Snow

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.

Intense

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.

Imperfect

Intentionally. I shot this on the fly through the car window as we sped along some highway. Does it matter? Ha ha. Relevant? It’s not a good shot. It’s not bad. Reasoning: I wanted a pic, a representative pic of the fall foliage. I was not willing to stop every 100 feet. So, shoot, get what you can, and sort the rest later. Reason: Otherwise you would not have shot nothing.

Technique: I keep the camera on the dash board. Wide angle? Too wide. So I use something like – aha! – 60mm on my trusty zoom. I let everything else go automatic. A shutter speed too slow will give you motion blur.

It works. Shot after shot. Some good. Some bad. But there is something to show the fall foliage. Fine photography it ain’t and you may roundly criticize. But it works for me. I stay married and we get somewhere to where we were headed.

Shhh! One mustn’t be late to Thanksgiving….

itsy bitsy

Eensy weensy

Eensy weensy. I grew up singing eensy weensy. The convention is that it is itsy bitsy spider. I disagree.

Mission failure. I did not get a good shot of the spider who made a web on my desktop. Really! Literally! Colleen got me a SAD light – seasonal disorder. It’s bright!

I spied the spider on the inside of my window. Different! The light was too bright. The spider was overexposed. No detail. I did not check the image and exposure. I simply ditched the spider. Bad! I should have saved him. But. I hate bugs. Gone! Outside is fine. Inside, you are toast.

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.)

Composition

What to say? There are a thousand ways. But some pictures look better when the subject is off center. The background should not compete. Muted is good. it all comes together. Colleen smiles and it makes me smile. Infectious? Contagious?

As to selfies, you can see my left handedness in play. Camera in the right hand. I peek at the background – too bright, too dark, too distracting. Freeman stage, the setting sun, the living room. Everything is set up for failure. But “the selfie” is the object. Imperfectly it worked.

Tight fit

No cats were injured in the making of this picture. Ha ha. Cats like to be in tight places. Sometimes. They like the coziness? I was just lucky enough to have a camera at hand. Willow posed for a few seconds more before he realized his cooperation was needed. Then, he bolted. He does not particularly like close-ups.

A grab shot is – you take what you can get. There is no time to work the scene for better composition or lighting. Go with it. Chalk it up to good humor.

Goofing

We were waiting for museum to open. I took advantage and was shooting fall color. Spectacular! A girl wandered by trying to take pictures of her dog? She was aiming in the wrong direction. Maybe not?! I assume the obvious but am often mistaken.

An overcast day – it would rain shortly – has different light. It’s soft, not harsh, tending toward blue tones. Take it. Street photography, yes, this was. Just do it. Puzzle over it later. I hope she got her shot. I got mine.

Work in progress

This post is confusing. Stairs – this one goes three stories – straight up and down, no turns. How do you photograph it? Tough! I could not quite, do it. It was an Airbnb. Truth in advertising – ha ha – it was described and photographed. It’s like an ugly child. There’s ugly and there’s ugly. Are there? You have to see it and walk it to believe it. The mother’s owner (of the apartment above) walked these stairs 90 years until her daughter made her move away. Ok! I’m not that old. And, I am a wimp. You may laugh. My legs burned. I was unsteady coming down. And, I still have not photographed this well.

White balance. I had tungsten lighting. It’s very yellow. There was daylight below from the street. The fix is post process. Let the camera take the shot. Fix it in Photoshop. As to getting proper perspective? Well, it is two flights of stairs with one landing. Yes, there is a second floor apartment in between. You really cannot see both flights of stairs and keep perspective. One flight of stairs is diminished or out of view. Ha ha. Truth in advertising. Even if you would, the photos do not do justice to the conditions on the ground.

Upstairs Downstairs

Winterthur: “The beautiful Montmorenci staircase, the largest circular free-standing staircase in the country.

We have visited many many times and toured the 175 room mansion. It is nine stories tall. The guides always point out the grandeur of the staircase. I never quite paid attention. We have only ever seen it from the ground floor. In this case ground is the fifth? floor as the home was built into a hillside. On this occasion we toured the eighth floor and got the view from the top.

And then I found pictures of up and down… stairs. It is a matter of keeping track of your images. I use a database. I have a Lightroom catalog. The database lists date, subject, place, and people. This information allows me to look for Winterthur and isolate the last visit. From there I had to remember I took a picture of the staircase. I do this in deference to the guides who always make certain to point out the staircase. It is old habit from taking notes in class.