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.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Last Day Of The Year

It is 9:40am here in Chaumont, NY on the last day of 2011. I got out of bed at 6:45. Guitar practice from 7:00 TO 9:00. Just made some breakfast: Scrambled eggs with fried peppers, onions & hot Italian sausage. I'm eating that while I type this blog entry.

This past Wednesday I awoke to a flat tire on the Better Half's van. There was a screw stuck in the tread. I took the tire off, went to Russel's Garage in Watertown and had the tire repaired for $10.00. On Friday I had to drop my van off at All Good Auto in Brownville to have a front wheel bearing replaced. So I used the Better Half's van for my jobs. I was driving to Baldwinsville to photograph some teen age movie makers when a tire blew out. I was on Interstate Rt 81 just at the Mattydale exit when the tire blew. I get out to investigate it and discover it was the tire I just had repaired. The side wall of it split, or tore, vertically. I have no idea what could have happened. I don't think it's possible it could be related to the screw and the repair from a couple days before. Anyhow, the photo above I snapped of the flat tire while waiting for AAA to arrive and tow me to a tire store.

I may add more to this blog today, but if not, I want to wish you all a Happy New year.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Frost On The Windows

It was a mere 3 degrees this morning here in Chaumont, NY. That was at 6:00AM. It is now 12:30 and 17 degrees. The Sun is out and that makes the snow sparkle. It is this cold weather that creates frost formations on the windows. The photo here is a sample. It would be more interesting to have a macro lens to get some close ups. But that will have to be for another day.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Outrage At The Border Patrol

The above photo caught my eye as I was driving around in the city of Syracuse.

A week ago I had to drive up to the prison in Dannemora, NY. It is a maximum security facility located in the Adirondack Mountains, built in 1835. I was there to photograph and video an interview with one Floyd VanHooser. He is the fourth person to come out of the woodwork and accuse former Syracuse University assistant basketball coach Bernie Fine of molesting him as a child. It is a most interesting, ongoing story.

Anyhow, the three and a half hour drive home took me along the St. Lawrence River and through the village of Waddington. Traffic was backed up a bit as I approached the village. Then I see that the Border Patrol has four cars parked on the road shoulders and numerous agents stopping cars. We are supposed to travel freely about in this country, not be stopped for unwarranted reasons. My hackles were raised and I did not wish to be cooperative. However, If I were not, I'm sure I would have been detained for a longer period than I could afford. I was on the job after all. On my own time I would have given them some static.
Anyway, a young looking female agent motioned me to stop. I did so & sat until I was told to lower my window. "Where are you coming from", she asked. Inside I was outraged. It is none of her or their business where I've been. I looked at her with a stone cold face and said, "Massena." "Where are you going?" "Home," I said. She began to look nervous. "Where is home at?", she asked. I wanted to tell her it was none of her f***ing business. Instead I replied, very slowly, accenting each syllable, "Chau-mont, New-York." By now there was such iciness in my tone it's a wonder my words didn't freeze and shatter in the air. Then she mis-pronounced the name Chaumont, in a quizzical fashion. "Where is that?" Again I answered with thick, slow, heavy, ice laden syllables: "In Jeff-er-son Coun-ty." By now she got the message loud & clear that I did not like being stopped and questioned. She finished with a sort of apologetic tone "Well, I've never heard of that place befor." Then she said "OK". I didn't acknowledge her any further, I simply drove off. I would say she was no older than 25-27. I like being old enough to be her father, with grey tinged hair, and giving her the treatment. She was clearly uncomfortable after quizzing me.

Who the Hell do those people think they are? This is BS (Bull Shit).

In other matters, my transmission has been repaired to the tune of $2095.00.

Christmas was nice. The Better Half & I made the rounds to various households in our families, bearing gifts and good cheer. At 8:00AM we were at her daughter's home in Burrville. From there we went to her daughter's home in Brownville. Then we went to my Daughter's home in Calcium. From there to my mother's home, also in Calcium. Then we went to my son's home in Watertown. From there we stopped in at my brother T's home in Dexter. From there we went home, arriving about 5:00PM. It was a most pleasant, but tiring Christmas.

