Homes and Houses

A house is not necessarily a home.
Until voices and smells
Crying and laughing
Struggles and discovery
Make it so

(Draft started 3/30/22)
It’s been awhile since I’ve caught up on my WordPress reading/writing.
My wife Robin and I are moving to a new location.
After thirty-two years in the same location.
And, our daughter and her husband will be moving with us. (I know, don’t start a sentence with “and”).

What an utter disruption. All of the legality(s), buying, selling, upgrading, fixing, budgeting, signing, soon-to-be-light-construction is trying its best to kill my creative side. Through it all, I find the decompression of nature to be the finest balm. If I have a camera with me, even better.

When it came time to “stage” the house, I packed my main computer and have been using my laptop. I am grateful to have the laptop. It is very powerful. Old guy that I am, I prefer my PC. A nice big screen, a sure footed mouse, and no battery shenanigans. I wanted to go get it out of storage, but I haven’t been walking in several days and that comes first. After a brief search in the storage facility, I realized it’s behind a mass of boxes and stuff. Motivation won out and the PC is back in business.

I found a nesting hummingbird about a week ago at Mission Trails. I think I’ll go visit her today and forget about the floors, paint, counter tops, tree trimming,1% good faith down payment, caulking, electrical trim, new refrigerator, docu-sign, fix the gutters at the new place stuff (short list).

Update: I’ve returned several times to see the hummingbird and she’s a no-show.

Things will be different in the new location. Less light at night, less noise, fewer crowds. I’ve never lived that way. I’ve always lived near a freeway or main thoroughfare. The hum of the city and all its trappings will be something I go to and not live in. Hope we like it.

I am pretty sure I will not be visiting Mission Trails Regional Park as often as I do.
That story will need to wait. Too much emotion attached.

Photograph – multiple exposures- black phoebe – color manipulations and Polar Coordinates in PSE

Expended Energy

Go to the gym.
That’s the encouragement
¿Making us better?

Life is full of advice. Eat this, don’t eat that. We are told what to do, what to think.
My advice, expend energy to make things and make things better.
Bulked up people are attractive maybe. Muscle that is created to look at is useless.
Hands that grow food, lift up a needy person, build a bird house, feed a child, have purpose beyond a self-aggrandizing role.
Being fit is important. There are many ways to get there that has more to do with creating and building up outside of ourselves.

The latest moral emergency(s) reminds us that for as far as we have come, we have much further to go.
I am numb from it all and believe nothing to be absolute. Propaganda is not unique, it is typical for all countries.
Since the advent of television, conflicts have been brought into our homes for dinner-time viewing. It creates wealth when we watch. So, I don’t. We will not see all conflicts. Many of them have been going on for some time, but lack of interest does not make it “worth” reporting.
Yes, there are still tyrants in power that will wield that power at the expense of human lives.
Yes, the victims need help. We should be concerned. We should care and help.
As per usual, many of us end up feeling helpless. No matter what we can do, it will affect very little.
That insufficiency is constant, and frustrates those of us who live in peace.

Sometimes the best we can do is grow food, lift up a needy person, build a bird house, feed a child, have purpose beyond a self-aggrandizing role.

Image; Composite of (2) Multiple Exposure Photographs “Conflict2” –
https://bluemarblephotography.smugmug.com/Composites/Birdscapes/i-rfX57Tr/A

A Matter of Time

Foolish children sing
Too Much time on My Hands
The arrogant declare
Time is on My Side

Sages declare
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun

References: STYX – Rolling Stones – Pink Floyd respectively

Digital photography is a boon for learning and challenging yourself.
Like when you want to make photos of fast moving birds. Their erratic movements become an obsession to master.
Now, at year’s end, going through the folders, I see handfuls of usable pieces, and thousands of rejects.
Thousands. It is time to assess and measure the time spent. I am glad I did it, and will continue to do it. It IS however overtly time consuming on the output end of the equation.


In my last entry, I presented some works from the first quarter of 2021.
The second quarter always looks different. Photography has to fit my lifestyle (work schedule).
Most of my end-of-day pieces are made between October through March. So, instead I might make a bunch of static work.


During these months, I will break out some creative lenses for some on-the-fly exploration.
A year ago, I picked up a little Russian lens and modified it to make some swirl fall off pieces like this:

Wide open, this lens will crush backgrounds

and this:

California Sunflowers

There is just not enough time for all the photos and video to be fully vetted/edited. Perhaps when I retire, my photography schedule will catch up with the volume. Perhaps.

The Real Measure

“In My Little Town, I never meant nothin’, I was just my father’s son” (Paul Simon)

….and when I grew up
I realized that the thoughts of men
Cannot make us who we are
Nor can they remove the good we do with sincere hearts
It is only the small among us
Who find fault with good things

Thoughts do not carry the load
Words, no matter how harmful
Float away on the lightest of breezes

And when the fires come
The measure of a soul
Will be found in the kindness
Afforded to others

The rest
Is useless weight

The Hunt

Back country service roads can lead to perilous areas where moving forward is sketchy. At the same time, conditions may occur where one cannot stop to look ahead. Momentum is required to traverse the conditions ahead. Trusting learned instincts is paramount to success in these moments.
Once through the danger, there may be some damage. Perhaps the oil pan was compromised/scratched, or maybe the suspension was strained. The “other side” hopefully delivers its treasures and the relative pain is worthy. Sometimes all is failed and documented for future references. Learning is the reward of perceptible failure.

Project:
Bird photography for inspiration.
Incorporate standard bird photography restrictions:
Detail
Focus on the eye
Get in plane (their level)
Composition (duh)
More blah blah blah

Of course there are gear, software, editing and tech issues. More opportunities for failure…..learning.

Then What?
Always, then what?
That will never be found in a lens, camera body or editing software.