My cat

We all … shhhhhh… got a favorite… Feather is in my lap as I type… She chose me, long ago, and I remain hers! No one argues. There’s no jealousy. It’s a fact. I guess. Colleen giggles all the time about it. Before we met, I had never “had” a cat. …Kids grow up, they move away… A faithful cat is so “calming” in your lap in the early morning hours as I await my darling wife to awake to greet the new day. A hug from Feather is perfect until then.

Focus, composition, timing, lessons? Really? Either you get a shot, or not. When you do… so, to focus, get the eyes. After that, all follows. Ha ha, Feather? I recognize her by the white fur on her paw(s). Otherwise she is identical to Spice. But, I “belong” to Feather.


It ain’t easy. You can take one. Easy. But a good one? I took a bunch. Not quite dead on focus. But the importance was showing we were together. And close. There were lots of close but “no cigar” shots. ??? …we were standing too far apart or not smiling, yeah, you know how it goes. Selfies? Take a bunch, smile, and hope for the best. Winterthur just before the Xmas decorations (see tree) were about to come down. Gloomy day, 60 degrees, just about to rain – priceless if you are with the one you love and cherish!

It’s Valentine’s Day. Ha! I did not forget! What to say? A million dollar smile! True love. Colleen likes to grab me and exclaim, “Mine!” Yup! Priceless! Focus? Who cares? The sentiment is carried amply without being perfect. Is love ever? … I misplaced the darned card… but I know where the candy is.


Which came first – climate change or the geographic move to a warmer clime? Since we came there has only been a single blizzard in which our car did not “go.” It’s not good to tempt Mother Nature… yet I am waiting. We really don’t see winter of old where the snow falls and the winter wonderland outside is so peaceful in shades of gray. Color is all around us. It ain’t Florida. But, still, we are rarely snow challenged. Good. I guess.

High contrast – that is to say very bright to very dark. Bright sunlight can take shadow and light to extreme. This is not flattering for faces. In other instances it is hardly noticed. And, other times the bright contrast is an added dimension to the picture. Keep it in mind, and, make your wife look good. She’ll thank you. You’re welcome!

This weekend is Fire and Ice, a display of ice sculptures in town, a festival to make folks stroll and tour the town. Ha ha. It’s due to rain and be about 50 degrees. Have fun.


Wandering thru my catalog I found these. Where are we? Ha ha. Of course! (Shhh, I had to consult the database.) It’s Scotland. An abbey, I knew it all along. Colleen likes to wander. She loves old places, history and that sort. I indulge her. Life would be so boring otherwise. Harps and swords and gargoyles, oh my! Do I look happier for this dose of culture? I adore Colleen. I shall always adore her. I adore…

The sky is overexposed. It’s easy to do. It can be fixed somewhat in Lightroom. It is the people who count. Exposure in a dark castle can be a challenge. Today’s digital cameras are prepared to compensate in low light. But it cannot compensate if the dynamic range is from too bright to too dark. It is good to know that the brain (photographer) is still necessary in the equation.


One of the first things you do as a new couple is to learn all you can about your partner. … that is if you are willing to tell. Colleen and I did not hold back. She told me of her love for fiber and her penchant for haunting fiber stores. She and I wandered the backroads of Maine where I showed her my private spots to just be alone in thought.

Pictures tell a story. Anchors, reminders, I see them again and it evokes a smile. I am so glad I have this recollection from these images. Heretofore, I had not really paid much attention to selfies much less tried it photographically. iPhone and my kids taught me the concept. I was new to it. Colleen quickly got me up to speed. I’m better now. This one is an early attempt to master the technique. You’d never know it.

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.


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.


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.