9/20/2019 That Time Again
One of my favorite times if the year is upon us once again. And with that, a new term of teaching. For the first time I taught a summer session and it was great. Had a fairly small group of students but it was nice to teach a small group of just 6. I usually have students from all walks of life and this group was no different. I really love seeing everyone become better in their craft it's freakin magnificent! Teachers have always said, one of the most rewarding things to experience was seeing a student encounter the Ah-Ha! moment. You see their eyes widen and and they get that "I get it now" relief, in their tone and demeanor. And after that it's usually off to the races for them. It's a wonderful thing to see and experience as a teacher.
Another great thing about this time of the year is the return of the rains. Since moving here to Salem, I have seen more rain in a month than a full season in Fresno. Within a few days everything turned green and you get that rain aroma of wet pavement, grass and trees. I absolutely love the climate here. It's still all pretty new to me after living in the desert for 45 years. The green foliage and wet climate is much more appealing to me to photograph than the old, dead, dry, arrid climate of Fresno. I think the forrests and scenery here is much better than the central valley of California. 30 minutes to the east you are n heavy forrests with Sequoia trees and an abundance of wild life. 60 minutes to the west you are at the cliffs of the Pacific Northwest. It really doesn't get any better than this for photography. I am also looking forward to the snow. Last year was spectacular and exhilerating seeing it snow. Truely a new experience for me and a rejuvenation to go out and photograph nature and the wild. This is truely one of my favorite times of the year.
6/20/2019 The Ageing Photographer
Just 5 short years ago going out to shooting photographs was much, much easier. I have dealt with glasses for years, so I am used to it overall, but I am fighting getting bifocals. When I look through the viewfinder, I either have to take my glasses off or leave them on. It’s about 50/50. Being far sighted I can’t see things close so with the view finder just inches from my eye I feel I should take them off. But when I do, I can’t make out details. Kind of a pain in the ass but like I said, I am used to for now but it’s getting old. Thanks to the maker for the camera diopter. It helps for the most part. Now it seems I have a few other challenges as I age. In the last 5 years I also find my balance isn’t what it once was. This is something I have to work on an improve. I went out shooting this last weekend and went under an old railroad trestle. I had to walk down a steep embankment then climb up the structure to get the shot I wanted. As I was going down this embankment my footing was sliding and could feel myself begin to tumbling down hill, but fortunately I made it down without falling. When I was young I would have tromped down with no problem or a second thought. Once down, I had to climb up to a plank on the trestle. The plank was bout 10 – 12 inches wide and laid between the supports, about 15 feet apart. I was only about 3 – 4 feet off the ground but I felt like I was 50 feet up and walking a tight rope. My legs were nearly frozen as I inched along, and I was unsure and unsteady with my gait. The thought that kept going through my mind was what if I fall, I will break a hip. I finally made it across after a few minutes. Yes, minutes. In my youth I would have done cart wheels over it with no problem, but it felt as though I was going to die if I slipped. Was I scared? Not really scared, but nervous of falling. In addition to this, my knees and back seem to be developing arthritis so I ache a lot when I am out trying to negotiate obstacles. Or in the evening even when I have done a lot of strenuous climbing. I hate this aging process I am fight it from holding me back from what I want to do, and I can’t let this happen. Getting old sucks, my elders weren't kidding about that. I will not let this get the best of me. -MB