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.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Lost & Found

As usual I have been rather busy. Photographed a wedding in Lowville, NY this past Saturday. Sunday I delivered photos from a wedding I shot a couple of weeks ago. Those folks were very pleased.
The photo presented here was yet another on I snapped while waiting for a traffic light to change. It was taken at the foot of Franklin St where it meeats Public Sqaure in Watertown, NY. Nice to see people reading.
OK: Lost & Found:  Today I photographed three jobs for the Post-Standard. On my way back to the office I stopped at a store, stuck my wallet in my back pocket. I don't ever carry my wallet with me because I don't want to lose it. I keep it hidden in my car. I suppose that would be a nice bonus for car thieves. Anyhow, I forgot to take the wallet out of my pocket. I get into the nerwspaper building and do all of my work. I leave for the evening and get about 8 miles down Route 81 North & check for my wallet. NOT THERE! I check my pocket. NOT THERE! Rats. I hope to God it's in the newspaper building. I go back and sure enough, there was my wallet on the floor behind the chair I had been sitting in. That was just 20 minutes ago. I am thankful for it's quck recovery. Now it's about 11:00PM and I am headed home. Good night all.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Sailing On Lake Ontario

It is raining here in Chaumont, NY at about 3:00 in the afternoon. I have visitors. I was going to grill some some nice pork steaks today, but instead have put them in the oven, under foil, for a slow cook.
Today's photo was taken from a vantage point at Fort Ontario in Oswego, NY.

Sailing in Oswego Harbor, Oswego, NY.                                                                                                   Photo by Gary Walts

Monday, June 20, 2011


Today these Daisys caught my eye. There is much for me to do during the non-Winter months and keeping up with the blog has taken a back seat. It's a shame too, because almost everyday I have something I could talk about. But over all I find I am too tired, or simply wish to relax at the end of the day.

Yesterday was Father's Day and I was rather burned out. I spent the morning stacking fire wood. Then I replaced the brake pads on the front wheel's of the Better Half's Dodge Caravan. Then at 4:30 we visited her daughter's house where we had a nice cook out and a few beers. In the mean time my Son stopped by our home in Chaumont & we were not there. However, he dropped off a nice card and a nice hat for a Father's Day gift. That was nice. I'll have to post a photo of it at another time as I am not anywhere near home at the moment.

Got to bed at 11:00pm and pretty much slept through 'til 8:30 this morning.
I finally feel more rested than I have for the past two weeks.

I hope all is well in your World, wherever that may be.
Gary Walts

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart - "Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius."

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Paul Zehr's House

This was Paul Zehr's house, a neighbor of mine on Washington street in Cahumont, NY. Paul died Sept. 18, 2007.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More From My Neighbors Bedroom

These are some more snaps I took of an upstairs bedroom in a neigthbors house down the street from me in Chaumont, NY. He passed away some time ago & his home is being sold in a tax auction.

Some days, like today, I wonder what the point of it all is. I'm sleepy, it is late, I may as well go to bed. Tomorrow I go to Teaism in Clayton, NY to p-lay some guitar during luch hour. Roughly 11:30- 1:30. Might be 12-2. It is a loose affair. What will come of it in the end?

I am a landlord and every 30 days I collect some rents. I am a newspaper photographer (really not the same as a photojournalist). Every 7 days I collect a paycheck. I am a guitarist and once in a while someone pays me to play my instrument. I also teach guitar and 2 days a week a few students pay me for a half or an hour of my time. A couple of times a month I manage to land freelance photography jobs. In my off time I practice guitar, try to keep up maintanence on my home in Chaumont and my rental units. Cars too. Today I spent most of my time stacking fire wood.
So that is life in the North Country.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Neighbors Christmas Tree

One of my  neighbors, and older man that lived a few houses down the street from me, died some time ago. I didn't know him well. He lived alone and evidently had no children, no living siblings. A sign has appeared in the front yard of his home saying it will be auctioned in a tax sale. A couple of weeks ago someone or group opened the house up and sold most of his belongings. I was vaguely interested in biddingt on the property as a rental investment. So I went inside to checki it out. This Christmas tree was in an upstairs bedroom.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Maple Tree In Auburn, NY

I like a broad range of music and photographic styles. In the early days of developing my eye I would try to emmulate the photographic styles of photograpgers work I would see in magazines. My first and formost love is black & white. My all time favorite photographer is Eugene Meatyard. Most people I have met that have seen his work do not like it. But I was entranced by it.

Maple tree in Auburn, NY.                                                                                                    photo by Gary Walts

Another one whose work I absolutely loved, and is a thousand degrees away from Meatyard's style, was David Hamilton.  Hamilton's work is all grainy, soft, pastel colors of young girls in dreamy settings.
The styles of these two are light years apart. However, today I realize what they have in common that I like. There is a mysterious quality to their work. Both created images that look as if they came out of dreams.

Their photos cause me to pause and ponder. Who is this person? Where are they?  How did they get where they are? Invariably when someone sees a photo they like they raise the question "Where is that?"
If that question pops up in a conversation about any of your photos take it is a clue that you probably have made a good photo.

At my current age I no longer am concerned about finding photos or developing a signature style. For the most part my eyes are always turned on and things just catch my eye.  A case in point is the Maple Tree presented here. I was going to photograph a job at a nursing home in Auburn, NY. I had to be there at 7:00pm. I pulled into a parking lot and right there, dead in front of me, through the windshield was this Maple tree illuminated by the late day Sun.  I wasn't searching for it. It was presented to me. The photo is no masterpiece. I put it into my "Pretty Pictures" category.
The light and shadows are crucial to making this photo work. Composition too is critical. By looking at this photo one would never know that between the tree and the background is a busy highway. I lowered my angle to hide the road. I also had to snap while there was a break in the traffic. Large trucks were tall enough to appear in the frame. One would also never know that I was shooting from a paved parking lot of a medical institution. So composition requires selecting an angle of view and framing it so as to include & exclude certain elements.
I have also said many times that I see evrything as arrangements of shapes.  You can from this diagram the major shapes that make up the composition. You change the shapes via angle of view and choice of lens.  
I see the world through the lens as an arrangement of shapes.

Everything contained in thes blog is copyright Gary Walts 2011

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Sunset Drive

Well, we have had several days in a row without rain. Tha's been nice. But it is still cool. This morning at 8:00am it was only 48 degrees. I finally have the garden planted. Tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans. They are in two small beds. Last year the deer repeatedly ate the plants and I had a small, alomost worthless harvest. This year the backyard is all fenced in. I am sure that in at leat two places the deer could leap the fence, but I'm assuming they will not bother. I think the deer are more opportunists and go for easy pickings. I'm hoping they haven't the ambition to leap the two shorter sections of the fence. Time will tell.

This photo was taken though the dirty windshield of my car as I was nearing the village of Chaumont at Sunset. I wasn't looking through the viewfinder. I was simply pointing it  and holding the shutter release button down. It was made with a Nikon D7000 with a 17-55mm lens. This photo is actually a composite of 2 photos. The main reason I did this was because the sun in the image containing the car at left was blown out. Overexposed.  So I copied & pasted the Sun from another frame into it. The Sun was still overexposed & blown out, but not as much as the first image.

These are the two photos I composited to get the one shown above.