Today I spent about an hour and a half of my day talking to a 70 year old woman who was dancing with the idea of buying a new lens. Her kit lenses, she said, weren't sharp enough. They didn't impress her. She had spent a good deal of time doing research but admitting that she really didn't understand everything that she read, and she was still new to digital SLR photography. We talked for a long time, we unraveled her wants and her want-nots, we deciphered some lingo, we walked outside and took some pictures. She was so appreciative. She said she had gotten so much from our time together. She said she felt more relaxed and at ease talking to me than all the men she's been dealing with. Her words made me feel so good. I love what I do, and if I can make another woman feel that taking cool pictures is within reach, and break down the language and principles so that they're less intimidating, then I feel successful and fulfilled.
I've been trying to push the shutter more. I've been looking to SEE lately, not just looking to keep from bumping into things. It's not as easy as you'd think. Or maybe seeing is, but translating that into something compelling might be a different story. But what fun it is to try.
This weekend the manfriend and I took a ride on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad. We rode from Independence to Akron and back up to Peninsula before getting off the train for lunch. We waited for about ten minutes to get shots of the train pulling away from the station. I love the trainman signalling up the tracks. By the way, the railway is 100% volunteer based. That's pretty cool.
Note how the sign says "RESTAURANTS". If one of the restaurants closes down, they're going to have to make a new sign. (Get it? There's only two restaurants. Rim shot, please.)
There's also a "Gallery" in Peninsula. I'm not positive what constitutes a gallery, but there was lots of very cool stuff from local artisans for sale. I felt like a royal schmuck for taking pictures because it was all too rich for my blood... Although, I did try to go back later in the day when beer had lubricated my wallet some, but alas, they were closed...
Today my thighs are killing me, and I couldn't figure out why. We sat on a train for 3+ hours and downtown Peninsula was about two square blocks. However, it occurred to me after looking at these photos that I did spend the better part of our two hour layover squatting and climbing on top of every bench I could find to get a better vantage point.
More squatting. Kerig has a very flattering picture of me taking this. I must say, I didn't realize my knees could still do that...
Lunch consisted of a salad and two very large lite beers. We came across this flower and I felt like I was drunk off my gourd. I wasn't, but the flower was swaying in the breeze and macro really requires a tripod. I was moving, the flower was moving, the camera was moving, the focus point was moving... I'm amazed that I got anything.
We will not go into detail about this lumber yard and that gorgeous golden hour(ish) light. Suffice it to say: there was a cooler set up for this shot, where I was patiently waiting for the light to cooperate (the sun was in and out of clouds all afternoon) when I was informed it wasn't coming back out. Liar.
But I can't be too irritated, since he did point out that popping the flash makes the sign really light up for the railroad crossing. I wish that I had gotten at least one shot of the red flashers going.
And this is my favorite shot of the day. I'd like to shrug my shoulders and act all nonchalant, but I love the bokeh, the those hexagons make me a little swoony. And there's the light, which is just lovely without being contrived.
And there's one more shot that I want to share, but not from this weekend.
This house only has crank out windows. I'm not exactly a fan, since it means that adding a window A/C window unit isn't an option. And apparently, shelling out scratch to fix the central air "isn't an option" either. Right. Whatever. Moving on.... Well, it's been a super hot summer, and the windows have been open constantly since June. We have a couple of cob webs, but I'm in no hurry to go knock them down, since ...well...spiderwebs perform a specific function, and I'm a fan of that function. So the webs stay. We've also been super dry this summer, and the rains finally started a week or so ago. It's been wonderful. It's really true what they say about absence and the fond heart. So it was finally a dark and rainy day and I was sitting at the table eating my lunch when this spiderweb in the crank-out window caught my eye. I had to gingerly take the screen out of the window to get this shot, and the house is brown (not purple) but I had so much fun shooting this wet web. And then playing with the shot in Lightroom to make it pop out. I realize it's kind of gross, but I think it's the best kind of gross.