Everyday there are choices to be made. Pick a picture(s). Cats? Flowers? Old photos?
Old photos? Colleen has a few photos in her archive. They are scattered, disorganized, and precious. Precious few, precious photos. Old black and whites depict images of family from long ago. The folks are known and remembered. Memory fades. I hope the legacy will endure.
Or, it would be – pick a flower. I got lots. It’s like diving. I do a photo survey about twice a day on two decks. I cull out the best in my editing. My digital archive is expansive. … so many pics, so many choices… Quintessential? I’m still looking…
Cats?! Ha ha. I got seven characters. Their numbers vary. Their behaviors are sometimes quite charming. Baskets, boxes, containers? All are fair game. They patiently wait and take their turns. Cuteness reigns. We (wistfully) remember the missing (cats). This would be Feather and Nutley. Ha ha, I can count too.
Technical prowess or blindness
My kids make fun. They tell me I’m blind. Or, at the very least I don’t pay attention. Colleen says the same. I concentrate and am oblivious to an earthquake. It served me well when I was in a noisy operating room. I was testing and comparing three cameras and their ability to photograph flowers. I zoomed the lens and let fly. It’s amazing what the camera saw that I did not. It’s equally amazing to get good shots. What I learned is that a blind squirrel does get a nut, sometimes. As for seeing detail, I’m lazy. The camera does the work. Press (the shutter button) early and often. Then again, what they didn’t tell you is when to do it. That’s judgment and it’s something you have or not. But… I did not see the pistil nor the water droplets.
I was in the garden taking flower pictures. I think – unfortunately – that I am blind and just press the shutter and hope for the best. It’s awful. There’s no plan. Just point and shoot. Bad! The flowers (subject) are not going anywhere and can’t complain if I spend time getting the right shot. And I really don’t check as I go. I simply take more than one and hope one of the two will be good. So, it is, that I took this picture to find that I almost got a bee. That! That would have been a winner. Close but no cigar… another one that got away.
Meanwhile, I guess my vision has faded with age. To ask wife and kids, that has been a lot longer than recently. I shot the hibiscus. I didn’t know it had cat hair all stuck to it. Maybe, it’s not cat hair. It doesn’t look like cat hair. But then, what is it?
Forsythia, they bloom for a short time in the spring. Bright, brilliant, showy, and then gone. I don’t like them because the bloom is so relatively brief. And daffodils, the same. I’m not a bulb guy. I like to look, but I’ve never cultivated them. Water droplets are a plus. This detail of a forsythia bloom is less usual than the whole bush. I don’t mind visiting these flowers in someone else’s yard.
Nothing new here. I take pictures of everything. Fish when they are there. Food when it’s in front of me. It’s a learning process. I look. Then I wonder how it is different. We see things. But do I look at them. Too much. Too many things. Details. I would never move on. I just look and sometimes things strike me. So here is the latest. A plant from the nursery that I just planted. Actually, I think it was Lowe’s. I just randomly pick things that will be colorful and grow with not too much fuss over the summer. I’m pretty much with a camera all the time. Or an iPhone. I prefer a camera. If it’s worth shooting I should be serious. The exception is in the hospital. I have my smartphone always. And the image is good enough for Powerpoint. I shoot images of the x-rays I see. Interesting cases. And then use them for teaching.
But here, the macro capability of the camera shines. Stamens. Focused. Detail. I daresay it’s better than the other images of the whole flower. Do I really need to show you the whole thing. Sure, if it’s a catalog. No, if it’s to draw your eye to a detail you might otherwise not appreciate. I’m good. Not great. Got a shot you might not have taken. But I didn’t get out a true macro lens and set this shot up with pinpoint detail. Nope, sorry. That would be work. And this is all fun for me. I watch my kids roll their eyes and stop listening. Then I know I have gone from fun to work. I’m not working right now.
However, I do take play seriously. The funny thing is that I pull out my phone to show pictures and the same rolled eyes start.
This is a colorful bit of red coral. Did I say, “Don’t touch a thing!” Don’t do it! Ever! And here’s why. Look! Are you looking? The hairs! Yes, macro detail, look at the hairs. They are sharp looking and like glass needles poised to sting you. Thorns on a rose or some such like that. However I have other images where they look like hairs. Not quite so straight and sharp. Go ahead and touch it then, it won’t sting.
Nope! Touch these and you will itch for a few weeks. Don’t believe me. Go ahead and touch them, Or, not! And there are seams! Really! That’s cool too. The details you can see are brought to you by great technology.
Someone came along and photographed them and voila. So I took it one step further and photographed the orange sponge too. Yup, hairy! My dive guru photographer does not believe me. He says they are red. All the hairy ones are red.
Dare I believe that I have spied something he did not notice? It’s neat to one up the teacher. I was always a handful as a student. Too much time on my hands I guess. But that’s orange and it’s hairy, and don’t touch! Ever!
I’m not much of a macro lens person. Based on my very limited sports experience, the best action shot would be to get the bee just as it was landing/taking off. Failing that, I cropped the image and put the bee in a position following the rule of thirds. A macro lens might have pulled in more detail.
My shyness will forever keep this image a mystery. I’m driving. Again! Anyway, I’m headed on the road over to Rockland, Maine to visit some friends. There on the side of the road over a field is a barn set back on a hill. In the doorway is this still life. Well, I missed it the first time and didn’t get the shot. The next couple times I drove by and didn’t see this scene again. Finally, after another county fair, I drove back along the road. I don’t like to go too slowly. It’s the old exhortation of Lisa urging me not to dawdle. There it was, the dress. Lit by incandescent bulbs from above, in the middle of nowhere, showing in a barn door, no sign of a business, or a store, or a parking lot, this was just so incongruous to me. Maybe it’s not a wedding dress? Right after I snapped the image and was driving off, a farmer in coveralls and with a broom in hand appeared in the doorway, gazing over to me with a quizzical look. I guess we were both puzzled. I should have stopped to find out what this still life was about. But, the mystery is delicious.
Gas pump, somewhere on the backroads of Maine. I believe this shot was taken near to the Sunday River ski area. I was just driving along and noticed the strong graphic and colors. It helps that the lighting was also right. It’s an example of thinking in color. Here’s where the colors play off nicely and where a black and white image might not be so graphic. It’s been a while since I thought in BxW, but I keep meaning to try again.
This door shot is a strong graphic in color and form. From the edge of the frame it is a storefront somewhere in Maine. Portland maybe. Something about the contrast in strong color and the weathered door appealed to me. In an earlier time I would have taken a picture of the storefront. But here the focus is on the detail and that’s what made this a strong image. Even though the whole store is not seen, it’s the door that makes the shot. Showing the whole store, this would have been just another snapshot.