Colleen asked me for snow picture. Easy. Right? Not! It’s a big catalog with a lot of pictures and most are not snow. There is the database. Snow should be easy? I just flipped randomly till I found an image with snow.

Snow is hard to shoot. It is bright white and tends to be underexposed by the camera’s automatic metering. Otherwise in bright sunlight the snow tends to be washed out – ie no detail. Anyway, snow! No other context – location or time.


A family of deer stopped by my front yard for breakfast. Ever ready my camera was on my desk and I took the shots.

The closeups lack context to a neighborhood development. It could just as well be a clearing in the wood. Focus is good. Composition leaves the viewer with a bit of tension. We do not have large predators nearby. Deer are naturally suspicious of human activity of which there was none. Their appearance is a regular occurrence and we all moved on after my shots.


In a few moments a stand of trees becomes a roadside pile of sawdust. Colleen was appalled. A new development, it’s progress. People gotta have a place to live. Trees gotta fall and be mulch. Sadly. This is progress. Nature cannot stand in order to make way for pavement and grass. Gotta have manicured grounds!

Shooting from a moving car is always a danger. One handed distracted driving is not recommended. Auto everything gets an image on the fly. It was otherwise not worth a stop.


The image catalog landed here. The color is intense. Spring! Tulips! Ok! Of course I never take just a single image. Any of them are worthy to pause and admire. I shot that?

Composition? None. Just shoot. Focus. Sure. Color? Great. The bright sun makes the color pop! It’s a photo that makes you stop and admire it. I shot that? Yeah, and I’m proud of it.


A mother knows. Colleen could look at the cats and know them easily. For me it was harder. I needed telltale markings. Ray had a complete white fur collar around his neck as opposed to Nutley who otherwise was identical. So, now you know.

Composition, focus, subject, all are important. Props – a box, Christmas ornaments – give context. There is certainly cuteness built in. Even if it ain’t perfect it is worth a smile in wistful remembrance.

My best dog

Story? Picture? Both?

Willow. My best dog. He acts/feels like a dog sometimes. He is a cat. Duh! But it feels like he reacts more like a dog ocassionally. He begs. He’s always hungry. He will come when I call. He will show up for petting. He sometimes acts more a dog than my old dog Nellie.

Mute. Willow does not speak. He squeaks. No meow. Squeak. I wonder?

The photo has sharp focus on the eyes. Good. The color cast is blue. Shade. There is a distraction in the background – black hose. Good? Sometimes it is the story? Or does the picture trigger the story?

Late afternoon

Later afternoon light comes earlier as daylight savings time fades. Suddenly it gets dark soon after 5PM. I hate it. Out with the cats on the deck for an afternoon stroll… there were a few last images in the fast receding summer garden. The light is now a rosy glow as contrasted to harsh midday sun. Great!

Focus – I coulda done better. it’s soft. There are details. Sure, something is always gonna be in focus. Composition – ok, Subject – what’s my point? I am drawn to the stamens more than the petals. But the real point was the late afternoon light giving that glow only seen around sunset. I have SAD. The light at this time of day makes me wistful.

(Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern. SAD is sometimes known as “winter depression” because the symptoms are usually more apparent and more severe during the winter.)


I just spin the catalog and up popped a dragonfly. Imperfect, there is much to criticize. And yet the image is arresting. Nice dark background. Focus, a bit soft; spider web, potential; flower, past prime. Hey, it was random!

There is always better. I strive. But I accept imperfection. Hey, it’s a dragonfly. You got one to compare?


It ain’t easy photographing your cat in its carrier. Focus, what does your camera focus upon? It knows and it does. How? Miraculous! Outta the box. Done.

Black cat, photographing is a nightmare. Ha ha. A pun? Tillie had one eye open. Otherwise it is an expanse of black fur without much detail.

Upon return from our recent trip, it would appear that my skill – assisted by the camera – has not diminished too much.            


Subject? What to shoot in an Indian powwow? There are too many opportunities. What? Which? Does experience help? What will come out looking good in the editing? Wide angle? Detail? Action?

None of it matters. You just go ahead and shoot. Get images are they unfold and present. There are no rules. I experiment as I go along. Only occasionally I know there is a “winner” as I press the shutter. Otherwise, everything is good? Eh?

Three little girls in costume… and holding hands… cute! Automatically! Details: jingle dancer, the bells are in motion. Focus is a problem. Close? Close is ok?