I work(ed) hard and got home late. The first image from my Nikon D70 was after midnight. This was my first serious digital DSLR camera.
My story has always been that the last time I shot a slide (film) was Dave’s graduation. True. But I got the camera on May 25 and shot the graduation on June 1. Ok! Factually correct and not quite accurate. There were a few days and some experimentation to get ready. But, yes, I did not shoot film for the important (graduation) event in question. All digital. Ha! Who knew how the story would unfold and the places I would go? It ain’t over. I still have a Nikon camera. It’s not top model but it is fully serving my needs. Meanwhile I have kept an open mind and use other cameras – right camera for the job, mantra. I never throw things out. That D70 body is lurking about somewhere in a drawer.
It will always be thus. You regret the pictures you did not take. And you continue to not take the very same pictures you regretted going forward into the future. Eh? Why?
There are almost no group pictures of me and my brothers as adults. We gathered regularly especially at the holidays. We lived close enough to be at one another’s homes. Group pictures with the family were done pretty regularly. Sentiment? Anyone? Did anyone? Well, there are images of us individually and so forth. You cannot go back and shoot again. And it appears no one else has the sentiment. Had the sentiment. Will have the sentiment. Do better? No, I fear it’s just more of the same. Hold on to those you love tightly.
I recall vividly that the last slide I shot was at Dave’s graduation. Little did I know or suspect film would so suddenly be gone in my life. I just simply never went back. I did not look back. And I have not shot a roll of film since my Nikon D70 arrived late after I got home from work. Who knew?!
Nothing of import was on that last roll of slides. The deck, my dog, Dave, the school play and some flowers numbered among the mundane subjects. Interesting to see. I had never really checked until now.
Film, camera, photographer? Did anything get better? I certainly changed gear as often as I pleased during my career as a neurosurgeon. The money was there. Did $ a better photographer make? Ha, a loaded question. Pun?
Good or bad, we lived thru interesting times. 2000 – day, date, millennium, decade, year, century. Not too many can match that. It came and went with barely a ripple though there was the Y2K worry.
That one pic is about the only picture that survives my childhood. I was about four and it was Christmas. I remember that couch from Astoria NY to Elkins WV.
Pin me down
Need a date? 2003. Canon G3. It was my first foray into digital camera thanks to a gracious gift from Lisa. Smart – Lisa. She saw the future. I was still heavily invested in film and film cameras. Too soon Kodak faded and disappeared in the rear view mirror.
In the space of a month I shot Ginny and Pat, my dog Nellie, sights of NY, and at Jule’s track meet. Ask me how I pulled off the selfie? Tripod and timer? It wasn’t hand held. Cellphones were not yet iPhone for years to come.
Meanwhile I was caught up building a cabinet and drawers to house my slide collection. Twenty six drawers, enough to house the current collection and for many years to come – which would be only one more (year). I overbuilt! It was a fun project and the kids helped me enormously. The completed project holds some but not all. Alas, the collection never grew much more. Film was gone in a year for me. I got a lot of drawers that sit empty waiting for slides that never came. It’s bittersweet. Digital images have far surpassed my film consumption in many fewer years than it took to accumulate my collection of slides. Progress? Improvement? Better? Worse? For the most part I think progress is/has been good. Here, Colleen and I have had a fierce recent debate over the earth and the environment and the preservation of natural resources. Stay put or go back? We, just like time, are always moving forward. We discuss and we agree for the most part.
Your memory is full. Colleen was informed her phone memory was full. No more pictures could be taken. And so… delete a few old photos… not so simple a task. Ha ha. She has old pics on her phone from 2013. Surely, they are not needed anymore?! Delete, throw them away? Valuable memories!? Never! Ok?! Well, try it? She deleted 2013 into 2014 pictures and they came right back. ?? right back? right back onto the phone?!! Yup! The Cloud! Everything is saved to the cloud and synced. Nothing disappears. Great?!
Iconic images. To me, they are. Stories abound. If I had the time… and we don’t delete the pics….
