Break In The Action

Start here

NBA has no end in sight…but College Basketball is already here!

In the hopes of seeing a light at the end of a long tunnel, players rejected the latest deal, and will file anti-trust action against the NBA. No end in sight. Slight chance possible for decertification… Unfortunate but needs to have both parties on an even keel. Players and owners still negotiating and if there is any hope for a season,it won’t be in 2011.
With that said…Plenty to be seen in Washington, DC…College Hoops is back in full force in the DMV for any basketball fans. Terps, Hoyas, Colonials, Patriots, Hoo’s, Hokies, Tigers, The Bison, Eagles, Retrievers, Midshipmen, Rams, Mountaineers, The Tribe, Monarchs, Greyhounds, and Spiders. Take your pick!
Advertisements

La Russa Goes Out On Top

Three-time World Series champion manager Tony La Russa announced that he’s retiring this morning after the Cardinals beat the Rangers in the 2011 World Series. 

 

How much does St. Louis owe Albert? How much does Albert owe St. Louis? Your thoughts?

Bruxelles!

Off we go, Brussels, Belgium bound! Lots of people were traveling that morning, but in our specific car there were only a handful of people so we had our own four-seater with a table, nice! It reminded me a lot like Amtrak Acela business class trains, but better. We had decided to upgrade well worth it! The train ticket & upgrade came with a little breakfast/snack. Orange juice, hot tea with fresh lemon, yogurt and various breads and croissants, perfect to tide us over so we weren’t ravenous upon arrival.

delicious hot tea on the train

The seats were very comfortable and there were outlets to charge computers/electronics, which was convenient. The train ride was nice, a little under a three-hour ride. I tried to nap, but was too excited for the next adventure. As soon as we got to Belgium, we put our luggage in storage. If you’re traveling to a country and are only there for the day, why stress yourself out dragging luggage around everywhere?

For only a few euros for a 24-hour period, this is the way to go. Not surprising all of the huge storage lockers were taken, so we took it to what looked like an airport security room or when you leave luggage in a hotel, complete with bellhop. I think I felt a lot safer leaving it there since there was an actual person watching it. After dropping off our stuff, we went outside and saw there was a cute little outdoor bazaar right next to the station. It was PACKED. We hailed a cab and headed for the downtown Brussels area. I have a couple friends who helped with our mini-itinerary. [Thanks Maria & Dana!] First stop? The Mannequin-Pis. This was the most famous/popular attraction, if you want to call it that, in the city. Completely overrated, but worth the quick visit. Don’t expect it to be this enormous statue of epic proportions, far from that, but still, cool landmark and staple of the city. It was right by the Brussels Town Hall and the Grand Palace. It’s kind of hidden but located at the corner of Rue de l’Étuve/Stoofstraat and Rue du Chêne/Eikstraat. When we got there we said…this is it?

Mannequin-Pis

It is only 24 inches tall in front of a small fountain with a huge fence around it. Apparently this original had apparently been stolen and this was a replica statue replaced in the mid 60s.

Translation of this statue: a little boy peeing. No, seriously, peeing. It is kind of gross if you think about it and not for the weary people really needing to use the restroom.

We found it hilarious how all these tourists were SO excited to see this. Some traditions with the statue include dressing it up in different little costumes.  Okay, moving on, taking a walk through each small street, the buildings were ornate and beautiful! The flat cobblestone streets had little cafés at every corner. Most people spoke French, which I loved, but there also were people that spoke Dutch and German as well.

We made our way to Grand-Place, a huge square of buildings that were so intricate and impressive only a few blocks away from the Mannequin-Pis. The Town Hall was probably the best to see up close. The outside of the building had hundreds of little statues that, upon researching later, represent the Dukes and Duchesses of Brabant who ruled between the years 580 and 1564.

 

Seeing all this history really makes buildings in California in 1956 kind of extraneous, doesn’t it? We happened to be there on the weekend of “Folklorissimo” The Festival of Folklore where there were actors on stilts, bands and music playing and little booths for food set up.

There was also a Mannequin-Pisstatue that was large that would shoot water which I think was attached to a motion sensor. Why little kids enjoyed this is beyond me, but it was pretty funny. We walked around the square, looking at the buildings and peeked in at some of the museums but didn’t go in. There were stores everywhere, all selling Mannequin-Pis merchandise. Total tourist traps, selling corkscrews (so inappropriate), mugs, glasses, t-shirts, the works. We went straight to Delirium Bar after attempting to lose our way amongst the crowd of people. “Look for the pink elephants”. I found out later they actually carry this beer in the States, but its realllllly expensive. RFD in downtown DC sells it for $11 a pop. Delirium Tremens was named the “best beer in the world” so of course we had to try it.

