Category Archives: Photo Project: Out & About

Phase 1: Day 14 – On To Phase II

Out and About: Cardboard for Recycling

Today we start the transition to Phase II of our governor’s reopening plan.  This allows personal care businesses like hair salons to open under certain restrictions, and allows restaurants to resume indoor seating, again with certain restrictions.  Many restaurants will be open at 5:00 today, although a surprising number of them appear to be holding off for a while.  Truthfully, I think this is a good example of allowing businesses and individuals to make their own decision.  Our favorite Italian restaurant, for example, posted on Facebook that the dining room will remain closed for now.  Evidently they feel it is too soon, and they appear to be successful with their carryout program.  We’re not in a rush to be first.  We wish them all well and will be there when we feel it is time.

I’m going to start something different for Phase II but haven’t decided what.  I think I’ll continue to post daily, but want to mix things up a bit.  Maybe some stuff from the archives to show off some of the work I’ve been doing lately on the old files.  We’ll see! 🙂

Phase 1: Day 13 – Out and About

Out and About: Pool Shadows

So we’re proceeding to Phase II on Friday.  Not a big deal for us with one exception: we have appointments for haircuts!  They aren’t until June 2, but that’s OK with us.  Restaurants will be opening back up, but we’re not in a rush.  Maybe in a couple of weeks we’ll venture out to see what things are looking like, what the experience is like.  Probably going to be weird.

In the mean time, it’s supposed to start warming up again and we will hopefully be getting back into the shorts and sandals this weekend.  I do think it’s time to start thinking about heading to the beach…. 🙂

Phase 1: Day 12 – Out and About

Out and About: Abandoned Shopping Carts at the Bus Stop

One of the blogs that I follow is On My Om by Om Malik, a tech journalist, photographer and investor.  While perhaps a bit extreme, he started self-quarantining even before it became widespread.  A comment in a recent post echoes a sentiment I have also been having:

“…the 80-day quarantine has made me ask the two questions that I should have been asking all along: What do I value? And what is worth my time? Those two questions are intertwined.”

Kathy & I have already been asking a similar question when it comes to eating out or “splurging” on “treat foods” like Five Guys (how long has that been?!?): Is it worth it?  As in cost (both caloric and financial) and weight gain.

There have been a lot of rabbit holes during this 2+ month sabbatical, and more and more I find myself questioning whether I am spending my time in the best way I can.  I would add to the quote above a third question: “how will I feel about how I spent my time during this period 5, 10 or even 20 years from now?


Phase 1: Day 11 – Out and About

Out and About: Pallets Awaiting Recycling

One of the benefits from this stay-at-home period is that we’ve stopped eating restaurant food, and the positive impact on my weight has been notable.  We started tracking our weight daily over 10 years ago, and every week I’ve been consistently hitting new lows on the scale.  Since our last restaurant meal on March 16 I’ve lost 10 pounds, and I’m down 16 pounds since we returned from our Florida trip.  Kathy has been seeing similar progress.  So I’ve been wearing clothes I haven’t worn in years and starting to fill boxes for Goodwill.  It’s a problem I’m happy to have, as I’m guessing that a lot of people will be having the opposite situation to deal with, on top of whatever other challenges they face.

It looks like we’ve managed to avoid the first tropical storm of 2020, although it is gray and gloomy here today from a different system.  We got our walk in between the drops this morning, but will have to see about tomorrow when the chance of rain is supposed to be higher and the temperature lower.  After seeing 90 this past weekend, tomorrow’s high is forecast to be only 60!

Phase 1: Day 10 – Out and About

Out and About: Discarded Shopping Carts

I’m sitting at my desk this morning listening to my computer shovel data from my old 2TB hard drive to the first of my new 4TB hard drives.  It’s an interesting sound, somewhat reminiscent of the computer sounds of old.  Not quite the KA-CHUNK of the old floppy disk drives, but more than the silence from solid state drives.  I would have preferred solid state drives for the new ones, but the cost of drives that large is prohibitively expensive.  I’d much rather spend that money on photo gear and travel.

Our son and personal computer assistant Kevin helped me install the drives yesterday.  It’s interesting how relatively simple computer hardware can be, as long as everything works when you plug it in.  We learned yesterday – after a few attempts – the importance of first being sure that everything is plugged in!  But we figured it out and everything is working fine today.

Today I am working on getting all my data on to the two new internal drives and two new external drives.  I calculated that my old “backup” drives were at least 10 years old, so I was due for an upgrade/update anyway.  This should give me capacity for a few more years of travel and photography, even with the larger files from an anticipated new camera in the near future.

Phase 1: Day 9 – Out and About

Out and About: Discarded Insecurity Cameras

Kathy & I got out early for our walk this morning in order to beat the “heat.”  I say “heat” in quotations because we are actually – finally – seeing seasonal temperatures in the mid to upper 80s.  Our thermometer actually hit a high of 91 yesterday.  Pretty toasty.

