1. relating to or belonging to a profession.
2. engaged in a specified activity as one’s main paid occupation rather than as a pastime.
Strictly amateur, though I might have pursued photography more seriously, it was never my day job. I chose something a bit more exclusive – brain surgery. Ha ha. Who knew? I quit surgery and am still doing photography. Hmmmm… Photography (for me) is random and unrestricted without any mandate to get “the shot.” It is (continues) a negative cash flow as I buy new camera equipment. Rewarding can be altruistic as many family members appreciate my efforts. Colleen can be (is) such a kind audience. No pressure! I am quite content to let luck be my guide. The neurosurgery department motto (my residency) was: “Better to be lucky than good.” This more or less refers to a miraculous save during surgery that transcended the basic skill of the surgeon. Of course, it helps to be both.
A slice and a coke. What’s more American? This is/was my childhood. It has changed. The pizza is much more “craft” than of my high school days. We could get a slice and a coke by the subway for 35 cents. Games? Yeah, who’s looking for a Democrat Republican tic tac toe set? Old typewriters? In my lifetime they are obsolete. Striking mechanical keys? How quaint! Suddenly, things look so old…
The internet is grand. It allowed me to peruse and find a Canon G3 camera, my first digital camera. It was gifted on my birthday (decades ago) by Lisa, who consulted the gurus at B&H Photo. Great! It’s laughable. The camera is so clunky. It is so retro – about 20 yrs old now.
Oh! The backstory – an article reviewing the original Canon G1. It was never on my radar (back in 2000). I was waiting for a DSLR – Nikon. The (then) current Kodak digital with a Nikon body was about $10K. Yes, that was $10, 000 (in 2000). My! My! Needless to say I had fun (with the G3) but it was not my main camera. I was using whatever Nikon DSLR of the day reigned in 2000.
Present day – a used Canon G3 is about $30. Retail, in 2000 ~ $1,000. Hey! It was not exorbitant ($30). Click! Ordered. But. You need a memory card, card reader, and a battery. That alone exceeded the cost of the camera. Ha ha. And then the camera arrived with a memory card, and battery, and a charger. Returns! Oh! I saved money!
The file size is < 1mb. The image is soft, most likely user driven (error). (A comparable Nikon Z5 image is seen above.) Fun! It’s a whole lot easier than dipping back into the film pond. Meanwhile… to find my old Nikon D70. If you are a camera nut – you probably aren’t – I once shot the US (Tennis) Open with a Sports Illustrated photographer. I had the spiffy Nikon D70 while the professionals were using the latest Canon Mark III D whatever heavies. They toted 25-pound tele lenses. I was a rank amateur and didn’t know how badly outgunned I was. Still, I got great images and an even greater experience.
The Canon G3 – two memories: 1. I lost some images of Jules at a college track meet. They just went missing from the memory card. 2. I shot some of Susan’s daughter’s wedding with it. But, the critical images went to film on my Nikon.
But, it’s never too late to learn a new trick. I discovered beefsteak tomatoes. Ha ha! Everyone else knows them. I am late to the party as usual. Colleen bought one. I just about let it go bad on the counter. Then, we got mozzarella. I added olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Voila! Instant revelation! I was stunned. I don’t think I ever ate a beefsteak tomato before? Or if I did, it was not a true tomato?
An aside? I shoot macro images. Sometimes it feels as though I cannot see the details the lens captures until I start editing. The details! Water droplets? Subtle and not noticeable until I enlarge the image. Yes, I feel like some images were shot with my eyes closed.
Focus? Dead on accurate – the cat (Peas) – or, it’s not a shot. You aspire to a different standard.
And that beefsteak? A simple recipe. Good lighting. Luscious color. Mmmmm….
I gotta a question that will make Fox news drool. Why? If we have now killed a planner of the Afghan attack, why, oh why, did we not kill him before that attack? And, Fox would say we should’a killed him when he was a little bitty baby. What if… how did they know, and, how did they know where to find him so quickly? Yes, we cannot reveal sources and methods. Did we just kill someone and say it was him? Sorry to be cynical, but, I “been” lied to before.