The following photo is another one that cught my eye in recent weeks. It is a sidewalk in the city of Syracuse, NY.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Silent Night Guitar Solo

This is me playing Franz Gruber's Silent Night. I have played only one verse so as to keep it brief and not bore anyone. I made the video with a Nikon D7000 camera The setting is my home in Chaumont, NY.

A week ago I played some tunes at the Depauville Hotel in Depauville, NY. The occassion was a Christmas party for North Country musicians. Of course, everyone was welcome. We musicians just did a lot of playing. I had a really good response. people were cheeringt and yelling and afterwards told me how great I played. That was nice. How ever, the place was packed with people, the sound system was such that i couldn't really hear myself. It also got hotter than Hell i n there. Between the temperature and my nerves I began to sweat. Sweating so much that the water ran off my forehead and burned my eyes. I'm sure I lost some weight during that event. But I have to say that I enjoyed it. I have been having trouble understanding the huge, positive response to my playing. It was wonderful, but it confuses me. I simply cannot believe I played or sounded as well as the audience was implying by their response.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Syracuse NY At Dawn

Two nights ago I was at a Christmas party in Depauville. Got to bed at midnight. Left the house the next morning at 5:30AM. Made this picture in Syracuse.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Photographing Basketball With Nikon D7000

Last Friday I photographed high school basketball. Last night I photographed high school basketball. Tonight I am photographing high school basketball. It is probably the single most thing that I dislike to photograph. But what is one to do? One must pay the bills, so you photograph what The Man wants photographed and you takes your pay.
I've been using a Nikon D7000 camera for these ganes. I'm not so sure it's the best choice. I will use it again tonight to see how it goes.

Once again the Better Half and I are at odds with one another. 'Tis the season to be merry.

The transmission bit the dust on my 2002 Dodge Caravan. Repair bill will be around the $1,500.00 mark. That's a nice thing to buy myself for Christmas.

When will I ever get to buy a new guitar?

I do not have time to post a photograph at this moment in time.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas

These are a couple of snapshots of our home in Chaumont, NY, taken by the Better Half with a Sony DSC-W350 Cyber-shot camera. They were snapped tonight and shows how we are getting into the Christmas swing of things. Hope all is well in your World.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Another Multiple Exposure With Nikon D300

The upper photo is a multiple exposure, six in all, made with a Nikon D300. It is made from the scene in the lowere photo. The trees are reflected in glass at the Manley Field House in Syracuse, NY. I moved the camera a little bit between each exposure. My exploration of multiple exposures has been partly influenced by the work of Eugene Meatyard. He was one of my earliest influences in photography.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Tom and Jerrys at The Crystal Restaurant

Winter has set in here in Chaumont, NY. The mornings have been cool, just 21 degrees on this day. Today I taught guitar at Musicology in Watertown. I currently charge $15.00 for a half hour, $25.00 for an hour. Four students showed up today. Two canceled. Anyhow, I was done at 3:00 and my celebrity brother and I went to The Crystal Restaurant for Tom and Jerry drinks. It is an old time, classic holiday cocktail and there is no better place to enjoy them than The Crystal.

Making Tom and Jerrys at The Crystal Restaurant

Tom and Jerry

* 12 egg(s)
* 1 cup sugar
* 1 bottle brandy
* Pinch of ground allspice
* Pinch of ground cinnamon
* Pinch of ground cloves
* 1 bottle dark rum
* milk
* nutmeg

Glass Type: mug

Separate the eggs. Beat the whites until they form a stiff froth, and the yolks -- to which you have added the sugar -- "until they are as thin as water," as the professor advises, gradually adding 4 ounces brandy (spiceaholics will also add a pinch each of ground allspice, cinnamon, and cloves). Fold the whites into the yolks. When ready to serve, give it another stir and then put 1 tablespoon of this batter in a small mug or tumbler. Now add 1 ounce brandy (although some die-hard Dixiecrats prefer bourbon) and 1 ounce Jamaican rum, stirring constantly to avoid curdling. Fill to the top with hot milk and stir until you get foam. Sprinkle a little grated nutmeg on top. This one may require practice and a certain amount of fiddling, but it's well worth the effort. Note: Some people find the milk too rich and filling, so they use half hot milk, half boiling water.

