Word and Image

Flowers

Almost… oops

Colleen is so understanding. There is no competition. She’s a “good” person. No jealousy. Oh sure, there is protectiveness. Am I making sense? Another birthday! I love that iPhone sends balloons when you type it. Happy! I did not miss yours – birthday. It just took a moment to realize I almost passed it by. Have a great day!


Wander thru my mind

No! No Freud today! It’s merely an exercise and lament. When I’m dead, someone looking thru the image catalog will have no reference to time and place. I have a database that will inform. Sure. But, I look at a series and piece together my past memory. The waterfall? I haven’t a clue to what or where. But the adjacent images on the same day, tell a story. I was in Amish country. Someone told me an eagle had nested among the powerlines. There was an image in an Amish market. The African daisy was on sale outside the door. I got some. And the clincher was an Amish farmer plowing the field. For me, in my mind, an image is the trigger for memory. By itself the image might mean nothing to the viewer. To me? it is the anchor to a memory of the day. It’s not photographic memory in one’s sense of genius and it is, most definitely, in my own mind. Convoluted? The brain is like that.


We need a little Christmas

The annual Winterthur Christmas decorations never fail to cheer us. Impressive?! You bet! The tall ~ 25 foot tree is decorated with dried flowers from the grounds that are picked and preserved all year long. Amazing. Simply amazing. I garden. I am not up to the task of doing as this dedicated staff performs year long. The culmination is a tree stunning and unique. We count ourselves very fortunate to see it once more. We have tried to share this with members of the family. The true experience is being there “in person” to appreciate the tree’s majestic scale. Thank you!


Recycle

Bored, in a funk, lazy, drifting? All of the fore-mentioned? Uninspired? Ah! Always appear positive. Ok! We spin and weave. It is about all things fiber. There is nothing boring there. Weaving stuff is all over our house. I kid Colleen lovingly. Me? Tech takes up little space. Ha, right back. My gear fills drawers, shelves, cabinets, and closets. Otherwise I shoot (images) my cats. What do you say to the lighting of Nutley and the sink? Product placement! Apple and Willow. Or, I shoot flowers. My pictures are pretty – good. I try – to get better. I’m good. It’s all relative. There are plenty of photographers who are better. The good news – I am the best in my house. Recycle? As I said at the beginning, I was uninspired; some of today’s shots are recycled. Ya gotta admit, Peas is cute!


I shot that?

I came across some images in a catalog in a place I have not looked in a very long time. Are you following me? We were in Washington DC during the cherry blossoms and wandered into an orchid exhibit. Nice! I am frankly pleased at the detail I captured in the orchid. Technology continues to improve. I can now easily mask and enhance subject or sky. Too technical? It doesn’t matter. Amazing things can be done now in editing. It’s simple enough for someone as lazy as me. The edits are hardly noticeable. I’m better than I was and didn’t even know it. Hint: you do need a good image to start with. Oh, bother.


Non sequiturs

I’m reaching here. Uninspired, lazy, I am in a writing drought after the past month of a plethora of subjects and photographs. So, spin the photo catalog. This series was all nearby one another and disparate in subject. It turns out we don’t see Dave very often at all. This was a visit to Jessop’s Tavern close to the train station where we pick him up when he comes to Delaware. Unfortunately, we got a round of bad service there on our last recent visit and it will be a long time before we ever return. Alas! Ida is not imprisoned. She was running a Memorial Day fundraiser and we saw her behind the fence as we walked up to the event. (That’s my story – to protect the innocent!) Flowers? Gee, I was so much (less) better a few years back. Nature! The rose managed to grow thru the fence and bloom. I am, indeed, heartened to see that I (photographer) am getting better as time passes.


