Monday, February 23, 2009

The End of an Era...

This post is for you, Brooke Bradley.

Brooke Bradley is an amazing athlete and one of my best friends. During high school she dominated during track in javelin and shot put and enjoyed throwing the discus at Coach Kopit. After a short vacation from the basketball court she returned and proceeded to "ball out" aka she is amazing and scores alotta points. Brooke scored 20-something points in the PCAA Championship at Potomac State state last Saturday. Congratulations Brooke on an awesome career, when I get home I will kick your ass in knock out. Warning: I play dirty.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Steph at work...

Stephanie Ann Slanina is the subject of today's post, she is ridiculously funny, kind and awesome. Steph has been a best friend for as long as I can remember. She is part of the 'family' along with Kandy Krebs and Kristin Schu. I get to hang out with Steph a lot because she lives in Manayunk and attends Philadelphia University. Steph is the subject for my "Work" assignment for lighting class. Steph is a senior fashion design student and I can't wait to see her collection this year; I will have to post some of her garments later.
On to Lighting Class...
"Work" is the assignment, usually an environmental portrait of a person in their work environment, in action. This was my first time alone working with Tungsten lights . I've only messed around a few times with them in the studio where I could easily ask my Professor for help. Enough with the explanations...

Thank you Steph!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Best & Worst of Philly ((A-Z))

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For this assignment I had to think of a theme and then explore Philadelphia alphabetically. I choose 'The Best & Worst of Philadelphia" 13 good & 13 bad...can you decipher the bunch?

A is for abandoned homes.

B is for barbed wire.

C is for church.

D is for drug stores.

E is for environment.
F is for firetruck.

G is for graffiti.

H is for hospitals.

I is for the Italian Market.

J is for Johnny Brenda's.

K is for the Kimmel Center.

L is for litter.

M is for museums.

N is for newspapers.

O is for One Way.

P is for plastic bags.

Q is for quads & playgrounds.

R is for restaurants.

S is for streets.

T is for traffic.

U is for University City Arts League (UCAL).

V is for vegetarian friendly.

W is for water.

X is for X-Rated.

Y is for yard space.

Z is for zoo.

Best: GREEN & Worst: BLACK
Abandoned houses are on every street. They invite squatters and loiterers and are not one of Philly's strong points.

Barbed wire is also seen everywhere. I hate to walk to school and see barbed wire on all the fences, it isn't very comforting. Also, the barbed wire is like a magnetic pull for plastic bags and other trash.

Churches make up some of the best architecture in Philadelphia. I love taking pictures of different churches and there is no shortage in the city.

Drug stores suck. Rite Aid & CVS are North Philadelphia's grocery stores and I hate it. There isn't a decent place to buy produce or food instead one must shop at a drug store and pay an inflated price for everything. Also, drug stores tend to run out of ping pong balls fast, I had to visit two Rite Aids and a 7-Eleven leaving all places empty handed.

Environments aren't very pretty, unless you're in a quad, park, campus or playground. The environment picture was taken on my very own street. When the wind picks up it blows all the trash down Blair Street and it tends to cluster around the construction fence at the end of the block.

Fires are common this year in the Philadelphia area. Coatsville residents are still flustered by the ring of arsons in the town during the past month and year.

Graffiti is sometimes visually pleasing but after seeing its potential destruction I usually condemn it. Vandalism is not cool and that is usually what I see around Philadelphia. There are some beautiful displays of graffiti on designated walls around the city. Stop at 5th & Cecil B. Moore to see what I'm talking about.

Hospitals are plentiful in the 215. The Children's Hospital, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Temple University Hospital and Hahnemann University Hospital are the tip of the hospital ice burg.

Italian Market, somewhere I have yet to really experience... When I went to photograph it was about 4pm and the vendors were packing up, I plan on going on Saturday to truly experience this tradition. The Italian Market and the RTM are great places to get fresh produce which is why Philadelphia is so vegetarian friendly.

Johnny Brenda's is a great show venue, restaurant and bar. Located on Girard and Frankford, Johnny Brenda's is in the middle of the Fishtown action. J. B's is also really biker friendly, the picture shows the sign and one of their bike racks. Go try the steak sandwich!

Kimmel Center at 300 S Broad. I work at the Kimmel Center so sometimes I can be oblivious to how beautiful it is. On Sunday the rooftop garden was open so I ventured up and I couldn't stop looking through the roof. The Kimmel Center holds a lot of mysteries, I once found myself in a piano show room in the basement listening to a local musician tickling the ivory of a Baby Grand.

Litter is an overwhelming theme in Philadelphia. This topic tends to disgust me, look around and you'll get the point. I would like to point out the fact that there are very few trash cans located on public sidewalks. There are probably more trash cans in Dorney Park than the whole of Philadelphia.

