Generosity!!! Reblogged from Autumn Ambles … with The Bride

This lovely flower photo reminds me of a beautiful dress…perhaps a wedding gown. I enjoy the photo and the poem so much that I was inspired to write a short rhyme of my own. Thanks to Bushka, of Autumn Ambles, for allowing me to re-blog.

[My poem, entitled The Bride, is below.]

THE BRIDE

A teardrop fell on her beautiful dress,
she saw it not, under her stress.
Her hand she could give, but not her heart
for that belonged to another to live
far and forever apart.
She smiled through her tears,
as she said her vow
and gently resigned herself to tomorrow.
©Sometimes,2015

Autumn Ambles

smile emoticon kolobok

No fairer lass there ever be
Than Generosity,
Her comeliness for all to see,
Sans animosity –
Patent felicity!

 ©Meanderings 2015

smile emoticon kolobok

View original post

Photographer or Pitcha-taker?

Once, decades ago, the Chief Photographer at the newspaper where I worked  asked me a question that has remained in my thought-processor to emerge every once in awhile:

“Do you want to be a Photographer?  Or just a Pitcha-taker.?”

At the time I had only recently began providing photos to accompany my news stories.  I had a Yashika-Mat camera, which I had bought for the purpose.  It cost $85, which was a considerable amount of money for me, but in retrospect it was a good investment, because during the years I used it,  the Yashika paid for itself many times over.   I was supporting five children with my earnings as a reporter  for the newspaper, and for two years in 1970-1972 my meager pay was most of the time my sole source of income.

At that time I had no formal education beyond high school, although fortunately I had some ability to write cohesive articles and took to news reporting like an Owl to being a bookstore mascot.  For 18 years my career as a Journalist survived without higher education.  I’m a quick learner, more or less, and passed my trial-by-fire–a tax levy meeting by our local Save Our Schools (SOS) committee and the school board.    This was a momentous occasion in shaping the rest of my life beyond then.  That meeting coverage, and a feature story anout  a meeting at the State Prison Farm, directly led to my position as a reporter.

In October of 1972 (he 28th, forty-three years ago today, in fact) I got remarried.    I continued with the newspaper part-time, until my decision to enter community college…to see If I could cope with all that entailed.   But that’s another story…

Back in the day of film cameras…which was really not so long ago…my work film was developed and printed by the newspaper photo lab, and I did not do much private family/kids/travel work on company time.    Most of those photo shoots featured my late husband’s photos taken with his Konicas and/or others of his cameras…he had been into photography since he was in France during World War II, and did his own developing and printing back then.  (Before my time.)  Then when we began traveling extensively, we bought roll film and sent it away to be developed and printed.  It would take a few days or a week to return.

My skills at photography never really excelled, for a couple of reasons.  One is that I did not take the time required to learn technical details of appropriate exposure techniques.  The cost involved with print film was also high, so I did not experiment with the camera like I do now in the advent of digital photography.  So that meant that the best photos we had…and the greatest number…were Bob’s.  We did some Sunday spreads featuring his photography, and my writing.

Photographer or Pitcha-taker?     The difference being that a photographer will take the time and effort to acquire as much knowledge and practical skills as possible, and apply it to his or her work.  The Photographer works toward capturing the nuances and minute details of the subject, and fuss about color saturation and light conditions, etc., in order to produce work that is as esthetically pleasing as possible.

A Pitcha-taker, on the other hand, points the camera lens at the subject–and shoots.  The Pitcha-taker has albums which include coat sleeves, sun-glare, hands in front of faces, cut off heads, weird colors, and pictures of Aunt Bessie with her eyes closed or her mouth out-of-joint.  Over-exposed, under-exposed…all kinds of issues that ruin their photos.

Not to say that the Photographer, even professionals, don’t make mistakes…they just discard the “bad” shots, rather than showing them off to audiences and apologizing for their bad quality, as the pitcha-takers do:   “Ok, this should have been a really good photo, but this lady moved out of the frame too quickly…see her hat?  It was really a nice blue.  Sorry its blurry..”

Unexpected Dinner Guests at the Cat Shelter

Here are a couple of guests at dinner one night.  If I told anyone about these no one would believe me, so this time I got some photos to prove it.   The cats, who are the actual residents, were watching from a respectful distance.  The cats don’t object, but the animals do make a mess and knock things over, and slobber in the water dish.   Please note that I DO NOT feed these wild creatures and I  chase them away when I see them.  They are nocturnal, so I make a point of not feeding the cats after dark.   I maintain a respectful distance also, especially when they have babies with them.  Obviously these critters don’t know the rules.

Hey...what are YOU doing here?
Hey…what are YOU doing here?
DSC02934
The baby opossum is supposed to stay in the mother’s pouch, they are marsupials. I only got this one shot, as the Mom apparently told baby to get back in bed. (I am shooting this photo from inside the house, through the glass door…)
DSC02939
Rear view of a young opossum.

It is against city ordinance to feed wild animals, which incudes opossums and raccoons…even deer, as a matter of fact.   Cats, however, are exempted from the ordinance.

