I thought I was a pretty good photographer till my eyes were opened in 2007. I had met a Sports Illustrated photographer Manny Milan. He was impressed by my indexing and storage of over 100,000 slides in my collection. Nuts! Me. Nonetheless, he remembered me and invited me to the US Open (tennis) and I learned what a difference in work from myself to real professionals. Nope. I’m strictly amateur. Anyone can take a picture. It’s not anyone who can capture action. No, motor drive will not help you. We take it for granted because impossible images are all around us. Professional photographers get it done every day. There were scores of photographers from all different agencies. My lesson and goal for the several days I was present, get the ball. The image should have the player and the ball in the same frame. That would be the “money shot.” Do it! It ain’t easy. My poor Nikon D70 was woefully inadequate. I got the “shot.” And I realized that there is a better way. I learned. Anytime you learn a new trick, it’s great!
Dumb as a stone
Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse… you republicans should realize you are being led around by an idiot. So little understanding… how is this guy any kind of leader. Climate change…here. Here’s your global warming? It’ no wonder why the rest of us are laughing at you. The logic of his twit makes idiots blush. And, the moon is made of cheese… People are freezing and some will die. Did you tweet any concern? Your agenda, and not another word for your fellow man or the citizens you were elected to serve. It’s all about you against the world. Not a word of sympathy; people suffer while you worry about yourself.
Digital single lens reflex. If you don’t know cameras the initials stand for big serious camera with interchangeable lenses. …if you care. Go on. Use that iPhone… I always considered myself to be a serious amateur photographer. May 25, 2004, I received my Nikon D70. I opened the package near midnight. Yes, I worked late in those days. I like to say it was the last time I shot slide film from that day forward. It pretty much was the case. Digital was seductive and in my head I had a quality camera capturing the images that would be comparable to slide film with way less processing. Of course, the rest is history. I have been through several iterations of DSLR and now am using advance point and shoot cameras. The iPhone remains a distant (second) device though for many it is the camera of today. iPhone is $1000 as are advanced point and shoot cameras like the Sony RX100. Each has a purpose. I believe a camera dedicated to a single purpose is better than a smart phone.
I was gifted a Canon G3 on my birthday in 2003. It would still be a year later I would get my Nikon D70. Too technical? One of the first serviceable shots was a selfie. A few days later I visited Jules at her college track meet. Some of the images were lost and never archived. The metadata was corrupted though my filing method kept track of the date I took the images. The biggest event I did was Amy’s (Susan’s daughter) wedding. I shot film and digital. The camera was highly rated at the time. I just did not utilize it fully. I was still committed to film. In a way I’m impressed at my ability to keep a database and to keep my photos organized.
A day late…
… and a dollar short. January 1, 2019. First picture of the new year. 411,612 – 2003 to 2018. That would be the number of digital images to date that I have taken – give or take. I’m missing some iPhone pics to count. That’s a huge number. I’m impressed. To look through the archive would be daunting. I do look occasionally. In my alternate reality I realize that I have forgotten so many images. They remain as an historical archive of events and experiences in my life.
I’m alive and kicking. That’s a plus. I didn’t realize there are friends and relatives who follow my blog silently noting the passage of images and rants. I don’t really rant. Impassioned. I suppose I could do better. In the majority I am photographing the world around me. I feel fortunate to see the sunrise. I am frustrated because now that I can sleep all I want, I awaken far too often to see the sunrise. On the plus side I get some great images early in the morning. I guess I should have made it a point to take a first pic of the year and commemorate the moment years ago. It’s never too late…
To the extended family, friends, & dear readers: Baby Noa
I did not take a single of these images. Ha ha! Happily, Jules has admitted to my gene and has been mercilessly taking pictures of baby Noa. Good! They change quickly. It’s amazing how much space their things take up when she was so compactly packed away inside Jules’ belly a mere week ago. I admit she looks way better than her ultrasound pic. Anyway, a quick update on her first week birthday.
I don’t exactly at this moment remember why we named him Nutley. Time and time again he demonstrates why he is a sandwich shy of a picnic. Behavior is not something I can teach – at least not to cats. They come wired up and ready to go with their own unique personalities. Nutley came to us as Nibbles and his name quickly changed. Lately he has taken to burrowing under the rug. It’s a heavy area rug and he lifts the edge and crawls under. The other cats pounce on the moving lump. Nutley doesn’t mind. He’s quite content to stay hidden away. I cannot presume to know what’s going on in his feline brain. We are delighted that he’s made himself right at home with us. Ya gotta love him!
