A Photographer's Coda

Everything Else

Memorial Day

Block B, Aisne-Marne American Cemetery, Belleau, France – 26 Sept 2017

Train from Paris (Gare de l’Est) to Château-Thierry, about an hour. From Château-Thierry, a 15-minute taxi ride.

Bramble Rose Update

I suppose, like corporate concert tickets, it was inevitable. Driving by today, developers have scraped the lot clean.

Abandoned Garden – East Garner Road, Wake County, North Carolina 1 June 2014

Driving home, I kept seeing splashes of color in an empty lot. Surrendering to curiosity, I made this one late afternoon. My guess is, it was someones garden. Abandoned, the rose spread yards in all directions. Since, sedge and scrub pine have taken over and the color is no more.

Flash of Life

A flash, by my kitchen window today. The rich Yellow unmistakable. I’ve lots of photographs of Eastern Tiger Swallowtails feeding on our Butterfly Bush. But never in March. And never before 80 degrees in March, like today. This from July 2015.

I am pleased and worried what this year may bring.

February End

Clayton, North Carolina


Clayton, North Carolina – 26 Feb. 2015

My Sister told me during a recent phone conversation about watching Cardinals outside her window, way, way up North in Michigan. This one was on the other side of a sliding glass door to a deck, 10 feet from the ravine below. House is built into hill. Realtor called it a “Tree House”. Luckily, I had a good 100-300 mm lens plus a 1.5x teleconvertor plus a tripod. And a camera!

Who Cooks For You?

Barred Owl, Cary, North Carolina – 1 Oct 2012

Today was shopping. My main goal was making myself walk into the Nahunta Pork Outlet at the Raleigh Farmers Market for seasoning meat. Making collards or butter beans, it’s important. And all the bacon I’d stashed in the freezer, post widower disastrous checkup lab results, was used up. Only country ham trimmings will do and they are external to corporate grocery supply chains.

On a Thursday afternoon, in February, parking is plentiful and half the vendor stalls are empty. Collards and scallions are plentiful, especially when cooking for one. That was the hard part. Not carrying my sweethearts purchases changed the purchasing equation. There were no endlessly hungry teenagers to consider.

More shopping stops on the way home. Including the library for a new book I’d placed on hold. A rare 75 degree February day, I put everything in the frig and kept the last hour of daylight to myself on the deck. Sometimes, I hear them at 3 or 4 AM.

Today, at twilight, they asked, in call and response, “Who, who cooks for you?”

February Color

Clayton, North Carolina 11 Feb 2023

The Futility Of Squirrel Proof Bird Feeders

Clayton, North Carolina 11 Feb 2023

Bramble Rose

Abandoned Garden – East Garner Road, Wake County, North Carolina 1 June 2014

Driving home, I kept seeing splashes of color in an empty lot. Surrendering to curiosity, I made this one late afternoon. My guess is, it was someones garden. Abandoned, the rose spread yards in all directions. Since, sedge and scrub pine have taken over and the color is no more. Maybe it was something similar that Tift Merrit saw from her apartment window in Raleigh


Midway Amusement Ride – North Carolina State Fair 23 Oct 2009

In late 2007 a Parisian pickpocket “liberated” my Point & Shoot camera from a jacket hung on the back of a Bistro chair. Back home, I decided to treat myself to a new DSLR, the Digital version of the 1970’s Film SLR I’d had long ago. It took no time at all to realize how little I never knew about the craft of photography. Especially all the new whiz bang, digital stuff.

So I read. And it was sort of “Back To The Future”. Soon, the camera mode was on “M”, the meter ignored and I could ballpark “Sunny 16”. It was my first step from “camera owner” to “photographer”. I could tell the story I wanted vs camera automation.

Sunday Morning 3 AM – A Brief Essay of Bewilderment

At anchor aboard MV Aurora Explorer – Bute Inlet, British Columbia – 2 Sept 2009

From curiosity driven by the latest news, I made a first time visit to “Twitter”. And I don’t get it. So here is more than 280 characters of explanation.

I grew up with emergent technology. Navy Electronic schools were brutally difficult and equipped beyond what any civilian college could afford. As an Enlisted Submariner, I taught young contract engineers at Electric Boat, with BSEE Degrees, how to use an Oscilloscope and read complex schematics. Before they hurt themselves or the Boat.

My resume is littered with the Darwinian graveyard of once envied IT companies: Control Data Corporation, Digital Equipment Corporation and the IBM Personal System Group. My job title for the last 11 year of my corporate career was I/T Architect.

Having just wrapped up an encore career enabled by the wonderful capabilities of digital cameras, I’ve been pondering current popular culture. And what worries me is the preoccupation with meaningless and artificial urgency to the detriment of human relationships. And sense of self, of self awareness. And the disconnect from the world we inhabit, vs hokum.

I freely confess to being a bit of news junkie. So my day starts with a good 90 minutes of coffee and reading news. It is a luxury of being in the last part of my life. Mostly it’s WRAL, Associated Press, Washington Post and New York Times. I learned to read long ago and have no need for anyone to explain or interpret it so the TV is mostly off. Cut cable long ago.

Establishing my tech cred’s, I’ve too many Desktops (photography needs real horsepower), a Laptop and a Chromebook and a home network that’s secure. I do have a mobile phone. Being cheap, its Android. I can make and receive phone calls, browse, texts, etc – all that stuff. It’s mostly turned off. I keep it in the truck in case I need to call AAA. But I’m not going to answer it while driving. Or having dinner with someone. Or making a portrait. Or teaching. It’ll wait. And I find it’s a bit of pain to keep up with. I’m not anti tech. It can be a wonderful servant. But as much as I loved my Labrador Retriever, I never gave the gun to the dog.

So what bothers me so is the sense of losing humanity. Of the disconnect between human beings driven by a collective, cultural inertia of some marketing nonsense.

And of course, I’m sharing this to Facebook where my main goal was to show my photographs to my extended Cary Ballet family. There was a profit motive but it was never really about money. I/T bucks are way easier.

My FB friends grew to include family family and others I hold dear. Sort of a community campfire. A comfortable place for confident introverts like me. And a way to let some some thoughtful caring folks know I’m okay, after loss.

Which brings me back to Twitter. I think it is a silly thing. Like Pet Rocks. Just noise. And I think, like the folks I see texting while driving, a poor excuse for being in touch with ourselves and the people around them.

It’s been bothering me and writing it out helps. Like looking in the mirror and seeing what’s there. So be kind to yourself and the folks around you. Listen to yourself and them. That, I believe, matters.

The current version of the carney hucksters, not so much. They’re mostly air, like the “Palmetto Bug” you mash on the sidewalk at night, South of Broad, in Charleston. So that’s 688 words and 3882 characters or 13.6 Tweets. I’ve no desire to be a Twit.

Moon & Memory

I made this photograph in a cold, late evening, with the company of an old dog who explored the events of the day with his nose. Had just learned how the Moon faced the Earth the same way, regardless of orbits. I thought of the Lunar connection to a friend in Japan and a young Officer of Marines in Afghanistan. And how many times, when he was an infant, I read to him, out loud, “Goodnight Moon”.

Photographed from Seabrook Ave, Cary, North Carolina, U.S.A. – 26 November 2012