37 shots. I got 37 before the dragonfly broke free of its bonds – the spider web. You need one good shot for illustrative purposes. Free the bug? Nope, it was on the other side of my window pane. How’d it get free? It struggled mightily and beat its wings until the web finally broke. Meanwhile, I leisurely shot away with my macro lens. I never did quite get the perfect focus upon its eyes. I was close. But no cigar.
The good pictures “pop!” Pop? Well, they stand out. I take lots of technically sound images. The ones that stand out for me? I have no particular criteria. Like it or not. It just stands apart from the other choices. Notable! Noteworthy! And then forgotten. Not forgot but just moved to the back; there are more better images coming all the time. TMI. Who can keep up in today’s digital world? Indeed, I feel overwhelmed. Whereas I shot parsimoniously in slide film, digital is a free-for-all. It is nothing to pass thru my garden and have several hundred good images of the blossoms each day. Oh well, bugs and cats, that is my world today. Tomorrow another subject will catch my eye.
Scene at the antique store
What is it? Seen it? Need one?
I had an early Kodak instamatic camera back in 1965? It was the “100” model and shot 126 film. I got it and we went to the NY World’s Fair in Flushing, NY. Old soda? Can you drink it? At these prices? How about a sewing box? Need one? Dirty or clean? I guess the clean ones sold out. It’s a winder. Wind what? For what? Elephant pottery. Use? Dunno. New! In the box! Food mill. It’s a bargain, you don’t see them around nowadays?
Nostalgia? Memories? We go to the antique store and find more stuff we don’t need and didn’t know we wanted and didn’t know we missed. Fun. But, no.
Family photo. I just call. The cats obediently line up. Click. Done.
This particular time Elle led us on a merry chase. She’s smart. And quick. We eventually caught her. No one gets to decline my invitation to be in the family photo. Yeah, yeah, it ain’t perfect. The lighting is the same – flash. And the camera is on a tripod. So, except for the position of the models it should all match up pretty well. In theory?! In reality it is never quite ideal. Multiple redundant shots are used to get acceptable poses. It is good enough to pass a casual test. Alas, this image portrays our family and changes that have occurred. It’s seven cats – count ‘em. Soon enough that number may change (increase). I am feeling lucky! No doubt I feel so very fortunate to have a wonderful family.
What’s fake? The straight line? Ha ha, no. Spice and Peas are next to one another. They are arch enemies. Wrong! Colleen has identified Peas next to Feather. Shhh… I cannot tell the kids apart. Birthdays? Don’t ask.
I am hopeful
“The heavily redacted affidavit provides new details of the government’s efforts to retrieve and secure the material in Mr. Trump’s possession, highlighting how prosecutors may be pursuing a theory that the former president, his aides or both might have illegally obstructed an effort of well over a year to recover sensitive documents that do not belong to him.
To convict someone of obstruction, prosecutors need to prove two things: that a defendant knowingly concealed or destroyed documents, and that he did so to impede the official work of any federal agency or department. Section 1519’s maximum penalty is 20 years in prison, which is twice as long as the penalty under the Espionage Act.”
The article finally provides information that even my simple brain understands. All you Fox news Republican defenders can understand the principle too.
Question: What’s obstruction? Answer: Standing in the way.
Lock him up!
I love a bright blue sky day with large white cumulus clouds contrasting the deep blue background. It was a bright sunny afternoon in July. The car thermometer read 108 degrees. It was probably exaggeration. But it was hot out there! The clouds gathered. A storm? No, the weatherman said sunny until he changed his mind. A downpour followed. Surprise!
Bonus! We got a full rainbow. Alas, I was not in a position to photograph left to right and include the whole rainbow in one image. Rainbows are a challenge to photograph for me. Subtle color, it just ain’t easy! There are only so many times you can stop the car. I settled for shooting through the windshield as we drove. Note: don’t try this at home kids.
A mixture or blend used more in dentistry than in everyday language. I have an amalgam of cats, characters one and all, independent, and full of possibility. I almost never get to photograph them together. Individually, they are hard enough to capture, especially Tillie. Black cats just don’t photograph well; the fur has no texture. Lighting is the key. Look at the camera; cats pretty much never look into the lens. You must position your camera in front of the cat; it works. Sphinx like? – mysterious and not allowing people to know what you are thinking. A classic pose! Why seven cats?! Well, I got snagged by kittens – in pairs – when I in the pet store to get food. It happened three, Three, THREE!!, times. We are very lucky. No, no more kittens. Ha ha. Yeah, I can do the math too. Sadly, we lost a couple along the way.
The numbers vary. We remain a merry band. I do not have a current amalgamated image. It’s bittersweet. Oh well, time to gather the crew….
