Friday, September 24, 2010

More beautiful places, but this time much closer to home.

Until last weekend it had been more than ten years since I'd visited the North Shore of Lake Superior.  I realized that this was inexcusable, so I took steps to fix it, and headed up north for a little camping before it got too cold.  The fall colors hadn't quite come in, which was too bad, but I was able to visit Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse, as well as Duluth, and got some great photos!

Gooseberry Falls lit only by the moon

I am always blown away by the number of stars visible when you get outside the city

Pines backlit by the moon at Gooseberry Falls

There's nothing quite like sitting on the beach watching a storm blow in.  I love the ethereal look the rushing water gives the rocks

The Aerial Lift Bridge in Duluth, I JUST missed it being raised for an incoming ore frieghter

Here's a ~270 degree panorama of Duluth Harbor and the Aerial Lift Bridge.  I loved the colors on the water!  Make sure to click the photo to view the larger sizes!

I did some nighttime photography at Split Rock as well, but the stars and moon were totally obscured by clouds, and the lighthouse itself has absolutely no lights near it, so they were somewhat disappointing.  I know the photo I want is there somewhere though, I'll just need to go back on a nice clear night!
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Thursday, September 9, 2010

White Sands, one of the most beautiful places on earth.

After I spent a couple days in Colorado, I headed south towards Texas, and stopped at White Sands National Monument for a lovely sunset.  As far as I'm concerned White Sands is one of the most beautiful places on earth.  I've been there many times over the years, since my grandparents have a cabin nearby, but this was White Sands at it's most beautiful.  The golden sunset behind the mountains, combined with the nearby storms really were a sight to see.

This 360 degree panorama needs to be viewed large to really be appreciated.  Just click to open it up and take in the view.

I'd love to have a chance to spend a couple days there sometime, maybe next time I am in the neighborhood!
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30 blogging moms and a bundle of baked goods!

The ladies of Baking with Betty!

Two weeks ago I got another chance to go shoot at the General Mills test kitchens for another "mom blogger" event. General Mills had 30 bloggers from around the country come to their Golden Valley HQ to try out some new recipes and see what delicious concoctions they could whip up.

I couldn't wait to sample these treats after spending a couple hours smelling them!

The first day was spent in the General Mills media kitchen with six Latina/Hispanic bloggers, shooting them cooking some hispanic-inspired recipes with one of the General Mills chefs. I got a chance to work with an excellent video crew that was shooting along with me, and got to sample some amazing churros, ducle de leche cookies, and more! The event was also great practice with my Spanish, since the entire time that was all they spoke! I like to think I am pretty good, but seven women talking all at the same time with their mouths full was quite a challenge!

The General Mills media kitchen

After the shoot the video guys and myself got to try out all the treats the ladies had been making, and I'll tell you what, stuff like that just cements my love of working with General Mills! Everything was amazing, and by the time I left, I was about ready for a nap!

Check out this short youtube video from the shoot (with links to the recipes!):

I was back bright and early on the second day, along with the six moms from yesterday and 24 more to boot! This time they were cooking in the massive General Mills test kitchens, trying out about a dozen new recipes for breakfast, cookies, brownies, and cakes.  The women were all having a blast, and cranking out tons of amazing treats!

With four stations going at once, there was plenty to shoot and taste, and by lunch it seemed that everyone was already full!

Crepes from Bisquick, who knew?

The new face of Betty Crocker perhaps?

I was quite stuffed myself by the end, mostly thanks to many of the women's insistence that I try their confections, and my general lack of resistance to the idea!  Everyone had a blast and learned a ton, and I think it was very valuable for General Mills to get some direct interaction with a group of their customers like that.  I can't wait to get back there and shoot some more!

The moms loved the opportunity to try out some of General Mills' newest products

I've finally got the weekend off from weddings for once, so I'll be at the Commemorative Air Force Minnesota Wing's Vintage Fashion show and wine tasting this friday.  Check it out if you're near South Saint Paul and need something to do!
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