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.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Day Twentynine: Getting Things Done

Yesterday I mentioned about how I dropped 40 pounds of weight over the course of two years and have kept it off for a year now. One of the points I would like to make about that is the fact that losing weight, IMO, is the same as anything eles one sets out to accomplish. Getting something done is a process that takes time. Losing weight is no different than learning a guitar solo, creating a piece of sculpture, repairing the car, or installing a tile floor. In other words, everything takes time. It's all step by step. A jigsaw puzzle goes together one piece at a time. You learn a musical composition note by note, phrase by phrase. Install a tile floor one tile at a time. Nothing is instant. Why do so many people expect to drop their weight FAST? One doesn't become fifty pounds overweight by eating a fifty pound dinner one afternoon. It happens by over eating small ammounts over a long period of time. Likewise, losing it should realistically take a long time. When I said I cut out ice cream, bear, fast food and the like, I didn't do them all cold turkey. The first thinf a stopped was fast food. That started January 1. I was rigid about that. As for beer, I began drinking less, but didn't quit it all together until Lent began. At that point I cut it out all together. When Lent was over, I continued not dringing beer. So, I did these things over a period of time, adding something to the plan bit by bit. Another thing I did was started atking the stairs at work as opposed to the elevator. Again, I started this habit slowly. Occassionally. Finally it bacame habit. I can only tell you how I lost and kept off my weight. I made a list of changes and gradually incorporated them into my daily routine. If you try to do it all at the same time there's a good chance you will become overwhelmed and quit. It's like tearing down the garage by blowing it up with dynamite. It got tore down in a hurry, but left a big mess. Anyhow, step by step is how I get things done. So can you. Regards, Gary

The photos posted here today were both taken in the backyard of my home in Chaumont, NY. One of the points I stress to novice photographers in search of that elusive image is to open their eyes and observe their immediate surroundings.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day Twentyeight: Cake Crumbs

It was 40 degrees in Chaumont this morning with a sky that looked like the promise of Sunshine. But, at 9:40 it's overcast. I just took this photo after eating a slice of pizza and a piece of birthday cake for breakfast. Egads! It may sound like I eat poorly, but I don't. This morning was unusual. I rarely eat pizza or cake. In fact, I have probably had less than 18 slices of pizza in the past three years. When I do it eat I usually eat one or two slices. RARELY will I eat a third. For me to get excited about pizza I need one without tomato sauce & pepperoni. I like garlic, cheese, chicken, broccolli on a pizza. I have only had that kind maybe three times in thie past three years. You see, three years ago on January first I tipped the scales at 200 pounds. The most I have ever weighed. That was unacceptable. For one thing I was ready to buy larger sized pants. Forget it. Fifteen years ago I weighed about 160 pounds. So, it's taken me a few years to reach 200 lbs. Thus, I determined to take a slow motion approach to weight loss. No real diet, no exercise. I just decided to eat less and cut out some foods. January first 2007 I began.

The toughest thing was quitting drinking beer. I do like beer, especially Labatt Blue. I quit ice cream, my all time favorite food. I used to buy it and eat it by the pint, three times a week. People ask me if I miss it. Well, I don't. I have eaten so much of it in my life that I just don't miss it. I say I quit it, but I have eaten small amounts of it a few times in the opast three years. But NEVER have I eaten a whole pint in one sitting since then.
The same with beer. I used to drink it every day. Two, three, four, or more. I love the stuff. On holidays and special occassions I'll have a few beers or some wine, but it's not every day. I also quit ALL fast food. As a photographer driving a thousand miles a week all over God's creation it was really easy to stop at the drive through windows and dine on dollar menu items. It's fast, cheap, and I can keep going to my destination, eating & driving, staying on time for my appointments. There were few times at first when I had to exercise some serious will power, but I have stayed away from it. Now, there have been two times in the past three years I have eaten fast food. Once was to try out a new sandwich that Wendy's was advertising. I did not crave it, I was just curious about it. The second time was on a raod trip with my Better Half and we stopped and got a burger and shake at a little place in PA. That's it. I simpy will not go to those places.