Whack a mole!! Is this familiar? Another day, another lie. It’s not easy to kill “shit.” It’s easy to get it on your shoe if you don’t pay attention. Nope, trump didn’t kill shit either. A lie from a liar, how novel is that?
“In January 2020, Mr. Trump again bragged about having destroyed “100 percent of ISIS and its territorial caliphate.” He also said that before Mr. al-Baghdadi was killed, he had been “trying again to rebuild the ISIS caliphate and failed.”
Clearly, it was not 100 percent.” NYT
It seems a lost cause to try to limit myself to one picture and one story per day. Some days have too many – stories and pics. Sorry. How about an upside down dragonfly? ?? Really?! Yup! It flopped to the deck right in front of me with a thud. Truly! It was an act I did not realize until I did the edit. Later, it flipped and flew away. Relief!
The building – it was across the street from the restaurant – beer flight – inside on the wall was a black and white photo ala this view – for $700. Nope! I’m not kidding. Sorry, I would not pay that kind of money for that kind of shot. I have too many of my own in the discard pile. Really! Balls; ya gotta have ‘em to take that shot and price it like that.
Flight time? You can order a “flight.” This allows you to taste five beers as a sampler. Fun! Yes! Colleen loves dark beer. To me they all taste the same and are bitter. She can appreciate the nuance. I appreciate that she loves the experience. I’m still struggling to appreciate the BxW building on the wall next to me.
Still life – note the flattened peaches. I did it subtly so as not to squish out the juices. That is a large tomato for scale? – or small peaches. Watermelon in the background – I am in a watermelon eating stage right now.
The cat and sunset are throw-ins. It’s the end of the day. I keep a camera at hand all over the house. Ha ha! I have enough cameras to do this. And, sometimes you get the shot because things were there at hand and jumped onto the memory card – all by themselves. Gee, I’m lucky sometimes.
primum non nocere. This means “above all, do no harm.” … Hippocrates
It might do well for some physicians among us to pay heed to the lies they spread. WTF. These docs are dishonestly turning a profit on misinformation to gain fame and fortune. It is indeed unfortunate that the lies lead to infection and death from Covid.
We cannot stop the lies of Fox news who proffers horse pill remedies as treatment. I have seen much suffering and needless sickness leading to death. There are too many ways that social media aids in spreading falsehood. Media outlets like Fox openly tout lies for television audience and profit.
And now, there are physicians among us with fame on social media who are spreading lies. I do not understand anyone (any physician) whose lies result in death is not pursued and thrown out of the profession. I took an oath…
The Delaware State Fair. I suppose there are no surprises if you have been to a state fair. They are about vanilla as it gets – produce, farm animals, a carnival, and the rides. The players vary but the theme is the same. How does one judge the watermelons? Size, taste, color? Carnival food? Always entertaining. Ride? – the Enterprise, it spins you vertically; it spins you horizontally: then you throw up. Fun! The sheep? One gave Colleen the worst case of poison ivy – ever! The sheep rubs against the plant; the oil gets on the wool; Colleen pets the wool; worst case scenario! (No. No picture!) But, do you see the guy on the unicycle?
If you have followed… you probably didn’t… Colleen has a cousin – Barb, no names please – who cut down my passion fruit vine last fall. I thought it dead. It’s seemed a logical conclusion after it was cut to the ground. No!! Resurrected! It grew back. Good news! …especially for Barb. My chain saw rental is still good at Home Depot. Zzzzz!
Onward to the art museum. Yes, we still go. Some is good. Some is not so good. Hey! I’m allowed to not like some things. I don’t argue if you don’t like broccoli…. So… we got Norman (Rockwell) or “Mother and Child.” Yes, I’m still laughing (whilst) at the museum. They let me do my own staging. It’s art too?! Eh? Diane? (Once more – I admonish you not to try this in a moving car – bridge shot – one handed driving ~70mph. It’s not supposed to work.)
