OT: closing in on one little piece of closure.

News from the photographic caregiver:

I am closing in on a piece of closure; my dad will be going to a memory care facility tomorrow. While I love him dearly none of us is able to supply the round the clock attention and care he needs to cope effectively with his level of Dementia. Tomorrow afternoon my wife and I will pull the rest of the financial papers and valuables out of the house for safekeeping and head back up to Austin to resume, as best we can, the life we've created for ourselves there. 

I understand that there will be emergencies, calls in the night, unexpected and confused stuff that comes at us out of left field, but my therapy and salvation has always been doing my work. There is a comfort in the consistency of getting up and packing the car, greeting clients, setting up lighting, engaging in repartee with portrait subjects. Puzzle solving on the annual report shoots. Creating the flow of video production. The familiarity and mastery are tied together and create a comfort for me that I can't really explain.

It will also be good to sleep in my own bed instead of on the fold-out couch half asleep, waiting to hear if my father stirs in the middle of the night and needs to be reminded of where the bathroom is.

On Tues. morning Ben and I will pack up the car and head over the theater to get that one last interview I need in order to start editing a project we've been working on since before Christmas. We don't really need footage from a second camera but I think the boy wanted to attend to keep an eye on his own father. To be able to step in if I've overestimated my own emotional resilience and need a gentle reminder that life goes on and work goes on and that's okay. 

This is probably the last post I'll write about my parents. There's a ton to learn but it's mostly lessons for me. It's time we got back into the mad throes of photography. Anyone up for a good Canon versus Nikon fight? How about the ongoing exercise in hermeneutics over mirrorless vs DSLRs? No one? I guess well just have to start right in about the insane price of the fully tricked out Pro iMac..... Till then. Kirk Out.


  1. Caregiving is tough stuff, especially when we’re thrust into it with little or no warning. I personallly underestimated the emotional impact and the need for processing time that it brought to my life. Blessings as you navigate this time in life, and as you grieve the loss of your mother as well. Give yourself a large measure of grace.

  2. What Jim said. And this OT stuff is way more important than any silly gear talk. Care for your dad, your boy, and your wife. Then care for us if you've still got any power left to do so.

  3. Thanks Kirk.

    Writing your blog shares your life. We get to know what you intentionally share and what we think can be seen through the grid.

    I appreciate your writing. Thank you.

  4. My father died of cancer 14 month ago, at the age of 89. My mother collapsed a couple of weeks later and is ever so slowly regainjng her health, or whats left of it.
    So when you wrote about being half asleep while trying not miss anything from the room next door, this quite touched me. I strangely felt not so alone that moment.
    I will read what you write about, be it cameras or family. Even about swimming, albeit this is as far from me as possible. ;)

  5. hermeneutics!...LOL

    so erudite...so loquacious...

    Nikon rules, by the way


  6. We all need to live, to live our lives so that there is an "I" which we may give to others.

    Some folks have the emotional resilience of granite and try to escape behind that flawed facade, which, in time, will scour and crack. Some escape to the numbness and hollow room of drugs and alcohol.

    I wish you strength and an easy road for all... as easy as it can be.

    Give thanks that when life gets tough "we" have a creative endeavor, be it photography or writing, which provides us both a healthy escape and an opportunity for personal growth plus satisfaction.

    These Tests Of Life may exact a price. But they also make us better people and bring us a clarity in seeing what we -do- have in our lives.

    Peace, to all, in this new year.

    Back to working on my portfolio.

  7. So getting back to photography.

    With the GH5s just announced, and the G9 previously, I am curious whether either would tempt you to add to the GH5/G85/FZ2500 collection.

    As I see it, the G9 is more stills oriented while the GH5s is more video oriented. I know you like the GH5 because it gives you a foot in both worlds. But now, unless you choose both, you may need think which you need more.

    From afar, it looks like:

    G9 pluses/minuses:
    20MP sensor. I don't recall if the sensor is the same as the GH5 or tweaked.

