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As it happens I just stumbled across the event while on an outing with my wife. Stumbling, or not I was amazed by the talent that was being displayed on the murals as they were created. It was also just plain, good old fashioned, all American fun. Anyway while there watching the artist as they worked I wish so much that I had a camera with me. I had my mobile phone but it I could easily envision the shots I could have gotten with telephoto and, in particular, a super wide angle lens. Then there is the quality of the photos.
In the end I decided that it’s certainly better to get some kind of photo than no photo at all so I was forced, no, forced, I decided to resort to the camera on my mobile phone. There was no way I was going to let a lack of proper tools stop me from capturing this really cool display of artistic talent.
Photos of Chalk It UP!
Real World Examples of Photojournalist Using Instagram
A growing number of photographers and Photojournalist are actually using mobil phones, and even getting assignments specifically to use mobile phones and even Instagram in the field. Because of this photos from mobile phones have even landed on the cover of Time Magazine and The New York Times!
Becouse Mobile phones are being used by photojournalist more and more often. During Hurricane Sandy several prominent newspapers and magazines sent their photojournalist in to New York City with mobile phones and the password for their Instagram feeds. This was because electricity and Internet connections were down and was the fastest most efficient way to upload photos to the wire. As a result a cell phone shot upload to Instagram made the cover of TIME Magazine!
There are also Photojournalist using mobile devices and Instagram in the Middle East that are using cell phones. Photojournalist using Instagram also made the front page of the New York Times with a photo uploaded to Instagram!
Because of situations like this there are many that believe mobile phones have an enormous future with mainstream media. I don’t think this is the case. Of course for speed of use mobile phones will continue to be used. I believe, however, that the next generation of digital SLR’s will have mobile connectivity so photographers and photojournalist will be able to upload to the Internet via FTP servers and applications like Instagram, Google Plus, etc. directly from their DSLR
Family photos are something that nearly all of us have. In this particular case I’m talking about all sorts of photos and not necessarily those of just family members. It can be photos of friends and other people we know. Often our family photos can include pets like our dogs, cats, iguanas or whatever else we might have. Regardless, unless your a pygmy living in the jungles of New Guinea or some damn place you most likely have family photos.
These days it seems that the bulk of family photos are kept our phones and computers. We live in a digital age were all of our snapshots and most cherished memories can easily be lost with the crash of a hard drive or loss of a phone. Unfortunately the average person doesn’t routinely backup their photos to multiple hard drives and the lack of doing so can be emotionally devastating when these photos are lost.
Regardless of the method that the photo was captured whether it’s a single snapshot taken with the phone or professional photographs our family photos mean a lot to us. It’s true however that they don’t have nearly the same meaning for others as they do for ourselves but that’s not what’s important. What’s important is that they remind us of ourselves our lives and our families. Their remind us of events that occurred and tell our story to those that come after us.
The Importance of Family Photos
One such example is the photo above of my mom and dad’s wedding. To the average viewer there’s nothing significant about it and quite frankly it’s not likely to draw their attention outside of a brief glance. To my own family however it’s a very important photo for several reasons. The first and foremost is that, to the best of my knowledge, it’s the only surviving that photograph from my parent’s wedding.
Oddly enough I had never even seen that photograph or known it existed until one year ago this month. My wife and I were visiting my grandma and while we were there I was looking through some of my mom’s stuff. (I guess it should be pointed out that my mom passed away more than 20 years ago.) Anyway while looking through some of her belongings I found one single negative that was laying in the bottom of her drawer. It was banged up, scratched up covered in dust. It really was in the most horrible condition. Either way I asked my grandmother I can have a negative.
I’ve been snapping my own photos since the summer of 1979 and this one single negative, despite its horrible condition, is one of my most prized possessions. I cherish it for a number of obvious reasons. I mean think about it. Not only is it the sole surviving photo for my parents wedding it’s also a photo of my mom who’s no longer with us. But there’s also things that aren’t so obvious to the average viewer. The fact that the photo was snapped in my grandmother’s kitchen and just off to the right you can see the old wood burning oven which my grandmother used to cook in. There’s even a small stack of wood down on the floor. It’s little details like this that bring back memories and will also will tell a story for those that hadn’t been born or have no memories of that particular time in the history of our family.
While were on the topic of my mom I thought I would include some snapshots that were taken in perhaps 1960 or 1961. Though I can’t be certain I assume that she was going through a Jackie O phase. Apparently this was a condition that many young women suffered in the late 1950s and early 1960s and it would appear from viewing the photographs that my own mom was no exception to this rule.
The photographs below are not professionally taken they are just family snapshots but the have meaning to me and are important to me and my family. These photographs would of been taken with her old Brownie camera. They are blurry and out of focus but I love these old family photos much more than many of the sophisticated and technically advanced photos that I shoot myself these days.
