Bay of Fundy, it’s the high tide. I cannot, could not, photograph its grandeur and immensity. Sure, I can document, but no photograph I took conveyed this force of nature. Fall color? Sure! The scale of high tide and its sheer height difference is easy to show. I simply lacked the creative idea of how to make a remarkable picture from this opportunity. My bad.
The tide comes in a wave; and folks surf it. Cool. We were there. Saw it, photographed it, experienced it. Colleen is such a good sport. We drove madly from place to place to see the tide. Surfing the tide? Imagine that!
Here to there
How’d I get here? In the absence of anything else, I shoot cat portraits. Simple. They pose?!? Nope. I put the camera in their face and point the lens straight at their eyes. It works.
Finally, a new oven! The old one – dead. Built-in obsolescence. Better one? It had to fit the hole of the old one. Pain!!! Major pain, supply chain issues, we snagged a clearance model at less than half price from retail. Lucky! You bet!! It clearly said on the box – in big black and white letters – the oven was too large for the hole – ¾ inches too large. Really!! So, it fit right into the hole of the old oven. Go figure.
And, within moments – carrot cake. I add (my mom did it) a cup of grated carrots; the cake rises…. And, a few days later… a sour cream apple walnut pie. We wasted no time in making up for lost time.
Pizza? Well, I gotta say, “Who doesn’t like pizza?” Gluten free crust. ??? Oh! Well, Colleen is also vegetarian (off and on), so, two pies – mine had sausage. It was a good pie! Yeah, it’s good to have an oven again.
One more step – to product. I spin – wool. We process. … ‘cause I don’t wash. The one and only time I washed, I felted. (If you don’t spin, the joke went right over your head.) Straight off the sheep, the fleece is polluted – grass, dirt, poop, etc. The fleece is opened up – picked. Then, it is washed, carded and prepared into bats, ready to spin. Spin, spun, it looks rather fine and refined, ready to go – cloth, shawl, scarf, and so forth. This would be here to there. Yarn!
Unrelated shots. My aunt compiled my family tree shortly after Jules was born. I forgot. I came across the pics I took when Jules sent this to me. My immediate family is small and scattered. We have not gathered in a long time. It’s Eric and I. We don’t see each other because his dog does not get along with my cats. Silly reason. Yup, it all makes about as much sense as me reading Chinese. I got the shots. The paper? That would be the debate – book vs pdf? Pixel or paper? Closer – there are so many levels of discussion up for grabs here.
Silly? How about a $6,500 camera lens? Envy? Craving? Desire? Ummm… you just have to walk up closer and the subject gets bigger. Ok, there are some subjects that won’t come closer. The moon? But, sorry, for the money $$$, I can live without the lens. The weight and $$ of the lens vs walking (closer to the subject). Oh boy…
Since I retired, I don’t wear socks, much, infrequently, nearly, hardly at all. Ha ha. We had a deferred a wedding celebration because we eloped. Colleen couldn’t wait once she found out I was eligible to marry again. (shhhh… me neither) So, the party, it happened in the summer, a natural time because everyone (family) comes to the beach. Mostly. We did not compose a guest list and did not want (to impose) people to come from far and wide across the country. So, friends and relatives were mainly the “usual” beach gathered subjects. There was no lack for people. No (neck) ties. T-shirts? I wore a jacket, no socks. Dave drove us over – a mile – to the party. Bug spray anyone? It was, as they all agreed, a heck of a party!
… about as rare as… We don’t see relatives nearly as much as we should/might. We assume our lives will go on forever. I see Eric rarely now, hardly at all. He’s got a dog that tried to eat my cat. He does not travel without his dog. We do not see the dog; we do not see Eric. Dave sightings are almost as rare and brief. “Grands” ditto! Covid! Onward to the next booster shot. Colleen? I am with her 24/7/365 now. It is acute withdrawal if we are apart for … Eric? Last seen in 2019, it’s his birthday today. He was born on the very last day of third grade for me. My father left John and I sleeping at home to bring my mother to the hospital. It was the very year I met Colleen for the first time. It was quite the time and year!
I got images in three catalogs, at least. Computers invite you to be sloppy as much as they allow redundancy. It is appealing to have an external memory bank of things I might have otherwise forgotten. Then again, maybe they are not fond memories either? There has been divorce and … old memories, old girfriends…
How’s this for horrible? I went to Europe (current girlfriend) and just before we boarded the jet, her grandfather died. We went, anyway. And, then in Spain, I lost my wallet, and, had to call (old girlfriend) to get my credit cards canceled. Amex does not have an office in every city and I had to wait till Rome to get a new card. We traveled with traveler’s checks and eeeked and stretched dollars till Rome!
