Another random stroll through the catalog… I came across a biker on the road with a French road sign (Sortie). Oh!? Canada! Did we really eat in this place? Pop-up store in a truck? Gee, memories fade. My pictures are the anchors. I have forgotten a lot of stuff. This would all be lost without a record. It was not memorable? Enough?
Once upon a time Amelia, the dove, hatched a clutch of eggs in Jule”s window box. Several more generations of eggs followed and hatched. Imagine, it was 5 floor up in NYC, hardly the place to raise a family of doves. Several years later there was a reunion of the extended dove family on my 6th floor deck – one time only. It was poignant and priceless!
I have seen Gates, a one-time art installation in Central Park. I flew over the Verraznno Bridge during the NYC Marathon. I got to shoot at the US Open. I have been to Patriot Day in Boston. Why did the turkey(s) cross the road? Um, I don’t know either. Puffins??! Cute?! I got seasick three times unsuccessfully never seeing the birds, before I got this shot. The dragon – New Orleans – mardi gras, I was there to see the warehouse housing the trappings of the celebration. Walter Mitty had nothing on me.
It seems the beginning of my catalog has some highlights – shots over the years that were “keepers.” At least that is my opinion. They were pretty much unplanned shots that turned out surprisingly well. You may readily disagree. I like them. A very early effort was the child at a street market in London. The shot in the pool was a blurred image – wrong exposure, nice shot. Moonrise? It ain’t easy without adjusting the exposure. Motion blur (waves), moon detail, not bad. Wedding? I was a guest. It was a “grab” shot. The couple enlarged and kept it as a highlight. Panning – I learned with a San Francisco cable car. Reading about it is one thing; I gotta do it in order for the lesson to stick. Candid family? There are shots, and, there are shots that make you laugh out loud. Exhausted? Or, no turkey, please! Jules did not cook the meal… What else to say? I simply stuck the camera out the window and pressed the shutter once. Surprise!
Resolved: no more cats. Really? Well, we have not been to the pet store recently. (I was banned.) Healthy eating: ha ha. Seafood diet? – see food, eat it. Take more pictures? For sure – everyday. New year? It’s like a reset or restart? Way back when, I was here in Woodstock. I was an unwitting witness of history. Things changed. Things remain the same. Humbly, if I were asked – no reset, more of the same please. Because, I am happy with my new year and life as I know it, now. Happy new year, again.
Fortuitous?! This is the great grandson of Charles Dickens, Gerald Dickens, who has returned to perform his one man show – The Christmas Carol. It is indeed daunting. He plays all the characters and within two hours performs the whole novel. It’s a special connection to the original author via his own progeny. No other family members are inclined to perform in such a manner. This is truly a special one of a kind, treat. We have seen it twice now. (Ha ha. I was sleepy thru the first half.) Colleen and I saw the movie in black and white in the basement of our elementary school. Her favorite is the George C Scott version. I have seen Bill Murray’s (not so good) movie. And so it goes. To see Dickens’ great grandson adroitly perform makes us feel like we are connected to the author himself. How grand! An aside: the guy in front of us – “hat head” – ha ha, Colleen admonishes me for being too observant of people around us. ,
Things jump out – sometimes, literally. Ha ha, another Photoshop trick (not!)? The frame was set up to take a portrait and to make it look elaborately framed. I would never be so subtle. Ha ha. It was colonial day on the green. People were dressed in Revolutionary war style fashion – a snake oil salesman, etc, It was still fall. I was still chasing color. In this case I settled for a closeup in order to avoid the vast areas of drab brown leaves. Autumn color was scarce around these parts.
