Many posts started, but life happens…

The short version. Crazy times happened after Halloween. Things were looking up. I spent some time with my grandsons, voted and saw a reverse in the U.S. House, horrific fire in Paradise, smoke choking Fair Oaks, and then my dog Libby started having trouble on our slippery floors. So off to see Dr. Faith at Reagor Pet Hospital, x-rays taken and placed on pain medication. Thought a few weeks of rest, install a different flooring and all would be better.

My 16 year old granddaughter has been living with us since the start of the school year. Things deteriorated quickly. Sneaking out, rules ignored, school work non existent. Tried counseling, talking, setting boundaries and nothing works. Teenage rebellion in full swing.  My mother always said, “There is a time to be parents, and then she was done.”

About this same time my friends invited me to join them on a photo vacation. This would be a first for me. After quite a lot of thought, and encouragement from my husband,  I decided to go. Left right after Thanksgiving on December 1st and returned on December 7th. Spent all the time on the island of Kauai taking photographs. Explored most accessible places that didn’t require a lot of hiking. Came home with 1000+ photographs. Had a wonderful time. So why haven’t I posted any, you may ask. 

Answer. Stuff happens. My dog Libby missed me, and her limping got progressively worse while I was away. What we thought was a sprain, or blown out knee turned out to be a head scratching hard to diagnose question mark. We took her to UC Davis Vet Hospital where an MRI was done. There is inflammation around the sciatic nerve and spinal disk. Hoped it may be just a bacterial infection that can be treated with antibiotics. Culture came back negative today. Or it may be an inoperable tumor. I am plenty worried, and mucho distracted. Recheck in two weeks. Libby is happier now that I am home, and not complaining with either medicine. Her appetite improved. That is a big indication that something is wrong, when a Labrador Retriever needs to be hand fed.

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As for me, I also have issues like my dog Libby. And I too had a MRI. Results show severe lumbar spinal stenosis. MRI looks terrible and the Spinal/Pain management specialist is referring me to a surgeon. Something to look forward to in the New Year.

My husband’s second phase of tooth implant takes place next week. Hoping that will be easier than the tooth extraction.

So 2019 is set to be an interesting year. I do hope for some peace in the coming year for my friends and family, and the growing connected world.

Happy New Year 2019 to all!

A Time to Reflect

In the Jewish religion, Yom Kippur is the time of atonement. How can I contribute to the upcoming year?  I like to look at this as a time to slow down and reflect on the past year, and think of the coming year. The past year has been one of change. Moving to a new home, watching a new life being brought into my family with the birth of my grandson. My brother certainly made some changes as well. He and Leti moved into a new home, married, and my niece gave birth to her daughter making my brother a first time grandfather. Happy, life affirming changes.

The last part of the year brought one additional unanticipated change. My 16 year old granddaughter is currently living with us. I am back in the parent role, and I find that this is harder to  accept. There is a time for everything, and I planned this time for travel. With this delay I am going to continue to plan to travel, eventually. I guess I am trying to act logically, and not be so emotional about this turn of events. Logic pushes me to take positive steps toward my end goal.

Step 1.  Develop a way to communicate with fellow travelers. I know that I can only speak English. So I am using my computer to learn some Spanish. Maybe I’ll look at being able to speak some Hebrew. Who knows.

Step 2. Photography will be high on the list when I decide where I want to go. I plan to travel with my mirrorless cameras. I just sold my Olympus OMD E5 gear and purchased a Fuji XT2 camera and the Fuji X100F. I plan to use this time to become very comfortable with my gear. This also helps my emotional health.

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When I traveled overseas in 1964 I packed my things in a bright red Samsonite suitcase. It was easy to spot on the luggage carousel.

Step 3. Keep an eye out for places to visit. I plan to start making a list of where and when (best season) to visit my destinations. Facebook is one place to view good photographic places. Another place I check out are the many Flickr sites. And I’ll do some travel reading.

I just received my first passport, as an adult. So as far as travel goes I am quite new to foreign travel. My last time overseas was when I was still in high school over 50 years ago. Kind of funny the way life works out. When I left Karachi in 1966 I was thinking that I would work in the airline industry and be able to travel all over. When I graduated from college my husband and I even made plans to move to Israel. It has been over 40 years since I made the move from New  York to California. Vacations out of California didn’t take me very far in the United States either. Traveled back to New York, to Florida to visit In-Laws, Indianapolis to visit family, and to the Hawaiian Islands. I guess I have some catching up to do.

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Planning on hopping on the People Mover when the time comes!

Meanwhile I’ll enjoy the year ahead. Photo time, dog time, and time at home with my husband and granddaughter.

Who knows what the year 5779 will bring? May you be inscribed in the Book of Life.

Any suggestions as to where I should set my sights? I’ve got time to plan!

 

So many choices, so little time

My parents were very diligent and took great care with photographs. Essentially their photographic life started for them after WWII. At first they used corners on each picture, and my Dad carefully lettered the page. Later they moved on to using self sticking albums. Later still, they added slides, a case, a projector (built like a truck), and screen. Again each is labeled. They treasured these memories. Once when the family was living overseas in Karachi, Pakistan and the idea that we might have to be evacuated arrangements were made to keep the albums safe.

All of this is now at my house. And I need to think about what to do with this history.  In truth, I favor looking at the older family photos. Starting to piece together my parents life in Europe before 1945. I found some documents with photographs on their ghetto cards. These ID cards were required by the Germans. The scanned images are poor, but with a bit of work I can see my mother around the age of 14 years. I need to get in touch and see if I can get a better scan. When I started my family genealogy in the 1980’s I uncovered a family photograph from my father’s side taken when a family member visited. As often the case after a visit a photo is placed in an album and the others in the photograph never sees the image. Luckily, in talking to this cousin my father was able to see the last photo of his mother and family before the Shoah.