Hey! Look how close I got to the dragonflies. They were all over my yard. They land on a point and rest. They move away when you approach but tend to circle around and alight on the same spot. They get used to you, hence, I was able to get in close. I presume the western wildfires may be responsible for the spectacular clouds blowing in from my west. And, what else is there to add to the fact that my spiffy macro lens catches great flower details. Yes, enlarging the images in Lightroom lets me appreciate things I might never otherwise notice. (Double click the image, it will enlarge somewhat.) I’ve been at photography a long time. … and still learning.
The camera does what it will. The difference between great and ho-hum is making the camera do your bidding. Unfortunately for me, it doesn’t work out as I’d like, most of the time. Good? Bad? It’s mixed. The detail in the dragonfly eye is stunning, especially enlarged and up-close. You can see “hairs” in the flowers. But, though there be motion and blur and reflections, other images still work. For my cats, I find that sharp focus on the eyes is key. Maybe it’s not for you, but, I’m ok with the surprises I find when editing. It’s fun. I’m not shooting for money. Fun would be work. Nope. Strictly amateur, I get a free reign to shoot for the pleasure of good images amongst the lot.
Caning a chair is nearly a lost art. According to our teacher there are less than 100 full time caners. That makes them rarer than neurosurgeons. I have a bunch of chairs to cane. Lessons! Mine – lower right, right image – and, – left, lower left image, compares favorably with the teacher’s example – left, right lower image. Confused? Colleen’s is quite favorable though she thinks not. Imperfection – it’s common, expected, and accepted in old chairs. OK! Nothing I ever did was “dead on” in neurosurgery. There was always room for improvisation. Not so for Colleen, “perfection” is the word. Therein lies a quintessential difference. I am far more laissez-faire. But each of us, we each fight our tendencies. Funny, ain’t it? And, while you (reader) are still confused, I (too) would be hard pressed to compare and guess who did what – teacher, Colleen, or me? Lest there be doubt, Colleen is perfect! Of course! Me? In the end I am/was “perfect” – the journey is/was the adventure.
This is not a hard question. It’s just hard to come by. I think a child’s smile is just about universal. If you are not smiling already… why not? Better yet, it doesn’t get better than the smile from your granddaughter. You work days photographing image after image while they visit. Maybe you are better than me? This is the culmination of thousands images in several days. One image? … priceless.
What do you notice? Detail! Detail! DETAIL! Japanese beetles humping? Spider web. It’s tough to focus on the darn web. Hard! What do you see (lily stamens)? It’s subtle but different. And, subtle makes all the difference. There’s a fine line between oooh and aaah. Simple? Sometimes less is more. I just ended up with stuff I thought I would share. It’s just a drop of water.
He she it they… I am confused enough by gender already. Now, we are back to braless. Does it matter if you are a guy. Anything goes! But is it kind? Really?! Your mother always told you to wear “clean underwear” when going out? Can you really go out wearing anything? Should you? Perhaps it would be kinder… but then again… You wear it I shoot it. Spectacle? People have the right to be seen. I suppose beach photography goes (is OK). What happened to cute? From this point, anything I write will be inconsiderate or not PC.
I know when I see it:
The phrase “I know it when I see it” is a colloquial expression by which a speaker attempts to categorize an observable fact or event, although the category is subjective or lacks clearly defined parameters. The phrase was used in 1964 by United States Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart
What is street photography?
Street photography at its essence means candid photography of people and humanity. A street photograph has to be a real, unposed moment.
