Word and Image

Archive for July, 2015

Dawn And The Open Road

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We were headed out at dawn. Otherwise I’d have no business taking this shot. Yes, it could be sunset but it’s not. And the open road was empty. Everyone else seemed to think it was good to be in bed this fine morning. So it’s a moving shot. I shot through the windshield again. There are only so many times I can stop before complaints begin. Besides the mission was to go from point A to B.

 


Tygart River Bridge

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It doesn’t look forlorn. Maybe it’s been rebuilt. I played here as a kid. On the right there was cliff to climb. I almost inadvertently touched a diamondback rattle snake there. The bridge seemed higher then. There were rocks below and we once found a dead dog. My brother John fished for blue gill and spent many an afternoon alone here.

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To the left was a cornfield. The houses are new. And along the bank was a rope swing that hung out over the water. I was a kid. We were forbidden to swim in the river. But that rope swing was so tempting. So I was the first of my cohort to grab that rope and have a swing. I landed back on the shore. I remember I was the brave bold one to try it first. We spent a lot of time and never got wet. The houses look like they have been there forever now. Water view, everyone wants one.


House On The Hill

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It’s been here forever. Well, at least it’s been around since I was a kid many many decades ago. If you look closely there’s a fourteen year old mowing the lawn. I don’t know how old she is but fourteen was the number that popped in my head when I shot this image. No one lives here? It is an event venue. So you can have your next party. I like the house but an event does not appeal.

 


Confession

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I am the worst at remembering birthdays. Carol, Susan, Amy, you know who you are. Every year on my birthday I receive a greeting. It’s nice. And when the time comes I am clueless as to when your birthday might be. Yes, I could ask once again and write it down on one of any devices that are designed to keep me in touch. So to all you ladies, I apologize. Belated or not, I am just remiss and will ever be. So happy birthday to all of you. You know who you are! I remember Ginny and Colleen for some reason. And yes the kids – my kids.

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Tulip

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Graphic. I like graphic images now. The plain old  tulip is. You need something to catch your interest. Graphic detail always gets my attention. Dead on straight, a snap shot is angled. But a good graphic is eye catching. Focus!


Dogwood

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By the time I reached Washington the cherry blossoms were long gone. I have wanted to see them forever. It will just have to be another trip. Meanwhile pink dogwoods are rather nice. If you don’t look closely they are pink and rather colorful. And there were certainly many trees in bloom to make the walk colorful.

A non sequitur, as we entered Washington DC, I discovered that I was in need of a comb. CVS was out of them. I don’t mean one store. I mean to say that I dropped by multiple stores in many neighborhoods. The display signs were there; all the combs were sold out. Come on! Really! It was so weird. No comb picture. Sold out!


Union Station

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We had to be there. Don’t ask. It wouldn’t matter. I decided to act silly.

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It’s a presumed copy of the liberty bell. In Washington, how nice. No, it does not ring. Unlike many stations which are now markets and in alternate use, Washington’s Union Station is very much in active service.

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U Street

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If you look online the music scene is on U Street in Washington. There was a parade later this day. But we were here now. So, hula hoop? White boots? Short dress and a DJ. Oh my go figure. I’m out of it I guess.

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It leads me to another place near to the subway entrance. This motley crew all wore expressions that serve as ample fodder for a short story. I guess. Or it was simultaneously catching everyone with their mouth open while they ate.

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Dinner was a Thai restaurant with a jazz trio. It was too much work to navigate a club. New city different rules. We had enough trouble getting on the subway. Each of us needed a ticket and you had to know where you were going in order to pay per station. To be sure you didn’t cheat you had to swipe your ticket when leaving. Oh my it’s a whole lot more unfriendly than NYC mass transit. But then again I never remembered Washington as user friendly. Go figure it’s our nation’s capital. Or, “I’m from the government and I’m here to help you.” Oh yeah!


Lincoln Memorial

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I tried for a shot that would stand apart from others I have seen. Nope, it is hard to do different. The lighting, perspective, and the setting are iconic so that it’s been done before. I had brain lock and did not do more than get a documentary image.

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Still, you don’t give up. I got the clouds and the reflecting pool of the Washington mall that gave me a dramatic image. Sometimes the take home shot is not in the direction you are peering.