The first is a photograph of my mom and her brother, my uncle, Ray. Mom is reloading one of the cameras with film while someone else snapped this photo with the Brownie.
The one thing I do know about this photograph, the one at the top, is that it’s the photo that my dad carried in his wallet when he and my mom were dating. I’ve also included two other photographs that were snap the same day for no other reason than I wanted to. After all, who could resist sharing a photo of their mother doing the Jackie O!
Take Care of Your Family Photos
Whether you shoot your photos with a digital camera, a cell phone, or God for bid a film camera it really is important that you backup your files and care for your negatives. In the case of my mom and dad’s wedding only one single negative survives 50 years after the fact. In today’s digital world phones are replaced and computers thrown away and recycled. The harddrives that these photos reside on and are so often lost forever.
Even in this digital world it’s important for your children and other family members that these photographs be passed down to them. What may seem no more snapshot to you could have deep and significant meaning for others years later. Just something to consider.
Despite living so close, no more than 2 ½ hours away, I’ve only revisited The Wall three more times. From these later visits it seems that the reverence for the place has been lost. This annoyed me a great deal. If I think about it objectively there is no reason why it should annoy me but it does. Perhaps it was just the crowd of people that were there on that first visit. The quiet footsteps and whispered voices that helped me decide for myself the way we should treat the memorial. Perhaps it’s quiet more often than I realize as I don’t go often. Perhaps it was just a loud noisy crowd that were there on my other visits. Who’s to say but my first trip was very emotional.
The temperature is only 10° outside this January morning and for some odd reason I woke thinking this would be an excellent day to go back to “The Wall”. I could certainly relive that solitude and peacefulness of my first visit. Anyway, that’s what prompted me to search my archives for some photos and post this blog.
For more information on The Vietnam Veterans Memorial see the links below.
I’m certain there is nothing she would love more than to be enveloped in a make believe world where nothing existed other than cats, kittens, puppies and —- well other fuzzy things.
Life With The Crazy Cat Lady
Generally speaking I don’t tell people how many cats, kittens or other critters we have in this house but let’s go for broke and let the cat out of the bag so to speak! Currently we have six cats and two dogs. In the past we’ve also had an assorted number of hamsters, goldfish, and hermit crabs. Basically your childhood pets sort of thing. Today’s talk however, is not the odd pet here and there or even the usual dog or two. It’s all about cats, kittens and The Crazy Cat Lady.
Cats and Kittens
Although we do have six regular cats that live in the house the real deal is that my wife, and guilt by association, myself, raise foster kittens. Often these kittens are little more than a day old and have had some sort of problem with their mother. Now, the real problem with fostering cats kittens and other tiny animals is that you have to find homes for them. In the end if we didn’t we would be up to our necks in cats in no time.
As it turns out my beloved bride is actually pretty anal when it comes to placing these kittens in homes. As a Veterinary Technician of some 22 or 23 years she is very animal oriented. She always does background checks and Veterinary checks with the people that she chooses to place the kittens with. If they don’t meet her satisfaction she will not place a kitten in that home. Her anal, but careful attitude actually makes slim pickings in a world over saturated with cats and kittens and all the other critters people are trying to off load every summer.
Chasing Kittens with a Camera!
Being the family photographer I learned long ago that even trying to get rid of a bunch of cats and kittens and doing it effectively often relies on decent photographs. People obviously want what’s cute. Just like shopping at the store or buying goods online when placing the foster kitten in a good home a photograph goes a long way to getting people interested and more importantly getting the kitten out on a timely manner. Even if the thing is free! There comes a point where every cute, fuzzy kitten turns into a cat. If you hold on to them for to long it crosses the line from kitten to cat then its yours for life. Life for these critters can be 15-16 years or more. Nope, get them out of the house fast! We don’t need no stinking cats, kittens or hermit crabs!
Because of this I will always spend a full day or two chasing these little critters around the house trying to get 2 to 3 perfect “advertisement” photos. Needless to say they move FAST! Not only have I learned that it’s easier to unload kittens when you have cute photos, I have also learned that there is something magical about a fuzzy little kitten and a little girl. Because of this magical phenomenon I have come to enlist the support of my daughters in my “kitten be gone photos”. Though they love the kittens and don’t like to see them go, they are always willing accomplices in my photographic sales pitch. Of course my little actress’s pose in the sweetest and most adoring ways. Always attempting to give me that perfect little girl loving the kitten photograph that helps get rid of cats, kittens, kitchen sinks, probably anything else I wanted to get rid of in a prompt efficient manner.
Yes, I have a Cat
Despite my cynical approach I really have grown fond of the cats here. Since I’ve never really been a big cat person it’s surprising that there is one that I am extremely fond of. Her name is Lou.
