Tag Archives: Photography

Neuschwanstein

After the heaviness of Dachau, we decided to venture out to Neuschwanstein castle, the fairy-tale castle which inspired Disney’s castle. It was a foggy day in which our train moved in and out of snow-covered Bavarian fields and misty towns. Because of the fog, we were unable to get some of the famous views of Neuschwanstein, but it was very much fairy-tale-like to watch the castle movie in and out of the fog. The inside is just as beautiful as the outside. King Ludwig II spared no expense in murals, mosaics, gold, and colored glass. The castle was built in the late 1800s but designed to mimic the medieval period. We also wandered around Hohenschwangau castle which had some pretty gardens and architecture as well. The two castles look very different from one another, but we enjoyed both.

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Above: Hohenschwangau Castle

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Above: Neuschwanstein Castle in the fog

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Above: The gorgeous view of the lake from Hohenschwangau Castle

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Above: The courtyard of Neuschwantstein Castle

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Above: The fog played in the trees and along the path to the castle. I love this photo.

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A Saturday Out…

Our bathroom was being gutted, so Rachel and I decided to go out for breakfast and a walk on Saturday. We started at Cafe Faux Pas, a place that does crepes really well. We split a savory crepe of egg, bacon, and camembert, then we each got a sweet crepe. Mine was, of course, chocolate and Nutella because that’s always what I go for. I loved the way they put things on top of the crepe to show you what was inside. Both were delicious.

We then trekked down to the river to go through the large farmer’s market there. We got macrons, and gingerbread, and cider. Rachel also bought earrings and a coat. There was much to see and it was crowded. To get away from the crowd and take a nice walk, we climbed the stairs to Vysehrad. The beautiful basilica of Saint Peter and Paul is nestled next to the national cemetery, which is unlike any cemetery I’ve ever seen. The sculptures and mosaics here are beautiful, and instead of slabs, there are often plots filled with flowers and plants. It was very peaceful to wander through there.

We then walked around the perimeter of the park, enjoying the views of the city and the river. It was a gorgeous day, and a group of sailboats was on the river. I photographed some ruins from around the 10th century as well as the lovely river scene.

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Lastly, my favorite photo of the day: a narrow doorway in an old wall. I just love everything about this image.

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Camera: Zoo Day

Our kindergarteners took their annual trip to the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo, which seems to be a right of passage for every kindergartener in northeast-north central Indiana. I love this day: watching the excitement of all the kids, especially those for whom this is their first and/or possibly only visit. They are so excited and everything is interesting to them. Kindergarteners can be quite exhausting, with endless questions and chatter and tying shoes and messes to clean up and tears to dry. However, they are also at an age in which they are still filled with wonder and excitement and a passion for learning new things. We have a great class this year, and I love these kids. Experiencing the zoo with them was such a blessing!

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Watching the Capuchin monkeys on Monkey Island:

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These boys were really excited to see the honey badger:

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Bill the lion put on quite a show for the kids, even letting out a great, frightening roar:

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Those are a few of my boys with a dad, watching the giraffes from the bridge:

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Another dad points out differences in animal skulls to his group of boys:

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My sweet, silly girls play in “prehistoric” eggs:

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A group shot of about a third of our class, standing in front of a Safari Jeep:

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Camera: Ringdown

Some of you may know that my baby brother got engaged over the weekend. I really love his fiance and am so excited for her to join our family! The ring is just gorgeous, so, naturally, I had to photograph it. Enjoy the images below of my brother’s excellent taste. Also, Shane Co., feel free to contact me about using my photographs, if you wish. My brother was extremely satisfied with his service there as well as the quality of your work.

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Camera: Nick & Neha & Baby on the Way

Some of you may remember seeing Nick and Neha before on my blog. I took their engagement photos, photographed Neha’s mehndi, and photographed their wedding. Now, they are two months away from being parents, and they asked me to shoot a few maternity photos. One of the things I love about working with Nick and Neha is that they are not fussy people. They like simple and basic, and they aren’t afraid to try anything. I have so enjoyed celebrating these milestones in their relationship, and I look forward to meeting, enjoying and photographing baby Theo!

