Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Tomato Fest 5: Enjoying the Music!

People enjoying the music.   And, me enjoying the people!

Some people enjoying having their photo taken!

There's WALDO!!

This was just about the time a couple of people jumped off the stage and were being passed around above the crowd!    I thought I'd get some good liability photos, but NOPE!  Everyone made it safely to the ground again!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tomato Fest 4: On stage with the Band and Dancing!

With a press pass, I was able to get on stage and do a few photos of the band and the crowd.   The guitarest and lead singer was great!  But, I don't think they knew any Chad Mitchell Trio tunes.

The keyboard player was hunched over trying to keep some shade on this intruments!

The drummer was in his element.  It was...shall we say...LOUD.

It was really fun watching people dance.  As an old guy, the last time I moved like this was when I had a heart attack and they had to shock me back from the great beyond!

A wider view of the crowd. 

My sincere thanks to you all!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Tomato Fest 3: Groups of Friends

I asked this couple if I could take their photo.  I liked the smoke plume from the pipe.

But, once I took that photo, the rest of the group wanted to join in! 

These four were having a great time listening to the band.

And, these three were working the 2 Gingers booth selling 2 Gingers whisky and Ginger Ale.  On a warm day...NOT BAD AT ALL!  I lobbied for a free one in exchange for the photo.  But, I lost!

My sincere thanks to all of you!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Tomato Fest: 2 Where's Waldo and Rest of the Blue's Brothers!

People were having a wonderful time even before any alcohol was kicking in!  This group approached me and asked if I would take their photograph. 

If they hadn't asked me, I was going to ask them.  I loved the Waldo theme!  Very clever!

 The guy on the right of the photo below was hysterically funny.  He didn't say anything.  He hardly moved.  He was just...Joe Cool...or half of the Blues Brothers!

He had a few people in his group.  But, he was clearly the focus.  He had a couple of friends wearing T-Shirts that were hilarious.  But, they could NOT be shown in this blog.   Still..FUNNY!

My thanks to you all!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Tomato Fest: 1

Since I started the blog, I find myself looking for events where I can find fun and interesting people.  I am basically pretty quiet and boring.  But this little hobby is forcing me to step out of my comfort zone a bit.  It's been wonderful meeting so many nice people.

I noticed that the Midwest tomato fest was scheduled for mid July not far from me.   I emailed the organizers and asked about photographing it for my blog.  They were kind enough to give me a press pass!

So, hang on for several posts of that event. 

One of the curious things that happens when you wander around with a camera and a press pass is that people stop you and ask you to take their photograph!  I don't have to ask them.  They ask me!

I rather like that!

I have no idea who this group is.  But, they were the first to stop me when I got inside!

Below is the Famous Dave's crew.   This was SOOOOO close to being a good photo!   The sun was very bright and I couldn't see the finished image very clearly on the screen.  If I had, I would have tried this one again.   But, I still like it!  They were having fun!

It was HOT.  And, the ladies selling lemonade were doing a great business!

My sincere thanks to you all!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Traveling and Surprises

I don't often travel for business.  But, I did have an occasion to "get out of Dodge" recently.  I was couped up in offices the entire time and never got out.  On the journey back, I met these two people.

Meet...the Harpist!

I was at the airport and noticed her wheeling in this large covered object.  I assumed it was either a harp...or a body.  I was a bit relieved to see it was a harp.

She set up and played a beautiful medley of classical music intermixed with the Beatles and several other composers.  It was wonderful.

I never caught her name because I didn't want to interrupt her train of thought. 

The wireless connectivity at that point was horrible.  So, I walked down the concourse to pick up a better signal and sat down in a quiet area.  

Meet Gail:

She walked into the same, small, quiet section of the gate area and sat down.  She gave me the nicest smile (see above!) and a warm, "hello".  So, I asked if I could photograph her for the blog.

This is the second photo I took.  The first had her looking to her right, directly into the window.  I like this one MUCH better.  The shadows are softer and the light less harsh.

Gail is a mechanical engineer who worked on the space shuttle launches!  She was traveling home for her grandmothers funeral.

We had a lovely 10 minute conversation before I had to run.  That's about all the longer any woman can stand me anyway.  

My special thanks to the the wonderful harpist and to Gail.  You both made the trip back much more delightful.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012


I typically stay away from doing anything with my camera that could remotely be considered work.  I want to have fun.   So, I traditionally avoid wedding photos.

I was, however, asked to swing by a local backyard where photographs were being taken of a couple a mere hour away from the nuptuals.

Meet the lovely bride and groom:

It if looks a little warm, it was!  The groom was sweating.  I am not sure it was because of the heat and humidity (or is that dew point) or that the service was, at this point, 47 minutes from starting! 

Meet the sister of the bride and cousins!

I may take up being a paparazzi, but that may involve work.

Thanks all!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Farmer's Market: Parking

The farmer's market is often crowded and traffic can be a problem.   Parking on the street is very inexpensive.  I believe it cost me $.25 for 2 hrs at a meter!  But, if you want to get closer, this gentleman will help you.

