Ill timed

Wow! A lot has happened since 2016. The very nice ladies on the plane coughed around me the entire flight. I got the worst cold of my life that lasted for weeks. The worst until now. My California grandkids gave me the second worst – cold. (Colleen too!!)

I had just escaped Saudi – they tried to blow me up – slightly exaggerated but true nonetheless. Colleen was ecstatic as I started retirement slightly ahead of schedule. Retirement? Priceless!

I have seen life and death since then. The grands have been born and grown. It’s a short period. Trump came and went. It’s been a turbulent exuberant time between colds. Covid! As I sit and cough, Colleen has joined me – coughing. Yes, the grandkids shared with her too.

The photo of the ladies on the plane was airplane version of street photography. The ladies were part of a large group many of whom freely coughed all around me. Near the end of the flight they got up from their seats to the cramped lavatories to change out of their black abayas. The transformation was like butterflies being set free from their cocoons. No one cared that I took the pictures. Of course! I always have a camera at hand!

Need I say? Timing is everything.

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.

Selfie

Humor was with us from the start. Colleen’s family was so nervous for her to meet a strange man in NY that they had a “code word” in case she needed rescue. It never occurred to me that we would fail to hit it off. Never then and never forever after. Do you make a sandwich without two slices of bread? Times Square, NYC subway, museum, Brooklyn Bridge… was there anywhere…? Colleen was safe and in places she never thought she’d see. Our early museum antic was a prelude to the future…

Clearly, I took these selfies. I understood the concept. I’d never really done it. There had been no particular need before. Photoshop is my friend in a museum.

It is said that DaVinci switched painting hands late in life, perhaps after a stroke. Selfies are no different. One uses the left hand, click, mainly because the camera shutter release is on the right. So, Colleen ends up on my right. …except, when she’s not. Digital makes it easy to flip a photo… but I suspect I never thought much of it. The majority of selfies remain right sided.

Good shot

Are there any others? I keep a camera on hand most of the time.

Ready to go.

Grab the shot of the “grand.” Every shot is good. Some are better. Colleen shoots too – now. And selfies! She has just blessed her meditation Indian basket in the waters off the lighthouse.

Pick one. Ha! Every shot has a story. There are so many.

No matter. It did not matter that Colleen did not wait for me to stop sipping. Composition and lighting are good. Nice.

Noa. Good composition. Focus is not quite tack sharp. It is an adorable shot.

Selfie. We do them without expectation. I/we do not have a roving photographer to follow us. My LCD screen does not always let me compose the shot. You take what you get.

Eight years

I can hardly believe the time has gone so quickly. It was only yesterday that we met again after so many decades separated by life’s diverging paths. Shutterfly. It sends me pics from way back. ??? How??? How’d they get into my private life? Ah!! The bastards mine my Apple iPhoto shares. Well, it is entertaining. I share to family in order for them to keep up with our lives. Interesting? …on many levels. Emma was terrified to find out mom had a boyfriend. Jen had a secret codeword in case things were not going well during our first date. You know, the usual. That bowl of soup?!! It was Colleen’s first taste of hot and sour soup. Rock!! She’s been under a rock. I grew up with that soup! She loved it! ….about, sorry, more (the soup) than me?… no, she loves me more!! We had a grand time. Little did we know that this was the start of an extended honeymoon. Yeah, we did it backwards and celebrated first. The marriage came a few (five) years later. I will never live that one down. But then again we separated for about five decades after childhood. What was the rush?

Selfies. We do ‘em all the time. I am not an iPhone guy. So we use whatever camera is in my hand. Keep in mind the backdrop is NYC. Guess where? … museum, Grand Central, west side highway…. I shoot redundantly. It ensures that one image will likely have both of us smiling. I’m left handed. You knew that? So mostly I shoot with my left hand. But the reality is that the shutter button is top right and so the fingers reach there from the left hand when you are holding the camera backward. Duh!

And Shutterfly sent this collage to me on the day I scheduled this post. Thanks.

One

I am incapable of restraint. One image. Pick one from a day’s shoot. Is there not one single image that stands out from the rest that would be worthy? One image? Pick? I am incapable. They are like children. You like them all. Among 1916 images? yes, that was the number on 9/10/22. Don’t ask. I told that story in another blog.

Shooting into a mirror… it was not even on “that” day. Position the camera. Look up. Press the shutter. Voila! I look like I belong with the other frames nearby. Not too much, but I like to think so.

Selfie

Selfie. There are many ways… most popularly iPhone. Okay! Androd has 75% of the market. There are few exceptions in that my circle of friends and relatives compose 95% with iPhone.

So? I use a camera. I do feel comfortable reaching the iPhone shutter button or in using a  selfie stick. Left hand. Left hand. I am left handed. Colleen stands on the right. We pose. It works. My shoulder position and partial arm is the giveaway. We don’t strive to fool the viewer. There is always Photoshop. If you don’t have the skill, there are alternatives. I just find the image from an iPhone does not give me better quality than a camera. I am wrong. But that is my belief and I’m stickn’ with it. Shy! I’m shy. So, there is no kindly passerby to shoot a portrait of us as we pose. I got skill. We’re no dummies.

Um,,, different day, same jackets…. it rained a lot in Scotland. Nah! I shoot a lot of selfies as we go along. It was all the same rainy day. Score: selfie 3- Photoshop 1.

One

One picture says it all. The kitchen renovation has made big progress. The smile says it all. We have been wanting to upgrade the kitchen since we first moved in. The dark brown cabinets were dated. The appliances are all new since then. The ceiling fan was added. That was a saga. It remains to put in a backsplash. Oh boy! How’d I get myself into that? Colleen picked one – backsplash. All that’s left is for me to install it. I have never done tile work…. And I managed to show this off in one picture.

Critical? Selfies. It’s hit and miss. iPhone has a reverse screen to see what you take. The button is hard to hold while shooting. My cameras vary. Some LCD screens flip up. Others don’t. Just smile and hope for the best. We get pretty good selfies. I just shoot redundantly. Digital is free so I shoot more than three each time under the theory that even a blind squirrel gets a nut sometimes.

The best

Shhhh… the best wedding you go to is the one after your very own. You just put up your feet and enjoy…. No work! Enjoy!

Guests… gone. Your (our) cats are at peace once more. Cooking for two? As much fun as it all was for all the extended family, there was a lot of work and planning. There were a myriad of dietary restrictions sprinkled with … a load of leftovers if you guess wrong on what people eat. Quantity, quality, guessing, a new meal every night, you simply go to the market each day and hope it all comes out. We even battled Jane over tablecloth, place mats, and silver vs paper, plastic, and easier clean up. One night I scolded her for taking out every single glass in the cabinets. She cannot cook and does not clean-up. My my. When peace finally broke out again in our house… a flight was canceled and I was back to taking group pics… and cookiing! Ya gotta love it. Bonus: Webb photos were released and another damning January 6 hearing occurred on the same day. It made for interesting entertainment and juxtaposition. Cheers to Bruce, who arrived thru our open door unannounced… gotta lock that door more carefully.