A quick note about these beers: The name Delirium Tremens is Latin meaning “trembling madness” and people say that when you have a withdrawal from alcohol abuse, you hallucinate and see pink elephants. Hmmm, I think I’ll stick to only seeing the elephants printed on a menu, thank you.

Nothing on the menu of seasonal strong ales were under 8% ABV…and with only a few pastries, juice and tea in our systems, you can only imagine what happened next…and I’m a lightweight! We ordered a couple to try and boy were they delicious. My favorite was the Delirium Red, which was a cherry beer and tasted like a jolly rancher…a.k.a. dangerous for me, haha. We sat outside of the bar and people watched. There were men playing the accordion and then going up to people asking for tips. I noticed that a lot of people did this in Europe; even coming up to people while they were eating lunch and dinner, odd. I also noticed the fashion. Bright colors, tailored…everything, matching shoes to scarves to belts and jackets. Couples walking both young and old were either holding hands or arm in arm; quite romantic and no two people looked or dressed the same. A couple beers down, we decide it’s probably best to eat something!

 There are six things that Belgium is probably best known for: chocolate, lace, waffles, beer, mussels, and Georges Lemaître, credited with proposing the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe in 1927! (Okay, seven, if you include Jean Claude Van Damme!) I decided to save the mussels for my next trip, due to the limited time we had. We wanted to explore the city more than sit and waste time in a restaurant. There were lots of little stores with beautiful lace; everything from dresses and tops to shawls and doilies. Expensive, but beautiful and all hand crafted. Kevin had to pry me away from staring at all the chocolate fountains in the shoppes. I could easily waste all of my money on just buying and eating chocolate.

The true Belgian Waffle…Let me tell you something about these things…words cannot even describe how delicious. First, think of hot dog/food vendors in New York. Everywhere, right? Now think if they were just waffles, AMAZING! There were so many choices and varieties to choose from.  After a couple beers this was the most delicious thing ever. I wanted to get a hundred of them, but instead we made our way to another pub to taste more drinks and sitting inside we must have just missed a short rain shower because by the time we left the ground outside was wet. Lucky us!

absolute heaven.

With only a short time in Belgium, it was worth the layover. Brussels is very popular destination for tourists as it is located right in the middle between Amsterdam and London and right on the borders of France. People often take the same route we did to visit other cities. We were in the same waiting area leaving London as those going to Disneyland-Paris, talk about tempting…but nonetheless, Belgium was great even if we were there for just a few hours. I am excited to go back and see other parts of the city and definitely go back to see Antwerp and Bruges, which I hear is beautiful, also known as one of the cities labeled the “Venice of the North” because of its breathtaking canals. Next up, another city to explore, also known for its famous canals…Amsterdam! We almost didn’t make it, but that’s a story in and of itself! Can’t wait to share it with you!

London, Baby!

It’s hard to sum up visiting a country, even if it was just for a few days, in a page worth of words. Since our flight was an overnight, I had attempted to shift my sleeping schedule so I could try to pass out on the plane. Nope. Too excited. I slept maybe an hour or so, which was fine…we got a chance to take a quick nap once we arrived since it was early in the morning. Heathrow was beautiful, clean, bright and huge. There were walkways with the British accent blaring, “Mind your step” and “Face Direction of Travel”. Not sure why, but I loved this. Everything was more or less the same, but better. I won’t bore you of the details of my explorations in and around the airport but we took the Tube (London’s version of the Metro) to our hotel located in the heart of Covent Garden. We walked through midway during a street performance, but [I was just waiting for Eliza Doolittle to offer me a flower] something I noticed was that everything was on time, to the exact second of estimated arrival. That can be a good thing or a bad thing, depending upon how you look at it.

