I’m mining the catalog. When you think about it I have quite a memory bank of experiences. I have seen much. There are many stories that will never be told. Too little time. Not enough interest. Resigned? Philosophical?
There are many wishes left behind. There were many roads not taken. There were roads I wish… And for all of that I have no, well, a few regrets. But few. I have seen and photographed much. And the road is still stretching before me.
I got a catalog. It has 500k images. That is a lot? I rate images and at least 133k have a 2 star rating or higher. The first and last are represented. It has been a journey. Quite the journey. Life changing?! I daresay there is much to come. It amazes me. I have been fortunate. Life has a way of moving in strange and mysterious ways. All true.
Right now I am in a good place. Best ever. It is like a dream you do not want to awake from. The beginning of this catalog was but a mere couple decades back.
Did I mention to you… “I love my wife.”
I don’t keep track well. The garden is done when? After the first frost, everything goes dormant. All the impatiens are gone overnight. The frost came late this year. How would I know that these pics a week or so before were the last from my garden till next spring. Bye! It was a good year!? I have a few pots that come inside… Meyer lemon trees, asparagus fern… I like the cycle of the seasons.
I gotta say that post vacation there is a lull in photographic activity. Then again, we were also stricken with colds. So, not much happened. I shot clouds out my window. And I shot passing foliage in a couple of cemeteries. It was still 80 degrees here in early November. Take heart. You can shoot decent photographs even as you drive by in a speeding car. Not every sunrise is spectacular but it is pretty easy when you only need lift your camera from your desk.
Upon our return from a recent trip there was a pile – an impressive pile – of junk mail that awaited. You know? The kind that implores donation or urgent action to save whatever endangered species is the flavor of the moment. Buy insurance and other products for which I have no interest. Not from one but from multiple organizations and companies. No return address, sender unknown, hoping curiosity will get you to open the envelope. It is a colossal waste of paper and time.
My point? I liken junk mail to the photos we take that have extraneous distractions. Road signs, telephone wires, you know the drill. It seems there is always something in the way of my perfect shot. Of course, it helps if you are not shooting pictures in a speeding car. But, nonetheless, junk creeps into my images. I will not give up. I strive for perfection knowing that there is always a surprise waiting when I can say, “I shot that??!”
We worked hard for this one. We could not get here until near the end of our recent travels. Colleen casually mentioned Cullen skink. It is a Scottish dish from smoked haddock. I found a place! It was not to far out of the way of our travels in Maine. Dover, NH. A soccer/football fan had a Scottish pub that served the specialty – cup or bowl! And mushy peas! Ahem, I am no fan of either offering but I made do with other things that are bad for you…. So, a good time was had by all. Once again I was able to bring joy and tranquility to our happy marriage.
Did you know?
I once lived in a six story building with a central courtyard that had ivy growing six stories high. It was gorgeous when the seasons changed. The building co-op board tore it down. The ivy was hurting the brick pointing. Tragedy! – on many levels (pun?).
This ivy wall in autumn recalls a past time and memory for me.
Meanwhile, Colleen was talking to everyone. She does. She learns lots – useful and useless information. In this case the Presidential yacht was in Belfast harbor. Not that Belfast (Ireland) but that President (of the United States). Carter sold it. Gas crisis. An American president should not own a Presidential yacht. So, here it is, privately owned and undergoing renovation. A wooden boat! Nice but nothing to see. The chairs are repurposed and made from old lobster traps.
I was thumbing through the catalog… I shoot flags when they present. I shoot bridges – from/in the car. We do selfies. Jump? Street photography? – selling carnival food to the extreme? And then, there is always fall – the quest for the best shot (Maine, beside a bank, a real bank, not one by the river.)
One thing leads to another. I had the girls jump. They really were thrilled to pose and to jump. They did it for a long time never seeming to tire of posing. Okay!! And the bee sting kiss? Jen spoke about the young girls doing this pose as the latest craze in phone pics. And then, she and Mike showed me. My handy dandy camera was right at hand! Yay!
I rate images with stars in Lightroom. Here are some five star images. They merit being posted alone but there are too many images. Julia taught me jump images – in Africa. I already knew, but, this was the practical application. I have seen great beauty. Maine! I lived there are few years… Some of my best fall colors come from those times. Fun?! I traveled to nearby Massachusetts for Patriot’s Day. For fun, I was (wink) nearly shot. Notice too that the reenactment soldiers turn their head when firing their muskets. It’s no wonder you could fire from point blank range and miss the target. The birds are Atlantic puffins. I paid dearly – seasick – to get to see them.