Finally, I also kept (and continue to keep) a box of Honey Nut Cheerios in the car to snack on. Those things are good! I was surprised when I bought them for the first time. Oh, one more thing, I also began eating less of the normal, everyday food s that I always ate. For example, when I grilled hamburgers I always would eat two of them. Now I eat one. I always want a second one, but I don't. With one exception: When we have a party or I am at a party. Those situations I indulge a more, but still not the way I used to. Anyway, I dropped weight little by little and over the course of twelve months lost 20 pounds. Over the next year I lost 15 more. Now three years later I am staying right around 160 pounds. During the 2009 Christmas season I was eating and drinking more than normal, but held it pretty steady at 165. You know that cake I ate this morning? Compared to the old days it was a small piece. I also left behind a lot of frosting which made for an interesting photograph.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Day Twentyseven: Chaumont Sunset

It was 38 degrees and rainy at 6:00AM in Chaumont NY this morning, the 27th day since I began this blog. How long can I keep up before missing a day? I'm not sure. I can always pop up a photo, it's the commentary that most likely will suffer. That's because I am not exactly a writer. It takes effort. I also type with 2 fingers which I've done for quite a few years. There in lies a problem. I am constantly hitting letters adjacent to the ones I want to hit on the keyboard. This results in a lot of typos that I must go back & correct. So, writing is more chore than joy. The photo here is another Sunset taken in Chaumont. The tree is in my neighbors backyard. The recent Sunsets have been particularly colorful.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day Twentysix: View From 505 State St

Well, the least I can do is show off this photo. If I say more it will be just an explanation of why I am not doing more, saying more today with this blog. (The word tired comes to mind) Anyhow, a week or so ago I had to cover a sentencing of a woman who staged a burglary that went awry and killed her husband and another man. She was sentenced to ten years. This was at the Public Safety Building, 5050 S. State St., Syracuse, NY. I was there early, as a photographer should always be, waiting for the courtroom on the third floor to open. I looked down the hall and got this photo of a woman waiting for the elevator with the city through the windows behind her.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day Twentyfive:

This is a portrait of Greg Lago, Clayton, NY. I took it in his shop, Winged Bull Studio in Clayton. He is a wood engraver. Quite a lost art form. There is a surrealistic touch in much of his work that I love.
Below are two samples of his work.

With or without his artwork present, Lago is a source of inspiration. He and his wife Karen also run Teaism, a small tea garden behind Winged Bull that serves up great food, teas, wine & beer. It is a great place to be on lazy Summer afternoons in the Thousand Islands. I usually play guitar there for a couple of hours on Thursdays. Hopefully that trend will continue this Summer. I say hopefully because so much is up in the air with me.

Fernando Sor: Etude #2, Played by Gary walts ona Guild Mark V classical guitar.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Day Twenty Four:

Well, it was 15 degrees and sunshine in Chaumont, NY this morning. All in all a nice day weatherwise, just a tad cool.

I photographed this couple a year or so ago. I cannot remember where they were, other than near some railroad tracks. I have a hunch it was near Gouvernuer, NY. If I go back through my appointment books I could probably figure it out. This photo falls into yet another category I call People I Have Seen. This category is people I see out on the street or somewhere in a public place that happen to catch my eye. Most times I try to make the photo surreptitiously. That was the case here. The couple never noticed me. Unless I have a compelling reason, I don't bother to find out who they are or what they are doing. If the people are interesting enough to catch my eye, then I figure they will make an interesting photograph.
I drive by this house regularly whenever I go from Chaumont to Syracuse. I cannot tell you the name of the road it's on, even though I drive the road at least once a week. Anyhow, I was returning home and the late day light was inspiring. Now I really wasn't trying to make any special photos, but I did something that I do once in a while. I just pointed the camera out the car window as I was driving and held the shutter down. It was set to high speed advance, which is about 3 or four frames a second. I was not looking through the camera. I keep my eyes on the road. Later on I look at the results and usually there is nothing there. However, in this instance I like how the Sun was caught in the windows, and the blurry motion caused by the camera speeding down the road. I find something oddly appealing about this photo. That appeal may simply be that the photo was the result of pure, dumb luck.

