Traveling is tricky. You need to strike a balance between running around and sitting around. Humor is where you find it. How about a deer hunting orange cap? Blow drying your restaurant after the rain? Lobster roll? Party colored rake? Colleen adores sitting in a used bookstore amid all the possibilities. But, the sun was newly shining after all the rain. Go! There is a need to visit all the photo ops! (I like old windows.) Or, to sit and spin. Yes, we got a new wheel. New? No, used. Gently used, this was Colleen’s drool wheel. Ok! Cherry wood! It’s gorgeous. It spins like a dream. Only if you were another spinner, could you appreciate the pleasure. It’s like driving a Porsche. Nope, I have not done that either.
We returned to the scene. Ordinarily, there are no second chances. The last visit was only days ago. Colleen. It was her call. I’m glad we did – return again. I was always told a bright sunny day was less than ideal for photographing. Who knows? I love the bright white contrasting against the autumn sky. Give me a few clouds. And, the monarch butterflies were out, just for me. It seems everyone else was ignoring them for the lighthouse. I worked the scene and had a grand time. It was all Colleen’s idea. She’s a genius.
Photoshop can do wonders. But, the real thing is easier, more reliable? A few posts back I was lazy and did not wait. I put in the reflection. This time around was an almost perfect day. It still required patience to let the ripples in the water settle. Nope, there is a limit to my patience. Colleen laughs. She’s a good sport about it all. She hates jumping around back and forth on the rocks. Meanwhile, tourists came and went without noticing the reflection. And, yes, this selfie required Photoshop.
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!
Another day, another museum. Colleen was waiting for this visit. The Farnsworth had just acquired a gift from Andrew Wyeth’s widow, Betsy. Fan No.2, 3, and, yes, No.4 followed faithfully. I am often beside myself in such places. And, as you may note, art is sometimes outside too. And, to finish? Late afternoon dining in the local “cafe.” Tacky, but refined. … I am still looking for fall color.
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.)
Pemaquid “calls” to Colleen. We were finally able to return. There were no expectations. It was windy and about to rain. It was perfect. The moment passed so quickly. We will return at some point again on this trip. How could we not? Pent up energy was released. A little. There was barely time to sit, between the rain drops. Next time, we will be sure to sit. Some things need time to slowly percolate through all your senses. Me? I’ll take another (better) picture. But, on this day, after long last, we were back. There is something to be said to coming back once more. I wish I could photograph emotion.
Where do you go after LL Bean? To the beer store, of course. Well, it would be the brewery(s). We did the brewery crawl. Four were open, one was closed. Oh bother! It was somewhere here that Colleen (see?) lost her new earring while putting on and taking off her mask. Alas! (But, it’s only stuff.) Me? I got flavored seltzer – I’m the driver. How do they name these craft beers? Not a Bud amongst them. Red beer? And do you see the draft on hand? That’s a lot of pulls. Shiny!? That is a lot of stainless steel to shine up!
American gothic, it ain’t. We made the pilgrimage to LL Bean. But, of course! Goofy fun! Yup! The emphasis is on goofy. It’s off-season. It’s still crowded. And, we added to the fun.
One could hardly say that about the Portland Headlight. However, there is a mansion that has fallen into ruin. Colleen has to read and look at every single plaque. She reads them all. I am about the photo op. I have seen the ruins. They were im-memorable. So, who got to see the ruins?! Again? The reflection? You have to peer over the fence and look down to the tidal puddle below. No one, of the myriad of bus tourists, ever sees this picture. They never peer. After all, you only have a moment, otherwise you miss your bus ride. Though I have been here many times, it’s always different. Today, it was about the wildflowers. Working the scene, it takes a moment to find the right vantage. Eh?
The shot of the day? Colleen spotted it. I just shot the picture. But! She spotted it! Wow!
Colleen is a good sport. We went back to the powwow for more… shots, and, a better vantage point (… and to roast once more). Our position on the day before was less than ideal. I got shots but… let us say that the second time around I was satisfied with our vantage (close enough to touch); it was blazingly hot. The crowd got to participate. Politicians made a cameo. Eastern war dancers (one) from Shinnecock got called out. The chief dancer has appeared in the same regalia in other pics in other years. Hoop dancers? … new to me. As I tried to absorb it, I captured some of the energy and motion. We even got a bird show. I am glad we went back.
The price? Dinner out. I got off easy. It was pizza. We were entertained (enlarge the image) with a wedding party – extra large – in the park across the way. Colleen, eagle eye, noticed the party. And, to finish? A “Bud” mug in the antique store. Priceless!
