OLD PLACES AND THINGS – CEE’S BLACK & WHITE CHALLENGE

Cee’s Black & White Photo Challenge: Older than 50 Years


I narrowly avoided the temptation to include pictures of me and all my friends. None of us are exactly “spring chicks” anymore, but that seemed a bit heartless. So I stuck with inanimate objects that don’t worry about whether or not their skin looks like an old suitcase.

Rockport, MA, Boston, Upton, Uxbridge, and Gettysburg, PA are all represented. Bet you can figure out which is which!

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Cee's Black & White Photo Challenge Badge

MUNDANE MONDAY ON A BRIGHT WEDNESDAY

Finding beauty in ordinary objects is not difficult when the things with which you have furnished your home are beautiful in your eyes. I’m a collector — or perhaps I should say “reformed collector” —  so there’s a lot of stuff here that gives me joy just to look at it. They serve no other purpose but to be beautiful.

The first genuinely bright day in a couple of weeks made taking indoor pictures much more attractive!

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This is my dining room. More to the point, this is the home of my Dracaena Marginata, the plant I’ve been growing — and cutting back — for more than 20 years.

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It needs to be pruned again as it starts to scrape against the ceiling. These must be the easiest of all indoor plants. The whole dracaena family are tolerant of low light and forgetful watering.

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Give them half a chance and they will keep growing and never disappoint you. And … they are beautiful. Every once in a blue moon, they will also flower, though the flowers are nothing to write home about.

MUNDANE MONDAY CHALLENGE #68 : LEARN PHOTOGRAPHY

This is a challenge created to find beauty in almost everything. The challenge is simple : find beauty in everyday mundane things and frame it beautifully and upload the photographs. And give me a pingback by including the URL of this post in your challenge post.

If you think this challenge helps you to see ordinary things in a more beautiful way and to improve your photography, do help a friend to improve their skills too. You are free to Tag/Challenge a friend to join MMC, so that world around us look more beautiful to more people around us.

SEARCHING FOR PERFECT PIZZA – SHARING MY WORLD

Share Your World – 2016 Week 29


What is the perfect pizza?

Not in New England. I cannot help it. I know in my bones that the perfect pizza is nowhere to be found outside the five boroughs of New York. Brooklyn, last I knew, had the best of the best. The perfect pizza has a thin, slightly crispy (but not hard) crust. Plenty of sauce and lots of cheese. Mozzerella and  parmesan. Maybe romano too.

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Toppings? Whatever you like except — I vote with Terry Pratchett on this one — pineapple. Pineapple has no place on a pizza. You can argue with me until we are both too old to care. Pineapple is a great fruit, but fruit doesn’t go on pizza. No fruit. On. Pizza.

Moreover. Great pizza is hand tossed, then baked in a coal-fired oven. Nothing else comes near it. I can smell it in my dreams …

Meanwhile, it being a long way to New York, we eat pretty much any pizza. With exceptions. Most of it is okay. Imperfect, but edible.

What is your favorite time of day?

Although I sleep through it most days, just around daybreak is my favorite time of day.

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Even if I’m only away for a few moments of it, there’ something different about the light as it comes up over the horizon.

Show us two of your favorites photographs?  The photos can be from anytime in your life span.  Explain why they are your favorite.

I have over 100,000 photographs and I don’t even remember most of them. Thus, because dawn was the subject of the last question, I will give you my two favorite pictures taken at sunrise.

In this first pictures, I saw the sun and the cloud would intersect and I waited until the exact moment when it happened. Patience was rewarded! I endured a million mosquitoes, but got a dozen pictures that are still among my all-time favorites. Moments like this can’t be repeated.

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Taken originally in 2010, both my equipment and my technique have vastly improved … but you can’t repeat the moment.

The second picture was taken at almost the same time of day on the beach in Ogunquit, Maine. I took a few dozen pictures that morning and all of them are favorites, but this one, with the mist still hanging over the beach, is a favorite.

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Complete this sentence:  I’m looking forward to…. 

The end of this heat wave … and some rain!

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SLOW DRIVING

SLOW DRIVERS | THE DAILY POST


Garry and I are old enough to remember the good old days and I’m the perfect age to have been one of the kids in the back seat pinching and punching a sibling while whining: “Are we there yet?” How come our parents didn’t kill us before we grew up?

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It’s a question that has taken on considerable depths of meaning with the passing decades

Those of you who wax poetic about the wonderfulness of slowly trundling down America’s scenic back roads should take a car trip across New England.

New England roads — the good roads, the paved roads, the roads with passing lanes — run north and south. For reasons no one can explain (lack of money? no interest? not enough tourists?), only one or two lane local roads travel east and west. If (for example) you are traveling the 231 miles from Jackman, Maine to Danville, Vermont, you will experience some of the nation’s most beautiful scenery. Very slowly. On roads that have not changed and in many cases, also haven’t been repaved, since you were knee-high to a grasshopper.

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No limited-access highway will sully your pure travel experience. You won’t be tempted to eat fast food from familiar chains. No driver will tailgate to make you speed up. The car ahead of you — what we refer to as our “pace car” — will likely be an aging pickup rattling down the mountain. One of the driver’s feet will be glued to the brake pedal while he or she engages in a lively conversation as the truck weaves left and right from shoulder to shoulder. You’ll be hard put to figure whether or not the vehicle has a steering problem, or the driver is doing it on purpose to make you crazy. Whatever the reason, you are not going to pass that pickup.

Although you won’t find fast food chains, you won’t starve. There’s plenty of good food and gasoline you can pump as you pass through the quaint New England towns. Classic towns with white clapboard churches and at least one or two pizza parlors. Baked goods for sale. Chilled pop in bottles and cans. Clean bathrooms.

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It’s a breathtaking journey through the mountains. Magnificent and surreal. Directly in front of you for the entire trip will be a poky driver who will never exceed (or even meet) the speed limit.He or she would never consider letting his vehicle get within 10 miles of whatever that silly sign says is a safe, legal speed for traveling those twisting roads.

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There will also be plenty of construction. Everywhere and oddly, if you go back the following year, the construction will still be in progress. After four or five of the dozen hours of that drive, the urge to get your car up to ramming speed and push the slow drivers out of the way becomes an obsession.

Slow drivers lurk on side roads. Do they use spotter craft so they know when we are coming? We try to pass, but they appear out of nowhere. They pull out and immediately slow to a crawl. If, by some miracle we briefly break free, another slow driver is poised for action at the next intersection.

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When Dwight D. Eisenhower decreed and built the interstate highway system. I bet I know why. He was from farm country himself and had been recently traveling America’s glorious back roads. He knew he could never defeat the slow drivers … so he just built bigger, faster roads.

Just … not in New England.

THE DEVIL’S IN THE DETAILS

Well, maybe not the devil, but for those of us with a macro lens or two in amongst our lenses, detail is where the fun is.

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I now have two macro lenses, the Olympus 60mm f2.8 which doubles as a long portrait lens, and a 12-50mm f2.8 “normal” that has a macro “button.” The lens converts from normal to macro, but it has a mind of its own about what the focus point is. It’s not like any other lens I’ve ever used.

You frame the shot, but unless you have the camera on full manual, it manages the fine focusing.  Probably better than I could. Auto-focus is a saving grace for aging eyes.

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It will work as a macro throughout its range with the push of a button. Not quite as tight the 60mm, but close enough for the devil.

PHOTO CHALLENGE | Details

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016