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.)
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 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.
Fortunate? The remnants of Hurricane Ida came up from Louisiana to batter New York. I kid with Colleen all of the time that the weatherman is right about half the time. I paid no heed to the warning. Sorry. We drove up north for dinner and I was surprised to see the beach town nearly empty of the usual summer crowd strolling the streets. Hmmm? We stopped and had dinner. Afterward I took a few shots of a local landmark sign. The night shots showed ominous skies. Just as we drove into our garage, rain fell. It was nothing of particular note. Wow! New York got slammed! It was all in the news. It was not quite a disaster because everyone had missed predicting it; they had not seen it coming despite the weatherman. But, yes, it was an epic storm and a true disaster. Welcome to climate change. If you deny it, you probably did not get the vaccination either. Meanwhile, all I got was more clouds in the aftermath. We were totally spared; on the morning after – blue skies. Some days we are/were just plain lucky. It’s only now a few days later that I appreciate how fortunate we were. For unsuspecting folks around New York, lives were lost and changed forever.
It seems a lost cause to try to limit myself to one picture and one story per day. Some days have too many – stories and pics. Sorry. How about an upside down dragonfly? ?? Really?! Yup! It flopped to the deck right in front of me with a thud. Truly! It was an act I did not realize until I did the edit. Later, it flipped and flew away. Relief!
The building – it was across the street from the restaurant – beer flight – inside on the wall was a black and white photo ala this view – for $700. Nope! I’m not kidding. Sorry, I would not pay that kind of money for that kind of shot. I have too many of my own in the discard pile. Really! Balls; ya gotta have ‘em to take that shot and price it like that.
Flight time? You can order a “flight.” This allows you to taste five beers as a sampler. Fun! Yes! Colleen loves dark beer. To me they all taste the same and are bitter. She can appreciate the nuance. I appreciate that she loves the experience. I’m still struggling to appreciate the BxW building on the wall next to me.
Still life – note the flattened peaches. I did it subtly so as not to squish out the juices. That is a large tomato for scale? – or small peaches. Watermelon in the background – I am in a watermelon eating stage right now.
The cat and sunset are throw-ins. It’s the end of the day. I keep a camera at hand all over the house. Ha ha! I have enough cameras to do this. And, sometimes you get the shot because things were there at hand and jumped onto the memory card – all by themselves. Gee, I’m lucky sometimes.
Colleen was not familiar with the term – “angel light.” It’s easy enough to see once you see the picture and imagine the rays of light shining through the clouds. I’m not religious. I would like to think of a higher spirit and that Patch is with the angels. We don’t see this lighting often. It is light that is special because it is so fleeting. It brings a smile with the memory that Colleen and I remember Patch when we see angel light.
I get gorgeous sunsets out of hand. Ho hum? No, just luck? No, I am in the right place at the right time. Ha ha – near sunset. It does require the requisite cloud formations to make things spectacular. Colleen likes it. We are lucky to be sharing such beautiful sunsets. There is a higher force looking down upon us.
iPhone 12. It’s not an advertisement. Jeff took this of Jules and Noa. Perfect. Pretty perfect. That darn iPhone took a great one. Would my camera do as well? That’s the great debate. If it would, (not), then why don’t professionals shoot with iPhone 12? Ha! There are pros (pun) and cons to the argument. But professionals use cameras because…. Maybe someday my spiffy camera will make phone calls.
What’s good? Photoshop enhanced? Is it good straight out of the camera? Do you allow major or minor manipulation? When is does it cross the line into being art instead of photography? Purist? The algorithm in the camera already dictates so much. Shoot raw? The manipulation you do, is it to recreate the image you saw. Or are you creating the image you imagined? What’s good? I’m glad I don’t have to care about all that. I have never competed in a photo contest. Well, once, and, I lost. Sour grapes? Nope. It was expected on my part. I’m good. But I am not in the same league with award winning photographers. I’m not dedicated to perfection. I could do a good job given the responsibility. Sure, but it was never my day job. So, I am content. I have a catalog with hundreds of thousands of images. Some good. On the whole there are too many good images to possibly ever post. That’s good.
From sea to shining sea, the United States people are as different as the topography of the country. There are delicate balances among ideas that clash. Among the profound beauty there are great divides in ideologies that define our beliefs. I remain hopeful and optimistic. Balanced rock, Arches National Park, will still be here long after I am gone. Someday it will fall. There is a cycle and inevitability to things. I hope we will solve climate change. I will never know. There are those who deny climate change and evolution and this never ceases to bewilder me. I have been blessed to witness much beauty in my lifetime. Would you disagree with that too?
Sunset is tricky to image. The camera automatically wants to meter the field and washes out the gorgeous colors. You have to fool it into doing what you envision/see. I’m lazy. No, not Photoshop. I use my wits to outwit the camera’s metering. Hey! It works. It’s otherwise too much to search out manual settings. The book cover photo is mine, not the book or title. Hey! They found the picture on the internet and used it! (with permission) Nice! It’s not a living, but I have sold a few pics. Not four, a few.