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Camera: New Life

Recently, my mom’s side of the family welcomed its newest member, Eliza. My Nana now serves as the matriarch for most of the cousins, so they brought Eliza by to meet her. I captured some sweet photos, especially the one just below of my mom, her mom, and our new cousin. I’m hoping to get a shot like this someday in which the baby is my sister’s, so this is my subtle way of telling her & her husband to get moving. Welcome to our family, sweet Eliza!

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Kitchen: Cinnamon Rolls

Making cinnamon rolls from scratch is a lot of work. Much work. For some freakish reason, I tend to enjoy these tedious baking projects. Naturally, one weekend, I decided to attempt this recipe. Now, these rolls were a big hit with the family, and they turned out beautifully, but they are definitely a once-in-a-while treat, and not just because of all the butter and sugar. They are so much work.

I used a recipe I found on Pinterest because, yes, I am one of those women who actually attempts the recipes she finds on Pinterest. They are based on the recipe used by Cinnabon, and are gooey and indulgent and comforting. They also reheat really well.

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Ingredients:

For the dough:
3/4 cup warm water
2 and 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup buttermilk, room temperature
1 egg
1/3 cup oil
4 and 1/2 – 5 cups all-purpose flour

For the filling:
1 and 1/4 cups light brown sugar
2 and 1/2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature

For the cream cheese frosting:
2 oz cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
pinch of vanilla powder ( or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 and 1/4 cups powdered sugar, sifted

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, add water, yeast, and 1 tablespoon of the granulated sugar. Stir together, then let the yeast rise for about 5-10 minutes. In a small bowl, whisk together buttermilk, egg, and oil until well-combined. After 10 minutes, the yeast should look frothy and bubbly. At this point, pour in the buttermilk mixture, remaining sugar, and salt, and stir together for 10-15 seconds.

Pour in 2 cups of the measured flour, and stir on low speed until incorporated. Continue to pour in flour, 1/4 cup at a time, until the dough pulls away from the bowl and bowl starts to look clean. Increase speed to medium and knead for 5 minutes. The dough should be slightly sticky, but not sticky enough to stick to your fingers when touched.

Transfer dough to a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, then set aside in a warm place to rise for 1-2 hours, or until dough has doubled in size.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a small bowl, mix together brown sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch until combined.

Butter an 11×15 inch glass baking dish, then line with parchment paper, and butter again.

Once dough has risen, liberally flour a large, clean work surface. Punch down the dough to remove air bubbles, then transfer it to the work surface. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, roughly 20×30 inches wide. Spread softened butter over the surface of the dough, leaving a 1-inch strip on the edge of the dough farthest from you untouched. Evenly sprinkle cinnamon sugar mixture over the butter, then use a rolling pin to gently roll over the mixture and slightly press it into the butter.

Starting with the edge of the dough closest to you, gently roll up the dough into a tight log, sealing it with the strip of dough you left untouched. Cut off any uneven ends. Score dough every two inches, then use those marks to evenly slice your dough into rolls.

Place rolls into parchment paper lined baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap, then set aside in a warm place to rise 1-2 hours, or until rolls have doubled in size and are almost touching each other. Bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 15-17 minutes, or until tops start to brown. Do not overbake!

While rolls are baking, prepare your frosting. In a bowl, using an electric hand mixer, beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth and creamy. Add vanilla and lemon juice and beat until combined. Pour in powdered sugar and mix on low speed just until incorporated. Then, increase speed to high and beat for an additional 5 minutes, or until frosting turns white.

Once you remove the rolls from the oven, spread half of the frosting on top of them. This layer will melt into the rolls. Once they’ve cooled down, spread on the remaining frosting. Serve warm or reheat before serving. IMG_2660IMG_2661IMG_2665

Enjoy. Indulge.

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Camera: Ethan

So, months ago, I shot senior photos in a beautiful corner of Indiana. Ethan has a great personality, and I enjoyed taking his pictures. His wonderful girlfriend was a great participant, as well as the pickup truck he and his friend built. I love doing photo shoots on a location rather than inside a formal space. I feel a subject’s personality emerges more when he/she is in a space he/she loves. Also, natural light is always better. Anyway, here’s to Ethan and the great future he has ahead of him: Semper fi!

