Beauty & Brawn

Nicolai and Karuna were in a playful mood this afternoon. They performed a number of Cirque du Soleil inspired routines requiring great strength, balance, and grace. Karuna is a former gymnast and Nicolai is just ridiculously strong.  Kyle scored a free ticket to the Patriots game and left the house with enough warmth layers to survive a Siberian winter, a needed precaution against today’s seriously cold weather.

Jeanine and I rung in the New Year at two different parties. Fortunately, I was not required to bench press her at either one.

As the year comes to a close I would like to thank all of you for visiting with us here.  Knowing you will be looking in helps motivate me to continue posting (this is my 6,783rd and I can tell you there are some days when it is difficult to find the energy).

From our family to you and yours, we hope your coming year will be filled with love and joy.

Tabletop Tripods

I make no effort whatsoever to promote this blog since it is primarily for friends and family who already have the link.  Occasionally, however, someone will happen upon it and reach out to discuss an entry with me.  Today I was contacted by someone who is interested in 3D printing a table top tripod. He found an entry I made a couple of years ago and e-mailed me with questions.  I was happy to respond and also to include updated photos of my final designs (the two taller ones pictured above).  The one on the left is entirely 3D printed. The one on the right has a 3D printed set of legs.

Framed

A visit to the attic yielded an old picture frame that I put to good use during a photography session with the family.  Getting everyone together and in the mood for a portrait session is nearly impossible. Maya took on the task of orchestrating the affair as a Christmas gift to me; one which I appreciated greatly.  I am very pleased with the outcome, a small sampling of which is included here.  I had hoped to shoot outdoors but temperatures in the teens quickly had me considering indoor alternatives.

Amp Practice

Nico orchestrated a local practice for the US National Amputee Soccer Team today.  Teamworks Acton was kind enough to donate field time and I attended for the first 30 minutes to capture some publicity shots.  Nico is a little out of shape but has not lost a bit of his power or finesse.

Old Gal

Nala has been aging gracefully but is reaching the final years of her life.  She still exhibits short periods of puppy like playfulness but routinely has trouble coping with the ice and snow on the stairs from the house to the back yard. Despite having the personality of a cat, she has been a wonderful companion for the family and it is sad to imagine a future Christmas without her.

Bess

For reasons that have never been fully explained to me, Nico calls his girlfriend Bess.  Her real name is Karuna and the two have been together for several years now. She is also attending Colorado College and we look forward to her visits just as much as Nico’s. She is as smart as she is beautiful and a genuinely kind soul who we truly admire.

Popover Chef

Christmas Day means popovers for breakfast.  Each year they just seem to get more beautiful, much like the chef. When I look back over the years, I believe Jeanine’s smile is proportional to the size of her popovers.  Our morning was spent with the kids and Susan slowly discovering the contents of our stockings. After lunch we enjoyed our Secret Santa gift exchange and a mixture of napping, game playing, and movie watching.

Twas the Night Before

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house many creatures were stirring, among them my spouse.

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care, while Maya caressed her most beautiful hair.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, save for Kyle who was drawn to his texts not yet read.

I tried in earnest to photograph little St. Nick, but he informed me most certainly that of the camera he was sick.

With a tear in my heart over the photo denied, I respected his wish in the the spirit of Yuletide.

Tree Trimming

With Jeanine and I both working full time, Christmas decorating was delayed until this evening.  Yesterday the kids went shopping for and returned with a perfectly sized tree. This evening the family trimmed the tree with help from Maya’s boy friend Caleb and his sister Sara. The youngsters, all dressed in onesie pajamas, were definitely the most enthusiastic participants.

Take Two

I worked from home today given a dismal forecast for icy road conditions. Among other things I worked on another marketing photo of the Copenhagen wheel.  Not sure this work will get used but I learn something new with every attempt.

Dunster House

My morning walk took me up river today where I strolled though a sleepy Harvard campus. Pictured here is Dunster House one of twelve undergraduate residential houses. It was named in honor of Henry Dunster, the first President of Harvard University. Difficult to imagine, but Al Gore and Tommy Lee Jones were roommates here in the late 1960s.

Pictured below is the St. Paul Catholic Church in Harvard Square which I passed on my return to the office.  Lately, I have fallen  into a nice morning routine.  I leave the house at roughly 6am to beat the traffic into Boston.  Once I arrive at work, I head out for a 3-5 mile walk giving me a nice opportunity to get some exercise in an otherwise sedentary work day and a chance to discover new photographic subjects.

Lilly

Meet Lilly, daughter of my niece, Erica. I met Erica when she was the same age as Lilly is now, almost 30 years ago. Talk about feeling old. Seems like just yesterday.

Erica was the flower girl at my wedding and I, the photographers at hers.

MIT Snowball

My morning walk took me to the MIT campus where I paused to capture Kresge Auditorium and a giant snowball (4 feet in diameter). The former was dedicated 3 years before I was born and will be the subject of future photo taken in better light and from a more interesting perspective.

Flashback

I left for the office at 6AM and returned home at 8PM after collecting Jeanine at the airport.  No time for any photographs today so I am sharing one from 10 years ago.  In just two days Maya will be back from college and I am sure I will be seeing her best friend Sarinnagh as well. Should it snow again in the next few weeks, I will encourage the pair to try and recreate this moment for an updated version.

Soup Kitchen Cooks

Jeanine shared this photograph from Indianapolis where she cooked at a local soup kitchen where her sister volunteers. Those who know Jeanine well know that she is never happier than when cooking with big pots.

Sexy Spokes

I spent a good part of the day in my photography studio doing some product shots for work.  The example above was done with a single studio strobe fitted with a snoot (creates a narrow beam pattern). The arc shaped highlight was formed by light reflected from the rim of the wheel.  I used a single softbox and long shutter speed to capture the illuminated power indicators in the shot below.