Meanwhile, it was eye opening to see the (poor) level of skill I had as a photographer back so many decades ago. I know it’s Europe from the pictures. I can see iconic parts of buildings in Barcelona and Florence. I was a younger man. We had stopped by the roadside to sample some of the grapes. The chain on my neck – from the first girlfriend – classless, me (clueless). Oh boy, cringeworthy! Maybe old memories are best left to gather dust… Colleen keeps asking me if i have been … (where?). I should stop talking and stop admitting…. NO! No pics of old girlfriends.
Poor Feather. I’m hugging her close. We are not diligent about getting the cats to the vet. Her first time out she had a nail bed fungus and required Epsom salt soaks. She has/had a rash on her belly that required oral steroids off and on for years. It’s just getting better…. the new vet cautioned chronic steroid use is bad. Ah! I know/knew that! But it works. And, only this has worked so far. Trust me, it’s a very bad (!!!) rash. Plus, she tore her “pinky” toenail off on the day of her visit to the vet. Lucky! So, she got the “collar of shame.” No more scratching/licking her belly. And, she got a big bandage on her paw. And, she got strong time release cat pain killer. That’s just ducky. Feather promptly shed her collar. And, by the next morning her dressing was removed – by her. Yeah, yeah. My job was to put her collar back in it and the dressing was applied once more. Sometimes, I really feel bad for my “favorite” cat! Feather? The time release drug is still working and she’s “loopy.” I’m hugging her close. It really breaks my heart when the cats are sick, especially, since they don’t understand a bit about what we are doing to help.
I first used AirBnb when Colleen and I first traveled to Maine together. Since then we have used it going ‘cross country. It has been a mixed bag of delight and puzzlement. The pictures are true. I simply refuse to believe my eyes. So, we end up in interesting places. Some of them spook Colleen. Ha ha! Others turn out to be too brief interludes of fun. Kansas City – Missouri or Kansas side? First of all, in the middle of nowhere on a dark and deserted street… a jazz bar – with real music. Unique, one of a kind, sparsely attended, we found it and sat in. Then, onward to our accommodation. Oddly decorated for an apartment building, it was spartan digs with odd flourishes such as an unfinished stone shower. Serviceable, not inviting. Charm is in the eye of the beholder. Colleen was not bowled over. We stayed but a night. I remember the bar/lounge. The music? No. And the room? Nope, not even the odd uninviting shower. Kansas City – it’s in the USA?
I have said elsewhere and before that I am no Black and White photographer. Color! I think color. I see colors and patterns and contrasts filled with vibrancy. Pow! In your face color! No Ansel Adams waiting and exposing and patiently developing details in Zone VII. I have a completely different personality – all go, no waiting, do it now! Ha ha. I used to wait to develop slides for forever, as long as a year. That is a lot of time for a mistake to linger before you can see the error, let alone correct yourself. Ego! I was perfect. Ha ha. Not!! And, please don’t shoot me. Too many shots, not enough time for the stories.
Parenthetically, I will add, that when I shot the moose, someone in the lecture asked where? As in, he thought I had shot this moose with a gun. Ha ha. No! And I lived to tell the tale.
Too numerous to count… I have so many pictures that have and hold significance to me. Some, held very pleasant surprises for me when I finally developed the slide. I tended to shoot the roll of film and store it in the freezer accumulating about 64 rolls to develop in a gallon kit of developer. Since I shot about a hundred rolls a year, this meant a massive developing session about once a year. Yes, there was no instant review of your work; duplicates occurred infrequently as well. And with that preamble, I did indeed get the occasional “keeper!” Que? Well, you know it when you see it. Each picture a story, I apologize for leaving you hanging. I strive for succinct posts… not enough time. By contrast, one hundred rolls of slides (before 2004) is about 3600 slides/year, and digital images last year exceeded 100,000 using at least four different cameras.
1, 10, 100…
I use a photo catalog. Don’t you? It numbered 413k+ images at the time I composed this post. I don’t ask. It is a very large catalog. The catalog title/contents indicate the images are 2016 and onward. So, early slides from the seventies and digital images from 2004 onward are in different catalogs? Hey! I was always moving images around… but since 2016, there are roughly 413k images collected and (loosely) curated.
Are there redundancies? What constitutes first? What’s last? Here are the numbers: 1, 10, 100, 1000… 100k, 200k, 300k, 400k …on up to the last (see captions) Ok, the key: Me; lighthouse in Maine: Jules whitewater rafting in Maine; Jules shooting basketball in Saudi Arabia; Lulu my cat in Jeddah; Colleen and I vacation in Rockport, ME; Colleen in a restaurant in Scotland; cardinal on my deck; Dover, DE, autumn fair; kitchen renovation in progress.
