About this blog title

I cannot tell you how many times I have shown up at events with a couple of cameras around my neck, a gadget bag full of odds & ends and a lighting kit and have been asked that question. If it happened once every few years, that would be one thing. But it happens a LOT. It's like getting pulled over by the police and he's standing there with uniform, gun, flashing lights and asking him "Are you a cop?" I would love to come back with a witty reply, such as "No, I am Jesus. Don't you recognize my beard?" However, I cannot be that rude.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Day 305: New Years Eve

There is less than 45 minutes left of 2010 here in Chaumont, NY. Had a busy day. The free lunch I have been providing a loved one for a number of years is about to end. A New Years resolution. Goodbye home, rent free home, in Winter Haven. The writing is on the wall and he doesn't even know it. Much to talk about, too tired. I await the dropping of the ball in Times Square, NY, and then I photograph a wedding tomorrow, Jan 1, 2011, in Syracuse, NY.

The photo here is from a wedding I photographed this Summer.

Happy New Year everyone.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Day 304: Hey There Delilah

For whatever reason, I have not paid a lot of attention to contemporary pop music. But I really do like this tune by Plain White T's:  Hey There Delilah. You must sit through a short advertisement before the song starts.  I plan to work up a solo guitar arrangement of this piece. Thanks to Brother Bruce.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Day 303:

Today is Wenesday. It is a gray day and warmer here than in recent weeks. Supposedly it will reach near 50 degrees this weekend. Probably accompanied by rai. That suits me OK for nwo because Saturday, January First, New Years Day, I am photographing a wedding in Syracuse. I would rather make that drive in rain and warmer temps than to be caught up in lake effect snow.

A misty, foggy morning on RT 12E between Chaumont & Limerick, NY, a few weeks ago.

Swedish Proverb:
Those who wish to sing, always find a song.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Day 301: Another Brick Wall

Day 300: Winter Grilling

I am at left, nephew Tim in middle, and celebrity brother Al at right at my home in Chaumont, NY.

In 65 days it will be one year since I began this blog. What's the point? I do not know. yesterday was windy and cold. Here in the North Country we don't put the grill away for the Winter. Well, at least I don't. In fact, grilling in the cold is a fun adventure. So, the day after Christmas my celebrity brother, his son, and I grilled some jerk chicken wings. They took longer to cook than in the Summer because of the cold and wind. But it was fun hanging out by the grill drinking a few beers. The beers bacame slushy near the end. Then we went inside and ate the wings with potato salad. Later we had some great apple crisp.

Jerked chicken wings on the Brinkman All In One grill

My grill of choice for this particular dish is my Brinkman All-in-One grill. I liked it so much I bought a second one. The wings are marinated for a day or more, (I've let them marinade for 4 days before) and then grilled over charcoal and smoked with whole allspice berries.
The jerk marinade is a Jamaican recipe made with Habanero peppers, allspice, cinnamon, nutmeg, onions, salt, some vegetable oil, all blended together in a blender.

Here is a video about jerk marinade. Go to youtube to find many more vids. As with all recipes there are hundreds of permutations and varying amounts of ingredients, and ingredient quantities. I hate to share my exact recipe, but it I will say it comes from a published cook book. I tried it and liked it, so never tried another one. 

photos by Gary Walts

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Day 299: Sony WSC-350 Test Shots

The panarama mode. Easy to use feature. Pan the camera slowly from left to right & the camera creates the image.

It is 12 degrees, grey, with a light snow falling in Chaumont, NY on this day after Christmas. Santa Clause came and went and we all had a nice day. The photos here were some quick snaps to test the Better Half's new Sony WSC-350 digital camera.

Our Christmas tree made with out the flash.

Here is a detail cropped from the previous photo. There is some motion blur caused by the slow shutter needed for the non-flash exposure.

Otherwise, it is slow to motivate today. Off to visit my son later, and then: Grilling some jerk chicken wings out in the snow! Gotta love living in the North Country. More later.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Day 298: Merry Christmas

A crispy 12 degrees here in Chaumont, NY on Christmas morning. The Better Half & I exchanged gifts allready, and are preparing for visitors later in the day. I got the BH a Sony DSC-W350 digital point and shoot camera. It is her first non-film camera. It also shoots HD video clips. The battery is in the charger and we hope to test the camera out soon.

