Word and Image

Archive for February, 2013



There are some animals in abundance. Zebras are seen everywhere. They are cautious enough. One sees herds numbering in the hundreds. So taking a shot is pretty easy. It’s the idea then to get something that is other than a cute portrait or close up. You looks for patterns or groupings that are different than the hundreds of zebra pictures you have shooting each day. You never know when or if your image will show up. So here we came up on a couple of zebras wrestling. And after a few hundred shots, you have to pick one.

Fat Young Lion


We found this pride near a river. The group of females and young came down to the riverbank to sun. It seems that everyone had fed recently. We laughed because this little one looked so low and heavy.



The big five… if you look them up, they are on the list of every big game hunter. We actually saw them all within one day on this trip. Amazing! Rhinos are special. We saw a few. We were fortunate. Our guide was staring off in the distance and then suddenly we tore off bouncing and throwing up a big tail of dust. They (rhinos) don’t see too well. But they don’t feel to threatened by a vehicle. So we were able to get some close-in shots before he trotted away.





I suppose that when birds eat fish whole, it makes sense to them. Eagles tear their food apart. But this guy was going to swallow lunch in one gulp. He spent quite a while attempting to get this done. First the fish had to be turned head first. It doesn’t go down tail first easily. It (fish) kept flopping so it would be lost if the bird lost its grip. And there were other birds waiting just to grab this fish if there was any mistake. Yes, he did swallow it whole. Didn’t mom always say to ‘chew?’




The big cats are hard to see. They just don’t like to be where people are present. Go figure. It’s probably good because I have no desire to be a next meal. This early morning we arrived in the Serengeti and our guide took us straight to this spot. The evening before this leopard had made a kill. Here he was calmly munching on wildebeest. It was quiet enough to hear the bones crunch. By the next morning there was nothing left to see of the carcass. You would never have known it had been consumed in a day. Timing, it’s pretty special. We were very fortunate to have come at the right time.



We stayed in a place that did work with children. These were kids that were housed, educated, and protected. There are a great many organizations doing good works. This hotel was run by a couple of Dutch physicians who had built a children’s home and were using the hotel to help support their work.



When my daughter taught in Namibia for a year, we (wife) visited her in Tanzania. She had already seen Namibia, so that’s why I missed the sand dunes and lovely scenery in Namibia. This shot is one among about 15,000 images from that trip. It can get silly, but it’s a once in a lifetime trip and I had plenty of memory card space. This particular shot came when we were tearing up the road from one place our evening accommodations. The roads were under construction and there was dust so thick you had trouble seeing the road. And where else in the world are you going to have to slow down for giraffes crossing the road. Naturally, I poked the camera out and tried to grab a shot. It’s a National Geographic moment. I read where they would tell their photographers to always include people. It was more personal that way. Our driver/guide was included in the mirror as well as within the Landcruiser.



As I said, I am a photo opportunist. My friend Alex suggested that we go to the ECAC Hockey Championship in Atlantic City a few years back. He’s a fan. I’m casual, as in I would not go unless otherwise asked to attend to support a friend’s interest. I tried to bring in my big old 80-400mm camera lens and was turned away at the entry. So I shot three days with a point and shoot. There are issues. First you can’t zoom nearly close enough. And then there is the issue of shutter lag. You press the button and a moment later the image is captured. Hockey is otherwise pretty straightforward. They move up and down the ice. You can’t get anything decent when the action is at the other end. And then the object of the game is have the puck in photograph at a critical moment, such as when you are about to score. Lighting is poor and shutter speed is usually going to be too slow. With all of that you still get a few shots. In this case it wasn’t Alex’s team (Yale). But hey, he liked to watch the whole series and I was challenged to get that puck in the shot.

Mardi Gras

2005 04 9789 Dragon

It’s Lent. Mardi Gras has been done big in New Orleans for many years. What I did not know is that much of the material from the costumes and floats are stored and repurposed. So there are elaborate figures, animals, masks and such that are store in large warehouses until such time as they are used or retooled. Hey, I’m glad they recycle. And they also hold parties there. It’s quite something to walk around among all the colorful work.


2005 04 9569 French qtr dog

San Juan is the only other city that immediately jumps to mind other than this shot in New Orleans. I suppose it’s the hot weather that makes people want to paint their homes in bright colors. It’s another chance photo as I wandered the French Quarter looking for images and trying to find something uniquely interesting but not overdone.


2005 04 0038 Girl window

New Orleans, I’m just walking up and down the French Quarter, looking for a shot. Here’s this young girl standing in the restaurant window, curtain hiding, and just peeking out on the street. She looked at me without shyness and I just took a couple shots. She never smiled. We just both moved on.

New Orleans

2005 04 9637 St muscian

I had a major computer crash a week or so ago. It means I’m still sorting through old photos. So in the interim, I’ve gone back to what is available. My originals are intact but the edits and sorts are all confused. Anyway, I’ve been wondering what kind of photographer I’ve become. I am accomplished in the technical aspects. In terms of composition and style, I am all over the map. I do street photography, sports, travel, people, candids, family, and landscape. And if there’s anything to photograph, I will take a shot. Oh, and medical photography has been a must since I give talks and lectures constantly. It gets easier and easier with better point and shoot digital. I have this in mind because I was considering what to post lately and it’s not exactly predictable.