Surprises abounded. This is a very popular restaurant. It opened a branch and was immediately swamped with customers out the door and waiting for about an hour for a table. No reservation – taken; just show up and stand around. The food was expensive and not worth the price of admission. How about fajitas for two – $64. Huh? Mike ordered it for himself – steak, chicken, shrimp – 2 of three choices. He asked for all steak. He got an up charge of $26. What?! Yes, they up charged him. A surprise I caught as we split the check and paid the bill. Mexican dinner for four – $200 before tip!! Damn! The frozen margarita? $13. Ok!? Complaining. Nope. Going back? Nope. On so many levels,we drive past the place now and laugh at each other. Agave! They are better than we are and do not hesitate to remind us. Nope, not gonna be there again. But we got some relatives (I don’t like) – to send there.
I came across some images in a catalog in a place I have not looked in a very long time. Are you following me? We were in Washington DC during the cherry blossoms and wandered into an orchid exhibit. Nice! I am frankly pleased at the detail I captured in the orchid. Technology continues to improve. I can now easily mask and enhance subject or sky. Too technical? It doesn’t matter. Amazing things can be done now in editing. It’s simple enough for someone as lazy as me. The edits are hardly noticeable. I’m better than I was and didn’t even know it. Hint: you do need a good image to start with. Oh, bother.
I’m reaching here. Uninspired, lazy, I am in a writing drought after the past month of a plethora of subjects and photographs. So, spin the photo catalog. This series was all nearby one another and disparate in subject. It turns out we don’t see Dave very often at all. This was a visit to Jessop’s Tavern close to the train station where we pick him up when he comes to Delaware. Unfortunately, we got a round of bad service there on our last recent visit and it will be a long time before we ever return. Alas! Ida is not imprisoned. She was running a Memorial Day fundraiser and we saw her behind the fence as we walked up to the event. (That’s my story – to protect the innocent!) Flowers? Gee, I was so much (less) better a few years back. Nature! The rose managed to grow thru the fence and bloom. I am, indeed, heartened to see that I (photographer) am getting better as time passes.
I got a series of three for this scene. None are more informative. Amish family, three kids, the dad drives from the right seat. The kids sit on folding chairs in the back. They wear distinctive traditional garb that marks them. I had seen horse shit by the side of the road. This now closed the information loop on how it got there. There is a lot to be learned passing a two horse cart on the side of the road.
Shot of the day? We finally saw color. This is one of many on a successful day finding fall color.
Where do you wanna go? I dunno. Typical. We had no plan. Do you need a plan? The local – throw away – paper proclaimed, farmer’s market. Ok! We met a basket maker who carries everything on her bicycle, including finished baskets, reed, and basket making tools. Driving along we found the ultimate junk store. Rusty nails! … by the pound. If you dye (fiber) then this is a mordant to set and contribute color. (I bet you wanted to know.) Alpaca farm? They spit?! … if you get in their face. Rude! We got fleece! Of course! Not fleeced. No! If you spin and weave, this was a good day!
I watch people when there is no scenery to photograph. Library? Yes, again. The building was picturesque enough to demand a visit. Books? But, of course! There was a sale of used books! Oh, surprise! We came away with a couple (books, not people). Hat? Hats? Alpaca, you gotta feel! Soft!! Of course, they are all the more stylish in this year’s fashion cat mask. Imagine me, parked, patiently sitting in one place? Hardly! I usefully perused my phone for a place to eat. Yeah, all that sittin’ makes me hungry.
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!
I see people. I watch people. It comes from observing patients for so many years. You watch them walk, how they act, and how they interact. I was there for the reflection. Walking sticks? Well, the woman could hardly walk. Ok?! Engagement photo shoot? The photographer was shooting from behind the couple and probably never saw the reflection. How? (did she not see it?) Photo-ops everywhere you look. I kept my mouth shut and did not engage (pun, anyone?). The fat lady? Not that fat lady – she found the reflection, pulled a camera out of her pink bag, and proceeded to ignore me.
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!
No one ever said I had an abundance of patience. Besides, it was just about to rain. My classic “must” photo at this lighthouse was not happening today – a reflection of the lighthouse in the tidal/rain pool. The tiny figure in the shot was headed down toward me with the same thought. I cheated. Photoshop. Eh? It’s not perfect – the manipulation. No patience today. Maybe tomorrow. We’ll be back. There is no excuse to be lazy. But, I have a/the ‘real’ shot somewhere. And, on another day, we will return and I will get the shot. … just not today.