It was a few days after Christmas in 2004, late afternoon and I was just getting home from a long day of driving and photographing for the Post-Standard. The house, yard, driveway were blanketed in fresh snow. There was some great afternoon light and my home looked like a Christmas card. Though I was hungry, tired, and discouraged at the prospect of shovelling all that snow, the scene befor me was a delight. The scene was truly a gift, a reward at the end of a long, stressful day. The next year I used it for a Christmas card which I sent to everyone. This year  I dragged it out of my digital archive to present here. I hope you all are having wonderful Christmas.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Day 297: Christmas Eve

Well the Sun came out today here in the North Country. That is always refreshing. It is Christmas Eve. The photo here was taken on a Christmas Eve a number of years ago at Calcium Community Church. It was a colder evening than most that year. I forget exactly how cold, but it was well below zero. Consequently the sky was clear and the sky was simply ablaze with stars. The service was nice in that little church and finished the entire congregation holding candles and singing Silent Night. I remember not wanting to create any distraction, so I quickly got out of my pew and snapped two shots of this youg boy. The first one was blurry, the 2nd one was acceptable.

This past Wednesday we finished the custom cabinet job. That thing took way longer than I anticipated. But, the payment for that sure came in handy. Especially since I have a family member who is also a tenant of mine and for some reason refuses to pay his rent. In eight months I have gotten a total of $500.00 from him. His rent, for a two bedroom house in Florida is a paltry $400.00 a month. If it were anyone else he would have been long gone. The new year will come and I will be addressing this matter once and for all. The cabinet job saved my financial day. Now I face January on the horizon. Fortunately I have a wedding job on the books. That alone should help me meet all of my bills. If my dead beat tenant would pay up , just a months rent, that would for sure allow me to meet all of my obligations.

How about this: Who wants to spend $90.00 bucks on a car battery a week before Christmas? I don't, but I did. That was an unexpected purchase. Now, a couple of years ago that wouldn't have bothered me so much. But, as I have mentioned before, my job hours were cut in half 23 months ago. I did not realize at the time just how slow it would be to hustle up weddings and other side work to make up for that. But I have been managing. The fact is, I don't really have a money problem as much as I have a debt problem. I have been doing well chiselling away at that debt.
For instance, in January of 2009 one debt was $11,000.00. In 23 months I have paid it down to $3,800.00.
Five years ago this February I bought an apartment house. I finaced it for five years. Let me tell you, that made for a LARGE payment. This February it will be paid off. At the time I bought that place I borrowed an additional 12 grand from my 401K. That loan will be paid off in May. So, soon I will be in pretty fine fettle. But man, oh, man, it has been a lot of work.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Day 293:

It was 23 degrees this morning in Chaumont, NY. Had a Christmas party at my mother's home yesterday. Then watched the finale of Survivor. This evening I have to photograph high school basketball.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Day 290: Stop Lights

So it has been in the 20+ degrees here in the North Country today. Went to buy a pair of snow tires, P205/75R14 is the size. Nobody has them in stock. Sam's club was out and said they could order them. Sears had none. A third, locally owned tire store, said the size was "An old tire size." What the hell is that supposed to mean?
They are for a 1999 Dodge Caravan. Every where you look you see these vehicles. There must be millions of them on the road. I have owned four Caravans and they all have ( or had) P205/75R14 tires.

