Black and white was easy. You could develop your own film. It was less expensive. I always felt like I was on a budget. Color slide seduced me. The image was fully contained in a small cardboard frame and they stored easily enough for me to have a collection.
The color seduced me. I eventually came to store more than 100k slides in multiple drawers most of which were custom built furniture.
Once I went over to digital cameras there was no need for Black and White. Art! It is good for art. I was about image and color and too busy to pause to make art. I was doing candids and events. I was documenting my world. And my world was in color. Ha ha. We are both wearing white… but…
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!
We’ve been indoors and isolated for about a week. The new Covid variant…. Clouds from my window… dramatic! Antique store, yes we were bored. Who collected empty tins? And, there was even stuff in some of them! Poor, goy, he could not decide and got his money’s worth in the stained glass sign. Yeah, I gotta say, we do have fun times. One more time to the “Ag (griculture)” museum. Oh my!!
I have been indeed fortunate to have experienced unusual things with Colleen. Sunset, unique never to come around again in the same form. Great? Another tomorrow? Sure, but not the same.
We have seen the Christmas tree decorated in wildflowers collected throughout the year. Unique?! Different?! Sure! Truly a labor of love.
Charles Dickens great grandson doing a one man show of the Christmas Carol. Sure! Special! … until it was canceled. Hopefully it was not due to covid. We don’t know and don’t know if we will ever see it again.
I have often wondered if my pictures are better than snapshots. Not particularly. They are merely anchors of my memory to recall events and times past. Sure, sunset is unique. Haven’t we all seen a great one? Without being too sentimental, I think they are all special and to be enjoyed especially with the one you love.
It’s the weather
We were just ahead of the Xmas storm system. The winds were blowin’ fierce. So we got some great clouds. No complaints. I got a rainbow. A lighthouse in the hills of West Virginia? No matter. I like the clouds and the constant changes.
I gotta say that post vacation there is a lull in photographic activity. Then again, we were also stricken with colds. So, not much happened. I shot clouds out my window. And I shot passing foliage in a couple of cemeteries. It was still 80 degrees here in early November. Take heart. You can shoot decent photographs even as you drive by in a speeding car. Not every sunrise is spectacular but it is pretty easy when you only need lift your camera from your desk.
Upon our return from a recent trip there was a pile – an impressive pile – of junk mail that awaited. You know? The kind that implores donation or urgent action to save whatever endangered species is the flavor of the moment. Buy insurance and other products for which I have no interest. Not from one but from multiple organizations and companies. No return address, sender unknown, hoping curiosity will get you to open the envelope. It is a colossal waste of paper and time.
My point? I liken junk mail to the photos we take that have extraneous distractions. Road signs, telephone wires, you know the drill. It seems there is always something in the way of my perfect shot. Of course, it helps if you are not shooting pictures in a speeding car. But, nonetheless, junk creeps into my images. I will not give up. I strive for perfection knowing that there is always a surprise waiting when I can say, “I shot that??!”
Ho hum. Yawn. Another dawn. And sunset. And some gulls.
I got skill…. Every morning here where we are encamped in Maine, I raise the shade to see the weather and the sunrise. Surprise! Spectacular! Wow!. What a gift! The morning glow lasted for a while. Gulls on the roof. A bonus. To cap the day – bookends if you will, I got sunset. Yeah, yeah, there’s a telephone pole… it was a nice coda to the day. (Sunset? It was the one with the telephone pole. Same color, end of the day.)
This is a mix of shots Colleen made as we drove up to Maine. Yes!? She shot through the windshield rather than have me do so while driving. Ok! Not bad! In fact she got some first class shots! Really! I mixed in a couple of my own. Who could resist? But, Colleen did a great job. She complained or lamented that she missed shots. So? We all do. I do! Nice work. She’s becoming a photographer and doesn’t suspect that the lessons are taking hold….yet. Lee… no peas were harmed in the making of her dinner.
How long is mourning? Not a day goes by lately that I don’t miss our departed Ray. I guess it was his sudden death? Nutley, his brother, is identical in photos except for the color of the fur around his neck. It’s hard to tell. Trust me. I edit and it’s hard to tell Ray from Nutley. Our other twins – Spice and Feather – are equally hard to distinguish in pictures.
Storm’s coming. Here’s a neat trick. I have trained the cats. I clap hands and say, “Go!” They trot to the door and come in off the deck. Yes!
You will notice the clip and rope around Ray’s neck. He and his brother staged frequent jailbreaks over the fence of the deck, hence, the restraint.
As I said before, we miss Ray.
Not! Life is never the same. We finished a kitchen renovation. What happens if you don’t like the color? Now, for the backsplash – I was gonna tackle that job. Experience? None! Ha ha. Confidence or stupidity? Easy! Except if, the tiles are not fitting the wall height or width, and, there are outlets to cut around. Oh boy! The weather! It’s always fun. Clouds, color, the moon all provide ample opportunity to capture a good image. Why are there always telephone poles in my images? Flowers?! Too numerous to count. While renovating we had to eat out. Eh? You know who likes to eat out!