Our time in London, although short, was wonderful. Made up of little villages, each with its own points of interest. Since we stayed in one generalized location and could walk to most things, we didn’t ride the Tube much. We probably would have used the Tube/Underground a lot more if we had stayed longer and had the chance to explore other areas. Not many people actually used cabs. There is something called the Oyster Card, similar to DC’s SmartTrip, and worth it for the constant traveler. We did the typical touristy things, big red open top bus tour, and went into several museums. We ate the local fare, which was delicious, by the way, and tried to do as many “traditional” things as possible. This included attempts at drinking beer in the morning and a true English breakfast. Overall the breakfast was the same, eggs, toast, coffee, tea (tea tea tea, all about the tea), and no water, you had to ask for it. There was an endless supply of juice and freshly squeezed at that. Also included were meat pancakes, beans (think BBQ baked) and mushrooms. They were little rich for my tastes first thing in the morning, but still good. Each night we had tried different restaurants, the first at a local pub called Porter’s. It was charming inside. Paintings all over the walls of some famous writers and poets in a larger townhouse shaped building. It almost looked like someone’s basement that had been decked out with cool wallpaper, mirrors and refurbished wood. I’d hang out there often. We ordered pies and chips and let me tell you…deliciously fatty goodness.

lots of meat, gravy, cheese and a popover crust topping

so good

I’m pretty sure there are zero FDA regulations over there because everything was very rich. I had heard stories from many friends traveling to the UK that they didn’t like the food in general- I would have to disagree.  We topped it off with an amazing Banana, Cinnamon & Rum ice cream. I admit it…I was one of those people that took pictures of food on this trip. In London and Brussels alone, I took over 1,000 pictures. “Of what?” you ask? There is plenty, especially when you’re traveling for the first time. Who am I kidding, I take that many pictures when I’m back home, too.

Anyway, we took a walk down by Parliament and Big Ben. It is STUNNING at night…and during the day. I mean gorgeous. I couldn’t stop taking pictures. The London Eye was lit up all blue and enormous in comparison.

Kevin did a little research before the trip and found this bar we really wanted to go to called LAB. It stood for the London Academy of Bartending. It was off a little side street in the Soho area and it looks like a typical New York bar at first…and then you get the menu. This thing was at least a couple centimeters thick, about 60 or so pages, with every spirit and concoction you could think of.

The menu at LAB

just a couple of the drinks from LAB!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A lot of the locals were drinking beer since it was on special but of course we had to try some specialties. They were on the relatively reasonable price range, but definitely worth the trip because the drinks were amazing.

The next day we decided to take the original bus tour.  This you must do. It was definitely worth it. First off, it was beautiful outside, high 60s and sunny, and NO RAIN. We didn’t even need jackets during the day. We got a chance to see all the major places we wanted to. I enjoyed the hop-on-hop-off policy. The ticket was good for 24 hours so you could easily go tour around the places on your own and explore.

St. Paul's Cathedral

If you’re trying to figure out which bus tour is best for you, choose the tour with a human tour guide, they always have fun local facts to throw in here and there and much better than a generalized audio tour. There are two bus tours to choose from, yellow & red. Take the red. We ended up getting off right during the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace and that place was jam packed with people. They kept the main gates clear so carriages with white horses (what?) could pass through. The policemen and women allowed people to walk through but not stand, so I kept walking back and forth to get a good picture of the gate, haha.

Big Ben

Big Ben!

We ended up not waiting in the long lines to see inside the Palace…Even though Kate Middleton’s dress was on display through October, I wanted to see the other sights more.

We did go into Westminster Abby though and WOW. That’s all I can really say. We weren’t allowed to take pictures in any of the museums (but I did manage to swipe a few anyway). It was BEAUTIFUL inside, so ornate with a lot of history.

on the Original Bus Tour!

 

 

We went back to Trafalgar Square several times because it was in the middle of our route back towards the hotel. This is a great little area to hang out in and relax (and people watch). The London Olympics countdown was located there.

London Olympics 2012 Countdown

It’s always neat to see things that are only there for a limited time. What was also cool was the fact that London Fashion Week was going on the week we were there.

Everything is so advanced in terms of what people were wearing, etc. compared to the United States. Lots of stripes, bold, bright colors and heels for days!

look at those shoes...

London Eye! So this thing was pretty awesome… its official name is the EDF Energy London Eye or Millennium Wheel. Formerly called the Merlin Entertainments London Eye and before that the British Airways London Eye. It’s 443 feet tall and right on the River Thames. According to what I read, the EDF Energy deal is set to last three years, and started January of 2011. Interesting that landmarks have sponsorship deals, though I’m not surprised! It is a constant revolving ferris wheel that never stops. It goes slow enough where they cart a group of people on the flat platform kind of like a metro stop. “Mind the gap” and “Mind your head” were constantly used. It’s a huge bubble observation deck and the full “ride” rotation lasts about 30 minutes. Again, we were lucky that it wasn’t raining or had bad weather. I can’t even imagine what it would look like if it was gross and foggy and had poor visibility because you could see EVERYTHING. Even Wembley Stadium in the distance. I luckily brought my large lens with me and could see it pretty clearly.

