These azalea blossoms are reflecting, but for the life of me I don’t know why. I’m not using flash. It’s pretty here, I think, but the longer shots seem washed out from glare.
My new camera is wonderful. I love it…the way it feels, the reassuring heft, the quality of the photos. The colors are glorious, landscapes good and clear, and focus…well, focus is not my strong suite. I used to blame it on my eyesight, on the camera itself, pesky f-stops and shutter speeds, and my own tendency to shake. But now the brutal truth of photography is shining brightly in my face in four large words: read the manual stupid!
Actually I’m not stupid, just impatient. The simpler the camera the less there is to know of techniques and tricks of the trade. Point-n-shoot….way to go. Except that I want to learn how to be a real photographer, not just a picture-taker. Fully recognizant of the need to study the basics and memorize a few simple tips such as keeping the camera battery charged…and checking to see that there is an SD card in place.
Even as I write there is an imminent barn-collapse in the works across the road, where they are tearing down a big old greenhouse operation and are in the end-time of demolishing a big 100-year old barn and some assorted out buildings. The greenhouse structures are already gone. I do have photos of the destruction and clean-up.
Both of my camera batteries are charging. Really. My new Sony DSC-HX80 needed to be charged, and so did my little blue Sony which I like to keep fired up for back-up…and besides, it doesn’t require much thinking.
So hopefully the little orange charging lights will turn to green before the barn becomes a pile of rubble.
The latter may be a really big deal, as the front edge of the barn is maybe 20 feet from the edge of the road pavement. It has been there for a century, before there was much of a road. The operation will probably need a police car, maybe a fire truck…and a flag-person-crew to direct traffic.
… stay tuned.
Ah ha! It looks like it may be working… this guy in the chair is from an ebay listing I was attempting, but on closeup it is obvious that his make-up crew isn’t doing a very good job, so he hasn’t made the cut. It does appear that Mama sitting on the chair here is also waiting for Make Up to return. I believe these are some old (1950s I think) Marx Toys, which were originally plain pinkish-beige plastic, and someone tried to paint them. The painter apparently wasn’t very good at painting facial features. The bottom photo shows the family posing with a US Quarter… I had some with them sitting on my hand, but it made my fingers look fat. (Kidding…I couldn’t get the crop feature to work. 🙂
The earliest memories that I recall are when I was about five years old. I don’t know if that is early, late, or average for “first” memories, but when searching back that’s as far as my memory seems to go. Sometimes what we think of as memories are actually recollections from hearing about photographs in detail. We hear who is in the picture, what they are saying and doing sometimes…our reaction: did we laugh? cry? make an adorable face? What about the little bonnet…who sewed that? was it the person in the photo? All of these details may connect themselves to a picture in an album, recounted countless times within our hearing.
Remember the photo of Dad sitting on that ubiquitous pony, wearing baby knickers and a natty cap, holding a flag or whirly-gig in his little hand? I’ll bet each of us can fill in details…was he thrilled/apprehensive/frightened at the whole photographic event? Grandma, or someone else (maybe Dad himself) recalls each historic detail in rote fashion, having learned the story ages previously.
There’s a photo of Me in a small pool. I am not happy…in fact the little girl Me was screaming. Scared? Cold? Temper? Did the other little kid in the picture smack Me with that little pail he is holding?
I especially like the one of Me dressed like a private eye, leaning on a tree chatting on a little telephone.
OK, that’s enough of that!
In view of the fact that the Little Me is a baby,two or three…maybe four…in those pictures, obviously none of these are actual memories. They are based on information gleaned from someone else’s memory…recollections of tales of impressions of memories–that have evolved into compilations of perceptions of…sometimes numerous…people.
As for actual memories of very early age, I have managed to think up a handful of ideas that may or may not be memories.
One that I think is genuine is a circumstance that I have written about previously in this blog. I was barely five years old, and my Dad and I were enroute to California on a train. It was probably 1939. My mother and little brother were already in California.
The train stopped in the middle of the Arizona desert for some reason, and my Dad and other men on the train got off to have a smoke. Some ladies on the train looked after Little Me. I was terrified that the train would leave Dad in the desert. To this day I can summon the memory of the fear and terror of Little Me, and visions of the desert and mountainous terrain, and sand…cactus…more sand… still come unbidden when I think about my Dad, trains, California, or the Desert.
That is a memory…at least I’m 99% sure of it, because there is no other source of recollection for me. I was on the train, alone for all intents and purposes (the ladies not withstanding) and I’m sure my Dad did not worry about the situation since he had not abandoned me, and knew I was perfectly safe.
Another memory is of that same period, 1939, arriving at my grandparents’ home in Long Beach. I remember the small house with screened porch, and circular driveway lined with orange trees–with oranges. The reason I think that is a real memory is because it was an impression that I had that no one else apparently shared…at least they never mentioned it. Occasionally an image pops into my head.