Word and Image

Archive for October, 2019

Swallowtail

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We have monarch butterfly caterpillars. Where do they come from? Ha! Well, we have a bunch of caterpillars eating my parsley. So, they aren’t monarchs. They are swallowtail butterfly caterpillars.

It’s all figured out from what they eat. Monarchs only eat milkweed. Okay! The identification is solved. I’d like to have had monarchs. Alas, it’s not to be. Meanwhile, it’s devilishly hard for me to get a properly focused picture. The depth of field is shallow. The caterpillars are small. There are ways… but a point and shoot isn’t the best tool. I got shots.

I didn’t try to go out and find my macro lens. Well, I did it. I was curious to see if I could get a better shot. No, not better, different. There were pros and cons. But I was in much better control with manual focus. Autofocus has been around forever. You become dependent. Or, you adapt. Solve the problem. Okay!


Random

People mill around down at the beach in the early evening. Food, souvenirs, stuff, whatever. They mill, they stroll, they wait. I often wonder what is the limit of waiting. You might wait for a table at the restaurant or for that favorite ice cream flavor. How long are you willing to wait? I am generally impatient. No waiting. I get a table pretty quickly in a restaurant. It’s why I refuse to eat in some places. Their food is not memorable enough. Reservation? Yes, when necessary. Otherwise, there is no ice cream worth a wait. Sorry, I can’t tell the difference unless your ice cream is too fluffy and full of air. All of this allows us a good deal of flexibility. If the wait is brief,


Art – couple

Restaurant. I was just sitting looking across and this couple was in my view. The light was stark, the wall monotone, and the scene conjured up some museum painting. I was struck by similar facial features that recall to mind how people grow old and look more and more alike. Yes, you know all the psych related to that… I just liked the graphic opportunity, as in, image.


Waves

I have been struggling to get wave pictures. My timing… is poor. I just figured out how to get a higher % of good shots. Pan! If you don’t know what that is, sorry. Stupid! Me! I should’ve been doing this all along. Pan the wave as it breaks. Voila! (Panning is moving the camera and following the action as you press the shutter. Move the camera in the direction – right or left – as the wave breaks.) Oh boy! This was a silly lightbulb moment for me.


Beach

We try to avoid the crowds. Why not? We live near the beach and go any time we’d like. It doesn’t mean we do. Alas, I’m being intentionally vague. I am also lucky. Colleen hates traffic and hates wrestling for a parking spot. I lived in NYC where parking was always a chore. This is a relative breeze where we live now. Hey! I can even parallel park! Mostly, we avoid the boardwalk. No need to wrestle with crowds. So, mostly, we don’t.


Twins

We call Ray and Nutley the twins. They arrived together. We have three sets – of twins – the sisters, the boys, and the twins. Rainy day, it was great light coming from the window. I must admit I am color. I don’t think in black and white at all. I tried. But I am completely seduced by color. Cute helps too. They are bigger now. Even so, Ray fits his big ole’ self right into the basket and is happy as a clam. Clam? Why/when are clams happy? Everyones’ eatn’ ’em.


Side by side

This is pretty easy to do, for me. Why not? It was an unexpected fun interlude in St Michael’s. We wandered in via a back street. A few hundred yards further on the road was a giant parking lot. We dropped in and spent the day. Fun! Right or left?


Screened

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Banned! Ray and Nutley are delinquent cats who jump the gate and make a break for the great outdoors whenever they see an opportunity. Punishment! They were consigned to the studio and could only longingly peer out through the screen. I like the graphic. They’d rather be on the other side. But, then I wouldn’t eat in peace. Hmmm? Don’t you eat with a camera beside you?

 


Foyer

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Well, we carried our joke far. I had to trash a toilet. They charge for bulk pickup. And it’s on Monday. So, I had to leave the trash in my foyer for a few days. The development would have objected to a toilet at the end of the driveway. Flowers? Why not? And, a curious cat can never resist exploring something new. What’s in your foyer?


Cute

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This random grab shot was on the street. I caught this cute girl twirling her umbrella across the intersection. I liked the hat and the matching tights. It was colorful and graphic. There was a simple message in a single shot.


Ice

Literally! What happens when you don’t defrost your freezer in 4 years? Yes, it’s not a frost-free fridge. We ignored it. It was forgotten. And the ice was impressive. It was a solid block. The door was sealed. I melted the whole thing slowly. Hair dryer! Repurposed! The food was funky. The ice cream was still viable. There’s nothing there now; we don’t need to store anything frozen. Perhaps it will be ice free?


I’m workin’ on it

Waves. I am trying to catch the “curl.” We’re not talking Hawaii. I have no lofty surfer goal. But… well, I’ve been pretty hit and miss to catch a good wave shot. It finally dawned on me to pan the camera. As the wave breaks, I pan and I got a much higher number of shots of the waves breaking. It’s work in progress. A movie would probably be challenging too. Hey! I’m working all of this out on my own. It was another “Duh!” moment. How did I never think of panning before? Afterwards, I feel silly for not thinking. If not for an occasional “Aha!” moment photography wouldn’t be so challenging.


Exit plan

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This pair lined up perpendicular to the incoming wave and backed their way onto the beach. As you can see they took a tumble. I saw it coming. I got one shot. They both fell out. It seemed that was the plan. I think you could be more elegant. I’m ok. I got a shot. Embarrassed? Not me. Maybe, they will work on better technique?