My post yesterday had technical problems. Eh? It happens to us all. Lots of people are skeptical of the Covid vaccine. Why? All the other mandatory childhood vaccines are good. Ya gotta have ’em in order to go to school. Maybe you’re special. Or, maybe you’re dumb? Abbott got his – the vaccine and covid and monoclonal antibodies. There’s a lot of contradiction right there! WTF. 45? The would be trump – had covid (hospitalized!!) and monoclonal antibodies and the vaccine. Right, do what he said not what he did! Note: three vaccinated US Senators just tested positive for covid. Karma! It’s come ’round to bite your ass. Alabama, Mississippi and all the other “red states” are feeling the weight of covid. Hospital beds are all full. Hospital beds are all full. Hospital beds are all full. Hospital beds are all full. NO ROOM AT THE INN!!!!
Someone once told me – at any given time, only 25% of people are listening to you. 411
What’s not cute about a little granddaughter? Ha ha. Hmmm… nickname, Nono. Yeah, cute! Biased? Nah! She lives far away. The visits are rare. Each moment is precious. It all passes so quickly. I have a camera. She has a million-dollar smile. Yes, very loved.
Get vaccinated! It’s a fact that vaccination helps. Death is up in low vaccination rate states. It’s fact. Karma. People are rushing to get 3rd vaccines – booster. Meanwhile, in poorly vaccinated states, ICU space has run out. Get sick, show up, wait – there are no hospital ICU beds. Do it! Get vaccinated! Or, you may be pushin’ up daisies. I REPEAT! WE OUT OF ICU BEDS!
Can you read? How about look at pictures? Look! Covid infection hot spots vs low vaccination rate states. It matches. You may choose to ignore facts. That may result in sickness and death.
Yeah! Do what I say, not what I do. Abbott had the vaccine. He got covid. He got monoclonal antibodies. Yeah! The bastard! He didn’t do what his mouth said.
In sum, I found out Bruce is in WPP. If he has a sense of humor, I’ve never seen it. Look at his attempt at a “bee sting” kiss. Polar opposites, we won’t be friends anytime soon. I did not get the ‘serious’ gene. Humor is all around us. It was another summer reunion. People came and went for about three weeks. If you own a beach house, you will never lack for relatives. We had quite a group go through and sleep in all our beds. It was a very nice mishmash of relatives. All were vaccinated. The lost summer of Covid was over. Normal? Hardly. But, it was sure nice to see folks again.
I can’t keep a straight face. I have a PIA sister in law – Diane – no names to protect the guilty. She likes to name drop all the museums and art she has seen. It’s a checklist for an insecure art wanna-be. Did I mention her name? Since she tried to “name drop” me, I have made it point to be irreverent in museums around the world. Ha ha, I been to places…. yeah, yeah, but my english aint so good. 😦 On this occasion, we were with the sisters. It seems no one in the family has much of a sense of humor. It’s more like horror – be PC! and proper! Me? Nah? Lee? She was pretty horrified to be in the middle. Colleen? Sigh. Yes, she’s married to me. Tolerance my dear, tolerance. Alas, Diane will never see this. Bruce, the brother/husband is in WPP. …oops! Does it look like anyone is having fun? Jane? Are you ignoring us?
I thought the caption should be – “We wish you a Merry Xmas…” WPP – witness protection? I was fascinated to see Bruce pull out an iPhone to take a picture. WE never knew he had a phone. Of course, that led to – “we don’t have your phone number.” Diane quickly interrupted, “He’s in WPP. You can’t get the number.” Is that weird? His sisters? No number no! I get it; he’s a deaf mute. Obviously, Diane does this act frequently. She interrupted with a straight face. Or, (Bruce) he’s really a ventriloquist dummy. Sorry, but, you cannot call him except thru Diane’s phone. She’s his screener and she speaks for him. I guess he really is no dummy. He just plays one on TV. Clearly, I am weirded out. I was a physician too. Really?! Luddite? Dummy? Deaf, mute? Is this multiple choice? Or, short essay? Diane? Diane won’t see this. Bruce doesn’t have a phone. She can’t understand the concept that pictures in the cloud can be viewed on her phone. There’s no memory cost. Sorry, wrong (number), dummy? But? Who’s the dummy? Ok, ok, mean. But geez! Dumb and then you defend your answer. Must be jam, ’cause jelly don’t shake! (It’s an inside joke.) Does it mean Bruce is the man in the middle?