So? I merely followed a line of curiosity. Random choice for pics to post. It is an interesting series of selections for me. Number one was digital. Number ten was a slide. Hey! It’s how it was in the catalog. The others are, indeed, digital. What to say? I have had an eventful decade as this collection spans images/pics 2007 (not strictly 2016) to present. There are no particular surprises in this potpourri. It reinforces the notion that I am more photojournalist than fine art photographer. Exactly. I picked the right name for my blog! Pictures/stories! Yup!
You just don’t stop suddenly. Suddenly, I stopped – taking slides, pictures with film. I transitioned over a period of about a year after receiving a Canon G3 digital camera from Lisa. The DSLR digital cameras were thousands of $, upwards of $5 to $10K! Too expensive! I was wealthy enough, sure. But….
And then, the Nikon D70 arrived just about, right about this time of day/month/year in 2004. It came as David’s graduation commenced. And, I never shot another slide afterwards, just like that! …I eventually threw away a lot of slide film from my freezer.
These were some of the last shots from my film camera. We lived in a nice house, apartment, in Manhattan. I was with Jules at one of her last track meets; she want over to rugby soon after. I was still documenting. I was curious as to the last shots I took with slide film.
I still have my film cameras. My lenses, too, are still functionally fit for my digital cameras. Nikon finally changed the F mount to the Z, but there is an adapter. While the rest of the world shoots iPhone, I happily shoot digital (camera). The cost of a digital image pro-rated over the cost of a 256gb memory card makes digital nearly free when compared to the cost and development of film! That works just fine for me.
Photography? No, I think I was more photojournalist. I documented events – birthdays, holidays, food, family. Photography came later. I was parsimonious – cheap! So, I shot more than most people and way less than I do since digital is “free.” Boy, oh boy, was I bad (photographer) way back then. Hey, I knew how to focus and take a picture. Fine art, it wasn’t! Food photography? I shot dishes we prepared for big family dinners. The turkey was not styled for a good photo. It tasted far better? (It looks overdone.) And the holidays were a documentation of the litany of presents bought, given, and received. Funny, I still do that. I did it this past Xmas. It’s a record. Someone might find it nostalgic in a few decades from now. But photography? I do both. Now. History or art? I don’t try to overthink it. I am happy to say there are plenty of pictures. I do not look back too often. Like time, I am always in forward mode. (Shhh… Lisa took the pics of me.)
When does it hail? Pretty much never, around here. It was sunny on the other side of the development, about a mile away. And, we were deluged with a fierce round of hail that lasted minutes and began melting immediately. Meanwhile, I got another photo op! Spring was in bloom. No flowers were hurt in the making of these pictures. Forsythia? I say it now. I say it again. Forsythia are gorgeous when they bloom. And for the rest of the year they are a very ugly bush. But, for beauty, they are wll worth the show at this time of year. Hail, hail!
Encounter? New counter? Ah!! How exciting!! Kitchen renovation is so much fun! And so many $$$$. Um? Five $ signs? Prep? Preparation? You clear the counters. Oh boy! Remove the drawers. Ha ha. My cats! I got curious cats! Yup, each had a go inside the cabinets. There is always a surprise. In this case the plumber told us the new sink was too deep to be able to install a garbage disposal. Ah!! Refund!
Backsplash is up next, it’s another home project for me. I will learn to cut tile. My son in law does tile work and floors for a living. He’s too far away to be of any help. And besides, I like making new mistakes every day.
Ha ha! A new counter? Already you cannot see the new surface to admire it. Really?!! And the cooktop does not fit in the hole. The new counter sits down lower; the gas feed hits the back of the drawer. So!!??#@$ more carpentry was needed to make it fit. This one cost blood as I cut myself on my brand new “sharp” chisel. Kitchen renovation – a game the whole family (cats) can play.
The worst shall be last
Did you ever have to do something and dreaded the project because it was too awful to think about? Have you ever been convoluted? My office was the last floor to install click lock floor. Daunting, there was so much stuff in the room with no where to go while I installed. I finally got the hang of it! It means that I should go back and re-do the other rooms. Ha ha! NO!! Meanwhile, the best (installed) is last, and, I will be able to use this floor for many years to come. And, my cats cannot make a mess that I cannot clean.
The hard part was dealing with a 45-degree cut. No problem on a chop saw. The Oscars – famous slap – occurred in the middle of the project. No problem. Just move the furniture around. Yeah?! Who doesn’t move all/everything out of the room before laying floor? … that would be this dummy.
