Eye on You
Cat proud?! I walk around and randomly shoot my cats. I readily admit it’s not easy. They do not cooperate. Fortunately I do not have to ask for a smile. But it sure helps if they look at me. I practice for when I have human subjects at hand. One thing sure, humans and cats don’t pay much attention to me these days. Good?
For more than 100 years
For more than 100 years Colleen’s family has lived or come to this beach in the summer. Summer reunion. Many families came from afar to see each other. The crowd is dwindling as people no longer live nearby. The older relatives have passed. Colleen is the youngest of her generation. Sobering. The next generation has too much social media obligation to afford time to travel far. There are simply too many summer obligations – dance, music, gymnastics… too many other places to visit. Even Colleen has lobbied to live in Maine or Scotland. Me? I got no more moves in me. I was in 9 different places before 18 years old. The running joke? My father was a bank robber (not). It’s too much for me to pack up all my stuff one more time. There was a time when all my worldly belongings fit in my car. Today Dave lives out of what he can carry in a backpack. We are at the beach but not too many more years.
Right about now the annual gathering has begun again.
Living in the past
As I scroll randomly thru the catalog it is easy to land on flowers. These past few years have given me a lot of container garden flowers to photograph. And then I got a macro lens… It’s pretty nice. I got a lot of flower pictures. I can hear folks ask, “How many?” And you photograph them again and again. Same flowers, they don’t change much. Well, it’s never the same. And I would be pressed to say I can tell the same flower in my pics from day to day. Boring. Not really. After all, I have a different life now. No phone call is answered as though it were life and death on the other end. There is relief that I answer the phone if I want to answer the phone. There are no consequences for not responding. That all works out fine with me. Boring it is, for a good long time to come.
The flowers in Colleen’s background… are fake artificial. I went thru a stage of fake flowers too. Ha ha.
The first time I ever…
…saw a passion fruit flower was in Africa. Where had it been all my life? And now we have them growing along with the clematis on my deck. Oh gee! It’s striking! I never forgot it after I saw it the first time. Of course, I never knew its name until now. Fruit? Yes. And I have even tasted it. Colleen likes it. We don’t see it in the market. Cousin Barb pretty much killed it when she was pruning the clematis. But it is an invasive weed plant around here. So, it grew back. Yay!. The flowers are an excellent photo op. So, I do!
On a roll
I’m faced with a dilemma. Post while we are on vacation. Or, wait until our return. There will be a lot of imagery I would have posted but waited patiently until our return.
Scotland – wrong side of the road. You can see I am in the driver’s seat from a different perspective. Well, I am jumping the proverbial gun. We are there – 2019. Harris Tweed was the word(s). No doubt our luggage will have souvenirs. We’d have a sheep if Colleen could figure out how to get it thru customs.
My first born has a first born now… and a second. Lisa always said Jules was a funny looking kid. Humpf! I would think she was nuts.
Then again, I was a dad. This was my kid. Special!?! You bet! Pictures? Umm… hey, I could have done better. At least there are pictures. When you consider the paucity of shots in my own childhood… I simply compensated for what was lacking when I grew up. As I got better – at photography – Jules grew up. It was a race… did she win? … cameras got better too.
I wuz here… B.C.
Slides. I wuz here before digital. Before Colleen. .. but never like it before and not since. Confused?
Hey a different view. I would go find the image of Colleen and I … it would take a while. But I was here once. Little did I know how my life would change when I came back.
Have you been to the beach? Sand gets into everything! Camera? Oh my! Fearless!? Stupid? Wealthy and don’t care? Old gear?
Who can know? But it is a photo op. A legitimate photo op.
Quite the sand castle. Eh? Or not?! But the camera? It made it home in one piece to shoot another day.
The question? Which got better? The camera or the photographer? Was I bettr first? Mistakes along the way… I have to say there are and have been many times when I saw something and the camera was unable to keep up with what I visualized. And sometimes I get surprising results when I close my eyes and press the shutter. Round and round we go, was it the chicken or the egg?
Back when I was a third year medical student we were loosed into the hospital for the first time to be in contact with patients. We were basically observers. And I got the idea that neurosurgery was not too bad. After all who else gets to walk around wearing pajamas all day. Our chairman’s name was King. I was sold! Kings, walking around in PJ’s all the day long…
What did we do before selfie? Who took this shot? Four of us. We were not traveling in a group of five. I would guess some passerby did the shot? But I am recicent to put my camera in someone else’s hands. But in the face of no other explanation this is the explanation. The group shot of family in front of some picturesque scene is an obligatory vacation picture. It’s interesting to find them among my early slides.
A long time ago.. in Florida… ha ha. We were there. Do I remember this garden? Oh boy! There are a lot of things the brain forgets. No matter. It’s Eric’s birthday again. He does not read this blog….probably does not know (or forgot) about it. Nonetheless, happy birthday.
Colleen keeps asking me if I have been to… and yes, I was afforded the luck of being in a lot of places. But one time or another, you realize that you have never seen a place until I see it thru her eyes. It’s the same and very different all at the same moment. Perhaps it was all a dream as though I am awakened and starting to live now. Where was I and where have I been? Living in this moment has been wise and perhaps the bast ever. I think I shall hold tightly to Colleen.
