Making a slight diversion from working on and posting about Italy photos….
I first heard the term “stochastic photography” in a post by Ctein on The Online Photographer way back in 2010. It’s sort of a refined version of pointing your camera at something, taking a boatload of pictures and hoping some of them come out in a way that is pleasing or that somehow meet the intention of what you were trying to capture. As in “I’ll know it when I see it.” I don’t always remember to use that technique, although I often recognize situations where it might be appropriate. Sometimes I even have my camera with me. While I don’t generally care to make my photographs “about the technique, ” sometimes the technique helps to define the photographs. Post-visualization perhaps, rather than pre-visualization?
Kathy & I spent 4th of July week out in eastern NC, in New Bern and Belhaven. One morning we stopped at the Bell Island Pier, which is a fishing pier within the Swan Quarter National Wildlife Refuge, near Swan Quarter, NC. It was a beautiful day, with towering cumulus clouds and a deep blue sky. I noticed the reflections of the sky in the water and decided to see what I could get.
Over the course of about 4 minutes I fired off a little more than 100 shots. It’s a little hard to tell which ones are “successful” but I’ve put together a little collection of a few that I liked. The ones that “feel right” to me have a nice balance of light and dark, color and no color, with an interesting pattern. I may decide later on that there are others I like or some that I don’t like, but that’s part of the fun!
I don’t usually get too excited about software, but the most recent update to Lightroom has me pretty intrigued. Most of the changes were cosmetic in nature, related to the layout of certain menu items. But Adobe has introduced some new and improved Develop profiles that I really like. I’ve never been able to come up with black & white conversions that I was consistently happy with, but some of the new profiles are pretty sweet. I might even give Monte a run for his black & white money! The color profiles are pretty nice too. I’m still working and fiddling with them, but I think I may have found some new tools!
It always interests me to see how people tend to refer to their equipment in more specific terms the newer or more expensive it is. I was reading a recent blog post that was commenting on the age-old (at least 10 years!) argument about whether phones were “real” cameras. Never mind the argument (which I think is silly), but the writer stated that “there are significant differences between my iPhone 8’s camera and my OM-D E-M5 Mark II, not to mention some newer full-frame cameras.” Well, no sheet, Sherlock!
The thought that went through my mind when I read that sentence was that, if he were shooting with a 3-generations old Android phone (like me) or a hopelessly obsolete mirrorless camera (like me) he might not have been so quick to mention his gear. Is that what is referred to as “humblebrag? As in, “I had a hard time finding a suitable parking place for my Porsche?” Anyway, my weird thought twists on this Saturday morning.
I hope everyone has enjoyable holiday week/weekend, whichever holiday (if any) they choose to be observing.
In my earlier post about the Conch Guy I mentioned that we had taken a tour in Nassau with one of the chefs from our ship. In addition to the fish market, we visited a roadside vegetable stand, a couple of guys cutting up coconuts for juice and meat, as well as a distillery. Here are a few more photos from that trip.
Our guide was Chef Stephen from Jamaica, and he explained a lot about the different things we saw and how they were used in island cooking. While we or the chef weren’t permitted to bring anything back to the ship due to health regulations and ship policy, Stephen used many of these same ingredients and themes when preparing the meal that we had back on the ship that evening.
In a separate post I’ll share photos from our galley tour. But unfortunately I was too busy enjoying the food to take any photos at dinner!
One of the ports on our recent cruise was Nassau, in the Bahamas. We did a shore excursion there that involved touring some of the island’s fish and produce markets with one of the chefs from the ship. One of the stops on our tour was at a roadside fish market where fishermen brought in their fresh catch. Coolers after coolers with fish of all types – including snapper, grouper, mahi and lobster.
Also at this stop was a tent where a man was shelling conch for conch salad. If you aren’t familiar, a conch is a sea creature that grows in those beautiful pink shells that everyone likes to collect. He used an ax to punch a hole in the shell in just the right spot, then dug the conch out of the shell with a knife. The conch was then chopped up, marinated and mixed with veggies for a salad. Delicious!
Watching the conch man work the shells was as interesting as eating the conch. Kathy asked him if he ever cut himself. He just smiled and said, “sometime, mon, but not in a long time!”
Cedric commented on my last post about how the lack of people contributed to the “Tranquilidad” of the scenes. Of course not all of my photos were devoid of people, as the people are a large part of what makes San Juan special. Here are a few photos “with” people as a counterpoint against those without.
Kathy & I recently returned from a cruise to the Caribbean. We’re getting pretty good at the cruise thing – this was our 23rd cruise – but we’re still practicing!
This cruise was on Celebrity Summit. Celebrity has become our favorite cruise line, mostly because they just know how to do good food and good service. While all of the lines are good, we’ve come to really like Celebrity.
Summit is one of Celebrity’s older ships, but we chose it because it is one of their smallest, at just 2,000 passengers. The ship we were on last year was over 4,000 passengers, while we saw a ship this time that was over 6,000! While I would love to experience one of those ships, that’s just a shipload of too many people!
This cruise was supposed to stop at Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, but Punta Cana doesn’t have a dock for the cruise ships so it is one where they need to take passengers ashore using tenders. The seas were too rough there for tendering, so we ended up in San Juan, PR instead. While we looked forward to Punta Cana, we love San Juan and were not at all disappointed to end up there.
Kathy & I spent our time in port walking around Old San Juan. We had lunch (and Pina Coladas!) at a nice restaurant that claims to be the birthplace of the drink. More to come on that, but for now, here are a few random photos from our time walking the streets of the old city.
One of the many advantages of not being a television watcher is that I don’t have to put up with all the commercials and mindless programming, including the so-called news. One of the disadvantages of not being a television watcher is that I miss out on a lot of the sayings and expressions that come from both the commercials and the programs themselves.
Case in point – last week I sent an email to a co-worker about something good that had happened, and he replied, “dilly dilly.” I was puzzled but figured if he wasn’t making some obscure reference to my name that it was probably something I missed from television. I get pretty good at recognizing things like that. 😉
Just today I came across an article about a guy with Charlotte roots who had found recent fame by being the “dilly dilly” guy, and it turns out he is the actor that plays the king in a series of Budweiser commercials where he replies “dilly dilly” whenever someone brings him beer. Little did I know, but “dilly dilly” is this year’s version of “WHASSSUP?” 🙂
The things I miss. Sigh….
The photos – by the way – are more from 2012. I took this during an outing with a digital point & shoot class I was teaching. Although it appears I “cheated” and was using my then-new Canon 5D Mark III. 😉
Today we’re having a pretty rare occurrence here in NC – a snow day! I won’t get into all the hyperbole about how we’re a bunch of weather wimps that don’t know how to drive in the snow, because everyone else has that covered. For me, I’m just glad I have a job that allows me to stay home and watch it out the window. There are few things more frustrating than having to make a decision about going to work. Although one of them would be being at work and having to make a decision about when to leave! Fortunately, Kathy & I both have computers that allow us to work from just about anywhere, and managers that are willing to let us. We have about 5 inches of snow on the ground here, and although the road in front of our house was plowed earlier, it’s going to be dicey going for a few days.
I seldom feel inclined to get out and take pictures in the snow, although once it is finished and the sun comes back out, I might decide to get out for a walk. I’ll admit to being a wimp when it comes to snow…why freeze my a$$ when I don’t have to! 🙂
There’s an office on the floor where I work that gets nice night in the afternoon. This past Friday the office was unoccupied and was getting nice light, so I took this photo with my phone. I posted it on Instagram but not too many people see it there, so I decided it might make a nice blog post.
As a bonus, here is a detail shot I made of the shadow from the blind cords.