On another note, there was some good guitar practice this morning. I also lined up a 2 hour guitar gig for the Alexandria Bay & Clayton Chambers of Commerce at the Riveredge Resort in the bay. It's a private function in May. Should be nice. I also got my income taxes filed today. There's no better way to get depressed than to do that. For the life of me I cannot understand how a guy like me can earn such a modest income and have to give so much of it to the government. I do not live high on the hog. I live rather frugally and have accomplished quite a lot because of that. My property taxes have steadily gone up over the years too. When my income goes into the tank my taxes don't get lowered. It is crazy what we pay in this Empire State for property taxes. I'd love to go on, but those of you who live here know all about it, and I simply have run out of steam for this day. Days like this are days when I truly enjoy a nice beer or glass of red wine. However, I gave up all forms of alcohol for Lent. It's been killing me. But, I must remind myself that giving up beer and wine coupled with the stress of giving Caeser his due is nothing compared to what Jesus went through. I guess that is the lesson that Lent is all about.
Best to you all. Gary

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day Twentythree: Doorknobs

Working for a newspaper is a great way to become a good photographer. That's because you are asked to photographe a great many things you would never do on your own. Consequently you develop your eye and sense of composition with an understanding of how your equipment works and you can just about make anything into an interesting photo. The setting Sun illuminating this doorknob got my interest. The low angle of the light brings out the texture of the paint on the door. The warm colors of the light also adds a touch. Then the silouette and the out of focus highlights add yet more visual interst.

There are several artists whose work has had an influence on my eye, that is, how I see the world. Among them are
Andrew Wyeth. I love the light in his paintings and the textures, and his weather beaten, worn, stark subject matter. I just love it.

All photos and text contained in this blog are copyright Gary Walts 2010
Also, please visit my web site at: www.garywalts.com

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day Twentytwo: All My Loving

After a couple of grey, wet days we have sunshine in Chaumont again today.

Last Summer as I was walking home from the liquor store with a nice bottle of red wine the late afteroon Sun on the sidewalk caught my eye. The store is about three blocks from my house. Walking there serves two purposes: I get some exercise and, because I always have a camera with me, I just might make a interesting photo. One of the lessons to take from this is oe that I harp on all the time. Go walking with a camera and really look at the world around you. There are photos to be made around your house, in your yard, your neighborhood. Many people are so accustomed to their surroundings they overlook the simply beauty of their immediate environment.

This morning I have put in a solid three hours of guitar practice. 45 minutes of which was spent on Estudio Brillante by Francisco Tarrega. After running through a few other pieces I opened a book of Beatles songs arranged for classical guitar by Joe Washington. His arrangement of All My Loving is one that I have dabbled with a few times over the years. It's not particularly difficult, but, it spans two sides of one page. What is frustrating is the last four bars of the first repeat are on the opposite side of the first page. So, I must turn the page to read through those four bars, then turn the page back to begin the repeat. (The four bars I speak of are shown below.) Nothing fun about that as I want to memorize the section. This is one of the reasons I have never really put the tune in my repertoir. Lazy, I know. So, finally this morning I decide to memorize those four bars so as to eliminate the page turning as I memorize the first section. To do so I played those bars over slowly & deliberatly for 100 times. That's how it's done, or at least how I do it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day Twenty One: Taking care of Business

Well, some days you just have to take care of some of life's duller business. Paperwork, bills, checkbook, and the like. So far I have been a couple of hours taking care of such stuff. Among some of that stuff were two wedding promotional pieces I created. I can use them as postcards, but for starters I placed them in craigslist ads. You see, I really need to photograph some weddings to keep the cash flow out of the red.