We have looms and we have spinning wheels. Too numerous to count. Ha! I’m guilty of being acquisitive. I doesn’t help that Colleen is too. But this post is about picking images. And today I spun Lightroom and recall this memory.
The time is September 2014 in Saudi Arabia. What would you know about living in a totalitarian government in which freedom could be snatched at any moment? How about being reminded that freedom is a gift every day? How about if you have taken simple freedom for granted each and every day of your life? Unrestricted travel? Not here!
My old boss is in a dungeon placed there without stated charges by the prince. A man can be wealthy and then imprisoned the next day. Does it sound like a scene from medieval times? I had to leave my cat behind… another long story. I was blessed to escape. I got out without too much red tape and with too much drama for anyone’s liking. But I’m out! The parting gift was the worst cough/cold of my life given to me by a pair of random fellow travelers on the airplane. Thanks a lot. The relief (of my escape) was palpable then and even today. Living in Saudi was an experience not to be missed. I miss the scuba dives in the Red Sea. I miss some people I met. I do not miss being living in a totalitarian regime.(Happy New Year, Gen)
Are there parallels in American history today? The once and future king… The vast majority of the population live in freedom they take for granted. Never was this so true. I wish you could have walked in my shoes.
I shoulda known
The bastards! They want to make money. Doesn’t everyone? The recipes sucked me right in and right along. I have saved hundreds of recipes. Fortunately I have cooked only a very few “go to” recipes. Others, in prior years I saved to my computer the hard way. I copied the recipe to a word document. Like trusty index cards, I have a collection, most of which I never attempted. We are replete with a full line of cookbooks. And the internet! It knows all. So the cruelest twist is that now the NYT has a screen default to subscribe (forever!) indefinitely to their recipes. I shoulda coulda known that anything doesn’t last except what’s on my hard drive. I did not and was seduced by the ease of saving a recipe and letting the NYT keep them archived. Fortunately no foul, no harm. My faith has not been broken. I always never did trust that there is “free lunch.” Back up your stuff. Leave nothing to trust.
It’s not my best work – the image or the recipe. This is a Dutch baby. It’s eggs, flour, milk, and sugar. Don’t forget the stick of butter. What could be bad? I got it off the NYT recipes. It’s a showstopper. The recipe is online elsewhere. Did I say that recipes are available for free just about anywhere else you want to look? Charging a subscription fee indefinitely is like taking tea to China. …or carrying coal to Newcastle.
Here’s a shout out to Shutterfly. They took over Kodak a while ago. And my photos have been preserved with them. Of course, I did not load pictures without keeping the originals myself. But where? I could no doubt find them in a little bit. Or, I can be tempted by their solicitous email. They send me memories from years back and I am supposed to respond by getting prints. For some reason the idea works counter-intuitively for me. Nice. They post my pics as a tiny file. I can’t take the file and actually use it. Is that right? Thank you. I can post them. No harm no foul. The issues open for discussion are too numerous to count.
Kids! Mine! They visited Jeddah five years ago. Hence, the abaya. How time flies! It was a special trip, the last I had with both my kids alone. Jules is married now and almost a new mom. Saudi Arabia does not allow tourists. They make their millions from the penitent to Mecca. So, it was unusual that my kids were allowed to visit me, pretty much a one time deal. So, this is a memory on many levels. A few years, only a few.
And street photography. It seems that my camera was a magnet. This group of kids was perfectly happy to ham it up while I took their picture. It was a request. Theirs! Thank you too.
Vantage Point … viral
See it for yourself. This is one interpretation. The picture is viral. The student depicted has received death threats. He’s wearing a MAGA hat. Is it a smirk on his face? Or is it respect or disrespect? Freedom of speech for both parties? One can argue either way/side. It was certainly more complicated than this single image suggests. Are we in or out of context here? Does a picture say a thousand words? Things could have been so different or done differently. The controversy is Catch 22. Damn or be damned, you are in the middle. I see this one way. We all have to choose. And you do too.