The photo here is one that caught my eye as I sat at the red light in downtown Syracuse. I grabbed the just just a moment befor the light turned green. I was struck by the red light contrasted against the muted, greyish colors of the Winter day.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day 289:

Trying to wrap up a cabinet building job that my Son & I took on. We thought it would take a couple of days. It's abeen about 14 days. Yikes!
Last Sturday I reported on this project and said we would be finished on Monday, and if not, for sure on Tuesday. Well, today is Thursday. It is one of those jobs that just will not end.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Day 287: About Sleep

Let me tell you about my relationship with sleep. I hate to go to bed at night. I hate to sleep in in the morning. I cannot stand being tired. So, in my perfect World, I get to bed by 10:00PM and arise at 5:30 - 6:00Am. Somewhere around there. And that has worked wonderfully for me for a few years. Then, a few months ago my routine was upset. I now must work evenings for the Post-Standard at least a couple of nights a week. That means I do not start driving home until 11:00pm. That is past my ideal bed time!!!! Consequently I do not get up at my favored time. So that impacts my guitar time. You see, I like to practice guitar from about 6:00 to 8:00 or 9:00am. Then I take on the day. The night shift throws me off schedule. Then I have a couple of days off and get rested up and back on schedule, only to have it disrupted a couple of days later.

It is because of this that I am writing this blog entry at midnight!. I should be in bed. I am getting tired of this routine.

I love the guitar. It keeps my sanity intact. It is an artistic challenge. I have not conquered music the way I have photography. I do not like things interfering with it. I require a constant challenge in my life. Music, via guitar, provides that challenge.
At the same time I must say that I Love my life and I thank God for it. But, hopefully with God's help, the changes I seek will come to fruition. I say all of this at the conclusion of a truly stressfull day, fueled by a bottle of Rex - Goliath merlot from California.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Day 286: Snow Bird

6:30am the temperature in Chaumont NY was 30 degrees. Six hours later we are at 18 degrees. There is a lake effect snow warning in the Syracuse area. I have to go there later today and photograph a high school basketball game. Winter has really set in.

The photo here was actually taken a few years ago. I was pulling into a drive through at the McDonald's in Pulaski, NY, during a snowfall and spotted this bird. The fence surrounded the restaurant's garbage dumpster. So, I roll down the passenger side window and shot away.

Today I offer up a quote from the great gutarist Andres Segovia, "I have had three wives and three guitars. I still play the guitars."

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Day 285: Ho, Ho, Ho

It is rainy and 32 degrees here in Chaumont, NY, thirteen days before Christmas. I would rather have snow than rain. Snow accumulates upon things, such as the wood pile. One need only brush the snow away and carry the wood inside. When it's rainy, some of the wood tends to get wet. You see, my wood pile is nicely stacked, but covered with a mish mash of tarps and tar paper. If it gets extremely windy with the rain, then the tarp blows up or off, or part way off, or whatever. The rain gets at it and partially soaks the wood. Then it must dry indoors before it goes into the wood stove. The wood simply stays drier when it snows.

This photo of Santa was made at a volunteer fire dept in Lacona, NY. Lacona is a small town in northern NY probably 40 miles or so from where I live.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Day 284: Cabinet Job

So I have been absent from here for three days. I must say that we have been having some real Winter weather in out region. Colder than what we have been accustomed to in recent Decembers. The last 3 or 4 days it was only 8 degrees in the morning. However, tis morning started out close to 30 degrees. But this is weather that we associate with the Christmas Season, especially the Christmases of our youth.
I have been absent here mostly because I have been working some extra jobs, trying to keep afloat, as it were. My son is a cabinet maker. He picked up a side job ( in the photo world my side jobs are referred to as freelance jobs), building some cabinets & and counters for a new convenience store. For those who live near here you may know of Murray's Hardware store on US RT11. It is on the Northern edge of the city of Watertown, about three miles from Margaritaville. Margaritaville? More on that another day. Anyhow, Murray went out of business and someone bought his building and is changing it into a convenience store with a cafe or donut shop area and a large walk in cooler that supposedly will also sell kegs of beer. Well, it is this former hardware store that we are working in. Yesterday and today we spent about twelve hours on the project. Today also happens to be our 11th day on the job. Much longer than we initally anticipated. But we are on the down hill stretch and hope to be completed by Monday. For sure on Tuesday

So now it is close to midnight & I must go to bed. This freelance cabinet job I took on because I need the cash. This month has been bleak as far as extra freelance work goes. On thye flip side it robs me of my time. My guitar practice suffers. Chores around the house go undone. The blog gets neglected. Tomorrow though, the Better Half & I are going to get out Christmas Tree. Much later than we normally get it. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. Good night.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Day 280: The Conversation (A Test)

Well, you have no choice but to go. To leave. Immediately!

