesome hotels around the world. Some... or most, for that matter, are more useful than that though. For instance, a site on shooting (with a camera...) tips came up. You can then "like" or "dislike" a site, and S.U. learns about what you do and dont like.

I'll shut up about it--just click the link above and check it out. My username is Ripster3859, if you join and want to "friend" me.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Memorial Day and weekend. Tomorrow I am going to attempt at soap-making. Its something I have developed a random interest in, and I'm going to give it a try. If all goes well, then I'll share the recipe. Not as complicated as you might think.

I'll keep you posted, (as always... do I write too much stupid stuff in my posts?)
-Rip

Friday, May 27, 2011

Down the Line

I need to make some serious changes to this blog template. I recently began experimenting with the tab under the template thing that allows you to pick out your own colors.... and, as you can see, not all of them turn out well! I pulled up my blog just a few minutes ago, and realized the atrocity of color combinations that covered the page.

Summer has begun!! It is so nice to know (for the first few days, at least) that you have no where to be at 8 am, no homework to turn in the next day that you dont understand, and no clubs that are putting you on probation because you didnt get up at the crack of dawn that morning to attend their meeting. (I'm not kidding...) This weekend, we are having all kinds of people over, but for the most part, we arent doing anything major the first week.... then, after that, its go go go go! until we realize that its the end of July, and that we have to go to the school to get ready for the next year. I am leaving for NY on our annual Trinity UMC Youth Choir Tour on June 4, so I will try my hand at "pre-posting" as I am calling.

Sigh.... its always the last part of the post before I actually tell you about the photo I'm posting. This is another one from Pepper Place. These lines adorned with clothes pins and price displays are all around!

Walking along, we passed an empty booth....


Ah. That explains it!

-Rip

Monday, May 23, 2011

Perfect Spot....

This little girl had a great setup under her family's table. A few more degrees, and I might have just gone under there and introduced myself...

-Rip

2 More Days....

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Seasons: Fruits of Summer

Well, last Sunday's Seasons didnt happen. Sorry about that..... I was viewing my blog, just, for the sake of viewing my blog, and realized that a Sunday had passed since the last Seasons post. Oh well.

Yesterday was my very first visit to Pepper Place downtown B'ham! I have had many opportunities to visit before..... I guess my bed was just too comfy. If you know me at all, you know I am not an early riser. But now, I see what I have been missing! All different sorts of people, with all their different sorts of stuff. I love strawberries, and these nice plump red ones, ripe just in time for summer, had nice perky leaves. I made an attempt to grow strawberries in my little garden last year-- I ended up with one about the size of a dime, and about 5 that some pesky creature had taken a nice bite out of. And they dont even eat the whole thing! Its like they take a little nibble of your strawberry--just enough to ruin it--and then move on to the next one. Anyhow, it miraculously survived the winter with all of its frost and cold (with ZERO care or water other than rain) and produced the same thing this spring. I suppose thats just something I'll leave to the farmers...

I have many other neat shots from Pepper Place I'll be sharing with you soon.

We have THREE! 3! III! TRES! TROIS! days of school left. Oh, I am so ready. I actually hate summer, as in, the season. But, the fact that school is let out makes it a little bit better. It seems like last week that I was shooting the melting frost.

-Rip

Friday, May 13, 2011

A Trip to Ed's...

Ah, Ed's Pet World. I think anyone who lives in the B'ham metro area, Homewood especially, immediately knows what I'm talking about, and why I'm talking about it! You know those photos, that really need only a few words of explanation? Well, this is one of them. I think the elements of the shot pretty much sum up what Ed's is all about.

You've got this 100 year old turtle wondering around the place, (literally...and, with a phone number written on it, mind you)The skulls hanging up top, the golden retriever wandering around looking for a pat on the back, and the a-bit-too-natural fish tanks lining the walls. I hadnt been in Ed's for some years until yesterday. I have recently started a small aquarium, and was looking for a few new male molly fish to join the 3 females I had had for 2 weeks, in hopes of producing molly fry! (I'll keep you posted on that one.)  Anyhow, you could walk around that place for forever! There are so many nooks, crannies, and different sections that you keep discovering new areas of the store and new animals.

Ed's gets a lot of criticism, claiming that it is unsanitary, not responsible, and shouldnt be allowed to keep animals. But in reality, I believe that it is just as, if not more, capable of keeping healthy animals than some of these big chain pet shops. The employees are all very knowledgeable on all the animals, and are eager to help out. So, I will definitely be returning to Ed's for any future fish purchases.

-Rip

P.S.-- As you can see, I have solved my rotation problem!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

{Title Here}

Well, today you're going to just have to rotate your necks. I simply cannot figure out how to rotate this thing!! Am I the only one who has the problem??!!! sigh.....

