Living in the past
As I scroll randomly thru the catalog it is easy to land on flowers. These past few years have given me a lot of container garden flowers to photograph. And then I got a macro lens… It’s pretty nice. I got a lot of flower pictures. I can hear folks ask, “How many?” And you photograph them again and again. Same flowers, they don’t change much. Well, it’s never the same. And I would be pressed to say I can tell the same flower in my pics from day to day. Boring. Not really. After all, I have a different life now. No phone call is answered as though it were life and death on the other end. There is relief that I answer the phone if I want to answer the phone. There are no consequences for not responding. That all works out fine with me. Boring it is, for a good long time to come.
The flowers in Colleen’s background… are fake artificial. I went thru a stage of fake flowers too. Ha ha.
The first time I ever…
…saw a passion fruit flower was in Africa. Where had it been all my life? And now we have them growing along with the clematis on my deck. Oh gee! It’s striking! I never forgot it after I saw it the first time. Of course, I never knew its name until now. Fruit? Yes. And I have even tasted it. Colleen likes it. We don’t see it in the market. Cousin Barb pretty much killed it when she was pruning the clematis. But it is an invasive weed plant around here. So, it grew back. Yay!. The flowers are an excellent photo op. So, I do!
Paper! Neat! And it fooled me. Sort of. At first glance… if I look closer, ok, I get it! Wow! Unexpected. Well done. Who thinks of these things? We got some. How could you/we not?
Flowers or fish?
Would you rather…? I do not regret being in Saudi. Eh? I am glad to be home. I was homeless in a rhetorical sense for a bit. But I always seem to land on my feet. Flowers preoccupied me in the summer as never before. I got hundreds… thousands of pictures of the blossoms. Daily! Hundreds! Obsession? Compensation? Psycho? And, my/our cats. … because I could take good photographs in focus and well exposed with decent composition. Yes, all of the above. We all need an outlet? Eh? I’d rather be diving. But the price in Saudi was too steep. So, no! I am just fine here and now.
Did you know I have a catalog? Several. Hey hey! Ha ha!
These recent years have been dominated by cats and flowers. Travel has been restricted due to covid. It was only a short time since we got Tillie and Peas. The new macro lens made close-ups of the flowers in my garden… imagine if I had remained in Saudi. The blog would be flooded (pun) with underwater fish. Flowers or fish? Both start with an “F.”
If you follow me, then you will know I am camera crazy. Colleen has looms and spinning wheels… I just have lots of cameras. They sort of accumulate. I am poor at discarding things.
Nikon Z5, mirrorless. It follows the Canon M6 II. A real DSLR, sort of. And the first images. No selfie!? Oh no! But the usual suspects… flowers and cats.
Who knew? It was a pretty inauspicious start. It was pretty much an average day – 4/23/21. But anytime you break in a new camera… let the fun begin. Are there other cameras? Sure. There is always camera lust. But I am content. No need for me to get the high-end Leica or to enter the Canon system. A lens is a lens… well, not quite. But it is the image not the camera. I simply want my equipment to work and to get the image I seek. Right tool for the right job? If you aren’t good then no amount of equipment will make up for your lack of skill.
How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice, practice, practice.
I do believe in real cameras. 148k images and counting….
I never thought of Sony as a camera. They make video. But as I dove, the merits of the RX100 family – models I to VI – became apparent as a sought-after underwater camera if you did not shoot with a DSLR. My Canon G7 point and shoot dive camera has so many images that I was sure it was about to fail from all the use it had received.
September 14, 2018. New camera. Sony RX100 VI. It would have been my dive camera but I had stopped diving in 2016. An excuse? to get the camera? Nope. None. Just camera envy. 133k images later it is still in the rotation. We have taken a lot of images together. It’s not exclusive but it is still in active use.
And the first pictures?… new car, building the bookcase, selfie, flowers, cats, all the usual… from my activities and interests at that time. Who knew? A year later I would be married too!
I will spare you the sweat involved in the planting of my container garden. It’s gobbles up plants. But the planters are full of summer flowers. Bang for the buck! Every year different flowers, same flowers, and there is the struggle to make it all work. Colleen is replacing the ugly pots with painted colorful ones. There is more than enough potential at this early stage to whet the appetite for the summer to come. I will be in photo heaven. Macro photography – I got too many opportunities. For now, it is the official start of summer flower season. Yay! Pfewf! I’m tired!
