Sunday, November 28, 2010

121/365 A tour through the produce department

I love wandering through the produce department at the grocery store. One reason I love it is you sometimes stumble upon things like this -- and you discover what food looks like in its original state.

I, for one, didn't realize that whole horseradish looks like a femur dug up from an Egyptian crypt. Did you know that?

When I see things like this, I always have to wonder about the very first person who decided to try eating it. Were they desperate for food and thinking, "Well, I'm already going to die from starvation, so if this turns out to be poisonous, it will just speed up the process. Might as well give it a try!"? Why did they decide to try it?

I can easily understand the desire to try eating the more beautiful foods -- brightly colored berries, apples and oranges, tomatoes (though people used to think they weren't edible)... But then I see horseradish, kiwi, ginger, and even pineapple and coconuts, and I have to wonder.

One thing I'm sure of: the folks at St. Elmo's in downtown Indianapolis are glad that first person was brave enough to try eating horseradish! Their cocktail sauce wouldn't be the same without it.

What's another food that you have to be sure to not judge by its exterior?

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1000 in fluorescent lighting

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

120/365 Tasty little rubies

You've probably noticed them. They're popping up at grocery stores all around us.

What are they? Pomegranates!

And until this year, I've never really noticed them. Completely ignored them, in fact, because I had no idea what to do with one.

Enter: Alton Brown.

With my long-standing no-cable status, I tend to be a little behind when it comes to discovering great shows. Years behind in some cases. So, I've just seen my first episodes of "Good Eats," his show on the Food Network. Half a dozen episodes in and I'm already enthralled!

One of these episodes focused entirely on pomegranates. How to select one, what to do with it, how to store it, and -- most importantly -- how to open the darn thing without ending up with a bloody mess all over the kitchen and yourself.

I went to the grocery store that very night to get one and try it myself! I can't remember ever having had fresh pomegranate before, and it was amazing! I added the arils to my salads and coleslaw or just reached in the container and grabbed a handful. It didn't take me long to devour all of them. So, on my next trip to the grocery store (while they were still on sale for four for $5), I bought four more.

Curious to see the amazing Alton Brown's trick for a no-mess experience with a pomegranate? Here's a clip from the episode! (The directions start around the 3-minute mark.) Give it a try!

Camera: Canon 40D with 60mm macro lens and 430EX Speedlite, 1/125s, f/2.8 at ISO 320

Friday, November 19, 2010

119/365 Sunset in the tree tunnel

It's been much too long since I posted for you! Let's fix that pronto!

I've always loved this tree tunnel, which is usually the final landmark before arriving at Mom and Dad's house. You may recognize it from some past posts -- such as this one, in which I mention how it reminds me of a scene from Batman, and this one, with a photo taken last fall. It feels like you're making a grand entrance after you emerge from the tunnel, or you're venturing through a doorway only to discover something great on the other side. Perhaps it's like a nature-created special effect!

Do you have a landmark that you take note of every time you so somewhere, especially somewhere you enjoy being?

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/125s, f/5.6 at ISO 200 at about 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

The aemillerPhotography Etsy shop!

I have big news! I’ve opened an Etsy shop!

If you get your SightSalad updates on the actual site (as opposed to using an RSS-feed reader), you’ve probably already noticed a special graphic and link that appeared in the right column last week. I wanted to be sure to tell you the whole story, though!

I’ve never been a photographer who wants to ultimately open a portrait studio and shoot dozens of senior portraits or weddings each year. You know, by seeing my style here on SightSalad, that my photographic interests are much wider than that – and I get a large portion of my inspiration from nature.

I am a photographer who has dreamed of turning her hobby into a small business, though! For years I’ve been imagining my photos on greeting cards, calendars, and other fun items that I’d want to buy for myself or a friend.

A few months ago – July, to be exact – I decided that now was the time to invest in my dream and do something about it! Time to stop saying “someday” and start thinking “why not now?”

Enter: Etsy.

I chose Etsy as my launching point for many reasons. The two most important were:
  1. Etsy has its own team of designers and developers who have already built a robust, user-friendly website – meaning I didn’t have to build my own right away!
  2. Etsy is a respected, established marketplace of artists and artisans from around the world. It’s a community, it’s a trusted site for buyers, it’s a support system. The volume of traffic on each day is huge, so it made sense for me to leverage that for my own business.

After months of imagining, planning, creating, designing, deciding, ordering, writing, and posting, my dream is now a reality! I’m incredibly excited about it.

My offering right now consists of two main products: folded sets of blank notecards and individual prints of my photos. I plan to add more and more items as time goes on!

I would be honored if you would visit, check it out, and share the link with any friends or family members who may be interested. Here's your destination:

Thank you, as always, for being a SightSalad reader and friend!

Now, back to your regular programming.

Monday, November 8, 2010

118/365 Radiant yellow leaves

Sunlight in the fading hours of the day is always beautiful, but I find it especially noticeable at this time of year, when it hits the changing leaves. When the tree is backlit, like the leaves are in this photo, it makes it look like the tree is nearly glowing.

Yellow leaves generally aren't among my favorites -- red and orange tend to overshadow them. But what do you think? Should they get more credit? What's your favorite leaf shade or tree in the fall?

Camera: Canon 40D, 1/500s, f/4 at ISO 100 at about 5:30 p.m. in direct sunlight, backlit.

Friday, November 5, 2010

117/365 Letters on the run

Most bottles of shampoo, specifically the printing on their labels, hold up impressively well in the shower. For some reason, the letters on this little bottle have decided they'd rather take up residence somewhere else.

It catches my eye all the time because I find it funny to see a solo, intact "y" sliding down the bottle or a "P" trying to blend in with the word "leaves" while the rest of their neighbors are staying put. Where do they think they're going?

I have a bigger bottle from this same brand whose letters seem to be content to remain where they are. So what makes this one different?

Camera: Canon 40D with 60mm macro lens and 430EX Speedlite, 1/80s, f/2.8 at ISO 640

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

116/365 An alumni art exhibit at Butler University

I've marked a milestone in my photography career:  I've now had the honor of having one of my photographs accepted for a special exhibition!

Butler University, my alma mater, created an alumni art exhibit this year to help promote the new Art + Design major being offered. They welcomed all alumni to submit up to three pieces for consideration in the exhibit, and I was thrilled when they accepted one of mine! More than 70 alumni entered, and they selected 24 pieces.

The artwork was displayed on campus at Clowes Hall (my favorite performing-arts venue in Indianapolis) from October 12-24, through this year's Homecoming. All of the artists gathered on the final day for a reception and gallery tour, during which visitors could view the pieces and speak to the artists themselves.

I had a fantastic time at the event and met some wonderful people, both alumni and guests. My photo, on the right in the photo above (recognize it from this post?), hung next to a watercolor painting created by a woman who graduated in the 1950s. I could have stood and continued talking to her long after the show ended.

Being accepted and included in the exhibit was a huge honor, and I'm thrilled that I got to be a part of it! The organizers have already said that they're going to make this an annual event, so I'll look forward to submitting another piece next year, too.

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD1000 at about 5:30 p.m.