Read more: http://www.esquire.com/drinks/tom-and-jerry-drink-recipe#ixzz1fW8qlTVl

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Multiple Exposure

It's December First, chilly and sunny here in Chaumont, NY (about 10 or 12 miles from the Canadian border) this morning. 20 degrees. The roofing job on my apartment house is about done. Now I am touching up the upper apartment which has become vacant. I hope to have it rented within a couple of weeks.

A few days ago I had some time on my hands so I took a walk and was inspired to experiment once again with some multiple exposures. This one is six exposures of a yellow line in a parking lot. The camera was a Nikon D300 which has a simple multiple exposure feature.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Christmas Ale From Great Lakes Brewing Co.

Today is Thanksgiving Day. We started things out with a special Christmas Ale brewed by the Great Lakes Brewing Co. in Cleveland, Ohio. It's a complex beer with a bitter, spicy edge and 7.5 percent alcohol. The photo is of my celebrity brother who joined the Better Half and I, along with some of her family, for a traditional turkey dinner. A good time was had by all. They have all departed and tonight I'll watch The Office on TV. One of my all time favorite TV shows.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Muskie Fishing, Greg Lago, Winged Bull Studio, Woody Allen

What do muskie Fishing, Greg Lago, Winged Bull Studio, and Woody Allen have in common? They were all a part of my day today.
I got up this morning at 6:00AM. It was 20 degrees F outside. A heavy frost on the ground. At 7:45 I was in Clayton NY to photograph a muskie fishing guide trolling for that species of fish on the St. Lawrence River. By 10:00AM I was back on shore in that same riverside village which is home to the Winged Bull Studio. The owner & proprietor is the legendary artist & wood engraver Greg Lago. The photos displayed here were all taken there this morning. I simply cannot visit Greg in his studio without making some snaps. The establishment is a visual feast to my ever hungry eyes. SNAP! SNAP! SNAP! I cannot control myself.

From there I made my way to my apartment house on Franklin Street in Watertown, NY. There I joined my brothers R & Celebrity A where we have been replacing the roof. It has been a fairly big job. We should be done in a few more days. I worked there from 1:00 until 5:00. I was back home in Chaumont bt 6:00. Then it was a quick bite to eat and the Better Half & I settled in to watch the second half of a Woody Allen documentary that aired on PBS last night (Monday). We taped it so as to view it this evening. The W.A. documentary was most excellent, especially since I am a W.A. fan. It was also accompanied with some nice Cabernet Sauvigon and guacamloe & chips. Over all, a terrific day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Snow Today

Here are a couple of snaps I made while driving South on Interstate Route 81 near Mexico, NY. The first snow I have driven in this season.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Guitar Last Night

Last night I played at the Ives Hill Retirement Community's monthly birthday & anniversary dinner. It took me a little while to settle into the scene and gain my confidence because I have not played anywhere for anyone since Teaism closed this past August. I have been too busy with other matters to set any other gigs up. So this opportunity came up and I jumped at it. I noticed on man there paying particularly close attention to my playing. A little later I over heard him sya to the woman that hired me, "This guy's the most professional musician we've ever had."
Later in the evening I introduced myself and learned that he was a piano p-layer, and also sang with a barber shop quartet for many years. So his compliment is more meaningful because he is a musician.
I also got nice comments from numerous others, including the kitchen staff that heard me play while they were serving dinner.

My assessment was that I did OK. I started out a bit shaky so I played several short pieces by Francisco Tarrega, repeating certain passages to both fill up some time and get myself warmed up.
Other pieces I played: Lara's Theme from Dr. Zchivago (Somewhere My Love). I did OK with this until I hit a certain 3 chord progression which I fumbled up. There is no reason for this other than I need to practice the chords. This one short part has given me trouble forever ONLY because I have been to lazy to take the time to polish it.
Larry Beekman's arrangement of Your Song by Elton John was pretty good but I became exasperated when I had a mental block and fumbled in a spot that I had never fumbled before. I'm not real confident with that piece anyway because I have played it very few times for people.

