NOT MY MONKEYS, NOT MY CIRCUS

An entirely uninteresting new story? Right now, that pretty much sums up the news, not counting the stories that are merely depressing, aggravating, demoralizing, and/or infuriating.

The "Dodge City Peace Commission", June 1888. (L to R) standing: W.H. Harris, Luke Short, Bat Masterson, W.F. Petillon. Seated: Charlie Bassett, Wyatt Earp, Frank McLain and Neal Brown.

The “Dodge City Peace Commission”, June 1888. (L to R) standing: W.H. Harris, Luke Short, Bat Masterson, W.F. Petillon. Seated: Charlie Bassett, Wyatt Earp, Frank McLain and Neal Brown.

We don’t have a newspaper delivered. Garry usually goes out to buy one. Sometimes he misses a day and makes do with the Internet, but he likes having a paper to hold and peruse.

As a former TV news reporter for a network affiliate in Boston, he used to read three newspapers every morning, looking for items that might make a good story for him. Now, he studiously avoids the daily reports of violence and human misery … and politics … and goes directly to sports. It’s baseball’s playoff season and the Cubs are in it for the first time in many long decades. That’s about as good as the news gets these days.

Doesn't this seem strangely familiar?

Doesn’t this seem strangely familiar?

We watch The Daily Show in the evening. Though technically it’s comedy, there’s more real news on it than we find on the so-called “Real News.” Mostly it is all politics. Republican politics, since it is they who are hosting the circus. I suppose we can look forward to the second act when the Democrats get into stride. How depressing.

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I’m not a Republican and I would probably vote Democratic anyway …. but I’d like to have a meaningful choice. We are supposed to have two parties. I do not have to agree with a party in order to respect its representatives. The bunch of clowns and opportunists supposedly in the running for the GOP nomination are an embarrassment. To me, to the nation, to the world.

Gee. It looks like nothing much has changed, eh?

Gee. It looks like nothing much has changed, eh?

The party of Lincoln has turned into a joke and it makes me sad. Are these men and women truly the best and brightest the Grand Old Party has to offer? Of course, we aren’t the only country where this has or is occurring, but it’s here that it really hits me where it hurts.

Uncle sam political cartoon 1899

I had thought things couldn’t get any worse, politically speaking … but I was wrong. Garry says it’s my fault for thinking things couldn’t get worse, for allowing that random thought to pass through my brain. I apologize. I never thought it could get this bad and although I would like to believe that party politics has bottomed out, I fear that there may be even worse to come.

We fought. We died. Please get out there and vote!

We fought. We died for the right to vote. Please vote!

How does that effect me? How could it not affect me? And you and you and you and you and you and you …

MADE BY MAN: CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE

CEE’S FUN FOTO CHALLENGE: ANYTHING MAN-MADE

Most of the world seems man-made these days, though sometimes the materials used are natural. Thing made by man of wood, or stone, for example are man-made, but the building materials aren’t. Today is going to be things built by man, but from naturally occurring “stuff.”

Red barn made of wood. Built by man, but from trees ... and I'll bet local trees.

Red barn made of wood. Built by man from trees … and I’ll bet local trees.

Built by man -- and woman -- but the cotton grows in fields and the poles were originally saplings growing in our woods.

Built by man — and woman — but the cotton for the natural canvas once grew in fields. The poles were fashioned from saplings that grew in our woods.

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Old barn, built of wood harvested locally nearly 300 years ago (ca 1720).

A stone bridge over the Blackstone River and Canal

A stone bridge over the Blackstone River and Canal.

All products of man, with a little help from forests and fields.

SHOOT TIGHT, STAY FOCUSED

CEE’S COMPOSE YOURSELF CHALLENGE: WEEK #2 WHAT ALL WELL-COMPOSED PHOTOS HAVE IN COMMON

I suppose it ought to be instinctive that a picture should have a subject, just as a book or a movie should have a plot.

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Those of who read a lot, watch movies or TV, and/or write, know it isn’t necessarily as simple as it seems. It is surprisingly easy for a subject to get lost between clauses … or the movie’s theme to get buried under special effects. Or the beautiful rose to be lost amidst a sea of other flowers.

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A photo needs a subject and the photographer needs to know what he or she is trying to say. If you don’t know what your subject is, you can be pretty sure no one else will know either.

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My answer, over the years, is to move in close. To have a subject stand out, I try to make it easy for anyone to know what I’m trying to say. If you are shooting a single subject, just shoot tight and stay focused.