Anybody out there in my region looking for a wedding photographer?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day Twenty: Sidewalk & Paint

Whenever I need to get away from my routine and get really inspired I go visit Winged Bull Studio in Clayton, NY. Every time I walk in the door I am greeted by a visual feast as well as the enthusiastic Greg Lago, wood engraver and owner of the establishment. This past Friday I stopped in and it appeared as if he were busy with several projects. This tray of water colors was just one of many photos I made there. It is essentially an unplanned still life. In the natural flow of his work day this arrangement of paints and stirring stick just happened. I think what helps this photo is something that probably does not come immediately to mind. It is the odd pairing of the stick with the paints. The stirring paddle is used with cans of paint, not with watercolor paints. It's a subtle thing, but I think it's there. Of course the color helps as well as the nice, even light.

Once again I am walking back to my car from a job and I spot this interesting section of sidewalk. What do you think? I stopped dead in my tracks to photograph it.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day Nineteen: Gotta Hit The Sack

Well, it's 10:00pm and I am cramming this post in at the end of my day. If I know what's good for me I gotta hit the sack. I need to be up at 5:00AM, make a weather picture for the Post-Standard and get to a sentencing for a woman convicted of killing her husband. More on that later (if I remember). In the interest of trying to post at least one photo a day here, I offer these two. What's significant to me is they once again show how capable point & shoot digital cameras are. Again both made with the Dimage Xg. The chalk pastels illustrate the close up capability.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Day Eighteen: It's Not The Camera

People often think you need a big fancy professional Nikon or Canon camera to make good photos. That idea is continually pushed in the advertising campaigns of these and other camera makers. Some years ago I was showing my wedding portfolio to a young couple looking to hire a wedding photographer. They wanted to know if I was using a Nikon camera. They truly believed that the photographer must use a Nikon to make good photos. They didn't hire me because I used a Minolta. In their mind the camera was more important than the photos I showed them. The fact is, you can make really good photos with simple point & shoot cameras. The crucial thing is to develop your eye, and shoot enough to learn how to get the most out of your camera.
These photos were made with the Konica Minolta Dimage Xg camera. Only 3.2 megapixels, but what a camera. It's a real shame in my opinion what happened to the Minolta camera company. They no longer make cameras. They made some terrific cameras, but I believe their real problem was poor advertising. One day I'll go into that in more detail.
The man with the beard was a vendor at a farmers market in Watertown, NY. The boat scene was in Cape Vincent, NY, the place where the St Lawrence River begins. The Fall scene was taken in Albion, NY.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day Seventeen: Twilight Time

One of the difficult things about photography is simply how to make a good photograph. It's like anything else, it takes practice. One of the best things to do is to simply go out for a walk in your neighborhood with your camera. Photograph anything you find of interest. Take a lot of pictures and look at them. Try to figure out why some work and some don't. Now, let me give you a tip: Photography is all about light. That is the key ingredient. Light has many qualities that can make even the most mundane objects interesting. So, one of the things you can do is go for that walk at a time of day when the light is interesting. One of the things you can do to improve your odds of a making good photographs is to go for that walk at twilight time. That is the period of time when the sun has set but there is still a lot of light in the sky. It's not dark. It's luminescent. It's twilight time. Twilight. Say that word. Twilight. Just the sound of the word suggests something magical. Many people go out to photograph a Sunset and put their camera away as soon as the Sun disappears. Well, that's the time to start looking around you and try to make more pictures. The twilight period does not last long, so be observant, make some snaps. That light will add a special touch to your photos.

