Lens-Artists Challenge #238 Alone Time

Ann-Christine and Lens-Artists are looking forward to seeing my, “Alone Time” posts. What are my thoughts, and what do I use my alone time for?

Alone time does bring about challenges for me. So today this blog will be more than a photo blog. I will take this time to do some reflection on my life.

By nature, I believe I am more of an introvert and like my time alone. I have many things to keep me happily occupied. My photography is sometimes used to get me out of my shell, and ready to explore. But I can easily enjoy quietly looking back at my library, reviewing, cataloging, and creating my photo blog.

A lone leaf

Sometimes, I enjoy being an observer of people all around me. I am thinking about their solitude.

I like to take walks. My neighborhood has 4 courts, and a private road so there is little traffic and some up-and-down elevations. At first, Moxie, my Golden Retriever, had no trouble being my companion. Once a noisy garbage truck stopped next to us and wanted to meet her. This frightened her, and it has been a bit of a struggle to walk past our court ever since. I have tried to get her used to truck sounds. So, like my last dog, if I want to walk I need to first drive to a park trail. Not as spontaneous. Maybe as Moxie turns 2 she will grow out of these fears. She is also trying to contain her excitement when we walk. She pulls ahead then realizes that I have stopped and comes to a heal position. So our walks are more training than solitude until we take our nap together.

Walking alone on the shore

As a retired librarian I love to read.

I often find the subject matter ties into my family history. I am a child of two Holocaust survivors, and I am always reading historical fiction, memoirs, and non-fiction. I just started the last book of a trilogy entitled, The Tree of Life by Holocaust survivor Chava Rosenfarb. I am well-read on the subject, but these 3 remarkable books describe life in the Lodz Ghetto, and more than that they make me think about the meaning of life itself. I highly recommend these books to everyone. It is a tough subject, but there is a sweetness and clarity to each written paragraph.

This coincides with another passion – genealogy. Again this is both an alone project, which sometimes surprisingly connects me to my extended family. Next week I will be visiting New York City. Through Ancestry.com, I will be meeting a first cousin once removed who is coming all the way from New Hampshire to meet me for dinner. Last year, I met another first cousin once removed from Israel. Children of my first cousins. It is special to have a family connection. While in NYC I will also visit the Yivo reading room where I will see items from my Great Uncle Lazar Kahan and Great Aunt Rose Shoshana Kahan. I never had any grandparents, and my parents didn’t discuss their past often. I have my parents’ testimonies from the United States Shoah Foundation. My grandparents’ generation had large families (16 children), so it is easy to see how much the Holocaust impacted my family. On only my father’s paternal side, from 15 siblings and families 30-35 were murdered. On my mother’s maternal side, my grandmother had 8 siblings with families of their own, and only one survived. I haven’t counted all the losses. It is hard to take in. Watching the news today weighs heavy on me. I believe that there are no winners in war. Sorry, I got carried away with these heavy thoughts. But that is what happens when I have some alone time.

To lighter thoughts, I have not taken on any knitting or crocheting projects lately. I needed to give my hands a rest. I started to do some quilting, but training my puppy has replaced this for the time being. Looking forward to starting some new projects.

So there are plenty of ways I like to spend my time. As you can tell, all but walking and napping with Moxie, need the use of my eyes. And they are starting to fail me. I have macular degeneration and the ophthalmologist is trying to help save the sight in one eye. So far the injection has not changed anything, and my vision is quite distorted. So far the left eye is better, and the dry macular has no treatment but progresses slower. Luckily I use my left eye for my camera eye-piece, and my camera is set for autofocus. I can type ok, but reading back this post is tiring. The book I mentioned may be the last one I read in a paper version. From now on I will use my iPad.

So what do you do with your alone time? Deep contemplation, restful time floating in a pool, or getting lost in a book?

Lens-Artists Challenge #235 Shadows and Reflections in Monochrome

Patti challenges me to explore monochrome images that feature shadows and reflections. This is a photo challenge, indeed. When out with my camera, reflections on glass, water, and shiny objects cause me to look for composition ideas. Shadows have the same effect. Adding monochromatic images is a new aspect for me. In the late 1960’s I started to use color film. With my first Imperial Debonair box camera, a 1940’s Voigtlander very manual 35mm rangefinder, and a Yashica 35mm camera I used black & white film exclusively. So I became aware of what images would work in b&w (and shades of gray). Contrasting shades, strong shapes, interesting lines, and of course shadows. It was not until the 1970’s that I switched to Kodachrome. Looking at many of my images it seems that I prefer them in color, but I did find some that worked as monochromatic images.

When I lived in New York I always made time to visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art. This image was taken on my last trip in 2014. The first image I processed in b&w Adobe monochrome

No processing going on here. It was a cold, dreary, snowy day perfect for visiting a museum.
This was taken at the same time, but this time I used standard Adobe color processing. It still is a monochromatic image.
Mirror Lake in Yosemite National Park
This image was taken in Truckee Ca. in the fall.

My first dog was Liberty Love, a black Labrador Retriever. I knew that photographing a black dog requires careful lighting unless you want to end up with a big black blob. Side lighting is needed to see the texture of her fur. I processed most of these in Adobe b&w. In some photos, I just desaturated the color.

Though I still like to see her with her warm brown thoughtful eyes. I miss you love!
Shadow of cliffs at Half Moon Bay. What do you see?

Black and white photographs are monochromatic since they are all shades of gray. The following photographs are monochromatic because they are all shades of one color. Mono means one, and chroma means color. This can be achieved during processing or not.

Marysville, Ca.
Nevada City, Ca. antique shop
American River on an early January morning with the fog just rising
The town of Bodie, Ca
Shadow friend’s picture in Kauai

I have been challenged, and I hope that you enjoyed my exprerience.

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #234 Messages

Donna asked me to search for messages in photography this week. The options are endless. Does the message from your last fortune cookie resonate with you? Clouds? Does street art, neon signs, or storefronts grab your attention? What about the underlying messages from marketing logos, or the message you want to portray in your photography.  Just have fun! This blog hits my photographic pursuit ideally.

Smilies

People leave signs along the way. A message, I was here!

Signs of Peace and Love

February 14 and hearts abound

Walking about I see hearts in nature

Hearts were created to show the loving spirit

I love this image. Someone took the time to create this public art piece
Display of glass hearts

I collect stone hearts and they sit in my room in a candy dish. There are some things that you don’t really know about its history. You just know that it has been with you your entire life. It holds my love stones perfectly.

Here is my dish of love stones with my parent’s photograph
Sending love
Permanent display of love, anyone?

Graffiti

Love Locks on a bridge in Fair Oaks

So ends my small contribution to messages I find all around me. I stayed with positive thoughts, and I finish with the many faces of my Moxie. Her face is so expressive.

Are you done working on the computer? I really am not interested in another photograph.
Ok. Just one, and done!

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #231 Favorite Images of 2022

John’s challenge is “Favorite Images of 2022.” The premise is simple. Simply share my favorite images captured in 2022. 

Let me say that waving 2022 goodbye was not hard for me. Though it seems that each year goes by a bit faster.

Visits to local museums

Getting outdoors in nature

Animals all around

Family ties with grandkids back from Tennessee

Short Trips to Half Moon Bay and Indianapolis

All my time with my golden girl Moxie