Can anyone guess what this is of? If you have read some previous posts, you know. If not, attempt to guess....

11 days.... until what, do you ask? Well, one that I was specifically thinking of, and another than my friends mother informed us of in carpool from bible study tonight.
1) Summer! (in relation to school.)
2) The end of the Oprah show. (I thought it ended in like November, but....)

I think I have come down with some sort of photographers disease. I mean, I cant say you all didnt warn me. Every building. Every plant. Every sunset scene.

"How can I make that interesting? How can I take a creative shot of that statue? What angle would make this a 'good shot'? Just because it looks cool, is it really a nice peice of photographic art?"

Every. thing. i. see.

 Maybe cameras should start coming with coupons for therapy.

My, I sure am scatter-brained this evening.....
I couldnt even think up a title.

-Rip

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Seasons: Waiting

Well, I have decided upon my theme day: Seasons. I have been thinking about doing a theme day for quite some time, and have come to the decision of what it was going to be- so, on Sundays, the post will be themed after the changing of the seasons, etc.. One of my favorite things to photograph is the changing of the seasons; wildlife (theres not too much of that here, but...), plants, climate- it all fascinates me. And, its one of my favorite things about Alabama. We have 4 very distinct seasons.

This photo captures what I think is so cool about plants... this rose, somehow knows when its spring, and grows this bud just in time for it to reveal its beautiful colors in April. Just one of those curious things of nature that has always been, and always will be.

Oh, and before I forget, a quick question for my fellow photo bloggers- I have noticed most of your posts have the time "12:01 am" of when they were posted... is this just because you set it to automatically post on a certain day and write it ahead of time? Just a petty thing that is bothering me.

-Rip

P.S. Happy Mothers Day!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

I AM still alive...


This photo is from, as you may remember from an earlier post and Birmingham, AL DP, Grayton Beach in Florida. The body of water in the picture is a branch of Western Lake, just about 30 feet from the Gulf. It really is a beautiful place, quite untouched by most development, considering its neighbors Destin and Panama City. We were there last over New Years, but we have at least one trip planned for June/July. My fathers brother's family lives ON western lake- his daughters are Emily and Lucy...one at USF and one headed to NYU! (Congrats to Lucy, by the way, for being excepted into NYU's school of drama... or whatever they call it.) Ya'll probably dont care about that anyhow though....

Well, the title of my post was what it was for a few reasons.
1) I havent made a post in quite sometime, so I appreciate those of you who havent just given up on me entirely.

2) Some horrific tornadoes have devastated much of Alabama in the past week, and I am very happy to say that Homewood (on the southern city limit of B'ham) was not in the path of the storm, although there was a major tornado that touched down just a few miles from us, somewhere in northern Birmingham. I must say, that my outlook on these storms really has changed since this disaster. I mean, in Alabama, its not uncommon for there to be tornado warnings twice a week in April/May. Most of them dont touch down, and if they do, do not cause any widespread damage, so my thought was usually "hey, we get out of school early!". Now, though, I think I will take these storms much more seriously, now that an area that is so close to home has been so devastated. It's just one of those things that no one has any control over. Although, taking proper cover is so important- I have heard stories of people who have been divided into different locations in the home, and those who were in "safe" places in the home (bathrooms, basements, etc.) survived, while those who were not werent so lucky.

Well, that was quite a long post. If you skipped my ranting on storms, I completely understand! =) Its nice to know that somewhere in this world there is peace and tranquility.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Green Doors

These charming green doors are the perfect addition to this church in Brewton, AL. This is a different one than the previous one I posted (with the ivy). I forget the denomenation...

-Rip

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Brooklyn Bridge

Something about New York's Broolyn Bridge seduces my photographic eye. My family was dragging me across as we walked west towards manhattan post lunch at a pizza place tucked under the eastern bank. I guess its just my personality, but it does bug me that I cant scoot it to the left a bit and make it symmetrical!! (Thats what you get with impatient family members.....) I was recently introduced to the rule of thirds... something I was slightly ashamed that I wasnt aware of before. (Many thanks to Chieftess!) I think this shot is pretty good considering the guidelines... But I might just be willing my eyes to complement myself. How did I do?

Still working on that theme day......

-Rip

SIDE NOTE:
Join thousand of Americans on April 25, 2011, in silently speaking for the invisible children, forced to fight under Joseph Kony, leader of the rebel army. We will commit to silence for 25 hours, symbolizing the 25 grueling years of Africa's longest running war.

