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.)
I got about eleven cameras in rotation. I shoot regularly with four right at this moment. Other cameras are in closets or on the shelves having outlived their usefulness giving way to the newest latest greatest technologies. I have several iPhones. Only one is in current use. So?
The question arises: what camera do you use? It depends on the circumstance. For events like an Indian Powwow I want to use the “big gun” and the “big lens.” It’s nice to have choices. I keep a camera on my desk: clouds, moon…. I have a camera on the dashboard of the car. You never know. Colleen is a good sport about taking pics rather than my handling the camera while driving. Good! I have a camera in the dining room to get grab shots of the cats when they are frantically trying to be cute or to avoid me. I use a macro lens for my flower garden and otherwise I am zoom lens on pretty much everything. I tend to the maximum zoom. So, why not a prime zoom at that focal length? TMI!
It was a simple question. I download to five redundant external drives under the assumption that everything electronic breaks down – eventually.
What do you shoot? What do I shoot? Mainly it breaks down to fitting the camera to the need. It is nice to have choices.
Now, to wives? There is only one!! One! One and only?!!! Different day different camera, but only one wife!
It’s magic. I got a camera that knows to compensate for low light. I just have to compose the image and press the shutter. Ok, there is more to it than that. But for the sake of this post I need only discuss the critical moment. The camera does the heavy lifting for me.
The critical moment? It seems that patience is the most important issue. Start early and go until you are past prime. I am after color. The blaze of orange just before the sun rises above the horizon… Unfortunately, dawn comes at an early hour. I am fond of sleeping. But, old age has a way of getting me into bed early and rising before dawn. It works!
I made a new best friend. Wrong. I became a new best friend. The last time I saw Rory she was not quite aware of me. She could not remember me before our recent visit. Now, I am her best friend. Nice. I am touched and flattered. Because of covid we have not traveled much. It was sure nice to see the kids and get to know them, again.
We always seem to find things in little side trips – rolling pin, cheap gas, hungry relatives… There are always animals to be see and be seen with. I think we agreed it was a successful trip. We saw the relatives, the sights, antique shops, and photo ops.
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.
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!
I am unable to deliver to the monitor, the subtle color and detail I see in real life. It makes me inadequate as a photographer. I am working to correct this. Meanwhile, the moon is in partial crescent and the morning star is above. Which? Dunno. I admit the morning star is nothing but a small white dot. But it was dawn; the color of dawn was just rising; the elements were in alignment. What I saw was not conveyed to the camera. It was indeed a beautiful sight. Some things are too subtle for me to capture. It won’t dim my enthusiasm. Hmm, was that a pun?
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.
Dawn. I’ve posted jet trails before. I’ve shot them a few times. Interesting. People traveling to and fro. From my vantage they are headed east west. We are a flyover zone. People are not staying, just going. It’s eerie. We are on lockdown – corona. It’s a bit scary that the planes are flying and potentially carrying corona with them. But, folks still gotta get around. We haven’t been out of the house in a few days since groceries last week. So far so good. (as of this writing two months ago) It’s also bittersweet. Had we no virus, we would be just about completing a second trip to Scotland now. Alas, plans were rewritten. I wonder how the past shall be. As Dave asked once long ago, “Dad, when is tomorrow?”
We were headed up the road to Wilmington. I got to ride. So, the passing scenery was fair game. It’s amazing how good the quality of the images is at high speed in poor light. Any image, at all, is fair. The first glow or the early morning fog are subjects rarely obtained by me. I like to sleep too much to be on the spot. But, serendipity beckoned. Voila!
On the road in America, you see stuff – industrial and rural. The rural landscape gave me crosses. And the early morning light made the industrial blight seem almost blissful. Crossing a bridge – adventure! There is a time and place for all things.
Airbnb rocks. Despite what you may hear from the hotel trade, there are some finds. I’ve stayed in hotels whenever I went to a meeting. The designated meeting hotel in each city is about the most expensive after you get discount. The plain flat has a bed and a bath. Been there done that.
And then I discovered Airbnb about two years ago. This time around we took an apartment in Chicago. The strategy is to stay in walking distance to the convention center or one of the meeting hotels. The hotel bus to the convention center is free. I shouldn’t tell this secret. Everyone will rent out space before I do. The apartment was on the 32nd floor. And the view? The downtown landmarks – see them? And it was the whole place including kitchen. I did not need the amenities of a hotel. The only downside was there was no closet space so we hung our clothes on the back of a door. With the view you see here, that’s a small downside. Oh, Chicago’s called the windy city. From up here it definitely was. I think you’d agree that the view at dawn is spectacular. Why? ‘Cause my time zones are still a mess coming from the Middle East. And, ‘cause neurosurgeons like to get up real early to meet in the morning.
We were headed out at dawn. Otherwise I’d have no business taking this shot. Yes, it could be sunset but it’s not. And the open road was empty. Everyone else seemed to think it was good to be in bed this fine morning. So it’s a moving shot. I shot through the windshield again. There are only so many times I can stop before complaints begin. Besides the mission was to go from point A to B.
This darn camera got the moon exposure pretty good. Well, I did a little Photoshop work here. The moon came from the next frame. I just hadn’t cropped as well. Slipping it in here, it’s exactly where the other moon was, but not quite so well exposed. Otherwise I’m not too much for post processing. Life is spinning way too fast these days.
Julia and David had just gone off to school with Lisa. I looked out over the skyline from our apartment and saw the most amazing sunrise. The air was cool enough to show steam rising from the building vents. The glow was ethereal. I grabbed my camera and shot. Slide film most likely Ektachrome 100. It’s a little soft. I labeled this dawn, city on fire. It was October 1996. Fortunately I keep a database and could look up the slide roll and frame number, roll 2241, number 02. It is the one and only time in 28 years that the atmospheric conditions were like this one special morning.