Superman is in a bar on the 22nd floor drunk when he turns to the customer next to him and says, “The updraft outside the window will allow you to float and not fall.” Superman steps out over mid-air; the customer follows and falls straight to his death. The bartender, “Superman, you’re a bastard, when you’re drunk.”
Alternatively, the customer said as he passed each floor on the way to his death, “So far so good.”
Wing nut is an insulting slang term for a person who’s considered eccentric or who has extreme political views. … It’s also called a butterfly nut (because of the “wings”) or a thumbnut (because it can be easily turned with the thumb and forefinger).
When all those around me are crazy… it must be me – who’s crazy?! Hlep! hmmm, that would be help? Place the emphasis on eccentric. Me? I should stick to photography and the beauty around in the world. (Remember, I hate bugs.) Mike didn’t want to be in this picture. For real. He has always said being on the edge of the shot makes it easy to crop him when he is dropped from the family. In this case, I am newest – last in. There are those who would certainly drop me. Interestingly, half the family got the time for dinner wrong and they are not in the shot. No, I did not try to wrangle more chaos into a coherent family picture, later. Instead, everyone ran around taking individual memories with iPhone. It works. I do what I can. No one was hungry at the end of the evening. I, too, am on the edge – documenting someone’s family, or, intruding on their fun. From the motley collection of poor black and white old photos, and, faded out of focus color shots – it is the good time that matters. Regrets about poor photography were never the point. Perhaps it is a blessing that some memories are not so clearly remembered.
There’s a shop we visit where the owners have been retiring for about five plus years. Everything is on sale 50% off. They wanna retire. Correct prices? How about 2X mark-up at ½ off? No? Well, whatever you buy is worth whatever you are willing to pay. There is a sense of scale to what things cost. Right? They specialize in Far East art, like Buddhas. Lee asked and was told depending on the culture Buddha has a different look. Some cultures believe Buddha is slim and in others, he is fat. I never paid much mind. I have learned something new once again. My cat? It could be Ray or it could be Nutley? Either way, they are well on the way to enlightenment. Does it matter which cat posed for me? Ummmm….
My daughter terrorizes me. As long as we are being truthful… we, too, have a complex relationship. She has accepted Colleen in my life only reluctantly. I now have a present wife and an ex-wife. I never thought that would be the case. They get along as well as one might expect. Our common meeting point is granddaughter Noa. For the sake of seeing her, we dance around. I accept that as the price. It was a non-negotiable price. Stuck? You bet! I attest the dynamics are complex. Detente!
…feel like you been behind bars? Covid’s done?! Summer convention: Colleen’s family has been coming to the beach forever. Decades and decades. I am new to the mix. Fun?! There is a strange dynamic. The older generation is gone now. This is Colleen’s family – her siblings and her daughter and grand kids – mixed in with her favorite cousin. There are always the missing persons, who could not be present. And, there are complex group dynamics in play. If you look closely at the ‘bee sting’ shot you can see who’s constipated – Bruce. (From here, the text was heavily edited to protect the innocent.) Ha? Eh? Me? Don’t burn your bridges – nuke ’em.
Neurosurgeons are collectively super-conservative and stuffy. At our national convention a well known and well regarded colleague got up from the head table at the annual banquet. He pronounced the group to be staid and boring. And, then he proceeded to hang a spoon from his nose. (Bruce was president of his state medical society?) I have taken this to heart. Don’t ever think yourself too important. Stay humble and keep a sense of humor about you. Get a grip! Laugh, live, love. We are all here for a short time.
Correct etiquette is to say nothing. No one’s precious feelings will be hurt – to which I say, speak. I certainly have and there are those who wish I had not. Stories spin, the truth dies with you. It was never in my nature be quiet and proper. I never embraced the “big lie.” At least my point of view is not still a mystery.