Wild guess

I’m gonna take a wild guess. It was mom’s birthday. … and John took the picture. He’s not in it. No tripod. No inclusive selfie. It was still in the era of not digital camera that could do everything. Flash, hence, the shadows. Smiles. Universal. It’s good to see everyone happy. The cake? So, happy birthday, mom. She had a lot of birthday cards… shhhh, we don’t know how old…


Can a single image make a difference?

When I saw this image in Lightroom after my download, my eyes widened and I was transformed. Heretofore, the images I had taken were washed out green color cast from the loss of red as you go deeper in the sea.

And here! This was color! Red coral?! Ah! The Red Sea? I was mesmerized! I took this?! This is what’s under the sea? Wow! I had no previous exposure to underwater photography except to fry a Nikon point and shoot on a dive many years before. Sea water does not do well with digital electronics.

Here! Look! Wow! Am I over the top enthusiastic? Do you see the color?! Colors! Thereafter I was a flash photographer and my colors were solid though never as eye opening as this image that started me on the path. Flash!

Hereafter, I shot flash. And got color!

Available light

Working with available light has its drawback. The shot is easily out of focus, blurred, or of poor exposure. Candid shots work better with available light. Flash makes it more formal. And, it stops conversation by its brilliant burst of light.

You could bounce flash. That works. But with auto- everything nowadays, I find that available light works pretty well. I can still zoom. The main camera thing adjusting to compensate for the conditions is ISO. By comparison to digital this was a variable that film could never adjust to in the moment. The ISO here was 1000. There should be a lot of noise. But today’s sensors and technology really smooth out the end result. I have to say I am quite pleased. Professional it ain’t, but then again these are family candids. It works!


I made a mistake and made the same post for two days. A replacement was needed. Oh boy! What to pick? Random scroll? Aha! It’s usually fish, flowers, or cats. Ha!

Under the sea…. I confront the fishies. They look at me. I look at them. Fish do not have eyelids. No closed eyes. We stare at each other. It’s the Red Sea. Red? Coral! The sea is not itself red. Why are the fish so colorful? Easy to spot, catch, and eat? Underwater, without flash, color is lost as the depth increases. So, why the color? I do not know. But is sure pops (color) when you punch that flash! Fishies!


It recalls our relationship with Russia. Here and now it is among my older cats and Mozart, the new. (pardon the mess) Mozart is ready to pounce upon the two Maine cats. They are alert and wary. Mozart jumped up. He jumped down. No fur was lost. Everyone remains in a state of high alert. Mozart remains a kitten in search of a bit of acceptance and affection. Willow? Mostly they orbit but do not interact. I fear that Mozart is an “only cat” in a room full of cats. He walks about the house “chirping” and hoping to make a friend. At this point the best I have is less hissing when Mozart enters a room. BTW, how often do you get an opportunity to get three cats in the same picture frame? Lucky!

It’s all flash (photography) for different reasons. I need the very fast shutter effect. Movement would kill my shots. The room is otherwise too dark to get a good image. It’s ain’t great but a least it’s less worse. Posing a cat on a table is less worse unless you factor in the squirming. Flash, sometimes it is necessary. I have it, and, use it.

A moment ago…

Cats orbit one another. They never sit together. Rarely. Maybe when they were kittens… but never now.

Spice and Feather gathered upon my desk behind my computer and gazed at the street below. Grand! Camera! Get a shot! Any shot. Good?

I was editing. Really! Downloading. I download from three or four cameras at the same session. I switched on the flash because of the backlighting. You have to use flash or the cats will be severely under exposed. Got it? I checked the shots – “chimped.’ Ok?!

I continued downloading. Then I backtracked. I usually wait to the end of the day before downloading in order to keep track of what is ready to edit and not. I could not find these shots. I checked three memory cards. I had reviewed them a moment ago. Oh boy! Dementia! Bruce Willis was on my mind. Colleen reminded me of my concussion but a day ago. I wuz losin’ it! Oh boy! Damn and double damn?! So, where did these come from? Right straight from the memory card I shot a moment ago. Am I repeating myself?

Bottom line: found! You have to use flash. The backlighting was too much. Lucky for me the cats were patient and said go ahead, set up, and we will wait till you are ready…. I wish my memory were as good.

Happy New Year

Back in 2017, we attended a wedding for my cousin. They got us as we danced. I do not remember who took the picture or how I got this copy. Nonetheless it is quintessential. On many levels it reflects the profound good fortune and circumstances for us to have met so much later in life. Colleen was a good sport. She never once mentioned the fact that we were not married, yet. For sure there were hidden insecurities and a feeling of not being quite settled. As usual I was tone deaf. This all became apparent some time later. And, it has since been corrected.

It’s slightly overexposed. Flash will do that to you in a darkened contrasty situation.


Voila! Hooked! Not in the fishing sense… ha ha. When I first dived, I about immediately fried a camera as water damaged a waterproof camera fatally. Yeah, neat trick. Diving in the Red Sea, first I had to learn the basics of scuba diving. After that I had a dinky waterproof housing for my Canon G12. I used the flash on the reef with a lion fish. Voila!!! Oh my! Color!! The richness of color of the fish and the coral was an instant narcotic. I was hooked! I got better and better. And then I left the Middle East and have not dived since. Oh well.

Flash! It is the key element to taking out the poor color underwater. Light drops off as you dive deeper. And red is gone very quickly. Flash. It is the only thing to save you. Batteries! You need a lot of power to sustain you. I shoot a lot. After all it is digital.


I need a shot to commemorate John’s birthday. Remembrance. A small token. He is not forgotten. I miss him. Time passes and the number of people who remember him diminishes. I will remember him always.

Christmas picture. 2003. Canon G3. The metadata is sure useful. A lot of time has passed. I wish it weren’t so.

It is easy to see that flash was used. Natural lighting would have had more yellow tint. Flash, you know it when you see it. Amateur. It’s a single flash built in on the point and shoot camera. But, it worked.

One shot

You think it’s easy? Does it look easy? Work? Does it make you shudder? Cooperation? Any??!!!

Even Colleen was reluctant… till I told her she could wear her favorite dress. Try to get a squirming cat to look at the camera. Flash helps – fast shutter speed. A pose? Just get the cats with their eyes open and looking forward. No cats were harmed in the making of this picture. We got it pretty much down to routine. I set up a tripod, so the perspective does not change. I load batteries in the flash. Each cat is wrangled into position on the table. The order is not important. They all fit side by side according to expression. Done.

Ha ha. Jen pointed out we got photobombed. Spice was in our picture over Colleen’s left shoulder. Yes, I do not have eyes in the back of my head. Hey, I got a shot! Let’s not get too picky.

Luck, persistence, and a lot of space on the memory card…