Word and Image

Posts tagged “Portrait

Same day follow up

That rebozo? I didn’t want to let it go and get mailed without one more photo session. So!? You can never find or corral Elle. So, she’s not pictured. But like baby pictures, I posed each of the other six cats on the cloth. Three of the six yawned. I did not intend to get or expect them to yawn on cue.

I admit that I roused four from a sound nap to pose for me. Patch and Willow were curious. They were awaiting me to feed them. Hence, curiosity, but no posing. Nope. Feed me! Ray did not yawn. He was so sleepy, he just continued to snooze after I put him down. Now, I’m ready to go postal and get this rebozo on it’s journey.

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Cat portrait

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Okay okay, they are not all looking into the camera. Manipulated? You bet! It took me more than 100 shots to combine and get seven cats into this picture. No cats were harmed in the filming. Two were highly reluctant. Two posed spontaneously. The last three were confused participants. One posed multiple times. In the end I have a portrait of the kids. Three sets of twins and Elle. It was easy in the end. You are looking at the final product. Someone asked me if I liked using Photoshop. No, but I do have some skills.

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This was our Christmas card for this year. What will we do next year? 9..10 cats?


Symmetry

I got a couple shots of the kids with flowers. Classic. It’s a retrospective look. I scanned my old slides and these popped out for comment. They are like old familiar friends. I just never put them together like this. Side by side. They have stood the test of time. I liked them from the moment they were developed and I still do. Of course, the kids got old. They are still my kids…just older. Still cute. Shhh… don’t tell ‘em I said that.


They sold like hot cakes…

Sheep and wool? Ostensibly it’s all about the fiber? The market baskets – fair trade – sold like hot cakes. Everywhere you looked someone was carrying one. We got one. They have great utilitarian use. Plus, they are good for you and for the makers. Win win. Bonus. I got a good image. This lady was just dressed this way. She wasn’t there to be picturesque.


Back

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My camera (the “big one”) took a hit in October and has been in repair for a couple months. Yeah, it was a major injury to body and lens. Major surgery was done and the cosmetic damage repaired as well. And it works like a top again. Yay!


Fly – Wings Optional

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The event is a spectacle of stupid. Everyone fails. 100% It’s in the rules. I think that some things constructed were flimsy fantasies. And others were a serious threat to the Wright brothers. Ultimately, things heavier than air all come to land. If you are lucky the landing does not hurt.

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Meanwhile my kids are grown and not with me. So? Shoot someone else’s kids. I did. It’s one grab shot on the fly. Farid’s kids don’t like to pose. And I don’t ask. I just shoot what’s there. Great! I passed along my images of the flying circus. His family made multiple framed prints and displayed them everywhere. Thanks. There’s a copy in his office on his desk. Meanwhile they use iPhone and get images and movies. But? A real camera? Nope.


What I Shot

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There are questions that have no safe answer. Try, “Do I look fat in this dress, honey?” Try to answer, ‘Yes (you are),” or “No (you were, but not now).” Get my drift? I realize that there are a lot of people in my audience who are not attuned to American humor. In fact maybe I don’t have humor at all. Do you see the glass “half empty?” or “half full?”

I shot a moose once. (Yes, it’s obvious. I photographed it.) And someone in the audience asked me if I had really “shot” it. Seriously, he was very impressed (that I shot it)! No, dopey! I don’t shoot animals. I photograph, but I do not shoot. Actually, I shoot whatever is there. Get it? Well, try to understand that I am not working with a full deck and American slang humor can sail right over your head. Sorry.

As long as we are on the subject (vaguely) I was called out by my daughter. “Did you play with the puffer?” Caught! She immediately knew that the puffer was only puffed because I had provoked it. Smart cookie, that kid of mine. I deny that any fish were injured in the making of this photo. However, she contends that I have shortened its life by scaring it. Go figure!