Do over

Regret? I’ve had a few. This one time I had an opportunity to go back and shoot one more time. Did I do better? Well, it’s different. It was a scene full of possibility and opportunity. We love all of our children… and cats… some better than others? No. Sometimes, you just cannot choose. Can you? Oh boy. We spent time with a psychiatrist (chance acquaintance) between shoots. Subtle, sublimation, transference? Do over? It’s different. Better? It’s in our mind. Confused? You bet! Me too!


Amblin’

Without an agenda, we ambled up and down the coast of Maine. I was always a failure at fishing (non sequitur). Lobstermen make a fine living every day? We stop by chance at stores along the road. For instance, this is a weaving store stop. They spin and weave expensive items. We don’t buy. I have my very own spinner and weaver in the car. But, we look. Ideas. The prices are breathtaking for handwoven articles. We just don’t produce in quantity. So, I will never break even. Colleen looks; I get photo ops – free.


Solitude

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.


Curated?

Antique stores? Some are curated. Others are more junk shop with old rusty stuff. Curated? Well, this is where I overheard a customer bargain over a $1,500 duck decoy. Yes! The paint and other details changed after WW II and there are wood artists who crafted these items. $$$$ as in expensive! Huh! How about the silver antique store? it was full of shiny silverware and objects of great $$$ value. Really?! And who shined it all up? I laughed. There were a few bargains. And there were the Tiffany scissors for $395. Ummm, no. Junk shop? Well, not that either. We will just keep moving on. There are bargains waiting, somewhere. Otherwise, photo-ops are free.


Hello! Hullo!

Pemaquid “calls” to Colleen. We were finally able to return. There were no expectations. It was windy and about to rain. It was perfect. The moment passed so quickly. We will return at some point again on this trip. How could we not? Pent up energy was released. A little. There was barely time to sit, between the rain drops. Next time, we will be sure to sit. Some things need time to slowly percolate through all your senses. Me? I’ll take another (better) picture. But, on this day, after long last, we were back. There is something to be said to coming back once more. I wish I could photograph emotion.


Indulgence

No one could accuse me of holding back nowadays. I just don’t go all out too often. I apologize for the slang given that there are a good many people from around the world who look in. But, once in a while I… Certainly, I spoil Colleen. In this moment, not too often at all, I indulged a whim. I discovered after my recent purchase of the Nikon Z5, that the Nikon zoom 80-400mm lens (I own) did not autofocus when attached the new model body Z5. Long story short, I went to eBay. Of course, they have the Nikon model G that does the job. It is at these times that I have been extremely lucky to get (used) just what I wanted at half price compared to new. The lens arrived in pristine condition. Damn. I was so lucky. My old lens was soft now. ??? I cannot explain except to say that the images were slightly less than tack sharp. Now, the problem is solved. Yeah, it cost $$$. But then, when do I indulge? Don’t answer. Colleen is getting a new spinning wheel… Are pictures better with the new lens? Ah? Sort of. A poor workman blames his tools. I have the tool to become a better workman. Had I but taken a few moments, my trigger happy shots would have been much better. I know this and you would too if you know what I know about fixing things. For instance, the moon is over-exposed; go to manual exposure. I was just too excited (lazy) to make the adjustments. Flog me. My bad. (more slang) I was just being indulgent. Now! I can’t wait to get back to the powwow.


Choices

I think in color. No black and white for me. I started in BxW. Color slide film opened my eyes to a whole new world in photography. BxW conversion is easy in Photoshop/Lightroom. Sure. I just don’t think in shades of gray. I admire those who do and who produce great images in black and white.

Single or gallery? I post multiple images these days because there are too many worthy (?) images and not enough posts. TMI. So, I lose subtlety of fine detail. It’s easy (for me) to see Elle is a great cat pic. But the water droplets or the grasshopper or the bees are harder to discern.

Sometimes I just think I must have closed my eyes and pressed the shutter. Images jump out of Lightroom to grab me. I shot that? Luck or skill, my images come from experience and experimentation. I have practiced “what if” scenarios in order to be in this place. But I readily admit I am not some landscape photographer who will patiently sit day after day until the perfect elements align. I have never, and, I never will… No one ever accused me of being patient. Me? I’m all “go!”