Vantage Point – the movie – 2008 – Dennis Quaid, Forrest Whitaker, William Hurt
The past tense of see… how about see-saw. A man playing the saw is not something you see often. And a man playing a saw with a coffin in the background would be even more rare. Apropos, we met up with a group who advocated death with dignity. Bury yourself. Well, not quite. But you can build your own coffin and be buried on your own land and …. well, there are no rules in most states. I won’t go into details except that people don’t… and they don’t pay exorbitant funeral expense. And so on… so there was this man playing a saw…
No man is an island. Ha! I missed the better shot. You don’t go back. That is an unfortunate rule. Like time, the trip is one way. I saw a house on the island. You can too. But very dimly/poorly as opposed to the home I saw as I passed initially. There is no access except over water. No bridge or path. Nice! It’s appealing in ways and probably loses its charm once you’ve done it more than a few times. I wonder how they got the building material over – slowly. And what about fuel and power? Hmmm? Great idea, lot of work.
Same day follow up
That rebozo? I didn’t want to let it go and get mailed without one more photo session. So!? You can never find or corral Elle. So, she’s not pictured. But like baby pictures, I posed each of the other six cats on the cloth. Three of the six yawned. I did not intend to get or expect them to yawn on cue.
I admit that I roused four from a sound nap to pose for me. Patch and Willow were curious. They were awaiting me to feed them. Hence, curiosity, but no posing. Nope. Feed me! Ray did not yawn. He was so sleepy, he just continued to snooze after I put him down. Now, I’m ready to go postal and get this rebozo on it’s journey.
Look! Guess who’s awake? Notice: no one’s gonna be sleeping around this house any more. Let the night games begin…. Born, January 20, 2019 at 11:11
PM. Name not official but, Lisa Lila. Junior! Numerology: 1/20 11:10 2019 is 120 120 201 = 9. I was hoping for 1/21 and it would be 121 spelled backwards. But 1/20 at 11:10 is a fine set of numbers.
Now, for a nickname. Born by the light of the super blood wolf moon. Hmmmm? Jr? Moon? Lila? Working on it. I have to say mom looks very much like grandma in this pic. And the kid looks very much like her mom. It’s complicated since the nouns and pronouns can mean or be confusing with or without context. Obtuse?Hey! It’s the middle of the night around here. Why does labor always seem to start in the middle of the night? And end that way too? All in all, it was a very smooth delivery. I didn’t feel a thing. And, I slept like a baby when the moment arrived. Ah! But, this ain’t about me. Goodnight Moon.
Seventeen feet long. Yes. It’s something that took Colleen some time to weave. It’s a Mexican term for a baby wrap. You wrap yourself up in this cloth and carry a baby comfortably around without the encumbrance of maneuvering a stroller in a crowd. I never heard the term or even knew about them when my kids grew up. It’s a simple concept. Now to find a model for the finished product. (No cats were harmed in the photography of these cats.) I grabbed Feather. She’s the most mellow because she has had all manner of issues that require her to submit to treatment. I have to give her pills. I pry her mouth open and drop them in. We have an understanding. She might spit the pill out. But she doesn’t bite me. Ok! We did it! Her modeling session lasted about six frames. A second after this pic Feather leaped to freedom.
A couple days later we needed another model for cousins who came to visit. Ray! He lasted about 4 shots. Of course, the rebozo is heading to Jules. She’s due in about a week or so. Let’s hope her daughter is more compliant. A determined cat can leap out any time.
Ooops! This has been an exciting day. And of course, I’ve been distracted. We were informed that Jules is about to deliver a brand new baby girl. Wow! And, more wow! Ok, this is my first official grandpa experience. So far it’s been very smooth – for me. Jules stopped working yesterday. Yes, really, literally. So the next day… yup. She’s been very comfortable. Ah! Great drugs. And now the waiting. Why is it always that they have labor at night and continue indefinitely ever after? Funny, Jeff took a picture of the NY Times headline – on the day you were born. Oh boy. Soon.
Oh! This is a rebozo. It’s a baby wrap. You wrap and carry the new baby. Convenient. No model for this finished product. So, the closest cat modelled – Feather. She lasted about ten seconds and then leapt for safety. It’s Nutley who’s snuggled up to the seventeen foot cloth Colleen wove with love. Yup, this baby will be well loved all around.