Parliament, the Union Jack flag is up when the Queen isn't there

Wembley Stadium

amazing views

 

We had originally bought tickets to see Manchester City play Fulham on that Saturday, but they postponed the game to that Sunday and we were leaving early that morning. Although bummed out, we made the best of it and got a chance to explore London a little bit more! We had dinner at this place called Brown’s. Which, after talking to the concierge said that if you went to “Brown’s, I would have suggested Porter’s and visa versa” so I think we chose the right place. It was in the heart of the West End and we got a table right next to the window, perfect for people watching.

Dinner, drinks and dessert were all delicious, melt in your mouth, good. It was nice to sit and relax and just take in the atmosphere. This place had an eclectic group of people, definitely my style. Everything from the casual local to ones dressed up and ready to see a show. Many of the restaurants in the area have a pre-fixed menu for couples. They even had a countdown schedule clock to remind theater go-er’s of curtain up; I loved that. We unfortunately did not have time to go see a show, but definitely on my list next time I’m there! I did, however get to see Cole, a childhood friend of mine and went to this little nightclub called Zoo. It was in the Leicester Square (pronouced Lester, not lie-chester…had to be told this several times) area and was so fun!

Zoo Night Club

the famous red telephone booths!

The nightlife in London is thriving and being in the West End area over the weekend was awesome…we tried to do a little bit of everything, late night wine, high tea, and shopping. We ventured over to Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Street areas at one point, which were packed with people, there is just so much to do and I can’t wait to go back.

We even managed to take a quick walk down to where the Royal Courts of Justice were and right near by was Fleet Street (Sweeney Todd!!) and I had to try the fish and chips. YUM. We were lucky that it didn’t rain a drop, until right before we left for the train station headed to country #2. I’ll have to post a London slideshow at some point…but next up…Brussels!

Eurotrip Part I: Preparation!

Jet lag is no joke, but was it worth it? Absolutely! I’m back in the States after my Eurotrip and what a trip it was. Of course watching the movie before going was in order, and the tune of “Scotty Doesn’t Know” was in my head for at least three days straight. It’s hard to prepare for your first time in a different country. You read articles, see pictures, and get those translators ready, but you aren’t actually prepared until you get there. The British Pound and the Euro cost more than a US dollar so prepare for things to be expensive over there.

As of August, 2011, the euro dollar (€) exchange rate is 0.349% higher with 1 EUR = 1.3512 USD. The euro pound (£) exchange rate is 0.168% higher with 1 EUR = 0.8688 GBP

On my 10-day trip we went to London, Brussels, and Amsterdam. I figured I’d be okay in England, but in Belgium and Netherlands there is a mixture of French, Dutch, German and a few other languages… You get to understand the gist of things pretty quickly though and after a day, you’re pretty much set as long as you have a map of the city.

Planning ahead, I must have googled about 50 different world travel voltage converters, each with four to six different prongs to use in different countries. I at first had to question, what could I bring that would actually work? I had read horror reviews about people bringing their laptops, hair dryers, straighteners and other electronics on trips overseas without the proper converters and them exploding and shorting out. Naturally, I didn’t want this to happen, so I did some research. I found the same converters from prices that ranged from 99¢ on Ebay to $40.00 at Sharper Image, I also found these large 30lbs generators that you could use that just had a two prong US plug which was close to $200 bucks and weighed a ton. Who would ever pack that in your luggage? No, Thanks. Luckily, for me, I was staying in hotels and not hostels, so bringing a hair dryer wasn’t an issue. Both places that we stayed at were equipped with hair dryers in the room. Problem one solved. At this point I was going to forgo bringing the straightener altogether as London has its reputation of raining and straightening my hair would have been pointless. In addition, the forecasts looked a little bleak and rainy in both Belgium and the Netherlands.

The second problem was bringing my laptop. I debated even bringing it, but I knew I wanted to offload pictures from my camera and be able to mildly check email if at all possible. Since I wouldn’t be able to use my phone over there (which by the way, was really nice…) I wanted to be able to check in with friends and family. I did enable and use Wifi only over there (which I will probably dedicate an entire blog post about after the Eurotrip series to prevent ridiculous roaming fees and still check email, etc.) My Macbook Pro is heavier than I wanted to deal with but I’m glad I brought it. Definitely getting an upgrade next year when I graduate, I’ve had the bulky thing since 2008! So I have the laptop, I figured out which charger to get…the Targus World Power Travel Adapter. It worked perfectly in all of the places we went, reasonably priced and compact so if you were backpacking it could easily fit in your bag. One thing to remember, as I sort of forgot, I had a few things to charge over there, might want to think about getting two of them since the charging takes a little longer to complete than it does here in the States.

