… not really. I’m not professional, strictly amateur, as far as photography is concerned. I have sold an image or two. It was a mix of surprise and curiosity that I was contacted via my blog for use of an image. The request came via an unused link from an unused blog I had many years ago. I was suspicious of a scam. But, it turned out to be a legitimate request. The image in question was cropped from the original and used strictly in an internal memo. So, what the hell, they got it for free. Dumb, maybe. I got a credit for the use. Consider it a charitable donation. The image? It was the NYC Marathon Sunday crossing the Verrazano Bridge.
And on the next day…Dave asked me about whitewater rafting. Way back more than a decade ago … Jules and I were whitewater rafting in Maine. It was summer but the water was still cold. And the object of the boat driver was to dump you in the water. It was very cold. We had a great time. I relied on my database and Lightroom to locate the files. It wasn’t too painful. We all had a laugh over these memories.
Waves. I am trying to catch the “curl.” We’re not talking Hawaii. I have no lofty surfer goal. But… well, I’ve been pretty hit and miss to catch a good wave shot. It finally dawned on me to pan the camera. As the wave breaks, I pan and I got a much higher number of shots of the waves breaking. It’s work in progress. A movie would probably be challenging too. Hey! I’m working all of this out on my own. It was another “Duh!” moment. How did I never think of panning before? Afterwards, I feel silly for not thinking. If not for an occasional “Aha!” moment photography wouldn’t be so challenging.
This pair lined up perpendicular to the incoming wave and backed their way onto the beach. As you can see they took a tumble. I saw it coming. I got one shot. They both fell out. It seemed that was the plan. I think you could be more elegant. I’m ok. I got a shot. Embarrassed? Not me. Maybe, they will work on better technique?
Hunter Mountain. It’s in upstate NY. We skied there the last time I skied with my kids. As in, it was the last time we skied together. Period. It’s a sad happy memory forwarded to my email courtesy of Shutterfly. K27. It’s the name of an infamous trail on the mountain for experts only. Skiing in upstate NY has challenges. It’s eastern skiing, therefore be prepared for ice. The moguls were the size of Volkswagen beetles. I am older and wiser which is to say I wanted to live to ski another run. Eric and Dave went first and fell. Eric exploded. Jules was more cautious and picked her way around the moguls to ski out the bottom. Good for her! As I say this memory was bittersweet. Who knew what the future would bring and how our lives all changed so.
If I have to explain the symbolism, you are lost. Okay! The recent election is just sinking in. No one came away happy. It was not a clear cut Democratic victory. There was something for everyone. In these days of endless spin our fear(ful)less leader spun out of control with his remarks and lies about the grand republican victory. Nope! There, so far, has been a 35 seat gain in the House of Representatives. That would be greater than at any time since 1974 after Nixon resigned. Resigned!… ahead of his own impeachment and conviction. See any parallels? Democrats don’t feel much better about things. Outright repudiation will have to wait. At least the madness is at a stop. It cannot be reversed outright. The games have begun and the 2020 derby is starting. Blue? Wave? Investigation? Can you say, “Here are my tax returns.” Yeah, say goodbye, you lying sack of …
I taught Jules to ride a bike on Long Island. The trick is to use the advantage of a spinning wheel (gyroscope) that tends to stay upright when spinning fast. I just pushed from behind, gave her the notion I was holding on, and then let her go off on her own. It wasn’t hard. She got the hang of it right away. I learned from my mistake with brother John. I tried to get him riding on our lawn in Elkins. He couldn’t peddle well enough in grass to stay upright. Hey! You learn. David was younger but quickly followed his sister’s example.
(Shhhhh….don’t tell mom) I let Lisa do most of the child raising. Mostly because she was way more OCD about it. And partly because I was not home as much as I’d like to have thought. One thing I did do with the kids was ski. Lisa was afraid to fall so she never got good. I learned just a little bit ahead of my kids. I got good fast. They got good and never knew it. They skied black diamond trails before they could read. You know you’re nuts when other people would take pictures of your kids on the slopes because they were so little and skiing on steep blue trails out west. When Julia could finally read she queried me, “But Dad, that’s a black diamond trail.” as we skied past the sign. I told her, “Shut up. Just ski.” And they did. This would be a happy ending. Then, one day they got better than me. I suppose it’s the goal of every parent to see their kids better than them. I’m proud. Mom can’t ski (well), so what happens on the trail, stays on the ski trail.
