Word and Image

Archive for March, 2019

GPS – my/our norm

Ha ha to Dave. He had a laugh. He took a picture with his iPhone when he saw our dashboard. I have a GPS. Colleen has a GPS. And we have our iPhones. And at any given time, we have them running (all of them). Usually, Colleen will keep her GPS in her lap and reads email, news, whatever. The programs are all different, so, it is not uncommon to hear the devices arguing over which directions to follow. Colleen is the human! She is near tears when she can’t tell me where to go. Imagine that, a woman, and she can’t tell me where to go? Nah!

Caveat: You are never lost as long as you never put the car in reverse. Driving around in circles is okay within that definition.


It’s in the eyes. When you see it you know it? Love? When you are in love you know it. Black and white is kind of like that. The absence of color makes me focus on the eyes. It’s arresting. I know I like it. Would it be the same in color? No, but then again, I didn’t shoot this in color for comparison either. It stands alone. I have two cameras ready to go now. One set for color, the other black and white. It’s not the same as converting after the fact. I do have a brain that splits and I can think and chew gum at the same time.

Alas, I am still color > 99%.


On the day you were born

Noa Lila was born on the 20th of January. I nearly forgot to photograph the news headline the day she was born. In Delaware the NY Times is delivered a few days late. In this case my local library had a newspaper from January 14. No good. On January 24 in the library in New Castle, I caught up to recent headlines on January 20. Newspaper? I read the internet NY Times and it is updated multiple times a day. Who reads a paper? It’s so old and out of date. Hence, the newspaper shows up at the library days later. Old news, historical interest. It is/was the news on the day you were born. It wasn’t as cool as the super blood wolf moon that night.

How do you sleep?

Periodically, I go around the house and shoot the cats. No! Not literally. I take pictures of the cats that I can find. This time around they had their arms extended. I sleep that way too! Sometimes. There are so many traits we have in common. Or, have they learned and emulate me because they have seen me sleep?


Don’t do this at home. This is a mandolin. Years ago, Lisa forbade me from using one. Ha! Is it sharp? Yup, very! I’ve been cut before. Never so badly… Two of my assistants in Saudi managed to cut me with a scalpel. That was harrowing. And, stupid… very, on my part. In all my years as a surgeon I was never cut before that. Now, I’m cut again. If you are squeamish, I, at least, did not show you gore. It was pretty bloody. Nothing to be done if you shave off your finger nail and part of the nail bed. Ugh!! The bleeding stopped. “All bleeding stops.”  – operating room motto. How? It was an unforced error; I was momentarily distracted by Colleen. She is now on a short distinct list. I won’t forget her. Ha!

Epilogue: The nail has grown back, almost. I cringe to think of the wound. I not only forgave Colleen, I married her. The ham dinner was a success. Only one guest, Kathy, noticed I was cut.


The Beatles – Come and Get It Lyrics | Genius Lyrics https://genius.com › B › The Beatles

Oct 28, 1996 – Come and Get It Lyrics: If you want it, here it is / Come and get it / Make your mind up fast / If you want it, any time / I can give it / But you better ..

Labels. Read ‘em? I was looking over my Clementines this morning. “Wax Protected” they spray them with wax. Don’t use the rind for cooking or baking! Maybe, wax is good for you. Or, how did the Moroccans get tagged to label and warn me here in DE. Hmmmm, Morocco? Is that what it has come to? We get our fresh fruit from so far away. It must cost to send fruit by plane. Oh?! No?! By ship? How old are these things anyway? When were they picked and how long did they ship? Made in the USA? Nope, nada, hardly. Oy! But, cheap! I forgot to read the label. There’s no free lunch.

Can you say cute?


I have seven cats. I should say “we.” But then again, seven cats let us sleep in their house…. Can you say cute? I have too many cute pics to count. So cute! Yeah, ‘cause they are my/our cats. But every once in a while, there is a standout pic. It was an instant hit for me. That’s my story and I’m stickin’ with it.

Mother is the invention…

Ha ha, you might remember: Necessity is the mother of invention. But then, what do squirrels know? Look up youtube and you will see the mothers of all devices that attempt to prevent squirrels from eating at bird feeders. We got a feeder as a gift at Christmas. It took about a week for birds to discover it. That long?! A squirrel came by once and soon left. Ah! The cage works! Nah! Today the little rodent was inside the cage munching the snack mix. He’d already eaten the suet packages – one at a time on two consecutive days. I daresay he was so plump that he had difficulty escaping the bars when I confronted him directly. Just tapping my window pane drew only a sneer: come get me if you will. Now it’s full on war! Grease won’t work. Been there done that…


Hmmmm….aroused motivated cat?

