Some Of This Year’s Pix: A Photography Story

Ah, the wonders and the ease of digital photography. I mean, you’ve got to love it. No mess and no fuss, which is precisely the way that little ol’ me, who is lazy as shit, likes things to be.

What’s more, digital photography can be quite addictive, as half or more of the world’s population is fully aware. I’m definitely addicted. In spurts, anyway. I don’t take pictures of every damn thing I do or of every place I go, but, ever since obtaining my first smart phone in 2015, I’ve snapped more than enough. And a fair number of those shots have found their way onto the pages of the publication that you now are reading. Man, writing stories for this site usually drains the hell out of me. But snapping pix for it with my phone? That’s a gas, gas, gas!

And so, the other day I decided to have a look at the hundreds of photos from 2020 that sit quietly and patiently in my phone’s storage room. I did so with the idea in mind to put a small bunch of them on public display for the first time. Fortunately, there were enough that struck me as worthy. Thus, this essay became a go. That brought a nice big sigh of relief because, as I’ve noted semi-regularly over the last few years, story ideas don’t exactly spew from me with the force of volcanic eruptions.

Miles Table (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). January 15, 2020
Abington, Pennsylvania. March 21, 2020
Willow Grove, Pennsylvania. May 29, 2020

Are there any connective tissues holding these photos together? I suppose so, since they portray scenes that appealed to me sufficiently to try and capture them. For instance, I’m into color juxtapositions, arrays of angular shapes, and unexpected elements. And all of those are to be found in some of the pictures, such as the one taken in front of Miles Table, the Philadelphia café where my pal Gene and I ate lunch one January day.  The reflections in Miles Table’s windows intermesh giddily with the interior of the shop. Dig that crazy tree cozying up to a prim and proper table! You don’t see that every day.

Photo taken in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania on June 2, 2020
Georgian Bakery And Café (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). January 10, 2020
Photo taken in Willow Grove, Pennsylvania on June 22, 2020

On the other hand, I also enjoy simplicity, and there was a sweet simplicity to the early-evening cottony sky that I photographed from my house’s deck. We’ve all seen skies like this one mucho times before. But we never grow tired of them, because they are both calm and majestic. They give us pause.

My house (Willow Grove, Pennsylvania). May 24, 2020

And, speaking of my house, how could I resist the photo of the rhododendron bush that sits in my front yard? I tell you, that plant preened exuberantly this spring, something that it never had done before during the 15 years that my wife Sandy and I have lived here. To my mind, this was proof that flora can be unpredictable in their moods and actions, sometimes behaving wonderfully and sometimes not. Humans, take heart in that! Every entity on Planet Earth is complicated as hell, not just us.

I’ll leave you with some thoughts related to the selfie that I took a few weeks ago at the Michener Art Museum, a medium-sized and excellent museum in Doylestown, Pennsylvania. It is named after the famous author James Michener, who, in the 1980s, donated tons of money to help establish the institution.

Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the museum closed its doors in March of this year. But the pandemic situation improved in Pennsylvania over time, allowing some cultural facilities to re-open. The Michener did so on July 20.

Sandy and I, who are museum lovers, were as happy as two masked people could hope to be, because we last had been at a museum in January. Being able to visit the Michener helped to create the illusion that the world was spinning towards normality. Anyway, we spent an hour looking over the exhibits. One of them, which displayed works that various artists created in recent years in reaction to climate change, kept us rapt.

But, as much as anything that day, I liked looking at oil paintings by Fern Coppedge (1883-1951), who lived much of her life not far from Doylestown. A number of her works are in the museum’s collections. Sandy and I have visited the Michener pretty frequently this century, and both of us have come to admire Coppedge’s art very much. Bold, tastefully-arranged colors. Strong brushstrokes. Depictions of scenic old towns and beautiful natural landscapes. I mean, what’s not to like?

Photo taken in Michener Art Museum (Doylestown, Pennsylvania). August 25, 2020

So, natch, it was in front of a Coppedge oil painting that Sandy and I positioned ourselves to grab the selfie, an art form whose mechanics I haven’t come close to mastering. Yeah, the painting appears to be drunkenly crooked in the photo, but that’s kind of charming, don’t you think?  Coppedge, who wasn’t a stickler for perfect balance, probably wouldn’t have minded a bit. And I bet that she’d have dug the contrasts and connections that our masks and tilted heads established with her painting. This photo will remain a fine reminder to Sandy and me of a very good day during the Pandemic Era.

(Please don’t be shy about adding your comments. Thanks.)

121 thoughts on “Some Of This Year’s Pix: A Photography Story

  1. The Coastal Crone September 30, 2020 / 3:10 pm

    Your blooming rhododendron may be a good sign for 2020. It is good to see museums opening up even with masks required.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger September 30, 2020 / 4:54 pm

      Hi. Thanks for adding your thoughts. Right, museums are a key part of society, so having them open is great. We need a vaccine ASAP so that music clubs, theaters, etc. also will be able to reopen.

      Like

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 1, 2020 / 6:51 am

      Greetings from Pennsylvania. Thanks for reading this piece. I’m always glad to hear from you. Enjoy the day!

      Like

  2. SandyL October 2, 2020 / 10:01 am

    One of the things I like about your posts is the joy you find in everyday things. Its a great pick-me-up. Of your set today! I liked the leaf carpeted alcove with graffiti. Nice colors and lines and a contrast nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, Another Blogger October 2, 2020 / 8:56 pm

      Hi Sandy. My town is pretty tidy. But that building (a former school) has fallen into disrepair and has attracted graffiti painters over the years.

      Like

  3. chattykerry October 2, 2020 / 2:20 pm

    That’s an amazing Rhododendron – such color and blossoms. We also have mask photos on our phones – quite a few of my feet also…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. marilynyung October 10, 2020 / 7:15 pm

    Hadn’t heard of Fern Coppedge before. With extended family in that area, I’ve been through McPherson, Ks. (one of her Ks. locales before moving to PA–I did some quick Googling) several times. Thanks for the art lesson!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. jeanleesworld October 13, 2020 / 6:19 am

    Ah, I love perusing photos! I had my own fun with the camera this past weekend, for fall is my favorite time of year and my family went out into the woods to enjoy the colors. Have you gotten any good color by you yet?

    Liked by 1 person

      • jeanleesworld October 13, 2020 / 1:49 pm

        I know the feeling! Between the flooding and snow, the last two years we had lousy color. This year we FINALLY had some beautiful foliage to enjoy. I hope you get some soon!

        Liked by 1 person

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