Hmmmmm. blah, blah, blah.


Oh wait. I remember now. I shot these in color, in the raw format, when I was in Iceland in 2018. I came across them a few days ago and wondered to myself...."how would these look as black and white landscapes?"  

blah, blah, blah. 

There you go. Nicely gutted and made happily neutral.

Effort sometimes required to gain access to the grand view. Why photographers who shoot landscapes and street photos should make physical fitness part of the picture taking practice.


this is a stairway in Iceland. It leads up and up and up to a wonderful vantage point
from which a proficient landscape photographer could take a very interesting photograph. 
The general location is already at an altitude a good bit higher than sea level. And there is 
no lift, elevator, escalator, tram or private car access to the shooting platform at the top.
You have to hike up the stairs. And when you get to the top you'll need to have your 
pulse rate recover quickly to it's baseline in order to handhold your camera 
as effectively as you can. With minimal shake. Rather use a tripod? You'll have to carry that up
the stairs as well. 

How do you practice this at home? Walk a lot. Carry a backpack filled with weighty gear and go up and down hills to prepare yourself for journeys and adventures. Always take the stairs when it's an option.
The fewer pounds over your ideal body weight that you have to carry around makes the climb easier.
Whether your body is 40 pounds overweight or you've shoved 40 pounds of gear in a 
back path both scenarios make your climb that much harder. 

Here in the USA we make age an easy excuse for not being in shape.
"Oh....I'm 65 years old. Falling apart. If there's no bus to the top I can't
make it."  But our counterparts in other countries, from my observation, 
don't use the same tired excuses. They expect to move; and in doing 
so get more out of every trip. It's something to think about.

So much dissatisfaction with getting older could be short circuited by 
making moving and exercising as routine as eating, showering and 
sleeping. We'd collectively feel so much better.  But it's always a choice.

My biggest complaint about people over 50?
Most of them are too easy on themselves. Too pampered. A little daily 
discipline would make so many lives so much better....

Wow. The ice storm sucked. Put a hamper on my street photo practice and taught me that chopping trees with a hand saw might be inefficient but it's awfully good exercise!


Wet cold sucks. Black ice on asphault sucks. PTSD about loosing power in an arctic ice storm sucks (memories of Feb. 2021, remember?). Big trees dropping thousand pound branches on your roof while transformers blink like Las Vegas fireworks in the night is tough to sleep through. Getting "chilled" out of your pool for five days super sucks. And feeling like you should stick around the house to take care of emergencies that might crop up instead of getting out photographing is beyond frustrating. 

People died again here in Texas this year when the weather went to crap. Even though in central Texas it never got below maybe 25. And here in Austin I think we hovered at 29° for most of the week. But it was still tough since the rain was cold, the trees and power lines were cold and just about any moisture that fell immediately stuck to something it really shouldn't and just made a mess of stuff.  Most died in car wrecks.

When the freezing rain stopped and the black ice melted away this afternoon I walked around the neighborhood to take a look. On every block grand old tees were injured and lost plenty of branches. Ice was still falling off the leaf canopies as well as the power lines. But I think the rough weather is winding down.

I've pulled all the big and menacing looking fallen branches away from the house. The ones that are somewhat upright and ready to fall again but this time through a double glass french door ($$$) or one of the new windows ($$). Some of the biggest branches had to be chopped up in order for me to be able to move them. At 67 years wise I've decided not to try and lift stuff that's heavier than my body weight. So I've been chopping the big stuff down to size with a cross cut saw. No, not an electric one. Just a hand saw. It takes a while but at least I'm getting exercise. Someone suggested a chain saw but the last thing I want to do is operate a noisy chain saw and potentially slice through a thigh or lose a hand. And they're so noisy. Seemed more "environmentally" sound to go all manual. At least my neighbor who is an emergency room physician believes it a wise move. He's seen me try out power tools...

Why did I go to all the trouble to pile everything up in one place? Well, I've got a lone portrait assignment scheduled for tomorrow morning and I thought it was basic customer service not to have my client stepping through a tangle of fallen wood to get to my studio door. Call me old fashion. 

We're shooting with flash in the morning. Using a Panasonic S5 for a change. And a good, ol' Lumix 70-200mm lens. 

Oops. My CFO (B) just informed me that it would be nice if I spent a little time vacuuming the studio floor as well. And maybe giving the rest room a bit of a shine. Jeez. It just never slows down.

I went out to shop for some groceries today. What a mess! All three grocery stores surrounding me in my "food paradise" experienced long power outages in the last two+ days. All three had to dump every last product in their frozen foods display cases, and all of their refrigerated foods. Sure, I could buy dry goods, canned goods and fruits and vegetables but I was looking forward to celebrating our survival with something fun --- like some salmon or a steak. Maybe a nice brie cheese. Some organic kimchi. Maybe even a shared, small container of coffee ice cream. But no. I picked up some of my favorite bread, an interesting can of vegetarian chili, some more of my favorite crunchy peanut butter (which experts now say is really, really good for you!!!) and a nice bottle of red wine to serve tonight with pizza. Not a very satisfying shopping trip but at times like these I'm reminded by family and friends that I'm lucky and so privileged that I'm almost the definition of spoiled adult brat. A few days without delicacies or indulgences should be just fine. At least I'm told it's so. 

No new cameras or lenses to talk about. But I'd better get on the vacuuming. And toilet cleaning. I'd hate to fall short....

That branch is usually ten feet above my head. Put ice on it and it bends over precariously.
I hope it bends back up.

As long as it doesn't fall on top of my car I guess I'll be okay.

sunny tomorrow and I just got a note that the pool
will be returning to regular hours. Ahhhh.