Word and Image

Sunset/sunrise

Colour

Ansel Adams could photograph stunning black and white photos of clouds. I do not think in black and white since I started using (and developing my own) color slides. Sunrise, sunset, these are colors that are simply not seen the rest of the day. It is ephemeral often lasting only a few minutes. Some days I am fortunate to witness the display. I am thankful for the show just outside my window. Purists among you would mount the camera to a tripod and carefully document the moment capturing the peak color. Me? I pick up whatever camera is at hand – I have four or five (cameras) in the rotation – and shoot away thru the dirty glass of any window (car or home). Cringe! Yes, I said dirty glass. The spots are hardly noticeable. It’s all about the subtle shades of color.


Just a moment

Dawn – the unmistakable morning glow – lasts just a moment. I have more luck at sunset where the glow develops and tends to linger. Time is precious. Moments pass so quickly.


Stopping

You simply cannot not stop at every potential photo-op. Even while I drove alone, I did not do it. Traveling with your wife is enough to try her patience many times over. Colleen is such a good sport. I am careful not to overdo things? Ha! Have I been known to be moderate? You can see some of the results of stopping by the roadside. And, you may ascertain some of the image shot thru the windshield on the go. Actually, Colleen has acquired some skill shooting on the go. She thinks she’s better than if I try to drive and shoot. Stop, go, hey! It’s all the same when I edit the images. Good, or, bad? Keep it, or, discard it? Sometimes, it’s hard to tell. I will readily admit that I tend to draw a crowd while I am stopped by the roadside.


One that got away

There’s not much to show (the one I missed). We got a spectacular sunset at the lighthouse complete with ‘angel light.’ I got the reflection one more time. Colleen did not come down on the rocks. The light was fading too much. I got sunset hitting the top of the lighthouse. Colleen made me sit! Yes, actually, sit. No pictures, just sit. It worked for a minute. Ha!

We just missed the golden pink glow hitting right under all the clouds. Timing. We left a bit too early. Who knew? That would have been spectacular. The hint of it that I shot … well, it’s enough to make you wistful. Hey! We got another great ending to the day! We passed a local favorite – Moody’s. Maybe, someday….


Disappointment

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.


Serendipity

We were turned away at Cadillac mountain. No ride to the top. There is a new toll instituted this year to limit cars in the parking lot there. The gatekeeper turned us away and bade us down the hill to a turnout for the sunset. It was extremely fortuitous. We arrived and claimed the last spot by the roadside. Soon after the two lane access road was clogged with double parked cars. Ha ha, the problem had shifted downhill. We had a ringside seat. It was chilly! I worked the scene until one minute after. That is to say, you know, when the moment passes its peak. We cleared. Someone slipped into our parking spot and we beat the crowd down the hill. I am glad we were there for the critical moment. Equipment? I would have had a better “selfie” with a flash to compensate for a dark foreground. Yeah, yeah, lazy me, no flash. The new mirrorless does not have one in the camera. We’re fine. Yeah, panorama, too? iPhone? No, I considered the moment (watching the sunset) with Colleen, held her closer, and kept the phone in my pocket.


Essentially

A little more time would help. As in, time to work a scene, or, to let it develop as weather changes. Nope, I am often shooting out an open car window. (We are rushing here to there…) As you might imagine, I have a lot of camera gear. I travel with a lot of gear. And, especially, if you travel by car, there is no limit to how much or how heavy. I like parsimony. I pared my gear as much as possible. Yet, I still carried too much. Essentially, I needed two cameras – a full frame mirrorless and a compact point and shoot; one maybe two interchangeable lenses. It’s a good lesson. The other stuff is not going to make or break the experience. And, when traveling, less (gear) is more. Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for antiques and craft, we have found. No complaint, though, we are still traveling. If my gear fills the space in the car, then…. no room for – say a loom? (Oh boy! This comes back to bite me a bit later.)


