amusables · new york state · photography · wordless wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Snow Puffs???

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holidays · new york state · photography · quotes from my library

New Year’s Day 2019!!

From Mind: A Journey to the Heart of Being Human by Daniel J. Siegel:

“Sunrise, New Year’s Day. The oranges, blues, and greens of daybreak along the shore at the edge of North America fill the sky with luminescence. The sound of waves gently unfolding now, as they have for infinite nows, in patterns beyond imagination, creates a gentle soundscape enveloping my mind in a lullaby beckoning me back to bed. This body needs more rest after last night’s New Year’s Eve festivities…. But I am up, here with you, wanting to express something of this journey in words we can share, together, in these nows that forever wrap us in existence, life, and the journey of these lived moments we’ve come to know as mind.

“Are we the sunrise? Are we the lapping waves? Are we the creation of time, the denotation of a passing of something marked as a day, month, year…? The hooting and hollering of celebration for this mind-created edge of a year across the world, the display of fireworks in the skies across Earth, the screens shared among billions of humans across the planet: are each of these some shared construction of our collective mind?

“We create meaning from an infinite set of energy patterns and make information come alive. We are the sensory conduits enabling bottom-up to flow freely in our awareness; we are the interpretative constructors, making sense of and narrating our lives as they unfold. There is in reality no ‘new year’ anywhere beyond our mind….”

From Essential: Essays by The Minimalists by Joshua Fields Millburn:

“Whatever you want to do, do it. Pursue your passions. You deserve to do so. So, what do you want to do?”



christmas · photography

Merry Christmas!

christmas · dogs · lobo · photography

Christmas Scenes: Silver and Gold

My Christmas tree is decorated mainly with a couple hundred shatterproof silver and gold ornaments that I bought last year when my pup Lobo was just a few months old. While I have a collection of glass and ceramic ornaments, I decided not to use most of them since I didn’t really know how this energetic wolf-pup was going to react to a giant green and glittery thing suddenly (well, not that suddenly) appearing in front of the living room window with all sorts of shiny stuff hanging from it. The photo below is from last October, when he was about four months old, with a little piece of the back yard sticking out of his mouth. Highly motivated to carry things, it’s not unusual for him to bring in leaves, pebbles, and sticks — including sticks that are too wide to fit through the door without him taking a few seconds to figure out how to turn them and slip them through.

Toys and balls get taken outside, because, you know, carrying things works both ways. Dog biscuits aren’t eaten; they’re carried. Drop a pen: it’s carried. Socks on the floor, dishtowels, a fallen piece of paper: carried. You get the picture. So I was certain he’d snatch things off the tree and carry them around the house, and I got shatterproof ornaments just in case they were to be batted off the branches then carried away.

A year later — with the tree once again decorated with the new unbreakables — this is as close as he ever gets to it. That’s the tree skirt in the lower left corner; the tree itself gets barely a glance. He doesn’t lay under it because he doesn’t like being under things … a funny little personality quirk that I’ve notice since he was a pup: even if we’re tossing a ball around the house, he’ll wait for it to roll out from underneath a coffee table before he snaps it up. Should the ball roll under the dining room table and stop against the table legs, he’ll alarm-bark until the properly trained human retrieves it for him. So we can only get pictures of him near the tree, not under it. Dogs are such a hoot.

Here are a few shots of the silver and gold ornaments, installed on the tree for the sake of the dog. It was fun to see how the pictures came out, with the silver reflecting mostly blue luminance from the tree lights and the gold reflecting mostly red. The angels in the last four shots are on the tree also; apparently to the pup those do have carrying potential, and I catch him occasionally staring at those, most likely while working on a strategy to get them in his mouth.

Thanks for taking a look and enjoy the photos!

atlanta botanical garden · christmas · flickr reboot · photography

Wordless Wednesday: Holiday Nights

christmas · photography

Christmas Scenes: Three Pups, Two Santas, and a Fish

I took the six photographs below as an experiment after reading this article about photographing Christmas scenes, especially the sections on dealing with low light: How to Use Christmas Bokeh for Creative Holiday Photographs. I took more than six photographs, of course, and I’m looking through the others trying to learn what works well under holiday lighting conditions (!!) and what doesn’t. My camera has a “Night View” mode that I have used before but wanted to understand better, so some of the photos were taken with that setting — an automatic setting that increases ISO to enable a higher shutter speeds but also introduces noise and reduces my control over the results.

For some of the photos, I switched to using a tripod so I could try long-exposure shutter speeds and a lower ISO to eliminate much of the noise; for those taken with the “Night View” setting, I used Lightroom and the Nik Collection tools to reduce it and threw in some background softening to pretend the noise wasn’t there. I’m like a bull in a China shop with a tripod, mostly from lack of practice but also because my tripod isn’t quite right for the camera and isn’t strong enough to safely hold it with a lens attached (and it doesn’t work very well without the lens). I should invest in a new one — or maybe one of the Santas will stick one under the tree — but I’m not convinced I’d use it enough, though I’ll probably change my mind about that after a while.

Thanks for reading and taking a look; more lateron! 


Three pups …

Two Santas …

One fish …

amusables · new york state · photography · wordless wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Winter Style

christmas · flickr reboot · photography

Christmas Scenes: Two Galleries

December is here! To celebrate, I assembled two galleries of some of my favorite photographs of Christmas decorations.

The second gallery below contains photos of the decorations around my house.

The first gallery contains photos I took at the home of some friends, who have more Holiday Whatnots than most Christmas stores.

I’m working on some new photos that I’ll be posting throughout the month; these are photos from my archives — reimagined for my Flickr Reboot project. Like the decorations, the photos have held up well and benefitted greatly from a bit of time spent enhancing their content, lights, and colors.

Select any image to begin a slideshow; thanks for taking a look!



christmas · photography · wordless wednesday

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Reflections

amusables · my home · photography · wordless wednesday

Wordless (Halloween!) Wednesday: The House of the Seven Rat Zombies