It all boils down to the fact that I belong to Lou , and Lou belongs to me. It’s really kind of sweet actually. Just don’t tell anyone I said that. I have this gruff exterior I need to maintain.
Cats, Kittens and My Crazy Cat Lady
Despite messing with her from time to time, I know that My Crazy Cat Lady has a great heart and the best of intentions. With the possible exception of ending up on a surprise addition of animal planet where they come and collect all the cats in gas mask an white suits, things really aren’t so bad here.
Beautiful, loving, kind wife (Only for fuzzy things mind you.) or Crazy Cat Lady? I guess after 20 years I’m still trying to decide. Either way I wouldn’t trade her and unfortunately she seems as stuck with me.
Photographs From the 97th Annual Pennsylvania Farm Show and Complex
The Pennsylvania Farm Show is a week long event housed in the massive structure that was named after it. For the most part it was probably a bad idea to go on a Sunday. Despite the many functions and events that I have attended and worked at the at the Farm Show complex I have never seen crowds that bad. There were traffic jams of people, literally hundreds and thousands of people. It seemed that we were the cattle being herded rather animals resting serenely throughout the building. At one point there were probably six or seven Pennsylvania State Troopers trying to direct this throng of humanity inside the complex. Quite honestly I have no idea what they thought they could do to rectify or correct the situation. It was just a nightmare pure and simple.
Quite obviously while I was there I spent a good deal of time collecting, or rather trying to collect photographs. It wasn’t Exactly an easy task with all of the people pushing and shoving. If I stopped to grab photograph I was certainly going to be in someone’s way. But nonetheless I do what I do I was able to capture a few. Since I actually spent the time to capture them it seemed fitting that I share them here.
I guess without a doubt the first image would be this macro of a rooster’s head and face. Of all the photographs that I snapped that day this was without a doubt the most difficult. With all the people walking up and down the aisles. The damn rooster’s head was constantly bobbing and never stopped. Thankfully Kitten walked to the side, got his attention for me and he stayed still for perhaps one quarter of a second allowing me to capture the photograph.
Despite the difficulty in capturing it I really like this photograph. The detail and color are nearly perfect.
Room with the birds had chickens and ducks and geese. There were guineas and all sorts of critters you might find on a farm. Among these was a display where peeps or baby chicks were being hatched. I would like to have gotten in close and actually taken a photograph of one of the chicks as it was hatching at the masses of people surrounding the small enclosure was quite frankly more than I wanted to deal with.
As each chick was hatched it was moved to an incubator and it was here that I was able to actually capture at least one decent photograph of these highly mobile little creatures.
The Big Animals
Along with roosters and baby chickens any good agricultural exhibit will have large animals. There were horses, cows, bulls and all that jazz. The photograph below is of a Texas Longhorn.
Also back in the main arena there are all sorts of competitions one of which was a draft horse competition. this arena at the Farm Show Complex has over 8800 seats. The lighting is of course a photographer’s nightmare but you can at least get the general idea from the photograph below.
Farm Equipment and Other Shiny Things
Last we have farm equipment. There were tractors and shovels and backhoes. There was even a silo that was built inside. Obviously a scaled-down version of the big ones but not tiny by any stretch of the imagination.
Of the tractors on display there was everything from brand-new tractors to old steam tractors that look like small locomotives. Below are two photographs of an antique John Deere that caught my fancy.
The Pennsylvania Farm show runs annually and has done so for nearly 100 years. If you never been it’s always nice to go at least once. Currently parking is $10.00 and admission is free I would suggest however, that you avoid it on the weekends. Personal experience and all.
Other News Sources for The 97th Annual Pennsylvania Farm Show
Horses tow 10000 pounds in PA Farm Show contest
Nine teams competed in the crowd-pleasing lightweight horse pull in the large arena at the 97th Annual Pennsylvania Farm Show Tuesday afternoon. In a contest requiring the elite athletes of the equine world to show their brute strength by pulling a sled loaded …
Read more on PennLive.com
2013 PA Farm Show: What you need to know
The 2013, 97th Annual Pennsylvania Farm Show starts Saturday and runs until Jan. 12 with old and new favorites and new attractions for all ages. The theme of the 97th edition of the show, Made in Pennsylvania, It Makes A Difference, puts the focus on how …
Read more on York Daily Record
Southampton teen's Angus named champion at farm show
With a smile on her face and a wire comb in her right hand, Ruby Monn prettied up Maximus, her prize-winning Angus, Tuesday morning at the 97th Annual Pennsylvania Farm Show. “I'm going to miss him,” the 17-year-old Southampton Township girl said prior to the …
Read more on The Sentinel