trees

España photos – day 4

Well it’s day 6 of my internship in Spain, but this post is all about photos from day 4. I’m getting behind already! Thankfully (or unfortunately, depending on how you look at it) the last two days have been work days so I haven’t had a chance to take many more pictures.

Back to day 4…

Some of my wonderful co-workers/friends took me downtown and showed me around on Wednesday afternoon. I had a blast seeing downtown Málaga. I am definitely a country girl through and through, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy a big city every once in a while! Wednesday was definitely one of those days.

So without further ado…

 

Roommate! This one is for you! It’s just like Cali!

 

This stuff is the bomb. I know… it looks like plain cherry jam, but for real. You can’t know how good this stuff is until you taste it.

I’m in love.

I eat it at least twice a day.

Sometimes without the bread.

 

And then sometimes I tell myself that cherry jam straight out of the jar is not a sufficient breakfast so I make myself a proper meal.

 

Most people in Málaga live in apartments. To me, this looks like a high-rise complex straight out of 1970s America.

 

Now this is downtown Málaga. The building on the far right is a hotel. I’m not sure about the other two, but they sure are purdy… I mean bonita. (I’m having issues giving up my country slang. It’s a problem.)

 

This is Málaga’s official statue. Sadly, I can’t remember the story behind it… something about buckets and fish. The end.

Howdy y’all! Mah name is Kristy and I’m fixing to be y’alls tur guide through this here fine city of Malagie, Espana. That’s “s-pan-uh” folks. Let’s git ‘er done!

I’d make a fantastic Spanish tour guide, can’t ya tell?

Sorry.

 

This wall is in the middle of a parking garage. Wild, right? It was built by the Phoenicians to protect the city over 3000 years ago and got buried and forgotten about until modern technology brought about the need for this newfangled thing called a parking garage. Lots of dirt, some shovels and a few bulldozers later and voila! Houston, we have an ancient wall.

Bam.

 

This is city hall. No big. Our city halls look like this in Podunk Kansas too.

 

Well hello there tree. I almost thought I had discovered a new species when I saw you, but then I remembered you actually do exist. In every other place except Kansas, America. Thanks for reminding me there is more than flat land and dead grass out there in this world.

 

My, what big roots you have!

 

One of my lovely new friends was kind enough to ask if I would like her to take a picture of me with the tree. It felt strange being on the front side of a camera for once.

Always the photographer, never the photographed. That’s my life story in a nutshell.

 

Poinsettas grow on trees. Who knew? Not this Kansas girl. I didn’t even know what a tree was until about two pictures before this one.

 

This stone is from the time period when the Romans had control over Málaga. I’m not sure what it says. It’s written in Latin. I’m having enough trouble with Spanish right now. I think I’ll save the Latin translations for some other time… like never. That’s good too.

By the way, I hate the CD case in the shrubbery. It ruins the picture. But  my arms weren’t long enough to grab it. Sad day.

 

This is a Roman amphitheater that was also constructed during ancient times, forgotten and buried and later unearthed.

It’s the circle of life. And it moves us all. (Name that song lyric!)

 

France had to throw it’s flavor in the Málaga melting pot too.

And just fyi, I hated the Louvre. I thought it was kind of boring. And I got lost. But I do like to pronounce the name, “loo-vrah.” Makes a stuffy art museum way more fun.

 

I was genuinely impressed by Málaga’s creativity when it comes to renovating buildings. They put up a giant sheet that looks like a fun house and go to work behind it. Very cool.

 

I’m a sucker for old houses. Plus, I like the cross hanging from the top floor on this one.

 

Another picture of myself in front of another tree. I see a pattern developing…

 

Look at the branches on that thing! How amazing! We are definitely not in Kansas anymore, Toto.

 

I’m afraid this is my artsy-fartsy creative side coming out but I absolutely LOVE the perspective and the lighting of this photo. And I love how it gives you a sense of the narrowness of the streets. Totally serious on this one.

 

I’m definitely a fan of this door.

 

They really, truly had a bar named Cheers in downtown Málaga.

As I walked past it, I could almost hear Woody saying, “What’s shakin’, Mr. Peterson?” And Norm replying, “All four cheeks and a couple of chins.”

