Posts Tagged ‘Family’

Grandmom_john_May_1949_smI’m having a difficult time projecting myself back to my childhood to specific measures and perhaps my dreams. Maybe I’ll connect somehow. Could my dreams and aspirations have been so vague that they existed as mist? Do I need to dig out the bad (and the good)?

Don’t all kids have dreams and aspirations of ‘what they want to be when they grow up?’ I thought something must be wrong with me because I don’t remember. Could it be that I had no dreams or aspirations? I learned that there’s nothing wrong with me or my childhood memories (or seeming lack of) when I discovered an article from aeon online magazine (it’s free) this past summer — “The Great Forgetting” by Kristin Ohlson (July 30, 2014). I’m not the only one who doesn’t remember much from their childhood. I’m not alone.

I’ve always loved books and reading and wondered if I ever had aspirations to become a writer when I grew up. I don’t remember. But I do remember how I found my refuge from the world in books and my imagination. When I discovered reading and got my own library card, new worlds opened to me. I could retreat into my books and learn, discover, imagine and dream without interference, a love affair that was destined to endure for the rest of my life.

I cannot imagine my life without books. Who planted those seeds? Who encouraged me? It was probably my grandmother. I don’t remember that either but I’ll always be grateful. Now that I think on this, I lived in my imagination and like to think I still do — as a reader and a writer. Maybe I was repressed back then (watch for an article on the subject). Maybe I was shy, but imagination and creativity are reborn and very much alive.

Note: This piece was stimulated by handwritten notes from May 6, 2010. Some of the text is verbatim, some revised and more added. The photo was taken with my maternal grandmother, the most wonderful person who ever touched my life, in May, 1949 when I was four years old. Click the photo to enlarge.

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Here’s the first post from the photos I took over the Christmas Holiday.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

From left to right: Carmel Jones – my mother-in-law, Daughters Sue and Erin, Twin Granddaughters Maddy in front, Livvy behind.

I took five shots and this one turned out best. I do like it. I used my new FujiFilm X10. I like that camera. It takes good quality photos and it’s not a point and shoot with no control. Can’t wait to get out in the woods (when I’m feeling better and the weather is warmer).

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As the founder and president of AAOF (American Association of Old Farts) I take advantage of certain privileges such as sitting in a folding chair on the sidelines when we go to watch any of our granddaughters play soccer.

Click anywhere on the image to enlarge.

Click anywhere on the image to enlarge.

We have six granddaughters and all of them are soccer players now.  Livvy (on the left) and Maddy (on the right) just started their soccer career a few weeks ago and they love it.

I had a roll of Kodak Ektar color print film in my Nikon F3HP and my 75-150mm zoom lens mounted so I could get close without getting out of my seat. A bonus that comes with the seat — I don’t have to get down on my creaky knees to take photos of the kids (you need to get down to their level for decent photos).

I’m not giving up on B&W but I do have to inject some color every now and then. Hope you like it.

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Hooray, I finally have some new images to share with you. Livvy and Maddy, our nearly five year old twin granddaughters are playing soccer now. Have a look.


Here’s Livvy and Maddy taking a break on the soccer field. Livvy is number seven. Maddy is standing to Livvy’s right. They have a practice and a ‘game’ on Saturday morning at 9:00 AM. This photo was taken a few weeks ago.

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Mary’s (my niece) senior prom was four weeks ago. I took a few snapshots before Mary left for her prom.


Here’s a close in shot of Mary. I took this picture in the front yard, Zoomed in and opened my zoom lens to blur out the background.


We moved to the back yard where the strong sunlight wasn’t as harsh and I could use the bushes as a backdrop. This is Mary and two of her friends. I captured some nice facial expressions with this shot.


My sister Trish wanted a photo of her and Mary. This one turned out half decent. I think there are a few more photos on a fresh roll of film that’s still in the camera. I took a few more pictures of Mary in her cap and gown a few weeks later. I still have 10 or 11 frames left on the roll of film so I better get my lazy self out for some picture taking.

All three of the above photos are from the same 24 exposure roll of Ilford FP4+ that gave me the images I posted earlier this month. Love that film.

I had two cameras with me when I shot Mary’s pre-prom photos. The second camera, my Nikon F3HP was loaded with (shhhh!!!) Kodak Ektar Color film (gasp! Color??). Yes, color. I bought two rolls of Ektar so I could do a little macro photography of flowers and such. I have a few frames and I’m waiting for some nice evening light on some of the flowers Tracy, Livvy and Maddy planted in our yard. Yeah and I’m waiting for some motivation as well.

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Tracy bought a flat of flowers (impatiens) for Livvy and Maddy to plant in our yard. I couldn’t miss this opportunity to photograph the girls and their flowers in glorious monochrome.


I took this shot earlier this week. It can take me weeks to use a 24 exposure roll of film. I started the roll this image came from weeks ago with half a dozen or so pics I took during a morning walk in the park.

Another half dozen or so shots of the twins took me to frame 15. Pictures of my neice Mary in her prom dress finished the roll. I developed the film this morning (Saturday)and hung it to dry for six or seven hours in the shower stall. I scanned and edited after dinner.

Back to my subjects. Livvy and Maddy had a lovely time planting their flower garden (with a lot of help from Tracy). Now let’s see how patient they are waiting impatiently for their impatiens to bloom.

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Julia turned 11 last week. We helped Julia celebrate her special day when the whole family (all except the Florida contingent) enjoyed Easter dinner at our home.


Here’s Jules, smile on her face, waiting for our Happy Birthday song to end so she could blow out her candles.


And here she goes. Blew out all two candles.

I used a bounce flash for both shots. Usually I try to shoot birthday cakes by candle light and have had good success over the years (mostly). Both of these pics turned out nicely in spite of the flash.

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As promised, I’m sharing a few more photos I took during our visit with Brian and his family a few weeks ago. We did have fun that day.


Not the greatest pic, but it’s the only one on the roll where I managed to capture Brian and his son Tyler.


Here’s one of Brian and his fiancé Cathy where they were hamming it up just a bit.


And another one, this time a candid of Brian and Cathy.

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I really, really like this portrait of Jocelyn and her father, my nephew Brian. Jocelyn wasn’t posing, she was engaged and I managed to capture her at just the right moment. Patience? Luck? A combination of the two? Something else entirely? Doesn’t matter one bit. All that matters is the image.


Brian and his family live in Florida. Brian, Jocelyn, Brian’s son Tyler and Cathy, his fiance, came up for a visit a few weeks ago. We all got together at Erin’s home for a lovely family afternoon together. I have a few more photos that I’ll share another time (soon).

I was using my Nikon N8008s and 35mm f/2.0 AF lens with no flash. The film was Tri-X rated at ISO 1250 and souped in Diafine.

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I caught Livvy in an unguarded moment with my niece Mary. Both photos were taken at Sue’s home on Christmas Eve.


I couldn’t make up my mind which photo I like best so I put them in the order they were taken.


Each image tells a story, I think this second image tells a shy story.

I used a 50mm f/1.8 Nikkor lens for both images. The camera was my Nikon F3HP, the film Tri-X rated at 1250 ISO with no flash. Great combo.

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