Women’s Vietnam Memorial

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It is dedicated to the women who served in the Vietnam War most of whom were nurses.

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Steps away is the memorial wall listing the names of the dead from the Vietnam War. There are eight names, women who died. The memorial is moving and still relevant to my generation.

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Reflection. There is the Washington monument in the background. And to the far right is the photographer (me).


Ford’s Theater

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Everyone around here knows Ford’s theater. President Lincoln was assassinated at the end of the civil war. The site is a national park and an historic site. The house where he died is also still there. There is a morbid fascination. People lined up early on a Sunday morning.

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Across the street is diner. There is a funny juxtaposition. Lincoln was assassinated across the street. Makes sense?


Five And Dime

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When I grew up the sign said Five and Dime – meaning 5 cents and 10 cents. You could actually buy something with a dime. You could even get candy for a penny. Then I grew up. The mannequins are wearing a headholder device we use in surgery to fix the head in a position so it will not move and the surgery can be done precisely. Each device costs thousands. This is my grown up toy store. Twice a year we have a national meeting. The manufacturers bring items that can cost more than a million dollars a piece. It ain’t an arms sale but you may feel like you spend an arm and a leg. No, I’m not going to identify the ladies. They know who they are.


Democrats

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You know I got this shirt for fun in a tourist shop. I did not receive it as the door prize in a Republican fundraiser. Needless to say it was difficult to find a model in my family. The AANS is a very conservative organization and was actively promoting conservative republican politics. There is no question of bias among the leadership. I suppose there are those who deserve equal time.

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Julia was the next to receive this re-gift. Hey it’s a dirty piece of laundry in my family. I doubt she’ll keep it. That was a definite look of asking her to eat something foul.

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I was undecided about whether to post this with the FBI building or with Julia. Julia won.


National Meeting

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Peyton Manning and Bill Walton were the opening speakers at our meeting recently. I’m impressed. Someone knew someone who knew someone who could get them to come and talk to a bunch of neurosurgeons. Peyton was gracious and actually tried to weave in some stuff about neurosurgery and football. Bill was a loud infomercial for the spine company whose product was recently installed in his back. Nice guy, short on information.

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And at the end – (there’s no picture) – Ben Carson was introduced via remote feed to let us know he was declaring for president. He’s a neurosurgeon. His announcement was an unmitigated disaster. He had his teleprompter too low so his speech made him look like he was sleeping. He had bilateral ptosis and looked pathologic. He rambled. He was disorganized. Hey, sorry, I hold someone who aspires to national office to a higher standard. Practice some more dude, you lost me when you couldn’t open your eyes.


FBI

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Well, it is the FBI – J Edgar Hoover – building. The flags make a nice graphic. There are concrete barriers in front. I’m not sure it’s wise to consider crashing the building.

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Anywhere you look the American flag waves. This was DOJ. If you need to ask then you don’t need to know.


Cute

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Do I need to say more? A picture says a thousand words.


Cure Brain Tumors

_DSC5629The national meeting – AANS – neurosurgeons was starting nearby. And here we are at a race for the cure. How come we weren’t involved? Surgeons don’t cure malignant brain tumors. But then again neither do the oncologists. We are still a long way from a cure.

_DSC5654There was children’s race. They run without a care


Re-Purpose

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Go figure. The old fire alarm boxes are sometimes decorated. I guess it is because the wires cannot be removed. Some not all are like this. And you don’t see them too frequently. So I have to ask why? Why? Get it? I asked?

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National Cathedral

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It’s the second largest in the US after St John’s in NY. It’s the sixth largest in the world after St Peter’s in Rome (first). It is actually complete in 1990 unlike St John’s. It is a rather impressive site as you come upon it high on a hill. Of course the first time we visited the cathedral was closed for national prayer day. Yes, it was open later. They had to prepare.

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Stained glass and the morning light made for great reflections.

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There is always lots of gold and piety.

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Soaring. The lighting and the arches give the feeling of soaring majesty. It was a mere 83 years to build – started in 1907.