Find out more and register at : http://www2.invisiblechildren.com/25

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wisteria


Our backyard is full of this vine! Talk about invasive... I guess this could be, "the vine that ate the south", except, "but flowered and made things all better." Hey, at least its not kudzu. I debated over whether or not the 2nd one was too busy, or had an interesting background. I still cant decide, but I suppose that I cant be self conscious about every photo I take.

Well, I have just gotten plain jealous, viewing other blogs and their theme days; and I don't have one! Therefore, I am going to brainstorm, and think of a theme for a certain day... for two reasons.
1) I think its something to look forward too.
2) It will give me more motivation to pick up my camera and go shoot.

Has anyone noticed I like lists? Also, have you noticed how many posts I end with "Hmmm..."? I find myself writing about all of these various subjects in my posts, and then by the end, I begin to ponder them. I think my brain and typing fingers have some sort of abnormal communication that I cant seem to control, with the exception of the "backspace" button.

-Rip

Sunday, April 3, 2011

You Are Beautiful


The "You Are Beautiful" graffiti slogan is popping up everywhere around Birmingham! I think it's wonderful, and should be an exception to whatever laws go against it. Now, I know this shot isnt very good in picture quality, but it was taken out of a moving vehicle, through the back window. We were headed downtown for something when I noticed it, so when we were heading back to Homewood, I decided I was going to photograph it! But then, I came to the disappointing conclusion that there wasnt any feasible way of doing it without turning around and heading to St. Vincent's hospital in the background. So, I opted for a somewhat risky method, (but safe, considering) of postioning myself in the trunk (SUV) and trying to stabilize my arms enough to take a photo. Sigh...... the things I will do to get a photograph.

 -Rip

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Episcopal in Ivy

The old Episcopal Church in Brewton is one of the prettiest around, and covered in that gorgeous ivy.

-Rip

Thursday, March 31, 2011

La Paree

I thought this unfortunatley closed eatery downtown was a charming addition among its neighbors. I imagine the inside was quite interesting as well. And Im sure the Steaks and Seafood were the best around. ;)

-Rip

P.S. Did I over do the tags??? Haha. =D Also, spellcheck seems to be acting up. Be sure and critique any mistakes!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Photo to paint.....

Our close family friends who live in Decatur (the ones who my mother and father went to Spain with in February) have started to read my photo blog. Jere Weaver, my dads good friend, has recently started painting; and hes good! During our last visit, he had paintings for my mom, dad, and was working on one for my sister. I didn't think anything of it, until a few days ago, when he sent me a text message, with this photo attached! If you look back in the archives, you ll see a post titled "Luv-15" of a tennis shot I took. Well, now, I present to you the same photograph on canvas! I'm thrilled with it! Many thanks to him. He has many pieces in a local art gallery.

-Rip

P.S. I think Google/Blogger server has been down or something lately, for my email has been laggish and it wouldn't let me post on here for a week! I attempted to post a photo a few days ago, but it didn't go through. Anyhow, that's my excuse for my gap in posts. Which have been decreasing, if you've noticed. :)

Also, I am supposed to be putting stuff in the "Labels" box in the bottom right of this text box? Hmmm.....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

500 Belleville

And here we continue! I must say, I really like this photo. I cant quite put my finger on what I like about it, but for some reason it just appeals to me. It just is full of that sleepy southern town feel, with the (what I believe to be) live oak, shutters and southern architecture. The street name is so "Alabama" also. I am probably the only one in the Milky Way who can feel that way from a photograph, but I suppose that's just part of being a/the photographer.

-Rip
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Monday, March 21, 2011

Sticking Together

Ok.... well... two things today.

What I wish I was telling you:
I took this shot of two precious twins in Madrid, Spain in February!

What I have to tell you:
This isnt my work! My mom, a casual photographer, took this one just outside a park when she and my father went to Madrid last February. I debated over whether to post it, but I figured if your heart melted as mine did, you wouldnt care who in the heck took it. So, to avoid confusion, I did not take this photograph. I am just presenting this to you, as I couldnt help but let someone else experience my love for this photograph.

-Rip

P.S. I sort of didnt keep my promise about the Brewton mini-series, did I... hmph. I conclude the following:
1) I should have taken my own advice. (see NYC posts.)
2) I should really stop this online-promising thing.
3) I will pick back up on Wednesday, when it seems that I will have time to breathe between homework and activities.
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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Washing the Windows


We were downtown Birmingham the other day eating lunch. Afterwards, my dad was dropping off some buisness papers, so I fled the greenhouse of the car and whipped out my camera. I glanced up at the Regions Bank building, and the platform suspended above the city caught my eye. I mean, I suppose I dont really know that they are washing windows. But thats what I assumed. Anyone have any other ideas?

