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, 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