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With the very long preamble, I ask, “Do you like your photo portrait with direct or indirect gaze?” Subtle, but definitely different, it’s a matter of choice or taste. For me, I like a direct view straight on. But it’s definitely disconcerting to look straight away into someone’s eyes. It’s much more intimate. Hey! It’s a cat. Lulu’s my cat at the moment I don’t exactly ask her to look at me. I try to get her to look in my general direction and then get my camera into her face. She’s tolerant. She doesn’t get it. But she is occasionally in one place long enough for me to get a couple shots. The portrait is a success based on dead on focus on the eyes. After that composition and the rest are up to you. There are so many bad pics out there. Try harder. And it is affirmative, “a good fish photo has the eye looking toward you!” Mooses too!


HB – Happy Happy

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Happy Birthday. I just remember the day. Eric was born on the last day of third grade for me. That would be Elkins First Ward School. Lot of memories there. I awoke and mom had delivered overnight. Dad was getting us breakfast. John and me. He had left us alone overnight. We slept and never knew it. I barely remember when John was born. All I remember is that they kept acting like I might be jealous of someone new in the house. He did not affect me in the least. We were expecting a girl (Eric). Hoping for a girl. I don’t know why. It seems ok by me that I got another brother. His name is closer to the front of the alphabet. And he got a middle name.

Me? My mother used a baby name book. She bailed at V. WXYZ not too much further to go. And no middle name. “T” it was on my birth certificate. No, I did not know till I was sixteen. My first summer job as a waiter in a camp and when they returned our birth certificates someone pointed it out. “Oh, well, I didn’t have a first name for you. So I just saved a spot.” Great story. And each brother got a letter closer to the front of the alphabet.

My mother was one of seven children. The last three were sisters. The youngest sister my dear Auntie Fu Ching told me after my mother had passed away, “Your mother lied on your birth certificate.” Huh? The older sister Emily told her she was too old to have a baby (me). So she told my mother, “Lie about your age.” Great! I have looked and I know that I am not a girl.

You’d be surprised but a lot of Chinese guys have my name. I can’t get my name alone as an identifier for email or username. The most fun I had was entering Hong Kong after I visited China. I was separated from my group and placed in a room with a very nice man with a rifle. It was clear he was guarding me. I, of course, did not have a guilty conscience. But I cooled my heels for a while. And when released (I was released with a smile) my friend informed me that the customs folks thought they had just caught one of the big drug smugglers with my same name. Geez!


Buddies

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I hide out in an alcove of the hospital. No office. Nowhere to hide. There was an area on the second floor…but they told me people would hide out and have sex. Damn, why do I always miss out on stuff like that. So I am being harassed by my buddies. They make fun that they see me sleeping when they walk by. I know it’s not true because they have never complained about my snoring. Faisal is on the right. He is from Yemen and is my gym buddy. He calls to wake me when I pass out on the gym mat. Rida is my neighbor in the compound and the chief of eye surgery. The whole body – and all he cares about is 2 square centimeters of eye. Yeah, pretty funny. Obviously I was not sleeping. I took the picture! Right? Yes, it’s not much of a portrait, but then again this was not a beauty contest.


Lulu

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There’s been a clamor in the family for a picture of Lulu. It’s a silly but has Arabic roots because it means pearl. Had I known she would adopt me I would have picked another name. But now I call her Squeaky. It doesn’t matter. She doesn’t respond to either name. Maybe it’s my poor Arabic. Or, she doesn’t speak human. For sure she doesn’t follow commands – simple or complex. But she squeaks. No meow. No howl or whine, it’s squeak. And she does it and it works because I come when she squeaks. Yes, I’m getting my star as a trained human.

When she adopted me I was ok. And I waited to see if she really wanted to stay. This morning she tested me. She went on out the door and sat under the hedge and munched grass. She did not respond to my call or my offer to let her back into the house. Later when I got home from work, no Lulu. I whistle and the other cats in the compound come around to eat for free. No Lulu. Went to lunch… and upon return I found a cat meowing – not Lulu. But after a minute of whistling, along she came. And she squeaked. She’s got a streak of dirt along her nose. I was good. I was going away for a couple weeks. Now I have to engage the care giver to look in on my new found cat. It’s never boring in my house. Did I mention that she chases her tail?