Things

Seeing

This is my catch-all page for those photos which are not people or places.

Things are the fun part of photography. Photography teaches you to see what other people ignore or overlook. This is not an easy skill to learn, but it needs to become a habit.

My wife, Kady, is much better at it than I am.

To train I choose projects like:

  • Grass Flowers - seeing and photographing the tiny blooms in the grass where we walk.

  • Alphabet - Looking for the letters of the alphabet on signs or in nature.

  • Unique Architectural Designs - Quoins, Corbels, Medallions . . .get in close.

  • Cars - Look for the cool, old cars on the street, in the parking lot, in the yards. Photograph new cars as well; they'll be old one day.

Often, I spot something, trip over something, or run into something that piques my interest. The unusual and unexpected shots are one reason why I love photography.

Bess: The Car that Saved American Muscle

My Daughter actually shot this. I set up my camera on the tripod, set the speed and aperture, gave her a description of what I was looking for, and then drove the car. She did a great job. Photo by E. Neel.

Doesn't this just scream, "'America"?

Take photos of the things you love.

From the time I bought this Badass in 2005, I loved every moment I drove her. Sadly, her clutch, low stance, and Roush Suspension began to wear on my body.

During our seventeen years together, I probably took a thousand photos of her - Bess at the Beach, Bess on the Blue Ridge, Bess at Battlefields, Bess in Barracks, Bess on her Birthday, and Bess with Beautiful Girls.

I sold her in the Spring of 2022 and I miss her, but . . . I have my photographs.

"Time it was and what a time it was. It was a time of innocence, a time of confidences. Long ago, it must be, I have a photograph. Preserves your memory; they're all that's left you." ~ Paul Simon

Day One at The Logan Martin Lake House, 24 May 2005, Bess with Bee

You're Welcome.

The Old Truck

I learned a lesson this day - when walking somewhere new, take your camera. I ran across this old workhorse while walking a new path close to my neighborhood. All I had with me was my cellphone.

Luckily, the path and the truck were close enough to go back that afternoon. I've been back many times.

Katz

Cats have always been a big part of my life; my family had a lot of them when I was growing up. Kady, the Kids and I adopted two Turkish street cats while we were there and two more when we moved to Lexington. I miss them a lot, and I miss photographing them, but, No More! Bus was the lady of the house and a bit of a bitch. R/T was my dog and the Alpha Male. Fofo, was a Brick by body weight and brain power, but a nice guy. BK was the sweetest of them all and a great hunter.

Bus

R/T

Fofo

BK

Trees

Trees have recently become a subject for me. I think because I'm aging and I envy their longevity. I really love this old tree, photographed on a Clay Target range in Kentucky. Though struck by lightening, damaged by winds, and suffering from what looks like heart disease, it just won't give up. It looks as if it is flipping off the elements as it grows new limbs to fight another day.


The tree above is off of Highway 29 here in Charlottesville. I like to think that, in its life, it has seen everything from Model Ts to Teslas flying by. If it could talk, it would probably tell us to slow down and enjoy life because we're here for such a short while.


"old age should burn and rave at close of day." ~ Dylan Thomas

Grass Flowers

New format for photos and new watermark for 2023

Taken in 2020, D850 Nikon, 55-200mm Nikon AF-S at 165mm, 100 ASA, f9, 1/320

Manhattan Kansas 2021

I spent the Spring after shoulder surgery in Manhattan Kansas, puppy-sitting, doing physical therapy, and hiking in the Prairie.

At first glance, the Prairie looks like a never-ending sea of green and brown, but if you look deeper into the tall grass, you'll see small flecks of color. These little flowers (and Cooper) kept me from going bonkers that Spring. I called these walks "Considering the Lilies."

"yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these." ~ attributed to Jesus, Matthew 6:29 NASV

Cars

Barbour Motorsports Museum in Birmingham is a THING! Go There. If you like racing and motorcycles, it's a must! When I was a kid, I always wanted a Lotus . . . to drive back and forth to school.

Likewise, if you ever have the chance, Moore Oil Company in Birmingham has an unbelievable collection of cars. I had Mr. Moore guide me through his collection. He asked me which one I wanted if I could choose. I chose the 1931 Packard. He told me, "Good Choice, but the Caddie is worth over a $Million."

Mr. Moore's '35 Packard

and his '31 Packard

Cobra at Westfields Marriott

Stingray at Richmond Motor Trend Show

Bugs, Birds, and Buds

Kady and I went to the Botanical Garden of the Piedmont (not much, really) but there's a nice wildflower garden. We met a Certified Master Naturalist (that's actually a thing) for a Butterfly Walk.

She was smart and friendly but there weren't many butterflies. Now I'm on a nature photo kick.

Hummingbird Moth

Great Blue Heron

American Painted Lady

Back Off, Camera Boy!

I put on my COVID Mask.

Fiery Skipper

Steel-blue Cricket Hunter

Thread-waisted Wasp

Leggo Nights

What a Photographer Does when Faced with Monochromatic Lego Pieces

When I retired, I told Kady that, if I started losing focus or otherwise began to show diminished mental capacity, she should get me some Legos. Almost immediately, Lego sets began arriving from Amazon. I got the coolest sets. I had the best time setting them up and, of course, photographing them.