As in… knocked my socks off. Dave sent this. iPhone. It’s the Oregon coast. He’s camping. This is his sunset. There are pictures. Some are better than others. This would easily be in my category of “keepers.” Stunning, it’s got that ephemeral quality that technical excellence cannot surpass. I could take this picture too. But there would not be the nuance of artistry that Dave has captured. What else is there to say. It’s like taste and smell. The descriptive cannot match the sensation you personally experience in appreciating this image.
A special moment can pass before you realize. Still, in that time, I think we appreciated how fortunate we were to have respite from chaos all around us. We sat. We smiled. The sun would set. The moon rose. The cats were at peace. It’s now a treasured memory, fleeting, but dearly appreciated.
The best picture I ever took that I wish I had a do over: Random! Totally! This was on a road trip in Europe. Does it matter where? When? … a very long time ago. We had stopped (the car) many many times. The patience of my passenger/wife? was at an end. No stopping. I had a point and shoot (film!) camera in my lap. Auto anything? I just lifted the camera to the driver side window and fired one shot. One! Single! Shot! That’s it. The moment was gone, never to be seen (ever!) again. Am I clear? I missed out on a real moment. I couldn’t stop. Who knew? Well, I got something to show you all. Regrets? I have a few. But then life did turn out with a happy ending somewhere along the line. And I hope to be on the road again. And my beloved spouse will (though not intentionally) pressure me to keep on the move. Next…
Sunset… blurred. Hey! I got this out the car window going 55+mph. It ain’t easy. I could’a asked Colleen…. But no! This was our sunset on leap day. You know… February 29. Special. It was a special sunset with my favorite wife…. present wife? (You knew that.) Ah, no matter what I say from this point, I’m in deep …. I shall remember this day for the musical concert and our unspoken disagreements this day. The concert beginning was worse than watching paint dry. Oh geez! But the second half was grand, kind of like how our disagreement disappeared. Years from now, this sunset will be the signature memory. All the rest will be a memory softened by time. So far, we’ve had a very nice year. (Ask me about the disagreement? … I forgot already.)
Light is everything. It creates the mood and tension in an image. Clouds are the intermediate palette upon which to base your background. Clouds can bring tension. Or they can direct light toward your subject. It is often fleeting to have the right light. Blink and it’s gone. I try to pay attention and take advantage whenever I can.
Same sequence. We drove into the sunset. The effect was as spectacular. Pick. There were numerous keepers. It was hard to miss. The only rub was that I was shooting thru the car window as I drove and I had to wait to clear the hills in order to get a clear shot. Not bad. Don’t do this at home kids.
Pick. The nice thing about being on the road is that the sunset unfolds in front of you. You then have your pick. Evening glow, more glow, or urban traffic. You pick. I got the full experience.
Yes, it is among many others I have posted and among many you may have seen. It’s still makes us pause to see one. Someone, critically, once said to me, “You’ve seen one. Isn’t that enough?” Good point. They are all different. And the argument would go on…. My post, my blog, I disagree. I don’t think I shall never stop taking a sunset image no matter how many and where I am.
Rain had just fallen. We missed the thunderstorm. It was ahead of us. We caught the remnant as we traveled through. There was fog on the mountains. You drive a lot. You don’t see fog very frequently from the road. At least, it is a rarity for me. Layers. I remember watching layers of mountains while in the car as a kid. I recall the Blue Ridge mountains? Clouds? Layers of mountains? I’ve seen it since. They are always fun.
I’m just spinning back the image files to the year 2016. Nightfall, at 35,000 feet. I’m over Long Island headed back to the Middle East. The glow of lights below outlines civilization. There is no blankness in the landscape. I am amazed at the image. It’s not perfect. But, detail is there in the glow of sunset… enough to appreciate the curve of the earth?
Reality? Can you feel the heat of the desert? There are no trees… few. And the crowded streets. It’s barren and foreboding. It was a great adventure. I’m glad to be gone.
I learned there are no rules from a museum photo judge this past spring. A spectacular sunset was in progress as we exited a store. And, the camera battery was dead. There was no view to see the spectacular orange ball gloriously setting. Ok! Bang! The camera had 4 shots in it till the battery finally quit completely. Otherwise, there would be no image and no post. You got wires thanks to that judge. And I made lemons out of lemonade with the pattern of the sky. I like the sky but can appreciate the wires now.
How often does that opportunity arise? To demonstrate how mellow I’ve become… we ate a leisurely dinner in El Tovar. It was a superb meal. We finished just as the sunset was in progress. I would have set up with a tripod in an ideal spot if it were years ago. But I have become more of a photo opportunist. If the situation presents, otherwise I am content to let life happen. So, I got color. My sunset was not a sweeping vista. We had an excellent meal overlooking the canyon. Dinner with Colleen was priceless.