Hummingbird

I don’t see them often. Photographing them is not easy – for me. I am thankful for a chance and an opportunity. It’s a work in progress – like so many other things for me. The situation was clearly not ideal. I shot in poor light through a screen and window. The shutter speed was to slow to freeze the wing motion. There’s plenty to criticize. But, then, I got one more pic of a hummingbird. Otherwise, there would be no discussion of technique.


Caveat emptor, we missed a target…

dem debate

As a retired physician I watched the Democratic debate a few nights ago with interest when each candidate roundly assailed the drug companies who manufactured opioids, calling them out for their role in the epidemic of drug related opioid addictions and deaths. There is a missing link in the targeted villains.

Indeed, we are again following the money. The drug companies profit by the billions of dollars, so indeed, they should be a righteous target to “pay” for this disaster. However, the drug companies do not and cannot just hand out the opioids. It requires a prescription from a Physician, an MD. There are regulations. It is not so simple to just hand over a prescription. There is paperwork and justification and there are monitoring systems already in place to track those same prescriptions. Yet, it is not that hard to procure an opioid prescription. And there’s money to be made!

I understand the reluctance of a patient to blame their own beloved family MD. After all, one could never blame someone in whom you place your very life and whose oath is to “do no harm.” But, we bear responsibility. And MD’s are the choke point. Brevity prevents me from more extensive comment. Suffice to say, that MD’s have contributed to the drug crisis. We are legally empowered to continue to prescribe, or, we can be the ones to stop the madness. Until then, the number of drug deaths will continue just like gun violence and the prescription pad is like an AR 15 in the hands of your MD. Caveat emptor.


Group

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I have spent the summer doing group photos of the family. For this get together the ambiance surrounding us was not the issue. It was a documentary of our time spent and remembrance of good food and conversation. No one went away hungry. We had a chance to catch up. Gathering is way too infrequent. We don’t live close by any longer. And lives are always changing with new jobs and new babies. I’m glad we were together once again.


Dim sum

I don’t know when I was introduced but the concept of dim sum is very appealing. Carts piled with small plates of food circulate the room. You choose and pick and eat. Each plate has the same price and a stamp is placed on your running tab as you eat. The total number of stamps are totaled and multiplied, that’s your bill. Simple. Popular? Very. It’s loud! Lots of families show up to gather and eat around big tables. It’s talk and noise and eating. See something you fancy? Try it. It’s not so expensive that mistakes are painful. Find something you like – eat, eat. It was a perfect gathering spot for our family. As much noise as we made, it was unnoticed by the houseful of diners. Go ahead play with your food too. There was a plate of buns decorated like little pigs.


Cubist

I could be wrong. But she reminds me of Picasso. Compliment? Sure! I’m probably wrong. But the artist recalls cubism. It’s not my cup of tea. But, I can appreciate the talent.


Response?

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The failure of the now president’s (TRUMP) five Atlantic City businesses resulted in thousands of job losses and put dozens of local contractors out of business because they were, much like the elephant sculptor, unpaid. Yet, during his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump boasted of how he took “incredible” amounts of money out of Atlantic City, borrowing cash from third parties so his own wealth wasn’t affected by his various businesses going under. According to Rose, his legacy is best reflected by Atlantic City’s 7.4% unemployment rate – nearly double the national average. “When Trump failed with his casinos,” says Rose, “he turned Atlantic City into a ghost town. His legacy still haunts the boardwalk.”

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2019/apr/08/atlantic-city-trump-ghost-town-gambling-brian-rose-photographer

 

After yesterday’s visit to AC, how’s it going with/without our fearless leader. About what you’d expect. Successful? Nah! Empty boasts! Best! Biggest!  – not by a country mile. There remain staunch supporters. When exactly did you guys stop believing in the tooth fairy?


AC

It’s been many years since I was in Atlantic City. It’s a gambling mecca. It’s failing. Probably not. But it is (failing). Since I was here, many shops and restaurants have closed. The whole boardwalk is more sleazy as well as the rundown neighborhood behind the boardwalk. I have the impression the place is in foreclosure. Of course, it’s not. There’s plenty of money around and judging from the billboards, there are lots of headliners in the clubs. Sex, gambling, booze, and the beach, what a combination. But, I don’t think I will return. The last time I was here I lost $5 – to the parking fee. This time I found free street parking.


Buddhakan

Do you judge a book by its cover? Here is a restaurant that has a dramatic entrance – or I guess this is the exit. It’s dramatic! I would eat here. We didn’t have the time. At midday, there was no sign of diners. Ambiance! 5 stars.


Lazy Susan

Lazy Susan is a turntable device. It allows you to reach things in a corner cabinet that might otherwise be hard to reach. Nutley, my nut of a cat, likes to bang on the door and bounce it open. Then he climbs into the cabinet. What’s in your cabinet? We have to leave the door open lest he be trapped inside. Or, can he reverse engineer and get himself out?


Class

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Well, we are back in class. Redux. I did this shortly after we first met. I think I would have sat behind Colleen. Who knows? Once more, it’s the same style school desk we had in elementary school. What can one say? I wish we had known then… I suppose we would have been together a few more decades. Life’s funny, better than never….


Sometimes it ain’t art…

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So much art, so little time. It’s about fun, right? ‘cause sometimes it ain’t art.

Do you need an explanation? Or, do you get it? Explanation? Is art fun? Serious? Did you ever have the sneakin’ feelin’ the artist is havin’ a laugh on you? On me? Someone actually bought this to hang on a wall. Some walls are better than others. I wish I could do art like this…