Sunday, December 28, 2014

Ending Christmas week with a drum roll!

 post #222
        One of the highlights of this family visit to Massachusetts was our grandson's demonstration about how he sets up his drums -- in his bedroom -- so he can practice and play.  (He had taken them down for us to be able to sleep in there this week.)  Of course I wanted to take a few photos, even though 1) the room is small! 2) I didn't set up lights -- not that I am well schooled in how to do that anyway! 3) No time or place for staging!  and 4) I put on my best lens though not one I had used yet with my new camera.  In addition there were drumming questions to be asking and a young sister to entertain.  
       So, despite all this going on, I went ahead and tried for some photos.  What gall!  What fun! 
       Setting the scene: I am sitting on the bed, and it all begins with the single bass drum.

    Other drums and then cymbals are fitted in around the bass drum.  Dents in the rug from earlier set-ups help with the placements.

Notice the sign leaning next to the printer on the desk, on the right of this photo.

The sign: part of our Christmas gift to him last year.  I still think its words are hilarious.

I love the hand in the center of this photo.

Nearing the end, setting up the command central seat.  All the pieces fit together like a puzzle, all accessible  from that one spot.

number one fan serving to warm up the set up

plugging in the beat

    And so, from behind this door,

and, on the other side of this wall,
 THERE IS MUSIC!!  It fills the house! Thank you, Nik!!

Next week: butterflies and more butterflies, at the Magic Wings in South Deerfield, MA.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

The weekend before Christmas, and....

post #221
       Short and sweet today.  These gray, cloudy days are getting to me. Thank goodness today's solstice means a bit more light each coming day -- a happy development, so to speak, for us photographers.
       Even though I make and sell photo note cards, I never manage to offer what look like traditional Christmas cards.  Some of my winter scenes work for people, especially the ones with birds.  However, there's a lot of cheaper competition out there, so I always doubt that I can afford to make any kind of card that has appeal for just a brief annual occasion. Even so, I do try.
       Today's solution:  put some of the images I have tried ON THIS BLOG!  

    First, two tries using the large Christmas tree in the newly refurbished Union Station in downtown Denver.  I was there Thanksgiving weekend.  For me, Christmas is a simpler occasion than this, so I lack that emotional attachment I usually rely on to get what I consider a good photo. These were fun to try, but never meant much to me.

      The reflections in bulbs always intrique me. The next two photos are from last year, during a December visit to Denver.  I kept experimenting with reflections, days in a row:

             We then spent Christmas in Massachusetts, where this view of the stairs in our daughter's house intrigued me, too.  It shows how I see things, actually.  These simple lines spoke to me.

   At home, I experimented with the Christmas cactus, which unexpectedly did a great show of double blooms. I like this photo, but by this Christmas I forgot to get it out there to try it as a card!  O well, there is always next year.  The blooms amaze me.  This year, I have another opportunity to try again, with my new camera.  (with thanks to Debbie, who works on her photography with me, for her questions about Chrismastime views.)

        Were I less wary from privacy issues, I would post the family Christmas photo I was honored to be asked to make in Denver this year, plus a photo of the Massachusetts family.  To all the readers of this post who think they may receive Christmas greetings from Kentucky this year, be ye not distressed and take it not personally that it's not going to happen.  Didn't do it this year, again. But may I send HERE AND NOW all best wishes of the season to those whom I know -- and to readers whom I do not know.... with thanks as well for your interest in this blog over the years!!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

the trip to the cemetery, by truck and by horse-drawn wagon

post #220
I stopped to make this photo of the burial site preparation as I was on the way to the funeral. 
       I should probably start by mentioning -- since I seem to have readers in various parts of the world -- that it is very common in our region to have a family cemetery in a hillside plot on a family's home place.  So, at the Monday evening visitation this week at the funeral home, for my neighbor and friend, Garry, whose photo was in last week's blog, I was asked if I would please make photos of the next day's trip to the cemetery after the funeral.  
       The family was planning first to carry the coffin 17 miles on the back of Garry's beloved red truck, almost to the home place, with his saddle strapped on over the coffin. Then, since he also loved all things horse, they planned to transfer the coffin to an open wagon on wheels, drawn by two horses, whose driver, Terry, is, I believe, a friend of Garry's. 
       The horses, the wagon, and friends and family who were helping waited on a corner not far from the home.  Several folks would be riding horses alongside the wagon.  One of those waiting horses was Garry's; it would be led, with the empty saddle.  
       When the funeral procession arrived, the coffin was transferred to the wagon, and the saddle was put on Garry's horse, who was led by Jonathon, seen in the photos with his red checked shirt.  All made the journey together -- the wagon, the horses, followed by the cars and trucks in the procession -- for the slow ride to the cemetery.
       The day was gray and quite chilly, but it wasn't raining or snowing like it could have been.  That helps me a lot.  I think the transfers took place around 4 p.m.  I forgot to think about time while I was working though of course that info is on my camera.  
        Nothing is staged so it's just chance what I can see without being aggressive. If I need to balance getting the photo I'd want with being respectful and caring, I always choose caring.  I know many of the people there, which is a help. They could perhaps understand what I was trying to do for the family, at their request.  Of course many people were taking photos as well, mostly with their phones, and someone I didn't know seemed to be taking some video.
      I hope these photos here do give an idea of what the occasion felt like.  They are some of the many moments I could have taken. I am putting less than half of the total photos here, mostly because of space considerations but also because of privacy issues.  Please note: The images are not worked over, so they appear as just what I could manage that day, warts and all.  My hope is that there are enough to tell a heartfelt story.  I offer these as my small part in a big tribute that took place this week for Garry by those who love him. 

  Next I drove ahead to the place where the horses and wagon were gathered, waiting.
Garry's horse, held by Jim

ready and waiting

The red truck arrives as part of the procession.

getting ready for the transfer

Terry Reynolds, driver

turning into the farm

Terry heading back

horses talking back and forth

finishing up the time at the cemetery

looking back at the house and barn from the cemetery

I very much enjoyed the ride I hitched to where my car was parked.... thanks so much!
A blog reminder: clicking on one photo will bring up all the photos along the bottom of the screen for viewing at a larger size.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Appalachian Arts and Crafts Fair, and a tribute to a neighbor

post #219
      Well, last week I said I would post some photos YESTERDAY from the Appalachian Arts and Crafts Fair I was part of, but it wasn't possible to make that work.  The wi-fi there was not reliable, for one thing, and for another it was hard work just keeping up with things.  Like sales.  Like seeing return customers and friends.  Like gauging how hard it was raining outside -- by observing the wetness of people's coats and hats.... 
       So here is the early view of the booth I would be sharing with Jennifer Reis:
FRIDAY afternoon, starting from scratch....

SATURDAY morning, before the 9 a.m. opening.... Jennifer's embellished fabric art pieces are not yet mounted for display.  However, I arrived there later than she did, so my cards and matted photos are not yet ready either.  But I had time for making a photo.... and we were both ready by the 9 a.m. opening!
The view from my corner of our booth -- before the crowds arrived.  Looks peaceful!

      The next two photos are ones I have wanted to use for awhile.  They were made by a very good photographer, the son-in-law of some friends who are also neighbors of ours.  I asked to be able to share the photos because they show a slice of life from this area.  
      However, I just now received a phone call and learned that the man in the photos died this morning, after being so very sick for a few months.  I want to offer these photos now as a tribute to him and to his family, with all my love and my condolences.  I know that the readers of this blog who know him will recognize him, and others don't need to know his name in order to feel for the family.  We all are mortals, and death is as much a part of our lives as is being born.  Our happiness is in loving each other while we can.

God's peace be with you.