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The First 48 in Vegas

June 2013 marked my first trip to Vegas and the Strip since I was fresh out of college — a very, very long time ago. I didn’t recognize the place, and I was fine with that. A wide-eyed tourist, I was there for 48 hours with one of my best friends to celebrate her birthday. In spite of record heat (117 by day, 99 by night), it was surprisingly good medicine. This is just a small group of pictures from our trip.

We didn’t gamble (this time). We didn’t do anything crazy (this time). We just hoofed it up and down the Strip, stopping to eat incredibly good food. And I will *definitely* hit the strip to shop on the day after I win the lottery. Man, oh, man.

As this gets published, I’m packing for a return visit with the same friend this week. Look for a second round of photos soon.

All of these were shot with my iPhone 4S.

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San Francisco Powell Street Cable Car

Three Hours in San Francisco

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I know very little about San Francisco, but I can tell you that everyone who’s spent time there has told me I’d love it. So when I had the chance to pop in and out for a work trip last week, I made certain I could carve out three hours for a good walk to explore at least a few neighborhoods.

Walkable.com rates San Francisco as the second most walkable city in the U.S. after New York City. Looking at a two-dimensional map, that makes complete sense to me. But I’d have to ask the folks at walkable.com if they accounted for the extraordinary hills in the city (I’m thinking: no). If it hadn’t been for the amount of walking I regularly do, I’m not sure I could’ve covered so much ground.
For those of you who know SF, my route took me from my hotel on Market Street to Union Square to Chinatown for dinner. Afterwards, I headed up Columbus to Little Italy, over to Nob Hill, and back down to Market Street. It really is gorgeous city, everyone I met was super-smart, pleasant and chill, and next time I hope to stay long enough to get to Lombard Street, Telegraph Hill, Fisherman’s Wharf, and Golden Gate Park.
These photos were shot on my iPhone 4s and old Sony Cyber Shot. They were lightly edited in iPhoto, and some received heavier editing in Picasa.

Things That Live in Trees

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To my surprise, it turns out I thoroughly enjoy documenting life through the lens of a camera. I like the point and shoot method, followed by some trickery in iPhoto or an app. Yes, it would be lots of fun to play around with a high end digital camera–it might even persuade me to get one–but for now, I’m pretty sure the tools at my disposal can help me master the tasks associated with the “Camera Shots” scout badge.

Anyway, this latest collection of shots are things that live in trees. More specifically: birds, kites, ball moss, and plastic bags. I started snapping these shots about a month ago, shortly after this year’s Zilker Kite Festival.
All photos were shot in south Austin using my iPhone or old Sony Cyber Shot. They were mildly modified in iPhoto, then several of them were modified using the iSplash, Grungetastic, and Romantic Photo apps for Mac.
SXSW 2013, live music, Sixth Street

SXSW 2013

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Shot in one evening walking through the madness that is SXSW. We love having everyone here, but word is that the only artist who’s ever actually got a record deal from the festival is those bros otherwise known as… Hansen.

These photos were taken with my iPhone and doctored in iPhoto and/or Picasa.

Austin, Lady Bird Lake, Egrit

Urban Oasis: Lady Bird Lake, Austin, TX

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Along with my friend Adrienne and my dog Freida, I hoofed several hundred miles this past year around Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake), in Austin, TX.

The name’s a bit deceiving; it really doesn’t look like a lake. It looks more like a river that cuts from east to west and separates south Austin from downtown.

Zoom in, however, and you’ll find a remarkably beautiful habitat, home to an array of birds: great blue and green herons, snowy egrits,  coots, cormorants, swans, and other water birds that have populated this central Texas oasis with increasing enthusiasm in these past few years. You’ll also find coral snakes, btw.

All of these photos were snapped on my iPhone 4S over the past 12 months.

chalk, sidewalk, graffiti, Justin Bieber

My Romantic Neighborhood

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This is my neighborhood. The streets are wide but the homes are small. Even though there’s wide cultural diversity in this working class subdivision, the houses are quite homogenous. I think of it as one of the last few truly affordable places to buy a house in south Austin.

I’ve thought of the ‘hood as remarkably unremarkable for most of the 12 years I’ve lived here. But I started walking the dog a lot more in 2012, and it turns out that even the most unremarkable can be viewed through the lens of (even heart-breaking or lonely) romance.

Two observations worth sharing:

  • When you look at the final image, you’ll see a Google satellite image of the area covered by this little essay. The first thing you’ll notice is few hundred small houses. What mattered, of course, was the space in between.
  • There are no photos of people and that was not deliberate. As it happens, I simply did not encounter people on these walks. Weird, but true…

All of these photos were shot in 2012 with my iPhone 4S, then treated with one or multiple filters in Picasa and/or the Romantic photo app for Mac.

clouds, photo of clouds, image of clouds, cloud photography, cloud photographs, cloud images

Clouds

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I was never the gal who could see an image in clouds. Lying on my back with friends, staring at the sky, I was never the one who could identify the shape of a rabbit, or an old man’s face, or a house; I struggled to see them even when they were pointed out to me.

I was, however, the girl who could tell you what kind of cloud we were looking at, how it was connected to the weather, and it’s approximate distance from the earth.

Clouds are a simple subject. But I suspect that taking good photos of clouds is a little like learning how to play the blues: easy to learn, hard to master. Here’s my first stab at it.

The photos with the “Alien” and “Cotton” names were shot with my iPhone. The rest were shot with a Sony Cyber-Shot. All photos were cropped and visually nudged just a bit in iPhoto.

The following images were also treated with filters found in the Romantic Photos App available on my Mac: 34000 Feet; 35000 Feet; After the Rain; Contrail; Cotton 1; Dirty Cotton; and, Front Line.