3.27.2018

Time to re-boot the VSL blog. Ready to get back to work.

Dad.

Man, I needed that break. I've covered a lot of unfamiliar territory lately, and taken on a lot of responsibility, and it took some time to figure out how to incorporate all the change into my own personal life. It's something everyone has either been through or will go through. Taking care of parents. Taking care of an estate. Taking care of family.

My father has made a good transition from home to assisted living. I made two visits to him in the last three days; Sunday has been (and will continue to be) my usual day to visit and have lunch with him but my wife and I made the trip back down to San Antonio today to celebrate his 90th birthday with him. He seems as happy and sparky as I've seen him in years. I think he's enjoying letting go of being in charge and responsible for everything...

Before we left for SA today I got up early and hit the masters swim practice at 7 a.m. I am out of shape because swimming took the biggest hit with my schedule for the last three months. We knocked out 4,000 yards today, more or less, and I think that I'm getting my feel for the water back again. I'm working on endurance now...

I've spent the last week away from the blog so I could clear my mind and concentrate on re-inventing my approach to my photography once again. I know that's a recurrent theme here on the blog but the photo business is changing daily and you can swim with the current or else cling to the slippery rocks in the middle of the stream until the undertow of nostalgia pulls you under the surface. 

The recent purchase of some older Nikon cameras is an interesting, ongoing experiment in understanding what's been gained and lost in the camera world. I'm no longer certain that we've really made much progress in the last few years but I not through with the exercise yet. 

Welcome back. Let's get to work. Pour a cup of coffee and I'll start banging away on the keyboard. Is everyone ready? Put your comfortable shoes on and let's go for a long walk through the weird and wonderful landscape of photography. 

KT

38 comments:

  1. VSL Favorite side dish for my morning coffee.

    Cheers mads

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  2. Hi Kirk, coffee is ready ;-) Good to see you are back. Don't worry about your swimming performance. You'll be soon on top of the game again. Cheers, Guido

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  3. Kirk, you write aboug photography, life and everything. That makes it so valuable for me and I am glad that you are back.

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  4. Well, phew! Welcome back, yourself. All of us out here in photoland are darn happy to have you back at the keyboard.

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  5. What a great picture of your Dad!

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  6. Good to hear you are getting back on top of things and your Father is doing so well. I have only experiences this from the side of a 'supporter' when my wife was going through a similar experience to yours with her parents in their latter years. It is good once you get the right balance worked out.
    All the best to you and your family.

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  7. Very pleased to see that you are back. And in the broader perspective, I am glad to see that both your Dad and yourself are embracing life in the moment, again. That is all there is after all, isn't it ?

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  8. Thanks for coming back, I've missed your daily dose of wisdom with my morning coffee. Glad to hear your Dad is settling in and enjoying life. What you have been through is a huge emotional (and sometimes physical) experience; I wish you well, life is oftentimes a difficult and uphill road that we all have to travel.

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  9. Well, Kirk, welcome back. I was getting ready to alter my internet content because of you AND MJ being unavailable at coffee time.

    And, if we'r going on a walk, can I bring my dog too. He'd make a great mate for studio dawg, I'm sure.

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  10. Spring is in the air...

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  11. Hi Kirk,

    Going through similar with my wife's mother in Fort Worth after a stroke last October, and it's been a slow process. Small improvements in quality of life for her mean a lot to the family in stress reduction. Not having to check to see what she was eating, or which medications were missed, etc.

    As for photography, I have kept most of my old manual focus lenses from my film days and like to go back to them (with adapters) when I am shooting art for myself. They allow me to think through my process differently than with the autofocus ones, but admit when I review those images later their is no real advantage. Can't explain why, but every once in a while I feel the need to go back out again with the old lenses and use them again, weird.

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  12. Good to have you back, Kirk!

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  13. Welcome back - I've missed your posts.

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  14. Kirk, glad to see a post this morning, even better to hear that it sounds like you're reestablishing some balance. All these things, aging parents, kids growing older, adapting to changing waters in one's line of business, do require us to catch our breath at times.

    Interested in your continuing evolution as a photographer, both from the business perspective as well as the art of it. Your viewpoint nicely compliments that of Thom Hogan's industry perspective. Together they make a pretty conclusive argument that we're past the halcyon days of the digital photography industry and indeed photography as a stand-alone business concern. None of it means that photography is dead or any other such absurdity. It just means, as you keep pointing out, it is in period of ongoing change. All this is familiar territory for me, in a career of business software development and consulting constant change is ever present, combined with the growing realization that in many ways we haven't really moved that far forward in the past decade as we'd like to think.

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  15. Welcome back Kirk. I thoroughly enjoy your writings and insights.

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  16. Hi Kirk, nice to have you back on-line. Sometimes you just need to have a proper break from routine.