These two scenes I photographed last night in my home village of Chaumont, NY.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day Sixteen: Chronically Out Of Time

I am chronically out of time. What kind of state is that for a musician to be in? Actually, when I play guitar I am usually IN time. IT's like this, I put in almost two hours on the guitar this morning. I posted a photo of a Robin in an oak tree on facebook. (The same one as here). I want to really give this blog some attention, but, I have an appointment at 10:30 to get my better half's van inspected. It's over due by two months. Must be done. She went to work, so I have to go there, swap vehicles and take hers to the inspection station. Any of you who read one of my first postings may remember that I was going to do a brake job on that van. Well, turns out it needs a caliper. Yesterday I was informed that the ABS light was on. Will that screw up the inspection? I do not know. I hope not. I hate paying the shop do something I can do and save on the labor. I would think that the ABS system not working shouldn't be a problem, because the way I understand it, when that system is out, the breaks function like a car without ABS. Oh, ABS is anti locking brake system. I suspect the garage will tell me differently and hold the car hostage so that I have to pay them for the repair. You see, what happens is you take you car to the inspection station. They scrape off the inspection sticker. Then they inspect it and find things wrong with the car. nThey either repair it and put on a new sticker, or, you raise a fuss, leave without a sticker and the first cop you pass on nthe street pulls you over and tickets you for an uninspected vehicle. That's just a small taste of what living in New York sate is like. I could go on and on, but I need to get going. Time is of the essence.
Well it turns out that the anti lock break system does not need to be working to pass the safety inspection. The problem turns out to be the ABS sensors on each front side have corroded due to the road salt from the Winters it has seen. Another problem the van had was bad brake rotors. Stupid me could have replaced those befor going in. But, I had them do it. Also needed a tie rod end. Anyhow, $275.00 later the 2005 Dodge Caravan meets NY state criteria.

Now one more thing. I also own and drive a 1996 Caravan with anti lock brakes. That is 9 years older than th '05 and yet, those ABS sensors are still working fine. It turns out the the '96 has "sealed" sensore, protected from the road salt and weather. On the '05 they are exposed. Why is that?

Need a photographer? Please visit my web site at:

All photos and text contained in this blog are copyright Gary

Walts 2010

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Dat Fifteen: Sidewalk Cracks

I wonder if these photos work for anyone besides me? I cannot explain it, but for some reason sidewalks always seem to catch my eye. In guess it's the cracks and the formations they create along with the texture of the concrete. This particular sidewalk is in front og my home in Chaimont, NY. It is quite old. Some of the sections have been uplifted by many Winters of frost and tree roots. The broken section was the result of a large section of tree limb crashing into it. I think texture is one of the elements that is working in this photo. I stepped outside to put my trash on the curb (Wednesday is the day the village collects trash) just at dawn. The Sun wasn't quite up so the light was subdued causing the muted colors. The lawn, newly exposed from a Winter blanket of snow has a unique texture. So, I took a few snaps. Because of the muted colors I thought the image may work as a black and white, so I present one as such here for you to be the judge.

Now, what I see first as something interesting and artsy, my better half sees as an eyesore that needs to be replaced or repaired. Well, being the do-it-yourselfer that I am, I hope to make that a project for this Summer.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Day Fourteen

It's been absolutely beautiful here in Chaumont, NY today. I cannot remember when we have had March weather like this. I have been outside all day working on the wood pile, consolidating it, making it smaller. Cleaning up debris from it. All day there have been a steady stream of geese flying overhead. These are not great photos as nature photography goes, but they are what fall into my category of personal snapshots.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Day Eightyfive: Really Big Family

This family portrait is of a woman and man with nine of their twelve kids. I took it for the Post-Standard newspaper at their home in Syracuse, NY.