-Rip
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Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Southern Tradition



This past weekend, my mom, sister, and I went down to Brewton, AL to visit my grandfather. Brewton is a tiny little town with a population of about 6,000 people. My mom spent her high school years here, and my grandmother (now passed away) and my grandfather have lived happily here ever since. We were riding down a road of one of the historic neighborhoods when I called out to stop and let me photograph this home. My mom was ticking off the families who owned all of these homes, as Brewton is pretty much one of those situations where everybody knows everybody else. My next few posts will feature some of my other favorite shots from Brewton, and the southern history that surrounds it. (Fellow Bloggers: Is that called a mini-series??)

-Rip
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Friday, March 11, 2011

This One's For You...


Well, Mrs. Jones, this one is definitely for you. A few years ago, when I was a student in Mrs. J's 3rd grade class, we both went to Paris!! She went over spring break I believe... while I skipped out on the last 2 weeks of school and went with my family. (How convenient) This is one of my favs from the trip, although I took several shots I really like. This is when I really got a knack for photography.

Now, I don't just trot on across the Atlantic every few months like SOME PEOPLE do... but I did enjoy this trip we took. This was taken from inside I.M. Pei's Pyramid looking at the Musee du Louvre (I couldn't figure out how to do the accent mark...) as we were climbing that awesome staircase that I still marvel at each time I see it. As you can see, it was quite a dreary day in Paree...

-Rip

Oh yes, and please give me feedback on my change of blog template. Good? Bad? I'm sort of having fun just playing around with it.
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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Luv-15

This year, I tried out for the HMS (Homewood Middle School) Tennis Team, and made it. Monday, we had a match over at Simmons Middle in Hoover. The system for tennis matches is pretty weird, so I wasnt competing in this one, but taking photos for the school news paper. I seem to be the only one in HMS that can operate a camera...

Anyhow, as I was getting ready to go through the gate into the courts with camera in hand, I stopped to tie my shoe, and set my camera down, turned on, right in front of me, and the fence. (That sentence had way too many commas...) When I had tied my shoe, I got curious as to what would come out if I just pressed the shutter button without looking.... and voila! Look closely and notice two of my team-mates playing doubles through the fence. Mariel, on the right, is serving.

I guess the point here is, this isnt the Mona Lisa of photography, but I think the story to it adds a few points.

-Rip

P.S. - They did win the match, by the way.
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Sunday, March 6, 2011

Meow Meow.....

This morning, I ventured outside in the nippy weather (its been so erratic lately...) and set out to photograph some of the extremely confused Daffodils in our front yard. It seems like they thought it was spring for a while so they rose up and bloomed... and now they're freezing the poor little petals off. Anyhow, one of our cats, Reesie Cup (don't laugh, I was 4.) has a bit of an issue using the bathroom in the proper places around our house...(a different story entirely...) therefore she spends quite a bit of time outside. She also paws at the front door a lot, so I snapped this interesting shot right before I headed in.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

On The Map

This is just one of those random shots that I took on a whim. I sort of like it though. hmm....


-Rip

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Toomer's Tradgedy

Today, although I don't have a photo for you all, I wanted to share with you the news of the poisoning of the 130 year old oak trees that have been part of tradition at Auburn University for years. Some redneck, too-much-free-time man drove up and dumped a ridiculous amount of toxic poison into the soil. The man called into Paul finebaum radio show and reported his doings. Finebaum did well and reported the alleged action to Auburn, who proceeded to run a soil test and find that the soil around the trees was 65% poison. The trees have little chance of survival. The man was arrested today, and hopefully will serve a long, hard term in some facility. I know this is a well known event, it just makes me so angry that I felt I should share my feelings. Check out this link for the radio recording and a mug shot: http://www.finebaum.com/home.asp

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentines...(/chocolate) Day!

Ahhh! Dont you just love Valentine's Day? I apologize for the gap between posts. I have NO TIME! I can hardly find time to post pictures, much less take them!

Anyhow, the closest thing to a love themed picture I could find was a chocolate store. Now if I revealed the location, I would be breaking a promise I made earlier not to post any more photographs from this location. So I suppose I just revealed the location. (Mental Note. Dont make promises online.)


Valentines Day is just one of those good days where you can shutup about all of your problems and stuff your face with chocolate. Isnt it just glorious? I cant stand it when people sit at home and complain about how they never are in a relationship during Valentines day and how it draws attention to the fact. Just take advantage of an excuse to eat chocolate when you have one. Well I suppose that was my soapbox for the day.


Hope you have fun, lots of love, lots of hugs, and even more sugar this Valentines day.

-Rip <3 ;)
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An aspiring young photographer, having fun being creative and curious in capturing photos.

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