Fall

I don’t keep pictures on my phone. Well, a few. Ask me for a “fall’ shot? I would look in my Lightroom catalog. And, there? Well, let’s say that it’s been a while since I scouted fall foliage. There is that moment in time when the leaves are in full color just before they wither and fall…. Color! Everyone wants that brilliant mesmerizing color! “Fall,” I’ve seen a few. I hope to see a few more. That would be sweet too. It’s the first day of fall. Bittersweet, the days are getting shorter.


Just missed

Fortunate? The remnants of Hurricane Ida came up from Louisiana to batter New York. I kid with Colleen all of the time that the weatherman is right about half the time. I paid no heed to the warning. Sorry. We drove up north for dinner and I was surprised to see the beach town nearly empty of the usual summer crowd strolling the streets. Hmmm? We stopped and had dinner. Afterward I took a few shots of a local landmark sign. The night shots showed ominous skies. Just as we drove into our garage, rain fell. It was nothing of particular note. Wow! New York got slammed! It was all in the news. It was not quite a disaster because everyone had missed predicting it; they had not seen it coming despite the weatherman. But, yes, it was an epic storm and a true disaster. Welcome to climate change. If you deny it, you probably did not get the vaccination either. Meanwhile, all I got was more clouds in the aftermath. We were totally spared; on the morning after – blue skies. Some days we are/were just plain lucky. It’s only now a few days later that I appreciate how fortunate we were. For unsuspecting folks around New York, lives were lost and changed forever.


Hopeless

It seems a lost cause to try to limit myself to one picture and one story per day. Some days have too many – stories and pics. Sorry. How about an upside down dragonfly? ?? Really?! Yup! It flopped to the deck right in front of me with a thud. Truly! It was an act I did not realize until I did the edit. Later, it flipped and flew away. Relief!

The building – it was across the street from the restaurant – beer flight – inside on the wall was a black and white photo ala this view – for $700. Nope! I’m not kidding. Sorry, I would not pay that kind of money for that kind of shot. I have too many of my own in the discard pile. Really! Balls; ya gotta have ‘em to take that shot and price it like that.

Flight time? You can order a “flight.” This allows you to taste five beers as a sampler. Fun! Yes! Colleen loves dark beer. To me they all taste the same and are bitter. She can appreciate the nuance. I appreciate that she loves the experience. I’m still struggling to appreciate the BxW building on the wall next to me.

Still life – note the flattened peaches. I did it subtly so as not to squish out the juices. That is a large tomato for scale? – or small peaches. Watermelon in the background – I am in a watermelon eating stage right now.

The cat and sunset are throw-ins. It’s the end of the day. I keep a camera at hand all over the house. Ha ha! I have enough cameras to do this. And, sometimes you get the shot because things were there at hand and jumped onto the memory card – all by themselves. Gee, I’m lucky sometimes.


Potpourri

Hey! It’s my choice. Editing? Some images stand out. Others cry for a story. Cats? I take good pictures of cats now. Or, are the cats just cute? Do they do goofy things and I am there with a camera? Do you puzzle? We have – during the pandemic. How about a 1000-piece puzzle that is missing one piece? If only they had just said 999-piece puzzle? The cat got one (piece)? The ceramic? Emma sent it. It had toilet paper sticking out the back. Ha ha. No, it was not a …. It’s an incense burner. Oh! In this very long run on paragraph, the prize is the picture of the dawn. Straight out of the camera. No Photoshop. I have a double pane window. It is reflections superimposed. Yes, I could’ve done better. You can always do better. Am I good? Or, am I good because I am in the right place at the right time (dawn)? Could I be better with a bit more effort? Ha, we will not know the answer to that. And, I shall just run on….


Angel light

Colleen was not familiar with the term – “angel light.” It’s easy enough to see once you see the picture and imagine the rays of light shining through the clouds. I’m not religious. I would like to think of a higher spirit and that Patch is with the angels. We don’t see this lighting often. It is light that is special because it is so fleeting. It brings a smile with the memory that Colleen and I remember Patch when we see angel light.


