Light in the Darkness.

Though I’ve missed my photo gear, I can honestly say that the last months I’ve spent living out of a suitcase have been educational. This time has reminded me how happy my trips abroad have been, mainly since I was traveling with the bare essentials. With the weeks closing on our condo in the rear mirror, the impending move is just days away. I find myself feeling grateful for getting to know my 50mm better lens and capture the many things that catch my eye and capture my imagination. As one who’s long been intrigued with light and shadow, there have been countless opportunities to be creative and work towards bringing my vision to life. From the day we arrived at our hotel, I became fixated on the lights above the bar on the hotel’s ground floor. Something about it reminded me of the Death Star depicted throughout the Star Wars saga. Just like the movies. I needed to find the right angle or spot to fire. Once I did that, I was able to go into manual and take my shot. Though I’ll be going back to work on my manual focus. I thought the images below were pretty cool, with only a short time left before moving day. I’ll be sure to be roaming the halls, looking for light and looming in the shadows.

Artificial Filters

I can’t begin to tell you how often I’ve wanted to pull the over to spend an hour or two taking pictures. Knowing what my wife’s reaction will be, I keep my mouth shut and my enthusiasm in check. That said, there are moments and opportunities that I can’t pass on. Knowing how protective my wife has become and my not wanting to be made fun of, due to my obsession. I’ve been forced to try new things.

The other night was a perfect example as we were on the final leg of our trip back to the hotel. The colors and shapes in the sky caused by the setting sun were off the charts. (My favorite time of the day to photograph landscapes.) With no filters or flash and no intention of asking her to pull over. I adjusted my camera settings, leaned forward and took a few images to take home with me. I was somewhat surprised how well the images came out. With no reflection from our dirty windshield. I guess I found a temporary filter without actually looking of paying for one. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Photographic Minimalism

When thinking of photography and whatever approach I might decide to take in the near future. Much like life itself, I can’t help but think of minimalism. What that actually means? I’m not sure, but living out of a suitcase over the past months with a single camera body and a 50 millimeter lens has been difficult yet educating. Moving to Arlington, I’ve found a renewed interest in photography and documenting my new surroundings. With my newfound interest has come a desire to approach each picture with a new sense of purpose and focus. Asking myself, what attracted me to this image and what message, if any, do I wish to convey? As much as I’ve alway been to telephone lines and cell phone towers. I can’t help but think, with all these connections and gigabytes, we seem to be communicating less. Sure, we talk a lot. But, are we listening?

Weekend Getaway

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.

Dusk

I’ll be honest. I hadn’t spent much time taking pictures since arriving in Virginia. It’s not that I’m at all dissatisfied with what the area offers. Let’s just say, I’ve been kept busy with other things. Wheres keeping busy is always good. Keeping ones sanity is even more important. As things such as tai chi. meditation and the gym have become integral parts of my daily routines. That extra moment of fresh air and solitude with my camera are just as, if not more important to the balance needed in life.This shot was taken the other night after a trip downstairs to the gym. At the time, the air was cool, as the sun was just beginning to descend. I had my camera set to manual mode and set to the slowest speed I could use without a tripod. As recent weeks and months have proven, as my health and balance continue to worsen, my passion for things that were always important to me, haven’t wained.

Alternative Plans

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.

Counting the Days

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.

Good News

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.

But Still…

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.

Rack ’em Up; One Last Trip Up to the Roof Deck

As I gazed upon the pool table located within the spacious rooftop sky retreat, I was taken aback by my childhood. Thinking back to a time when going to bars and pool halls with my Father was a constant. Watching my Dad win game after game while I reveled in my cheeseburger and fries. Going over every title on the jukebox. The many nights when he’d leave the bar with me in one hand and a fist full of cash in the other. Often leaving with a fist full of cash from his night of sharking. Much like the poker games and betting halls, I became familiar with a young, wide-eyed shorty.
There was always a game, and always players lined up to get a taste.

While some have found it shocking that a kid not old enough to see over the bar was exposed to an adult world. I look back on those days fondly. Intended or not, they provided education as to what I wanted to be and what I certainly didn’t want to be. Though I was taught to keep a tight lip at the time. Over the decades that have passed, much of what we experienced has become conversation and reason for laughter at family get-togethers. Over the years, I’ve learned that the perfect childhood, often detailed in movies and sitcoms, is a rare beast. Though I can admit to being one of mankind’s worst pool players and has rarely ever placed a bet or even played the lottery. I can’t help but think of and admire my Dad for his skill with the pool cue.