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 are away. Mike and Jen (cousins) watch the cats. Catgate? Peas – the cute, innocent – is fodder (as in, dinner) for Spice. Her sister, Feather is a bystander but, accomplice in crime. Tillie, the (Peas) sister is fine. She entered the house growling from the start and all the other cats think she is crazy. Ray has no skin in the game. But, he is intensely curious. So he has entered the gated compound at will. Unfortunately, he cannot get out. Why? Well, at least the Maines (cats) cannot leave either. Peas is safe. It’s a puzzle. The bottomline? Peas is safe. No cats were harmed in the telling of this tale. The saga continues. Maybe not in your house, but, this is a big deal in ours.
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.
Antique stores? Some are curated. Others are more junk shop with old rusty stuff. Curated? Well, this is where I overheard a customer bargain over a $1,500 duck decoy. Yes! The paint and other details changed after WW II and there are wood artists who crafted these items. $$$$ as in expensive! Huh! How about the silver antique store? it was full of shiny silverware and objects of great $$$ value. Really?! And who shined it all up? I laughed. There were a few bargains. And there were the Tiffany scissors for $395. Ummm, no. Junk shop? Well, not that either. We will just keep moving on. There are bargains waiting, somewhere. Otherwise, photo-ops are free.
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.)
You are out all day and nothing particulars stands out. Later on, you peruse the shots you took and there are a few that … well, good. I knew we were coming back on the same road… Luckily, the pictures were still there waiting. And then, you find stuff, you were not expecting. Of course. It’s not perfect but….
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.
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.
Quintessential? Camden. It is a very picturesque town. There are shots. Perhaps I was not feeling the inspiration? Lazy? Who knows? I have been here. Have i? This is no time to be existential. Like the sunset, it is subtle in color. Is there more to say? Some days are like that. Pictures jump out or not.
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.
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!
No one could accuse me of holding back nowadays. I just don’t go all out too often. I apologize for the slang given that there are a good many people from around the world who look in. But, once in a while I… Certainly, I spoil Colleen. In this moment, not too often at all, I indulged a whim. I discovered after my recent purchase of the Nikon Z5, that the Nikon zoom 80-400mm lens (I own) did not autofocus when attached the new model body Z5. Long story short, I went to eBay. Of course, they have the Nikon model G that does the job. It is at these times that I have been extremely lucky to get (used) just what I wanted at half price compared to new. The lens arrived in pristine condition. Damn. I was so lucky. My old lens was soft now. ??? I cannot explain except to say that the images were slightly less than tack sharp. Now, the problem is solved. Yeah, it cost $$$. But then, when do I indulge? Don’t answer. Colleen is getting a new spinning wheel… Are pictures better with the new lens? Ah? Sort of. A poor workman blames his tools. I have the tool to become a better workman. Had I but taken a few moments, my trigger happy shots would have been much better. I know this and you would too if you know what I know about fixing things. For instance, the moon is over-exposed; go to manual exposure. I was just too excited (lazy) to make the adjustments. Flog me. My bad. (more slang) I was just being indulgent. Now! I can’t wait to get back to the powwow.
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!
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?
I think in color. No black and white for me. I started in BxW. Color slide film opened my eyes to a whole new world in photography. BxW conversion is easy in Photoshop/Lightroom. Sure. I just don’t think in shades of gray. I admire those who do and who produce great images in black and white.
Single or gallery? I post multiple images these days because there are too many worthy (?) images and not enough posts. TMI. So, I lose subtlety of fine detail. It’s easy (for me) to see Elle is a great cat pic. But the water droplets or the grasshopper or the bees are harder to discern.
Sometimes I just think I must have closed my eyes and pressed the shutter. Images jump out of Lightroom to grab me. I shot that? Luck or skill, my images come from experience and experimentation. I have practiced “what if” scenarios in order to be in this place. But I readily admit I am not some landscape photographer who will patiently sit day after day until the perfect elements align. I have never, and, I never will… No one ever accused me of being patient. Me? I’m all “go!”
Life. Some people are neat. As in, they keep their house neat and precise, everything in its place, no clutter. I could hardly say that about my house/our house. We were at each other’s throat when I pronounced that our mess had to … straighten up. We are never really clean, it’s all under the proverbial rug. Hey! That’s us! So! A tale of two webs: side by side, they are in adjacent windows looking out from my desk. (Sorry. You have to enlarge the pics to see this. Then, laugh!) For practical purposes, they are there to catch other bugs in order to feed the spiders. One web, for sure, has at least three spiders using it. And, that one is messy. Roommates, they do not appear to clean up or maintain; they just partake of the bounty of bugs caught in the web. The other web is quite nice and geometrically arranged. It appears a single spider maintains her home neatly. Why is it always a woman? … just like my ex-wife… whom I do not particularly miss, by the way. Colleen and I live with the mess we created and are as “happy as a bug in a rug.”