Dawn

I get up early. But, my share of dawn pictures is small compared to sunset pictures. It’s not easy to expose and get the brilliant hues of orange and blue in the sky at these times. Press the shutter… what do the iPhone people call it? A shutter button? But when you are there in the moment, there is nothing like it. Ha ha. Mostly, Colleen sleeps late so she gets to appreciate the dawn like you readers – after the fact. No matter, you didn’t do the work and get to appreciate – like eating dinner after it’s cooked. Good!


Another day, another sunset

I get gorgeous sunsets out of hand. Ho hum? No, just luck? No, I am in the right place at the right time. Ha ha – near sunset. It does require the requisite cloud formations to make things spectacular. Colleen likes it. We are lucky to be sharing such beautiful sunsets. There is a higher force looking down upon us.


Seen this?

iPhone 12. It’s not an advertisement. Jeff took this of Jules and Noa. Perfect. Pretty perfect. That darn iPhone took a great one. Would my camera do as well? That’s the great debate. If it would, (not), then why don’t professionals shoot with iPhone 12? Ha! There are pros (pun) and cons to the argument. But professionals use cameras because…. Maybe someday my spiffy camera will make phone calls.


Good

What’s good? Photoshop enhanced? Is it good straight out of the camera? Do you allow major or minor manipulation? When is does it cross the line into being art instead of photography? Purist? The algorithm in the camera already dictates so much. Shoot raw? The manipulation you do, is it to recreate the image you saw. Or are you creating the image you imagined? What’s good? I’m glad I don’t have to care about all that. I have never competed in a photo contest. Well, once, and, I lost. Sour grapes? Nope. It was expected on my part. I’m good. But I am not in the same league with award winning photographers. I’m not dedicated to perfection. I could do a good job given the responsibility. Sure, but it was never my day job. So, I am content. I have a catalog with hundreds of thousands of images. Some good. On the whole there are too many good images to possibly ever post. That’s good.


Hen’s teeth

It’s a rare event – to be impeached. It’s a rare event to experience/see a solar eclipse. Hey, I’m just reflecting upon the fact that I have experienced more impeachments of POTUS (two) than of solar eclipse (one). I ain’t proud. It’s a unique feat to be impeached twice as POTUS. Just sayin’…. let’s hope he (trump) doesn’t come around again in my lifetime… or in yours. So what? He was acquitted. I still haven’t seen another eclipse. That would be a (bought) solar filter on the front of my lens. The Senate had their own blinders on too.


Wondering?

From sea to shining sea, the United States people are as different as the topography of the country. There are delicate balances among ideas that clash. Among the profound beauty there are great divides in ideologies that define our beliefs. I remain hopeful and optimistic. Balanced rock, Arches National Park, will still be here long after I am gone. Someday it will fall. There is a cycle and inevitability to things. I hope we will solve climate change. I will never know. There are those who deny climate change and evolution and this never ceases to bewilder me. I have been blessed to witness much beauty in my lifetime. Would you disagree with that too?


Camera and my mind’s eye

Sunset is tricky to image. The camera automatically wants to meter the field and washes out the gorgeous colors. You have to fool it into doing what you envision/see. I’m lazy. No, not Photoshop. I use my wits to outwit the camera’s metering. Hey! It works. It’s otherwise too much to search out manual settings. The book cover photo is mine, not the book or title. Hey! They found the picture on the internet and used it! (with permission) Nice! It’s not a living, but I have sold a few pics. Not four, a few.


Faith

I must have thousands of images of Patch. Of course! Find one. That’s not so easy. I cannot show you how he liked his “treats.” But, I can show you his favorite basket. He liked his comforts – nestling on the down quilt on our bed. Colleen adopted him before we met again. And though he was her cat, he was our cat. We remember him with smiling, in all the little unspoken wonky habits he kept.

The quintessential image? Patch had a look. He had a partially lidded look. He never seemed to look me straight in the eye. There are people I know whom I look in their eyes and there is deeper thought behind their eyes than what they reveal to the world. Patch had that look. You will see what I mean when tomorrow’s post is published; my other cats engage my look so differently.

