life in black and white – the menagerie

Ruby sunning
Ruby – 11 years old

I’ve been overwhelmed over these past few weeks and months with all that is coming out of Washington. We’re well past whatever tipping point when it comes to the collapse of American democracy. We are watching the old white guys with money and power working to make sure that their money and power is never challenged for generations to come. Meanwhile the world burns and dies, and I can do nothing about it.

So I have turned inward to my animals and my photography to capture what makes me happy and calm at this point in time. These creatures are sweet and truly innocent, almost Garden-of-Eden innocent before the Fall. I’ve reached a point in my life where I tear up when I read of the cruelty heaped by humans on their kind. And I seem to cry a lot these days.

All of these photos are black and white because that’s where my mind is at at the moment. I don’t know why, except that perhaps I’m reaching back over 40 years to when I first started to photograph the world seriously, and all I could afford and print on my own were black and white film. It was much simpler then, and much happier.

All three of these images went through Photoshop 6. I “developed” them to my personal taste. The cameras used were the Panasonic G9 and the Olympus Pen F. The lenses used were the Olympus 12-40mm PRO and the Olympus 17mm PRO. Both cameras are set up to photograph in black and white. I took my time with each photo, and took just enough to find the right image. And then I sat on them for a while, rather than rush them out into the world. The entire process has been slow and deliberate. I get tired of reading the hipsters that say you can only “do” slow and deliberate with film. You can do slow and deliberate with anything, including digital.

Beau
Beau (or Bo) – 4 years
Luke
Luke – 4 years

At this moment I am satisfied, a bit more calm, and a bit more happy.

monday morning minutes

Luke

After living with us now for over three years, the Gingers have long learned about, and inserted themselves into, the many rituals around the house. For example, every morning I fix some sort of breakfast, Luke will leap up onto the counter and sit in front of the microwave while I work further down over the stove. He’s always hopeful something interesting might fall to the floor. Most mornings nothing does, but every once in a while something does, and he immediately checks it out and eats it if he deems it worthy. He has a bit appetite for cheese and the occasional bit of cooked egg, and he loves to clean off the tip of my knife after I use it to spread salmon cream cheese on my toasted bagels.

This morning I had to take both of the girls over to see the vet and get their flu shots. Taking them anywhere together is challenging, the vet even more so. I was fortunate this morning that there were no other patients in the vet’s office when we were there, but still. The girls love their car rides over to the vets, where they’re made a fuss over. As usual Ruby the yellow gained a pound. Annie surprised me by losing a pound, so I guess Annie gave her’s to Ruby. Otherwise they’re both totally healthy little characters.

Annie’s tongue
A more dignified Ruby