Capitol

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The last time I was in Washington the national mall was under construction. It still is but it is a different part. The White House has new security. It seems that people can climb over ten foot high fences without too much problem. I always knew this until I got older and could not any longer. And now, the Capitol is under scaffolding. Well darn, that just messes up a good picture. It was a fine spring day with gorgeous clouds and scaffolding. Ugh.

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Inside they are repairing the rotunda. It seems that there is water leaking. How nice. I’ve had that problem in my apartment too. Nice to know our government has the same issues.


Shark (Attack) Nah!

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We were at the pier. There was a laughable lame aquarium. I can say this because as a snob I have diving on a pretty awesome reef in the Red Sea. And outside there was a fake shark garnering attention. So we mugged. I’m not sure sharks come in black and this guy is definitely not too scary as is.

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Dim Sum

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How old are you? …and never been to a dim sum place. Well at least my daughter has gone but I did not know she liked it. She’s been in LA for a couple years and this is her second visit. I know because we did the first the day before. I never thought of it. Duh? Slap in the head! And for Jeff, it’s his first visit. We made a side trip to the bakery. Shhhhh… the Chinese can’t bake. Nice spontaneous image. Happy.

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And then dim sum. Here’s how it works. You stake out a table close to an aisle. And then you snag anyone who comes by with a cart/trolley. They are loaded with items and you choose dishes by sight and description. In this case it was sight because we don’t speak Chinese. Sorry. And then you load up and feast. Yes it is what is called ‘grazing’ and it’s grand. All sorts of good stuff. Oh! The price for this is a steal! Really. You really get a bang for your buck!


Engagement

Here’s photography lessons. I read a site in which people are always there asking how to do portraits and they are just about to do their first wedding shoot. Could someone please help? And the response – if you are asking, don’t do it. I’m not the shooter for my daughter’s wedding. She hired someone. I did not ask. She’s pretty organized. Tips:

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It helps if they love each other. Duh? But close and tight. You don’t need to see pores but close up. You don’t need the whole body. Hey, do you actually notice? Anyway a kiss helps. But there are so many people who smush. That looks funny. This was about right. I did not ask but this was the right shot. I was just there to shoot it.

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A winning smile. You need the couple to be at ease. It helps that I know my daughter. And her fiancée was cool, So everyone was relaxed and spontaneous smiles were in ample evidence. Clothes are optional but I did not tell them how to dress. I merely warned them I was shooting a lot of images.

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Once you have them laughing, you need to move around. Get a different perspective. But keep them smiling. I don’t patter. You can. I just smiled and let them know I appreciated the moment too.

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Background check. Not too close. The background will be in focus. You want a more soft one? Keep your subject well away from the glass behind them. No? Well, then that is a choice.

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The fence made a nice graphic. Focused. It added an element and you might decide it is distracting. Remember I’m just trying things out as we go along. Ah! Remember the light. No harsh sunlight to make squinting. Nice even soft light. Indirect light works. It would be open shade. Yes, you can work with a flash but that would be too formal for me.

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Another kiss and a neutral background. Elegant and classy. Yes a monotone background lets you concentrate on the main subjects. It is also nice that my daughter can kiss back.

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This was an odd shot. I was pleasantly surprised. When I shot it I did not think it was so special. But the spontaneous action was nice. Sunglasses hide the eyes. But here they work rather well. Yeah, I shot it but I consider it a brilliant snapshot.

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This was actually the start of our walk. Dappled sunlight and shade. Watch for the highlights. The overexposure will kill the image. But controlling the light is good. Jeff’s taller so sitting put them more even. Yes, Happy helps too.

 


Willow

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Snapshots, photos, and others – my categories of images. Images is now the term because it is no longer film. Digital reigns. No more film, long live film. I mostly take snaps with my iPhone. Photos are for my Nikon. Others are more photojournalism. And the lines blur because I don’t consider much; the quality is pretty good. I just press the button. So here’s one crazy cat. He likes water. Cats don’t like water? But Willow comes running whenever the faucet runs. He can do a standing jump to the ledge from about 40 inches. I’m impressed. You should be too. That’s a lot of height for a cat to jump. And then he perches hunched over the sink and tries not to fall in. He licks the drips. I cheated. I wanted an image. So I turned the water on low. Voila!