Working for a newspaper, magazine, Associated press, or the like, one gets hires to photograph all manner of things one normally wouldn't shoot on their own. One of the challenges is photographing groups of people. The bigger the group, the more challenging it is to make an interesting photo. Simply lining them up in a row is not very interesting. When I knew I was to photograph the family presented here, I was concerned about how I was to pull it off. I arrived at their home a little early. Some of the family was not there yet. I looked around for a setting, either outside or inside. As the Dad arrived home and remaining kids straggled in the scene became a bit chaotic. A few minutes later they were waiting for intruction from me, to direct them in this group portrait. Well, I didn't know what to do, so, in these situations I just beging with a suggestion. This starts the photo session rolling. Then I keep shooting, re-arranging the folks, shoot some more, and hopefully something begins to fall into place. All the while I am trying to catch a moment when everyone has a satisfactory facial expression, or projecting some sense of wanting to be a part of the photo. Many times there are unwilling participants in the group. This particular job turned out to be great. The photo created itself! I didn't need to do anything except be prepared for the spontaneity that happened.

With nothing better to try, and to break the ice and get the photo shoot started, I suggested we try thye living room for a setting. In my mind I was thinking I would have to seat some of the kids on the floor, some satnding, create an interesting arrangement of bodies. Then work on capturing a frame where they at least all had their eyes open at the same time. Well, I didn't need to do anything motre than the suggestion. The family very spontaneously crammed all together on the couch as if it were a festive event. They were jostling about and jockeying for position, laughing and enjoying the moment. It reminded me of a group of kids trying to see how many people they could cram into a car, or a telephone booth, just for kicks. For the fun of it. Snap, snap, snap. The photo is the result of the family's love for each other taht naturally went on display for me in front of my camera. Wow!

Day Thirteen: A Sign Of Spring

This morning was about 34 degrees, grey and drizzly in Chaumont. Hard to complain after quite a few days of sunshine. So far this March has been milder than any I recall in quite a few years.

Melting snow is one of the sure signs of Spring in our part of the world. All Winter long snowplows push the snow in to huge piles as they clear parking lots and city streets. At this time of year the snow begins melting, exposing the dirt and debris that was hidden within it. Eventually what was once a white, mini mountain range becomes a pile of dirt. I was walking the streets of Syracuse, NY, today and saw one of those snowbanks juxtaposed with a building a few blocks behind it. I used a small aperture setting, f13, to maximize the depth of field between the two objects. This isn't exactly a scene you will find every day.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day Twelve: Darwin

I'm sitting in the parking lot of the Bowl Mor Lanes in East Syracuse, NY. I just got done photographing the winners of the Post-Standard Women's Masters bowling championship. Earlier to day I photographed the exterior of a restaurant for a dining out review column, and Irish Road Bowling at Onondaga lake Park. These are typical of the assignments one gets on any given day in the newspaper world.

There is a little shop on Clinton Street in Syracuse just across the street from the Post-Standard building. Over the years it has contained a number of deli/restaurant/ethnic food type eateries. It's been vacant for awhile. Today, I noticed DARWIN written on the window. I have no idea what that signifies, or what permutation the shop will be in this phase of it's evolution. Are these photos great? Not particularly, but It's what I noticed out of the ordinary today.

Need a photographer? Please visit my web site at:
All photos and text contained in this blog are copyright Gary

Walts 2010

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Day Eleven: What A Day

OK, It's 11:30PM and tonight we turn the clocks ahead, effectively losing an hours sleep. I need to call it a day, but I am putting up a couple of photos that I took today. (The entry below I posted earlier, sort of as a cop out, thinking I might not be able to give this any time.) Rats, I ramble. Anyhow, today's photos were made in Pulaski, NY. I was driving to Syracuse to photograph a St. Patrick's Day party at the Hotel Syracuse. I spotted these guys exercising their rights to free assembly anhd free speach. How fitting that they were on Jefferson St.