A year ago
It seems so long ago… but it was but a year ago. I was on a quest for a good pizza. It was not easy and did not come for a good long while. We discovered Milton. So? It’s been there for a long time already… Flowers on my deck, they are the same and they are different. The black-eyed Susan were abundant. Perennial plants, they did not come back robustly again this year. Peas was a brand new kitten that came home with us. Donna had a different wig. Mozzarella and tomatoes, a summer classic is usually served in one dish together. The lighting is stark. I guess that is why the image caught my eye. The selfie: I just got a throwback Canon G3, my first digital camera. The original went lost and missing. Not too bad, except I got old. It’s a year later and I am still seeking a good pizza.
The New York Times makes you subscribe to their website. Ok!? I can get the news in alternate ways… but it is convenient and I trust the source. To ramp up revenue they have three alternatives: wirecutter; athletic; cooking. All charge a surcharge on the basic subscription. Call it separate magazine subscriptions? For a while cooking surcharged and then the charge went away. The charge has returned again. I am a prisoner of my wifi carrier – no names please! But the information on recipes is funny. What you shield is freely available, just not your secret sauce. Do I care or need it?
About 182,000,000 results (0.51 seconds)
Google tells you how long the search took. I got the recipe you (NYT) hid from me in 1/2 second.
Survival of the fittest, they called it on the nature programs of my youth. This was the euphemism used in the program after particularly gruesome kills in the wild. I got a “bug” cat, Nutley. He stalks, hunts, and catches. Ah, a butterfly, he bit off its wings without killing it. He pawed and soon lost curiosity. The thrill of the chase appealed to him, but, Nutley had no appetite for bugs. Tillie soon saw and was curious without any hunger. Finally, Spice – capture, kill, and eat. Her sister was curious but bore no appetite. Yeah, I watched it play out in real time. No bug for me. The cats hunt. I do not.
About 100 a day
It’s still a challenge. I chase the elusive quintessential “great” shot. There are many good shots. But the one I seek seems to be just out of sight, touch, range…. Good? You bet! Will I ever get “it?”
I started with my first digital image in 2003. My first camera was in 1965. My first slide… first black and white Tri-X I loaded myself… Let’s stick to digital. I think I have about 700k digital images going back to 2003. I’m not bragging. The calculation is that the numbers amount to about 100 images a day since 2003. Not many, not a few, it’s a steady number and staggering at times. Many days I take nary a single photo and on others it could be hundreds and hundreds. Cost is no longer a limiting factor. It boils down to subject and opportunity. I have good gear and just try to be in the right place at the right moment. I will accept any and all good luck. Ooooo! Ah! Yes!
I go with what strikes me as I edit. No overthinking. I just go with the gut. One star – ok, but not quite. Two star – good solid technically good. Three star – rare, it just stands out. Four and five – hardly ever.
Water is always good in a flower shot. It’s above ordinary. I don’t get water too often. Cats – my black cat is hard to image and she is hard to pin down for a focused shot of her eyes. You’d think it’s easy. I get the eyes on all my other cats. Nope! And getting texture on the fur is a challenge too. But the eyes… except, it’s nice to see the tongue. Cats do not stick out their tongue. It’s different. Worms and bugs – not so easy. I got this caterpillar by chance. I nearly missed it. It was so tiny. Focus! It’s critical. Otherwise, it’s not a shot. And the moth? Not so simple, this one was all over skittering from blossom to blossom. I stood still and just waited to shoot when it landed again. Focus, otherwise, it’s not a shot. There were a lot of “not” shots. Among thousands of shots there are only a very few rated three stars.
The family has been gathering for a very long time in this place at this time. Call it reunion. It happens annually. There are fulltime residents/relatives close-by in disparate branches of the family to make massive gatherings of 40 or more. Is it hello? Or good-bye? The picture could go either way. Too soon! Younger. Older. The groups change. It’s all bittersweet. Hugs and kisses. Wave!
Lest anyone would forget – we got married. Colleen said we would never attend the 50th High School reunion unless we were married. We’d lived together about five years. So, we did – get married. We had a house full of summer guests. We left them. They did a great job of clean-up. Pfewf!!
50th High School reunion – we were late to the first event. Ha ha, we got a standing “O” when we arrived late. It seems everyone knew our story. I had not attended any reunion since I left and moved to NYC. Colleen has been back off and on. She has friends and has kept up. Me? Absent without a word. Somehow, I tend to stand out especially among this crowd. A good time was had by all. Can you imagine walking into a room full of old people and wondering when did we get old? Some of us became grandparents. Mostly, we all had successful careers and many of us were retired. Wow! Who’d have thunk it! Time flew. I am at peace with the outcome of my life. At the end of the day if you can say you are happy, that would be the ultimate measure of success. Colleen and I did alright to find each other and to watch each other’s back at the reunion.
Late? Late to the party? I guess it would depend upon your perspective as to whether a happy ending is good no matter when it occurs.