Time, distance, money. How do you juggle the variables? We drove 500 miles to get a free haircut…
Spring was early and the Bradford pears were in bloom. Pink flowering trees… and the ride home was a white knuckle ride thru a slushy wintery mix. Colleen didn’t know whether to scream or take the wheel. Me? I had two hands on the wheel. When that happens you know it’s a serious weather day.
The microscope? Colleen and I had parallel lives. We orbited in the same solar system. We were in the same classroom from 3rd grade to 6th. … the same Junior High School… the same parties… same dance group… and so on and on. We also both had a Gilbert microscope. It cost about $25 in the early ‘60’s. New! Now, an antique? It was $35 without much of the bling that accompanied the new set. It was a sorry product being sold way over cost and value. The same microscope! We both had one! It warms the heart! I later got a real one for med school. It was a requirement. We bought it special on a trip to Hong Kong. A Leica! Everyone else had a Nikon. Somehow, I felt I should have had a Nikon too. Keeping up with the Joneses? Colleen remembers her microscope fondly. I still have that Leica, somewhere… I just wanna know… how is it that I did not know Colleen and remember her fondly until so many years later…. if I had but one regret…
Dinner at five
Post what you shoot, or, shoot what you post…do I shoot with posting in mind?
Ah! Everyone makes fun of me. Everyone notices. Most comment. No one minds a bit if you “iPhone.” But, a camera is a production statement. Important?!
I shoot. And a lot of times I forget… to shoot. We forgot (to shoot) the cole slaw. Oh! Stop the presses! … it’s complicated. Colleen tolerates me. Does anything else matter?
We have embarked on a dinner series. I am making dinner for 4 or more. We play games after dinner. Fun!!
The pantry is dwindling. We have fewer leftovers. I am practicing portion control. It’s not really one dinner but two. Colleen is vegetarian. So, no meatloaf for her. Spontaneity reigns. We were ready early. Make biscuits… done. Grilled veggies, yes, over the grill, dummy, not under it. She sent me out for daffodils for the center place setting. Why not? It’s mashed, silly. And asparagus – overdone and mushy – well, no one complained… all gone. Beans – good (tasty) for you. Coconut custard pie – don’t ask – it’s so good but bad for you – a whole stick of butter. Apples on your meatloaf, it’s Colleen’s recipe. Yum! The best? Potato cakes for breakfast with the leftover mashed. Yes, we made enough. It was an excellent meal!
The weatherman and the New York Times have been on for days…. It’s gonna snow!! Big! All over the United States, coast to coast, a deluge. A storm for the ages! Eh!? When was the weatherman right? Ever? Last? … not this time either. Here is our snowy day. Early spring is in the air everywhere I look. No snowflake? There is an insult in this somewhere I fear. But, alas, no snow.
Just like a broken watch is right twice a day, it did snow!
Back on February 20 in the dead of winter the temps were running in the 60’s. Do you believe that?! Not here! We got cold!! Nope! And the daffodils did not know it. So, they popped up and bloomed. Februrary!! Nope, there is no climate change. …. There is no climate change.
We live next to a little pond in the backyard. When we first moved in there were tall grasses – phragmites, a garbage invasive weed grass. One January I decided to cut the grass down to enhance my pond view. And there between the pines was a bench! I never knew it was there. Yes, we were surprised! The previous owner had left us a little “Easter egg.” Thanks!
…Can you imagine us years from today
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange to be 70… Old Friends, Simon & Garfunkel
Andy is my high school buddy. Colleen? We met in the third grade and orbited together `for five years without truly knowing one another. But, I never forgot her. And, never will… Chicago, AANS national meeting. Ethiopian meal with the cousin. When did we lose our hair and get old and fat? Who’s fat!? American Gothic, Van Gogh’s bedroom? Classics! I have seen them?! I was in their presence?! Memories fade. Colleen still checks the weather constantly. Me? I forget to wear socks.
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.
It is a rare day that goes by without me taking pictures. Subject? Ah! Cats and flowers… they are available and do not object too much. Seven cats – only a few are cooperative. The rest avoid me.
Take a picture just to take a picture? Umm, I consider it a challenge. Get a technically sound image with some wrinkle in detail – water – that is a bit out of the ordinary.
