Word and Image

Sunset/sunrise

How’s the weather?

Moonset, sunrise, sunset, clouds, jet trails, water – I get all kinds of weather into my memory card. The colors standout. It’s not every day I get a shot at spectacular weather. But, everyone talks about the weather. I shoot it.

I have lots of cats – ha, ha – and lots of cat pictures. But the number of yawn pics is small indeed. And, I have a smaller number of pics with Colleen in a hat. She doesn’t wear hats. She looks good in a hat. She’s a good sport. I was told to stick with weather….


Time of day

Dusk or dawn? We’re on the road again. Near or far? It’s America. It feels like dawn? How? Less traffic? Bridges? They are America. We go. The scenery slips by. I shoot out the windshield. Colleen shoots. We see America go past. I hope it’s gonna be a better day. Yes, hope!


Colleen shoots

It’s not just me. Colleen shoots. She does not like to – shoot. But, I cannot shoot from the car, and, drive, sometimes. And on a rare occasion, I actually turn around and stop to shoot. I did this one time. Colleen’s shots are sprinkled in. I’m not asking for guesses. She is relieved my shooting thru a car window is – forward. I cherish the opportunity to appreciate the beauty and the serenity of nature.


Ritual

So much to say, I could write an essay or an editorial. No! It’s not my mission…

We buried Ray (next to Patch) in a box shipped with sheep fleece. Smell? The cats loved boxes – to climb/play in them. And, Ray had a favorite gerbil/toy and I had recently found it behind a cabinet. He would hide his toys and not tell us so I could retrieve it for him. Ray was so happy to have played with it again. Mike brought over a rose. We (God) had a special sunset that day. The ceremony in the backyard was simple – Ray in a packing box with his gerbil. Grief, grieving, it’s a funny thing. We miss that little cat so much. Cats grieve too. Yes, that’s Nutley with the sad sad eyes. He misses his brother. We are hugging Nutley extra close.


Who do you love

It’s always rhetorical. Which of your kids is your favorite? Favorite cat? Answer: You love them all. Equally? Answer: You smile. Favorite time? Favorite place? Favorite picture? In the moment, I like/love everything. Wrong! You love your wife, elsewise, you will not live to take another picture. Ha ha.

I’m just randomly flipping thru the catalog today. Monhegan Island. Just like that, I could recognize and recall the meal, restaurant, and setting. How? Memory is a funny thing. Pictures are my trigger to open up the past for me. Otherwise I have monarch butterflies scattered liberally in my catalog. Good luck finding a pic easily amongst the lot. Ditto, sunset. Sheep? Yup, I do not recall any particular sheep. This is all a random draw.

Cats? It’s still raw to recall Ray, whom we recently lost. Colleen will say we have favorites. Less favorite? … to which I say, I love them all. Need I say, she is my favorite wife?


Middle of no where nowhere

I have a parochial view of the Midwest. Biased. For sure. I have been thru but never been there. Passing thru is all I wish to partake. Yarn Barn – a destination. ?! Colleen knows it as in tourist destination – for spinners and weavers. Yawn! With newfound knowledge and interest I am looking at spinning wheels in a different light. Schact and Ashford – hallowed names in spinning wheels. Ho hum. They are sold but not made in the store. But to touch and feel…. Ha ha. We did not buy a wheel. And, I did not get a haircut. It is like antique stores. You never know what you may find that you did not need until now. Me? I’m gettin’ back in the car and takin’ Colleen. Need her? You bet!!


In a rut

I can hear Carol –  “…enough cats already” And, “eight is enough!” I’m shooting the same things over and over as when I was diving the Red Sea. Enough fish… hey! I have a camera near at hand. This is the subject material that presents itself to my lens. I am lazy. We don’t get out enough. My bad. Colleen wants to go around anytime anywhere. We got a lot of “going around” to make up for. When do you see a bed pan with a chimney? The moon is not an easy subject, but, it shows up. Telephone poles always seem to be close by when you want to shoot the perfect sunset. I love my cats, too. They are just too cute sometimes. So, what to shoot? I hope travel restrictions end soon. We would like to go again. I am, indeed, a lazy photographer. I shoot what’s available. No doubt. But, I do try to shoot each and every day. Hey! It’s a hobby, not work. Happy and hobby have lots in common.


Art is

There is art in form. Art is not always in museums. Photography is art? Platitudes. There is a fine line between art, photography, and journalism? Is nature art? Antiques are automatically art? Modern art? Does price define art? $$$$ For a shopping cart with zip ties – $10,000. Paying for concept or for a few packs of $1 zip ties? Oh yeah! Does that sound outrageous? Does it make it all the more valuable? I ain’t no critic. Artist, journalist, photographer, gadfly? Egad!! – (word) first used in 1673, how do they know stuff like this? Do you look funny eating?


Me?

