Tonight I got to do for the first time something I’ve been looking forward to since I became a mother: share my love of classical music and take my family to the symphony. I’ve taken the older ones individually but we were all together tonight! After the Philadelphia Orchestra finished we were treated to a fireworks show! This is my first real attempt to photograph fireworks and I’m not crazy about how they turned out, but it’s a start. These were set on 4 second exposure.
What you see is the culmination of one man’s work over the course of 15 years now named the Philadelphia Magic Gardens.
From their website:
“[Isaiah] Zagar started working on the Magic Gardens in 1994 in the vacant lot nearby his studio. He began by constructing a massive fence to protect the area from harm and then spent the next fourteen years excavating tunnels and grottos, sculpting multi-layered walls, and tiling and grouting the 3,000 square foot space. The installation pays tribute to Zagar’s many artistic influences, as well as the events and experiences of his life. Enveloped in visual anecdotes, the mosaicked walls refer to his wife Julia and sons Ezekiel and Jeremiah through playful images and words, but also reference important elements of the wider world. Las Pozas and Day of the Dead, the dance community of Philadelphia, and even the airplanes of the nationwide 9/11 tragedy.
In 2002, the Boston-based owner of the once-vacant lot located at 1022-1026 South Street decided to sell the land in response to rising South Street property values. Unwilling to witness the destruction of Zagar’s neighborhood art environment, the community rushed to support the artist. His creation, newly titled Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens, became incorporated as a nonprofit organization with the intention of preserving and promoting Zagar’s works at the site of the Magic Gardens and throughout the South Street region.
Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens is now a permanent art institution that is open to visitors throughout the year. Trained guides are available to lead tours of the Magic Gardens and Zagar’s surrounding public murals. In addition, PMG offers monthly mosaic workshops led by Zagar himself, and regularly hosts concerts, dance performances, and other public events.”
This is just another amazing unique piece of Philadelphia’s rich cultural history. I love this city.
You’ll see my kids in quite a few of these, they just love this place. I do need to go back solo at one point so I can really take my time and take it all in instead of using my energies to keep tabs on the kids in this labyrinth.
bees, candid, crops, dog, dragonfly, farm, flowers, foliage, golden hour, landscape, local farm, macro, nature, new jersey, outdoors, photography, river, sailboat, sailing, south jersey, sunflower, water
My second favorite time of the day (sunrise FTW) and a fantastic time to wander around town with my camera.
I will say this about photog friends: they keep you in it. My friend from Denver Joseph Kreydatus inspired me to get out tonight and a post from Carissa Snedeker got me to notice the tree in the very last shot and inspired that photograph and also inspired me to talk to some people and get a few candid shots. It’s so important to keep friends in your craft and to always look for inspiration.
First stop was a local farm.
Then driving under an overpass I was drawn by the supports and its shadows.
Finally, on to the riverfront right in town, one of my very favorite places to photograph.
Little geek humor there.
Today I went to the only remaining laboratory of Nikola Tesla in the world. I had a “I can’t believe I’m here!” moment a few times. I had a really tough time taking proper photos with my broken speedlite but just walking those buildings was enough for me.
Lately I am really feeling monotone/black and white photos. Sometimes it’s a pop of color that pulls me back to full color but I really love the simplicity and focus of a nice sepia or black and white. It’s good to be the boss of me.
Little side note this happened to my phone while I was there. Only time I’ve ever thought it was really cool for my phone to break. Tesla chose his laboratory locations carefully, taking into great consideration the natural electromagnetic properties of the area. So Tesla broke my phone. Who can say that?!
There are restoration efforts underway, please consider volunteering or donating!
This little guy (relative to other mantises he’s pretty small) took a ride with me on my windshield, then made himself comfortable in the front seat. My kids were super excited about the big bug so I put him in the bug catcher we have.
After deciding he’d enough captivity my husband opened up the cylinder, not coincidentally right next to a huge, nasty mosquito. You can figure out the rest…