Well, some days are busier than others. Eleven days into this blog and allready I feel like something has to give. I have been tempted to blow it off for this day. However, I'm squeezing it in. I would like to do more later. I have a photo I shot today that I would like to place here, but it will probably have to wait until tomorrow because I cannot get at it at the moment. So, I put these two photos taken February 26th here. Some of you may have seen them in my Facebook album What Caught My Eye

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Day Ten: Coming Full Circle

This past Wednesday I began teaching guitar at Musicology, 241 State St., Watertown NY. Private guitar lessons. I had two students. A young woman from Korea and a young man from Guatemala. They each have electric guitars. That's ok. They are both beginners, both appear to be eager and determined. That's the type of student I like. I used to teach a lot at Black River Music in Watertown. That was 25 plus years ago. In those days I was a guitar teacher first and a photographer second. I photographed weddings and began freelancing for the Post-Standard. The Post gradually used me more & more until they offered me a paid internship. I accepted. When that expired I went back to freelancing for them. Eventually they offered me a part time staff position which I almost didn't accept. But I did. Over the years it grew into a 36 hour a week job. (They just never gave me that full time status). Well, the years turned into 25. Then a year ago January the paper was feeling financial pressure. They cut my hours to 24 a week. February first 2009 my hours were cut to 16 a week. Ouch! That hurt. But at least I was and still am in the game. The problem I faced (and still face) is trying to make up that lost income. The paper had kept me so busy that I long ago stopped teaching guitar and did only occassional weddings. Black River Music went out of business long ago. The remaining stores in my area allready had guitar teachers. Teaching at home wasn't a viable option. Well, a couple of weeks ago two fellows I know opened a new music store and asked me if I would like to teach there. And so I have come full circle, the Post-Standard is part time and the guitar tecahing and wedding photgraphy has begun. For most of twenty five years I put all my eggs in the newspaper basket. The past year has been a challenge, but I do think God has supplied me with a couple of new baskets for my eggs.

About the above photo. It was taken with a Konica Minolta Dimage Xg digital camera. It is only 3.2 megapixels and was the first pocket digital camera I bought. I love it for it's small size. It is quite a camera considering the time in which it was manufactured. I've had it at least five years. It's great for using as a photographic notebook. That is, should I happen upon a scene that I think would be interesting to photograph but the light isn't right, I snap it as a reminder to go back there at a different time of day. Sometimes I see things such as recipes in magazines and rather than buy or borrow the mag I just snap a digital photo of it. Sometimes it's just fun to play around with.
Anyway, I had taken my mother to her doctors office and was waiting for her. There was an older couple holding hands as they were about to exit the office. I saw the woman at right smile at them. Now here is the kicker: I didn't want to be seen snapping the photo, so I just held the camera close to my lap and pointed it roughly in their direction. The shutter is virtually silent. I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome. The image is a bit blurry, but I have no problem with that. I converted it to black and white which I find to be agreeable with candid people pictures. Photos made "from the hip" or overhead without looking through the viewfinder or at the screen are known as Hail Mary shots among photojournalists. With practice one can get pretty good at it. It's like anything else, you must know your equipment, it's limitations and practice, practice, practice. Practice doing it. The guitar is the same way: Practice, practice, practice. Eventually you get good at it.

Day Nine: The Visual Joy Of Coffee

37 degrees this morning in Chaumont, NY, according to my thermometer. Up at 5:45am, photographed my coffe at 6:00, guitar in hand at 6:10, good solid practice for two hours.

Well, it's day ten since I began this blog. I also opened a Facebook account about the same time. Between here and there I intend to upload at least a photo a day. One of the joys I experience every morning is the visual delight of pouring my first cup of coffee. Day in and day out I find it visually appealing. Just the color of it and fluidity as it flows into the cup. The morphous shapes of the light on the surface, moving around as the cup fills. The way the sunlight sometimes highlights the steam, the bubbles that sometimes float on the surface. What a wonderful way to begin the day! Today is not the first time I've photographed coffee, but it's the first time since the start of this blog. I present the entire photo as well as a detail cropped from the full frame. The bubbles are particularly interesting with their reflections. (A macro lens would be the best way to shoot them.)
Now I am off to replace a livingroom carpet in one of my Clay St. apartments. I have a nice young couple who will be taking the place Monday. My celebrtity brother Al will cut it in for me. He's pretty darn good with carpeting.