News of the day
My urban landscape now is traffic lights. I never realized that they can be confusing – especially when the lights outnumber the cars. My drive by? I drive by forsythia. I can even stop – on the road – to shoot them. it is sharp contrast to NYC where you are never alone. And, Ukraine remains on everyone’s mind. We were in the newspaper – local. There goes my WPP status. Yes, I’m a spin doctor now. BTW – the news journalist took our pic with my real camera. So, I posted a real shot back on April 10.
Though she tries, Colleen has been unable to filter me. Hey! Who doesn’t like the holidays? We like them though they are stressful and lots of work. Really? Ummm… well… we have lots to do. I am, sometimes, beside myself. Slow down! Let things unfold slowly and naturally. And, yet, we have a good time, too. That, there picture would be Charles Dickens great grandson performing a one man show of Christmas Carol. For real! Yes!
Strange things happen during the holidays. Masks were still in – style. And, the non sequiturs? Don’t ask, I take odd and strange photos, too. The pink juicer has been our unicorn for years. Buy it?!
It was the year of the gnome. What do our cats know from Xmas? Our youngest. It used to be, that you dressed up all formal for Xmas. No more. PJ’s are just fine! Cuteness is independent of fashion. Have I worn a tie since I retired?
If you take enough pictures, a few will be good. It follows: Even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes. Selfies? The easy way or hard way? It’s probably not good to say I go both ways. Beer? I don’t drink beer! Heresy! As you can see, we do have some good times together.
Socks? Everyone needs socks. These days, I’m retired. My socks retired too. I wear ‘em about three cold days a year now. Colleen? – adores socks. And, she adores the Pemaquid lighthouse!
Sheeps? Why is it sheep? I did not go to Maine for the art. Did I? Spinning wheel? Colleen arranged to pick up a signature spinning wheel that I found online. She brought $$. And, now, I use this wheel. Was it a plot? Planned? I love this wheel – to use; it’s sweet! I love my wife … more!
Hey! I did not take these pics. Well, I did do the selfie in Maine. We put on suits to take a picture?! Scrubs! It was the chief reason I veered into neurosurgery. (You get to wear PJ’s all day.) There was/were many a Christmas we got each other the same Xmas gifts. Trench coats!!! Cherry blossoms, Julia and I had a one-time walk together in Central Park. As part of my training, a prominent neurosurgeon taught me to hang spoon. If the best comes last, then I am content; Colleen finally emailed again. I am found!
I have been afforded adventures one dreams about but never experience. Good? Bad? Leaving on a jet plane to Saudi from DC, you get the sunset over Long Island and sunrise over Egypt. The hot desert is a jarring sight.
Almost immediately I can dive beneath the Red Sea and its wonderous color and fish. Indeed, that was spectacular and special.
And, there were plenty of stray cats, largely ignored and mostly starving. The desert is cruel and harsh. A sandstorm? Several happened. I rushed out to see it. Disappointment. It was not the sweeping storm of Laurence of Arabia. Nope, it was more like dusky fog. From my vantage and perspective, it was curiosity and not too intimidating. My bad.
Oh! I had just returned from Saudi – working. I had the worst cold of my life. Coughing! Oh boy! Here we were – Blackwater falls. I am vaguely disappointed. I have yet to get that “quintessential” photo. I’m still trying. It’s like chasing the perfect barbecue…. People come from far and wide across the USA to be here. By comparison, this is a tiny falls. And, it took until my adulthood to see it. I knew of it and while I lived in WV, I had never been. My first visit, was, memorably with Colleen. It is one more fond memory we have in common. Ah! The longer hair, it hearkens back to my comments about hair the other day in my post. The waterfall? It will still be here; I shall do better another day. Sometimes imagination and creativity need more inspiration.
Knowledge and information feeds curiosity. Colleen is full of it. She tries to read each and every plaque. She is always learning something new. She and I are complementary. I am “photo op.” I get the pic and she remembers the facts of the place. California coast, I like the concept that a picture can be a thousand words. We’re a team, seeing, and, always learning. It takes time to read plaques; I get more time to get my photos.
We are in churches a lot. We don’t “go” to church. Which, church? Dunno, give me a few shots… ah! It’s Santa Fe. Passing thru. Sights, sound, food… The ristra was the clue. Vertical or horizontal? ?? Do you shoot vertical or horizontal photo composition? Holding an iPhone vertically answers that question. Most of you hold your phone vertically. A camera, real camera, lends itself to horizonal composition >90% of the time. I shoot mostly horizontal. I don’t make much effort at vertical composition. Why? My computer screen is horizontal. So, it fits, screensavers are mainly horizontal. It’s better use and fills the computer screen easier/better. Oh! Back to church, horizontal or vertical? Me? I go both ways. Ha ha. Colleen? She likes to look inside churches.