On 9/11 this year, we found ourselves at an Indian powwow. Symbolically? Symbolically, a flag had been raised over the venue – hanging six stories up from a hook and ladder fire truck. We remember…. Pageantry was mixed in with somber remembrance. I shot 3000 images that day. (Hmmm, another symbolic number.) Whoa! What an edit! Why? Photo ops were everywhere. I was not always in a good position to shoot what I wanted. I made do. The venue was loose and the crowd did not stay glued to their seats. I moved about with some freedom to get the shots I wanted. I listened to a photographer, a retiree now, describe how he shot in RAW and post processed in Lightroom, to a woman who did not know what RAW was and who had proudly proclaimed she just found her camera yesterday to shoot images of her grandchild. Disconnected?
In this case I did a rough edit randomly gathering a few representative images to illustrate the day. There was joy and movement. The regalia was colorful and symbolic. Kids and adults participated. No sunglasses please, I was trying for authenticity. Surprisingly, there was a lot of plastic in the costumes I saw. I had not attended a powwow since 2014. It was nice to see another once more with Colleen. The price? … dinner out.
Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. There are so many people in this world. I see people (together) with others and wonder, “How did he/she get with her/him?”
I suppose people think the same of we/us. Ha! The thing is – I don’t care. I love my wife. (Cue: Frank Sinatra.) She’s a very good sport about it all. When she constantly has a camera pointed at her, I think it must wear down Colleen’s resistance to my constant “clicking.” The light was perfect and in this case the focus was soft. How? What? Me? I do not know except to realize that the light was flattering and “good!” So? Done! No adjustment, just right out of the box. I could tweak and do a lot. No need. The waitress passed at that moment with a look of puzzlement and humor as I “clicked” away. Even I was surprised at how successfully the elements all came together. My wife, she’s beautiful. That’s my story, And, I’m stickin’ with it.
Digital images. 4/16/2003. Canon G3 to 8/10/2021 Nikon Z5. I have a recorded database of nearly 700 thousand pictures/images in digital. It does not include iPhone for several thousand more. I think that this is more or less complete a complete accounting. About 36,000 digital images a year compared to about 3,600 per year of slide film. Moreover, my digital images have increased in recent years and was paltry early on. So, I am at about 70,000 digital images a year right now. Yeah, it’s a lot. And if you are not a photo buff, it is more than enough to make your head spin. Laugh all you would like. It’s my avocation – hobby or minor occupation. Some call it an obsession. And for those who would know me – a look into the (my) mind. Luckily, the very first digital image was serviceable – David. Of late, the first image on a new memory card is of my ID – so if found, I just might get it (memory card/camera) back. And, today, 700k images later, it’s cats and flowers. Colleen has a rash and my kids are far away. Yes, that’s a pair of chopsticks in Peas’ mouth. Don’t ask.
As I was falling asleep, Colleen said, “I’m not sure you like me anymore.” It’s natural to have worries during a marriage. Nope! I love you!! … to pieces… to the moon and back! Second chances are few. There is a lot I would do differently if I could go back… well, it would have certainly been a different life for the two of us. Maybe all is not blissful all of the time, but, right now in this moment, it is about as close to heaven as you can get on earth. Today is not about great photography (it’s my blog!); it is about memories we have collected in a short time together in places like… Maine and the Butt of Lewis. We met when we were young and reconnected when we were old. Time is short, so, we celebrate anniversaries every month instead of years. Lately, we have sort of let this get slightly forgotten. But today is a “day.” Happy av-en-ursery, my dear.
Well then what’s to be the reason for becoming man and wife? is it love that brings you here or love that brings you life? And if loving is the answer, then who’s the giving for? …
Wedding Song – Peter, Paul, and Mary
Right after I lamented yesterday, it seems that I have a hole in my posts. Today was open. Nada. Nothing. …. good thing I checked. Travel! We made it to Maine. They canceled the Common Ground Fair and Pumpknfest amid concern for Covid. Boo! So, make lemonade. We are: Outdoor dining. Bakery for breakfast. Touring. Getting lost. Lost earring. Old Revolutionary war era home. There’s a lot you can do. Masks and not. I worked the duck scene. I did not quite get it right. But, there it is. Too much potential, not enough patience, wrong lens? How lovely! … on the road again. Lost earring? We bought a pair and (Colleen) lost one constantly donning a mask. Returning to the store, we found out they could track the artist and get a replacement or another crafted. That is a happy ending!