Favorite quote of the whole series right there. One of the many.

 

This is the most-walked (and in my opinion one of the most pretty) streets in Málaga. It’s called Calle J-something. Sorry. I forgot. But I got the Spanish word for street down pat. Calle.

 

 

The anti-government protests that started in Madrid a few weeks ago made their way to Málaga. And they’re still going on.

Except of course, when I asked the protestors in my bueno Español to go play hide-and-seek for a minuto so I could snap this picture.

They said they’d love to.

 

 

My friends took me into a couple of Spainsh clothing stores. I admit I was really curious to see what kinds of clothes they would have. They say whatever is popular in Europe will show up in the States in a year or two… but if this full-length denim romper pantsuit (is that even what you would call it?!?) is a preview of what’s to come, I think I would rather walk around naked, thank you. Just as long as I could wear my beloved boots.

Oh my dear, precious heaven for my feet boots… how I love and miss you so.

 

 

This, however, is a part of Spanish culture I embrace with open arms. Espresso. Mi amor. My love.

It was so hard for me not to chug that whole glass.

Side note, the restaurants print diagrams of the strength of their espresso on napkin containers. You just tell the waiter which one you want and he mixes up just the right amount of espresso and milk. Muy bueno!

Side, side note, the orange juice in the background was literally squeezed right when it was ordered. It was unlike any other orange juice I’ve ever tasted before. So, so good! Muy, muy bueno!

Side, side, side note. there are churros behind my espresso. Churros are basically fried pastry dough, which are best when dipped in hot pudding-like chocolate. Spaniards like to eat them for their metial. Metial is an afternoon snack, which in Spain happens around 4:00-5:00 p.m.

I’m a fan.

 

These are my lovely new friends and I at a bar that was built in 1840. The barrels behind us contained all different kinds of wine. I had one that was aged five years and very sweet. Muy bueno!

Sorry for the bad picture quality. It was so dark in that bar, this was the best possible result. I thought about scrapping it altogether, but my little not-legal-in-the-States-yet self couldn’t bear to delete my ever first photo taken in a bar.

 

This is a ginormous ferry that sails across the Mediterranean to a little town on the northern coast of Africa that is evidently still owned by Spain. Very cool. I want to go!

 

Speaking of the Mediterranean…

 

Now, this has nothing to do with downtown, but it was my first official purchase in Spain. Well, besides groceries, but those don’t count. Well, besides the churros and espresso too. Those do count.

Anyway… the fan.

I’ve always associated decorative fans like this with Asian cultures. But they are actually quite common in Spain. A lady’s gotta stay cool somehow in the hot summers of Southern Spain and no air conditioning!

I’m a fan of this too.

Ha.

No pun intended. Maybe.

 

And these are boys that go to the school I can see from my balcony.

They have been practicing the actions to this song ever since I got here. Evidently this school always has some big end-of-the-year shebang with lots of song and dance.

Can you guess what song they are dancing to?

The YMCA.

Not even kidding.

I asked the people I work with if they can understand the lyrics and they said no, Spaniards just like 80s music from America.

Fun fact… that end-of-the-year shebang is going on right now. No joke. The YMCA is blaring through my windows. And it’s 1130 p.m. here. That’s Spanish culture for you. School programs end at midnight here. I would have loved that when I was a kid! I was never allowed to stay up past 10.

 

Thanks for hanging in there with me through all those photos (and ridiculous captions… I don’t know what’s gotten into me tonight). There will be more to come in a few days!

 

Much love,

kskristy

 

 

Shooting blind

Allow me start off this post by saying I am by no means an expert photographer.

I simply love holding a camera in my hands, looking at the world around me through a viewfinder and doing my best to capture little moments and pieces of God’s great creation.

Photography has always been a hobby of mine. I remember going through one disposable camera after another during my junior high years. Pets, clothes, grass, refrigerator magnets… there was nothing out there that didn’t warrant a picture in my eyes. Then my mom got her first digital camera, and oh boy, was I a happy camper. I’m pretty sure I single-handedly kept Duracell batteries in business all through my high school years with my constant self-portrait photo shoots. That Kodak went through batteries like there was no tomorrow.