Your memory is full. Colleen was informed her phone memory was full. No more pictures could be taken. And so… delete a few old photos… not so simple a task. Ha ha. She has old pics on her phone from 2013. Surely, they are not needed anymore?! Delete, throw them away? Valuable memories!? Never! Ok?! Well, try it? She deleted 2013 into 2014 pictures and they came right back. ?? right back? right back onto the phone?!! Yup! The Cloud! Everything is saved to the cloud and synced. Nothing disappears. Great?!
Iconic images. To me, they are. Stories abound. If I had the time… and we don’t delete the pics….
Eliminate old Apps you are not using. Ok! Some Apps are hundreds of megabytes in size! How about all those cute movies the relatives – her (Colleen’s) kids – have been sending of the grandkids? They add up – fast! 30 to 40mb a clip. Yes, movies take a lot of memory?! But, they are so cute!!? It’s madness. Without knowing it we have created a major dilemma by just keeping everything. Elimination? Yes, poor Colleen needs her phone to go on a diet. Her computer? Ditto! External hard drive? Yes, it’s a patch – solution, but, not for the iPhone. Good luck. No room at the inn…
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!
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.
Quick, a Fill-in
My photo catalog was open to this page… autumn in Maine, Monhegan Island, Sommesville, fall, Pemaquid. It’s a redo! Same pictures, new post. …yes, but worthy enough to comment upon once more. I moved today’s original post – Ray – to his b’day July 3. You will have to wait on that. We chased fall color. On Monhegan Island we found the quintessential tourist shot of the “Inn.” Animals posed.
We finally did get fall color… just before we departed Maine. A woodpecker, on the fly, in the wild? Yup, it was just sitting in a tree… yeah, yeah, not flying, but, I’ll take it! The Sommesville bridge? Yes, fall color!
Fun? More fun than being in a bar? Try Pemaquid. We were there over and over again. It is Colleen’s favorite spot. Can’t you see? And we went back about every opportunity that arose. Colleen has a grand sense of humor. Mine is off? A bit warped? A sandwich shy of a picnic? No, nope, nah!
A sheep is a sheep – all the same to me, just different colors, with or without horn. A spinning wheel? A loom? Venerable. Costly. Slow (to make clothes by hand). I get my clothes for sale $10 a shirt. That is simply sinful thought. To not appreciate the process is to ignore history and how we got to this point in time; this is narrow minded thinking. Shearing, washing, carding, spinning, weaving… yarn to cloth to clothes.
The Golding wheel is the Bentley of spinning wheels. Art. It is not how you get there as much as how you look getting there. Any car goes when you add gas. Eh? Computerized looms? It has a niche, though, it’s oddly out of place with hand craft. You go to the sheep and wool festival to – meet Golding and son, see the sights, see sheeps, and to see people. I get photo ops. Sheepishly, I have newfound respect for the handicraft. No, Colleen, (I get it now) a sheep is not a sheep. There are differences beyond appearance. And, no, a Golding wheel is not in our future. Hey! You don’t have to spend $10k for a Golding! Maybe I should not have checked $ on the internet. Price increase! – $30k for a stained glass Golding wheel!! I still cannot differentiate sheep breeds. (A sheep 🙂 is still a sheep.)
Out of print
Things jump out – sometimes, literally. Ha ha, another Photoshop trick (not!)? The frame was set up to take a portrait and to make it look elaborately framed. I would never be so subtle. Ha ha. It was colonial day on the green. People were dressed in Revolutionary war style fashion – a snake oil salesman, etc, It was still fall. I was still chasing color. In this case I settled for a closeup in order to avoid the vast areas of drab brown leaves. Autumn color was scarce around these parts.
Do over… again
We have been on an extended road trip. I chased fall color and cover bridges. Colleen chased fiber. Fiber? As in wool and fleece from sheep. Sheep? Yes, there are a myriad of rare sheep with fleeces she covets. ?? Polworth? Teeswater? It’s an endangered breed in the US. TMI!! We made it to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Fair. It went on as scheduled despite Covid. Yes, we got big rain. There were prizes at the auction – another spinning wheel! Ha ha. (I/Colleen won one.) There was the fleece barn, Colleen’s candy store. Llama, pajama, an interloper! Yarn?! Tons. It was more knitter’s fair than weaver/spinner. There was a line (out the door!!!) to purchase this year’s (yarn) color. There was the one room school (revisited). We – Colleen and I – almost went to one. We did sit in this style school desk in elementary school. So, why not – recreate the image of where we met. Again. And, yes, it is my regret – I wish she’d have grabbed on and held me close those many years ago. What a difference fate could have dealt. Such a good time, too many pictures, wistful, and hoping for a do over – life.
