Dark Horse (Lane 4)

My son Aidan likes to run. For the past few years, he's attended track meets on Saturday mornings during the Fall and Spring. On the last meet in October, 2012, I shot some footage of the long jumps, javelin throws, and track races. I finally got around to experimenting with the footage. This video is of the final event, the 400-meter.

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A Southern Gathering

It's always hard to lose a family member, even one you don't get to see very often. My uncle Paul passed away last year, though he was blessed with a long life (88 years), an enduring marriage (64 years), and no pain on the way out. I think most close to him regard his passing with a celebratory tone of a life well lived, over a mournful one. His son, Paul, summed it up well with "he lived a wonderful life." Still, my heart goes out to my aunt Pattie, as it must be surreal on a certain level to spend the days without your partner of nearly three quarters of a century.

I think the most concentrated time I ever spend with my uncle Paul was when I was around six and we lived in Shreveport, Louisiana. He could be described as the strong, silent type, but always with a squinted, reassuring smile. He made a great impression on me and it's the sound of his voice I think I'll miss the most. 

Thanksgiving, Point Clear

Thanksgiving, Point Clear

Several members of my extended family eventually coordinated a get-together in Point Clear, Alabama to celebrate Paul's life (and Thanksgiving), much the same way we did with my Uncle Russ in New Orleans when he passed, shortly after Hurricane Katrina. Tamara and I decided to drive down with the kids a few days early and spend some time with family in New Orleans, before making the trip East to Point Clear. We had an especially wonderful time and I even managed to shoot a few portraits. I didn't get everyone I wanted but I made sure to capture my aunts Carol and Pattie. And while their husbands weren't there in the flesh, they certainly were in spirit.

Carol and Pattie

Carol and Pattie

Carol and Pattie

Carol and Pattie

To see more of the photos from our Southern adventure, click here.

 

 

Portraits on a mid-summer night's eve

Throughout the process of organizing and reorganizing photos for this site, I'm discovering many folders of images I've been meaning to go through and process, but just haven't had the time. Or made the time. For example, tonight, I've been sifting through images I shot six months ago. Last August, Tamara, the kids and I drove up to Maine and spent two weeks at our best friends' house in Freeport with their two daughters. It was a very special, concentrated time for all of us, and I think of it often.

One warm Saturday night, after we had gotten all the little ones down, we settled into chairs outside on the back deck for some "grown-up" time.  So precious now is that relatively small window for us to share uninterrupted conversation and wine. We really took it for granted before kids. . . .

It was fairly dark outside, apart from the porch light that happened to be rim-lighting everyone beautifully from where I sat. I went inside, found the camera, adjusted some exposure settings and returned, trying to be discreet while firing off the occasional shot. 

Liz

Liz

Tonight, I'm not surprised to find several frames of Greg in his ritual of throwing a hand up (sometimes just a finger) to thwart my attempts to photograph him, but I was able to manage some keepers.

Greg

Greg

Later on, Greg and Liz's neighbor, Dave, happened by and joined us. Dave is an impressive gardener, well-traveled and a bit of an eccentric. I haven't been to many places in Europe, but through our conversation we discovered we had each been to the same small city in Germany. He even had snapshots on his phone that looked eerily similar to mine.

Dave

Dave

I realize there's not much to actually see here, but for me the simplicity ties in nicely with the "visual serenity" the four of us futilely try to obtain within our living spaces while raising young children. A Sisyphean task for sure, but sometimes I think even Sisyphus didn't have it all that bad with just the one rock to roll and no kids grabbing at his legs and begging for blueberries. . . .

It's nearly February now and it's as cold here in North Carolina as it usually is in Maine this time of year, and so it's nice to revisit these images and remember that warm days and nights will return. As will the "grown-up" time with the best of friends.