Pictures from Thanksgiving

It was another successful Thanksgiving feast: we gathered, we ate (way too much), we hung out, and we avoided all political and/or social arguments. All in all, a very successful Thanksgiving. Somehow, though, I managed to not get a picture of the turkey.

Shot with a Canon 5D and EF 50mm F/1.4. Processed in Lightroom.

The End of Fall

Though it's technically not correct, I always view Fall as beginning on Labor Day (the first Monday of September) and ending today, Thanksgiving (the fourth Thursday in November). For those outside the U.S., Thanksgiving is a national holiday in which we're supposed to give thanks for everything that's good in our lives. In practical terms, it's when families get together and, by tradition, eat more in a single meal than a normal person needs in three days. Thanksgiving = "Eat too much; watch football." To celebrate the end of the season, I thought I'd post these from the beginning of the season when we drove into southern Illinois to pick apples. I can't remember how many pounds of apples we came out with but even with their "buy one lb., get another lb. free" pricing that weekend we still spent $40. But it's a lot of fun and we try to go every year.

Shot on a Lumix LX5, processed with VSCO in Lightroom 4.

New Orleans

I've always thought that the nicest time to spend in the French Quarter is a weekday morning. The craziness of the night is (mostly) gone, there are far fewer tourists or people in general on the streets, and the morning sun highlights the area in a way that you don't see later in the day. Mornings make the Quarter feel like a real neighborhood with a history that you can almost taste. I was in New Orleans for a job a couple weeks ago, over a weekend. My flight on Monday wasn't until the afternoon so I was able to spend the morning just wandering about.

Thanksgiving

Each year, my wife and her sisters take turns hosting Thanksgiving. This has worked out well as it evenly distributes the "OMG, I'VE GOT TO CLEAN MY HOUSE FROM TOP TO BOTTOM BECAUSE THE WHOLE FAMILY IS COMING OVER"-issues that are part of hosting. This year was Trish's turn. Each segment of the family brings something, or sometimes several somethings, and the host usually does the turkey. Our contribution this year: green bean casserole and gigantically mammoth croissants (easy!). It was fun. We were stuffed.

The images were shot on a Canon 5D with 50mm f/1.4 lens. Shot as RAW files; converted to B&W in Lightroom. A link to the full set of images on Flickr is in the right-hand column.

Apple and Pumpkin Pickin'

Back when we lived in Michigan, Fall meant (among other things) visiting a cider mill. There's just nothing like fresh cider and greasy little donuts to make the season special. As there were plenty of cider mills around, we could visit a different one each weekend — or pretty much whenever we wanted. When we moved to St. Louis, we were bummed to find that cider mills just aren't as much of the Fall culture as in Michigan. Eventually, though, we did find something similar. There aren't nearly as many cider mills, and the ones that are here don't sell greasy little donuts (maybe it's a Michigan thing?). But what they do offer is a chance to pick your own apples, or pumpkins, or both. In our family, we go for both.

And so it became a yearly tradition to take the kids out to pick apples and pumpkins in early October. Each year we make the treck across the river to Illinois to one of the handful of farms that are open for picking. We grab far too many apples and usually too many pumpkins, too. Interestingly, the tradition has continued even as the kids have gotten (much) older. Older, like, two are in college. But they still want to go, and we're happy to take them. As they go to two different colleges, both out of town (and one out of state), coordinating the picking trip has become a challenge. This year, we made two trips to two different farms to accomodate the college schedules.

More pictures are on Flickr (there's a link in the right column).

Christmas Cookies

christmas-cookies.jpg This is an old one, done as a photo illustration for a magazine story on holiday cookie baking. The scan could use a little work but it will do for now. Shot on a Cambo 4x5 with 210mm Schnieder lens on Kodak EPP. Lighting was strobe — you can see the reflection of the lightbox in a couple of the ornaments — plus a couple of reflector cards.

Breakfast

pancakes.jpg This is an older shot done to illustrate a magazine food article. Shot on 4x5 in the breakfast room of my old house. The room had this great old knotty-pine paneling from the 1940's and glowed a golden color with the morning sun. It was afternoon when we shot this so the sunlight is, umm, well, fake.