January 31, 2009

dog days

So, the first photos from the new camera are in. I'm happy with them in that this is soooo much better than from my old camera! Already I can tell I have a lot of practicing and learning to do. I can't wait to get outside though because my apartment is so poorly lit and I've never been completely happy with the quality of any photos taken here. Especially at night. These were taken at f/1.8 at around 1/25sec, which is too slow.

Three more here.

What do you think?

January 27, 2009

camera, camera, camera!

I ordered it! I am getting a Canon EOS 40D, which comes with a Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM lens. But I also got a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens, which was my splurge, though necessary.

I just want to say that though I am no acclaimed photographer (yet!), I have no problem and will continue to have no problem stating which equipment I use (unless it's embarrassing, like what I used to use as a digital camera!) and how to achieve whatever results I have with photography. I say that because in my experience, it is very difficult to find out what some of my favorite photographers are using, and that is not to say that it's difficult to get a hold of them, but rather that it's difficult for them to actually want to say. One answer I get, which I agree with, is that it doesn't matter what equipment you use, it's the photographer behind the camera. Well, yes, if that's true, why won't you just tell me what lens you're using, then? What they say is the reality. No matter what camera and setup you have, each photographer is different and will take different pictures. So why should a professional photographer be worried that someone else, who has to ask what equipment they are using to begin with, is going to steal their thunder or take the same photos as them? It's not going to happen, and even if it did, good for that person for being talented, you know?

My point is that I don't want to be one of those people who isn't willing to share how they do things and what they're using to achieve what they are achieving. I find that I am extremely inspired by the people around me, especially online, what with blogs and tutorials, and without that inspiration, I wouldn't be taking pictures or having a camera at all. One such inspirational person has been Bea of La Tartine Gourmande. It may sound silly, but seeing her photography is what made me stick with Canon (which I have used exclusively for digital), instead of switching to Nikon (which I use for all analog) for this new purchase.

So that's that. I can't wait to get all of the equipment (my 50mm lens is scheduled to get her on Thursday, days before the actual camera should arrive) and start shooting so I can show all of you, and also so that I can update my portfolio with more recent photography and some portraiture, which I've never done before. I asked an actress friend of mine and her filmmaker husband to pose for me next month, and they've agreed!

So, stay tuned. And oh, the shoe saga? I'm still winter boot-less, and for now I'll just wear wool socks with my rain boots. Oh, well!

January 25, 2009


I hadn't seen my best friend, J, in nearly a month and a half since before she went back to Canada for her winter break. On Friday we got together to catch up, and the subject inevitably turned to careers. J wants to make films, and me, I have been going back and forth between a few different ideas for months now, but with graduation approaching, I need to get things in order to start looking for internships and jobs.

She is such a great friend because she really helped me decide that I should just go for what I want to do, and that, at the moment, is photography. Wedding and portraiture. So what did I do, I put together my portfolio at my namesake domain, AliciaHurst.com. I'm very proud of what I came up with so quickly, and soon I'm going to be e-mailing photographers for potential work.

Oh, and I suppose I never mentioned to where the June/July move is going to be. Brooklyn! Yes, I know, we're not going very far, but it will be a smart move for us, with the boy keeping his job, and me finding one in the still-surviving NYC job market (as compared to Portsmouth, yes.) Mind you, I might not even get paid in my first job, but at least I can get experience! And a car!

January 19, 2009

sunny day blog

Good news! Today I bought sunnydayblog.com. So now instead of going to sunnydayhappyface.blogspot.com, you can use my much shorter domain. The domain forwards to the blogspot, though, so either URL will work!

Stay tuned this week for my snow boot saga continued, and for a big update on my summer move, but to where will surprise you!

January 16, 2009

shoe sadness

I so badly wanted to report to you all that I had found my dream boots to wear frolicking in the snow. But alas, both pairs arrived on Wednesday, and both pairs were shipped back today.

I ordered the Columbia boots ($84.95, right) first, also never having seen them or tried them on in person before. I just wanted a simple snow boot. But I kept thinking of these dream boots I tried on the year before (meaning, early winter 2007) that I was dying to have, but didn't get because they were too expensive. This year, I decided that no matter what, I would find the perfect waterproof snow boot no matter what the (under $200) cost. So I tracked down the Pajar Grip boots ($185, left) online and bought them immediately, despite the $185 price tag that was so forbidden last winter.

Both arrived only two days after ordering, what with Zappos shipping being so speedy and free, and they almost always upgrade it to overnight, and the Pajar boots coming from New Jersey. I was so excited when the UPS plopped them down outside my door, and I ripped the boxes open and had to jam. the boots. onto my feet. Both pairs were just a tad too small, and yet a size bigger in either would likely have been too large. That's the problem with having a tiny size 5-1/2 foot.

But that wasn't the major flaw. The problem was that neither pair really looked any good on me! The gorgeous Pajar boots were really made for some stick-thin, 6-foot-tall model, and alas I am neither stickly, nor tall. The look of my wide hips tapering down to ultra skinny calfs--because the shaft of the boots is just so slim--just wasn't right, even in leggings. And the Columbia boots didn't work either, with the top of the boot about two inches shorter than my Uggs, they were just too short.

So what do I do? I have combed Zappos many times over and I still can't find the perfect boot that I feel confident can stand up to galavanting in two feet of snow. I'm thinking about these from Patagonia, but they are crushed velvet, and I was hoping for that swishy waterproof texture. Ah, well, I'll keep looking and update you if I find anything suitable.

January 11, 2009

retail therapy

There's nothing like shopping to give me a pick-me-up, and I really needed it. I only picked up a few things in Union Square today, but I always love the escalator ride up to the 5th floor of Filene's Basement. There you look out the window at this great view of the square. Ever since the holidays have been over, the city has felt so quiet. I love it. I wish it were like this all the time. One thing I can't stand here is all the crowds, especially when I'm shopping. But not today!

Stay tuned this week. I really want to post about the two awesome pairs of snow boots I bought, (one is a total splurge!) but they haven't come yet and I am very superstitious about them fitting, so I will write about them after I've tried them on! I can't wait.

January 04, 2009

bike trip

Hello, 2009! On New Year's Day, I walked to Central Park with Jolly. The street that goes all the way around the park was closed, and I noticed how empty it was and how much space the cyclists had. That's when it hit me that I ought to get a bike. The boy has a bike (actually, he has two, but one is in pieces at the moment, to be fixed up) and often gets to work by it, but I never felt comfortable riding in the city, until I really, really wanted a bike!

I tried in vain to find a used bike on craigslist, but as I am not even a half inch over five feet tall, it was tough (and tough not to buy from a sketchy dealer, too.) So yesterday we went to Metro Bicycles and I got a brand new Giant bike that was on sale, in my price range.

Today we rode down the East river to the Roosevelt Island tram and took it over to the island we see every day from the dog run. In all, we biked a little over 6 miles, and boy are my out of shape thighs feeling it!

A bunch more photos from today are on my Flickr here.

I should mention that on the island itself, there isn't actually much that's there. Decades ago the island was home to several psychiatric wards, I believe, and now it is mostly families in high rises. There is one main street with a grocery store, a diner, two mini-marts, a pizza place, a video/hardware store (odd combo!), a salon, a Chinese take-out, a drug store, etc. Most of it has this eerie quiet, industrial feel, or at least it does to me hopping over from such a busy, larger island. I took a few photos while we were biking around there, mostly at the lighthouse, but by the time we got to Main street it was too dark. If you want to know more about Roosevelt Island, might I point you to the Wikipedia entry.

Tomorrow it's back to school for me for winter session. Have you done anything interesting this holiday week?