I woke up early the other morning; a result of my cat informing me that it was time for her to have food and some fresh air. I sat up in bed and looked outside. The view was amazing. It was one of those days that’s great for a photographer – early morning sunlight throwing shadows all over the place. The birds in the trees greeting each other. The plants in the small park outside of my window drenched with color.
Yes, Callie received her food, a nice hug and an explanation of where I was going as I grabbed my camera and headed out the door. About a half hour later, one of my friends joined me (it was such a beautiful day – I decided to wake people up) and we went for a stroll down one of our favorite alleys where the neighbors take great care of their gardens and back yards. I took photo after photo as we walked along – admiring and colors and texture of the day.
As we came to the end of the alley, my friend said “I feel like we’re being watched”. As I felt that same way, we stopped and looked in the yards and then at the very bottom of the fence that was in front of us. It’s where we found this guy – vigilantly watching our every move. He didn’t bark, instead he just watched us silently as we walked along. For an instant, I thought of reaching down and petting his cute little scruffy head but then I thought it would be better not to as we hadn’t been officially introduced and I wasn’t sure if there would be a ruckus. So we continued on our journey after telling him how cute he was and what a good guy he was for guarding the fort.
I’m not a dog owner but I love how loyal and friendly they are. We have a lot of them in our community and we’ve gotten to know them so well that every time we see them, we greet the dog first and then the owner (Pretty sure they don’t appreciate that but it’s always good to see both of them!).
My mom is sitting on a white Adirondack chair on the lawn of the Narragansett Hotel in Block Island. On this day, our plan was to walk to the library and to our favorite gallery but because it had already been a long day, she told me she wanted to rest and sit for a minute and look out over New Harbor for a few minutes before we started up the hill towards Old Harbor.
“You should frame that shot” she tells me. I have my camera out and am trying to figure out how to get the best shot of the entire harbor. She tells me I should use the bushes that are in front of me to “frame the shot”.
The end result is the photo above. I didn’t think it was a great shot but because my mom was passionate about photography and this was something I was interested in learning, I kept going – taking photo after photo.
After a half hour or so of trying to get the best shot, we headed up the hill to the Jessie Edwards Gallery. It was one of my mom’s favorite places to visit because of the diverse backgrounds and styles of the artists whose exhibits were there. As we looked at each painting, mom would tell me why she liked it.
One of the things that always fascinated me was that she never discussed the paintings she didn’t like – she would find something good in all of them and then ask me which ones I liked and why. For the record, she also did this at the Island Free library when we would walk among the stacks and she would select 4 or 5 books to bring back to the boat with her. She would ask me about the authors I liked and why and I would tell her. – The funny thing was that her interests and the books she read would evolve and change a little over time but mine never did. She liked reading books by John Grisham or David Baldacci but as the years progressed, she developed a love for Nicholas Sparks. The authors I told her loved – Elizabeth Berg, Annie Proulx and Leslea Newman are still my favorites today.
And as my love of photography increased, my love for books came to include photography magazines and National Geographic because of how beautiful the photography was. And with each lesson from mom, I kept practicing and practicing to become better at an interest we both shared.
It’s been a year and a half since mom died. Every time I frame a shot, I think of her and that bright sunny day we spent together walking to Old Harbor _ Block Island.
When you grow up in Newport, Rhode Island, it’s impossible to forget how beautiful it is. This is a short black and white video of some of my favorite places to visit. Photographs are of Newport Harbor (taken from Fort Adams) and then around Ocean Drive.
Yesterday I had the great opportunity to spend time frolicking with friends on Newfound Lake in New Hampshire. After a great lunch and spending time talking and reminiscing, we hopped onto their boat and went for a swim.
It was so great to be on (and in) the water on such a beautiful, summer day in New Hampshire.
Sitting in the boat while drying off, we engaged a few ducks who swam by to say hello. This was followed by several ducklings skimming above the water as they seemed to chase each other towards shore.
There was an eagle… followed by a seagull… (this is the point where I wish I could make this rhyme but.. nope, not today)… followed by a loon who was poised masterfully in the middle of the lake.
While I would like to say that this photo above is of the loon we saw, it is not because somebody (aka me) left their brand new Olympus Tough TG-5 – made exactly for moments and days just like these.. sitting in their bag back at the house.
The picture above was taken on a day when I was walking along the beach in Sarasota, FL. Not the same city, not the same duck.
So yesterday’s lesson was that sometimes you just have to look – not through the view finder but by opening your own eyes and just watching and capturing the moment in your mind. It was a beautiful, you should’ve seen it.