Grandma Moses. Anna Mary Robertson Moses (September 7, 1860 – December 13, 1961), known by her nickname Grandma Moses, was an American folk artist. She began painting in earnest at the age of 78 and is often cited as an example of an individual who successfully began a career in the arts at an advanced age.
I am okay. But the painting is pretty primitive. Is that fair? Maybe childish? Juvenile? Here’s my point. Look at the eyes. They are just painted dots. Dots. Not even an attempt at making them symmetric. I was kind of shocked. Because you start when you are old, it gives you a free pass on technique? I guess, I should get out my paint again. I did some mickey mouse watercolor work last year. I dispatched the efforts to the junk pile. Right place, right time, favorable critics – timing is everything.
Winslow Homer. There was an exhibition of his interaction with photography in the mid 1800’s. Mathew Brady took a picture, yes with a real camera and film, of Abraham Lincoln. And Homer adapted the image in his illustration of Lincoln. He embellished – he added a presidential background. And he did cosmetic surgery worthy of any Photoshop tech today. Homer filled in the hollow cheeks and sized Lincoln’s ears downward. It made for a much better illustration. It was circulated around the time of Lincoln’s inauguration. Did Lincoln mind? We have other presidents who are vain. I can think of one off the top of my head.
Bookstores! Who goes any more? I found myself at the checkout and perused the magazines and books. Needless to say, our fearless leader has hogged the spotlight. That must be such an ego trip! WTF. Maybe. Maybe not?
I didn’t bother to look in Stormy’s book. I doubt she would have put in any gratuitous porn. Bah! It’s quite a line-up. Everybody’s making hay off our dear president. He’s good for the bottom line and profits for so many authors. How can we not love the bastard? It won’t stop when he’s gone either?
It was explained to me. This little box is used to collect marbles. Each voter in the room is given a white and black marble. The box is passed around and each person drops either a white or black marble into the hole. The box is opened (slide) and if there is one black marble the issue/vote fails to pass. Blackballed! Who knew?
I got a new camera (last September)– Sony RX100VI. It’s touted as the best travel camera. It’s been raved over as a dive camera for years. I succumbed to the hype. I have buyer’s remorse. It’s good! But the Canon G7X is good too. And it cost a lot less. The Canon G7 Mark II is probably good too. I did need a new camera. Ha! I’ve got a case of camera envy. Actually, I justify the acquisition in the name of protecting and preserving the G7X. My dive housing is dedicated and if the G7X goes, then there will be a very expensive dive housing sitting without a place to go. Yeah! That does seal the argument?? The Sony is good. I’m just putting it through rigorous field tests. It’s good. I miss the G7X already. I’ll transition and everything will be okay. It happened with my Canon G12. That was a sweet camera until the G7X. And my Canon S100? What about the trusty Nikon D610? Ok, ok, don’t laugh. I’ve got cameras like… ladies have shoes (some not all). I have some test images. There are limitations in focusing and speed and … overall, the camera does well. It and I are still getting to know each other. There are advantages over an iPhone… and not. Mostly I’m a camera guy. I want to take a picture with a real camera and control certain elements that the iPhone doesn’t allow. Remember, I like to make the rules … not be ruled. Judge from the samples. I need a haircut.
Follow-up: Since there is considerable delay in my posts lately, it’s been two trips since I got the RX100. I have not shot a frame from the G7X. There are limitations. Focusing, touted as excellent, has been a problem with the RX100. Like anything else, you work with the limitations and adapt to the quirks. Looking back, the RX100 is easily an all in one travel camera for compact size and convenience. I still think and visualize faster than the camera can respond. And, I still see lots of pictures that the camera was not quick enough to respond to capture the image I saw.
I just told you I don’t do motor drive. I did. Well, I shot a sequence – rapidly. I did not just press down and hope for the best. There’s some skill involved even though it was a burst of images. Ha! Whatever! Poor surfer guy. He did a show just for me. It was one and done. He left the water shortly after. It was the only wave he caught. Well, he didn’t catch it as much as it caught him. But he made a great series for me. TY
The hurricane effects were felt long before it arrived. The waves, ordinarily barely a ripple, were taller than your head. And, everyone flocked there. Tourists had no choice. Stay at home or enjoy the inclement conditions. You don’t have much choice when you paid for a weekly rental. Go in the water? It’s warm in autumn after the summer heat. What is it they say – the calm before the storm? I went to see waves and the people.