Bach's Prelude N. One from the Well Tempered Clavier I played extremely well. Probably the best I've ever done. This is a transcription by Christopher Parkening and is truly a virtuoso piece. The chord shapes are physically demanding, requiring considerable strength and dexterity to execute. It is also a most beautiful composition, music from Heaven.

The Beatles tunes that I normally play each suffered from their respective spots that I have gotten rusty with. Normally if I have not played these pieces in a while I would revue/rehearse them the afternoon before the performance, going over those spots that tend to fade quickly from my memory. THis usually results in a satisfactory performance. Then, if I do not play them again for 2 or 3 months, I simply must revue them again. But on the afternoon before this performance I did not do that. You see, I have an apartment house that I am putting a new roof on and it has taken up my time. I spent the morning taking my Mother to the hospital for cataract surgery and the afternoon on the roof job. I permitted myself no rehearsal time.

I also played Bach's Prelude from the First Cello Suite as transcribed by Julian Bream very well. This came off very well because for once I took pains not to start the piece out at too fast a tempo. I slowed it down a little and the result was excellent. I wish I had a recording of this evening's playing, but, I don't. I was more pleased with myself than normal.

The people in attendance at the dinner are retirees. They live in an upscale community, some have assisted living, some their own apartments. With this demographic in mind I found it interesting that Estudio Inconcluso by Augustin Barrios Mangore went over very well. It really seemed to grab the attention of quite a number of folks. For me it is a fun little piece to play and one I find I can be rather expressive with.

So those are the high lights. It was a most enjoyable evening for me and I was home in time to watch Survivor on CBS.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Self Portrait In Sunglasses

I was getting into my Dodge Caravan when I spotted my reflection in my sunglasses. Actually, they are safety glasses that also happen to be sunglasses. I purchased them to use as safety glasses for all of those do it yourself projects that I am always involved with. The smaller photo was cropped out of the full photo below.

Otherwise, how are things going? Well, I was pretty miserable this evening photographing Lights On The Lake at Onondaga Lake Park in Liverpool NY. It was raining cats and dogs. My feet got soaked. I hate wet feet. My waterproof boot were at home. I could go on and on, but I just want to get the evening wrapped up and be done with it. I do hope all is well in your world.

A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.
Frederick The Great

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Stop Nixon

Today's photo is one that I snapped in Washington DC during President Richard Nixon's inauguration, must be January of 1973. I was 18 or 19 years old.

I'm not sure where my original scan from this slide is, so, it's a fairly small image here on the blog.

I came across it and thought I'd post it here quickly.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Roofing, Glen Campbell

Here is waht's going on lately. I am a land lord. The tenant in my upper apartment on Franklin St., Watertown recently moved out. I noticed that the closet in the bedroom showed evidence of a leaky roof. I inspect the roof outside and see that it is in terrible shape. Evidently it has been leaking for quite some time and the tenant did not let me know. Anyhow, my celebrity brother and my brother Rocket R. and I have begun stripping off the old roof and are in the process of nailing down a new one. Asphalt shingles. This follows on the heels of me just replacing the garage roof at the same place.
Two nights ago I had to photograph a Section III Class AA boys soccer game final in Liverpool, NY. It went into two overtimes, ended in a shoot out. I got home at 12:30 in the evening. In bed at 1:00AM. Up Tuesday at 7:00AM. It was election day. So I met brother Rocket at the Franklin St house at 9:00am. I worked there until 3:00 in the afternoon. Hard work. Slipped on the roof and twisted my shoulder. Slipped on a ladder & skinned both shins. At 3:00 I drove to Fulton for election day coverage. From there I went to Oswego to cover the mayors race. I got home from ther at 11:30. Had a glass of wine & was in bed by 1:00am. Got up this morning made coffee, had SHORT guitar practice (bummer!) met my brothers at Franklin st roof job at 9:30. Worked non stop until 5:30 at which time it was dark. We picked up tools and I went home. Watched Survivor on Tv. Then, I caught a part of the Country Music Awards. I posted the following on facebook after watching the Glen Campbell tribute: "I usually don't watch the Country Music Awards, BUT.. happened to catch the tribute to Glen Campbell. As a musician I just became SUPER CHARGED as I watched the great song writer Jimmy Webb embrace the equally great Glen Campbell at the end!. Two spirits whose paths crossed and the result was magic. I truly believe that music, beyond all other arts, proves the existence of God."

