WP Photo Challenge: Refracted Light

The underground gardens in Fresno gives shows off refracting to the maximum.  This hand dug castle took years to create, and served it owner as a garden as well as a home.

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His guests could drive right in.  We had to park on the street with the rest of the tourists!

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You can imagine how much the trees loved this filtered light.

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If I’m down, I just need to look at this next picture to feel up again. My brother took this picture at Navy Pier in Chicago when we traveled for his birthday last October.

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For more ideas on refraction click the image below.

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Weekly Photo Challenge: Windows in Chicago

I’ve needed a place to post some of these wonderful pictures I took in Chicago.

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I bet they are seeing different scenery out of them than Randy and I did when we visited in October.

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Randy was happy to report, “No snow in October.”  Is the strength of plexiglass affected by extremely cold temperatures?  hmmm

The temperature on October 12 in Chicago was over 80 degrees.   Randy and I took the Chicago River Architectural Tour, which I recommend.

Chicago_0128The height of these buildings made it almost impossible to photograph the entire building as we passed by slowly.  Can you imagine how many windows are in the Chicago high-rise buildings?  And each window represents many working Americans.  Amazing isn’t it?

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One of the wonderful things about windows is their ability to reflect.  These buildings look resplendent wearing nothing but their own sparkles.

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Some windows clothe themselves in their surroundings.

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Or can you just see through the building?  Windows fool us.

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Sometimes they create a scene, but we don’t accuse them of being temperamental.  🙂

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Many of the buildings had so many windows we wondered how they stayed up.  We could hardly see their framework.

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Buildings without many windows depress me. I wonder if the people who work in this brick building suffer from depression more often than the ones in the buildings with lots of open windows?  Our eyes are tiny in comparison to windows, so does the size of the window matter?

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From the outside, windows that are not square and have details appeal to me.Chicago_0262

Architects love to decorate windows with balconies.  Inside, some folks want to cut off the view with blinds or shades.  Other folks leave their open.  Which way do you function better?  Windows open or closed?

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Up close these windows are probably flat, but from a distance they remind me of windshields because the building curves.  I wonder what drives the people inside?

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Simple rectangles decorate these windows.

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Even the bridges in Chicago had windows.  Engineers just didn’t bother to put glass in the windows.  Does glass make the window?

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For some challenges I have to go out and take pictures to have something to share.  I had the opposite problem here.  This was one city, and a fraction of the pictures.  My dad used to show slide shows when people came to visit.  I always fell asleep there were so many slides.

Dad droned, “And this is… ” zzzzzz

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Hope you stayed awake watching my blog show.  If you are still awake, there are lots more windows here.

Willis Tower Joke

Randy:  What if we got stuck in here and had to sleep up here all night?

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Marsha:  Sounds pretty scary!

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Randy:  Which side would you rather have, the full window side or the open side?

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Marsha:  I think, outside the box.

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Sorry folks, that was hounding me all night!  You probably don’t even get it, it’s so lame, but I couldn’t wait to post it this morning.  Do you have any lame jokes that you just have to tell someone?   I’m listening.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eerie

Can a simple picture of a building in Chicago make the hair stand on the back of your neck stand up?  Does someone have to scream or appear with a light illuminating their expression visible dread with a light shining under their chin to spook you?  Definitely the post needs scary music, so if you turn that on, you will have just enough eeriness to read this post.  Go ahead, click.  HEHEHE  Don’t be afraid…

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Riding in a tour boat up and down the Chicago River on a clear, 80 degree October afternoon did little to inspire uneasiness.  But the curve of this building makes it seem like a tall cardboard centerpiece curved just slightly so that it doesn’t fall off your table into the bowl of mashed potatoes and gravy – very irritating, if not eerie.  Of course, who uses a thin piece of cardboard as a table centerpiece?   But that’s another issue.  Sooner or later, you know this building is going to tumble, and you wait uneasily hoping that it won’t fall while you are near it, or when it is full of people.  If I was in this building instead of looking up at it, I would feel some butterflies.  I know Randy would!

Superhero RandyAs it was, I just hoped it wouldn’t topple on our boat.

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If I were writing horror films about otherworldly I might make not-so-subtle changes in my photo to help create bit of mystery.  I think Alfred Hitchcock might be able to work some magic with this black and white photo.  He might add some birds or a space ship in the sky, or some people on the roof, but I could definitely see this being the start of something eerie.

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Adding layers in Photoshop altered my building in the blink of an eye.  Some of them looked more dreadful than others.  I think this one came out of an alternative universe, or from Jupiter, at the very least.  While it may not inspire the supernatural, green sky is definitely strange and unnatural.

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This looks more like a comic book horror story from the 1930s.  The building has no dimension to it, and the contrast with the sky is a simple matter of using complimentary colors of yellow and purple.  It’s horror from a simpler time, which then wasn’t simple at all.  The enemy of a super hero lurks just behind the building waiting to push it over on our incredible protagonist.  You can see its breath at the upper left of the picture.

For more eerie sights click on the word SCARY.

 

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Wheels

Wheels have many uses, and a few useless jobs.  One of the less important tasks is to take you up in the air.  Patrick Meehan, an engineering student, published an article in 1964 about the first ferris wheel, and I linked to it at the end of the paragraph.  Chicago began preparing for the 400th anniversary celebration of Columbus’ discovery of the New World in 1890.  They wanted a tall structure for the event that would rival the Eiffel Tower in Paris.

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George Ferris drew his model during a dinner, and the first Ferris Wheel was constructed from that sketch.  He was known as the man “with wheels in his head.”  The structure, completed in 1893, took 20 minutes to complete its first revolution without the cars.  Eventually, this engineering feat of the century, the ferris wheel had 21 cars.   Each weighed 26,000 pounds and held up to 60 people.  Three thousand of Edison’s newly invented light bulbs illuminated the famous wheel when it opened.  After the Exposition closed, the Ferris Wheel quickly fell into disuse.  It was moved twice, once in Chicago and once to St. Louis, before being blasted into bits.   For more information on the original Ferris Wheel click here.

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There was easily room for 4-6 people in the bright red car Randy and I rode.  From our perch on high we looked down at the other two wheels we wanted to ride next.  Randy wanted to go on the carousel, and I wanted the wave ride.

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However, as he freaked out while looking down, his ticket blew out of the car, never to be seen again.  We discussed who would get to ride the ride of their choice the rest of the way down.  It was his birthday, but he wanted me to ride.  As we exited the car, I asked the attendant what we could do about our lost ticket.  She took us to the front of a huge line, and got a replacement picture, so we both had the rides of our choice.

She was a big wheel at the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel Ride!  🙂

For more fun wheel pictures click on Cee’s icon.

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