Where I Went Wednesday: Lakefront Runs

February 05, 2014  •  Leave a Comment

One of my best ideas ever came to me back when I moved from St. Louis to Pennsylvania.  Side note- weird, but I ALWAYS refer to them that way- one a city, the other a state.  Kind of reminds me of when I was a kid and didn’t understand the difference between Dallas and Texas.  I digress.  After the excitement of moving to PA died down, I got a bit lonely not knowing anyone.  So, I put the two things I love most together and started the LV BeerRun Club.  It was genius.  We did about a 5K run (yep, measuring in K not miles, much to the annoyance of my friend) and then drank beer and played trivia at the local brew pub every Wednesday night.  I met some of my lifelong best friends there.  It was amazing.  

I tell you all this unnecessarily, since it has little to do with what I did this week.   My excitement of the week was a long run along the lake path- by far my favorite place in our great city.  As I ran along loving the crisp air, beautifully frozen lake, and many (a**hole) joggers that passed me by, I laughed to myself remembering the LV BeerRun Club’s All-Weather Running Rules.  Basically, I had put on the website that we were an all-weather running club and would be out there rain or shine.  However, it had to be above freezing- a rule I thought to be inherently known by my fellow running buddies.    After all, what crazy person runs outside below freezing?  

 Fast forward 6 months into my Chicago chapter, and I’ll give you one guess.   The short days and long commuting hours have cut back on my weekday outdoor runs, but you can safely bet on finding me running the lake path on the weekends.  Polar Vortex be damned. 

The view of the city and fresh air off the lake are invigorating.  The path is always clear of snow and mostly clear of ice.  And there are other crazies out there making you think it’s normal to run at 5F with a wind chill below 0.  This week, I even had a random pup run with me for about a mile- he was happily chasing his cross-country skiing mama.   Oh- and bonus winter perk- parking is free till May if I don’t feel like navigating the 10 blocks of snowy sidewalks to the lake!

I miss my PA girls and the LV BeerRun Club… but man I love this city! 

 

Photography

I'm not a landscape photographer, so this is definitely not a post where I can claim any expertise!   I brought my camera with me for a couple quick photos before taking off on my run and then stowed it safely in my car.  With limited time- and limited subject matter since there's not too much of the lake path that you can park near- I found a beautiful view of the city.  The day was overcast which typically is my favorite daytime light to shoot in (other than golden hour, of course!), but the snow makes everything tricky.  I tried metering (that's how the camera reads the light to tell you if your exposure is ok) off the city line.  Once taken, I reviewed the shot in camera, and it looked over-exposed, even though the metering told me otherwise.  That's what snow will do- blow everything out to be the color of my legs during the winter.  To accommodate, I sped up the shutter speed a few clicks, taking a shot at each  new exposure setting.  To allow in less light, I had to speed up the shutter.  Not knowing exactly what was the correct exposure setting, I tried several, and figured I would find the best one back at the computer.  That's how I cheat when the light is hard for me to read-  start with the correct metered exposure, review, and make adjustments to "out smart" your camera as needed.  In this cityscape, I also wanted a huge depth of field so that the city in the background and tree in foreground would both be in focus.  To get that, I dialed the aperture up to f/11.  Check out Snap!torials on Aperture and Shutter Speed for more information.

In the top photo, I was lucky to find a nice puddle to reflect the overhead trees, which I thought was just a cool shot. I composed it to draw your eye to the reflected puddle, blurring out the city line behind using a low aperture. 


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