Anyway, New Orleans, I’m walking into the French Quarter. It’s a right turn off the main street and you’re in. As soon as you turn, it’s funky right away. So here is a photo montage of folks who I would be hard pressed to ever gather into a single photo. It’s an instant, camera to the eye, shoot, and walk on all in the blink of an eye. At the time I was still film/slide and so hit and run photos were a little more tricky. But this shot sits there and I always wonder what?

West Virginia


We moved to Elkins, West Virginia when I was six and left when I was about fourteen. I haven’t returned and all connections to my childhood there were severed when we moved away. I can google the place and look at google earth now. What I saw was that the neighborhood expanded and is now all developed with new/old homes for as far as the eye can see. My mother eventually had this custom house built on a brand new block. It was two years after we arrived. Custom designed by her, it was a three bedroom brick house with one car garage and a hip roof. In retrospect it should have had a two car garage. Otherwise it was in a new development area with all new families that had young kids. It was a pretty good place to grow up. And it wasn’t. I fondly remember a girl who lived next door named Anne. She ‘doesn’t do reunions.’ So, when I finally was able to track her down in the internet/google age, she emailed me once and went silent everafter. Here are the three boys, Victor, John, Eric, about 10, 5, and 1.Dad_Album_03_055_a

Old Photos


My cousin David sent photos that he took from his dad’s (my uncle’s) collection. He was able to pick out some people and I admire him for his keen eye. I probably would have been lost in trying to identify my mother (right) and his mom. On my mother’s side there were seven siblings. The youngest three were girls and my mom and aunt (in this photos) were the youngest and closest. First of all, I don’t have any idea why they were dressed as men. It led to all sorts of speculation among the first cousins who had access to this photo and only could now wonder. It was a shot from the ‘40’s? Nonetheless, it was a puzzling photo and there is no sign of any humor. It looks as though this was a serious shot and not a costume dress-up affair. There are very few early photos. First of all there was the issue of someone making the photos. Then there was World War II. My mother’s family was completely scattered by the war. So many things happened. I have not seen these pictures until they were shared last year. I think along the lines of all the pictures that I have taken by comparison. It is a sure bet that many of the crowd (family and friends) pictures will have lost identities of those who are in them. There were other later  shots (70’s) very much like that example. I was in them but don’t know who some of the other family/friends who were in the same shot. And the cousins couldn’t help with the ID either. Dad_Album_01_020_d


Tyler Place Group

2361 09 Tyler pl group

This is for Susan. She’s the sentimental archivist among us. It’s a nostalgic last group photo of five families who used to summer on Lake Champlain at the Tyler place. For my family it was the last summer we went. The others had stopped already. It’s amazing how one image gives you so many memories. Four couples have remained pretty close until recent years. It’s too bad that that has changed as well.

Container Gardening

2363 10 Chris Julia Steven John

I tend to do things in enthusiastic excess. For a while I was really consumed with container gardening. I suppose it was good for my blood pressure. There’s a certain zen state that you enter as you water the plants every day. I could have gotten an automatic watering system but that wouldn’t have been as much fun. Lately it’s mostly weeds that take up in the containers. Maybe I’ll get back to it one day.


2362 20 Julia David boys Bryant

Another cousin shot, it seems when Bryant moved to California the group shots got much more rare now. We get one now and again, but they are few and far between. Who knew when I took this shot, how infrequent the gatherings would become?

Birthday Cake

2362 16 Julia cake

Another birthday, another cake, and they were pretty much all different. So I have gradually collected the series and posted them for my wife. She’s always wanted me to collect them for her. All hand decorated and homemade, food art doesn’t last past the first slice unless you got a picture.


2362 13 Steven Bill dress

I don’t know how Steven ended up in this dress. But he seemed to be having a great time. Me, I’m just the shooter. I haven’t seen him in a dress since this picture. He just made Eagle Scout. Congratulations, Stevie.


2364 23 Julia beach

From this shot I understand how they make models from young girls. Julia could look way more sophisticated. Someone once tried to convince us to get the kids into modeling. But in the end the kids had a much more normal life and we stayed away from chasing a more risky lifestyle. They did do an ad campaign for my cousin Amy as adults. That was fun.



2364 09 Josh David

Boogie boards and big smiles go together. David and his buddy Josh remain close friends to this day. It’s nice to look back and see the origins of this fast friendship. All in all I have to say that they had a great childhood. It’s everything that you want for your kids as a Dad.


2364 26 Lisa Julia

My wife is camera shy so I don’t include her too much in this blog. But she really did like hugging the kids for as long as they let her. Once in a while I got a shot that should not be a problem here. Just because there aren’t too many shots doesn’t mean there wasn’t a whole lot of hugging going on.

Life Vests

2365 06 Julia Steven Chris pool

I looked at these shots and wondered at how casual we were at the time. Put them in a life jacket and off you go into the pool. I guess it helped that the kids and my brothers were all swimmers. No one ever fell in and obviously no one drowned. But it seems that it was a dumb Dad thing to stack rafts three high and throw a kid in a life vest on top.2365 09 Julia Steven Chris

The Only Girl

2366 03 Julia David Andrew Stven Chris

As it turned out my two brothers had sons which left my daughter as the only girl on my family’s side. She never seemed to mind. But then she was the oldest of the cousins on this side. On the other side, she was the youngest of the three girl cousins. Well there were more cousins but I’m just counting the immediate ones that we saw about twice a year. I’m still trying to get a few once removed.