The world has changed. Colleen hates change in general. So I ask her to give me her iPhone, give it up. Nope. Would I have ever imagined that Kodak film would be no more. When I traveled on vacation, I would take 40 rolls of slide film… and never shoot it all. Ha ha. Digital is pretty much free. I shoot and shoot. Thousands of images… tens of thousands.
Oh boy. Travel is so different. I am also blessed to travel with Colleen now. We do see things differently and so fresh! There are a lot of regrets that go unsaid. And I have a lot of wish I could have… Who knew I would see the changing of the guards but never again? As things turned out, I am good with that. Digital photography affords me so many more options. Travel companion – priceless!
Early early slides
Early on, it took a while to realize that a filing system was necessary to organize my photography collection. What a good idea! I began a database on index cards before I knew what a database was about. My negatives were in wax paper sleeves. And eventually, my slides were stored in boxes, and, later in drawers. Nowadays, the database is on my Mac. The slides and digital photos are on my computer hard drives. Simple!?
So the early slides were scattered all over the place early on. I eventually collected them together and put them in some semblance of order. But as with most things I discovered a method and file system on my own. It was not perfected until much later, hence, the utter confusion over what was first?
Naomi, first girlfriend, we traveled to London. It was an early trip and the start of organization. It was not the first picture or slide. But this is early slide work.
Elle is the third cat Colleen brought from West Virginia. She was timid and would have nothing to do with me… for years. …a long time. I would pull out my camera. She would run. It was indeed gradual for us to develop trust.
Finally, she knows me. She answers to her name when I call. I feed her and love on her as much as she lets me. We are not buddies. But at least we have a nodding passing relationship in which we both get what we need.
Patch Willow, brothers. Colleen brought them from West Virginia. They did not ask and did not want to change venues. They adjusted. One day Patch went to the vet for a scheduled teeth cleaning. It went badly. Patch had a belly full of cancer. He died a short time after diagnosis. He did not suffer a lot. It is amazing how much he became part of me in only a short time. We still miss him. I am glad to be able to face loss and be able to talk about his memory.
It’s complicated. My parents were immigrants who migrated after WW II with barely any belongings. They made their way in America and wished for their children success thru education. I succeeded. We were never poor. We were never hungry. But the struggle of middle class was not lost on me. I regret there were few pictures of the family. I was the one to take interest in 1966 when we returned to NY from WV. A Kodak Instamatic 100 camera! A few snapshots. What did I know? Three years later I was on to BxW film and developing my own. Amateur. There were few images or negatives from that time.
An early picture, I estimate at about 4 yrs old. Obviously it looks like Christmas. We lived in a tiny apartment in Astoria. Look at all the presents! I do not know who took the picture. It is the only picture I can refer to from that time. There might be others in Eric’s possession of my mom’s things. Colleen has been anxious for me to pursue my heritage and ancestors. I don’t resist her but feel it is an overwhelming task to backtrack even within my own generation.
We were just in Winterthur. 90,000 objects of antiquity collected by Mr Dupont and foundation. No touching! You would not want to weather, age, or damage a “collectible.” Next stop, New Castle, antique store, priced items for sale. Touching required. I get to handle priced antiques before they go priceless. Gee some of the stuff is pretty much what we saw and were forbidden to handle moments ago. Go figure.
Brains everywhere you look. Humor? Serious? Do I respect it? Am I removed? Too far? Questions questions, I wonder, I ponder the answers. Fascinating?
Publishers have survived. Why not an ebook. No shelf space required. I can read the words and see the pictures easily enough on a small iPad. Why? Paper? Books? Space? It has been a long time since I bought a book… a paper book. But Colleen has so many… books, magazines, tra la la…
A shout out to Mr Hayes. 83 years old and still working his store he started as a door to door sewing machine salesman back in the 60’s. He’s the oldest dealer for Bernina in the US; not the oldest man… oops, I asked. We fixed Colleen’s old Kenmore. The store fixes 5000 machines a year. Impressive. And, BTW, sewing machines have changed a lot since I saw my mother’s Singer. Gee, who’d guess? Bring on the computer graphics…
Paper! Neat! And it fooled me. Sort of. At first glance… if I look closer, ok, I get it! Wow! Unexpected. Well done. Who thinks of these things? We got some. How could you/we not?
They brighten and cheer Colleen’s day when she sees them! She points to them with glee and enthusiasm. I look. They look like daffodils to me. What’s the difference? And the plant APP says narcissus. Correct! All one and the same, they are related to one another and not distinguished to well from one another. Really?! Well, that is what is says on the internet. The picture/example they showed had two toned pettals and otherwise looked like a daffodil. Okay! This is Colleen’s jonquil and I’m stickin’ with her identification. But she was pointing to a solid one color yellow flower that looks all the world like a daffodil to me. Hey! It is.
Flowers or fish?
Would you rather…? I do not regret being in Saudi. Eh? I am glad to be home. I was homeless in a rhetorical sense for a bit. But I always seem to land on my feet. Flowers preoccupied me in the summer as never before. I got hundreds… thousands of pictures of the blossoms. Daily! Hundreds! Obsession? Compensation? Psycho? And, my/our cats. … because I could take good photographs in focus and well exposed with decent composition. Yes, all of the above. We all need an outlet? Eh? I’d rather be diving. But the price in Saudi was too steep. So, no! I am just fine here and now.