Too much

Today. It’s lessons!… I have learned. We move forward by making mistakes and then correcting our errors. Right? I’m gonna hit a bunch of things I learned this summer. If it’s boring, look at the pictures and … see you tomorrow.

Water: I used the “mist” setting on the nozzle and got water droplets. A little is good. It even looks natural. And, too much? … looks contrived. No! No Photoshop, too much work.

Focus: A good macro lens is unforgiving. There is no depth of field to speak of. Focus is critical. Within a single flower, focus can change the whole feeling. Example: yellow flower. Failure. All summer I have tried to find the focal interest. No luck. it’s just a blurred mess. Red – petunia – flower, focus shallow (petals) or (deeper) stamen? Purple flower, it’s near impossible to get all of its parts in focus. Yes, I manually focus. No, I did not quite get it right.

Timing: See, the praying mantis. Two black dots for eyes? Blink. One shot open and one shot not? Really? Macro – I could not get the whole of the bug in focus. I settled for the head and “eyes.”

TMI? It’s why I love photography. Not like, love. Well, I love my wife – first and foremost. (Ha! I live another day.) There are challenges. I am not perfect. I try different things. And, very much unlike in a medical practice, no one dies! Practice, practice, practice. Practice makes perfect.


658,644 … and counting

Digital images. 4/16/2003. Canon G3 to 8/10/2021 Nikon Z5. I have a recorded database of nearly 700 thousand pictures/images in digital. It does not include iPhone for several thousand more. I think that this is more or less complete a complete accounting.  About 36,000 digital images a year compared to about 3,600 per year of slide film. Moreover, my digital images have increased in recent years and was paltry early on. So, I am at about 70,000 digital images a year right now. Yeah, it’s a lot. And if you are not a photo buff, it is more than enough to make your head spin. Laugh all you would like. It’s my avocation – hobby or minor occupation. Some call it an obsession. And for those who would know me – a look into the (my) mind. Luckily, the very first digital image was serviceable – David. Of late, the first image on a new memory card is of my ID – so if found, I just might get it (memory card/camera) back. And, today, 700k images later, it’s cats and flowers. Colleen has a rash and my kids are far away. Yes, that’s a pair of chopsticks in Peas’ mouth. Don’t ask.


Hey?!!

Right after I lamented yesterday, it seems that I have a hole in my posts. Today was open. Nada. Nothing. …. good thing I checked. Travel! We made it to Maine. They canceled the Common Ground Fair and Pumpknfest amid concern for Covid. Boo! So, make lemonade. We are: Outdoor dining. Bakery for breakfast. Touring. Getting lost. Lost earring. Old Revolutionary war era home. There’s a lot you can do. Masks and not. I worked the duck scene. I did not quite get it right. But, there it is. Too much potential, not enough patience, wrong lens? How lovely! … on the road again. Lost earring? We bought a pair and (Colleen) lost one constantly donning a mask. Returning to the store, we found out they could track the artist and get a replacement or another crafted. That is a happy ending!


Lucky

I’m lucky… lucky to have images that jog my memory. Pelicans? Dave was here (at the beach), with sunflowers? Jumping, I’ve been asking people to jump as an icebreaker. Philippe Halsman – look him up – was a master photographer of the “jump shot.” It always makes me smile. Photo-bombing? It’s a new term. Emma! Rory has the weight of the world on her mind. So young, you ain’t seen nutin’ yet! The summer flowers are fading. I spun the catalog to a random page. It was quite a day(back then)!


Old joke

By now I can be accused of pushing an old joke… too far. Museums. Irreverence. Heinous. Not quite. You would not call (my composite) art too? I’ve been at it for a while. Don’t ask me to collect the past examples. Fun? You bet. The essential element? A tolerant wife. It’s collaboration. After all Colleen took all those pics of me. Ok! That said, we found a typo in one of the exhibits: 2923, wrong date. We are still masking up. That’s a mirror – reflection, not doorway.