Meet Ben! 

He will take your $2.00 and let you park your car in a special lot for 2 hours!  The lot is rather small.  But, it is CLOSE to the action!  And, you get a smile, too!

Thanks Ben!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Farmer's Market Food: 1

OK...I know these aren't portraits.  But, it's my blog.  Now and then I need a change.
The food at the farmer's market is very good!

Cinnamon Roll anyone?

Cherry Tomato?

Beans and potato?


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Another Gig

This farmers market usually has a larger group playing on a loading dock stage.  I really liked this group but I was frustrated with the photos.  It was almost impossible to get a shot without "noise" in the background....cables, wires, power boxes, edges of signs, mic stands, etc.

Despite the noise, I do like the photos.

Meet Steve Sullivan and the Factory!  This is Steve.

He had a great voice and did some impressive blue's guitar licks.  I believe he is from New Mexico but now lives in Minnesota.   He was VERY good.

The band was having a great time, too.

I do want to know how Ensign Wesley Crusher ended up playing keyboards in this band.

I really liked the drummer.  But, with that stupid power box behind him, I could NOT get a clean photo.  Notice also the louse lighting across his chest.   I'd like to try this group again in a better setting!

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Hard Gig

I had reason to be up and running a few Saturday's ago.  So, on my travels I stopped by a local farmers market to pick up a few things.  This is a large place and crowded.  So, I don't usually go here.  I prefer a smaller and more quiet environment.

But, I do enjoy the music at this place and I wasn't disappointed.

Meet Joseph:

This is a hard way to make a living.   But, he was good.

I gave him $10 and asked if I could take his photo.  He nodded...and never stopped playing.  I got his
name at the end of a tune.

Thanks Joseph.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Words to Live By

It's been a difficult couple of weeks.  Things have been very up-in-the air at work and busy,.  So, last Friday I took a photo of this guy.

He is/was a give-away at a conference I attended this spring.  When you squeeze him, he says, "Relax.  Calm down.  Don't stress.  Take it easy" in the nicest blend of a Norwegian/Southern drawl.  I needed that. 

Thanks to the company that gave them away!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Pride 2012: A Lunch Conversation

I decided I need some food before leaving and making the trip home.  Finding a semi-healthy snack, I sat down at a picnic table.   Because it is crowded, sharing a table was quite common.

Meet Dick!

Dick is a semi-reitred teacher whose passion is to develop a Russian School of Mathematics in the Twin Cities area.  This is an after-school group that focuses on various mathematical topics.  It consists of over 200 different classes from grades K-12. 

It was a great lunch conversation! 

Thanks Dick!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pride 2012: Political Activism

Not every booth at Pride was engaged in political activism.  For the most part, those that were policitcally focused were all grouped together.

The most interesting grouping was the Minnesota Atheists booth next to the American Evangelical Lutheran Church booth.  I stood on the dividing line between them and commented that the Pride Festival is one of inclusion and that I liked this positioning.  Two of the athiests booth personnel smiled.  None of the AELC booth members seemed to think it was funny or appropriate.  At least, I didn't get a smile from any of them.

But, tolerance, respect, and inclusion IS what Pride is about.

Meet Devon.  He traveled from Washington DC to participate. He was with the Human Rights Campaign.

Meet Art!

The Minnesota legislature is pushing for an amendment to the state constitution that limits marriage to a man and woman. A similar amendment has been attempted in a few other states.  Art was part of a group of Catholics urging a NO vote on this amendment. 

My sincere thanks to you both!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Pride 2012: Corporate Sponsors

A number of large, and some not to large, companies sponsored booths and floats during the Pride Festival.

Meet Doug and Rachel from my company!

I smiled when I saw the Delta group.  Nice car!

Finally, if you are going to have a party, you need balloons!

Thanks Doug and Rachel and thanks to all the companies that were present!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Pride 2012: Nice to have Support

There had been some speculation that the OWS folks may be planning a disruption during the Pride Festival of certain companies booths or floats.

It was nice to see those companies working closely with law enforcement to ensure everyone had a nice time in a safe environment.

Meet Mary and Jon!

These two police officers were quite willing to let me take their photograph and they seemed to be having a nice time chatting with the booth folks and people walking around.

Nice job!

Thanks Mary and Jon!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Pride 2012: Wanderings Continued

Wandering around a bend where there weren't any booths, I ran into this young lady.   I liked her hair style so I asked whether I could take her photograph.   She graciously said that I could.  The path wasn't the best background for a photo.  No matter how I framed it, there were people in the background, an asphalt path or a fence.  So, we moved just off the path where I could use a pine tree as the background.

I took the first photo and showed it to her.  She vetoed it immediatly!  Too much forehead!  So, we did another photo with her looking through her hair to the left.  I really like this photo..and so did she!

Meet Alex:

About 45 minutes later I ran into Alex again.  This time she was with her mother!  They were both kind enough to let me take a photo of them together.  But this time, I managed to capture what I wanted with just one photo!

Thanks Alex and Amy!   Actually, in left to right order, that should be, Amy and Alex!