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, June 20, 2015

The elusive Silver Fox

Silver Fox photographed in Carthage, NY, Nikon D4 with 70-200mm f2.8 lens                  photo by gary walts

Two Summers ago I was in the back yard of my home in Chaumont, NY, near dusk and an animak suddenly appeared from behgind the garage. It looked at me briefly and darted away. I had no idea what it was. After some google searc hing I determined in was a Silver Fox. I had never seen one before. It so happens that they are rare and they do not live long, two or three years. They are also unique in that they climbv trees and can be found sleeping in trees. Anyhow, yesterday I was in Carthage  playing guitar for the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Carthage Area Hospital. I was finished and on my way home and decided to stop at the liquor store in Carthage. It was 7:30PM. I was about to get out of the van when a Silver Fox creaped out of the brush. I grabbed my camera and made these photos. What a beautiful, healthy looking creature.

Silver Fox photographed in Carthage, NY, Nikon D4 with 70-200mm f2.8 lens                  photo by gary walts

Saturday, June 6, 2015

NY Army National Guard Military Police training at Fort Drum NY

Military Police train at Fort Drum NY. This is simulation of a mortar attack on their detainee holding facility. 

Yesterday I spent the morning at Fort Drum, NY, home of the US Army's 10th Mountain Division. I was there photographing NY Army National Guard military police training. They were in a mock up of a small Iraq village where they were holding detainees and HVTs. HVTs are High Value Targets. Anyhow, you can see all of the pictures by viewing my photo gallery at syracuse.com

MP's at Fort Drum portray the "bad guys" during training in a mock Iraq village. 

Friday, June 5, 2015

I have problems... but they are not that big a deal

I have problems. But who doesn't? One's life is full of problems. They appear they disappear. Some linger for a long time. For years. Some are solved or resolved quickly. My current problems are not huge. In fact they all revolve around my current state of mind. My psyche. I am not doing things these past few months with the vim, vigor, and enthusiasm as I usually do. For example, I have pretty much been absent on Face Book. My ads for wedding photography and  guitar lessons on Craig's list have been almost non existent. My blog posts have almost stopped. Doing projects around the house have been slow to get off the ground. They are taking me longer to finish. Overall it's the enthusiasm for every day life that has been lacking.

There is a reason for it and I think it goes back to October 2014 to the death of my brother Thomas. When people close to us die it has an effect upon us. I am still riding the storm out in my mind. The passage of time is what helps. Distance. Life continues relentlessly for the living after an event like that occurs. Things happen to push the event backward in your mind.  For instance, my sister C in Arizona had her house vandalized a few weeks ago.  It was a very traumatic experience for her. Back in October Thomas' death was a traumatic event. I have not spoken to her specifically about this, but let us assume that Tom's death has been on her mind for all this time. Slowly taking a back seat, but still there. An event like have her house broken into and vandalized  most certainly gives her a new event to focus on. Pushing Tom further back in her mind. Her memory. Which is where it should go.

For me a good friend of mine, Larry, died on May 12th. His death now occupies my thoughts more than those thoughts of  brother Thomas. But that's not exactly a welcome thing. I would rather  have Larry still around and rather have Thomas still around. In fact, having two people close to me die in a 7 month or so period is a bummer. Add to that the store I was teaching guitar at for the past 5 years closed and with it a most pleasant chapter in my life.

But here is what I know:  Sooner or later my psyche will be back to normal. In fact it's all ready occurring because I am taking time out to write all of this and post it to this blog.

My father's death at age 56 was particularly traumatic. for those who do not know I will tell you straight out that he committed suicide. He shot himself in the head on a hot August afternoon. It took me 10 years to be able to acknowledge that and talk about it. Some 6 months or more after he died I was talking to a friend about some trouble I was having. This person knew my father and how he died. Anyway, the crux of it was this person told me I was still in shock over Dad's death. I thought that was ridiculous. Months had passed. In fact I never thought I was in shock at all. Then one afternoon I was sitting in my car and a feeling passed over me. A feeling of lightness. It suddenly seemed as if the Sun got brighter. A few minutes later another wave seemed to wash over me and I felt lighter. The day seemed brighter. Wave after wave began washing over me. I have done a lot of scuba diving in my life and I can compare it to swimming to the surface of the St. Lawrence River after being to a depth of 100 feet. At that depth it is dark. You can still see, but it's much darker that the surface. But that's what it felt like. I was rising from a great depth that I had no idea I was in. Suddenly I realized my friend was right. I had been in shock for all those many months. (Is it shock or depression?) Doesn't matter. Anyhow, I know this feeling will pass. I have been swimming in some great depths but am slowly rising to the surface.

I love you all out there. I love God. I love my family. Just the act of writing this makes me appreciate my life so much I could almost weep with joy.