Maine is a state in which 1% of the census population reports as African American. Here, in the middle of nowhere and with no one around, are a group holding banners decrying BLM. Ok? Where are the supporters? Where is the audience? We were randomly driving by (not another car in sight). I laud the sentiment? We later ate lunch in a restaurant where the staff was nearly all black. Hmmmm? That was remarkable. There were plenty of (non black African) customers. Life went on seamlessly. 1% African American: 99% other. It’s a free country. Go where you like? Maine?
In Maine, they pronounce long “A’s.” (pfewf!!, that was a punctuation nightmare!) Like supp-ah for supper. And so forth. Seriously. ?! Socks? T-shirts? Dancin’s in the streets? Candles on a blanket on the beach at low tide. In the time of Covid, you can actually go out for takeout wearing a clown outfit/mask. The beard was the cherry on top. There is a lot to see if you know where to look. Or, if you just look, there is lots to see.
I presume you need some creds to walk in the Indian powwow circle. I presume that anyone with a costume is not allowed. It’s not a Halloween parade, is it? A red-headed Indian child? I took note of how much the appearances reflect diversity. Love is where you find it. Never before have I appreciated how much we are a melting pot culture.
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.
No, hardly the NYT. I’d never pass proofreading. Nature. Remember the nature shows that brutally depicted lions taking down a poor animal and shredding it on camera for our initiation into “survival of the fittest?” This spider did brain surgery first. Logic or convenience? It ate the bee? Starting at the head. I got my initial shots and later on was amazed that there was very little left except for some disconnected bones. Nothing goes to waste. You need a lot of energy to spin a web.
Wooden thread spools? We got a jar…. somewhere, at some point, in the past. Why? Dunno. Colleen went through it looking for pink thread. She hates pink. She got sidetracked, as often she does, and looked up the names. Some of these spools date back to the 1800’s. Really?! Well, for sure they stopped making wooden spools a good 50 years ago. How’s that for useless information I did not know I needed. Antique wooden spools, imagine that?
Bad day: tell me, based on the damage and position of the vehicles, how this accident occurred. Did someone do a 180 or 360 circle? We passed this accident. The gray car was second along the road. No time to get a proper photo. I was not trying to hurt the feelings of those involved. They were already having a life changing moment and a very bad day. The damage was bad enough to stop both vehicles immediately. The position of the damage argues against head-on. Or, not? So?
This is a follow up to beauty. When I go to the beach I am ever amazed at what people will wear in public. For instance, a bikini is colored underwear only smaller. I don’t get to stare at your underwear, but… And there are those who have no problem with “body image.” Wear it!? OMG. Ok!! Then I will shoot it. (See: before and after.) There was a circus crowd atmosphere waiting for the beach Labor Day funeral marking the end of the summer. The parade was lame; the music poor. The lifeguards got a standing “O.”
Did you know… spiders will share a single web? … will repair, do repair a damaged web? When I say spiders… I saw the big one, Momma? – and then not one but two little ones. Two. ?? They (the little ones) were both out at the same time. OK! TMI! But it does account for the less than precise appearance of the web. Big Momma has only been seen at night since the little ones appeared. Mostly, there is no one patrolling the silk. Another web in the adjacent window pane has had no sign of any spider. Shy? Gee! The things you learn when first you ….
“Oh, what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive!” (Sir Walter Scott, 1808)
Drama at the website: it’s gruesome, encased and mummified in silk. It is a soon to be dead bug. Yes, it is still moving. Big momma is out tending to the silk. Maintenance, someone’s gotta do it.
Men in Black, the movie? I’ve seen this guy out running before. He wears a lighted safety vest. Yup! He looks alien! And just as I was getting my shot of “Big Momma,” he went by. Sorry, I coulda done better, but, he went by so fast!
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.