To what avail? For what purpose? Am I to risk my life and limb for ALL of that, in weather like this? I don't think so.

Weather!  ... WEATHER!!  ...  Is that your only concern?  WEATHER?

Now listen here ....

No! YOU listen here! You are going. End of discussion.


No buts. The World is out there, not in here. There is music. There is Love. There is mystery and intrigue.

Well, I'm not driving all over God's creation in the condition this World is in. Not in this weather anyway. Don't you realize men are trapped in mines out there? Deep underground. I don't want any of that.

Don't worry about it. Sometimes they get out. They escape.

Yea? How about the gang wars? The politics? The polar ice caps? I could go on and on.

To hell with it then. Don't go. End of story.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Day 279: Christmas Tree Art

It was 18 degrees F at my home in Chaumont, NY this morning when I arose at 7:00. Would much rather have gotten upo at 6:00. But I manged close to two hours on the guitar. Just befor the better Half left for work I went out to sweep thye snow off her car. I also swept away the snow on the lawn leading to her car. (Well, it's a minivan). Anyhow, as I tuned to go back into the house I noticed the pattern in the snow created by nthe strokes of the broom. It remined me of a Christmas tree. So, I take the broom and sweep out some snow in the front yard to create an image of a Christmas Tree. The green grass beneath the snow adds to the overall effect. Today's lesson: Inspiration strikes at unlikely moments. Be ready to take advantage of it.

Now I am off to Syracuse to work for the Post-Standard newspaper. I woinder what is in store for me there?

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 277: I Play Guitar Video

So today was a pretty good day. Went to the Thousand Islands Arts Center store in Clayton and played guitar for a couple of hours. Today there were village wide events in all of the shops and churches and the like. Cookie sales, a parade this evening. A festive place today. I did some pretty good playing. The video posted here was filmed at my house in Chaumont, NY. It's not too bad I suppose, but first thing I dislike are the string squeaks caused by left hand fingers sliding on the bass strings. The sound much more pronounced to my ear in the video than they did as I recorded it. So that is something I need to work on. All one needs do is to lift the fingers completely off the string during a chord change. Howevre, that is easier said than done. It requires careful, slow practice. Repition. That is the key to guitar playing, and I suppose to all instruments.
The piece is While My Guitar Gently Weeps, writen by George Harrison when the Beatles were still together. The arrangement is by Larry Beekman . Larry has several good books of music for classical guitar. His Beatles book is still in print and his latest is Enya arranged for clssical guitar. Sadly, a couple of other books of his are no longer available, including his neil Diamond songs for classical guitar.
Larry's Beatles book is an excellent book for intermediate players and great for players who are out "there" doing gigs and in need of tasty, yet playable popular pieces for their repertoir.

"Nothing is more beautiful than the sound of the guitar." Frederick Chopin

Friday, December 3, 2010

Day 276: Frosty Tree

It was a great morning this morning. At least from a visual stand point. You may recognize this tree because I posted a photo of it here this Fall. I drive by this tree frequently, always meant to photograph it. It seems as though I am always en-route to somewhere when I am passing by, so for years I have not been photographing it. This morning I felt I was behind schedule and drove past the scene. Then I stopped, turned around and photographed it. It Didn't take long. I cannot believe that I almost blew it off. This is a visual gift presented to my eyes from, who else? God? To see it and not take the time to photograph it is, for a person like me, a waste of talent. I heard comedian Red Skelton (July 18, 1913 – September 17, 1997) say that your talent is a gift from God. Using that talent is your gift TO God.
Anyway, I'm happy to have seen this scene because it turns out to be the high point of the day. Hours later I got a couple of traffic tickets. What a bummer. So one end of the day gives you a high, the other end a low, and so it all balances out.
Here is the photo from the Fall, published here 66 days ago:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Day 273: Auto Inspection

It was windy and warm throught the day in Chaumont, NY. A pleasant 50 degrees.