I have been seeking the quintessential fall color image of the year. In the parking lot behind a bank this scene snuck up on me. There are many other shots and many other candidates all over and around Maine from our trip. All worthy images, but, this one jumped out at this point, right now. Yes, it was tweaked a bit to focus on the richness of color in the scene. It reaches an emotional level beyond prose. Ok!
There is one convenience that can’t be beat with the iPhone. Panorama. It’s dead simple. Ha! I can Photoshop. It’s easy enough. But…. So, I ask? Dave advised me to tap on the mountain to adjust the exposure so there would not be overexposure. When did he get so smart? Meanwhile pano is a neat trick I pull out of the pocket on occasion.
My point? During leaf peeping season in Acadia, Maine, it’s hard to find a place off the beaten track. In fact, parking around Acadia – Bar Harbor – was at a premium. I actually cruised for a while before locating a parking spot. The same can be said for Jordan Pond, an extremely popular site. My map reading skill took me off the path. Ignore Siri and GPS. Voila! Serenity, peace, solitude. It was Colleen and I, no one else in sight or hearing. A downy woodpecker came to rest nearby. Yes, Sommesville had a hoard of tourists hovering over the requisite shot. And, Jordan Pond found a photographer with a tripod who lingered long after the evening sunset glow was gone. ??? I am not them. We moved on to more peace and definite serenity. Remember, you are never lost as long as you do not put the car in reverse.
A day later in a different area of the state, we found fall color. Location, location, location. I should be satisfied. I was vaguely unrequited. No matter. We did get color. I do believe it was more user (photographer) dissatisfaction than it was nature. I like to think of myself as always changing and improving. It also helps to be in the right place at the right time.
Shot of the day
I got a series of three for this scene. None are more informative. Amish family, three kids, the dad drives from the right seat. The kids sit on folding chairs in the back. They wear distinctive traditional garb that marks them. I had seen horse shit by the side of the road. This now closed the information loop on how it got there. There is a lot to be learned passing a two horse cart on the side of the road.
Shot of the day? We finally saw color. This is one of many on a successful day finding fall color.
New England, Maine, in the fall (every family relative asked) – have you seen the leaves change? Yet? Climate change, it’s been whacky. When we arrived, we were definitely too early. There was barely a hint of color change. As the weeks passed (yes, we were here for a few weeks) colors changed subtly. And, then, suddenly they were here/changed, only to fade quickly. Within the span of the few times we passed by, a tree in Rockland faded drastically losing its leaves. I shot individual trees; I shot individual leaves; I shot scenes; I shot reflections; I shot fog. Quintessential?! Sort of. I feel vaguely unrequited. I did get color. For sure. I’ve done better. And, I’ve done worse. I hate the randomness of my finding a suitable scene. Mostly, we were on the way to somewhere else and I shot out the from the car window or we stopped, paused, shot, and then quickly drove onward. I cannot say that I ever got that “Ah!!” shot. Otherwise, if I were chasing wool (fiber), I would say we were successful. Priorities! Keep priority straight and it’s a completely different picture. (pun intended)
A revisit to Rockland got me to the only tree of color (so far). The lighthouse was off in the distance. A heron posed. Raindrops adorned the geranium. And, we reflected on a rainy day. Colleen shopped the farmer’s market. Some days are just made for quiet contemplation away from chaos. Is this the reason Maine calls to Colleen? Me? … all go and more go…. Hey! I was (came from) in NYC.
Tech alert: I shot the lighthouse from far away with a tiny point and shoot – Sony RX100 VI. The zoom is as good as my large heavy Nikon 80-400mm zoom. There is no comparison in weight. I think heavily (pun) on whether to carry the big lens for only a few telephoto zoom shots.
Can you live with it? We are adults, after all. Can you say lobster shooter? It is lobster with butter and garlic in a shot glass. Drizzle a little lemon over the top. Colleen talked about that since she had one three years ago. Three years! The restaurant has the silly lobster cutout. It was closed for the season! No hired help. All this waiting, and all Colleen got was a stupid picture in a lobster cutout!
Andre, the seal. He’s an institution. He originated in Rockport. Yay! Jen says we can bring him home and keep him in the pond.
One tree. Yeah, it’s pitiful so far. One fall tree. So, work the scene!
And, a cormorant took flight for me!
To finish? Sunset and spectacular clouds in Pemaquid. Colleen was mad – at me. It’s not the lobster shooter – three years of waiting. But, of the fact, that I dragged her out of the library to see the view at the lighthouse – for the 3rd!!! time this week. I’d say it was worth it. I endured the wrath. I know she will still love me in the morning.