It is a fact known to my family, friends and associates. But I haven’t in any formal or public way made the announcement: after 36 1/2 years of being a classroom teacher, I am retiring. I am down to my last three days with “my” students in “my” classroom.
When I was younger, I used to think that retirement meant being “put out to pasture.” Thus, I offer today’s photo. But having watched friends and colleagues who have retired, it seems that life sometimes gets busier after retirement.
So the question I get is: “What am I going to do now?” The answer: “More photography, of course.”
This is Mac and he is a highly evolved animal. And because he is a hunter, he also needs rest. I figure he sleeps 21 hours a day. I also figured that since he seemed pretty ensconced in this red chair, I might be able to get an HDR photo of the sleepy cat. After all, one of the rules for successful HDR photography is a subject that doesn’t move much. A sleeping cat was perfect.
It turned out that Mac moved just enough (eyes go from mostly closed to totally closed; tail is constantly flicking around, etc) that the three exposures were less than perfect. Oh well.
I did get one decent exposure using flash bounced off the ceiling. So here’s Mac. Fierce, wily and dangerous? Nope.
“And now,” as Rocky would say, “for something completely different.”
Yes, the voyeur in me had to capture this scene: a man, sleeping quietly in a Denver, CO, park being watched by a squirrel. And, for my loyal readers, a trivia question: who was Rocky?
One of my new year’s resolutions is to go through old photos that I have on DVDs and see if there is anything worth salvaging. I have found a few, including this one. Though I am also amazed by the number of really bad photos I took with my first high end digital camera (a Canon 1D). It is proof that it isn’t the camera that takes the photo. The photographer makes the photo.
The coati is a relative of the raccoon, an animal we are familiar with in South Dakota. These coati were part of a band of 15 or so and they were pretty good at working the residents of the resort we stayed at recently. They look cute and innocent but they could be aggressive, as my brother-in-law found out. One of them climbed right up his leg looking for a handout and leaving bleeding claw marks. All of the signs on the resort said “Don’t feed the animals.” That was probably good advice.
I should know what kind of bird this is. But I don’t. I’m not really equipped for bird photography but this guy was pretty close to me when he/she took flight.
Added 2-2-12: Jim Klinger tells me this bird is a Great Blue Heron. Since he took the time to identify my bird, you should take some time and check out Jim’s excellent photo blog.
Canon 5DIII 1/640s f/10.0 ISO200 102mm
So I guess it’s about time I post something new. And why not something prosaic like a cat?
This cat was one of several who had free reign at a B&B named the Hummingbird House in Road Town, Tortola, BVIs. We stayed there before our chartered sailing trip.
He was sleeping when I saw him and I put the 70-200mm lens on my camera because I figured he wouldn’t let me get too close and still look so relaxed. I suspect he had a name but I never learned it.
I was walking down our hallway to the kitchen on Sunday when I noticed Mac chasing some dark thing towards me. I though it was a toy at first but then I noticed that it was furry and running like hell. I think I might have screamed as Mac and the harry thing ran past me.
I thought it was a mole at first but when I found the animal cowering behind a hard drive in my den, I saw that it was a baby rabbit. Deb came to the rabbit’s rescue and he was released to the wild. In our back yard.
Will Mac find him again? Maybe. Will the rabbit find our deck door wide open, as he did on Sunday? No way!
Mac would never pose for me, of course. So any interesting photo of him is a bit of an accident. I was actually trying to photograph the shadows of the shuttered light on the far wall of the living room when Mac jumped onto the back of the sofa and blocked the very light I was playing with.
At first, I was peeved but then saw the photo opportunity. I took 8 photos but this is the only one where his eyes aren’t shaded. I experimented with turning this into a black and white photo because I think there is a little too much color to distract us from the focal point – which is Mac. In the end, I liked the mix of warm and cool colors, including Mac’s orangish fur. To lessen the bright color of the sofa, I used Photoshop to create a vignette.
And now I like the color. I especially, like the bluish tint on the wooden shades contrasting with Mac’s color. And everybody knows that orangish and bluish are complementary colors.
For a little insight in to the creative and artistic side of photography, watch my screencast about how I edited this photo: http://www.screencast.com/t/YAJHszOtN