The photographic explorations of a former film student.

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Dear Spring – Are You Coming?

I woke up this morning to find a thin, fresh layer of snow on the roads. It is the middle of April. This should not be. I want spring, and so does everyone else. We are in protest. My boss reportedly put his snow blower away weeks ago. I am not washing any more winter outerwear until I can put it away for the summer. The daffodils are trying, but they keep getting snowed on. Too bad. Some flowers would be really nice right now.

About a week ago after exercise class, I was commiserating with some ladies in the class. One said there were flowers at a local park. From her description, I was hoping they’d be grape hyacinths, but at this point, I’m not picky. There were two colors of what I believe are Scilla and some little yellow flowers. Quite small. I should have brought the macro, but the park is in a so-so area of town, so I was a bit insecure about it.

 

Old grass and leaves from the winter were still hanging on and refusing seasonal change.

OakLeaf

GoldenLeaves

There were ducks in the large cement water feature. It used to be more of a natural pond when I was young, but now it looks like a fountain close to the greenhouse and main gardens and rather like an industrial drainage ditch as you get farther away. The ducks don’t seem to mind though.

MrMrsDuck

The whole world is full of both change and consistency, and here I am wanting to rush one thing on while complaining that another has changed. There will be beauty in the future, but there is also beauty now.

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Waterfall Hunt

Last fall, someone in the photo club told my father about a “waterfall” not too far from where we live. Technically, it isn’t a waterfall. It’s a man-made spillway, but it looks like a waterfall. The spillway was not easy to find. At one point, we gave up looking and decided to go to a park in the area instead. However, when we stopped at the park office, we found a sign featuring a large photo of the waterfall and the words “are you looking for this?” It then provided directions. Thus we continued in our hunt, but it still wasn’t easy. Roads were under construction or had similar names, I couldn’t get the maps app on my phone to work because the cell service was spotty, and we had to be careful to stay off private property in the area. The spillway was located right off the road. You had to be looking in the right direction at the right time to see it though. After a considerable bit of driving around in circles, we finally found it.

Spillway

While Dad was photographing it with his view camera, I found a Japanese beetle on a wildflower to photograph.

BeetleOnFlower

It was a long day, but we found what we were looking for. Sometimes, persistence does pay off.

Love Status Report

Valentine’s Day is Wednesday. That means many of us are thinking of romance this week and evaluating the love in our lives: presence, absence, and quality. As in years past, I’m celebrating the non-romantic love in my life and encouraging others who find themselves without that someone to share the evening with to do the same.

To me, looking for someone just for the sake of being in a romantic relationship seems like a game. Perhaps I wouldn’t know. I’ll admit I’ve never really gone looking.

HeartsAndRings

 

I have my family for now, and my cat as well. Like previous years, I’ve sent cards and letters to some family members to let them know they are loved, and I am thinking of them. But my cup does not run over with love. I could be more loving in so many ways, even without looking for a romantic relationship. This year, I find myself wanting to strengthen the ties I have with my family and befriend new people – wanting to learn greater kindness and empathy for others. That is my love goal for 2018.

HeartAndYellowRoses

 

Next Month: Archive Nature

You can probably tell I haven’t shot any still life/table top in over a year. I’m so out of practice. What I did shoot last year was nature. Since I didn’t blog much, I have a good sized backlog of unedited photos to work on.

 

Flower on the Path

In 2017, I made no commitment to blog. I rather abandoned it in the hopes that I would get farther with other things. It didn’t work out the way I had hoped. I spent less time in nature, hardly photographed, and failed to edit most of what I did shoot. So in 2018, I am going to blog at least once a month. It may be archive from last year, and it may only be one photo per post, but I need to get back to the blog. It made me get out, shoot, think about my work, and edit it. More than that, it made me find and appreciate the small but beautiful things in life.

FlowerOnPath

Early last spring, I found this flower growing among the broken down limestone path at a local park. Photography and blogging are two of the things that have helped me stop and appreciate the flowers along the path of life, rather than passing them by or stepping on them as I hurry off to other things. What is life if we fail to take the time to enjoy it?

Mid-Summer Flowers

Way back on the 4th of July, I went out to appreciate the wildflowers:

FromBelowClustersPinkAndYellowHWhiteVinePinkAndYellowVJapaneseBeetle

Old Schoolhouse

As you may have guessed, I haven’t been in much of a photographic mood this year. Nevertheless, my father convinced me to bring my camera on a family trip a couple of months ago. I didn’t think I’d have time for any real photography on the trip, but Dad was bringing hisĀ  4″x5″ view camera, which is a very serious camera. This meant photography would be a priority on the trip. The subject? Well, that was undetermined.

Near supper time on day one of our trip, we were driving through the countryside when I spotted an old, abandon schoolhouse out the window. I only caught a glance, but it was enough to flag the building as anything but your typical plain Jane schoolhouse. I noted the road we were on for future reference, then informed my father of the discovery. The next day, we retraced our steps and found it, but the solar angle was bad. Early on the morning of day three, we finally got out to photograph it.

The weather was cloudy at first. Not bad for the subject. It gave it a bit of an eerie mood, standing isolated in the country.

BackLSBackCUFoundation

Later, the sun started to come out. By then, I liked the angle on the front better. Since the schoolhouse was right on top of the road, it was a little more tricky. I don’t have a view camera, so I had to tweak perspective in Photoshop.

FrontLSFrontCU

Even a short vacation can lift you from a rut, even if just for a few days. Be prepared and keep your eyes open. Thanks Dad.

Maggie

I promised I would do another Maggie post. One sunny Sunday morning a couple of weeks ago, the light and the cat aligned and I got a few photos of her. I was going to wait until she was more comfortable with the camera, but it was just too perfect of an opportunity to pass up. Overall, she did rather well. The shutter noise still bothered her just a little (I could see her react to it a tad, small nuances), but the camera itself didn’t scare her. I did set it down and let her sniff it for a while so she could be sure it was OK.

Maggie loves to explore and hide in closets. As long as I’m not on my way out the door or going straight to bed, I’ll indulge her and let her have some closet time. She’ll come out when she discovers I’ve moved to a different part of the house and she wants to know what I’m up to, or she wants food.

MaggieCloset

Like most cats, Maggie also loves beds. Mine is near a large, second-floor patio door that acts like a giant soft box on a sunny morning.

MaggieOnBed

 

Maggie also wanted to play mouse that morning. She can be a feisty little animal when she wants to be.

MaggieAndMouse

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