Cat TV

By the time I get this post out, it will be winter into spring. Ha ha! We got a bird feeder. And now my cats gather to watch. They are mesmerized. They stare, sometimes in pairs, sometimes singly. The birds don’t mind. They are hungry and protected by the glass panes. No squirrels allowed! One finally found the feeder, made an attempt to eat, and then bounded away never to be seen again. The anti-squirrel cage works… for now. Why not feed the squirrels? We do it at the park. They are rodents in the rat and mouse family. At the house no! In the park, maybe?



I shoot typewriters. Funny, does anyone else? You gotta have a plan. I shoot them in two views – looking down on the keyboard and front on at the machine. Now, I have a third view – looking at the keys. I will adjust my angle slightly to get the brand name in the image.

I was surprised to see that a machine had keys for 1, 10, 100, 1000. Neat trick. I did not check to see if the numbers printed out from one key in one stroke. That would require some kind of different key.

Typewriters? I got ‘em. Two. The first was when I dropped David at college. The sucker had to have weighed 25 pounds and I made him ship it home. He was going to trash it – too heavy to ship home. The other was identical to my college Underwood. It and I spent many a night finishing a paper at 3AM. I got that machine. As for the rest, they are generally in poor shape and expensive $$$. Nope, I do not need a paperweight. I still shoot them. It’s a nice collection of images. Now I will shoot 3 images each time.

Legend of the lawn jockey


Lawn ornaments, like a footman bearing a lantern or a gnome in a garden, the origin and meaning is unclear. Racist? The ornaments are still popular and sought after. Legend: Jocko Graves, 12 yo African American boy, died in service to George Washington; he froze to death standing post to light the way for troops returning across the Delaware River. True? No one is quite sure. Ah! He’s holding a light! Get it? Well, I can say I learned something new. The offering in the antique store is old? The price is $775. Ummmm….no.

Scene – Protest – Abortion


I live in a Republican county. Don’t ask. From time to time they are out on the street to demonstrate. Um… ok, it’s free speech. We are all allowed our opinion and the right to express them. It was a very cold day this January. Like other hot button issues – gun control and immigration, we all have our difference of opinions. I wish there could be some common ground instead of polar opposites which will never meet. Your opinion will/should prevail and no other. This leaves me with no room but to resist. What happened to “live and let live?” Oh, that’s hitting too close to the subject here.

Alcohol and tobacco kill too. Cancer, COPD, alcoholism, drunk driving. But no, there is big money behind them. We didn’t even acknowledge tobacco is addictive and causes cancer until recently. We still shoot kids in school. Big money  protects the right of anyone to buy a weapon and aim it at our kids. Hypocrisy. You argue apples and oranges. Follow the money.

In my lifetime

Charm? In the space of a couple days, we saw three old newspapers. It was sobering. I did not look for them. They popped up in our browsing in antique stores. It’s my generation. Someone lamented when the Beatles broke up. And there are a couple generations since who can ask, “Who were the Beatles?” The other Kennedy was Robert. Yes, shot dead, too. I am still sobered. I was in Junior High when JFK was assassinated. I have often wondered how different history might have been.


2685 20 Ginny

It’s her birthday. She would never let me forget. And then again, Carol also reminded me. I picked a more flattering picture, as in, there are many more that are compromising. Black hides weight well, don’t you think? And, never speak of a woman’s age! Oh, the faux pas(s) I have made. But to know me, is to realize that you are indeed beloved if I/we can laugh at each other. So – Happy Birthday kid.

More fun in black and white II


I have two point and shoot cameras. I lamented that the Sony RX100M6 has a series of screens to maneuver before you change the setting to Black and White. It means you cannot toggle to color easily. The Canon G7X has a way to toggle relatively easier. Or, just keep one camera for color and the other for black and white. I’m still playing. It’s good to experiment. My cat, Feather, agreed to pose. She’s not patient. It’s another work in progress. I learned that focus is critical. And depth of field… yawn. I’m still wishing my cameras could change as fast as I think of something else to try.

Cat scratch

I should qualify for stupid to get this purple heart. Elle, has been moping for a few days. Today we found blood on the rug by her favorite spot. So, I set off to capture and examine her. If she doesn’t want to be caught… well, I/we got her. And the cut is still bleeding, though not fresh. I got my wounds holding her to clean and see the extent of the wound. I finally got a picture of the wound a day or so later. It’s gruesome. Don’t laugh. As a surgeon I relate way better to clean wounds.

She’s on quarantine. I want to be sure she heals… and that she’s doesn’t bleed all over the furniture. The latter is just humor. There’s nothing funny about a beloved wounded cat. My bad. Spice and Elle fight all the time. I punished Spice for chasing Elle. The cut was probably not made by Spice. She only has back claws and her teeth would not be guilty of making this wound. I did it again. I blamed the wrong culprit.

The tool bench was here when we moved in. it’s gotta go. It was mostly the reason for the cut in the tail. Patch has had recurrent wounds over his right eye. Why there? And every time out, it’s the same spot. Insanity – cat.