What a wonderful day I have had. Thank you Lord.

"I would have been content to just do studio work, making it on my own never really entered my mind."
Glen Campbell

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Garage Roof Repair

The last few days have been really nice here in the North Country, not far from the Canadian border. The garage at my house on Franklin St in Watertown is in rough shape. It was so when I bought the place a few years ago. Badly in need of a new roof I finally went at it this week. I am simply applying a tin roof directly over the old shingle roof. One spot in the roof was so bad that I fell through it with one leg. For whatever reason, it was the only spot that was that bad. I was able to walk safely over the rest of surface. The rotten spot was six inches by 24 inches. In other words, one of the roofing boards had rotted out between the rafters.

I used a metal cutting blade on a Makita skill saw to cut the tin. Cutting the tin is potentially dangerous and is NOISY! So I use ear plugs and safety glasses. The safety glasses also double as sun glasses. $14.00 at Ace Hardware store. A photographer MUST protect his eyes.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Another Day

Yesterday: I worked on the garage roof at my apartment house on Franklin St. I am putting a new tin roof on it. At 5:00 I went to Syracuse and photographed a job for the Post-Standard. Got home at midnight. Went staright to bed.

Today: Woke at 7:30. Made coffee. Started fire in wood stove. Took out the trash. Edited pix for a freelance job I shot a few days ago. Packaged them up and made out the invoice. 11:30 at post office & mailed it. Went to my Franklin St apartment house. Went to my mother's house for an hour. Back to the apartment house. Working on garage roof until 6:00. Stop at Michael's Crafts looking for a picture frame. No luck. Home at 7:00. Drank 2 beers, ate some food. Watched The Middle and Survivor. Time for bed.
Good night.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Saranac Pumpkin Ale For Halloween

We like beer here at this blog.
Today being Halloween and we are enjoying Saranac Pumpkin Ale while we hand out candy to the trick or treaters. The beer is a limited, annual made by the Matt Brewing Company, 811 Edward Street Utica, NY 13502.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Have been busy, busy lately. On Friday I shot a freelance job for United Way in Syracuse. Got home from that and finished burning CD's of a recent wedding, packaged them up for Sturday's mail. Then I cut mats and framed photos for the North Country Arts Council's annual art show which is held at the Dulles State Office Building in Watertown. Of course I screwed up some of the window mats and had to re-cut them a few times. So I didn't finish until midnight. I was beat. I hit the sack and wake up at 6:00AM. I prefer to get 8 hours of sleep, but 6 was it. Saturday morn I had to drive my celebrity brother to the car rental place before my guitar lessons.
I had ba solid block of students from 11:00 to 3:00. Then I needed to shop for some item's. I got home about 5:00. Brought in firewood. Then the Better Half & I went to The Blue Heron, a nice restaurant here in Chaumont.

Blah, blah, blah... Then comes Sunday morning(this morning). I have some Avacados that were not getting used. A couple were over ripe & I thre them out. The other 3 were just perfect for guacamole. So I made some and that is where the photos came from today. The upper one is the finished product. The one below is scraps of tomatoes and garlic that just caught my eye and I felt was worthy of a snap shot.

