Monday, September 30, 2013


Tower Classic Tattooing

An afternoon baseball game, dinner at STL's favorite (and possibly only) Nepalese restaurant, and then what? This temptation was directly across the street from where we ate. What would look good on my forearm? I'm thinking an optical diagram of a Canon 24-105 mm L USM IS lens. Or maybe a small reproduction of Botticelli's The Birth of Venus (lots of solid lines). 

Madeleine Monday

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Madeleine 2013-09-28 1

The tyke has now been to three Cardinals games in less than six weeks on this planet. She hasn't shown any enthusiasm so far. But then they don't begin to smile until about two months. Maybe if we get her to a World Series game.                       

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Razor's Edge

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Don't mess with a lady brandishing a scimitar. It was bright enough out there at Grand and Washington to be in the middle of the Arabian desert.

NL Central Champions

The deities of the local state religion, the St. Louis Cardinals, won their division. This is the scene yesterday afternoon. Today is the last day of the regular season. We move on to the playoffs. Your dedicated photographer will record some part of it.      

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Reach For The Sky

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I lost track of the groups and performers at Dancing In The Street, just concentrating on the shots before I had to run off to Forest Park for the balloon race. The light was sometimes hard to work with. These performers were under the shade of large trees while the wall behind was brilliantly sunlit. What to do? Something my job has taught me: improvise. Wing it.          

Friday, September 27, 2013

South Seas

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On North Grand Boulevard. One of the groups at Dancing In The Street was doing authentic native Hawaiian stuff. Their moves were as serene and gentle as a tropical breeze. No ukulele, though. It's nice to have one around

The photo was pumped up in the computer to give that old color postcard feel.       

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Dancing In The Street

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There was more going on in The Lou last Saturday than the balloon race. The Grand Center arts and entertainment district had the annual Dancing In The Street event going on. Three stages up and down Grand Boulevard presented every kind of terpsichorean performer. Just starting to edit this set, so here's a starter. I think this was the modern dance ensemble from one of the local universities. More to come.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Great Forest Park Balloon Race 2013 8

The opposite approach from yesterdays post. The balloons are a riot of color. I think they lose some of their impact when six or eight are inflating amidst the huge crowd and the dome of a cloudless sky. If you get your lens in close you can bring back the energy.

The wind picked up near the end of the launch period. A few balloons were inflated but not allowed to take off. In the bottom photo, the City of St. Louis entry bangs into the Wehrenberg Theaters' giant bag of popcorn.            

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Great Forest Park Balloon Race 2013 10

Madeleine Mid-Week

Tale Me Out To The Ball Game

Emily tried to teach Madeleine to sing Take Me Out To The Ball Game during the seventh inning stretch at the Cardinals game Monday night. As Virginia put it, "bless her little heart, baseball puts me to sleep, too."  There's time. As the regular season ends, the home town heroes are in the only close divisional race, two games up on Pittsburgh and three on Cincinnati with four still to play.        

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Planets And Moons

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That's what these images make me think of, anyway.

You may prefer the color versions. Click the Flickr link in the right sidebar.                   

Great Forest Park Balloon Race 2013 5 BW

Monday, September 23, 2013


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Ben Bernanke was not consulted in these decisions. The hare balloon lifted off 45 minutes behind schedule at the Great Forest Park Balloon Race. The rest of the field lifted off one after the other over the course of the next hour. The light couldn't have been better.    

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Madeleine Monday

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Well, the kid wasn't bursting with cheer yesterday afternoon, Grandma Carolyn tried her best to perk her up but she was having none of it. She's sure getting bigger, though. We may get something better tonight when the family goes to the Cardinals game.                

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The Great Forest Park Balloon Race

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A rare day without a post yesterday. I really wanted to shoot the balloon glow in Forest Park but I got out of work way too late. Went home and fell asleep.

I made up for it Saturday afternoon at The Great Forest Park Balloon Race. A couple of quick examples. More to come.         

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Friday, September 20, 2013

Color Explosion

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At the end of the color run people crowded around a stage set up in the street. An  inane MC tried whip everyone into a frenzy of excitement (sounds like some churches or political rallies). Staff passed out packets of the colored powder. On a signal from the MC, the crowd hurled their pigment into the air. The result rang alarms at every office of the Environmental Protection Agency in the region. Looked pretty cool.

Overwhelming photo ops in The Lou this weekend. The annual Dancing In The Street festival is all day Saturday in Grand Center. The Great Forest Park Balloon Race is also on this weekend, with the night time balloon glow this evening and the fox and hounds chase tomorrow afternoon. (Last year's pictures here.)  Daughter Emily and granddaughter Madeleine will join me in Forest Park. Baby's first balloon race.           

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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Saffron - It's Not Just For Curry Anymore

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There were four stations along the Color Run where participants got whacked with pink, blue, yellow and green. The yellow one had the best light and space to shoot in. (Hint to Grace: watch the direction of the wind, stay just outside the blast zone and be sure to carry a lens cloth. A very wide angle lens helps.) All that saturation and contrast played tricks on my camera but the results were pretty good.

The second of these pictures got the most views on Flickr. The person in the red shirt looked like he dropped dead in the street. After a moment, he started writhing around in the powder, sort of wallowing in it. Then he got up and continued. To each their own.

We'll have a nice ethereal Arch photo tomorrow and then some more of this on Friday. Haven't got to the mass color eruptions from the crowd at the end.            

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Color Run 2013-09-15 15

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Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Makeup Artists

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So many good shots from Sunday. The first one was actually taken near the end of the run as the crowd gathered around the stage. These two look like I did their makeup.

