Well it was September well after Labor Day. The evenings are chilly. The days are not so warm either. The ocean is surely chilly or more to cold. The beach is right along the main road. You park your car, if there’s a lucky spot you find, and then step out the car door to put your feet right onto the beach. It’s not a wide beach and it’s definitely not picturesque. But it draws a crowd. I love this shot. The compression of the telephoto lens make this beach claustrophobic.
This is an English telephone booth. It is not operational and was randomly sitting by a driveway somewhere near Damarascotta, Maine. Well, imagine that. Unusual to say the least. Except I saw another one in a parking lot in Portsmouth, New Hampshire a few days later. But the juxtaposition makes you pause.
Flamingos, pink flamingos, were at one time popular yard ornaments. When I sold encyclopedias we were told to always knock on the door to a house with pink flamingos. The folks at home would buy. When I traveled Maine recently there were several places I saw plastic flamingos. I don’t sell encyclopedias any longer.
This is a shot I have staged before. The kids taught it to me. Julia did it first in Africa and then lately David did it at Waba Crater in Saudi. David’s refinement is to make it look as though you have nothing beneath you but a sheer drop. I admit I am lazy and don’t want to do much post processing. And then there is the photographer. My travel buddy is not fond of heights. So Colleen was not a candidate to jump. She was nervous (eyes closed, hands shaking) about me close to the edge. But someone had to jump and someone had to press the shutter. The other thing I learned from the kids is to bend your knees. Then, even an old man looks like he can jump.
I am a diver now. In fact I made rescue diver recently. When I started, I was impressed to be diving with a rescue diver who assisted my instructor. He seemed so knowledgable and experienced. I am that now. It doesn’t seem so much of a deal anymore. I just keep an eye out for the less experienced and lend a hand when I can. Jules and I are on a dive boat headed to see the whale sharks at the blue hole in Belize. This is a world famous dive destination. At this point Lisa had arranged a nice beach resort vacation and part of the package included a snorkel outing. So here we are on a boat full of divers, and, Jules and I don’t dive! Not yet, it would be some years for me to realize how close we were to a dream come true and we didn’t see the whale sharks. We just happen to be sitting in front of BCD’s ready to go. I also fried my point and shoot camera on this dive as well. It was eventful for what I didn’t know and what I came to know later. Looking back i can see so much of what meant nothing to me at the time Lisa snapped this image.
This story has been told but I will tell it once more. As I spun my archives this picture is before me with the story behind it. Jules wanted a tattoo. “No!” was the emphatic reply. I agreed with her mother. It’s rather a permanent thing and you will live with it when it gets wrinkled in old age as well. Okay – resolved.
We were on a cave walk in Belize. You wore battery operated headlights. The guide was one light short. He went without a light. Lisa and Jules got ahead. I fell behind to the end of the line. The cave was hot! I was sweating profusely, and cursing quite a bit under my breath. There was another older tourist who should not be here. He was out of shape, overweight and had labored breathing. I thought he was going to collapse at any moment. We were deep into the cave now. And I calculated whether we would carry him back or forward; it depended on the halfway point. So I labored on and wondered if we could actually carry this heavy man anywhere.
“She has a tattoo!” came the voice of my wife out of the darkness. What? Well as you see, they were walking single file and as Jules bent her head, there high on her neck under her ponytail was a tattoo,
When I finally caught up to them she explained. My favorite aunt had been asked to provide Jules with a Chinese name. She made a phonetic Chinese character, which translated to early spring lily. Jules explained that the tattoo was a lily in remembrance of my aunt. Okay, that takes care of that. How do you say anything else.
Poetry. I found myself in Norway for a colleague’s birthday. I was hijacked into attending. First I enthusiastically agreed to attend and then he told me where. Can you beat that? He held me to my promise. Then my supposed roommate was another neurosurgery colleague. Except John was very smooth with the ladies and he picked up his own roommate, a rather good looking blonde at the airport in Oslo. Harald had to scramble to find me a place to stay and I was consigned to the loom room in a shack behind a farmhouse. I would add that he was compulsive and needed to guarantee enough rooms for guests coming in from around the world. So he bought a hotel for the weekend. The farmer had remorse about selling it to him, so Harald sold it right back at a profit. The room I had was view to the cows passing back and forth to the barn several times a day. It’s a bit of a different view from the Manhattan skyline.
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.
It’s formidable. High on a hill it has been besieged unsuccessfully and successfully throughout history. I’m sure there are better shots than the one I have. But the point is that I took this. I was there and this is my 1/125 second slice of time and place. These days with no limit on my memory card I’d have many shots as I approached and the view changed as I got closer. This trip I took two. I laugh at how sure I was that I had what I wanted and only clicked the shutter twice.
I’ve been there and you could guess it was many years ago. There are restrictions and tickets necessary to visit now. Somebody made a pile of rocks. Yes, it’s a mystery. And of my shots, the ones (2) that counted had Lisa in them. As I have said there are many images one can find of monuments. What makes them different is the people in the image. You go places. And you take a picture and that picture is mine. It makes all the difference that I took it. But I’d do things differently now.