Eliminate old Apps you are not using. Ok! Some Apps are hundreds of megabytes in size! How about all those cute movies the relatives – her (Colleen’s) kids – have been sending of the grandkids? They add up – fast! 30 to 40mb a clip. Yes, movies take a lot of memory?! But, they are so cute!!? It’s madness. Without knowing it we have created a major dilemma by just keeping everything. Elimination? Yes, poor Colleen needs her phone to go on a diet. Her computer? Ditto! External hard drive? Yes, it’s a patch – solution, but, not for the iPhone. Good luck. No room at the inn…
Fork in the road
Remember Yogi (Berra)? He said, “When you come to the fork in the road, take it.” Nikon D70. The price was expensive but reasonable. Heretofore, digital SLR cameras cost upwards of $10k. Yikes! I got home from work and opened the box. Yes, I work late, really! And, I took pictures of the living room and kitchen. … and the family dog. I tried the built-in flash. The cow was a porcelain replica of large cows painted and distributed around public spaces in NYC. The ivory figure was a gift. It was used by women to point at areas of their body which were ailing. Modesty must be served. That figure was lost to me in the divorce. But, I can visit it.
How things changed! I timed the D70 purchase to use it for David’s graduation. It turns out that I never shot another frame of film from that point. Clean break! Complete. It was so abrupt. Done.
Puzzled? Me. The picture in my catalog stopped here. A kid skateboarding. Nice. It’s Christmas time. Shorts. Warm weather. Ummmm… got it! We were visiting California and my favorite daughter. Ahem, technically I have several daughters now…
Walking the dog? I guess we did. I would never have remembered without the proof of a picture.
California? We have visited more than once. I have no other context in which to remember which trip? Clues? Breakfast!? It’s always sunny. There are always flowers in bloom. We have never been during summer, so, the beach is relatively uncrowded. I like California… to visit.
Quick, a Fill-in
My photo catalog was open to this page… autumn in Maine, Monhegan Island, Sommesville, fall, Pemaquid. It’s a redo! Same pictures, new post. …yes, but worthy enough to comment upon once more. I moved today’s original post – Ray – to his b’day July 3. You will have to wait on that. We chased fall color. On Monhegan Island we found the quintessential tourist shot of the “Inn.” Animals posed.
We finally did get fall color… just before we departed Maine. A woodpecker, on the fly, in the wild? Yup, it was just sitting in a tree… yeah, yeah, not flying, but, I’ll take it! The Sommesville bridge? Yes, fall color!
Fun? More fun than being in a bar? Try Pemaquid. We were there over and over again. It is Colleen’s favorite spot. Can’t you see? And we went back about every opportunity that arose. Colleen has a grand sense of humor. Mine is off? A bit warped? A sandwich shy of a picnic? No, nope, nah!
In my past life, things were different in terms of holiday groupings. I have family. I have a different family now. I suppose there will be a family legacy passed on to others with good wishes and love. Groupings change. Nothing is absolutely known about the future in the present. Looking back retrospectively there is bittersweet memory. I miss family who are no longer with us. I am grateful for the time we were together. I am happy for the future in which I am living. Change is part of us. My secretary used to say that I would always say, “Something always happens.” Aptly, nothing stays the same. With lemons, be prepared to make lemonade. Bittersweet is the operative word here.
I opened my catalog to find an error. Oh boy! I had not copied a folder to my redundant array of hard drives. So much for being on top of things. There are always mistakes. This is pretty glaring. But from years of bookkeeping my medical practice, you know there are always errors along the line. And, you go with it, hoping the mistakes are minimal. I am glad to correct things. And, I am glad there was no catastrophic drive failure beforehand. Meanwhile, a view of Christmas past is always nostalgic. Nellie did climb into the box. I added the lid. Ha ha. My cats climb into boxes too. There are a lot of memories here. Those of you who know me well, will understand. I am fortunate to have preserved these pictures.
Wildlife. Animals (or insects) pop up during our travels. Some wild, some domesticated, I get the shot as the opportunity presents. We chanced upon a photographer doing a full on shoot of this dog on the ratty couch. Dog? Couch? The poor pup was totally bored and uncooperative. No posing, no looking at the camera, no interest in the least. Food! A treat! Distraction! Nope, none, nada. It was about as dismal as the couch. I kept my mouth shut and we quietly left. Photographer? She had the gear; she was mounted on a tripod… Um, close, but that ain’t how I’d do it. (See: I kept my mouth shut.)
I don’t work too much with a pose. But I get them. My key? Aim the lens – point the lens into the eyes. Nothing formal. It’s all done on the go. Ha ha. More lessons. Good light helps, especially the glow of an evening sunset. Ha, again. We are never up for dawn’s early light.
The last time we attended a parade was in 2016 in Rehoboth. I used to attend the mega NYC parade. They painted naked women in body paint just before the parade started. No, I have none (naked women) to show you. The parade was about what you would expect. Who knew what the future would portend. Yeah! That was a nightmare. But, like all bad dreams, it ended. Bye Don. Hmmmm… and that I watched the parade in the town where your successor lives. It’s funny how things can circle around to bite you in the ass. Maagritte had it right – surreal!
