Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Changing focus...

How busy, stressed, and crazy has it been these last few weeks?! My Lord Almighty, save me from myself! My school life has been like an IV pump with a slow, steady drip, not much is going in and not much is coming out. While it's verrrrrrrrry slooooooow, it all is still moving along. When it comes down to it tho, if I would only study more and play less I'd actually be going somewhere.

I've seen myself grow as a photographer and as a person, and now I think it's time for me to really buckle down and grow academically. My studies have been waiting, patiently. Things like Grammar and Math -- things that take time -- have been waiting the longest. They're not my favorite subjects because I know I need to be taught and I'm more of a "self-taught" girl (it's that "if you wants things done right, do it yourself" kind of thinking).

The other areas of my life have been going nuts lately. With so many things to do and sooooo many distractions, as soon as I decide to do something academically productive something more pressing comes up. I'll start reading and then I'll look at the clock and it's time to get ready for work; OR I'll start answering questions and I remember I need to do laundry, clean my room, eat lunch, or take down the wallpaper in the other room. You name it, it distracts me, pretty much anyway. At the moment all I can say is at least I recognize that it's distracting me and am willing to change it.Most of the time I don't even start school until I've checked my email, chatted with my boy friend and checked all my blog subscriptions and by that time it's time to take a shower and go to work.

So in lieu of all this, I think another blogging/commenting hold would be a good idea in addition to changing my focus offline. Maybe for a week or two I'll work on this, catch up and get things back on track then return with an update of how it all went.

Meanwhile, check in on my other blog for photos minus text - there are a few quite a few uncommented posts there - and also you can feel free to visit my fotki site where I've posted a lot of new albums.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Realization: I'm Growing Up...

Wow, so another year has come to a close. A full and wonderful nineteen years I've lived and as each passes I feel myself grow a little more. My eighteenth year has been by far one of the greatest of them all. I've learned so much about me, about photography, about love, life and about family. I'm growing up! Thought that's a bit odd to say about myself, I guess, all I can say is that I feel it and I see it everyday.

In my photography, I've gone back in my archives and looked at my initial photos, and my processing, I saw that there was so little that I really saw through my lens. When I was shooting, I'm not sure if I even thought about how to frame the shot or what angle was best. I know didn't understand processing, at all, and on top that; I was too emotionally attached to each individual shot. I didn't want to delete anything unless it was completely horrid. I found myself asking, why? Why have 5 shots of exactly the same thing, with only slight change in each? It was a bit ridiculous. As I thought back, I could only pin it on my pride and also my desire to please too many people. I remember saying to myself, "Well maybe someone will prefer this angle, while someone else will prefer this one.. I'll keep them all, you never know." I was so into what other's thought of my photography that I didn't see that what they thought didn't matter if I wasn't happy with it myself.

How things have changed since then! I love photography so much more. While not a pro yet, I've learned so much and, I see improvement in each photo. I've learned some about processing and I'm happier with my final product. I'm not worried about pleasing an audience, or commercializing my shots, just developing my passion.

Another thing I've noticed in myself is that I'm acting more adult. Taking care of my own issues, getting jobs, leaving jobs, and talking to people of authority with little or no hesitation(that in and of itself is one giant step for me). Over all, I think the adult switch in my brain has finally clicked into the "ON" position and I'm seeing myself grow and excel in everything I do.

I've also realized that I am influenced by those whom I surround myself with, and that I've been wise in my choice of friends. Yassine and Diamond, I don't know where I'd be without them. They've helped me along this year, SO so much, and I know with out their little kicks in the rear I'd still be this withdrawn, quiet, little girl. I'm able to be myself and speak my mind WAY more than I ever have. So, I definitely have them to thank. Hope Elizabeth, as well, has helped me in letting me go a little, to learn and develop, without interjecting all too much. That helped me form my own opinions on things instead of morphing more and more into a "Hope II"...Not that the world couldn't use more Hopes...but it has been good for me.

But anyway,all that said, I'm very excited to see what more I'll learn and where life will take me in this new age.. Here's to 19!! :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

I thought maybe some spring warmth would be a better Valentine gift than the cold of my recent shots.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Clarke House

Clarke House, 1847 S. Indiana Ave.

Built in 1836 for Henry B. Clarke, the Clarke House Museum is Chicago’s oldest house. It is operated as a house museum by the Planning Division of the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs. This Greek Revival style house shows what life was like for a middle-class family in Chicago during the city’s formative years before the Civil War. It has survived fires and two moves, and is now located in the Prairie Avenue Historic District. Guided tours of the house are available. Clarke House presents an outdoor film festival during the summer, as well as other seasonal events and occasional exhibitions.