Today's photo is a multiple exposure of city lights on North Salina St. in Syracuse, NY.
Today I finally got my 199 Dodge Caravan inspected. You see, here in New York state we must have annual vehicle inspection for mechanical and emissions. My vehicle's inspection expired this past July and I finally got it done today, the last day of November. A big part of that was procrastination on my part. However, it was mostly due to the check engine light being on. When that light is on the car will not pass the emissions part of the inspection.

Well, I am a busy guy and just kept blowing it off. Finally I went to AutoZone and they hooked up their diagnostic device to the van and it revealed it had a large EVAP leak. OK. So I get into my Hayne's automotive manual and read all about that system. Then I get on YouTube and find videos of auto repair shops showing how to troubleshoot the system. This proved to be most informative. So after a couple of hours of that I go outside and check out my van's EVAP system.

These two videos were really helpful in understanding the system and trouble shooting it. My van is a couple of years old and slightly different how the components are laid out under the hood. But, after this I had no trouble gfiving the system a visual check. When I got under my van and located the EVAP canister I immediately discovered a loose fitting hose. It pulled off easily. The rubber ends appeared deteriorated. It happens that I have a 96 Caravan that I recently took off the road and am about to sell for scrap. So, I reached beneath it and found the identical hose. It too was worn looking, but not as bad as the one off the '99. I swaped them. The other thing I did was remove & inspect the purge solenoid. This was easier to remove than a light bulb. I inspected those hoses and thought things looked pretty good. Next I decided to go to the local Dodge dealer to see about buying a replacement hose. As I was driving there the check engine light went off within the first 3 miles. Wow!! Terrific. I'm feeling good. The vehicle should pass inspection now.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Day 272:

It was a lovely morning in Chaumont NY this morning.
The following quote is from one of the greatest guitarists who ever lived.

The advice I am giving always to all my students is above all to study the music profoundly... music is like the ocean, and the instruments are little or bigger islands, very beautiful for the flowers and trees.
Andres Segovia

This month of November, 2010, is just about through. Quite a stressful one for me, primarily because of all the bills I have had to pay in addition to unexpected expenses following a period of reduced cash flow. But, we are getting through it. I have a lot of money out there from several sources that I await payment for. When that eventually comes in I can get back to a more comfortable course. I would like to share the details, but simply do not have the energy to do so. For now, I wish everyone out there all the best.
The photo at left was a little creation outside my back door, courtesy of Mother Nature.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Day 271: My Two Aunts

Photo of my two aunts by my cousin Bill Fish

Today is Sunday. It is 11:00pm. There is snow on the ground here in Chaumont, NY, and that is OK. Thanksgfiving is behind us and Christmas is on it's way. I for one have had a blessed life over all. There have been some trying moments that still infuse me with guilt should I give the past too much reflection. Those are moments I am not proud of of so am reluctant to share with the world at large. They are also events that when I do reflect upon them cause me to wonder how God can bless such a sinner as I. Occassionally I become reminded of other things that I have somehow overlooked. Case in point: I am perusing faceBook and see that one of my cousins posted a photograph of my father's two sisters taken during this past Thanksgiving Day. It was taken by my cousin, Bill Fish. His mother is on the left. She happens to be fighting breast cancer at this point in time. These two women are my father's sisters. All that are left from his family. I love this photo. They are two sweet women, my father's siblings whom I know, but not as intimately as I should. As I looked at this photo it dawned upon me that I do not think I have ever told them directly the I love them. But I do. I just have never come out and said it. I must rectify that at some point in the near future.
I am somewhat sentimental and melencholy at the moment. I think there are several reasin for my immediate state of mind. eight or nine days ago a 20 year old woman in Liverpool NY was reported missing. She was home from school for the Thanksgiving holiday. She vanished. Yesterday her body was discovered and her 21 year old ex-boyfriend charged with her murder. Today I heard of a report from Syracuse were a 1 and 1/2 year old boy was shot and killed. Syracuse has lately seen many shooting incidents. I work in Syracuse a few days a week as a newspaper photographer. I know the city well. So, here we are at the start of the holiday season and these poor families are experiencing tragedies. I think back about my father's suicide 20 years ago, my Aunt's current situation with cancer, the events in the news and ... well, what more can I say? I just must let my aunts and all of my family and friends know that I love them.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Day 270: Snowy Morning

