Posts Tagged ‘Photography’

As an amateur photographer I have lots of bad habits, but by far the worst is not looking at my photos after I take them. Over time, the weight of all those photos becomes oppressive, as it can take hours to sort through my mostly crappy snapshots to pick out a handful of favorites. Eventually […]


I may have emitted an involuntary little squeal last month when I happened across this scene in Paris: a Citroën deux-chevaux in front of the Place des Vosges. Could it get any more classic? But that wasn’t the first frame I shot. My first frame was an unimaginative, wide-angle snapshot. I take a lot of […]


If you’ve ever considered joining a photo challenge, you know they can be a mixed blessing: On one hand, it’s fun and inspiring to see your friends’ photos. But on the other, it can be daunting to sort through your own and decide what to show. In hindsight, I’m grateful I overcame the “daunting” part […]



One of the least-discussed truths about travel is that your lodging sets the tone for everything — which is why I sometimes pay a bit more to stay in the heart of a city. But, as I learned last December in Freiburg, straying off the beaten path can sometimes yield its own delightfully unexpected rewards. […]


Although I haven’t been back to Cologne since I last visited at age 16, its cathedral has loomed large in my imagination. I’m pleased to report that I found it just as glorious in real life as I remembered in my mind’s eye. Even if you’re not particularly devout, standing in front of this monument […]


We were sad to leave Bruges this morning. I have so many little stories to share (like watching the movie In Bruges last night … in Bruges). But because I’m on a bouncy train — and because I don’t have time to construct a cohesive narrative — here’s a loosely structured list of The Top 10 […]


When I visit a new city, I like to learn a bit about its history — so I hope you’ll indulge a brief history of Bruges. No one knows exactly when Bruges was founded, but we do know that there was already a fortified settlement here when Julius Caesar and his troops arrived. Trade between […]


I’ve known for months that on a particular November day Esteban and I would be leaving for Europe, so I was confident of my preparations. I had a packing list; I’d gathered my toiletries; I’d charged my batteries. Yet, on the morning of our departure, I once again found myself doing the “Pack’n’Panic.” Piles of […]


Exactly one week after I forced myself to go for a photo stroll in thick fog, this morning I forced myself to get out of bed, put on three layers, and slog through a mile of snow to take some more pictures. “WHY??” you might ask, as my husband did. “Because otherwise I’ll get depressed,” […]


“Freezing fog advisory tomorrow,” wrote a photographer friend on Saturday night. “Charging my batteries!” I fired back. On Sunday morning, I fully expected to wake up to hoarfrost — a Minnesota winter phenomenon as beautiful as it is rare. But instead of looking like this … … the road to my favorite photo spot looked […]


Every year, Esteban and I grant a (purely ceremonial and very silly) award to the first friend(s) whose holiday card we receive. Once again, the four-years-running champions are our dear friends Jim and John. Their 2012 card was entirely too appropriate for this incurable Francophile. I will treasure it among my favorite keepsakes. But beyond […]


Most people who look at this photo will see a sunrise. But to me, this photo is a miracle. It’s a miracle that I was in this place at this precise moment. It’s a miracle that I could still see it, in spite of the doctors’ grim predictions. It’s a miracle that I had a […]


For years, my friends have been telling me to visit Strasbourg. “It’s got lovely architecture,” they’ve said. “It’s full of history.” “The cathedral is beautiful.” But as much as I wanted to take their advice, I’ve never quite managed to leave Paris. On this trip I had no excuse, though: Strasbourg lies almost exactly halfway […]


One of the things I love about living in the Twin Cities is the lakes: There’s nothing like an early-morning walk along the water to start the day. Usually my lakeside walks are brisk and purposeful—and that was my intent yesterday morning as I set off toward Como Lake in search of some exercise. What […]


I’ve been in a bit of a photographic slump lately. So when my friend Jane asked for help with her new camera, I felt like an utter fraud in suggesting a photo safari. I didn’t expect to shoot much when we met up at the Como Conservatory in St. Paul last Saturday: My purpose was […]


Once every couple of years, the meteorological conditions in the Twin Cities coalesce to produce hoarfrost. Although most Minnesotans — including at least one newspaper employee — misspell it as “whore frost,” it has nothing to do with the ladies of the night. Hoarfrost happens when the air is warm and relatively humid, and then […]


When I accidentally documented a major news event in 2007, my photojournalist friends advised me to hire a rights-management agency — and fast. I was grateful for their advice: Within 24 hours, my images were all over the Internet. Most of the online news sites had acquired the photos through the Associated Press. But a […]


Each year, Labor Day marks the end of the Minnesota State Fair. Most Twin Citians have long since lost their ties to Minnesota’s agricultural roots. But for 10 days in late summer, the State Fair lets us remember that vanishing history. Of course, that’s just one of the reasons why more than 1.5 million people […]


I remember being furious as I sat on the bus from Kevflavík airport to Reykjavik, Iceland. The barren, rocky landscape was a stark contrast to the lush beauty of Kent, where Esteban and I had just spent a week. Esteban had been to Iceland before and he’d extolled the virtues of this small island nation. […]