Busy time activity? Boredom? Warding away the doldrums of retirement? Ha! Colleen fills her time with reading. For me, there are only so many times I can hit the refresh button on the NY Times.
Year to year. Annuals are flowers that last the summer and die with the frost. Cherish them. Water them. Enjoy! We plant again in the spring. Start over. Cherish them…
I recall vividly that the last slide I shot was at Dave’s graduation. Little did I know or suspect film would so suddenly be gone in my life. I just simply never went back. I did not look back. And I have not shot a roll of film since my Nikon D70 arrived late after I got home from work. Who knew?!
Nothing of import was on that last roll of slides. The deck, my dog, Dave, the school play and some flowers numbered among the mundane subjects. Interesting to see. I had never really checked until now.
What’s in yours?
Ha ha. My Lightroom catalog reflects what is in my life. Of course! Family! Love. Life. Food. Sunrise. Sunset. Cats. Antique stores. Flowers. Sheep. Fiber. I state the obvious. There is so much. No going back. I wish…. I miss Lulu (Saudi). I love Feather and Spice. …and Colleen. Transformational. Colleen has made all of life worth living these days. I hope the day never ends.
Develop has a whole new meaning these days. It used to mean taking film and transforming it into a print. Digital images require no printing. Manipulation can transform an image into something it wasn’t when it started. Cropping? Or, there are black and white conversions. Or toning. Whatever. The effects can be dramatic. So many flowers, so little time.
Point and shoot
I humbled myself this morning. I was passing over these images and simply assumed I had shot them with my trusty “big camera and lens.” Wrong, it was my point and shoot Canon G7. Too easy, the camera was too basic to get shots like these. Nope! Each and every one was the G7. I’m so biased. I do not believe iPhone to be a worthy camera. In a pinch, but not a mainstay, the iPhone lens is too small!
It’s not the camera it’s the photographer, eh?!
It happened. Can it be? Covid – mask? Ukraine? Travel? Events? Forbidden?
Though many around us have been touched by covid – children, grandchildren, cousins and so forth….
We went to the museum to see the new exhibit. It’s on loan and traveling from Long Island. Photos forbidden. Oops! I already shot by the time Colleen pointed it out. Does this fall under street photography? It was illustrative that covid was still in our thoughts.
Taken at random the flower or the fish could have been anywhere. I needed the white gate to orient me. Aha! Winterthur – been there!
Random sunset. Or perhaps sunrise? It would depend on which side of the car windows I was shooting. Aha! Metadata?! 6:56PM.
Fine photography? No, nope, not hardly… but, fine by me.
Information? What? I have a Lightroom catalog titled Images 2016 – meaning 2016 onward. This is distinguished from “all digital images” “slides” and so forth. It is a rough divider to allow for easier search of the many many images in each catalog. This catalog has nearly 500k images. Repeats? There are not supposed to be any. It is a one way – forward – catalog.
So, the beginning of the catalog is anything but 2016.
It seems that I took stray photos/slides/images and just mashed them into this catalog. Logic? I do not know what logic. The end of the catalog – now – is current images, digital, of course.
My first digital camera – Canon G3. The Nikon D70, my first digital DSLR, and a pictrure of the digital clock; I was working late (neurosurgeon) and got home to open the new box and shoot the clock among the first. I dropped Dave off in college long before 2016. Jules helped build the slide cabinet I would not need. Drawers – we built a lot of drawers on the deck. Of course, with digital, who needs drawers to store slides any more? The drawers are full. But more than half are not slides.
Julia and dad at her track meet; gee I was a good attentive dad. The rope swing was lost when the tree trimmers cut down the branch above it. We never spoke about it (the swing) again after that. Face painting – they were but kids. A dramatic graphic of tulips – striking against the tile floor of the Long Island kitchen. Nice. Iconic for me! … English child, street photography in the ‘70’s.
It was, this is, a hodge podge of a collection of photos digital and scanned. I suppose they followed me from computer to computer on each successive hard drive to form a core of what I could store given the supplied hard drive memory with each laptop.
I am so organized. And not! All the images slide and digital reside on multiple redundant hard drives. I wonder who will sort thru them when I am gone? Will anyone bother? Historical. But worth preserving? Ah! An external drive is so small nowadays. Who knows? I won’t.