Well it is windy, cold, grey with wet snow on the ground here in Chaumont NY this morning. I slept soundly last night and later than I would prefer: 7:00am. I was supposed to be at my son's house at 8:00, but that plan included me arising at 6:00, so, now I'll get over there by 9:00. I am going to help him build some counters for a convenience store under construction in Watertown.

This was how my driveway looked this morning.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Day 269: Here's Looking At You

I am tired and I don't like it. I have no ambition to do anything, and when I go ahead and do something it is difficult to be enthusiastic. When I am properly rested I go after the World with gusto. I am tired because I went to bed last night at 8:00 in the hopes of getting some sleep early before rising at 1:00am to embark on the Black Friday shoppers assignment for the Post-Standard newspaper. I slept soundly until 10:30, then, it was fitfull and restless. I also ate more than Is hould have yesterday and drank quite a lot of wine too. It was Thanksgiving Day. I thought if I overindulged somewhat it might aid in my sleeping. It did at first.

Ihave just finished editing some wedding photos and am now copying them to my iMac computer after which I will burn them to a CD and then create a fancy label and CD package. I am also about to change the strings on my guitar. That is long, long overdue.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Day 268: Thanksgiving Day

Well it was 20 degrees or so in Chaumont NY this morning. The photo is the thermometer attached to a maple tree in my backyard. Today we will be having dinner with the Better Half's daughter's home in Brownville, NY, about 12 miles from here. The BH has baked a pumpkin pie and I am making an apple crisp which is our contribution to today's dinner.
Tomorrow is what he become known as Black Friday. Supposedly it is the biggest shopping day in The US. It is the day when retail businesses sell enough merchandise that their books go into the black. Black ink that is as opposed to red ink which shows a deficit in their books. In other words, it's the day that they hopefully make a profit for the year, making up for all the lousy sales of the past year.
Now, as anyone living in the US is aware of, there has been intense competition amongs these retailers. So, many of them offer special, select deals to those willing to come into their store at 4:00AM. I personally think people who get up that early to start shopping have rocks in their heads.
The other thing I dislike about it is it has become a "news" story. Consequently I have to be at one of these stores at 3:30AM to photograph the lines of shoppers waiting for the doors to open, and then to photograph them inside the stores as they shop. Well, at least I am getting paid to do it, but believe me, I think I'd rather go have a tooth pulled.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 266: Kennedy Assasination Remembered

This photo I shot in Syracuse on yet another rainy day. By and large, though, it is hard to complain about the November weather this year.

Yesterday was the 47th anniversary of President John F Kennedy's assasination. I was in the fourth grade in a two room school in the hamlet of Calcium, NY. In one room a teacher taught first & second grade. In the other room a teacher taught third & fourth grade. This was also during the height of the Cold War between the US & The USSR. The fear of nuclear war existed in the collective world psyche. There was a Civil Defense warning system in place. In the event of a threat a siren would sound. The only time that siren ever went off was when the school participated in an emergency drill.
So, we were in school thye day Kennedy was killed. All of a sudden the Civil Defense siren sounded. The teachers were well aware that there was no drill planned. They became very concerned, probably alarmed. A few minutes later the school's phone rang. Mrs. Carlisle, the third & fourth grade teacher answered it. When she hung up the phone she was weeping. And then she met with the other teacher, Mrs. McManamin. Then they told all of us kids what had happened, the President Kennedy had been killed. That was an unforgettable moment.
One more thing that sticks out in my mind from that day was a comment one of my class mates said as we walked down the school sidewalk to board the bus. He said, "I'm glad he's dead. I didn't like him." Now that comment puzzled and confused me. And disturbed me. I couldn't understand how a nine year old kid could have such an opinion. I realize now, many years later, he was probably just repeating the opinions of his parents.