Then, in April 2009, I purchased my first dSLR, and that’s all she wrote. I was hooked.

I’ve come a long way since then. I’ve learned how to manually control the settings on my camera. I’ve learned about framing and composition, and even photo ethics.

I still take photos of anything and everything, and I still have a lot to learn. But during my photographic journey, I have developed one theory that has given me some of my favorite shots.

I like to call it shooting blind.

The gist of the theory is that you simply hold your camera in the general direction of your shot and without looking through the viewfinder or framing the shot, you simply snap the photo.

Not everything has to be meticulously composed. Sometimes you just gotta shoot a blind shot.

(Note: I do not recommend putting this into practice with real guns, arrows, darts, or any other potentially harmful projectile. That could be bad news bears for you or others…)

I’ve found that some of the most interesting angles show up when you just point and shoot. I’ve discovered angles and perspectives that I might not have ever thought to shoot from otherwise.

Here are a few of my favorite examples:

I love everything about this shot. The hole in the tv, the window in the background, the cool tones of the foreground compared to the warm tones of the background, the drama and the interest created by the composition… awesome.

I had knelt down on the floor of this great abandoned house (more on that in another post!) and shot a couple of similar shots prior to this one but I had just been focusing on the cracked tv. The photos were very cold and not super interesting. I knew this was too cool a subject to just be content with a mediocre photo so I decided to try something different. I laid down flat on the floor and propped my elbows up in front of me. I set my focal length and focus point to approximate values that I thought might work for the shot I wanted and then I took a couple photos. And I got a great photo!

Here’s another:

Funny story about this photo. I actually got it out the drivers side window of my car as I was flying 70 miles an hour down the highway. (Don’t tell my mother… or the cops.)

Too many times I have been driving down the road and seen something that would make a great photo but didn’t have my camera with me.

After kicking myself and asking myself why a photographer wouldn’t have their camera with them at all times, I vowed to keep my Nikon in the passenger seat of my car forever. Except when I take it other places.

And that’s how I got this photo. I was driving back to college last January and as I drove up a hill close to the Kansas-Oklahoma state line, I saw this little clump of trees in the valley below me. I reached for my camera right away, popped off the lens cap and right as I passed the trees, I took the photo. I basically got lucky on this one, but hey, it works!

Now here are two examples of the same subject I shot blind. One of them turned out well, one of them not so much, but they are still interesting.

This is the photo that didn’t turn out so well. Just in case you were wondering.

A couple months ago, I was doing a photo shoot in the downtown area of my little college town with a group of women. I had a co-photographer along with me and she started setting the group up for another shot. I wasn’t doing anything at that moment so I found this sign and decided to try and get an interesting shot of it.

I gripped my camera in my hand and held it down at my side. Then I tilted the camera up toward the sign and took the photo. This one missed, obviously, but I still find it interesting.

I took a couple more photos and ended up with this one:

I love this. I think the angle is intriguing, the shadows are nice, the composition is somewhat surprising but pleasing and the simplicity of the photo draws me in.

And to think, I got it without even looking.

So I encourage you, the next time you take a photo, to try shooting blind. Don’t look at or through your camera or anything. Just point and shoot and see what you get. You might be surprised!

The view outside my window

Fall.

A season of color, of crispness in the air, of Kristy wearing flip flops like they’re going out of style (because they literally will in a month or two).

I usually enjoy fall… until it gets cold. Which is always too soon for me. But, in all seriousness, I admit that I love the colors of this season.

I was sitting at my desk this afternoon trying to focus on writing a research paper, but I was distracted by the view outside my window.

My desk is right by the window and I love/hate it. It’s good for my soul and bad for my grades.

Today, as I gazed at the beautiful scenery outside my window, I couldn’t help but think that the vista I was seeing was the quintessential picture of fall.

So I got out my camera and snapped a few shots.

I’m glad I did, because about 10 minutes later as I was editing them, a bunch of big white clouds rolled in and obliterated the beautiful blue sky that had just been there moments ago.

Here are the finished products, and what will probably be the last few photos of fall.

Winter is coming all too soon.

Praise God for his beautiful creation. These photos might just get me through the winter, after all.

Much love,

kskristy

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