When we get out early we can walk around the parking lot of the Walmart that is outside our neighborhood and stay in the shade most of the way.  The back of the store is often a target-rich photographic environment, which has provided me with content for the next few days.  I’ve never actually been inside the store, but have walked miles around the perimeter of the parking lot.  And taken pictures of their detritus.

These cameras have evidently reached the end of their useful lives, and were piled in an old shopping cart behind the store.  Probably waiting for someone to come and haul them away along with the old shopping carts.

Phase 1: Day 8 – Out and About

Out and About: Bumper Sticker

Kathy & I had an exciting adventure yesterday – we went to Lowe’s!

Even though the hardware stores have stayed open during this time and many of our friends and neighbors have been going regularly, we’ve pretty much avoided going anywhere but the grocery store.  We had some things delivered from Home Depot a month or so ago, but were out of bird seed and needed to pick up some other project stuff that they don’t deliver or charge for.

It was interesting to see the number of people out and about.  People buying plants, paint, lumber and other home improvement stuff.  I haven’t gotten desperate enough to start repainting rooms yet, and hopefully won’t get that far!

We stopped at a Publix supermarket to pick up some cheese that we can’t find at our local store, and it was pretty much a normal Friday there.  Except for an empty toilet paper aisle.  I still can’t figure that out.  How come after all this time they haven’t been able to catch up?  Or are people still panic buying and hoarding the stuff?

It’s going to be in the 80s here today and tomorrow.  Enjoy your weekend! 🙂

Phase 1: Day 7 – Out and About

Out and About: Fence and Shadow

I finished a long-time workflow project yesterday.  All of my “picks” in Lightroom have been processed!  That consists of just over 60,000 photos dating back to my first digital camera in 2004.  While 60,000 photos is a tiny collection compared to a lot of photographers, I have been very selective about what I keep.  I’ve probably taken twice that many photos over the years, but I have been systematically deleting the “non-picks” in order to keep the number down.

I know that digital storage is cheap, but just like I’m stingy with my closet space, I tend to be stingy with my “digital closet” as well.  As it is, I’ve just about filled my 2-terabyte hard drive.  Fortunately, later today the FedEx truck will be bringing me 4 new 4-terabyte drives.  That will get me thru a few more years of photos and give me breathing room for an impending camera upgrade.

All this activity is paving the way for a long-overdue update to my website.  I love the layout but the photos need refreshing.  As I work on that project I’ll probably post some highlights from the archives on this blog.  It’s been a fun project, and I have a few thoughts about working on old photos with new software.  Spoiler alert: one of the most interesting but frustrating changes is that the new software allows us to see sensor dust spots better, and the old digital cameras didn’t have dust removal functions built in!  Ugh! 🙂

Phase 1: Day 6 – Out and About

Out and About: Fire Hydrant

Mark commented on yesterday’s post about the forecast for a more active hurricane season this year.  I don’t remember seeing that, but they seem to say it every year.  And it does seem like storms in general are getting more severe than they used to be.

Does it also seem like the world in general – not just the weather – is getting more severe?  It was already headed that way with all of the confrontational politics, factional internet & news sources and anti-social activities in social media.  Then the virus thing came along and has sparked a round of paranoia, fear and uncertainty that I’ve not seen or felt before.  We don’t know who to trust or who to believe.  Heads turn in shock if someone sneezes.  People with masks stare accusingly at those without masks.  Business owners are opening in defiance of the law – sometimes backed by armed “militia” – under the guise of exercising their “constitutional rights.”  We’ve all become a little stir crazy, I think.

On the positive side, it’s been a great time for those who just want to be left alone!  Other than not making the occasional trip to the mall or the department store, life goes on.  We’re just not traveling our eating out like we’ve done, but we’re also seeing the positives of that.  Once we do start to move around the country and the world again, we may see some changes that are less than ideal, but the things we want to see – the scenery, parks and natural beauty – will still be there and unaffected by all the mayhem and hoopla.

Hopefully there won’t be too many hurricanes, otherwise I may have to visit Wyoming again. 😉

Phase 1: Day 5: Out and About

Out and About: Mailboxes

One of our OHMYGAWDTHEWORLDISENDING local “news” websites just published an article with the headline: “Subtropical Storm ‘Arthur’ Could Hit Carolinas Next Week If Bermuda Triangle Disturbance Grows.”  But of course a quick look at the National Hurricane Center website indicates that “A broad area of low pressure is expected to develop late this week or early this weekend a couple of hundred miles north of the Bahamas. Environmental conditions appear conducive for gradual development of this system, and a subtropical depression or storm is likely to form this weekend while it moves northeastward over the western Atlantic.”  So in other words – unless things change dramatically it isn’t coming anywhere near “the Carolinas.”  Besides, how are we going to buy bread, milk and toilet paper when there isn’t any?  Yikes! 🙂

Anything to get our minds off that pesky virus, right? 😉