Super – rich, wealthy. Wow! You don’t see many Rolls Royce cars running around the road or streets. This one was owned by DuPont and Elton John. Ha ha. This model, different car. I was wondering how the same car changed hands. Nope. Wrong assumption. Each owned one. They made 10 cars a year this particular car, during the year of purchase. Exclusive!? You bet! 10 miles a gallon gas efficiency – at that wealth, you don’t ask the price of gas at the pump. Ho hum, I’ve seen a Rolls before. Colleen has not. She was so impressed. Nope, she’s not getting one for her birthday. Cheap? You bet! Mrs. DuPont has two side by side in her garage. Yeah, that second car in the pic ….


My spider web – the one in my window – provides photo ops. The spider web catches bugs. I get photo ops. I got a dragonfly a while back. Meanwhile the spider usually eats the bug before I get to photograph anything but a mutilated corpse of a bug. Eeek! This one lasted long enough for a good photo. I don’t seen too many green bugs. I don’t like bugs. Eeek!


I went looking… and found it. Brilliant?! I guess I have had it in my catalog long enough that finding was not so hard. We – Jules and I – were in Zanzibar. Name dropping? I got up early to photo the sunrise. An ordinary hibiscus blossom beckoned. Later on I converted it to BxW. Spectacular! How does one change ordinary into spectacular? Well! That’s my opinion and I’m stickin’ with it.


Special kitty. She came around to Colleen from the wild outdoors. She had probably had a difficult life up to that point. Elle avoided me for a very long time. Scared? Cautious? Wary? She eventually trusted me. How? Why? It’s a mystery. She is neutral to my movement around her these days. She even looks at my camera. Ha ha.

The secret is to place the lens in front of her eyes. That way she looks like she is looking at me. Hey! It works. It worked. It is working. I’m not gonna argue with success. I let autofocus do the rest.


Overwhelmed! I have a plethora of good shots! At least they are good by my standards. Much of it is all about being in the right place at that moment. Luck? Well, you do make some of your own opportunities. I was wandering the backroads of Maine… kind of lonesome, compensating for some itch. Fog! It’s hard to shoot. You never quite know what you will get. Luck! Skill!? Who knows? You might not even think much of this shot?! I do. I think it was a good almost great shot. It calls to me, as Colleen would say. Ethereal! Great! Fall. Fall color. Good exposure. Good detail. Good composition. Yes, a fine shot indeed.

So. I got the shot. Done? Do I need another fall shot. Are there others and can any top this one? I guess I will never stop shooting fall color. You never know what you will get. And the same shot will not come around again. Keep shooting. It’s almost fall, again.


Eyeball to eyeball. One time only. Three! A bull! And, a mama and her baby! Once and only once. I was headed out of the park. Defeated! No moose that day. Two cars were pulled off by the side of the road. I stopped and wandered into the woods….

A large bull moose was grazing calmly. I sidled up to the man and his wife to shoot the moose too! Another photographer, obviously amateur, was sidling down the hill toward the moose. He had the grin of ignorance and was probably gonna be killed by the startled bull. Drat and damn! I never thought to take his picture before he was (potentially) killed. I planned my exit strategy if the bull charged. The man next to me replied, “No, worry about the big boy. Ya gotta worry about the two behind us.” What! …. A mama and her baby. Great!

I shifted position to where the woman was shooting this pair. She had a Nikon too and I graciously loaned her my big telephoto. After I mounted the lens on her camera she asked me how to use it. It was then I discovered she was a novice and had only just arrived in Maine ready to start a moose photography expedition. Oh boy! I’ve been looking for moose in the wild for years….!!! Dammit! Fine! I shot away long after this group left. No one was injured, especially the moose. I knew that I could be of no threat to any moose. They must have understood as they calmly munched on the leaves and ignored me.

Years later I showed these shots during a medical lecture. Afterward someone asked in awe, “What did you shoot it with?” He meant what gun had I used to “shoot?” Really?! Oh my, the misunderstanding of the term, “shoot.”

The object?: Get a shot. Close up. Antics or behavior? Not necessary. It was a privilege just to get a shot in the wild. I shall be forever grateful I was there on that day. Any shot would have done. I preferred my camera over a gun.

No puffin

Brand spanking new! Nikon D200 body. I got it just to shoot the puffins. Ya gotta get up early to catch a ride on the boat going over. I got stopped by a short stubby state trooper on I-95 North. She stared at me with blank amusement and let me go after I explained I was after the birds. Nope! The boat never landed. No birds. The waves were too choppy to land.

