Good Morning Ted and Jody:
On Saturday morning, I went out a bit late, yet got some early morning photos of the clouds and the sun over Silver Lake. When I pulled into the boat ramp staging area a little dog almost ran under the Ridgeline. I was not going fast and it was easy to miss hitting him. Besides, I find dogs like me more than people like me. I parked, out of the way of the busy boat launchers as it was a fishing derby day and started taking photos. I finished taking my share of photos (always leave some for someone else is my motto) when the little dog again approached me. this time he has his human on a leash behind him. I guess the dog, being small, thought to have a large object, easily seen by drivers, for protection. However, being on foot, I was not likely to run over him or even step on him. Indeed, I was more likely to pet him. His name was Spike. His human was Mick. Mick asked what I was photographing. I had been shooting some 10 shots as sections to be stitched together for a panorama of the clouds over the lake in a 150 to 180-degree span using individual vertical shots at the widest area of focus. I also took one or two of boats with people in them on the lake. Well, I showed Mick one of the shots of two fishermen in a boat framed by trees and he said that photo was beautiful. I suspect he was being polite for he is a committed fisherman. I then showed him one of the segments of the panorama to be that I had ‘collected.’ His face lit up in astonishment and he said, “I have never seen anything like that. That is fantastic.”
Now over my shoulder, the actual scene that was going to end up stitched into a panorama with using Photoshop when I got home was, shall we say, still displayed on the screen that was the sky. Mick was looking right at it. Now, keeping in mind when Photoshop stitches the images together it does blend the light conditions. But other than stitching and cropping a bit, the images are as the camera took them.
Mick was looking at 99% of what I had just shot. Yet, as far as I could tell, his eye did not see what the camera took in that one section. Yet, when looking at that section isolated he found it compelling. I recall images of movie directors holding their hands to frame a scene before shooting. When I look at a scene, I tend to see it in segments and but expand to widescreen. So, I wonder have I trained myself, inadvertently by using cameras for over 40 years to look at things differently? I have noticed that a lot of folks take photos with wires running across the resultant photo, whereas it is a rare photo that I take with unintended wires in the shot. I do take some, but cringe when I do. I also noticed that most people tend to center everything they shoot, whereas centering is not always my goal—but may be in some circumstances. I tend to be ‘turned on’ by clouds with definition and abhor cloudless skies when it comes to photographs.
Until my encounter with Spike’s human, Mick, on Saturday, I hadn’t given much thought to what I do with images. I simply took them and messed with them in photoshop later. I enjoy doing both. But, having been a teaching at one point in my life, I wonder if I could learn what I do and then teach it?
I trust this finds your images well developed, centered, and on track.
Warmest regards, Ed.
005 Reaching Out
Fiction in 1006 words by T. Edward Westen. 2017
Detective Philipson walked toward Captain Batan as the Captain entered the squad room and handed him a report. “We got another body, on 38th street, same MO, but this time it was male.”
Captain Batan standing with his body holding the turnstile to the detectives’ desk area separating it from the squad room waiting area read the report. He ran his finger down the page, stopping here, muttering “Un huh.” Stopping there muttering, “I see” and getting to the end and saying, “No sign of sexual molestation on this one either.” Then letting the turnstile go he headed for the squad coffee pot.
Detective Philipson met him half way, handing him coffee in a paper cup wrapped with a paper napkin so holding the cup would not burn his hand. “Careful, Officer Diggins made this batch,” said, Detective Philipson.
The Captain tentatively raised his cup and started to ask, “How many days left . . .?”
“21 days,” said Detective Philipson. “But, I think he likes being up here. He told me he has always wanted to be a detective. I caught him studying for the exam.”
Captain Batan rolled his eyes, “Has he taken notes at an autopsy yet?” In response to Detective Philipson shaking his head on, the Captain continued “See to it, Eddie. You know how shorthanded we are.” Then holding up and shaking the report, the Captain said, “Something smells of time travel here. Had I not seen the search for Sylvia Chu or whatever her name was I would not think this, but, we must face the facts that the future has found us in the past. Is it using us for a corpse dumping ground now?” Then he looked around to see if his little display had been picked up by others, but no one else in the room showed any sign of having heard. In a lower voice, he asked Detective Philipson, “How do you get ahold of that Special Agent fellow when you need him?”
“Beats the hell out of me,” replied Detective Philipson. “I never had to call him. He always found me or Edith, to listen to him talk he found us when he needed us. But then he pops around so much.”
“So, you are saying our helping him was a one-way street?” asked Captain Batan.
“Kind of, but then the crimes were being committed on our turf, err, time segment, so he was sort of helping us,” explained Detective Philipson. “I guess we could leave him a note or something and hope it makes it through the hundreds of years into the future where he is and he decides it’s not too late or a hoax when he gets it.”
Captain Batan, laughed, “What is too late for a guy that goes forward, backward and as far as we know up, down and side to side at will.”
Detective Philipson raised his eyebrows. Then he suddenly brightened up, “I wonder if Ms. Gunderson is still having dinner with that Judge, what is his name, once a week?
“Henderson,” both men said at the same time. The both turned on their heels and went through the turnstile in tandem on the way to the stairs down the Child Protective Services.
Two plain clothes detective bureau personnel bursting into the Child Protective Services reception room caused Millie to spill the coffee she was drinking. “Damn,” she said as the grabbed a roll of paper towels and attacked the spreading coffee on her desk with vigor. “What is so important that you two have to make me spill my first cup of coffee of the day?”
“Sorry Millie, I’ll get you a fresh cup,” said Captain Batan. He thumbed toward Edith Gunderson’s door and asked, “Is she in?”
“Right it is OK to bust in on Millie scarring the who knows what out of her,” snapped Millie, “but you ask to be presented to her majesty just because she has a title.”
Detective Philipson, picking up on the Captain offering to get her another cup of coffee poured a cup from the carafe resting on the burner on top of the file cabinet in the corner, and handed Millie a fresh cup of coffee saying, “At least we didn’t pop in like others in the recent past.”
“Millie looked around nervously, “They aren’t here now, are they? They give me the willies. Besides, I haven’t hit the bottle in the file cabinet in her office in a good three weeks now. I’d like to keep it that way.” Holding her finger up and pointing to Edith Gunderson’s door, Millie said, “You know she makes me buy the refills now. Single malts are not cheap in those big bottles”
As if bidden, Edith Gunderson opened the door to her office and stuck her head around it. “What is all the racket out here?” Seeing the two detectives, “You have another client for me?”
Detective Batan said, “No mam. What we have is a question.” He hesitated and said “There is no way to find out but to ask. Are you still seeing Judge Henderson?”
Edith Gunderson stiffened and asked, “And why is it the detective bureau’s business?”
Detective Philipson said, “Please pardon the Captain’s awkwardness in asking, for we need to get a message to Special Agent Fleishman and if you see still see the Judge you could ask him to pass it on.”
Edith Gunderson smiled. “Doug tells me we are dining on St. Louis Street in New Orleans in the Spring of 1840 this evening. It is a pension just opened by a young French immigrant named Antoine Alciatore. We will be period dressing. New Orleans in that time was a bit rowdy, but used to strangers. It is interesting how fascinating the folks in his time find the past with all our, how do they put it, discomforts. Somehow eating on a veranda with horses pulling carriages past does not sound like the same treat to me as it does to Doug.” Millie sighed.