Below, everyone stands still during the singing of the national anthem. Bottom, a puzzle. I have no idea what the person in the unicorn head was about but I saw him/her all over the course.

Observations: the ratio of women to men had to be 10 to 1. I don't remember that from last year. I guess the ladies love being pelted with bright colors while the men would rather just have jeans, a blue and gray plaid shirt, a beer and be left alone. Also, the vast majority of participants walked the course on Sunday, while in 2012 most were running. I'll have to think about what all of this means.         

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Monday, September 16, 2013

Return Of The Color Run

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For-profit but fun (or, as The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy would put it, mostly harmless) The Color Run returned to St. Louis yesterday. I've shot the event twice before, once here and this time last year in Birmingham, Alabama. (Hey, Grace, it's coming to Perth on 3 November!) Other readers should see if it's coming to a city near you.

The idea is to run or walk 5 km in a white tee shirt and get completely blasted by super-fine, brightly colored powder. The other idea is to avoid getting it all over the front of your lens.

More to come.     

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Madeleine Monday

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Last Friday night at the Soulard Art Market show opening. Baby's first art gallery. I don't know if that look reflects interest, bewilderment or grandpa blasting the flash in her face again. 24 days old.        

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Another Opening Of Another Show

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We have an awfully nice artists' cooperative and gallery called Soulard Art Market. They have monthly shows in which I occasionally participate. Nobody ever buys my stuff. It's either too weird or too expensive. I've got, um, certain standards, print with high quality ink and paper and use acid-free mats and UV resistant acrylic. You get what you pay for, except nobody wants to pay that much.

There are three of my pieces in the show (this, this and this) that opened Friday night. The theme was From The Pavement, anything to do with the streets. The man in the top picture is studying my work (buy it, dammit, buy it!). Madeleine went to her first art show. We'll have more about her reaction to the exhibits in tomorrow's Madeleine Monday after some colorful subjects.                   

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Madalyn and Emily 2013-09-13

Saturday, September 14, 2013


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From one of several Latin clothing booths at the Hispanic Festival. An exceptionally daring dress, a beach wrap for St. Tropez? Not when you realize it's sort of a half-shell mannequin and we are looking at the back. The combination of items below is puzzling. Is that thing on top a reference to the Statue of Liberty's crown or something much more, um, kinky?                  
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Friday, September 13, 2013

No War In Syria

No War In Syria

Well, there's already quite a nasty one, isn't there? These people were demonstrating near the Hispanic Festival against US military involvement in Syria. The black and yellow shirt on the man on the left says Tyranny Response Team. Referring to Syria or this country? How to respond?

Lots of people (including me) think  that our country has no good options in this morass. Tolerate the use of appalling chemical weapons or risk greater instability in Syria? No exit, as some French guy said. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Jueves Serie del Arco

Kiener Fountain Reflection

Just east of the Hispanic Festival in Kiener Plaza lies a circular pool, fountain and the statue known locally as the nearly naked guy running through the water, or possibly just The Runner.  The Old Courthouse and our friend Archie are in the background. I decided it was time to shoot them upside down.

The second pic is just the crowd surrounding the festival stage, in front of STL's iconic view.        
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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Viva __________

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There was a parade of nations at the Hispanic Festival with flags from the Rio Grande to Tierra del Fuego. Above, we see Panama, Mexico and just a bit of one of my favorites, Costa Rica, at the right rear. Below, my other special Latin nation, la hermosa Argentina, with its banner of cloud, sky and sun.         

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I couldn't resist this last one, forwarded to me from Facebook. Olivier, we have to agree to disagree. For the locals, our annual Stupid Bowl dinner will be held on February 2, 2014. Restaurant to be determined. Like-minded people are welcome to join us.             

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Spanish-Speaking Camel

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So okay, we got some mismatched patterns. But that makes life interesting.

Off in a corner of Kiener Plaza was a petting zoo for kids attending the Hispanic Festival. I've allways thought "petting zoo" was a strange term but it's common in this country. There, between the pony and the pig, was this camel. I've seen feral camels in the Australian Outback but, to my knowledge, they do not inhabit Latin America outside of the Mexico City Zoo or whatever.

So there it was, getting the attention of nice suburban mommy and blond daughter. I hear camels can be ill behaved. Would it like a slurp of mommy's beer?

Appalling day at work yesterday and didn't get any comments written. We hope for a better tomorrow.          

Monday, September 9, 2013

Con Pasión y Calor

The annual Hispanic Festival gives me a chance to show my skills in the Spanish language or Google Translate. You choose. Things were picking up at the festival when I went by Saturday afternoon, along with the temperature.

What do Mexican and Polish popular music have in common? They got 2/4 time down pat, ranchero music as foot-stomping as polka. This band was great. Usually there would be a lot of people dancing in the little plaza in front of the stage but it was just too hot for that. Only mad dogs, Englishmen and Irish-Polish-American photographers go out in the midday sun.                  

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Madeleine Mondays

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Some readers requested a Monday Madeleine series featuring pictures of my granddaughter, now 20 days old. Well, she's only the  tiniest fleck of St. Louis so I didn't think it was appropriate for lead pictures. But why not a secondary feature? So any Monday when I've got something new worth publishing you will find her on the blog.

Here she is with mom over the weekend, getting much-deserved affection and foaming at the mouth a bit. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Se Habla Español

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A first shot from the St. Louis Hispanic Festival going on this weekend. These are Panamanian dancers who performed a number called the rooster and the hen. Cluck.

Spanish is one of my better languages that I am bad at. Finally learned to roll my Rs. More to come.