    Andy

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  17. VSL is in my morning "open all links" folder. What a wonderful surprise to see you are back. I'm even happier to hear that you are getting back to something approaching your normal routines.

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  18. And bring hither the fatted calf...

    Luke 15:23

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  19. I thought the world felt like it was spinning a bit smoother this morning, welcome back. You were missed.

    Jim

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  20. Welcome back Kirk. You were missed.

    I hope you dad continues to do well and that you're able to sustain the juggling act with as little drama as possible.

    Best wishes to you and all of your family.

    Mike

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  21. Welcome back. You were MISSED. All the best, Re

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  22. Good to have you back. Hope your dad continues to do well.

    Will be most interested to hear your thoughts on the photo business. Being retired, I think of the business as a 'spectator sport,' -- interesting to watch from the sidelines even if I no longer play.

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  23. Glad you're back. With you and Mike Johnston on hiatus at the same time, I was gettin' the shakes.

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  24. Two more coming this afternoon.... Stayed tuned.

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  25. Welcome back! You were missed- now to get Mike back in good shape, and we're cooking'!!!

    Rick

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  26. Well thank God your back! I have had a major GI upset this week and my wife is teasing me. She says I was going through a major VSL withdrawal. Of course now that I am getting better and you are back this will only give her more reason to bug me lol.

    Eric

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  27. Welcome back Kirk. The fragility of life is known, but always difficult to navigate. Enjoy the moments you have with your family.

    Back to Nikon, back to yesteryear. Doesn't matter what you had "back when" ...just a different set of parameters, but the memories matter. I recently bought a Technics SL-1200G turntable because of my memories from the early 70's. I'm so happy to be enjoying my record collection again with a turntable that reminds me so much of those great listening sessions ...and much more.

    Great that we can truly appreciate those moments now that we are in our 60's ...and re-live some of it. Tools matter and can take us back to what was inspiring at the time and propel us to new appreciations in the current "what's next..."

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  28. phew, survived that. Glad your back, your daily comments on photography, life, and hey! even swimming, sustains us. Especially while we are drinking morning coffee.

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  29. As far as progress in the last few years, what's most noticeable to me as a former Nikon/Pentax and current Sony user is autofocus. I just took a bunch of photos of my 5 1/2 year old daughter for a card with my A7Riii and FE 85/1.8 and, using Eye AF, nailed focus on about 100 shots in a row. That would not have been possible for me even a few years ago.

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  30. Welcome back! And two more today? (I just read the first one, and have to think about it. I don't think it's all just a video game.)

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  31. I am happy to see you back, Kirk. Much sooner than I expected.

    Great picture of your Dad. I've a feeling he will be a popular guy at the assisted living home.

    In one of your recent posts about your exploration of the "legacy" Nikon D2s, someone commented about similarly exploring with their old Sigma SD-14. That reminded me of my long ago curiosity about the Foveon sensor, but the cameras were much too expensive back then for me to buy one just for a lark. On then to eBay. I now have a Sigma SD-14 (whose X3F raw files Lightroom can handle), and an adequate 24-70mm Sigma lens, to play with. With it in my hands less than a week, I'm finding that it's going to be an interesting challenge to get anything worthwhile out of it. Cameras have gotten SO much better in the last dozen years. But, it will be fun.

    For me, it's about fooling around with stuff, and geeking out. I usually introduce myself at local art groups with, "I play with photography." Honestly, if I try to intentionally "do art," my stomach gets in a knot, and it's just no fun. Keeping it about play effectively muzzles my "critical Mike." And, happy chance, every so often, something worth exhibiting comes out of it.

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  32. Welcome back! We all missed you, and I spent a (small) part of each day clicking on the bookmark to see if you had returned. Glad to hear Dad is getting along well, and glad to hear you are back in the pool, and glad to hear your thoughts again.

    We’re about to go through the fourth move for my mom (@ 96) as her abilities slowly decline. And I’m fortunate to have 3 siblings who are all in, plus a wife and sister-in-law who do more than they should be expected to. But it’s still stressful, and sometimes depressing. But then I look the other way, towards my kids and their kids, and appreciate the circle of life as it rolls relentlessly forward.

    A wise man said: life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans. So enjoy the journey, as best you can.

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  33. Glad to hear your back with us my mornings have been a bit off without your morning rant on all things photography and life.

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  34. Yea! Seriously missed this blog.

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  35. Welcome back, sir! Missed your wonderful insight and great writing. I am also very glad to hear your father is adjusting and doing well.
    Aubrey

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  36. Glad to have you back online Kirk and I hope you manage to establish a new routine to cope with changed commitments.

    It was also great to see you were able to step away from the keyboard for a well needed break.

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