My parents documented their extensive travels. These beautiful landscapes hold less interest for me. Maybe I should catch the travel bug while I still can travel. When the family scatters, group photos only happened at times of celebration. A few weeks ago my family gathered to celebrate a wedding. So nice when the occasion is such a happy one. My brother’s marriage now extends my family into Argentina. The last time I studied Spanish was in 9th grade (some 55 years ago). I wasn’t any good at it, and rolling those R’s near impossible.  I am trying out Duolingo and Babbel. But if I am serious I will check out some of the other online learning programs. So far in Duolingo I can only drink aqua or leche. I can eat una manzana or él pan. Just  figured out how to put in accent marks on my iMac. But probably there are more interesting things to eat. Don’t want to live on bread and water! Has anyone had a good experience with a language program for conversational Spanish?

Am I spreading myself out too thin? Sometimes I feel like I should just stick with one thing, but then I get pulled in another direction. You can probably tell from the way this post is flying all over the place. Maybe I need to figure out just what I want from my life. I just retired from babysitting my grandkids. Another story for another day. Not good.   Photography connects many of my directions. Learning, travel, connecting, collecting memories, and family genealogy. This I share in my blog. I sometimes share on my Flickr site, but Facebook needs my attention if I want to connect with my local peeps.  I will try and wean myself off of following FB and use my time differently. Continuing to search my genealogy ties draws me into the Holocaust and my Second Gen family friends. Such a great group of friends. I just want to find out my parents, and grandparents’ story. Now I’m thinking of Spanish? Will I ever travel again? Then I need time to do my yoga stretches and my therapy exercises to get rid of my plantar fasciitis.  I need to kick up my activity level just to stay in shape. Libby has been getting the short end of the stick since my plantar fasciitis kicked in. No daily walks, just play time in the backyard.

Ok I’m a bit panicked. I have spent the better part of this month reorganizing my photo collection in Lightroom CC. Thought I knew what I was doing, but somehow keywords for 6000 images were deleted. Finally got it back, backed up the photos, and the catalog, and right now my images are not synched with my catalog. I know this is more tech info than most want to know, but I wanted to add images to this post, and I can’t. Time to walk away from the computer and hope that the backup problem resolves soon. 15 more minutes to complete second backup. Technology is great when it works! Sorry no images today. Got to figure out Lightroom synch.

It all takes time. I just hope I can figure out what I want to accomplish and have time to do just that! That’s all I can ask of myself.

Online, Prints or Albums?

How do you like to look at your photographs? In the past the choices were print or slides. The prints were placed in albums and carefully labeled, or at the other end of the spectrum left in a box or trunk unmarked. Some photographs become part of the household display in frames on the mantle or hung on the wall. There have been instances when film was found undeveloped. The discovery of Vivian Maier, a noted street photographer comes to mind. If you aren’t familiar with her work the documentary, Finding Vivian Maier is worth watching. Many WWII film canisters have been found. Slides often in containers without a projector available.

I began my digital connection early with a 3mg pixel Sony Mavica on mini cds in about 2001. I liked the idea of seeing results immediately, but the digital world had a long way to go before I could use it consistently. The shutter lag, and resolution were not up to the task. I probably have the disks, somewhere. But the technology changed and even my iMac doesn’t have a CD player. My digital switch came in 2004 with my first dslr Nikon D70. Followed by D200, D7000, D600, D7100, Panasonic point & shoot, Olympus OMD-E5 mirrorless, and Fuji x100f. I use one of the highlighted cameras depending on my subject matter, and how much I want to shlep. They each serve the purpose and I can get great image from each one.

My photo collection in Lightroom CC is about 35500. I have used Adobe Lightroom since it began, and the changes also grew with the improvements in digital photography.  I retired from my teaching position and high school librarian. I have the need to be organized, and I like to  to have a place for everything. That includes cataloging my images. Lightroom (LR) originally was created to keep images organized. Photoshop was to take care of processing. I’m very glad the two work together now. I have keywords for my images going back to 2004, and my needs change. And crazy as it sounds,  I like to catalog my images. When I am stressed I often review, redo, and remember my photo journey. While making these changes I get to look back over my work. I enjoy this time. I review my growth, impressed by some of my earlier images, saw camera improvements especially in noise reduction, and the improved LR can assist with  changes.

I like to see my photographs enlarged and hanging around my house. Though these are not family snapshots. Many of the images were taken a while ago when I was enrolled in photography classes at the local community colleges. I use Nielsen Bainbridge frames, and I use Bay Photo service to print. Now in my new house I may change out some of these prints.  I also have a couple of photographs printed on metal from a local company with nice results.

I also like to be able to browse through albums though I haven’t kept this going as much. Shutterfly allows me to print books, and I find it easy to share my work. For an online presenceI like the way my work looks on my Flickr site. Flickr recently partnered with SmugMug and I hope that this will prove a positive move. I used SmugMug many years ago when I first started my very brief photography business. Family stuff happened. Now photography is for my pleasure!

Back to my original question. I enjoy my photographs in a variety of ways. In the back of my mind I need to think about my eyesight. My mother lost her eyesight due to macular degeneration. Unfortunately, I also have this condition. So far the dry version has a slow progression, and has not impaired my vision. So using a variety may help me in the long run.

So what do you do with all your images? I hope you enjoy them, and have fun creating.