Monday, August 30, 2010

Native American heritage, revisited

This is a second, and final, post of images from Saturday's shoot at the Native American Heritage Days observance at Garfield Park, Indianapolis.

All but one of these images are from the various dances in the dance circle at the observance. The image at the very bottom came after an all-female dance number, when LeRoy Malaterre of Lebanon, Ind., who served as emcee for the various routines, asked each of the women to come to the microphone and introduce themselves. This woman was the first to be introduced. She said she lives in Indiana, but is from Oklahoma, which will always be home.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Appreciating Native American heritage

These are images from activities and crafts found Saturday at the second annual Native American Heritage Days observance at Garfield Park in Indianapolis. The photographs depict several shots from the dance and circle drum activity just outside the Art Center at the park.

The woman with the uplifted head (two photos below) stood out to me this day; she seemed very devoted to the heritage and wore an elegant, proud expression throughout the day. Her eyes were closed in meditative fashion quite often, so this wasn't an "oops, he caught her blinking" mistake.

In the third photo below, a woman assists a child who's confused (as was I) about the dollar bills someone or some people were tossing her way (you can see one of the greenbacks near the woman's right foot; the girl is looking right at it). I think they meant it as a gesture of gratitude, but I couldn't help but scratch my head wondering how that ever entered the Native American tradition.

The observance runs one more day -- Sunday, Aug. 29 -- from noon to 5 p.m.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A tomato for the ages?

This is a still life of something I picked off the vine of a beefeater tomato plant in my yard the other day. I tried to explain this to someone in an email yesterday, and had trouble doing so. I finally said, "You have to see it to appreciate it!"

Which is what put the idea in my head to capture this as a still life. This is, indeed, one fruit -- a sort of siamese twins (triplets?) thing with two parts smaller than the third, and one part yellow, two parts red.

This fruit measured 15 inches at its maximum girth, in case you're wondering about perspective. I used window light from camera right and the angle was slightly left of center.

I haven't consumed this fruit just yet; it's hard for me to do it!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Elegance in the urban landscape

While walking back to my car after my shoot Saturday at the inaugural Indy Crit cycling competition, I came across this striking, lavender-colored bloom in a couple of the gardens along the north border of University Park in Downtown Indianapolis.

Thanks to the help of a blog visitor, I've been able to identify this flower as a Cleome Rose Queen.

The closeup shot (above) comes with a bonus, tiny insect clinging upside down along one of the thin plant whiskers in the lower left portion. I like the perspective shot (below) almost as much for its elegance: the combination of bloom, its distinctive, sculpted stem and the drooping foliage of its buddy to the right.

A good one to ... well, make you feel good.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Reflecting on ... downtown buildings

Here a few reflection images I grabbed Saturday while strolling Meridian Street during the inaugural Indy Crit cycling competition on a Downtown Indianapolis loop course (see previous post) -- and one I grabbed last November while covering the Indianapolis Monumental Marathon and Half-Marathon.

The one above is a no-trickery-on-my-end distortion. The bellowed panels on the right just happened to bend that way from where I was standing.

The first one below I decided to take because of the juxtaposition of the reflection against the real-time U.S. flag to the right of it.

The third simply is the federal courts building, as it looks when bounced off the all-glass facade of its AT&T neighbor on the west side of Meridian.

Finally, the last one -- the one I grabbed last November -- is the State Capitol, reflecting off a glass sheen on the east side of Illinois Street.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Indy Criterium: An inaugural cycling event

There is something about the geometry of dozens of bicycles moving together that appeals to me, which I guess is why pro cycling has become a favorite spectator sport of mine. That's why I decided to drop in on the inaugural Indy Criterium on Saturday in Downtown Indianapolis, where cyclists of several skills levels and age divisions competed for a total purse of $4,000 over a 0.7-mile loop course.

Cyclists began their multi-lap loop of the Indy Crit on Meridian Street alongside University Park, went north to Vermont Street, turned west for a block to Illinois, then turned south onto Illinois to Market Street, and east on Market, following the curved northwest quadrant of Monument Circle before completing the loop with a north turn onto Meridian Street.

The route allowed for fascinating visual backdrops involving two of the city's most striking structures -- the Soldiers and Sailors Monument at Monument Circle at Market and Meridian streets, and the State Capitol at Illinois and Market streets.

These images are from the second half of the men's Masters competition and the first part of the men's 3/4 skill category competition. The weather turned out to be splendid for the athletes -- solid overcast skies. Which might explain some of the boredom (too much of a comfort zone?) and face-making going on you see in the last two pictures, which were taken moments before the start line of the men's 3/4 race.

A full gallery of images from my shoot of the competition is available at my online site at

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Yeah, but does he/she have THIS?

Do you need to buy for a camera/photographer geek friend who has everything? Really? Does he/she own a coffee or beverage mug that looks like a Canon L series lens? I didn't think so.

The photo above (not mine) is not made up; it's a real beverage mug, made to look like a Canon L series lens (it even lists the real Canon 24-105mm lens parameters) and is for sale at an online site called Photojojo, which has lots of other novelty items like this.

The link I provided takes you to the page with the lens mug offer ($24 if you need to know before you actually check it out). As Photojojo describes it, "Our lens mug runneth over with camera-geek joy."

If you click on the Photojojo logo at the top of the page of the link provided here, or just click here, you'll go to the store's home page where you can start to browse the full catalog.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cheese: Concert comfort food?

I've seen a lot of people tote snacks and drinks to casual outdoor concerts, so this image wasn't unusual in that respect. I saw this gentleman pull out some cheese for his snack at Saturday's shoot at the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra's show in the Sunken Garden of Garfield Park, then noticed how the setting sun was highlighting his beard and shirt, so I felt compelled to grab this frame.

Here's to finding comfort and making the best out of your experience -- on what was a very uncomfortable, hot and humid evening.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Jazz ensemble livens up the Garden

It was a hot and humid early evening, but that didn't stop the Indianapolis Jazz Orchestra from keeping its date Saturday to perform in the Sunken Garden of Garfield Park as part of the "Music in the Garden" series.

With temperatures reaching into the mid-90s for the sixth consecutive day, organizers wisely staged the ensemble at the west end of the garden, where the stage and a good 30 yards of audience seating area extending into the garden lawn were protected from the setting sun by the shade of at least a couple dozen trees. Joining the band on several numbers were vocalists Lydia McAdams and Rick Vale.

A note of gratitude to Indianapolis Star photographer Alan Petersime, who I ran into at the show Saturday. He was covering the performance for the newspaper. Alan showed me a striking image he had captured of some people sitting on a cement bench under the sprawling limbs of an expansive tree lining the north fringe of the garden, so I felt compelled to grab a copy myself. It's the image you see at the very bottom of this post. I think his turned out better (you can see it in his gallery posted at the multimedia area of; Alan grabbed a frame with the full tree displayed, which I think made the image more powerful because it really dwarfs the people underneath. Also, he caught it at a time when the sun splashed highlights on the full tree, contrasting it nicely with the out-of-sunlight trees behind it.