After the guacamole I dropped my art entries off at the state office building and proceeded to Syracuse to photograph the NY State Field Band Conference. So that's pretty much a snapshot of my life this weekend. Tomorrow is Halloween.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Stressfull Wedding Edit

Spent most of yesterday and part of today editing a wedding job. All went well until I went to select a cover photo and discovered that the photos were out of sequence. There were about a dozen images from the start of the day and group shots taken after the ceremony that somehow got sprinkled among the reception and ceremony photos. Using Photo Mechanic i tried to reorganize them and things got worse. It became like a shuffled deck of cards. What a nightmare! I finally returned to my original backup folder that had just the dozen or so shots out of order. I'm simply going to have to deliver them as they are. All of the photos are there, and they are all good, it just would be nicer if the sequence was perfect. The only other option is to go back to my original, complete take and weed through it all, start fresh at the beginning. That really sucks because there are 800 images. I open every one of them in Photo Shop, crop, adjust the levels, and sometimes the color balance. I also trash the obvious bad ones and weed out the redundent ones. That's a lot of work. It's also a mystery to me how this all started too. It's after 10:00pm and I was supposed to ship the photos out tomorrow.
About tomorrow: I have a freelance job in Syracuse that's going to use up a good portion of the day. Then I need to find time to cut some mats and fram some photos for the Fall Art Show in Watertown. The need to be delivered on Sunday. Saturday I have a full day of guitar lessons. Sunday I am working in Syracuse for the post-Standard. This is getting to be a bit much.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Franz Liszt 200th Birthday

Today was Franz Liszt' 200th birthday. I attended an all Liszt concert this evening in Pulaski NY, performed by Brendan Kinsella. It was a msot excellent display of virtuos piano. Afterward there was a reception and we had, among other things, some fantastic cake made by my friend Janet Gramza's daughter.

This is Brendan Kinsella in Pulaski, NY, after just playing a Liszt concert.

"Inspiration is enough to give expression to the tone in singing, especially when the song is without words." Franz Liszt, 1811-1886

Friday, October 21, 2011

Moammar Gadhafi Dead & I Can't Sleep

Moammar Gadhafi, Libya's dictator for 42 years is dead. So another one of the world's infamous dictators has met his demise. But now what? Will Libya get it's oil production going again and prosper? Or will there now begin a long series of tribal fighting for control of the country? Evil as men like Moammar Gadhafi and Saddahm Hussein are, their cruel, iron fisted control acts as a stabilizing force in regions that have long histories of tribes in conflict or war that prohibits any form of progress of any kind for the masses. I suspect that Libya will enter into a long period of disruption, instability and no productivity. The masses will be worse off than they were under his rule and a new leader may impose even harsher control over the Libyans. The country is ripe for the taking by a focused Muslim regime. Dictators like Moammar Gadhafi are so brutal that ALL the tribes are so stricken with fear that they "tolerate" one another. The dictator does not tolerate in-fighting amongs the tribes. As soon as the dictator is gone the long, historical disputes among the many factions rekindle. Then it's back to the ancient unrest and the oil wells will sit idle.

So why can't I sleep?

Well, it has nothing to do with Moammar Gadhafi or any other World events. I put in a fairly long day. Taught guitar at Musicology, came home & spent the evening catching up on paper work, bills, and the like. At 10:30 I went to bed, read until I could not keep my eyes open, so clicked the light off at 11:00. Well, I dozed for maybe ten minutes. Seriously, that was it. Then I lay there in the dark until 12:30 and decide to get up. I pour myself a glass of wine, slice up some cheese and have a few crackers and decide to make a blog entry. This entry. So what. Let's go back: Why couldn't I sleep? Well the real reason is that I had a big blow out with the Better half today. Lately we have been going through a period of many arguments and discontent. I don't like it. Most people think of me as easy going and mellow. Well, for thye most part I am. But I am an Aries, a red headed one at that. I have a fiery temper that I am not proud of. Nothing makes me feel worse about myself than when I unleash it toward the woman that I love. Or anyone I love for that matter. Over the years I have grown to control my temper a LOT. Compared to when I was in my twenties, it's like night & day. Abbot & Costello.

What about the squirrel in the cage?

