CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE: BLACK AND WHITE STUDIES

Cee’s Black and White Photo Challenge

yellow summer squash black and white

Vegetables are delectable in color and in monochrome. Different, but mm, good! Summer squash (summer not).

apache junction black and white

Apache Junction is a conveniently located ghost town, not far from Phoenix. It’s actually the first non-city “place” when you are trying to escape the urban sprawl. I was hoping for tumbleweed, but alas, none appeared.

Quality of Light - Black & White

In color, it’s all about the quality of the light. In black and white, the picture is an architectural study.

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Rooftops in downtown Boston, just down the block from symphony hall. Black and white emphasizes the texture of the bricks and roof as well as the lines and angles of the rooftop.

ODD BALL PHOTOS – BLACK AND WHITE IN WEEK 17

Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge: Week 17

A couple of pictures I took for some long-forgotten reason. I’m sure I saw something special in the light or something symbolic in the combination of objects in the picture.

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Both of these seemed to be right for black and white. In any case, that’s what I’ve done with them.

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This one reminded me of a scene in a film noir from the 1950s. The cobblestones, the light. The high contrast and burnt out highlights.

oddball

LIVING IN GRIDLOCK

Most of us don’t think about traffic. We just deal with it. It’s part of life. Whether it’s trying to find a parking space or sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a holiday weekend, traffic is everywhere. 75-GameDay-Fenway_03 I don’t usually think about traffic because we don’t have much of it here. This is the country. A traffic jam is a tractor and two cars waiting at an intersection. Maybe road repairs. Or an annoying slow driver. Sometimes, a bridge washes out.

Until we moved here, though, traffic was the biggest issue in our lives. Road work in Boston made it impossible to get from one side of the city to another. Gridlock during holidays could close the city. One Friday in December, I tried to pick Garry up at work. 96-Watercolor-Pops2013_084 I left the parking lot, drove a block, and had to stop. Nothing was moving. An hour later, I was in the same place. I made a u-turn and went home. This was before cell phones, so I had to call the guard at the front desk at Channel 7 and ask him to go outside and tell Garry I couldn’t get there.

The next day it was in the papers and on TV — Boston was gridlocked. It was the Friday before Christmas. Everyone had decided to go shopping simultaneously, so no one went anywhere.

A year later, we moved to Roxbury, 4 miles outside the city center. It was less congested. You could park for free on the street. Then came the Big Dig. The Central Artery-Tunnel Project, aka the Big Dig, was a monstrous project involving rerouting and redesigning virtually every road in, out, around, and through Boston. There were no areas unaffected though it was worse some places than others.  It turned the main artery (Route 93) —  an ugly stretch of permanently clogged elevated highway — into a permanently clogged, long tunnel. 96-RedLight-38 It didn’t solve the traffic problems, but made traffic invisible, leaving everyone to sit in their overheating cars hoping they will live to see the other side of the city. It straightened some of the worst intersections and made getting to and from the airport easier. Made the city prettier.

The Big Dig was the most expensive highway project in history. Plagued by cost overruns, scheduling disasters, water leakage, collapses of ceilings, design flaws, poor workmanship, nepotism, corruption, payoffs, substandard materials, criminal arrests for some offenders (but not enough) and 4 deaths, the project was scheduled for completion in 1998 and was supposed to cost $2.8 billion. It was officially finished in December 2007 and cost $14.6 billion.

The Boston Globe estimates when all is said and done, including interest, fines, and lawsuits, the project will cost more than $22 billion and won’t be paid off until 2038. Maybe not even then. The Big Dig drove us out of Boston. One day, I had to go shopping. The supermarket was a mile away. It took me 2 hours to get there and another hour and a half to get home.

“Garry,” I said that evening, “Let’s get out of here!” And we did. 75-CrossingNK-14 We fled. Traffic was controlling our lives. We couldn’t go to a restaurant or a movie. We couldn’t shop, park, or get to work. People trying to visit us couldn’t find our condo because the exit to our neighborhood was often closed. Out-of-town visitors roamed helplessly through the streets of Dorchester looking in vain for a street sign or marker. Sometimes we couldn’t find our way home either.

I spent years of my life in traffic. Add time spent in the office and 2 to 4 hours of commuting, life was dominated by traffic. By the time we slouched into retirement, we were wrecks. Also poor, but it was better than commuting. Do I have a solution? No. But traffic wore us out. One day something snapped. We couldn’t do it anymore.

DRIVE BY SHOOTING

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Flowers

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Today we were in Boston. It was my surgery follow-up. He told me I’m doing fabulously and I look really great.

“You should see how other people look a month after surgery!” I can just imagine.

I graciously accepted the compliment then asked when I would feel as good I look.

“It takes a few months, you know. But you are doing really well.”

Drive by shooting along the Charles River

Drive by shooting along the Charles River

That was the medical part. The other part of the trip was spring. It wasn’t a pretty day. No sun. Chilly, only 45 degrees which is very cold for the end of April.

It was drizzling too. But along the Charles River, the cherry trees, magnolias and apple trees are blooming their hearts out. I grabbed a shot as we sped by. It goes to prove that Mother Nature. against all odds, is bringing springtime.

There’s nowhere to stop to take a picture on Storrow Drive, so this is officially a drive-by shooting! Along the Charles, at the very end of April 2014.

The River – Marilyn Armstrong

When first we moved here from Boston, it was wonderful, but so different.

Although I’d lived in the suburbs and spent most of my vacation time through the years out in the country, I’d never lived so far from a major city nor in a river valley, which has a particular character of its own.

The dominance of the Blackstone both over the ecology of the valley and its economy is hard to over-emphasize.

The Blackstone River National Heritage Corridor is actual part of the National Parks system and includes all the cities in the valley, from Worcester, where the river starts, to Providence where it ends. It is a protected area, though not a park, because so many people live here, but it is considered to be of significant historical importance.

A small pond where herons like to fish is formed by the river and canal’s congruence just above the falls.

It was in this valley that the American Industrial Revolution took place.

I call it the “keyhole” bridge. It’s just before the river divides.

I became fascinated with the river. It was everywhere. Even though you can’t always see it, the Blackstone or one of its tributaries is everywhere you travel, just off the road, hidden by a hillock or trees.

There’s a walkway along the canal where everyone likes to stroll. It’s right next to the parking lot for a medical building, and there’s a small picnic area there, too.

Twelve years later, the river still fascinates me … in all its seasons and permutations. This is the river in late summer/early Autumn, from last September. This is just a single hour of shooting by the river last September. You can be sure there will be much more.