Why do we travel? To get away from our own everyday routine. See something new and different. And while we are gone we seek out familiar things from home. Dinner in a Chinese restaurant… in Scotland: the food looks familiar; the dinners eat with fork and spoon, or knife; the grocery carries mustard, mayo, and Spam!; a picture to match the post card. Yes, you can go to dinner wearing a genuine Harris tweed vest. Travel is about same and, not. We have not been able to travel in a couple years – Covid. The world will be upside down a bit longer. A couple years back right at this time we were here!? It seems so long ago. So much has changed. Don’t worry, my dear, we will be back.
Live life? Or, record it? Dave has an iPhone. He does not travel with a camera, not even a point and shoot. He takes fantastic pictures with his phone. It records the memories of his myriad travels. I, record everything from the mundane to the weird. There is some sublime? Mostly, I photograph what is around me. Memory fades, images remain a bright and firm reminder of what I passed. Two points of view. I wish Dave appreciated my point and recorded his travels more. In contrast, he has lived a lifetime of experiences in recent years that few have achieved. Go for it, live life to its fullest. Savor without stopping to make a record every ten feet.
Lighthouse? What lighthouse? Which? Dave embarked on cross country bike trip with a “just bought” used bike, without a plan. Me, I shoot oddities: spider webs, the moon in the clouds at night, sunset where I find it, and graphic patterns of everyday life. Memory, blogs, travel, it’s all downstream. Does it fade?
When this post publishes, Colleen and I will be on our first extended travel since Covid. And, yes, I will be recording the memories of our trip.
I’m lucky… lucky to have images that jog my memory. Pelicans? Dave was here (at the beach), with sunflowers? Jumping, I’ve been asking people to jump as an icebreaker. Philippe Halsman – look him up – was a master photographer of the “jump shot.” It always makes me smile. Photo-bombing? It’s a new term. Emma! Rory has the weight of the world on her mind. So young, you ain’t seen nutin’ yet! The summer flowers are fading. I spun the catalog to a random page. It was quite a day(back then)!
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.
Brain surgery is serious stuff. Before and after do not require rapt attention. So, I do/did not waste energy worrying. Sure, I think, ponder, and plan, especially for “what if” (operating room) scenarios. My life outside the operating room was less than serious. These days, now that I retired, are mostly about fun. Today, I just looked back on previous pictures posted. If you are like me, they are just about familiar, and, not quite. If I had not told you… enjoy! Somewhere in my life, I must have done something good.
This is hilarious: Colleen posing over my head in a selfie. We bike ride a trail that gives us spectacular views. Remember? The trail, yes; the selfie, no! Nope. I do not remember taking this picture. Sure. It’s in the photo archive. Wow! The picture is right beside a house Colleen want to buy somewhere up in Milford. I passed – too much work to restore an old house. But, boy was it a beauty with lots of potential. Pie? Yes, those pics were right nearby in my catalog too. I can say for sure I made the sour cream apple walnut pie. Colleen and I had been chasing that recipe forever, in order to faithfully recreate it. Ok! I/she/we made a pumpkin pie too. But! The kiwi pie? Nope. No recollection. It’s right there next to the other pies. There is no sign this pie was store bought. So, Colleen made it! That’s my story and I’m stickin’ with it.
It has been more than a year since we experienced the ravages of Covid. Can we remember? Do we? Toilet paper was in short supply. I did a little dance in the grocery aisle when TP was in stock again. We chased appointments in order to get a vaccine.
So much has happened. It’s hard to remember that so recently – it seems so long ago, now – Patch died. Colleen completed a memorial scarf/shawl with his colors – green eyes.
Patch would sit on and among Colleen’s looms. (Yes, that is plural – looms!) As a weaver cat, Patch was taught not to play with the warp and weft – threads. He was large enough to disrupt the weaving process until he was ready to move. We miss him.
Old Friends – Simon and Garfunkel
Old friends, old friends
Sat on their park bench like bookends
A newspaper blown through the grass
Falls on the round toes
Of the high shoes of the old friends
Ginny is the glue. The rest of us would not try too hard to keep in touch. Bless her, it was surprisingly nostalgic. We spoke of everything: old friends and enemies, wars we fought in the operating room, and all manner of stuff that would either curl your hair or turn it grey. I have accumulated plenty of enemies in my career. It was nice to meet up with some old friends. Thank you, Ginny. We all changed. Yup, a few pounds and a few gray hairs. And most of you don’t remember Simon and Garfunkel. This is not fine photography. Its meaning lies with the people in the shots and what history it conjures. Sometimes a picture is more to anchor a memory of what once was.