The squirrel is not in a cage. He's in a trap. It's a HavaHeart live animal trap. Recently a squirrel got into the walls of my house. Upon investigation I discovered a hole that the vermin had chewed through the eves on the backside of my house, next to the chimney. Well, I baited the near by area with some peanut butter. Before long a squirrel that had taken residency in the chamber showed his face. That unfortunate creature met his demise from high impact lead poisoning, courtesy of my $200.00 Gammo air rifle. He was a young Grey squirrel. The one in the trap is a very young, juvenile Grey Squirrel. The young ones start out red, and go grey as they mature. Anyhow, it's obvious that there is a lot of squirrel activity around my home, and I have seen many young ones racing about. So, even though I shot one of them with my Gammo air rifle, I do Hava-heart, and so I set out a trap to catch any of the other's that might have had plans on moving in to the late squirrel's quarters. Well, lo & behold, in two days I trapped 5 young ones. Each of them was rewarded with a free ride to release at a wooded area adjacent to a cemetary about seven miles from my home. Now wasn't that nice?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Birthdays & Acid Reflux

Today is the Better Half's birthday. Tomorrow is my brother T's birthday. Next week my celebrity brother A has a birthday. Brother T is having a birthday party at The Last Call, a bar in the village of Evans Mills this evening.

It's 3:30 am. I was suddenly awakened by an acid reflux attack. Something I have not experienced in about five years. How terrible! I thought those days were over. However, I know what happened. I have let myself get overly tired lately. Sinmply not getting enough sleep. That coupled with the birthday party tonighyt. I over drank ( but was not drunk), and the real troublesome thing I did was drinking right up to bed time. I have not done that in a ong, long time. Usually I do not eat or drink anything for 2 or 3 hours before going to bed. What an idiot I was. It's been so long since I had such an attack I had completely forgotten about them. A lesson learned.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wedding Today

I awoke this morning to blue sky and bright sunshine pouring through the Maple trees in my neighbors yard. It's Friday and I am photographing a wedding this afternoon at the the Tug Hill Winery in Lowville, NY. But now the day has gone overcast and downright dark. The weather man calls for heavy rain. That's a shame because it will move the wedding indoors.

The photo here was made at a wedding in Mexico NY in May of 2009. Notice the relationship of the foreground and background. This was not an accidental photo. As I was photographing the bridal couple dancing I was keenly aware of what was happening in the background. This photo is just what I hoped to show. The foreground / background relationship is one of the things I try to convey to make a photo interesting.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

25 Years On The Job

Tonight I am attending a reception for employees of the Post-Standard newspaper that have been employed there for 25 years. That includes me. I am rather busy prior to that. I have to place an ad for wedding photofraphy in the local paper here. I have one guitar lesson, and, I need to stop by the North Country Arts Center and pay an entry fee for this years Fall art show. I hope to have a photo of some sort to place here today too. But I am simply pressed for time.

So the event honoring 25 year employees at the Post-Standard went well. With one exception. When my name was announced and a little blurb read aloud about me, I was introduced as Gary Waits. That's W-a-I-t-s. Not Wa-L-ts but Wa-i-ts.

I pretended not to notice. However, I felt like the character Sue Heck on the TV show The Middle.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Foggy Morning

There was a heavy fog this morning in Northern New York. I love how fog makes the world look. I had to drive to my mother's house to take her to the eye doctors. As usual I was running a bit late. That caused me some disappointment because the combination of the Sun, the fog, and the Autumn colors created one magical scene after another. But alas, I had no time to make photos. If I were to stop to make a picture late delivering my mother to her appointment. I get to her home in the hamlet of Calcium and I see the photo presented here. This scene is behind her house. So in the end I was rewarded for my puncuality.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Pictures From A Walk

I take lots of pictures. One of the big reasons is simply to see what something looks like photographed. Another reason is to see how the camera handles certain situations. Particularly certain lighting situations such as night photography, indoor scenes with harsh, contrast lighting. The more pictures you take and the more you experiment with your camera, the better prepared you will be when you see something that you REALLY want to make a good photo of. Or, how to handle a situation that someone may be paying you to photograph. So I am always snapping away. The photos presented here all came from a short walk I took from my house to a general store about three blocks away.

Overhead Wires

These utility wires are on the same block as my home. I have lived here for 20 years. For some reason that I cannot explain, during this walk the wires "caught my eye." Why have I not noticed this cluster of wires before? Or did I but just wasn't inspired to photograph it? I don't know. I do know that I was attracted to the sense of confusion they suggest5. This was the first photo I made on this walk.