Droopy spider web? It seems in the morning mist/fog with the water droplets upon it, a spider web will droop. Who knew? There was a big old hairy ugly spider who had this web. Along came an albino juvenile. It just happened to wander into my picture. As you can see the web is not so architecturally symmetrically accurate. Should we be disappointed? Or, all spiders are not OCD.

As long as we are talking mist and water, can you appreciate the small droplets and detail at the end of this hibiscus flower? Macro photography opened up a new world for me this summer.

Too many images, too little time/space to post.


Counting the cars…

As long as we are on Simon and Garfunkel… counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike…. Colleen took this shot. Great shot! She was shooting to include the green arrows. ??? I don’t know. She got a quintessential shot of traffic in America! I’ve been there! And, on our return trip the GPS gods took us on a (lost) detour past St Vlad’s church on the hill. Sometimes random wandering is good! Note: you are never lost if you never put the car in reverse.

Meanwhile, back at home, the flowers … they are fewer as summer fades. It is time for the rose of Sharon to bloom. I have one this year. It is my harbinger to fall.

The Summer Knows – Barbra Streisand

… And if you’ve learned your lesson well
There’s little more for her to tell
One last caress
It’s time to dress
For fall


Color

Define white. You would naturally describe it in terms of what we identify as white. A white wall, white paper, white box, white flower. All different? Oh, so shades – light white, bright white, gray white, yellowish white… Ha! It’s not so easy. Avocado pits/skins and cherry pits will dye fiber pink. Each skein comes out subtly different from the next. But they are all pink in total. Subtle, barely distinguishable from one another, it’s the same for flowers. Time of day, sun or shade, will all change the color I capture in my camera. The color and the details and the focus are even subtly different from one image to the next. My image is captured in a fraction of a second. The moment passes and the scene has changed. What’s white?


Odd day

I was housebound and determined to have an adventure. So? Antiques! Nope. Everything is closed around here on Monday. The (poor pitiful) mangy cat awaited in front of one antique place (closed). A VIP funeral went by with a fancy glass hearst and a long parade of trailing vehicles. So famous… we could not find mention in any internet listing. Travel took us to the towns of Milford and Wyoming. Oh yeah! There’s a giant bee, much larger than the usual. It does not look like a carpenter bee. The other large bee listed is from Indonesia, nope, not that one either. ?? Dunno. My passion flower survived Barb! And Nutley? … just too cute for his own good! Gee, he makes me look like a good photographer.


One that got away

I hate bugs. It doesn’t stop me from photographing them. The clouds do not form up every day for pictures just for me. It is nice when they do. And, sometimes I close my eyes. Or, I just press the shutter and hope for the best. Yeah, scientific. There are days when you press that camera shutter and you have no idea what will come in the edits. Yes, I’m laughing too. I will never admit it. Skill! But, I’m thinking horseshoes. Close! It’s enough. Oh! The green bug(?); he got away from the spider. Close call!


Way back

Quintessential Maine, Somesville bridge. It’s not my best effort, but this was a long time ago and before I knew better. The first balloon festival (for me) had the searing memory of Lisa dipping her poison ivy covered arms in a bucket of ice at a soda vendor; no, not pictured here. How about a field of wildflowers they planted just for my camera? My dog Nellie, I loved that dog! One more summer image, fishing, the water was about 18 inches deep. But, you get the idea. Idyllic, childhood. It was a different time. Good. Better, that’s harder to say.


Water

It is part of my life. We live near it. I have always lived near to water. Even in the Middle East, the Red Sea was moments away from me. I have a water view and the beach is less than a mile from home. Water can be subtle or bold in my images. It always adds interest. Underwater (diving), yes, but I tend to avoid the pouring rain. I’m so lucky, yes, so lucky.