Museums are not few and far between. Last Sunday it was 'pay as you wish' at the Liberty Museum on Chestnut street so I ventured inside. The museum was really interesting and I was bummed that we arrived only an hour before closing. The PMA and Franklin Institute also have great exhibits, but this picture was taken at the Eyes Gallery on South Street.

Newspapers are beating themselves up over subscription quotas, or so it seems in this picture. Philly has a lot of great newspapers and publications that satisfy many niche audiences. I like to read the Metro and the Philadelphia Inquirer on a daily basis and Philadelphia Weekly and 215 on a biweekly and monthly basis.

One Ways are every where. Philadelphia is composed of one way streets. If you make a wrong turn or miss your street you are bound to be taken 3 blocks out of the way. I now have a sufficient knowledge of the directions of most streets but it took a year to get accustomed to.

Plastic bags are in every tree, fence and yard. Plastic bags make me furious. PLEASE reuse a cloth bag and DENY plastic bags when they're offered. Most cashiers look at me like I'm crazy when I say I don't need a bag. Yes, I'm positive I don't need to carry my things home in something that will last longer than I will.

Quads & playgrounds allow Philadelphians to break loose. There are quads, parks, playgrounds and green spaces all over the city, just look for them. There is a soccer field three blocks away and a park right across the street from my house, it really cheers me up when I'm feeling gray from all the concrete.

Restaurants are so tempting in the city. I have never been at the Chart House (pictured above), but something tells me it isn't in my price range. Ted's Montana Grill on Broad and La Scala's on 6th & Chestnut are the last great restaurants I have been to. If I had adequate funds I would treat myself to a meal every week. I love trying new places in the city and I don't think I will run out of options.

Streets are horrible in the city. Pot holes are outrageous, some are big enough to loose a vehicle in. Sometimes I wonder why I don't have a jeep. CAUTION: Don't drive on Front street between Girard and Spring me.

is horrendous. Everyone who has visited or lived in the city knows there is traffic on any given day at any random time. I don't even venture out during the morning and even commute hours.

UCAL is awesome. I have taken several classes at the University City Arts League and they're always cooperative and friendly. The sessions are also reasonably priced, so if you're thinking about learning pottery or photography or any of the various classes check out UCAL's website.

Vegetarians love Philadelphia. There is an overwhelming amount of fresh produce in the RTM and Italian Market and it is all dirt cheep. There are also vegetarian restaurants conveniently placed all over the city, try Maoz on South Street.

Water surrounds Philadelphia. You guessed it, this is why Philadelphia grew into a major city in the first place. Although all the water sometimes makes for a chilly wind it is really beautiful to watch the light reflect off the rivers and chill out by boathouse row.

X-Rated theater makes me puke. I think it is tasteless and tacky to have a pornography theater in the middle of Market Street, go buy a dvd or surf the internet at least.

Yard space is limited in the city. This is a photo of my backyard, it may seem small but in the city its a large luxury. My backyard keeps me sane in the summertime and I pity the millions who don't have one in the city.

Zoo balloon rides are fun :)...actually I have only ever been to the zoo a few times and the conditions were never safe for flight. The Philadelphia Zoo boasts that it is the first in the nation, I like going on a day trips to the zoo and taking pictures of the peacocks.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ya Mon!

Jamaica here I come! I recieved an acceptance letter in the mail a few days ago and I'm extremely excited to go. I went to an informational meeting and after seeing pictures of where I'll be staying I need to go. I can already tell the days leading up to May 25th will move at a snail's pace.

I shot this cute silver snail during lighting class. We were all assigned to bring in an object and it was Sunday night and I was still clueless. While I was at Steph's, she pulled it off her dresser and told me to shoot it, so I did and I love the shots. Steph will also be my model for my "at work" shot for the first lighting assignment. I'm going to shoot at her school lab tomorrow and at her house, then we're going to take pictures in one of Manayunk's cemeteries for my documentary project. I hope the wind dies down for tomorrow, today it blew a tree down on the westbound lanes of 76.
I'll leave you with more lighting class projects...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Mapping Center City: Block by Block

For this assignment I had to walk on one street from river to river. I choose to walk west on Walnut. Here is my shoe, feet, leg filled journey west...
Here is a mirror shot of the shoes I wore that freezing Wednesday. I had really comfy wool rich socks (Thanks Aunt Shelly:) ) on beneath my awesome rain boots (Mom you're awesome), so my tootsies stayed warm and dry all afternoon :)! I also took a garbage bag with me so I could lay at street level and shoot, I got more than a few weird looks and stares.

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Front & Walnut
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Twenty first
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Twenty second
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Twenty third
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Twenty fourth
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The last picture was taken on the bridge. A taxi had crashed there and I was the first on the scene :). The ambulance came a nanosecond later... to my relief everyone was fine, so I began to take pictures.