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!
Santacon. Carol reminded me. I was there ten years ago in 2011. Do you believe it? The affair is an opportunity for a flash mob to gather at a designated spot. No warning. No permits. Party, and drink alcohol. It’s a photo op. I was able to get there one time only. The subway to South Street was packed with Santas and their “helpers” headed to party hearty downtown. Neat?! There was no unruly action going on while I observed. It was a good time had by all.
Now, we have our own little Santacon going. Colleen got a few… then went back… and scooped up… all the available Santas for sale. Ha! Santacon Delaware style! Ray, the cat, is a bewildered participant. We have a Santa themed tree this year. Colleen is brilliant. Great idea! I do believe… I do believe.
A lot changes. A year ago during the height of Covid we went on a quest for a Christmas tree that took us to the perfect tree in a tree farm. We cut it down. Guilt! On many levels this was such a nice tree that lasted a month and was then taken to the curb. We went artificial tree this year. This has its own associated guilt. We’ll see. During Covid I made an estimated 26 Nantucket style baskets. They make/made me happy. I have had mixed reviews on their quality. In looking back, it has been a long and eventful year.
The annual Winterthur Christmas decorations never fail to cheer us. Impressive?! You bet! The tall ~ 25 foot tree is decorated with dried flowers from the grounds that are picked and preserved all year long. Amazing. Simply amazing. I garden. I am not up to the task of doing as this dedicated staff performs year long. The culmination is a tree stunning and unique. We count ourselves very fortunate to see it once more. We have tried to share this with members of the family. The true experience is being there “in person” to appreciate the tree’s majestic scale. Thank you!
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.
I do not purport to be good. I just want to fool the average viewer. There are Photoshop gurus who can make this all look too real. I’m a bit more casual. You can call me lazy. But, I do have some skill. Anyway, it’s all in fun. My model is cooperative. Everyone has a good time. Luckily, we do not require the help of strangers to stage our antics.
This was about catching the reflection of the lighthouse. Once again, people walked by and never looked down. There were a few savvy photographers. Yes! A few trips ago, I found out Colleen was a tree hugger. It has not affected our relationship. She has told me white birch is one of her favorites. Imagine?! Competing with a tree! But then, I have always been beside myself.
Without an agenda, we ambled up and down the coast of Maine. I was always a failure at fishing (non sequitur). Lobstermen make a fine living every day? We stop by chance at stores along the road. For instance, this is a weaving store stop. They spin and weave expensive items. We don’t buy. I have my very own spinner and weaver in the car. But, we look. Ideas. The prices are breathtaking for handwoven articles. We just don’t produce in quantity. So, I will never break even. Colleen looks; I get photo ops – free.
A revisit to Rockland got me to the only tree of color (so far). The lighthouse was off in the distance. A heron posed. Raindrops adorned the geranium. And, we reflected on a rainy day. Colleen shopped the farmer’s market. Some days are just made for quiet contemplation away from chaos. Is this the reason Maine calls to Colleen? Me? … all go and more go…. Hey! I was (came from) in NYC.
Tech alert: I shot the lighthouse from far away with a tiny point and shoot – Sony RX100 VI. The zoom is as good as my large heavy Nikon 80-400mm zoom. There is no comparison in weight. I think heavily (pun) on whether to carry the big lens for only a few telephoto zoom shots.
Can you live with it? We are adults, after all. Can you say lobster shooter? It is lobster with butter and garlic in a shot glass. Drizzle a little lemon over the top. Colleen talked about that since she had one three years ago. Three years! The restaurant has the silly lobster cutout. It was closed for the season! No hired help. All this waiting, and all Colleen got was a stupid picture in a lobster cutout!
Andre, the seal. He’s an institution. He originated in Rockport. Yay! Jen says we can bring him home and keep him in the pond.
One tree. Yeah, it’s pitiful so far. One fall tree. So, work the scene!
And, a cormorant took flight for me!
To finish? Sunset and spectacular clouds in Pemaquid. Colleen was mad – at me. It’s not the lobster shooter – three years of waiting. But, of the fact, that I dragged her out of the library to see the view at the lighthouse – for the 3rd!!! time this week. I’d say it was worth it. I endured the wrath. I know she will still love me in the morning.
Emma has a program app on her phone that she pays for. (Don’t you just love that I throw in names without context?) Since I’m a cheap bastard I simply messaged her a pic and asked her to use her app to identify my/our tree. Three guesses later…. she got bad info and thereby gave me bad guesses… it turns out to be a Japanese snowbell. Drat! We saw this tree at the Washington Cathedral garden. We got one. But, we remember it as a styrax. Oh! The “science” name, how dumb of me. Let’s go with the popular name. It blooms for a short while in the spring. I realize I am a season or two removed. It’s how bored/far I am posting ahead. The non sequitur? Our trip to the nursery at the same moment. I could’ve asked there.
In the midst of crisis we took the opportunity to social distance on our bikes. Folks were out and about tending to their own business. We took in the neighborhood and the flowers. Home, we took advantage of our imported Scotch (yes, all the way from Scotland). Ok, I don’t drink (alcohol) so we made our version of Bailey’s, mixing “good” Scotch with egg nog. Yes, Xmas egg nog preserved and unopened… til now. I spent the rest of the afternoon in an alcohol induced coma.
They populate the roadside from DE to WV. They were all over NY. Bradford pear trees exuberantly bloom and blossom at this time of the year. It’s a short period of spring joy. Okay, by the time this post is published, their time will have passed. In DE, there are not so many specimens. But, my neighbor across the street makes me smile. She planted them and I am the visual recipient of her effort. Thanks so much!
It breaks your heart. We drove by a house. A power backhoe was destroying an evergreen (holly?) tree. It just bashed the major dividing trunks and smashed them to the ground unceremoniously. I have been (my kids) admonished about being green. Destroying things, especially trees, is not in my psyche. I suppose this (cutting) was for good reason. You can’t make an omelet with breaking eggs… it still breaks me up to see destruction of nature.
The Japanese cherry blossoms are not the only blossoms vying for attention in late March April. The problem in photographing is to get a quintessential image. I failed. But I got a representative image that is more indicative and offsets the glory of Washington’s blossoms. Weeping cherries were easy to find and spot walking DC. They just did not seem to draw the crowds.
Yellow magnolias. This time of the year we all see the pink ones. Yellow is definitely in the minority. Do you actually notice? I didn’t. Then, our guide pointed it out. Oh. Well, okay! And blues flowers are rare too. Why? They just are. …even though they look blue to me too?
The wise and wonderful internet says: There is no true blue pigment in plants, so plants don’t have a direct way of making a blue color. Blue is even more rare in foliage than it is in flowers.
Too many images, not enough space. But, hey, this was my bucket list. I had sort of assumed that a quintessential image would jump out. Instead, I’ve seen blossoms – lots. And I saw more. There was a slight disappointment. I was uninspired. Oh well, I’ve been there and done that. No need to repeat. I tried all the tricks of composition and angle. I got images. It was a clear cool day. There were plenty of tourists and plenty of serious photographers. I’m not sure I saw anything new that hasn’t been seen/done before.
Thank you. I got to enjoy this tree while it blossomed. All the perks without the work. By the time we returned about two weeks later, the leaves were out and the blossoms were faded. Timing is everything. But really it’s right place right moment.
There are a lot of cherry trees. The blossoms are different from tree to tree. Pistil, stamen, remember to focus. It ain’t easy. There’s usually a breeze. I recall the saying, “Every once in a while, even a blind squirrel gets a nut.” Point and shoot. A lot.