That’s what they call it. It is the area where you tee off on a golf hole. This hole is beautiful to behold. Look out over the water and the green is there on the other side. It’s kind of idyllic. Wait!? Did I say water? Look! Look out over the little picturesque pond. Yup. Water. It’s not far. This course doesn’t have long holes. Water? Am I repeating myself? Me? And water? Nope. We don’t mix at all when it comes to golf. I’m just as well if I simply drop the ball in water and move on. Don’t laugh… too hard. I give a ball up to the water gods and move on. It allays the spirits and I keep my sanity. Everyone I play with has a laugh. Move on…
Choosing a bike seat is like choosing a pillow. You may wax poetic. Or not. I don’t much mind. I did have some worry about a narrow unpadded seat. But I got used to it. Really! Someone else I know has a great deal of problems choosing – seats and pillows. The closet overflows with failed experiments in foam pillows. Tender, firm, hard, or soft, no matter. We constantly switch back and forth, in and out. It’s dizzying. Seat? Bicycle seat? Princess and the Pea? We go through seats every time we see a new model. Wide enough? Or not? It doesn’t matter. It’s a quest! The holy (grail) seat! Ah! This time I found one. No complaints for at least 8 rides. I got my fingers crossed…. toes too! Yes! We have settled upon a pillow too. Oh happy day!!! We have closets overflowing with pillows and by my last count there are at least five spare seats. Oh!… I exaggerate! Not!
You dream of snowy days when you go skiing. It happens rarely enough that I dream of it. Oh, the powder, and, to ski on freshly fallen snow, the skis just shushing along quietly carving a turn…. We would rent a ski place for a long weekend and everyone brought stuff (groceries). Where do you put your bananas? I laughed when I came across this slide. Yeah, it was pretty practical…and funny.
We were a considerate lot. Everyone chipped in and brought food. Hence, two sets of bananas here… Dinner in or out? I remember one memorable dinner in which one spouse accused another’s of food poisoning. Who knows? Maybe? But he never ate her chicken again. Yes, it was pretty nice to meet up and share the fun. Unfortunately, conditions in the east are not always ideal. And the ski level of the group ranged from the (eeek!) amateur to the (calm) expert. It was always fun to pick a trail every one could navigate.
Dave started on a bike with training wheels out on Long Island. If I would list the places since that he has ridden – Taiwan, Canada, Mexico, Germany and so on, you might be impressed. He rode cross country – yep – more than 3000 miles – Delaware to LA. It all started here. He first rode with his (training) wheels here. To say that I am proud would be an understatement. Who knew what he would accomplish. I rode as a mean of getting around when I was a kid. I was a reluctant participant in riding as an adult. Then I rode for fitness. I should do so again. I get a good workout without too much wear and tear on the joints. I enjoy knowing that my son has surpassed me. The most I ever made in a day was 96 miles. I just couldn’t find the energy to make it to the “Century.” And yes, that’s Scales and Tails there in the background. Don’t you love the symmetry?
You might laugh? Maybe not. My cats live in fear. Spice does somersaults. Well, I make her do them. Actually, I toss her. She’s not a fan. I go way back. I had two brothers. We were pretty typical. We were rough and tumble. Maybe this is why Jules was so good in sports and stuff. I started her tumbling about at an early age. But, she did have a lot of motion sickness, especially in the car. Who knows? What I can say is that if I don’t sit still and neither did/does she.
It must have been a warm day. I have no hat. We’d ski and try to do some death defying jumps. Actually, they were just bumps. That would be me. Don’t laugh. The last time I remember skiing was with Julia in Sunday River. Or, maybe it was Hunter with the kids and uncle Eric. Either way, it’s been a few years. I guess, like tennis, and golf, my best days are behind me. I can still do it. There’s not too much incentive. And, it’s flat!!…here in Delaware.
I have lots of thoughts. I post once per day. Jules long ago complained TMI when I posted too frequently. Right. She was right. My kids advise me wisely – often. So, you will never see hundreds of thousands of images. Good! Good? Lately, I have so many, too numerous to count. But…my thought?
Well, I started in film. I have faded pictures of which I posted recently. My paranoia? Lost slides – by way of really lost, fading, mold, damage, fire, dust… Storage? Not much choice, they have to be physically stored. Environment – temp, humidity, dust, mold? It plays on your mind. I had friends in college who were totally obsessed with dust on their film and their lenses. Peter Hong comes to mind. Imagine that? Poor Peter? Well, I think his name was Peter? We had a freshman Quantitative Chem class. You weighed things out to the 4th decimal. You know? – .0001 gm – that would be very light weight. And, any error – just dust – could throw off your result. We were obsessive about washing the lab glassware! Madness. That lesson has not stuck – not one bit. I have spots and stuff on my lenses. Mostly, I refrain from using my shirttail to wipe the glass. Thank God!
