Jules and I staged some shots against cousin Vicki’s Japanese maple. I got to hold Nellie. We did random sessions like this. I used a DSLR, which was too heavy for selfies. Undoubtedly that is what I would have staged now. Yes there is an iPhone and a point and shoot handy for the shot. And no, Photoshop post processing is not an alternative in this case.
By agreement I refer to Jules by the nickname her friends use. Too many of her students stalked her name searching the web. She thought it was weird. I guess I agree. But here we are again, another birthday. She always had a celebration that began at the end of the school year with her classmates. This was well before August. Then, the excuse was everyone would be on summer vacation. Then, we were on vacation, the Tyler Place. This called for a second celebration, cake, party, the whole works. And then there was the extended family of cousins, and grandparents at home. And on her actual birthday we had a family celebration. So it became a summer long party. For a kid who seemed deprived because of her August birthday, Jules would be about 100 by now if each party counted. And for the birthday wish, I wish her happiness. I think she is. Happy birthday kid.
I recently made a connection, or perhaps a reconnection from West Virginia. Colleen, a girl from my grade school class in a very convoluted way found me again. Once a woman marries her identity is virtually impossible to trace. There was another girl, one of my secretaries tracked down. She refused to talk even though she remembered me. This (photo) encounter, email only, came about via circumstantial detective work, only to fizzle for a few more years until, Marty another mutual acquaintance linked us again. Lisa had a similar experience with her grade school class and reunion. Lisa and I had attended the same school but at different times. I had been long gone to West Virginia by the time Lisa attended. And Colleen, my new contact and I have never met in person. Confusing, try this. I did it without Facebook.
More street photography – I got a second chance. Well okay. This time I wasn’t under pressure. If I got a shot or not, there was already one in my archive. So now the goal is to get a better one. Smile, get eye contact, and shoot.
Someone I know, knows all about second chances. This really isn’t. You have already seen two shots on a recent post. This time with nothing to lose, I relaxed, smiled at the kid, made eye contact, and got him to engage with my camera. Instead of a distracted look, I got a smile. Like many of my street photography subjects, this kid will grow up. But for this instance I have preserved his youth forever.
Scotland again. Before they were called selfies, here’s one we did. I was not shy to use a mirror. The only thing was that the result wouldn’t be known for quite some time. There were no retakes. At most I might shoot two frames. This was the better of the two and barely passable on technical merit. But it reflects the time and place. Another shot from the archives that I bet Lisa hasn’t seen or remembers. I look back at the early work. Film was pretty restrictive and unforgiving. But there were enough shots that came out to make for some great memories.
I would have done more but then I overdid it. Make sense? Lisa wasn’t a great photographic subject. She suffered my enthusiasm and didn’t want to be a subject at all. I wanted to shoot and shoot. Nope. Here and there I have some pretty nice images. She’d disagree. I don’t know. I married her and had my own cockeyed opinion of how well she looked. To say she’s beautiful she would accuse me of unbridled bias.
We were in Brussels. I take pictures of silly things like mailboxes. The first shot was devoid of people. Then to my surprise a kid came and posed. In those days I just took a single shot. Today it would have been a series of clicks. But this was it, the one and only. Cute. Spontaneous. Memorable.
I wish I was smarter but hindsight …. I took lots of pictures when we were on vacation. It was to document the sights and monuments. When we traveled in England I got a lot of churches. Somewhere along the way, I realized it didn’t matter how many churches I’d been in and photographed. The pictures that count are the ones of family and friends. The complication begins where Lisa was never happy with her pictures. She would see the flaws rather than the love. So I took plenty of pictures but it was with reluctance on her part. She did have perfect teeth, no orthodontics, just great genes. I was the polar opposite having had dental problems from a very early age. Opposites attract? You get two types of pictures. Pictures with loved ones too small to make out any detail and then there are the close up portrait type. With digital you have the memory card capacity to do both. With film you were a lot more parsimonious. Sure I’d do it differently now.
I shoot other people when they get married. No problem. It’s considered okay. You are in public and considered a fair target. Harsh? My kids get embarrassed when I whip out my camera and shoot. I’m not in the wedding or anything like that. I just like the formality and the fact that this is a special day for someone. We were walking along the new Brooklyn promenade below the Brooklyn Bridge. And the view of the Manhattan skyline is “free!!!” Great backdrop!
New York City occasionally does something nice. They took an abandoned section of elevated rail line and converted it into an elevated park/recreation/hiking space. It revitalized the neighborhood. So Dave and I walked it when we headed downtown. It’s a pleasant walk. You can see lots of pictures of the project elsewhere. Here we found a space that just lent itself to silliness and a bit of Photoshop.