Once the packing was more or less complete, I compiled all of my cords and electronics together and figured out what I needed to bring regarding camera chargers, etc. I just so happened to have looked at my mini straightener that I had in the box with the rest of my cords. This thing has been a lifesaver during football and basketball season, especially going to and from stadiums and arenas with just a small bag. It is a lifesaver for anyone working or on the go for long hours. Just for fun I looked up the specs to see if it was even possible to bring it with me. Hey, it said “travel”, right? Turns out, it is a dual voltage straightener, meaning that it designed to operate on voltage anywhere between 110 and 240 volts without damage. The one I have is automatic, so there was no switch to set it, just an on and off and it gets pretty hot, about 400ºF. The BaByliss Pro costs around $20 bucks, highly recommend.

The majority of responses upon returning home was “how was it?” Hard to sum it all up in one or two sentences so I figured blog posts were in order.

I wore sneakers for most of the trip, definitely necessary, I didn’t see many that wore flip flops during the day as you do a LOT of walking, and then again going during September over there it gets pretty chilly so sneakers worked best. Also, definitely check the weather, I’m glad I brought my North Face jacket with me and I had a couple thin scarves and it was fine. It wasn’t cold enough for gloves or anything super heavy but at night the temperature got down to the low 50s.

Next stop, London, Baby! (Total Friends reference, and I said this often…maybe a little too often!) We took the red eye flight, which ended up getting delayed because of the storms in DC, I attempted to sleep, but only got about an hours worth. Not sure if it was the comfortability factor, the excitement or what, but the flight itself was fine, big plane, and sitting in Economy Plus for an International flight was worth the extra dough. You get about 4 extra inches of legroom, even on the flight back from Amsterdam we had outlets in our row…pretty nice deal. My experiences flying was great thanks to United/Continental, my bag was a couple pounds overweight both coming and going but they didn’t end up charging me for it, I also got the free upgrade for Economy Plus on the trip there which was awesome.

We arrived in London mid-morning and Heathrow Airport was amazing. Huge, bright, and awesome, and with over 63 million passengers a year, it was indeed impressive. Currency exchange kiosks everywhere and there were large directional yellow with black signs telling you where to go. From a design perspective, it is the best combination of colors to use that can be read clearly and stand out. Now we know why road signs in the US are black and yellow. (Also explains why Ben Roethlisberger’s neck is so big in Steelers jerseys…)  The bathrooms had this little green running man with arrows pointing to where they were above them, it became an ongoing joke throughout the trip and of course we had to take pictures mocking the signs one night.

Check back for Part 2: Exploring brilliant London! Stay tuned, as the Eurotrip experience will be over a series of posts. I took over 2,000 pictures during the trip (again, are we surprised?)

Reality Check

It is really true when people tell you, “when one door closes, another opens”. In fact this quote has been modified time and time again to motivate, inspire, or just tell you to keep your head up.

“When one door closes another door opens, but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.” —  Alexander Graham Bell

Sometimes…okay, most of the time, situations do not go in your favor, and you can either let it affect you, or do something about it to make YOUR situation better. Sometimes you just need to think of YOU.

The month of August was a stressful one. My international business and operational management classes really broadened my horizons for how naïve I am about the world outside of the U.S. I have always told myself that one of these days I will be throwing on a backpack (or rolling a suitcase) throughout Europe, seeing the sights and embracing different cultures. I’m not there yet, but one day, I know it will happen. Most of you don’t know that I was very close to going to grad school in London, England, but the timing just wasn’t right for me to leave. I’ll have my MBA come January and deciding to stick around was for the best and given me other chances to experience things I might not have been able to if I had chosen to study abroad. Sure it bummed me out at first, but I looked for the silver lining, and found it.  It allowed me to work some of the most amazing sporting events and meet some awesome people. It is not often people see me NOT happy because at the end of the day, there is always someone who has it worse…

Who said real life decisions can’t be funny? With that being said…the ups and downs of the past few months have given me the opportunity to travel up and down the east coast during the month of August and…well, starting tonight, I’m EUROPE bound!! I am beyond excited and definitely plan on documenting everything (no surprise there) in pictures.

