Every weekend my wife and me try to get out of the everyday stress of the work environment and whatever stress the work week and it’s related trappings. No matter the city we called home, there was always an outlet or a route worth taking. One that would allow us to expand our minds and realign our focus. Having grown up and lived in the boroughs of New York City and lived much of my married life in New Jersey, there was always somewhere to go and something to do. Moving to, and living in Seattle for four years provided more than its share of exploration and mind expanding experiences. With only a few months back east in Virginia. There’s still so much to do. Lucky for us, that desire to explore and experience new things still burns. As many days of exploring Virginia and Washington, DC lie ahead. The several trips to Maryland have been rewarding. I took this image of the Patapasco River in the midday sun with the only equipment I have with me now, my Canon body and 50 mm lens. While I’m looking forward to being reunited with all my lenses, filters and flash, shooting with the bare minimum has been a fulfilling challenge. Here’s to more weekend challenges, exploration and of course, documentation.
Upon hearing that, due to her heart problem, my step mother had not been vaccinated. We wisely decided to change our plans to sit in labor day weekend traffic and head south to Baltimore for some crate digging at Celebrated Summer Records and enjoy violently attacking crabs in order to rob them of their juicy insides. (Poor undeserving things.) All jokes aside, L.P. Steamers is out of this world. Before arriving, we passed a number of places I wanted to stop and take pictures. This river and the Domino Sugar factory just across the way, were just one of the stops we made. The bench image was taken in Baltimore’s Little Italy.
In a recent post ‘Good News’, I mentioned that our Seattle condo had gone up for sale and that there were already some offers on the table. Well within a week, the condo sold and the day we received payment, we made an offer on a condo. Things have moved quickly and next week we’ll have it inspected. While it feels good to be back east. Adding a sense of permanence in a home ads a sense of comfort that living out of suit case doesn’t. I’m really looking forward to the move and the cool layout.
On Wednesday, the 21st, we received the final draft for our condo listing. As we went through the images and the description (much of which came from us.), we both felt overcome by what a fantastic piece of real estate we occupied. The following morning, the listing became active, and my wife seemed overwhelmed by the number of views and favorites on the website. It wasn’t until later that afternoon that we received an email from our realtor informing us that we received an offer for its asking price. No initial offer. No nickel and dime low ball bullshit like we got from the eventual buyer of our condo in Jersey City.
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday came, and there were two more offers.no weeks, months of waiting, wondering if we overpriced it. BAM! First day on the market. Asking price offer and no bat shit crazy requests from the potential buyer. As I sit and wait for the realtor to call, I can’t help but feel optimistic and downright giddy about life in general. We’re expecting possible buyers coming in from California later this week. After which, we will make our decisions on how to proceed. Regardless, we feel like we’re in a great position to move forward. While seeing those pictures and reading the description helped remind me of how lucky I’ve been. I still feel that our decision to head back east was the right one.
As exhausted as I might be from our move back to the east coast, my mind can’t help but think of photographing and documenting my new surroundings. A new town or city will do that, and both Washington DC and Virginia offer many visual opportunities. And as we move from two nights of hotels in both Seattle and DC to our temporary Amazon apartments, I couldn’t help but grab my camera and 50mm lens to experiment with some of the light and shadows in our apartment and spooky hallway.
No matter where I travel. No matter where I live. Nothing comes close or compares to watching to sun come up or go down over the horizon, as one that often fantasizes but rarely gets out of bed early enough to enjoy the sunrise. I am more than willing to chase a sunset as it disappears over the horizon., often doing a google search to find the exact time the sun is scheduled to set in my area. Since moving to Belltown in Seattle, I’ve been spoiled with a view of Puget Sound to the west and South Lake Union to the east. In the months that have past I’ve seen myself taking the picture I first stumbled over my thoughts to describe. I still find myself racing to the balcony to admire. The one and probably most admirable factor are that no sunset looks precisely the same. Whether the sun is peeking through the clouds or shining bright, it continuously proves to be one of nature’s most beautiful aspects.
As a teen and even through my early thirties, I always looked very young for my age. I questioned police throughout my twenties, thinking I was skipping school or being carded at bars well into my thirties. That baby face and look of innocence has been a curse as much as it’s been anything.
As my dad began sprouting gray hairs and even thinning at the top in his thirties, I’ve entered my fifties with no greys of bald spots to cover. And while I took on some weight during my drinking phase and a strict diet of fast food and red meat, I’d say the subtle changes I may have made more than a difference in preserving my fountain of youth. Yet, here I am celebrating another birthday, wondering if I’ll ever sprout greys in anything besides my beard or learn the art of the comb-over. Lucky for me, I have my sarcasm, smirk, and cynicism to guide me through my journey. Allowing me to look good while shaking my fist at the clouds and screaming, “Get off my imaginary lawn.” to anyone who chooses to trespass upon it.
As time goes by, I find myself trying to wane off all automatic features offered on my camera. Shooting on Manual, AV, or TV has been the most rewarding educational experience I’ve had as a photographer. It’s helped me improve my composition skills while giving me complete control of my creativity. Manual focus, however, seems to have become my Achilles heel, especially, and almost exclusively, when it comes to night and low light settings. My focus here was the far-off Queen Anne Cell Towers, which have been an image I’ve attempted to take for some time now. At the same time, my attempts have rendered results both good and bad. It’s the sharpness of my manual focus that always seems to be the judge.
Looking at the shot below and being reminded that it was taken without the balance of my tripod makes me appreciate my growing sense of patience. I wholeheartedly recommend learning all the options your camera offers. Using those tools and getting off manual modes with not only help you grow as a photographer. It will also help you create your unique vision.
While our original plans to ferry to one of the many Washington state islands in search of oysters was sabotaged by the threat of two and half hour traffic and the long lines that usually manifests in the search of good food. We altered our plans in order to add a chilled out vibe to our holiday. So, after a home made breakfast and a stop at Third Place Books, we headed to Warren G. Magnuson Park to get some sun and warm beach vibes. Despite the holiday, the park wasn’t overpopulated. Which made for a relaxing day that featured the smell of nearby cookouts and the sound of children enjoying their time together on the beach. Aside from taking a few images, I read a few chapters from the Johnny Cash autobiography I picked up. As I get older, I find myself adjusting to a more laid back, relaxed lifestyle. While I’d say it hasn’t been easy. I like where it’s taking me.
Earlier this Monday, we embarked on a trip to find Seattle’s Luna Park. While the park is noted as a great spot to catch the sunrise. I know better than to expect my wife to get out of bed early enough on the weekends, or any designated holiday, to accompany me to a spot that doesn’t provide coffee and a hearty breakfast. Knowing that our usual way to the area was constricted by long over due repairs and construction, we took the long, local route. Talk about a headache. The alternate route took us three times longer than usual. While allowing us to pick up a couple of bagels and coffee. I was promised that there would be no more trips to the area until the bridge was reopened. All things said, we both really enjoyed the beautiful weather and breath taking view of the city we’ve called home since June, 2017.