More fun in black and white



They used to joke about a black cat in a coal mine being hard to photograph. Sure! Do your worst. A dark cat is almost impossible to photograph in detail in BxW. In color I never noticed it was hard. BxW can be arresting. When it’s good, it’s great! Color is less so. Maybe? I think of texture and tone when looking at BxW. Maybe there’s hope for me yet.



Perhaps, it’s the other way round? Black and white is demanding. I think in color. We see in color. Consider it a work in progress needing a lot of progress.

Color – Patch

Ha ha! A white cat – in shades of grey. Funny?! Pardon the extreme ISO. If you are iPhone ignore the last completely. Color has subtle ways of drawing viewer attention. BxW is about grey – shades. Different vibe, your choice. My preference? I yield to well made, well exposed, well printed BxW. I’m color. Maybe I can think again in BxW. For now, my work is 99.9% color. Patch is the name of my cat.

Out of range

Ansel Adams I am not. Good cat portrait? See the white fur. The digital sensor is not capable of shooting extended range. It’s complicated. But so, it has always been. The human eye is better in some instances. The white fur is overexposed. In black and white this is the first thing I noticed. In color it’s ok by me to notice the eyes first. Color, black and white, it’s different in so many ways. It’s easy enough to do, why not keep experimenting?

Three rings


I was leaving the beach. I turned around. The hula hoop was in motion. I guess that caught my eye. It’s not a good shot. The lights and wires are in the way. And it’s a good shot in that it captures the mood. The funk is enhanced by the environment. A focused closeup shot would not have been better. That’s my opinion and I’m stickin’ with it. I would look up the origin of hula hoop but this is as good as anything else.

I dare you…

Spice stalks Elle. She waits, she pounces. It’s turnabout. Elle did not welcome Spice when we first adopted Spice. So, they have a game. Mostly, it’s on Elle. Spice has taught Ray and Nutley to play. The two did a pincer movement and funneled Elle to the ambush site for Spice. For their troubles, everyone got a “timeout.” Do cats understand? Yes, they do. Do they care? This series is after “timeout.” No pounce. Wait, till I’m not looking.



Hunter Mountain. It’s in upstate NY. We skied there the last time I skied with my kids. As in, it was the last time we skied together. Period. It’s a sad happy memory forwarded to my email courtesy of Shutterfly. K27. It’s the name of an infamous trail on the mountain for experts only. Skiing in upstate NY has challenges. It’s eastern skiing, therefore be prepared for ice. The moguls were the size of Volkswagen beetles. I am older and wiser which is to say I wanted to live to ski another run. Eric and Dave went first and fell. Eric exploded. Jules was more cautious and picked her way around the moguls to ski out the bottom. Good for her! As I say this memory was bittersweet. Who knew what the future would bring and how our lives all changed so.


Public service

“I’m from the government and I’m here to help you….” Oh yeah! I was walking around the store and paused to read the label. I was appalled.

Britta makes water filters. They are not cheap. You buy the device and then pay for filters forever. Read the label. Really. Read the label. Okay, you don’t know  chemistry. Can you follow along? Britta is careful to not promise that everything will be removed. It reduces. There is no safe level of lead. It’s either there or not. Ditto: mercury or cadmium. Sounds official. It’s not. If you have asbestos in your water, your water company is not doing it’s job. And it can keep fluoride while taking out chlorine. The atoms are related and one cannot be selective in filtering either/or. So, you can’t do that! On so many levels all of this is disingenuous. Britta assumes you don’t know nuthin’. Maybe? Your ignorance is earning them pots of money. What they promise is that your water will go through their filter and your money will go in their coffers. It’s not a winning combination. If you read nothing else: Don’t do it.

Art critic

The Biggs Museum runs/ran a photo exhibition. Submit your photo for criticism and be selected, get displayed and maybe win a prize. Oh, okay. I found out it’s completely subjective. You are at the mercy of the likes/dislikes of the juror. Submitting work is a crap shoot. You may have excellent work. You may think you have excellent work… It was enlightening to understand the process of selection. Basically, anything goes. There was stuff I would have thrown out that got honored. And the grand prize went to a picture I would have tossed. I’m not whining. In fact, the lecture opened up new thinking for me. I don’t need a juror or a show. I don’t need the credit. For as many years as I have been a photographer, it has been for pleasure. It is definitely not my day job. Although I would be happy to do a job for you. Ha! No pressure. Keep on shooting. If anything goes:



Shoot the moon. Ignore the power lines. It’s the moon. Power lines add interest. Well, I don’t agree. But….


Charge your phone. Vampire. Just scoot on in to the lecture, help yourself, charge right up. No matter there’s a photo show/op right there.


Cat/silhouette, I would have shooed away the cat. Now it is better to have tension in this picture of the morning star.


Reflections, sure, shoot ‘em if you got ‘em. Juxtapose. See things in a new light. I shot this shortly after leaving the museum.

In a single day, I broke out of the doldrums. What I learned? Anything goes. Happy shooting.