Symbolism. Lisa once commented that religion and church were for the symbolism of birth, death, and marriage. Without faith, one gives up symbolism that drives much of the ceremonies of life. (We {Lisa} were married by a judge on a house boat.) On the day Patch died, I saw symbolism in the snow geese at hand. It was a stark cold rainy day. The rain was angel tears? Today the sun finally rose, a promising cold crisp winter morning. It is the third day. I want to believe in a higher spirit. It lifts my heart to know someone I loved is at peace. And, I’m hugging Colleen extra tight today.

The raw emotion I am feeling is not usually on display. I prefer a more irreverent bit of wonky humor on the world around me. The rest is private and only comes out rarely. The last time, was when I connected and wooed Colleen after five decades of separation. Indeed, I am holding tight to her, and more so with appreciation that she is my “one and only.”


Screenshot

It’s (scary) calm on my beach. It’s flat, almost no waves to be seen. Elsewhere it is a disaster. The headline always seems to say “one of the most powerful.” It supplanted the RNC convention in the news. Real news trumps fake news. Eh? The satellite video showed the sunset and lights coming on in Florida. Right about now, I’m thinking Moses and the plagues.

But on Wednesday, Colbert admitted that he hadn’t watched the third night of the Republican National Convention.

“Because right now in America, we’re facing a global pandemic that has killed 180,000 Americans, heavily armed Rambo wannabes are murdering people in our streets, the strongest hurricane in the history of the Gulf Coast is making landfall as I speak,” Colbert said in his monologue. “And the R.N.C.’s message is, ‘Who’s up for four more years?’”

“Now, I know by not watching the R.N.C., I didn’t do my job tonight. I just want to say, I feel great about it. Why should we pay attention to what they’re saying if none of what they’re saying tonight is about what’s happening in America right now? Why should we watch their reality show if it doesn’t reflect our reality? Why subject ourselves to their lies that stick to your soul like hot tar? Lies like ‘Donald Trump cares whether you live or die.’” — STEPHEN COLBERT


Tell the truth

There are millions of people who believe in an alternate reality. Sunrise or sunset? Without context you really cannot tell. Day or night? The NY Times feels compelled to fact check the Republicans. There are many lies. Why? I would let the Republicans pass on the fake (news) NYT. BUT! Then why are the late night hosts having such a field day!? The RNC and their speakers have provided much fodder for ridicule with their lies. There seems to be enough context to tell truth from lies. It’s a new day coming.


Dawn

2007 07 0020 Dawn valley

I tried to shoot the puffins. … as in photograph them. I made three trips. The first two were duds. I never saw a puffin. The boat to the island could not land. I chummed both times. Up and down, up and down, went the boat. Up came whatever breakfast there was. On this particular trip I was tearing across Maine at around 3:30AM to get to the boat dock. Ok, maybe a bit later. Dawn! This turns out to be the picture of the day! No puffins! I told you, I chummed. Wanna see? No? Well, then this is the sum and substance of that trip. It might not look too swell, but the work I put in to get to this pic is what makes it even more special to me. It’s never so good as when you realize later that the best picture of the day was the first.


Haystack before the storm…

0869 22 Storm haystack a

The best picture I ever took that I wish I had a do over: Random! Totally! This was on a road trip in Europe. Does it matter where? When? … a very long time ago. We had stopped (the car) many many times. The patience of my passenger/wife? was at an end. No stopping. I had a point and shoot (film!) camera in my lap. Auto anything? I just lifted the camera to the driver side window and fired one shot. One! Single! Shot! That’s it. The moment was gone, never to be seen (ever!) again. Am I clear? I missed out on a real moment. I couldn’t stop. Who knew? Well, I got something to show you all. Regrets? I have a few. But then life did turn out with a happy ending somewhere along the line. And I hope to be on the road again. And my beloved spouse will (though not intentionally) pressure me to keep on the move. Next…