The following is the famous Zapruder film of the event. Quite disturbing.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Day 265: Reflection

It is about 50 degrees in Chaumont, NY at noon. A light rain. Overall it is pleasant here for a November day.

Well, in another 100 days it will be a year since I began this blog. Mostly I was hoping to post a new photo every day for 365 days. Well, that has proven to be more difficult than it seemed. But this is a leats a place where I can post those photos that catch my eye. Previous to this I hadn'e had as an agreeable place to share them. The photo today came about as I was walking the streets of Syracuse. The window reflections caught my eye. I like reflections because the effect is similar to a multiple exposure. There is an interplay of overlapping images.

Here is a quote from the great guitarist Andres Segovia: "When one puts up a building one makes an elaborate scaffold to get everything into its proper place. But when one takes the scaffold down, the building must stand by itself with no trace of the means by which it was erected. That is how a musician should work."

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Day 264: Wedding Pix

Chilly this morning, about 20 degrees at 7:00am. Two days since a blog entry. I don't like that but what is one to do? There is sooooo... much. Anyhow, these two photos were made at a wedding I photographed yesterday in Syracuse, NY. It was a real nice affair, the people were great and so were the photo ops. But it proved to be a long day and it was midnight befor I got to bed. I spent a good part of today editing the photos.

There is nothing in the world so much like prayer as music is. ~William P. Merrill (1867–1954), theologian and hymn-writer

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Day 261:

This photo came about because I wanted a picture of a guitar to accompany a quick posting on FaceBook. I first dabbled with some multiple exposures and that evolved into me zooming at the guitar with a slow shutter speed. This was one of the better results.

I had some rather excellent guitar practice this morning.

I just finished changing a tire on my '98 Dodge Caravan. I pulled a good tire of another van that I recently took off the road and am going to sell for scrap.

I am off to Musicology to teach guitar this afternoon.

As usualy I have a lot I would like to say, but am short on time.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Day 260: TV Picks - Survivor - The Middle

I don't watch a lot of TV, but among the shows I really like are The Middle, The Office, and Survivor. The Middle is particularly well written and truly a family TV show. Sort of a modern Leave It To Beaver. So tonight I have just watched The Middle and taped Survivor. Now the Better Half & I are about to watch Survivor. Me with a nice glass of Rex Goliath Cabernet Sauvigon, and she with a Mike's Hard Lemonade. Nice way to finish the day, which for me was rather rough.
So, I just finished watching this evening episode of Survivor. It got REALLY good. Brenda & Sash ( or sach, not sure what) have been very cocky up until now, believing they were in complete control of the game. I for one, have not been very fond of either of them, primarily because of their arrogance. Anyhow, the night went my way. Jane, the oldest member of the tribe won the immunity challenge. She & most of the rest finally realized the power being wielded by Brenda & Sach, and they succeeded in voting out Brenda. Brenda has been my least favorite. Sach, seeing the writing on the wall & realizing that he was no longer in control, actually voted for Brenda to leave. That was smart on his part, however, Brenda is now on the jury and sure to be much upset with Nayonka & Sach for having turned on her. She's liable to not look favorably upon either of them should they make it to the final. Now, as for Naonka: She is a straight forward, no hold bared player. Crude and blunt about winning the game. She will use you and then toss you out when your no longer useful. I have dislike her for the most part, but I must say. I have begun to grow fond of her. She is playing the game for HER. Very much the way Russel played in the previous two seaons. Tonight was one of those pivotal episodes that really make you jump out of your chair. The payoff for some of the slower episodes. Tonight was a GREAT night for Survivor. Loved it. One of the highlights was when the 60 year old jane won the immunity challenge against all of the other, varied players. It was a challenge of physical & mental endurance, and when she won, the Better Half & I each cheered. What a great TV show.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Day 259: Wedding Photos