We got seven cats and counting. Counting? Holding! No more cats. It’s a hard resolution to abide by. You have to be hardened. Cute!! The new kittens in the pet store are cute!! Don’t take my word for it… I am banned from going in the pet store. The interview: stick finger inside the cage; see who grabs on and clings; take lucky (winning) candidate home. It’s how we got three sets of twins. Ha ha. Ya can’t leave/take just one! Seven cats, characters all, it’s a madhouse of personalities. We keep going back to the pet store… cats gotta eat.
Sorry, I’m standing…
We go to museums. We have fun. The opportunity presents. I take advantage. We get something a little different. If this inspires you…. I don’t bother strangers. We pose one at a time and then the composite is done in post processing. Ok?! If not, sorry. It ain’t perfect. Does it matter? Too many questions. I smile each time I post these to the family. Some in the family may question my sanity. Since my head injury, I have not been in my right head. But, then again, I been doin’ this longer than that.
Disclaimer: No sisters were harmed in the making of these images.
Note: Rauschenberg did White panels in 1951, MOMA, worth $15 million in 2014. White paint on panels, imagine that!!?? He did black panels too. Whoa! Genius! The Emperor’s New Clothes, Hans Christian Andersen. I had to look it up….
Al Capone convicted of –
income tax evasion
Capone was convicted on five counts of income tax evasion on October 17, 1931, and was sentenced a week later to 11 years in federal prison, fined $50,000 plus $7,692 for court costs, and was held liable for $215,000 plus interest due on his back taxes.
A pittance against his crimes….
Read: Investigations. Four, five ongoing. It doesn’t amount to much. So far 45 has wiggled out of high crimes and misdemeanors – impeachment – twice. So, we see his crimes – from a certain perspective, utter disbelief – lies, boldfaced and tossed back seem to fall as accolades upon his (millions of) believers who have yet to abandon reality. Fox enables him. Follow the money; Fox makes millions pandering to his followers. So, it was for Hitler. It did not end well for Hitler.
Useless facts they point out on tours… The table top is from a single tree trunk and the edge was carved of that same trunk. The gilt on the porcelain ware is platinum. It maintains its shine better that way. The room was altered to accommodate the size of the rare wallpaper. The upholstery of the setee was cut from a woman’s fancy dress – the ultimate in re-purposing. George Washington slept here: how about he ate here? It’s dishes from his home. Thanks for the info. I also discovered that antique silver was polished every 20 years. More polish and the metal wears away so much that the silver weight is less. Once every 20 years… Umm, ok!
I remember this one
I remember taking the pic of this flower. We – I was rushing along the pool edge to get to the other side… this would be a grab shot. I just fired off a couple frames and didn’t stop. Specifically, we were visiting Winterthur. A nice day, a very nice day was had by all. We did the garden tram tour. And, I made Colleen and Lee stand on the stairs for which Lee was reluctant – camera shy. I cut off their ankles. Did you notice? The pond view with three flowers had potential. Alas. It did not translate as anything special in the edit. Sometimes you win and sometimes you don’t. Hey! Ankles would’ve been better.
…… till we meet again. It ain’t great photography. But it’s poignant and a keeper. We will remember good-bye for a long time to come. It breaks my heart. Snapshots. I carry a camera. You have your phone. We commemorate small moments to future remembrance. Profound? Nope, just fact. We miss them already. Caveat: keep a camera close and handy at all times. Do not be shooting said camera while driving – like I did.
Missing? Ha ha. It’s cats and flowers. I simply have too many. Flowers are available in great quantity, too numerous to choose one above the others. Cats, I have seven. Try to herd them together. Nope, not happening. The best I can do is to get some individual shots (of the cats) and usually I will not see them all at the same time. Feather is smart enough to avoid me when she wants to hide. Smart cats? Oh, yes! May I also “point” out that the family responds to command and suggestion differently as is amply on display here. They are cooperative but can be hard to herd together too.
Who thought of this? I was along for the photo-op – the only guy at the party. High tea! – the way it oughta be. Hats! Dress-up. Tea. Tea sandwiches and little desserts. There was even a tiered arrangement stacked with goodies to eat. I wonder whether the guest of honor will remember this high tea in her honor? A good time was had by all.
Group shots. Same ole. Same pose. Create? Creative. Do something different? I tried jump. It’s too crowded. Raise your hands. That can be done. Not too good (results). Raise one hand. It works. It’s different. Been there done that. Point?! Hmmm…. Funny, it was hard to get the group to point simultaneously. Really?! Eventually, they did it. I may be on to something here. Group shots.!? Fun. It is documentation of a gathering. Family, they were all here in this time and this place. Priceless.
At this time of the year I am taking pictures of the flowers in my garden. And there are so many – too many – good shots – to mention or to post. Pick. Right! I suppose the bee that flew into my picture would be serendipitous. Fun! Yes, pick one. I can’t. With so much material to edit, I am helpless to pick a single image among the lot. It’s ok. No need to be alarmed. We can post as we may. It’s all in fun. There was a time when film cost money and experimentation was limited. Nowadays I am no longer constrained. It certainly allows you to explore and find new ways to do things.