Sunday, April 24, 2011

apathy spire

Sadie's wet nose woke me at 5:30 this morning. I thought it was Saturday evening as I got up, dressed, and headed downstairs to take her for a walk. Apparently, I slept straight through yesterday evening after coming home from work. Mehh, rest is what the body needs sometimes.

There were two text messages from my sister (I carry my cell phone and keep the camera setting on--you never know what you'll see: an egret in the creek, curling birch bark against the light, petals on a wet black bough. . .): 1) "Marm has cling on letters to the kitchen window that state HAPPY EASTER! (the ! can be substituted for an i)" and 2) "Work your magic and I'll make it happen."

I know there are anagram generators out there, but I like trying the old school method. First to mind was a pithy spree, which I rather like for its sound, even if it is a bit lispy. Then I arrived at apathy spire and decided I could do no better on this easter Sunday, averse as I am to the mob of christians singing joy, joy, joy every year on this day in the park where Sadie takes her dumps.

But no one else was in the ark--err, park this morning as we walked our usual route, the rain misting gently, the streets empty for now, not a drunk Bucknell student in sight. Sadie nosed about, sometimes gently tugging on the leash if I took too long trying to focus the camera phone. A compact digital cam sounds nice, but there'd still be the tugging. How many dog-walking photographers do you know? (I can think of one, Jeff Oaks, whose joyful play with Bailey when I visited last fall thawed my unreadiness at believing there'd ever be a new dog in my life whom I loved as much as our original Sadie, and whose photos from their--his and Bailey's--morning walks I always look forward to seeing on Facebook.)

I do have a great digital cam, a Canon Power Shot S2. It's about five years old, I think, and it's the cam that finally seduced me away from David's old Canon with all the wonderful lenses, tripods, and accessories (which I was happy to pass along to my friend Gretchen last year). I enjoyed working in the darkroom at Bucknell when I taught there and dabbled with the photo club, but for me, digital wins because (a) it's cheaper, (b) the satisfaction (or chagrin, depending) is pretty much immediate, and (c) I still don't know what happens, ultimately, to all those photo processing chemicals, some of which I fear might end up in the river.

The Canon has a decent macro option, and I find that my preference in photography is for extreme close-up shots of very small objects (or portions thereof) and also, though unrelated, for images that play with shadows and low-light subjects.

So once in a while I'll drag the camera along on Sadie's walks, but mainly I rely on the phone's built-in cam. This morning I took four shots (three on purpose--the fourth was a crosswalk stripe, totally blurred and of no interest):

Something about the daffodils in such dim light appealed to me, as if they themselves were a light source that was just waking up. (As I said, I'm drawn to shadows.)

This one's blurred by happy accident (Sadie's leash tug); I think it nicely captures the early-morning, lightly-raining, not-quite-wakeful walk back home.

This one is taken from our back yard; I cropped out the neighbor's house at the end of the alley. A bit of moon through the budding crabapple.

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