As copied from the City of Chicago website.

~Being built in 1836 and that it still standing, makes it one of the few houses that survived the Great Chicago Fire in 1871.

Whenever I take walks by Hope's house the gardens, surrounding the Clarke House, is the place I go. It's peaceful and inspiring nature is, I'm sure, what draws me.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Marshall Field Jr. Mansion

Marshall Field Jr. Mansion

On November 21, 1890, the famous Marshall Field, a man who represented the greatest wealth in Chicago, purchased the property for his newly married son, Marshall Field Jr., for $65,000. In fact, the elder Marshall Field lived right next door — at 1905 South Prairie — in one of the largest and most spectacular mansions that Chicago had ever seen. The Fields thereafter hired D.H. Burnham & Co., founded by Daniel Burnham himself, to design and build extensive additions on the 1919 South Prairie Avenue home for the young Marshall Field and his family. Architect Daniel Burnham’s work is world renowned, and includes the first Marshall Field’s department store, several well-known high rise buildings, the overall design and construction for the World’s Columbian Exposition of 1893 and he drafted The Plan of Chicago, the nation’s first comprehensive urban planning document. His design for Marshall Field Jr. was a spectacular mansion fashioned of red sandstone and brick, built in the popular Queen Anne style.

When completed in 1902, the mansion included a main house consisting of five distinct sections boasting forty-three rooms, nine bathrooms and fourteen fireplaces, and a separate attached carriage house where Marshall Field Jr. kept the most prestigious collection of horses and carriages on Prairie Avenue. The mansion, containing nearly 30,000 square feet, has since been described as "Picturesque," with essential components of a Richardsonian Romanesque style.

The Mansion Today

Today, more than 100 years later, UrbanStreet Properties, LLC is rebuilding this significant landmark location to its original grandeur. The mansion will contain six spectacular, one-of-a-kind residences. Each will have a floor plan unlike any other in Chicago, abound in luxury finishes, offer indoor parking and will incorporate a distinct remnant of the past, such as a massive fireplace or a rotunda foyer.

As copied from The Marshall Field Jr Mansion Website.

Hope told me that there is a story about this house which is surprisingly no where to be found on the website. Here's the story as found on Chicago Hauntings -
In 1905, Marshall Field, Jr. was found shot to death in the bedroom of his own home on Chicago's Prairie Avenue, reportedly the result of a self-inflicted shotgun shot. Field's family told police the death had been an accident: Marshall had been cleaning a hunting weapon when it accidentally discharged. Neighbors weren't so sure, however, and the press soon leaked rumors of Field's longtime dealings in the old Levee vice district, where Chinatown sprawls today. Had Field taken his own life to bow out of some untoward matter at Chicago's most prestigious brothel, the Everleigh Club? No one really knows, but we do know that for a century the enormous Field, Jr. house (known as the Murray house from its first owner) stood abandoned: no one, it seems, could live in it.
There are also rumors that every company run in this house went out of business- supposedly it's cursed. Despite all the hullabaloo, this is definitely a house I'd LOVE to live or have a studio in, and if I ever have money enough, I will. That's just me though...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Keith House

Keith House, 1900 S. Prairie Ave.

Built in 1870 it is thought to be the oldest existing mansion on the Avenue. Elbridge Gerry Keith a wealthy banker and wholesaler hired architect Jonathan W. Roberts to design this three story structure and stable. The main residence is about 7100 square feet. Constructed of top quality materials including Joliet limestone and red brick this home has many of its original details still intact: plaster moldings large windows fire place mantels mahogany woodwork and parquet inlayed floors. The home has been transformed over the years. The 2100 square foot stable was recently renovated and converted into a two bedroom two bath coach house with beamed ceilings hardwood floors and a family room and an attached two car garage. 1900 S. Prairie Avenue is located on a quiet cul-de-sac historical street. It is situated next to the Chicago Women's Park and Gardens; a beautiful block long well-kept City park featuring Chicago's oldest home the Clark House. The residence has a large back yard parking and a drive-way.

Description as pulled from a Yahoo! Real Estate listing. The asking price is $4,300,000! I wish I had that kind of money. Although if I did, I'd prefer to own the Marshall Field Jr. Mansion across and down the street.