    G9 has the bigger viewfinder than the GH5/GH5s, but I've seen some comments from folks with issues with the bigger EVF (particularly glasses wearers).

    Better in-camera stabilization.

    High resolution mode for 80MP stills for static subjects like product photography.

    Faster continuous shooting for stills.

    Different battery than GH5, ability to charge (and run) via USB-C power.

    Time lapse support.

    Fewer movie modes.

    Shipping has started.

    GH5s pluses/minuses
    10MP sensor, much better low light behavior.

    No sensor shift stabilization. This might be an issue for using Olympus pro glass, if you are shooting handheld.

    Same battery (at least according to dpreview) as GH5.

    Looks like the same viewfinder as GH5.

    Much more video support, including Cinema 4K, 4K at 60 fps, vlog support, 10 bit 4:2:2 recording at 30fps, time code support, etc.

    14-bit RAW support for stills.

    Wifi support can use 5Ghz in addition 2.4Ghz.

    Anti-alias filter.

    Now from reading the blog, you are split between stills and video, though I video is taking more precedence.

  8. "I understand that there will be emergencies, calls in the night, unexpected and confused stuff that comes at us out of left field,..."

    Hi Kirk. As someone who traveled your path about 5 years ago, I would like to offer one piece of advice. A person afflicted with dementia issues does not need a telephone. My dad had an incident, where he fell and injured himself while trying to answer the phone. The Assisted Care facility where he was living told us to remove the phone. He did not need it. He could not proactively initiate a phone call. His telephone was the target of unsolicited calls from the outside world. Many were from people looking for donations/subscriptions/money. In a slap-the-forehead moment, my brother & sister and I saw the light and yanked the phone.

    My folks passed within two months of each other in 2013. I was their primary guardian, as you are now. Looking back upon it, I am reminded of how one is completely unprepared for this situation. In my case, it was a constant "learn on the job" experience. The best one can do is to not make the same mistake twice, and be guided by instinct and love. Good luck and best wishes to your father and your family. And remember to find joy and peace with your time with your dad. I was there until the end with my dad and I feel that it was a blessing.

  9. I can only send you my best positive thoughts and wishes.

  10. Hi Kent, I am dead set against dad having a phone in his room. He no longer really understands the concept of a phone number (sad) and, as you say, it just makes him a target of unscrupulous callers. It was a tough day today but he is in the Memory Facility as of noon today and I am just now (5:30pm) back in Austin packing for my first video shoot of the year. timing is everything.

  11. Work is good. When my father passed work is what helped me get through it and kept me normal. Getting back to work really helped me deal with his death. I couldn't imagine staying at home with nothing to do and having that in your head all day long.

  12. About the second paragraph, my brother-in-law retired from teaching (middle school - brave man!), but at 70+, continues to work. He's in the Purchasing department of a Connecticut casino. He's said, "There's something perfect about working, and getting paid for it."

    I am of similar mind. Nearing 76, working free-lance in IT, I find that employing - for compensation - what I've done well at for the last 45 years keeps me grounded, and oddly, at peace.

    Best wishes for 2018. You are handling it well.

  13. The choice of a good facility is best for all involved. I was unable to get the same for my mom due to a stubborn sibling, who turns out to be suffering from dementia now too. (In hind site, this explains a lot of his actions during the last 1.5 years). He had guardianship and I could not contest it in time for my moms sake. Know in your heart that it will serve your dad best to be where he is and you can rest a bit easier during this final life challenge for him. Dementia is one of the greatest challenges we can face watching a loved one slowly slip away. Spend quality time when you can, you will be glad you did. My prayers go out to you and all your family during this time.

  14. Guardianship in place. POA in place. All siblings rational and on the same page. All collaborating without friction. Legal help fully engaged. Our concentration right now is visiting and monitoring. Thank goodness.


Comments. If you disagree do so civilly. Be nice or see your comments fly into the void. Anonymous posters are not given special privileges or dispensation. If technology alone requires you to be anonymous your comments will likely pass through moderation if you "sign" them. A new note: Don't tell me how to write or how to blog!