DC wedding photographer | Amber Wilkie Photography » Photography for awesome people.

Garfield Park Conservatory

Well I’m in Chicago now.  Part of this birthday trip deal was supposed to be me suffering due to inclement weather.  So far we’ve had snow, freezing rain, thunderstorm and, this morning, hail.  But temperatures haven’t dropped below 20, something I am very happy about and something David laments.  In either case, on Saturday we went to Garfield Park Conservatory, which is a lovely conservatory out on the green line.  I took photos, as usual.

some kind of desert plant

little girl by a pond with yellow flowers

This shot is “freelensed” – I took the lens off the camera body and tilted it to achieve a different plane of focus (not parallel to the camera body).  I had varying degrees of success with the technique – here’s a better one.

weird nubby plants at the conservatory - freelensing

And here’s David.  Like I said, it’s been snowing, and snowfall creates the most beautiful light for portraits.  Like the one on the left.  His expression is crap (David is notoriously difficult to photograph), but I love the light.


I end up traveling for work quite a bit (on the weekdays, guys, don’t worry!) and often find myself with big chunks of time to explore my surrounds.  Orlando was no exception and this time I had a car!  So I headed out, at the suggestion of my lovely aunt and uncle, to the place they call Gatorland.

alligators in black and white

I was going to put interesting facts about alligators in this spot, but I’ve just realized that I learned absolutely nothing at Gatorland.  Not sure if that is entirely my fault, but it is what it is.  More pictures, then!

alligators in detail

This is a gator feeding area!

alligator in black and white

There really were just tons and tons of gators all over the place – really close, too – but they had some other animals you could scope out.  The birds were remarkably plentiful.

bird with eggs in a nest and python

giant tortoise at gatorland

hot dogs in a cup

Three images from Orlando

A series of unfortunate events, on top of the cold weather we always have this time of year, has prevented me from getting out and taking pictures.  I’ve been in a bit of a funk lately and I asked my husband what he thought might be the problem.  “Well, you haven’t photographed anything in a while,” he said.  But that can’t possibly be the issue, could it?

In any case, I’m writing this from the Orlando airport en route to birthday celebrations in even-colder Chicago.  But David always drags me around to see fun things so I’m hoping to get plenty of shutter clicks in there, too.  Meanwhile, here are three random images from my travels.  First up – shuttle launch.  The planets (har, get it?) kind of aligned for me to go see Discovery’s last launch.  We drove for what seemed forever and got about 5 miles away.  It was pretty seriously neat watching something launch that was headed for space.  I didn’t photograph the liftoff but wish I had now.  Lesson learned: just take the damn picture.