Snorkeling the Reef

On Saturday I wasn’t quite scuba-diving ready; still a bit congested – but I was starting to salivate over the nearby barrier reef. From Dave and Noelle’s veranda you can see the waves breaking over the reef in the distance. I wanted to get into the water! So we decided to start slow – a snorkel one day and then a dive.

We ended up booking two tours on Friday night: a dive for Sunday (on the hope that I’d be well enough to go) and tickets for a Saturday 10:30am half-day snorkel trip to the Caye Caulker Marine Reserve from French Angel Expeditions. Our guide for the snorkel was Ash and he was pretty awesome.

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French Angel Expeditions snorkel shop

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Snorkeling the Reef
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Traveling to Belize

This is the first of my travel-blogging posts! The Hubby and I are in Belize until May 12th. This is what we’re doing.

Our vacation started with 30 hours of travel. That’s right – 30. Here’s the deal: Last year we volunteered to get bumped from a flight and that earned us two round-trip tickets to anywhere AirTran flies. We wanted to get to Belize to visit some friends and to relax in the Carribean. AirTran flies to Cancun. There is a very reliable bus that drives from Cancun to Belize City. Tah-dah!

We woke up at 2am on Tuesday morning, showered, did a little last-minute packing, ate some cereal and then sat outside on our front stoop in the eerie, cool, silent night-morning. We had arranged for a car service to arrive at 3:45 am and the driver was right on time. Our flight from MSP-Humphrey Terminal was at 5:45am. Since we were flying international we wanted to make sure that we were there at least an hour and a half early, but since it was such an early flight we weren’t too concerned about lines at security. Everything went peachy-keen and soon we were on the plane to our connection in Atlanta.

Minneapolis Sunrise 1
Leaving Minneapolis – one of two sunrises we would experience during the trip down.

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Traveling to Belize

Alphas and Amanda

I’ve been gobbling up a TV series called Alphas over the past couple of days. I didn’t think I was going to like it at first – it seemed like another X-Men story line with a really annoying “how does that make you feel” shrink playing the Xavier role. And Misfits has been doing the “what if normal people had superpowers” thing for a couple of years now, so I figured I had seen Alphas already. But I’ve gotten drawn into the storyline, and I freaking LOVE Gary.

I managed to get some photo editing done last night and am super excited to show off my top five favorite shots from last Wednesday’s Amanda Palmer concert. You can see all 18 of my faves here on  my Flickr account.

Amanda Palmer introducing one of the upcoming acts – it was either Ronald Reagan or Neil Gaiman. 

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Alphas and Amanda

Pareidolia Play Along 3: The Reveal

This is a post by guest blogger Ellen Bulger.

In this installment, Ellen reveals the answer to last week’s Pareidolia Play Along.

It’s a bee, a blue bee! The genus is Osmia, the species probably pumila. The disk-like thing in the center of the shot is called a tegula and is positioned just above where the wings attach to body. If I’d been the one to name that particular bit of bee anatomy, I would have called them epaulets.

When I took the shot, I thought my oh my, this looks like a painting.

Continue reading “Pareidolia Play Along 3: The Reveal”

Pareidolia Play Along 3: The Reveal

6 O’Clock BS: Creative Commons is Cool

You never know where your stuff is going to show up!

I received this email in my Flickr inbox recently:

Hi Brianne,

I love your photo of Foggy Blue Morning Dive! We used it on Adventure Awaits, a blog and storytelling site for Washington State Parks.

You’ll see your photo on one of our blog posts here of Go Discover: Scuba Diving: adventureawaits.com/2012/07/go-discover-scuba-diving/

Again, thanks so much for putting your photos in Creative Commons – we love profiling great captures of our parks.

Tee hee! I’m on a website for Washington State Parks promoting scuba diving. How fun!

Here’s the photo:

Foggy Blue Morning Dive

And being the awesome Creative Commons-respecting website they are, the photo links back to my Flickr account where I originally posted it. The only annoying thing is that while I’m now “Washington State Park Go Discover Scuba Diving” internet famous (got a whole 27 views on that there photo – w00t!), my little sister gets the photographer bragging rights. Damn it!

6 O’Clock BS: Creative Commons is Cool

6 O'Clock BS: Creative Commons is Cool

You never know where your stuff is going to show up!

I received this email in my Flickr inbox recently:

Hi Brianne,

I love your photo of Foggy Blue Morning Dive! We used it on Adventure Awaits, a blog and storytelling site for Washington State Parks.

You’ll see your photo on one of our blog posts here of Go Discover: Scuba Diving: adventureawaits.com/2012/07/go-discover-scuba-diving/

Again, thanks so much for putting your photos in Creative Commons – we love profiling great captures of our parks.

Tee hee! I’m on a website for Washington State Parks promoting scuba diving. How fun!

