If I had a blog...

Well, I do have a blog. But.

You know how there are people who are food bloggers, travel bloggers, fashion bloggers, research bloggers, etc., etc., etc.?

I was thinking, if I had to pick just one kind of blogger to be, what would I pick? What do I often notice about the world? What would I want to share? The problem I was having, thinking about this, was that I know that as much as I like baked goods (for example), I'd probably get tired of writing about the same thing all the time.

Then I had an idea:

I could be a color blogger.

I could share things that are interesting colors. Nice arrangements of colors. Interesting patterns.

Not like the design bloggers or interior decorator bloggers or crafty people who share how to pick colors that go together in quilts or anything quite as useful as that.

Just colors.

Here are my colors for today:

yellow leaves against a blue sky

(I'm not going to switch to only posting photos of things that are colors I like, mind you. This is a thought experiment. A thought experiment that might include more photos of things that are colorful in the future.)


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I've posted a decent number of photos on my blog so far. Although one could feasibly wander back through my archives to view them, I'll spare one the trouble -- here's the collection.

pink clouds on a pastel sky, smoke rising below from a volcano, lit from the last sunlight of day

Sunset over Masaya Volcano, Nicaragua

a pair of pale pink magnolia flowers in the sunlight

Magnolias

tracks in the sand made by GROVER2's tank treads

GROVER2's first field tests on the beach.

Comprehensive list of my photography-focused posts

  1. Digital Moments – from road trips, autumn, and baking in 2012
  2. Indiana: Winter, Spring – photos from the end of winter and start of spring in my current corner of Indiana, in 2012
  3. Watching leaves turn - a series taken through my bedroom window at Vassar my senior year, showing the seasons changing in 2010-2011
  4. Trip to Wallops - photos from the NASA Goddard Engineering Boot Camp 2011 trip to NASA Wallops Flight Facility and Assateague State Park
  5. Fencing, thesis, snow - several snow-themed photos from winter 2010-2011
  6. Autumn Colors - a collection of autumn-themed photos at Vassar, fall 2010

I should also note that nearly all the photos that ever appear on this website or on my blog are photos I've taken.

three VC women's foilists sitting in green chairs, backs to the camera

VC women's foilists, January 2011

a flock of round picnic tables, cream-colored umbrellas shading benches of snow, with the buildings of Cleveland rising in the background

Winter picnic

laptop, piles of printed papers, a robot programming text, a highlighter, a flash drive and a pen

Ingredients for a paper

Through the Student Lens exhibit

In the spring of 2011, I got an email about the upcoming Through the Student Lens exhibition that would be held in Vassar's Palmer Gallery.

I almost dismissed it offhand; after all, it was just another solicitation about some happening at Vassar, right? We get a lot of those. But I was in the middle of my last Vassar semester. I'd been thinking a lot about my time there (what close-to-graduating senior wouldn't be?), and I realized I could probably contribute something to the exhibition. This was about the same time that I decided to write a piece for the Vassar 150 memories website. My experience at Vassar was just that: my experience at Vassar. No one else would know what it as like unless I told them. Or, in this case, shared photos.

I dabble in photography. I'm not an expert; all I have is a hand-me-down digital camera that's at least six years old, probably older (for a digital camera, that's old). I've never taken a photography class. I just try to capture the feeling of particular times and places, since it's the feeling of a moment that I know I'll want to remember later.

The photos of mine in the exhibition are Lake Mirror and Circle Time.

The first is of Sunset Lake, taken during just after a Fourth of July picnic in 2009. That was my second URSI summer; it was also scant weeks before I traveled south to Australia for a semester. The photo captures both the sunshine and happiness of that summer and the quiet reflection I associate with change -- in this instance, being on the cusp of going someplace completely new, leaving my friends and family behind for four months of adventures on the other side of the globe.

Vassar's sunset lake in July, water still and perfectly reflecting the green trees and a puffy white cloud

Lake Mirror

The second I took just before one of the fencing team's home meets last fall. It's a calm before the storm photo; the quiet moment before an intense day of competition begins.

calm before the storm: circle of chairs in Walker Bay 5 before an intense day of fencing competition

Circle Time

The Vassar Miscellany News posted an article titled "Student Photo Exhibit Captures Generations of Experience" on the exhibition on Oct. 27th, 2011. Alas, the article is no longer on their main site. The archived version of the article is here.

You can look through more photos from the exhibit on the Vassar archives flickr stream.


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Close up of several colorful buttons

Buttons and pockets

Two years ago, I decided it would be cool to have a coat decked out in buttons.

Then I thought, wouldn't be great if it were really colorful, too?

Haven't I always wanted a coat with infinite pockets?

a zippered orange pocket above a flapped grey-green pocket on the side of the patchwork coat

Coat creation

And so the Patchwork Coat Project was born. I picked up a purple suede coat from a thrift store to use as a base. My sister gave me a fantastic selection of unique buttons, and I nabbed a few more myself. I began collecting scraps of fabric: old shirt sleeves, halves of socks, leftover bits from my grandmother's quilting projects, the pocket from an ancient pair of jeans.

The base coat flared out in the front and didn't close well, so I had to add a good amount of fabric there. Still to do is a better lining. I also added buttons and loops so the front could be fastened closed.

front of a very colorful patchwork coat

buttons and loops on the front of a patchwork coat

The sleeves, similarly, weren't long enough -- like the cuffs I added?

side view of patchwork coat

the back of a very colorful patchwork coat

Nearly all the sewing was hand-sewing, too, given the fabric involved. Plus, I think it looks better.

closeup of stiches

closeup of buttons, patches, stiches

part of a coat collar

The coat doesn't quite have infinite pockets, but with twelve and counting, it's coming pretty close.


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Which is your favorite season?

Usually, I can't decide. But when my Hudson valley campus is decked out in full-blown autumn colors, my vote swings in favor of chill fall air, feet crunching through drifts of leaves, and myriad shades of red, brown, orange, and yellow.

Yes, I do, on occasion, meander across campus with my camera. Click for the larger versions!

glossy lake reflecting the bushy lines of green, yellow, orange, and red trees on the far bank

Sunset Lake

_large tree, half covered in red-orange leaves_

View from the room

_a dark branch silhouetted in front of autumn-colored trees_

Branch of doom

_sunlight makes a red-leaved tree glow at the side of grey apartments_ Red glow tree


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