Watch where you…
In NYC, a man with who walks with his nose in the air ends up with dog poop on his shoe. In the country, well, you know how it goes. We went to visit the sheep. Colleen arranged the visit. She had bought fleece from this farm and wanted to meet the source (sheep). Soay? Long wool Leicester? Familiar sheep breed names? How about Edwourd? French sheep, and didn’t know it! A sheep is still a sheep even if it is one or two. Soay sheep are shy. Soay (of course!!) originated in Scotland. Teddy the standard poodle stole the attention. A visit to the sheep farm cannot be complete without fleece. Yes, Colleen helped herself to … I might add that the shawl is felting over a lace curtain. That’s art!
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.
Quintessential Maine, Somesville bridge. It’s not my best effort, but this was a long time ago and before I knew better. The first balloon festival (for me) had the searing memory of Lisa dipping her poison ivy covered arms in a bucket of ice at a soda vendor; no, not pictured here. How about a field of wildflowers they planted just for my camera? My dog Nellie, I loved that dog! One more summer image, fishing, the water was about 18 inches deep. But, you get the idea. Idyllic, childhood. It was a different time. Good. Better, that’s harder to say.
The saying goes: black cat in a room at midnight. Shooting (photographically) a black dog is near impossible – for me. Reggie defied many attempts to get a proper picture over the many years he lived. He was a sweet dog. And, I miss him. And, I don’t (miss him) because he was impossible to photograph. He would often appear as a black shapeless blob in my photos. And then once in a while – well, he was a sweet dog. Nuts! He loved to chase 18 wheel tractor trailer trucks. But sweet! Have I said that? Yeah, I loved that dog. A lot. Really!
…take your dog…. Wow! She did it! She had the dog with her at a black-tie concert. She must know….?? The dog got a lot of attention. It (dog) didn’t seem to mind – attention or the surroundings – no noise. I kept waiting for it (the dog) to pee on her. In the second half the woman did leap out of her seat? … to walk the dog? But, alas, no, the husband and dog remained seated and she did not return till the end? A mystery it seems, that shall remain unresolved.
Eye to eye
Just sitting at the light, we were right up parallel with this dog. We stared at each other. Passing ships. He was striking enough to make me pause and then grab my camera.
Lest anyone forget… (did you ever know)… I miss my ol’ dog. I’ve got cats now. I hate cats. Don’t laugh. I do love them. But, not as much as Nellie. I once told my kids I liked her better (than them). She was the screensaver pic on my phone… till I got a new love (human). Cats are grand. They don’t need to be walked and they are easy to care for. They (cats) don’t come when I whistle. Okay! There are pros and cons. I still love that ol’ dog! This is a young picture of Nellie. How do I know? I don’t. But she looks like a young dog in this picture. Not a puppy, but…
Don’t mention dogs. Now that I have seven cats, they remind me every day why I love cats. I think.
I only had one black dog. Ha ha. I only had two dogs in total. But Nellie was white. The trouble with black dogs is that they don’t photograph well. Camera meters don’t like to calculate the exposure for a black dog. Oh, sure I had pictures of Reggie. But mostly there was a black lump sitting there next to my kids. He was not photogenic at all. This is one of the rare times the light was good to him. It’s one of my favorite shot of him. I’m way better (photographer) but I’m still wary of a black dog. No, (ha ha) we don’t have a black cat.
Over the Top
My cats like to curl up and sleep in our game boxes. Geez, the boxes are small. They don’t really fit. Why? It’s a puzzle to me. Ha ha, a game maybe. Anyway, I don’t have a ready image of the cats at hand. They also sleep in our baskets. Any available basket is fair game. I came across this slide of Nellie. She’s curled up in a Christmas box. Content. Oh! The top is why I thought of the title for this post. Contrived. Which? I miss that dog! But then there are seven crazy cats in my life now.
Now and Then
Who knew? Who’d have guessed? Fish, cats… It’s not a year since…it’s been quite a year. But back in February 2016, Lulu came into my life. This year it’s Spice/Feather. Cats! I don’t like cats.
I like dogs. I loved Nellie. Just about the time when I really needed a friend, Lulu came in. And when I had to leave Lulu behind, Spice and Feather have entered. I miss Nellie. Who wouldn’t? And there are still Elle, Willow, and Patch. Characters, one and all.