St. Louis Zoo

For my birthday last month, I took the day off to visit my mom and make a trip to one of our favorite places, the St. Louis Zoo.

2016 04 28 0011 STLZoo 2016 04 28 0010 STLZoo

We headed straight for the big cat area where we spotted most of the big cats taking naps and ignoring the onlookers. One exception was the lion enclosure.

2016 04 28 0015 STLZoo 2016 04 28 0016 STLZoo

Not realizing the zoo closed at 5:00, we had taken our time grabbing a late lunch and chatting, so we didn’t get to the zoo until just after 3:00.

2016 04 28 0039 STLZoo 2016 04 28 0037 STLZoo

While this didn’t leave us a lot of time to explore, we were able to spot some pretty neat animals, including the flamingos above and the red panda who seemed a little restless and did not want to stay still long enough to pose for a photo.

2016 04 28 0002 STLZoo

Senior Portrait Shoot – Rebecca

The weekend before last, I had a senior photo shoot with Rebecca, a senior and drama student.

For the location for our shoot, we got to explore the currently vacant Miner’s Theater in Collinsville, Illinois that is currently under restoration. If you would like to donate to that project, please visit their website and check out what they’re doing!

The building had some great locations for photos, including in front of their original stage curtain, which seemed especially appropriate for a drama student…

And just to prove how crazy we were, we (yup, including myself) crawled up to the top part above the stage where the curtains could be controlled from. I got back down to take this shot before she made her way back down.

The upstairs also had a number of large windows which provided ample lighting (I’m a sucker for natural lighting).

The Spooky Action


Warning: preg_replace(): Unknown modifier '0' in /home/saballa6/breaking-reality.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/class.photon.php on line 332

Earlier this month I did a band shoot with Spooky Action at a Distance (AKA The Spooky Action, AKA SAaaD). The band consists of three members, Tory (left), Les (right), and Brie (middle). Check them out!

I always have fun on creative shoots like this, and this was no exception. Creative shoots also mean I get to play around with post-processing more and work with unusual color schemes.

But my favorite moments to capture are those when everyone is goofing off a little.

Overall a great shoot and a pretty awesome band!

MOBOT April 2016

For our anniversary, my husband took me to the botanical gardens before grabbing an early dinner at the Melting Pot (yum). It is officially Spring and so many beautiful flowers were in bloom at the garden. I have rarely seen so much pink!

All over the garden, the crabapple trees were in full bloom.

As were my favorite flowers, bleeding hearts.

The day was so windy, I spent most of my time essentially doing squats, bending to get the right photo only to sit patiently for the wind to die down long enough to snap a photo. My thighs hurt for three days after this trip! Still worth it.

St. Louis – Urban

The Friday before Easter I went to St. Louis to spend the afternoon thrift store shopping with my sister. Before I met up with her, a friend and I decided to do some urban exploring around downtown St. Louis.

The above building is the Cotton Belt Rail Depot, originally built in 1911 this building is now more than 100 years old. Since the last time I visited this spot several years ago, the building has been painted with a flowing, colorful mural. A look around the building reveals some equally colorful and intriguing graffiti.

One of my favorite spottings was a swing hanging from the ceiling of the depot, though I would not be brave enough to sit in it!

Butterfly House March Morpho Mania

Last weekend, some friends and I visited the Missouri Butterfly House for their March Morpho Mania event. During this event, thousands of beautiful morpho butterflies surround visitors. During our time inside, four or five had landed on my shoulders, back, and even on top of my head.

The morpho butterflies’ exterior wings are covered in brown, yellow, cream, and pink eye spots. It takes patience to catch them with their wings open long enough to take a photo, but when they do, you are met with a brilliant blue interior with white dots speckled over the black border of their wings.

Some of the wings take on a purple hue while others have a deeper blue.

While the morpho butterflies were the star of the event, many other butterflies were fluttering around the sanctuary.

The Missouri Butterfly House remains one of my favorite places to visit!

MOBOT Orchid Show 2016

Last weekend I had a rare slice of free time and used it to visit the Missouri Botanical Garden’s Orchid Show with my mother. I am always blown away by how many orchids they fit into the space and the array of colors.

That orchids have such variety between breeds always impresses me. From the colors to the varying textures and smells, orchids are easily one of my favorite flowers. Some have curly petals.

Some have such tiny blooms you almost don’t notice them at first… like these blooms that grow out of big green leaves, or these mini purple orchids about the size of my fingernail that look like they have wings.

Some have little buckets to collect rain water.

Some grow in bunches, looking almost insect-like, others look more like leaves. Whatever the variety, they are always unique and a pleasure to experience in person.

I look forward to this show every year and it is always a treat.

MOBOT Lantern Festival

Back in September, Tim and I went to the MOBOT Lantern Festival with my family.

As we walked around the gardens, the crowds were so thick we could barely make our way forward. It was a little overwhelming, but it was worth some of the beautiful lanterns we got to see, especially the reflections in their ponds.

Grand Canyon

While it didn’t take five months to get through these photos, it definitely took longer than I would have wanted! And in the process of uploading these photos, I ran across photos from my trip to the MOBOT Lantern Festival in August that I thought I’d posted, but hadn’t (whoops). I’ll update with those photos sometime this month.

In October, I went to Flagstaff with one of my closest friends. We spent time hiking in the area, including at Walnut Canyon and Sunset Crater (though we apparently weren’t high enough to actually see the crater). While at Walnut Canyon, we explored the dwellings built there. The one mile trail didn’t seem too daunting at first, but the trail descends 185 feet into the canyon, which was the only way in and out. Nothing reminds you of how out of shape you are than hiking up 185 feet of stairs! Below is a close up of the stones at the face of one of the dwellings and if you look closely in the photo on the right you can see the dwellings that were across the canyon (about 2/3rd way down the photo in the middle).

We did a sunset tour of the Grand Canyon, which definitely gave us a beautiful view of the canyon, but it didn’t give us much time to take photos. I ended up returning the next day on my own to get more shots.

Sunset:

Next day:

It was a great trip and a much needed vacation!

MOBOT Orchid Show 2015

The photos that took 5 months to edit! Between work and school, there isn’t much time left for my photography. Every time I would sit down to edit photos, I would remember a school project I needed to be working on, or we’d have plans with family and friends, or the house would be a mess…But I finally had the chance to sit down and get through all of my orchid photos.

2015 March 08 (7954) MOBOT Orchid Show-79

I find it interesting how similar the orchids look to little people or fairies…in funny dresses perhaps, but human-like all the same.

2015 March 08 (7891) MOBOT Orchid Show-692015 March 08 (7885) MOBOT Orchid Show-68

And of course the colors always pop.

2015 March 08 (7568) MOBOT Orchid Show-222015 March 08 (7651) MOBOT Orchid Show-43