The post today is more than 20 maybe, closer to 30 years old. It has stood the test of time stored relatively well and kept in the dark. No loss of color. I know. I know. This is all disjointed. But when I recently scanned this slide it jumped out for some reason. That crisp winter day is still like it was when we were there. The colors did not fade. The scanner technology got rid of most of the dust without me doing a thing. Shooting through a fence with auto focus is hard. Somehow the camera behaved perfectly. All sort of memories blend seeing my kids playing platform tennis. They probably never played again. That’s bittersweet too.
It ain’t easy. Try to photograph a breaking wave and likely you will miss. Well, at least I do, more often than not. This activity is from some of the leftover hurricane activity. Nice breakers. Good high ones. Clean curl. I don’t surf. Still, I can appreciate a nice wave.
Dave has been on an extended trip. He has done 1000 miles in about ten days. He plans to ride ‘cross country. It’s a feat. Endurance. It’s something you can do when you are young. I reached my physical limit years ago. I once rode 96 miles in a day. I couldn’t pedal the last four miles. Bravo Dave!
I missed the jumping. We wandered into a college competition late. It’s a sport with which I’m unfamiliar. Seriously, there are folks who dress the part and then participate. I’m afraid I’m not sympathetic. Certainly the competitors are serious. I’m struggling to make sense of it myself. Sorry, I suppose there is beauty in training a horse to perform on command. It’s called training and art for the sake of mastery. Oh boy. I’m just poking fun at their expense. Not fair. I was an intruder in a foreign culture. There are purists and elitists out there who will defend the sport. I’m not one. One more pound and you don’t button that last one. Watch out!
I forgot to tell you that Jules surfs. She told me and I thought Jeff had just taught her. But no, wrong, jules knows how to surf from being in Mexico with Laura. They are not great, but they can both get up and go. I admit the waves were a bit small, as in nonexistent, this day. They tried a tandem which had disaster written all over it. No, they were not serious.
Yes, they had a lot of fun in the frigid waters of the Pacific. Hey, Hawaii’s in the Pacific. That’s the warm water I remember. Yesterday – that was the Atlantic. Coast to coast and across continents, I’ve seen the Red Sea, Atlantic, Pacific, and flown over the Mediterranean in the past couple weeks. My sleep pattern is so discombobulated.
I attended a karate match. Brown belts, they were among the best students. You score for landing a punch or a kick on the pads in the front or on the side. You are not allowed to strike high or low. As I said there were no injuries during this match. It just looks like something happened. Ouch!
This intrepid group was on a mission. They were determined to go on quads in the desert. Some had never been on a quad. Others admitted they did not know how to ride a bike. And there were a couple who could not drive a car nor swim. Well, I guess swimming is not a fair prerequisite for using a quad. Talk about sheltered lives, but they sure had a good time. There was no hope to get this group to jump so I would settle for making them raise their hands. Even that was not easy to coordinate.
There was a point when David took up the sport to test his skill. He could ski pretty well. He wanted to snowboard but his mother required him to don a helmet. So he opted to skateboard. She did not know he needed a helmet for this too. I have to admit that David got the hang of it and could do some nice tricks. Basic things, but he was skilled enough for me to be impressed. And of course I was around to get some images. Look ma, no feet (on the board).
Halloween 2011, Columbia University, Baker Field, Yale vs Columbia. At least I didn’t travel far. It was snowing hard before kick-off and it never let up the whole game. Yale won. Yay! Snow is wet. I had an umbrella and my trusty long lens 80-400mm. I shot. I tried to keep my gear dry. I shot anyway. Alex remembers this game fondly. I remember being wet and cold. I’m used to cold when I ski. But when you are sitting and just moving your finger on the shutter, fun has an entirely different context. His Elis won and I got some shots. Everyone was happy.
I admit to being a photo opportunist. Alex wanted to follow his beloved Yalies to the ECAC Hockey Championships. It was held in AC, Atlantic City. It’s hilarious because Alex and I don’t gamble. The venue was where they used to hold the Miss America pageant. And no camera; I was stopped as soon as they saw my serious camera gear. I think it was the 80-400mm lens that really scared them. Other people got in with medium teles. So I fell back on my Canon G11 point and shoot. Now that’s a real challenge. There’s a shutter lag, you shoot, and a few milliseconds go by before the image is captured. At that lag, how in the whole wide world do you capture the action. Lighting is horrible and everything is moving to say nothing of the glass that surrounds the rink. You might as well not turn on the camera. So I just sat there and experimented. As with anything, I figured you have to follow the action. That means the puck is where the action is. Yup! I got a few with the puck headed past the goalie. Not great but not bad. You have to look close but that puck is in the frame.