He said, “Above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Roald Dahl
I came across this quote several years ago in a shop in Bryson City, NC. It might even be the same shop where I found the frog, I don’t remember.
Kathy & I were talking to friends recently who asked me about our travels to Italy, when I remembered that I had never published a gallery of Italy photos on my website. It’s only taken a year, but I finally got around to it. It’s a lot of photos – admittedly way more than I would ordinarily put in one gallery. But it was a huge trip with lots of photos! I ended up with about 3,000 processed photos, so a gallery with “only” 180 or so images is really editing it down!
This could be another case of alien abduction! Is it possible that flying saucers require that you go through metal detectors and remove your belt? 🙂
My guess is that this belonged to a painter, since it is covered with what looks like paint drops. Spotted on a walk in Hilton Head back in November.
“I find it odd to confine life events and creative evolution to the arbitrary boundaries of a calendar year, but, as I have noted before, I welcome the excuse to pause and examine the progress, trends, and implications of my experiences in the past months.” Guy Tal
Odd or not, the tendency to compartmentalize our lives into blocks of 365 days is as good a way to reflect as any. A calendar year works as well as a birthday or anniversary year for that purpose. And I fear that if it wasn’t for the annual reminder, many of our species would not bother to look back at all, occupied as we are with running around, faces glued to electronic devices of all kinds in our real or imagined “busy-ness.”
As I looked back through my photographs from 2018 I began to realize that it was truly a year of departure for me, both literally and photographically.
- Kathy & I “departed” from the workplace after 40 or so years of work.
- We “departed” the shores of the U.S. for another continent for the second straight year
- My photography “departed” from the norm, as more and more of my photographs had people in them
- My photography “departed” from the norm, as more and more of my photographs were finished in black & white
- Even more of my photos taken “in” a place are not “of” or “about” that place
- We spent a month (actually 28 days) at the beach, the longest either of us had ever been away from home
I’m not sure what to make of the fact that more and more of my photos have people in them. I’ve historically considered myself to be primarily a landscape photographer, and have often responded to requests to photograph weddings and portraits with something along the lines of “notice that most of my photos do not have people in them. Thanks, but no.” I do think that as I get older I find that experiences and relationships have taken a higher priority than trophy icon shots or sunrises and sunsets. Oh, I still get my share of those, but for the most part the photos that call my name are the ones that bring back memories of a place, or more likely the memory of my feelings that I had when I was in the place. Venice is a good example. As much as I loved Tuscany, the few hours that I spent – mostly alone – wandering around Venice in the early morning is one of my most cherished memories.
I chose this collection of photos not because they are my “best” or “Greatest Hits” from 2018, but rather because they represent how I feel about the things I did and places I went, and how I felt while I was there. It’s not that these are photos I never would have taken previously, but more that they are photos that better capture my memory of a place, not just documenting what I saw.
Kathy & I wish everyone a Happy New Year. We’ve got lots planned for 2019 and are looking forward to getting started!
Merry Christmas to all, and thank you for continuing to follow along with our adventures. We are still working on plans for 2019 but it promises to be another year of fun and discovery, with a few photos along the way!
Tom & Kathy
Here in the southeast US, winter takes two forms. The first is “the leaves are gone and it’s cold,” and the second is “OH !@#$%.” This coming weekend appears to be “OH !@#$%” and it isn’t even officially winter yet! The forecast is calling for 8-12″ of snow and low temperatures in the 20s. We’ll see, but it looks like the confidence is pretty high. Yikes.
One of the things that Kathy & I have been talking about for this winter is what temperature to set the thermostat at. Now that we’re home every day we don’t want to leave it set at 65 degrees like we did when we worked. But we don’t want to keep it set too high, as we’d like to keep from blowing the gas bill out of the proverbial water. So ‘what to do’ has been the question.
Perhaps not coincidentally, I have found myself somewhat more sensitive to the cold this year (yes, I know that it hasn’t gotten cold yet!). While my philosophy has always been to make sure I am wearing adequate clothing before turning up the heat, I’ve been finding it necessary to resist turning it too high this year.
At one point I told Kathy – jokingly – that maybe we should think about moving to Arizona. But at some point yesterday we decided that even if the gas bill doubled – which it won’t – it would still be cheaper than moving to Arizona! Although I will admit to looking at cruises leaving this weekend to see if we could escape to the Caribbean! But we opted to tough it out here at home, and turn up the thermostat if we need to.
I’ve said previously that Kathy would make a very good photographer if she was willing to carry a camera and learn a few basic skills. I’m extremely fortunate that she is willing to tag along with me, and on occasion carry a camera and/or lens. Once in a while she points something out to me and says, “like this.” Here are a few of those “like this-es” that she has seen lately that I might (probably) have walked past. Not because they aren’t photo-worthy, but because she’s seen something I haven’t seen.
I was just corresponding with a friend about the recent flooding in Venice, Italy. There had been some flooding in the spring but of course it was gone before we got there. They had put up temporary elevated walkways in the spring but even those are under water now. Glad we didn’t need to deal with that then!