A Neighbors House

The next thing that caught my eye was the orange reflector on this tree and the blue wall in the background. I was struck by the colors and somehow thought I might make something of the foreground / background relationship.

As I am exploring the foreground / background relationship I am keenly aware of the blue wall, the window, and the objects against the wall. They look to me like a sort of still life. I'm pretty sure that who ever placed the objects there had no intention of making an artistic statement. This is just a spontaneous juxtaposition of items that I find very interesting.

House Connected To The Grid

By the time I take this photo I am back on my street, on my block. This is a neighbors house three doors away from me. I liked the awning over the window. Then I started thinking about how the house is connected to the electric grid. I started snapping away, studying the composition until I came up with this. It's sort of conveys an idea that the house is a living entity, the wires are the umbilical cord that feeds it energy. If I had shown the entire house and wires the message would have been far different. What we include and exclude in our composition of a scene helps convey the message and/or feeling of the photograph.

A Couple Of Test Photos

The next two photos I simply took because it was dusk. The light was getting interesting. I snapped these two photos just to see how the camera handled the situationn. The camera, by the way, is a Nikon D7000.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Today is October First. I was sxcheduled to have four students come in for guitar lessons. Only two of them showed. One of the non-shows had allready paid so I don't know why they didn't show. It is cold here in Chaumont NY. I have a fire in the wood stove. Also had a squireel or some other vermin running around in the walls and cielings. I know

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mom Has Cataract Surgery

I took my mother to the hospital today to have cataract surgery on her right eye. It went smoothly. We got to the hospital at 9:00AM and were back to her house at noon.

This photo is her and her great grand son JJ, this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Christmas On Bear Mountain

I was a huge comic book fan when I was a kid. My older brother A & I had quite a collection. The DC heroes were among our favorites. That would be Batman, Superman, Hawkman, Aquaman, The Flash and more. I also liked the Disney comics, particularly Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse. I gave my comic book collection to my son to read when he was a teen. He liked them a lot. But I never saw them again. What became of them after him I have no idea. With one exception: A Donald Duck comic from 1947 with the story Christmas On Bear Mountain. I do not remember where I got my copy of it. It was published in 1947, a few years before I was born.

As comic books go it wasn't worth a lot because the cover was missing. It was also well worn from many readings over the years. However, it was my favorite. The story and art were done by Carl Barks. He created some of the greatest comic book stories of all time. So, when I passed my collection to my son I held on to that particular one. I kept it in a desk drawer.

When I bought my home in Chaumont, NY the desk and comic book came along with me. The house was in terrible condition and it took an entire year for me to get it into livable condition. All of that time my belongings were stored in the garage. That was twenty years ago and the desk never did find it's way into the house. So it and the comic book remain in the garage. Over the years I would regularly take the comic book out and look at it. Last Winter I pulled it out and gave it a read. Still like that story. I always meant to one day make a digital copy of the book just for a back up.

Then one day I opened the desk drawer and what do I find? Mice got in there and chewed it all to pieces. The photo is exactly how it appeared when I opened the drawer. What a bummer! However, the internet being what it is I can find a replacement. It has been reprinted more than once over the years. But mine, rough as it was, was a 1947 issue.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

I Find A Serpent

It has been rather lovely as far as the weather goes here in Chaumont, NY.

You never know when the next photo opportunity is going to present itself. The snake photos are a case in point.

Yesterday I loaded some firewood into my Dodge Caravan. It was from a dead Ash tree that I cut up at my brother T's place in Dexter. The wood has been sitting in a pile undisturbed for about six weeks. As I was handling the wood I disturbed various insects, worms and the like that had settled into the pile. The wood shifted a couple of times. I lift up one large piece of wood and find a small, dead snake. He had just gotten crushed by a piece of the tumbling wood. Anyhow, I load up and drive home. I didn't get to unloading it until this morning. When the last of the wood was all removed I spotted a small snake scurry under one of the seats. I captured him and took his photo.
I didn't have a macro lens so I cropped the lower photo to show off the detail in the upper photo.