Farewell 2015

December 31, 2015

BW photograph of a faded wall advertisement in Havre de Grace

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

2015 has come to a close.  As it is ending, global temperatures are up and the price of a barrel of crude oil is down.  There are an awful lot of other bits of information to be considered, however, those will be left to the various lists being compiled about the year.

Photography is certainly not without such lists.  Many magazines and blogs are hosting their “best of” gear choices, which provides impetus for what is referred to as “gear acquisition syndrome”.  The idea that a new camera or lens will demonstrably improve one’s imagery is one that manufacturers count on to drive sales, which is important for them as sales of photographic gear are generally down across the industry.

The connection between photographic sales, global temperatures, and crude oil?  Consumerism.

BW photograph of a felt Christmas tree ornament lying on the ground

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The hours of Christmas Day 2015 were not even over when emails advertising “buy what you really wanted” were being sent.   It is worth pondering the various interpretations to be made about such a message.  I have done my part to fund various companies in the past year(s) and, if I am truly honest with myself (and checkbook), very few of the purchases have made much of a difference in what I do as a photographer.  The types of photographs that have appeared in these posts over the years do not require a great deal of complexity or state-of-the-art technological wizardry.  (It is acknowledged that may not be true for other photographers or other genres of photography.) I have (and have had) what I need.  In any endeavour, if the equipment on hand is sufficient for the purpose, then buying more most likely means the purchase is meant to fulfill some other needs.  It is important to figure that out.  After all, the cameras, lenses, and such are just tools to be used to an end, not the end themselves.

The images and their stories are what count.

Thanks to all who have read these posts over the years-it is greatly appreciated.

This is the last post for 2015. I would like to wish you a Happy New Year and to please be well.

 

 

Trees and Bridges

December 29, 2015

BW photograph of an Amtrac Bridge in Havre de Grace

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

BW photograph of the Chesapeake City bridge

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Two different cities.  Two different trees. Two different bridges. Two different days.

Same weather.

Very similar compositions.

Take care.

Weather

December 27, 2015

BW photograph of storm clouds over a trailer park

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

The very warm, wet, definitely unseasonable weather in the Mid-Atlantic does not compare to the storms that have hammered the South over the past few days.  The same can be said for the flooding in Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay.  Australia is dealing with wildfires that are tied to the opposite of weather events-extraordinarily dry conditions.  While these kinds of losses are devastating at any time, it is especially heartbreaking to have such events occur during the holiday season.  Condolences to all who have lost family, friends, and property.

The photograph above is from southwestern Pennsylvania and those clouds look much more ominous than they turned out to be.  Within a short period of time, they smoothed out into a continuous mid-tone grey before dropping just a bit of rain, which then settled into a chilly mist.  The temperature was in the mid-40s, and that was decidedly cooler than those of the past week.  The forecast is again for much warmer temperatures in the coming week.

The photograph presents the clouds as I remember them to be.  It is very easy to use an editing program, such as Photoshop, to make them look much more threatening.  Given what is happening globally with the current weather pattern, there really is no need for false software embellishment.

Take care.

Merry Christmas

December 25, 2015

Bright red berries against a lichen-covered rock

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!

Given the current weather pattern, there is no snow to be found in the immediate area.  In lieu of the white, the bright red berries and complementary lichen express a bit of a holiday sentiment…

Please enjoy the day.

Christmas Eve

December 24, 2015

Santa Claus version of a Coca-Cola soda can sitting among oak leaves, with late afternoon side light

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

‘Tis the day before Christmas…

Where?

December 23, 2015

BW photograph of a rain-wetted railroad track and bridge reaching into the distance

Copyright 2015 Kevin P. Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

As 2015 draws to a close, given the state of affairs throughout the world, it would seem fitting to ask:  to where is humanity headed?

It is 60 degrees and pouring rain as this is being written.  The Climate Change deal has been brokered, and members of Congress are rumbling about its future should a Republican win the U.S. presidency next year.  It is worth noting that California has been in a drought for the past four years, and, on the other side of the planet, the Philippines has been hit by two typhoons in the recent months.  And then we have Paris. San Bernadino.  Syria.  ISIS.  The history of the Ku Klux Klan.  Baltimore.  Chicago. Cleveland.  Charleston.  Columbine.  New Town.  It would seem that there is more than enough fear, suspicion, and hatred that spreads around the globe.

This morning, The Diane Rehm Show broadcast a discussion that was entitled “A Conversation With Faith Leaders On Moral Leadership In Today’s Political Climate”-it is well worth a listen.  One of the main threads of the discussion was seeing people as “the other”.  From a sociological perspective, that means dividing people into groups: “us” and “them”.  The “us” are people who look, sound, believe, and think like “we” do.  The “them” are people who do not.  Once placed into that second category, people are then looked at as being a threat and as something to be feared.  Stereotyping, of course, drives a very large part of this.  Once that prejudice has been established, it is a very short trip to discrimination.  Those three concepts (stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination) are very much present in the political discourse as the run-up to the 2016 presidential election continues.

What to do about that?  Please listen to the program linked above.

Beyond the content, the other main reason to listen to the program is to hear how the panelists discuss these issues.  No one is shouting; no one is demeaning another.

Take care.

 

 

Winter Solstice

December 22, 2015

BW photograph of trees blowing in the wind

Copyright 2015 Kevin P, Mick Photography. All rights reserved.

Today is the Winter Solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere), which means that this is the shortest day of the year.  It also the beginning of winter.

This is important as the weather forecasts for the eastern part of the United States call for record high temperatures-and not just for the warmest temperature for the daylight hours, but also the warmest temperature for the “lows” of the nighttime hours.  The above photograph was made in the early afternoon, when the temperature was in the mid-50s.  A lively breeze was blowing, and it had rained earlier in the morning.  It is to be warmer yet tomorrow.

As a result of those overcast skies, the shortness of the day will not be so noticeable.

Take care.