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And, my favorite:

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Camera: Fredericksburg

Fredericksburg was a battle site featured in the film Gods and GeneralsThis was a huge win for the Confederate army, and a virtual slaughter of the Union army.

Here is the site where the Irish Brigade of the Union Army made repeated attempts to overtake the wall from which the Confederate army slaughtered them. At that time, all the trees in this photo were not there, and the Union soldiers continually tried to attack over a wide open area. Ironically, and tragically, the Confederate regiment on the winning side of the stone wall was also an Irish one.  It was a tragic battle for the Irish men who hoped to return to Ireland and gain freedom from England. Instead, the men cut one another down in a devastating battle. The Union’s Irish Brigade was demolished from over 1600 to a mere 256.

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This home has stood here since before the Battle of Fredericksburg. All of the house, and its interior, are still riddled with bullet holes from the Civil War crossfire.

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Here is the statue honoring Richard Rowland Kirkland of South Carolina. After a gruesome day of battle, all of the Union’s wounded lie moaning and crying out on the battlefield. Union soldiers could not retrieve their wounded for fear of being picked off by the Confederates behind the stone wall. The moans and cries for water from the wounded never ended, and Kirkland could no longer stand it. Without protective fire cover or assistance, Kirkland crossed the wall and began giving water to the wounded Union soldiers. It was a beautiful demonstration of compassion in the midst of a terrible battle.

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Chatham House was used as Union headquarters and a hospital. From this great height across the river, the Union battery had cannons trained on the city of Fredericksburg.

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A neat feature of this mansion is the graffiti from wounded Union soldiers. Men signed and wrote on the walls as they were being cared for, and these were re-discovered during the restoration of the home. Below is a signature from a soldier in Michigan’s cavalry:

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The tree trunk below belongs to a Catalpa tree that pre-dates the Civil War. Struck by countless bullets and shrapnel, the tree began to “heal” itself by growing over its wounds. The result is an extremely knobby, gnarled, interesting tree with quite a story to tell.

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I’ll leave you with this final image – this is a portion of the original stone wall at Fredericksburg, stones holding the blood, sweat, tears, and shrapnel of the most heartbreaking of wars.

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Camera: Antietam

The next stop on my family’s historic travels was Antietam, site of the single bloodiest day of battle in the Civil War. The loss here, on both sides, was devastating, and I could feel that weight as we toured the grounds. Since visiting Gettysburg years ago, this was the next battlefield that I most wanted to visit.

Here is the site of the Confederate cannon near Dunker Church:

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A memorial to Clara Barton, the founder of the Red Cross. Two bricks from her childhood home were used to create the red cross on her memorial. She was a dedicated, fearless nurse on the Civil War battlefields.

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Here is a portion of Antietam known as “The Bloody Cornfield”. It was strange to reflect on all the horror, violence, and death that took occurred in a place that is now so beautiful.

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A majestic memorial to the Union soldiers of my home state, Indiana, rises on the far side of “The Bloody Cornfield”.

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“The Bloody Lane” (you’ll find the adjective “bloody” is used quite frequently in descriptions of Civil War sites) leads to the Sunken Road. Here, Confederate soldiers created a great trench that allowed them to remain hidden from the Union army. When the Union soldiers neared the edge of the trench, the Confederates stunned them by popping up and shooting. In the photo below, my dad demonstrates how the Confederate soldiers would not have been seen well by the view from the cornfields above:

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Here is where General Burnside’s troops attempted multiple times to cross Antietam Creek and flank the Confederates. During the failed attempts, the Confederates strengthened their flank, and the result was disaster for Burnside’s soldiers. After heavy casualties, Burnside’s troops finally managed to capture the bridge. The bridge then became known as “Burnside’s Bridge”.

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Here is the site of the last portion of the Battle of Antietam:

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The hauntingly beautiful Antietam cemetery. Only Union soldiers could be buried here. Confederate soldiers were placed in a different cemetery.

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