I’m one to be very organized, make plans months in advance, and to have specific itineraries on what to do or where to go. But sometimes I can throw my stuff in a bag and just go somewhere for three or four days. When I went to Florida last month, I booked the flight on a Tuesday and was there that Saturday, and it was a great trip and much needed break. Toes in the sand and watching the waves of the ocean are nothing short of amazing.

Opportunities come and go but sometimes we need that extra push (or in some cases, shove) to force us into actually doing something about it. It could be a huge intervention, or small enough to seem insignificant, but this reality check is associated with school, work, life, anything. Pick something. It often includes having someone strong enough in your life that will be there to motivate you, but it doesn’t have to be a parental figure or family member, sometimes it is helpful even if it is some random person you talk to on occasion via Twitter.

I often feel like a cheerleader with my friends and I fully take on that role. I feed off the positive energy of others, but shouldn’t we all? This past Labor Day weekend I got to spend in NYC for my best friend’s birthday. Since she was coming from California, I decided to take off work for the weekend and spend it with her and our friends, first time in six years I was able to celebrate it! So. Much. Fun. My mood changed. It’s like with sports… when a team loses, specifically your team, you feel it and often it affects how you treat others around you. When your team wins, there’s no greater feeling of sharing that with everyone you know. (Go Vols, Go Skins!)

Remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books? They were the best because the choices that are made are ultimately up to us, so why can’t the same apply to us in real life? Well, the opportunity presented itself and so I’m headed to London, Brussels and Amsterdam for 10 days! I’m beyond excited to explore but even more excited to get back to share my experiences and see what new opportunities there are in store for me in the next few months!  Be prepared for my return…I’m ready to shake things up!

Cinemagraphs

Happy August! In between work and taking time writing papers for my group projects, I am looking through friends’ photo albums. I have often taken pleasure in the simplicity and complexity of photographs. I have dabbled a little in front of and behind the lens and really do enjoy the understanding of both sides. Photographs are beautiful and often tell amazing stories from a single frame. More importantly, they are extremely effective when it is associated with marketing, advertising, or public relations. I, myself, am a visual learner and respond better to colors, designs and pictures or video rather than words. Now, that’s not to say that words are not expressive on their own! If we remember (long ago) probably around the time AOL Instant Messenger first came out as a free program, we were first introduced to the animated gif or emoticon. Smileys on Yahoo! Messenger were probably my favorite. I remember playing around with Graphic Converter to make my own simple gifs. Remember the glitter gifs people used to post all over MySpace? Or what about the Peanut Butter Jelly Time dancing banana? I could stare at it for an hour!

Same thing applies here. Broken down, it is more or less a video of frames of images, almost like a flipbook. The animated gif is widely used in media today, even in sports; whether it is showing a great double play from a great baseball game or Glenn “Big Baby” Davis making a goofy face after he hit a floater to bring the Celtics within one during Game 3 of the NBA Finals. (don’t ask me why or how I even remember that!)

I have recently stumbled upon this new version of an animated gif, using the same process (perhaps just a tad more complicated …) called the cinemagraph. It is exactly what you think, not quite a video, not quite a photograph. It is completely unique to what type gif I was used to seeing though the same idea.

Created by Jamie Beck and Kevin Burg, they have taken the animated gif to a new level. I would love to have something like this on the blog. It is almost creepy how realistic it is. Literally making the photograph capture an exact moment in time. A simple “Wow” factor like this can boost any Website or page. Even though this idea was formally developed within the last year or so, I’m looking forward to the future of cinemagraphs, specifically with sports, athletes and big businesses. It is also a much smaller file and loads quicker outside of having Flash or HTML5 loading on a Website. Definitely something to think about with graphic design!

You can find tutorials online if you search for them, and it is only a matter of time until an actual app or simple generated website is created specifically for cinemagraphs, much like gifsoup. I always enjoy little DIY ideas and doing it yourself or with a good friend.

Simple and elegant

Not to mention the satisfaction of a finished product you’ve worked hard on is always a good feeling! I’m definitely going to attempt to make one of these at some point. Here’s a few of my favorites from Jamie (http://fromme-toyou.tumblr.com) & Kevin’s (http://kevin.tumblr.com/) collaborative gifs where subtle motion images like wind are used:

A nice summer breeze

She's looking right at you

Overlooking the city

You can almost smell them. Delicious!

Caught up in the moment

A new type of visual is always exciting to learn about. Being fresh and creative in any industry is what sells any particular product or service. Be unique and inspire others! Have an idea for my next blog post? Shoot me an email!

Tweets from @reddusfoximus