Does your dog bite?

No, but he'll ram the hell out of you. ~ Bill Cosby


Chomp

Hey, Bakker. Did you hear something?

A Very Small Invasion

Houston, this is War Room Base, the Eagle has landed.

The Little Things

When my mom died, my brother, our families, and I were, of course, left with the daunting but honored task of sifting through the things that she and Dad had left behind.

We mostly knew what we would do with the big stuff but it was the little things they had kept throughout the years that were hardest. These were things that had obviously meant enough that they kept them, but most I had never seen and for which I had no reference.

I assume we all do that . . . keep small, sentimental items with which we are unable to part, that remain after us with no explanation, only to be finally discarded after we're gone.

I decided to photograph some of mine, alongside some of theirs and wrote a story about them . . . A Future Reference.

Churches

Geiger Methodist, my Grandparent's Church

Canon AE-1 Program in Kodak Plus-X Pan 125

On rare occasions, Kady says, "There is a place I want to go see." This is my signal that we're going on a day-long photo trip. Her trips are the best and she finds some interesting things to see and photograph. Many times her target is an old church. I like thos too, so I thought it a good idea to include some of my old shots with some of those taken on her trips.

You'll see my car, Bess, in some of these. Those were solo trips.

Bess at Dunker Church, Antietam Battlefield, 2009

Monuments

As much as I love Charlottesville, I'll have to say that it is filled with a load of nincompoops. The only Southern monument remaining is the one on the left in the UVA Cemetery. Lee and Jackson had to go "because they were traitors who fought to perpetuate slavery," Lewis and Clark had to go "because Sacagawea is depicted as cowering and subservient, and the Confederate monument had to go "because it perpetuated the false Lost Cause Narrative."

Of course, none of this is true. Lewis, Clark, and Sacagawea are National Heros and the artist says "By making her look down I have tried to suggest that they were on a high prominence, and she was more interested in the immediate surroundings, and not aware of what was in the minds of the explorers." Lee, Jackson, and MOST Southern soldiers fought to protect their homes and families from an invading Army. Only in this day and age, when most Americans have never fought a war and know so little of their own history, would soldiers from the opposing side be denigrated so.

Robert E. Lee

The finest Soldier this country has ever produced.

T. J. Jackson

Gave his life in the defense of his home.

Lewis and Clark

With the help of Sacagawea, paved the way West.

Oh, but the idiots are not satisfied. There is a move afoot to remove Thomas Jefferson from in front of the College he founded. Why? Because some students say it makes them feel uncomfortable, "Like Massa is Looking Down on Me." If we continue to judge our history by today's wacko standards, by the whims of the faint at heart, how long before we remove all vestiges of our National Heroes? How long before they come for Washington, Jefferson, King, and Bear Bryant?

To me, this is a community decision. Community Citizens installed these monuments and they should be able to take them down or keep them, depending on their own Norms and Standards. Students, States, the Federal Government, outside agitators, and Students should have zero say.

Did I say Students twice? Yeah. Because, UVA Students, You Need to Butt Out! You don't like Jefferson, go to Berkley.

Bottom Line: Take photos of our history, before it disappears.

Bones

Nothing calls for black & white photography like a good old piece of farm equipment.

I found this old rake behind one of the oldest houses in the area while walking down a path through the woods. I took it in color and later converted it to black and white with Photoshop. Since then, I set my camera on monochrome when something needs B&W. Somedays, I'll start out with it set that way, to remind myself of the old days when I had one camera loaded with Tri-X or Plus-X.

"Color takes care of you. You have to work really hard to get a good black and white photo." ~ SSG Gilbert Moreau, Sirinyer, Izmir, Turkey, 1985

The Photo Horses, Don't They?

Resting Under the Shade of the Trees

My daughter-in-law designs the interiors of veteran hospitals and clinics. Veteran Photos and Paintings are hung on the walls, selected for their beauty and tranquility. The last time I was in a Vet's Clinic, every photo on the wall was of a waterfall, taken at a slow shutter speed . . . unimaginative and abjectly horrible.

I submitted a shot that I took of Thistle in Kansas at her suggestion, about the time they began leaning toward horses and farm scenes. I want some of my work hanging somewhere and I'll give my work to the VA for free.

I think Horses are going to be my next direction but will ask KS what the VA trend I, currently.

Besides, I love Horses!

Mushrooms and Such

Lately, Mushrooms have caught my eye. It started as I began researching Psilocybes. When I began looking for them, I realized that there are Mushrooms EVERYWHERE, you just have to look. It's like when you buy a new car and then see them all the time.

I'm terrible at Identifying these, so I won't even try.

Before The Storm

The Sugarloaf Key Bat Tower was built in 1929 to control the mosquitos in the lower Keys. The bats initially housed there flew away, never to return. Oh Well.

I photographed it just three months before it was destroyed by Hurricane Irma, on 10 September 2017. We stopped by on a whim as we headed to a restaurant to eat, a lucky happenstance.

It was in pretty sad shape when we were there, with loads of trash, graffiti, and in sore need of repair.

It has been on the National Registry of Historical Places since 1982, but I haven't heard if it will be rebuilt. The pelicans and I think it should be but the bats and locals don't seem to care.