F-stop, ISO, shutter speed, aperture, focus, compensation….the eyes roll back and the head nods, asleep. Yeah, it’s partly why I am a nerd. … and wannabe photographer. Know your instrument (camera). It helps. The camera sensor – digital – is an entirely different thing from film. I don’t shoot often in low low light. The crescent moon was in the dark of pre-dawn. The morning star? There’s a challenge. It is just a dot. And, vertical angel light at sunrise? That’s a first for me to see. You all (audience) are lucky. You just see the images. Are you… seeing? It ain’t easy to capture what most folks just glance and then pass over. Been there, done that. Ha! There’s a lot that goes on before you get to publishing.

Me? I am no great photographer. Pshaw! (now, there’s a word I never use in a sentence) It helps to understand your tools (camera) and to be able to recall those instructions in the manual you never read till you needed them.


Worthy…?

… to post? There is a fine line in editing. I see things and cannot quite get it into my camera. At least there is something. Good? Almost? I’m just feeling ok to have anything? The moon at dawn was a challenge. The clouds covered up the moon almost as soon as I got my camera out. I like the pink glow. Close, but not quite exquisite. Sometimes, things look good and then in the edit you realize that focus was not dead on. Or, the color was not quite what you had hoped. The moon was out again a couple days later. What a difference. And … not in such a good way. Maybe I should leave nature alone and go back to people for a while.


Wait a moment

A heavy night rain, with wind, was followed by a cloudy morning sunrise, the moments changed as the sun rose. Can you see the glow of sunrise on the storm pond? I shot and shot; the images piled up. Yes, this was a different morning than my usual. I am lucky to witness such beauty. Thanks.


Sunset is my favorite color

Deep orange, red, violet, blue, the combination is unlike anything else I photograph. We switched drivers right before sunset. We are driving into the west. It was splendid, superb to just sit back and shoot out the window. There were interesting obstacles in my images. A cross? Smoke stacks on the horizon? I got the grey clouds after the orange glow departed, and, there was the evening star. How nice! The colors of the sunset are my favorite by far.


On the road

It could be anywhere. I could check. Need I? Scary? Umm… not really. Colorful? Sure! We must be traveling west? Great sunsets! And religion is where you find it. We are on the road. It happens periodically. I/we have kids and grandkids in states from New York to California and in between. Colleen does not like to fly. I don’t mind the drive. We rent a car. It saves 8000 miles of wear on mine/ours/hers. It’s a plan.


Too little time

Too many stories. We are lucky. A picture can tell a thousand words. I prefer to be succinct. Pictures!

Colleen says I look at people (women) too much. Things have changed. How do you come to work? Really!? Mom always said wear clean underwear. If you come to the trauma ER, they cut your clothes off you. I’ve seen some pretty fancy underwear (shredded). Just wondering…. Another sunrise? I am so fortunate to see another. It’s a gift. The Turkish plate? It’s totally out of character and out of sync to everything else in the house. It fits right in. Nope, we are not in need of a bed pan. I don’t see an old “set” every day. Likely, I will not again. Everything is disposable now. Yes, the times are changing. I used to go to work in suit and tie. In my last job, I simply lived in scrubs for four straight years. A tie and jacket came out of the closet only a handful of days.


The year in review

Dawn or dusk? If you have no orientation, it looks the same. You must know where to look, east or west. We had quite a year around here. Coming or going? We lost one and added two – cats. It was a year of sorrow and of joy. In the midst of this, Covid raged around us. Our experience pales in comparison to a pandemic which killed hundreds of thousands. The vaccine came, then the booster was available. Half the population is currently vaccinated. The unvaccinated group remains a large source of ongoing Covid infection… and death. People gather now and take off their masks in an effort to believe/pretend the pandemic is now over. It’s not over. At the beginning of the year we had no access to vaccination. Now we are triple vaccinated. We have come a long way. Have we? It’s been a hell of a year. Which way out? I cannot say. Ummm… no, we still have eight cats. And, yes there are nine pictures. It would appear Colleen loves Nutley most. Happy New Year.


Oh no!

Why couldn’t it be rolling pins… that I/we collect? I never considered masks.?! And, well, I should not! No! No no. We simply are out of wall space. Oh well, time to reinvent myself (ourselves) once more. These masks are from Mexico. I bet you could tell. Masks are ingrained in many cultures around the world. These masks tell a story and are full of stories about the ceremony and how they evolved. You can see primitive culture and the Spanish influence all wrapped up and melded together. Symbolism is heavy. Top left – Moor/Chinese influence ?? go figure. You can readily see Hispanic influence. Snakes? They are not ‘garden of Eden’ evil, but are water sign. Rain dance! Me? It’s another thing to eye more closely when we go thru and antique store. Gee! Can we just get one? NO!!!

Non sequitur: driving to the museum lecture we were treated to a spectacular sunset all the way up the road. It was gone by the time we arrived. Note: crescent moon over the parking lot.


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.