And, the shot of the day? Dawn driving across Maine, I spied the sunrise and the fog in the valley. I stopped the car, shoot, and continued on my way. Little did I know of the splendid processing that digital camera body could do. I shot in the dark! It was so dark!! I could never have pulled off this shot with slide film. The auto setting just compensated and rewarded me with the shot of the day! No, nope, no birds. Alas! But dawn? This was almost worth the price of admission. Not quite and not by a long shot but it was partial compensation for my effort. The only thing that was harder to photograph during my time in Maine? Moose!! I chased moose sightings everywhere up and down the state. Nope, never, nada, except this one time….


Too many (potential) shots, not enough time…

Photography as I have said, is not my day job. That said, I work at it. Confused? My goal was to see the puffins. Easier said than done. I had several unsuccessful prior attempts to see the cute birds. This process involved a lot of “chumming” as I was amply seasick on the boat rides over to the island in the Atlantic. And when I got there, I discovered that I had left my “big” lens home. Nope, no big telephoto to get up close and personal!

Lemons? Make lemonade.

I used my 70-300 mm zoom. So what if the “better” 80-400 mm zoom was home in NY. Dammit! What a simply stupid mistake. It could have been worse I suppose. I was using my second “good” digital camera body the Nikon D200. Why am I equipment obsessed? A better camera does not a better photographer make. But it helps. Oh well!? I shot a lot that/this day. They had to drag me out of the blind when time was up. Sometimes the work you do to get “there” makes it all the more precious. My images were fine and you’d never know the difference my other lens might have made. It remains unfinished business and I’d go back again in a heartbeat – seasickness and all!

If only

… I knew then… what I know now. Hey! Experience and knowledge help! Arrogance, ego, and confidence go a long way. Stupidity is/was abundant. Well, I got rooked into agreeing to shoot a wedding. I have shot weddings. I have never been paid. I am not a professional nor do I aspire to the role. Let’s go with the thought that even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes.

I shot the wedding rehearsal, the wedding, the reception and so forth. I had a vague dim understanding of what it took to document the day as a photojournalist style wedding shoot.

The wedding shoot went well enough. I was joined by another relative of the family. I’m not a bad (photographer). But… not good (great) either, well, certainly not a professional wedding photographer. Pushing (directing) people around is not my forte. Nonetheless I was in the right place often enough to bring off a credible set of wedding shots. Free! Hmmmm? Nary a compensation other than a grateful “thank you” from the groom’s mom… and dad.

The wedding ceremony was in a gazebo in the shade. Lighting?! Flash?! And the post ceremony family shots were in bright sunlight. Oh no! Contrast and shadows?!

Equipment? I was woefully under-equipped. I used a Nikon D70, hardly a professional body. Flash?!! I coulda (so!!) done much better. I only wish I knew then what I know now! You catch my drift? Meanwhile, the price was right and the job was done. I was satisfied that I had ticked all the boxes I wanted as a wedding photographer. I did not quit my day job as a neurosurgeon for a number of years. That was good too. Ya gotta start somewhere, and, I stuck with surgery.

Sorry, Susan. She was offended with the original photo to this post. I changed it. She may otherwise object. But my comments stand as truth. I am not now nor have I ever been a wedding photographer except in the strictly amateur sense. My comments stand. I assume the bride is still married to her son. Not hearing from Susan in so long I am and was surprised she is still following my blog. Did she miss yesterday? – another wedding of one of her (the only) other kids.

As to this photo: it’s always tough in bright sun to shoot a decent portrait. Flash would have evened the light so that the eyes were not in shadow. High contrast works on young people and young skin. Wrinkles and flaws are much more noticeable with harsh shadows.

So, I shot a wedding

With yesterday’s preamble I was persuaded to shoot a wedding. I used print film. Digital images were sprinkled in. I am pretty much exclusively a slide film user. But as the supplemental photographer and photojournalist for the day…. My shots were solid and I did document the day. I suppose I was an annoying “uncle Bob” for the real wedding photographer. Nonetheless I had full access and did my best. What did I know? – a whole lot less than I do now. Ha ha. Ego and arrogance? Nah! Not an ounce in me! Confidence?! Well, there was a real professional wedding photographer in attendance. I got my share of unique candids. And I was annoyingly shooting over the professional’s shoulder. Little did I understand about undercutting her revenue stream.

Later on – a year or so – I shot Susan’s son’s second wedding as the primary co-photographer. She went cheap. No more extra $$ on professionals. Susan used me and a cousin to do the job.