Here’s the photo:

Foggy Blue Morning Dive

And being the awesome Creative Commons-respecting website they are, the photo links back to my Flickr account where I originally posted it. The only annoying thing is that while I’m now “Washington State Park Go Discover Scuba Diving” internet famous (got a whole 27 views on that there photo – w00t!), my little sister gets the photographer bragging rights. Damn it!

6 O'Clock BS: Creative Commons is Cool

6 O’Clock BS – Seesaw

Today I was feeling down in the dumps for no particular reason, or at least no easily identifiable reason. After work I started to recognize the  down in the dumps danger zone: All I wanted to do was eat everything in my kitchen and watch an entire season of some stupid sitcom that I’m a little embarrassed to admit I like to watch (yeah – it’s gonna cost you alcohol to find out which one). At the time I was all like, “Hell yeah I could go for some cereal and ice cream and baby carrots and guacamole and a popsicle and some leftover pad thai. And those episodes are only – what – 22 minutes tops? I can be done with a whole season in 18 times 22 equals [rummage for calculator] 396 divided by 60 is … 6.6 hours. Hah! I’ll be in bed before midnight!”

But I talked myself down, mostly by guilting myself into walking the dog. Once I got outside, I decided we’d just keep walking to the end of the block. And then to the next intersection. And then I thought we’d head over to the park. I’m glad we went to the park, because I got to see a lot of people running around, shooting hoops, throwing frisbees, scrambling around the jungle gym, and having a lovely summer evening. And then there were these two grown-up kids laughing their asses off as they tried to get the seesaw going:

When I walked over and asked if I could take their picture they grinned and laughed and attempted to seesaw even harder than before. Their silly mood was infectious and I was pleased to notice that I was out of the down in the dumps danger zone.

I love taking photos. I am lucky to always have a camera with me, and I often find myself looking around wondering how a particular scene or moment would look framed in a shot. And sometimes, like today, I’ll get really lucky and find myself around people who are willing to let me share in their moment.

I shoot in all sorts of moods, but photography is a great way for me to get out of my head. Sometimes all it does is distract; the problems don’t always resolve themselves, and the moods don’t always abate by the time I put the camera down, but sometimes a distraction is all you need to get you over the hump, or out of the dumps.

Side note: I had to take my Nikon into Best Buy to get the lens replaced. A darling 5-year old knocked my camera off of the table during a wedding reception and it landed flat on the lens, and the UV filter shattered, and glass got in between the lens parts, and the lens parts are all wobbly… so yay for that 3-year accidental damage insurance! Until then I’ll be shooting with my smartphone. Because as awesome people have told me time and time again – the best camera to have is the camera you have on you.

6 O’Clock BS – Seesaw

6 O'Clock BS – Seesaw

Today I was feeling down in the dumps for no particular reason, or at least no easily identifiable reason. After work I started to recognize the  down in the dumps danger zone: All I wanted to do was eat everything in my kitchen and watch an entire season of some stupid sitcom that I’m a little embarrassed to admit I like to watch (yeah – it’s gonna cost you alcohol to find out which one). At the time I was all like, “Hell yeah I could go for some cereal and ice cream and baby carrots and guacamole and a popsicle and some leftover pad thai. And those episodes are only – what – 22 minutes tops? I can be done with a whole season in 18 times 22 equals [rummage for calculator] 396 divided by 60 is … 6.6 hours. Hah! I’ll be in bed before midnight!”

But I talked myself down, mostly by guilting myself into walking the dog. Once I got outside, I decided we’d just keep walking to the end of the block. And then to the next intersection. And then I thought we’d head over to the park. I’m glad we went to the park, because I got to see a lot of people running around, shooting hoops, throwing frisbees, scrambling around the jungle gym, and having a lovely summer evening. And then there were these two grown-up kids laughing their asses off as they tried to get the seesaw going:

When I walked over and asked if I could take their picture they grinned and laughed and attempted to seesaw even harder than before. Their silly mood was infectious and I was pleased to notice that I was out of the down in the dumps danger zone.

I love taking photos. I am lucky to always have a camera with me, and I often find myself looking around wondering how a particular scene or moment would look framed in a shot. And sometimes, like today, I’ll get really lucky and find myself around people who are willing to let me share in their moment.

I shoot in all sorts of moods, but photography is a great way for me to get out of my head. Sometimes all it does is distract; the problems don’t always resolve themselves, and the moods don’t always abate by the time I put the camera down, but sometimes a distraction is all you need to get you over the hump, or out of the dumps.

Side note: I had to take my Nikon into Best Buy to get the lens replaced. A darling 5-year old knocked my camera off of the table during a wedding reception and it landed flat on the lens, and the UV filter shattered, and glass got in between the lens parts, and the lens parts are all wobbly… so yay for that 3-year accidental damage insurance! Until then I’ll be shooting with my smartphone. Because as awesome people have told me time and time again – the best camera to have is the camera you have on you.

6 O'Clock BS – Seesaw