Now I did not use an Adobe Lightroom preset which mimics the gaudy effects of CSI Miami, but if I recorded and fiddled with the settings on these photos I bet I could create one. Yes, I know that flamingos don’t really need any help in appearing startingly gaudy, but then my guess is that neither does Miami. If you are totally clueless as to what I am talking about, check out the opening clip to the show which highlights the sort of intense color tints they added to their shots. I had fun mimicking it here, I think to some dramatic effect.
This past Monday I rode the Chicago Lakefront Trail in both directions and then some. I discovered from experience that it was exactly 18 miles from end to end, but could have found that out more readily by checking out this helpful PDF which shows some highlights along the route. So, evidently the center point of the trail is almost exactly at the Buckingham Fountain right in the middle of downtown. They couldn’t have planned that, could they?
Visually, though, it does seem as if the South leg is longer. That is a long way to those little/big buildings. At this point I should also note that though I found street parking as I had planned at the South end of the trail, the neighborhood was a little rougher than I had expected, even though I had no problems. The North end of the trail, on the other hand, is nestled in some decidedly more expensive real estate.
A truth you should know from this bicyclist/photographer is that the two activities do not lend themselves to one another, necessarily. It is true that bicycling around a city provides one with new perspectives and finds, and that traveling on bicycle is a great way to get to those shots, but if one wants to get in some mileage, which was my goal on Monday, well then one cannot often satisfy the urge to stop and shoot.
And, so, though I carried a long lens (which I never used) and a medium sized lens on my full-frame Canon 5D in my hydration pack (and it is also a truth that one’s hydration pack should be reserved for that function OR as a camera bag and not both ), I did not take too many pictures of sites around the trail save the ones below.
I could not resist hanging Sequoia on the fence along with other locked bikes for a shot with the Hancock Tower in the background.
You know it is hot when you feel the strong urge to eat a Chicago dog (I settled on the Polish sausage), just to get your salt levels back up. The picture below was my lunch time view, with one of the many beaches along the trail in the background. Regarding hydration, there are water fountains and restrooms at every beach.
The colored trees at the 31st Street Beach Marina were pretty cool, but I agree with this blogger that the real things are much preferred.
Finally, I did make one foray into the city, to Threadless on Broadway, to pick up some shirts. I had planned on getting this bicycle themed design, but on hearing that I could only get it at the warehouse or online, I settled on the design below. The beautiful top part more or less replicates the Lakefront trail, and while the bottom part is bleak, it is rather Biblical, “and to dust you shall return“…though there are whispers that that may not be the whole story.
I noticed this young photographer taking photos of Mr. Hippotamus and I could not resist trying to catch them together. More power to you, young one.
If the water in this post looks decidedly of a more greenish hue than that in the previous post with the sea lions, well you can chalk up part of that to processing, but the rest you will have to chalk up to diet, that of the animals that is not my own The poop (pardon the descent into potty talk) of the carnivorous seals is decidedly more dense and sinks to the bottom of their pool, and moreover they have divers clean their pool three times a week. I don’t know that a diver would want to swim with the hippos, though the fish certainly don’t seem to mind!
I must say that when I first heard that they were re-doing the sea lion pool at the St. Louis Zoo I was rather distressed. It seemed perfect to me as it was, sandwiched between two walkways so that folk did not have to wait in line to see their antics and magnificent jumps, especially at feeding times, and their barks could be heard some distance throughout the zoo. And, indeed, the new exhibit does not quite recreate that seemingly seamless integration of exhibit into the zoo landscape. Here is a close up image from previous exhibit of sea lions sunning themselves.
What it may lack for me in terms of external appeal, however, it much more than makes up for in the new tunnel under part of the pool. One is immersed under shimmering water with sea lions racing all around one. I know other zoos and parks have had such exhibits before, but it truly is a wonder, and a joy to photograph, if a little tricky. The reflections of people can enhance a photograph, but also detract from one if they obscure a seal zooming by. So, needless to say, I will be back to give it several more shots. Here, though, is a first batch.
Finally, thinking of the name “sea lion,” I think whoever named them got this wrong. Sea lions are really rather more like dogs with their playfulness and energy–like fast, torpedo shaped dogs gamboling about the water. And here is a video which explains the new exhibit really well.