Today is a series of non sequiturs. Bugs? Caterpillars? They walk into my pictures and jump onto my camera sensor on the way to my memory card. See the fine hair detail on the bug? There’s not much detail in the caterpillar. Was it me or the worm? Colleen made a cobbler from fresh picked white peaches. Yum! Cats preoccupy our attention. I am charged with getting their pictures. It’s a specialty. Cats do not pose on demand. Ever! Clouds? Lately the clouds have been distinct against a bright blue sky. Great! Flowers? Macro lens and super detail. The featured flower gives me the impression it is waiting to devour an unsuspecting bug that wanders into its maw. So many pictures so little time…
Can you find…?
… picture you took in December, 2017? Jane. You gotta love her. She asks innocent questions as though magic occurs regularly. I got a lot of pictures that I take every year. In 2017 I took 45, 000 images. Ok!? December, easy right?! No. She could be referring to any other picture I took and that showed up in some context in December, 2017. For instance I might have posted said picture to my blog and it came from some other time? I have a good database and file system. I can look at images in multiple ways and can usually find anything. But!?! I need a clue. Jane gave me sparse clues without context. So I have no idea what pic? She could not send me a copy. It’s easy to copy anything you see. She could even take a picture of what she saw. She has an iPhone. Nope. It would not send. ???? Ok. I give up. Maybe some day????
Meanwhile, in my files there were these two iconic shots that had a copy date from December, 2017. They were taken many years before in Cape Cod when I ran away from home. (That’s another story.) The house is gone now – torn down in the name of progress and revenue $. Nope. Not the one, I shall await Jane. Or, she didn’t care enough to try harder and forgot about it all.
I cruise the garden for photo ops. I sit and photo the dawn and dusk out my window. I get a gallery’s worth of pics. My cats are not exactly cooperative. The key is to focus on their eyes. They won’t look at me. Boring. Me?! Ha ha! Bugs come and go. They fly in and I shoot. Water? It rains and I water. It’s another opportunity. Life is pretty peaceful right now. I hope it stays that way.
I love a bright blue sky day with large white cumulus clouds contrasting the deep blue background. It was a bright sunny afternoon in July. The car thermometer read 108 degrees. It was probably exaggeration. But it was hot out there! The clouds gathered. A storm? No, the weatherman said sunny until he changed his mind. A downpour followed. Surprise!
Bonus! We got a full rainbow. Alas, I was not in a position to photograph left to right and include the whole rainbow in one image. Rainbows are a challenge to photograph for me. Subtle color, it just ain’t easy! There are only so many times you can stop the car. I settled for shooting through the windshield as we drove. Note: don’t try this at home kids.
Covid is still around us. Emma got it. Jason got it. Our trip was torn to sunder. We have a Plan B.
How do you watch the Jan 6 Hearings without an internet connection or TV? Unlimited ATT data stream. It did not work on my DirectTV connection, or, on the NYT site. We went to the NPR site for a while till the tech caught up. Riveting?!
Travel day is always traumatic. Nutley was pretty much clinging to Colleen’s leg. Don’t go! I will miss my (flowers) cats! Things change. Clouds! Colleen’s favorite coffee shop is moving! Did I mention, Jane loves to eat out. Travel days are always eventful. I changed light bulbs. The string on Jane’s weed eater takes .065 string. It says: right on the label! Calm down. Maintain humor.
Epilogue: ? This requires one? Walmart: .065 string, 1,2,3… It doesn’t fit. The fitting is all proprietary!!! The different companies all carry their own specific string container. Scott is a POS – piece of shit. They are not on the internet with any replacement string. I had to buy a whole new one (weed whacker!) from Amazon!! Yup, the great mega store in the sky!
More or less
I cannot seem to post a single picture any longer. It seems to be multiples. I should be more discerning about editing. There are so many pics and stories…. The pines suggested to me – saguaro cacti in the dessert. Orange flower on a stalk? Red hot poker? Names vary, color is great, and it is a beach perennial. Ok? Waves? I finally got the hang of catching one. Pan the camera. People watching? It never goes out of style. Clouds, I chase them. We do selfies. It’s legacy – for the kids. It adds up. We exercise – some. We hold hands – more or less all the time. I shoot, edit, and post.
We deferred having our windows washed… (Yes, I do not do windows?!)… because it was gonna rain. And, it did… for two straight weeks! Good call!
How much rain? … enough to wash away our beach.
Mother Nature is a powerful force. I am happy we got blue skies back. The window washers are coming next week. Doesn’t it always work out, that, it rains right after you wash the car? I don’t wash mine; it rains anyway.
Yes, I am aware we are in early summer. We had a period of heavy rains. The beach washed away. A double rainbow? Yes, we got one. Flowers? Of course! Hope springs eternal! Always! When in doubt, one can always comment upon the weather.
Too numerous to count… I have so many pictures that have and hold significance to me. Some, held very pleasant surprises for me when I finally developed the slide. I tended to shoot the roll of film and store it in the freezer accumulating about 64 rolls to develop in a gallon kit of developer. Since I shot about a hundred rolls a year, this meant a massive developing session about once a year. Yes, there was no instant review of your work; duplicates occurred infrequently as well. And with that preamble, I did indeed get the occasional “keeper!” Que? Well, you know it when you see it. Each picture a story, I apologize for leaving you hanging. I strive for succinct posts… not enough time. By contrast, one hundred rolls of slides (before 2004) is about 3600 slides/year, and digital images last year exceeded 100,000 using at least four different cameras.
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….
… 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.
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.