It was 35 degrees in Chaumont NY this morning at 7:00. It has been twentythree months since my job hours as a staff photographer at the Post-Standard were reduced. That was an alarming time. I can only say the God has been looking out for me. Ever since that day I have had freelance work come my way to compensate for the reduced pay from my job. This month of November has been quite tense for several reasons. One of them is that I have had a vacant apartment for three months so I have had to absorb that reduction on cash flow. A couple of other things on top of that as well as auto insurance and property taxes coming due. Well, I had no freelance jobs on the books, no weddings, no guitar gigs. Nothing for this month. Yikes. So just as i am getting good and worried the phone rings. The man on the other end of the line says he is getting married this Saturday (nOv.20th) and his photographer cancelled. Was there anyway I could photograph his wedding on such short notice? Well, you bet I can. And so, I thank God for this unexpected turn of events. Once again something has come in to help me through the month with meeting my obligations. But next is December. What will that bring?

You can view more of Gary Walts Wedding Photographs at Gary Walts' FaceBook Wedding Album

Monday, November 15, 2010

Day 258: Two Photos Today

So once again I am walking along, going back to my car after photographing a job when I spot this building scene. First of all it was the light. Then it was the shapes and the lines. The play of the shadows. There is a monotone to the color also, almost an absence of color. I think I snapped only one frame. It was a little bit sloppily composed so I had to clean it up with a crop. I suppose this would be considered architectural photography. The lower photo was taken earlier in the day. I used a 400mm lens with a 1.4X converter. This long telephoto compresses the scene, sort of layering together foreground and background.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Day 257: Guitar Problem Solved

Well the new machines arrived a day late. Well, better late than never. As I started to remove the strings I discovered that the problem was not with the machines. It was with the strings. Here's what happened. The last time I changed the strings I inadvertantly wound the 2nd string over the excess of the 3rd string, effectively tying the 3rd string to the 2nd string peg. Thus, as I tried to tune the 3rd string it would wind only so far and stop, being restricted by the 2nd string. It seemed to me that there was something wrong with the tuning peg and / or gear. I should have looked at it much closer before ordering the new machines. In all my years playing and changing strings I have never had this happen. Live and learn.

“There's a fine line between genius and insanity. I have erased this line.”

- Oscar Levant (1906-1972) pianist, composer, comedian.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Day 255: Multiple Exposure

The temperature was around 23 or so degrees in Chaumont NY this morning at 5:30AM. I looked at the thermometer but have forgotten exactly what the temperature was. I can sat there was a fairly heavy frost on the ground na dthe cars in my driveway. We have had clear, Sunny skies the last few days.

I made this photo on Route 81 early this morning. It is another in camera multiple exposure. I say in camera to differentiate from a similar effect one could do with PhotoShop by layering several images and adjusting the opacity of the layers. This was made with a Nikon D300. I set the camera to make 6 exposures. I shot from a moving car with the frame rate set to high speed. So the 6 exposures happen rapidly, each one a fraction of a second after the next. This was something I tried on a whim recently and have continued to experiment with it. Most of the results are disappointing. But some are interesting, as I feel this one is.

The second photo I snapped by accident immediately following the multiple exposure.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Day 253: Where Are My Machines?

It was sunshine and somewhat mild for a November day in Chaumont, NY. The wood stove is in use. Last week on the evening befor I had to play guitar at an event, the button on the third string tuning peg of my guitar stripped. Fortunately I was able to get it tuned to pitch. But that was it. Any changes would mean tuning all the other strings in relation to the G. This Saturday I have an event to play at. So I ordered a set of new Schaller tuning machines from a place in California called Luthier's Mercantile, Inc. I paid for two day shipping. The package should have arrived today but it did not. Fed Ex tracking said it would be delivered by 4:30PM today. Well, that time came and went, it is now almost 8:00. I go back to track the package again and it now says the package is in Oakland, CA. Well that is where it originated from. At 1:00pm today the tracking site said the package was in Memphis Tennessee. Why is it now saying it is back in California? To reitereate: It started out from CA, by this afternoon it was in TN, supposed to be at my door at 4:30, and now this evening it's back in CA. This is most fustrating. I wanted the machines TODAY so as to get them changed and some new strings on and get started on breaking in the new strings as much as possible before Staurday's gig.