Word and Image

Family

It’s Not Bad

IMG_0464Jules did not make the cake because no one remembered her birthday. She made this in an inspired Martha Stewart moment. Six sticks of butter later – Voila! Looks good and I got to taste it too!

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Yes, Susie Homemaker. Too funny. Good cake. She had a stand mixer. Wow. Me? Pillsbury, Betty Crocker all the way…


I Remembered

IMG_6326Yes, this is my favorite daughter. I laugh because by making the statement one might infer there might be another daughter. Okay, she’s the one and only. And I have a favorite son; he’s the one and only too. Now, we could start a real war if I had to pick favorite child. Happy birthday kid.


Union Station

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We had to be there. Don’t ask. It wouldn’t matter. I decided to act silly.

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It’s a presumed copy of the liberty bell. In Washington, how nice. No, it does not ring. Unlike many stations which are now markets and in alternate use, Washington’s Union Station is very much in active service.

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Democrats

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You know I got this shirt for fun in a tourist shop. I did not receive it as the door prize in a Republican fundraiser. Needless to say it was difficult to find a model in my family. The AANS is a very conservative organization and was actively promoting conservative republican politics. There is no question of bias among the leadership. I suppose there are those who deserve equal time.

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Julia was the next to receive this re-gift. Hey it’s a dirty piece of laundry in my family. I doubt she’ll keep it. That was a definite look of asking her to eat something foul.

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I was undecided about whether to post this with the FBI building or with Julia. Julia won.


Shark (Attack) Nah!

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We were at the pier. There was a laughable lame aquarium. I can say this because as a snob I have diving on a pretty awesome reef in the Red Sea. And outside there was a fake shark garnering attention. So we mugged. I’m not sure sharks come in black and this guy is definitely not too scary as is.

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Dim Sum

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How old are you? …and never been to a dim sum place. Well at least my daughter has gone but I did not know she liked it. She’s been in LA for a couple years and this is her second visit. I know because we did the first the day before. I never thought of it. Duh? Slap in the head! And for Jeff, it’s his first visit. We made a side trip to the bakery. Shhhhh… the Chinese can’t bake. Nice spontaneous image. Happy.

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And then dim sum. Here’s how it works. You stake out a table close to an aisle. And then you snag anyone who comes by with a cart/trolley. They are loaded with items and you choose dishes by sight and description. In this case it was sight because we don’t speak Chinese. Sorry. And then you load up and feast. Yes it is what is called ‘grazing’ and it’s grand. All sorts of good stuff. Oh! The price for this is a steal! Really. You really get a bang for your buck!


Engagement

Here’s photography lessons. I read a site in which people are always there asking how to do portraits and they are just about to do their first wedding shoot. Could someone please help? And the response – if you are asking, don’t do it. I’m not the shooter for my daughter’s wedding. She hired someone. I did not ask. She’s pretty organized. Tips:

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It helps if they love each other. Duh? But close and tight. You don’t need to see pores but close up. You don’t need the whole body. Hey, do you actually notice? Anyway a kiss helps. But there are so many people who smush. That looks funny. This was about right. I did not ask but this was the right shot. I was just there to shoot it.

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A winning smile. You need the couple to be at ease. It helps that I know my daughter. And her fiancée was cool, So everyone was relaxed and spontaneous smiles were in ample evidence. Clothes are optional but I did not tell them how to dress. I merely warned them I was shooting a lot of images.

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Once you have them laughing, you need to move around. Get a different perspective. But keep them smiling. I don’t patter. You can. I just smiled and let them know I appreciated the moment too.

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Background check. Not too close. The background will be in focus. You want a more soft one? Keep your subject well away from the glass behind them. No? Well, then that is a choice.

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The fence made a nice graphic. Focused. It added an element and you might decide it is distracting. Remember I’m just trying things out as we go along. Ah! Remember the light. No harsh sunlight to make squinting. Nice even soft light. Indirect light works. It would be open shade. Yes, you can work with a flash but that would be too formal for me.

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Another kiss and a neutral background. Elegant and classy. Yes a monotone background lets you concentrate on the main subjects. It is also nice that my daughter can kiss back.

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This was an odd shot. I was pleasantly surprised. When I shot it I did not think it was so special. But the spontaneous action was nice. Sunglasses hide the eyes. But here they work rather well. Yeah, I shot it but I consider it a brilliant snapshot.

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This was actually the start of our walk. Dappled sunlight and shade. Watch for the highlights. The overexposure will kill the image. But controlling the light is good. Jeff’s taller so sitting put them more even. Yes, Happy helps too.

 


Old School

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Hey! I went to an old elementary school in Elkins, West Virginia. Don’t ask. But we had desks just like this. You can see the ink well desk holes. We did not use ink. But I sat in these desks for my elementary years in First Ward school. The front of the room was not as quaint as the image and set up in this Shaker village school. I used the set up to set up my own image. A little Photoshop later and voila. The gal you see would be Colleen who as it turns out was a classmate from 3rd to 6th grade in the same elementary school. She swears her name was later in the alphabet and that she sat in the back of the class. It’s a lot of years gone by. I am sure that at least one year I sat in the back on the left.

 

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Famiiy

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This is a typical poor snapshot photograph of the family. The exposure is hardly worthy. But there is a sentimental value in its remembrance. We are gathered for dim sum at a restaurnat in Flushing. Periodically I would organize an outing. It seems we had food in common though my kids did not like the fare. My in laws, my brothers, my aunt and the assorted kids would all come. My aunt would come early to stake out a table – no reservations. We would eat ourselves silly. The restaurant is long gone. And we no longer gather in this grouping. Times change. Nostalgia is a funny thing. The photo is more valuable for the stories that have changed with the years.


Product Placement

_DSC2120Happy Birthday Dave. He visited recently. No details please. Anyway one of his favorites is Cheezits. Don’t ask. It is my bad teaching that he eats this horrible junk food. The process of baking them has salt added at three stages. Without that much salt added the stuff would taste like cardboard. Three times salt? Geez!

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Well he’s a good sport. I take his picture often. He tolerates me. He has his fake smile of benign tolerance.But after a while his look changes to – please leave now.

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