Monday, January 28, 2008

stephen redux, no. 1

here’s what i can say about this glorious series of stephen-themed pictures. first, no animals were harmed in the making of these photos. however, i can make no such claims with respect to stephen’s soul. second, photoshop use was extremely minimal—basically i converted a few pictures from color to black and white. i did not digitally impose any photos on other photos. (actually photoshop use was nonexistent since i don’t use photoshop. i use the low-end software that came with my camera.)

stephen redux, no. 2

stephen redux, no. 3

stephen redux, no. 4

stephen redux, no. 5

stephen redux, no. 6

Monday, January 21, 2008

18 degrees

Title courtesy of my oldest daughter.

So the next few pictures result from our recent cold snap. (Yes, the low was 18 degrees.) It turns out it’s easier to take pictures of ice when ice is available. Twice last week it snowed--flurries, but no accumulation. For a few minutes at least my daughters experienced pure joy—giggling, and pushing each other, and running around with their mouths open, trying to catch falling snow. I never know how to use the word “frolic,” but I’m pretty confident there was some serious sister-frolicking going on outside.

When the snow stopped my middle child told me it was because they had eaten it all up. And I thought, hey, that’s a pretty cool kid strategy: rather than being morose because the snow ended, take ownership of it. “Sure it ended; we ended it. And that’s why we’re full. But I COULD use some hot cocoa.”

That’s how they roll.

incredibly tiny ice swirls

I had not detected these pretty little bubbles and swirls when I took the picture--I discovered them only when I enlarged the image on the computer. Something about seeing these little images emerge from nowhere reminded me how the importance of accidental discovery in contributing to a rich life can hardly be overstated.

And then I thought how we, too, need from time to time to peek beneath all the layers of lies and clichés and routines and habits that shroud of us from ourselves.

You know, with the help of digital photo manipulation software.

And then I thought this: the robots will definitely win.

Oh, there’s no doubt.

icebergs in the sandbox

icy fault line

I asked my oldest daughter what I should title my photos. Mostly she wandered around the room, walking in circles, offering silly suggestions. Here's one of her suggestions for a title, and I quote: "You should call it, 'Oh, it's a far, far better thing that I do than I have ever done, and it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known--it's a cruel world….because of marshmallow peeps.'"

I went with my own title, as seen above. Not that there's anything wrong with hers. Marshmallow peeps are but one more sign of a sad cruel world.

Friday, January 18, 2008

building and moon

I have taken only a few photos of the moon. It's too hard; I don't know how to do it. In fact, I find a fair number of subjects beautiful but too challenging to capture well in photography:
Fire. The moon. Rocks under flowing water. There are several others. Capturing the excitement of anything moving--wind through the grass or trees, for example--doesn't translate well to photography unless you capture a moment that dramatically conveys the shape and direction of the motion. It's definitely not one of my strengths. Plus I don't know much about the mechanics of a camera. So...I just avoid those kinds of photos.
I posted this picture not because it's especially good--it is just the best photo of the moon I've taken. I think you need to contrast the moon with a terrestrial object to give the moon some visual context. I don't know--not really, anyway.
Helpful hints, anyone?

shoes under the bench

Recently my student worker said, “you know, I think your office is pretty revealing about your personality. The outside of your door is covered with cynical and ironic cartoons and photos, but the inside of your door—what you see—is filled with your children’s drawings and artwork. I think you present a jaded exterior to the outside world but are really a squishy sentimental guy.”

To which I responded, “ummm…….yeah.......ummm......well, you caught me.”

Self-portrait as Louis XIV

Monday, January 07, 2008