Photographing the Invisible–Year of the Spider, Part Two

DSC03894.jpg

This is how the web looked during the end of the construction phase.

Obviously she wants to ward off visitors until she is ready.

DSCN3050_thumb.jpg     DSCN3049.jpg

DSCN3048_thumb.jpg                                                                      Almost ready to welcome visitors.

[ All photos and other content in my blog, Sometimes are original to me, Gradmama2011 …and remain my property under copyright laws.]

The Year of the Spider

[These photos are of spiders at work in my tree garden.   As far as I know, the spiders in the first and third photo are NOT the same.     For all my spider enthusiast Readers out there–I have more spiders and webs to show you in another post.      All photos and other content in my blog, Sometimes are original to me, Gradmama2011 …and remain my property under copyright laws.]

web with spider
web in the Boxwood (tree garden)                                     ©Sometimes,2015
this piece of fluff should work...
this piece of fluff should work…
different spider, front yard
different spider, front yard
side of web in forest garden
side of web in forest garden

My Maze and Tree Garden

DSC02660 Here is a wide-angle shot of my backyard. This is very early summer, 2015. For perspective, the width of the area shown  is about 80-feet. That is my yard-boy (er, Son) with the wheelbarrow. The maze with the succulents in the center, the Chimenera with its Mexican Emblem, in one corner….the old bench. The wooded-area across the far edge of the photo is my Tree Garden. All of the trees and plants in this garden (and elsewhere in the yard, are either volunteers, or shrubs/trees that I planted personally about ten years ago. It is a labor of love, much more work than I am now able to do. I still prune trees to make paths through the garden. Until recently, the only members of the family that understood where and why the Tree Garden was there at all, were the youngest children. I have more to say about my garden, and many photos…and will soon post about it. I chose this photo to use here in response to my PHOTO101 prompt for today…”HOME”… suggested showing in a wide-angle or panorama shot. As is the case with many of my photos, this was taken from my back deck.

Getting the most from Photography practice

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Third From the Top.”

Make sure I use these parcels of enlightenment to gain as much knowledge to make my blog photographs….as good as they can be.”

(This is the third sentence (slightly paraphrased) from Mark Bialczak’s blog, at http://markbialczak.com/2015/03/25/photo-101-keeping-my-edge-aligned/  which I highly recommend.)

(Actually Mark is referring to his photography using his camera phone, but in keeping with the assignment I elected to edit his words to adapt to my own post.   I hope he won’t mind 🙂

The hints and tips offered by bloggers and WordPress support people are invaluable to me  in improving my own photography skills.  In fact the very concept of being “required” to do the exercises is extremely helpful as it brings some order into my chaotic work schedule.   The word required in this useage refers to my own personal requirements, forcing me to participate–. there are NO mandatory requirements to the DailyPost feature. only suggestions.

I have been taking photographs for a very long time.  Haven’t won any prizes, but have  learned a lot through trial-and-error, and instruction here and there– from my staff photographer buddy at the newspaper where I worked years ago, and from my husband, who was an accomplished and experienced photographer.

My original working camera was a Yashika-Mat, which I still have.  However, I can’t find it at this moment when I want to take a photo of it.  [To see my search method of operation please see  http://mumbletymuse.com/2015/02/23/mad-woman-searching-for-lost-things/  which pretty much sums it up.]

Anyway, I supported five kids for two years with use of that camera…(not well, but adequately.)     It was recommended by my friend at the paper, as being relatively easy to use, and indeed it was quite serviceable.  The Yashika-Mat paid for itself several times over in the years I used it.  I was not a staff photographer, but as a reporter and then features writer I did personally take a lot of the casual photos used with my articles.

Later I had a variety of 35-mm SLR cameras, including a Nikon, a couple of Hewlett-Packards, another Nikon, and now my Sony Sure-Shot, which has a Carl Zeiss lens, and 4xZoom, plus a “no shake” feature to compensate for my…well, shaking.  🙂  Once I used some of the excellent advice and tips found here from Mark and other real photographers (and reading the instruction manual) I have come to respect this nice little Sony.  Still no prize-winning photos, but so far I have been very pleased with its range and versatility.

It is important to say that I depend heavily on automatic cameras, and it has been years since I actually tried to use the 35mm settings.  One of my difficulties was that it is hard to stay still, and my vision has not really been conducive to good focusing skills.    My proficiency with f-stops and lighting has never been excellent, either.

Nevertheless, over the years I have managed to take photos that are at least passable, some of them pretty high quality at least as far as esthetics, if not technical skills…if I do say so myself.  I would add, that my short-comings as a photographer have not particularly worsened with advancing age, so I can’t use that excuse.  🙂

Something that I have learned over the years is that skilled operation of almost anything comes with practice.  I know that’s pretty mundane, but still, part of my issues with photography has been lack of preparation, and neglecting to “get to know my camera.”

That means it wasn’t the best idea to take a brand new camera on a trip to Mexico and read the instruction manual in the van riding to and from wonderful photo-ops.  Sure, my photos that resulted were not all really bad, they just could have been better with a bit of effort on my part.

That’s the story of my life, photography chapter.