Downtown Lima Photo Walk, August 3

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While I have started a photo blog devoted to images of my community in Lima, Ohio, I think that Intensity Without Mastery will remain the home for my photo walk posts. Yesterday my husband and I took an afternoon walk through downtown Lima. The streets were mostly empty, but a few of the stronger downtown business were open with customers.

My husband, who is my favorite male model, stopped at a secondhand store on Main Street:

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He loves “picking” for treasures at garage sales, flea markets, and the like. He found an antique micrometer in the store on Main Street. He bought it mostly as a homage to the early days of his career when he worked as a machinist at GM and later Textron. Once we were home, he discovered that the micrometer had actually belonged a man he knew while growing up in the 60’s and the 70’s. He wondered aloud if the man had passed away.

My husband has mentioned that one sure sign of getting older is the declining probability that people one used to know are still alive. By the time he turned 50, he learned to be cautious when asking about people he hadn’t seen lately. It’s strange for me to consider that I’ll be 50 in just a few years. As far as I know, almost everyone I once knew well is still alive, but this won’t always be true.

On the more youthful side of life, there was a chalk art competition downtown, and I posted a few photos of the chalk creations on my Spotted in Lima Facebook page.

I will close with more images from our walk. I was intrigued by the kegs of mystery in the first storefront. There’s a fairly new restaurant in the adjacent spaces, so it’s possible the empty kegs belong to it. If so, the establishment must be growing in popularity.

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Manhattan Street Scene, 2008

I stumbled upon a photo challenge on the WordPress reader. It is Instant Inspiration (31)  from Marcus Puschmann’s impeccable photoblog Streets of Nuremberg

Since I am still archiving my older photos, I picked a shot from my trip to NYC in March of 2008. I converted the original color image to B&W and then augmented the contrast per the challenge.

Below are both versions of the photo. Which do you prefer?

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For Love of Festivals and Parades

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At the St. Gerard Festival, 2008

When my daughter was still young enough to enjoy the rides at festivals and the candy thrown at parades, I’d take a camera along to capture those moments of her childhood. While she was in elementary school, I also took pictures of crowd scenes at these events. I felt that these candid moments full of people were a sort of poetry in itself.

I learned the meter of such poetry by living on the grounds of a church who hosted a massive three-day festival every year in June. By the way, my dad was the groundskeeper at St. Gerard Church for many years, and we lived in the apartment attached to the church building during most of his time working there. The church parking lot was also a staging site for most of my city’s parades.

While I’ve been revisiting my photo archive, I’m glad that I captured some moments of such crowds. Witnessing the festival and the parades was part of the bedrock of my early years. Taking my daughter to see the gatherings and taking the photos was like passing on a family tradition to the next generation. My dad actually took some pictures of the crowds back in the day, and my mom once remarked, “I think your dad has taken more pictures of strangers than of us.”

I’ve decided to post my street photography of festivals and parades on my Facebook page. By doing this, I’ll make these photos more easily available to the people depicted and their loved ones.

Many of the crowd photos I took from 2006-2011 have elderly people in them, and I’d be happy to know that the families of those people have access to those images. It so happens that my family had a single photo of one of my great grandfathers for decades, and that photo was a death portrait from 1936. Through reunion with long last family, we have seen three more pictures of him. I’m still haunted by the notion that there are more pictures of him lingering elsewhere in photos albums that have become heirlooms of other families he knew. He could be the guy in the photo standing beside someone else’s great-great grandfather, and no one yet has been able to answer the question, “Who’s that guy?”

 

Once More, With Feeling: Pedestrian

I had technical difficulties with yesterday’s weekly photo challenge post. By the way, who is else is old enough to remember when TV stations would interrupt their broadcasts with the message, “Please stand by – We are having technical difficulties”? For whatever reason, my first entry for the challenge did not have a proper pingback, so I thought I would create another post, this time with a Throwback Thursday angle.

I have plenty of aging images in my photo archive that feature people walking around at fairs and parades. I took the picture below at a county fair ten years ago:

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I would guess that this trio was on the verge of starting 11th or 12th grade when I took this picture. Unlike the other cliques of teenagers on parade for their peers that day, this group did not walk in sync. I wonder where life has taken each of them and if their roads diverged, as portended by their steps.

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Explore the Unfamiliar

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Exploring the unfamiliar is a crucial strategy in learning to take better pictures. If I didn’t step out of my proverbial comfort zone from time to time, I’d have little in my photo archive but macro flower shots and family holiday pictures. Periodically I take my camera to events like parades and carnivals so I can stretch my perspective.

Today I share pictures I took of an event to which I was truly an outsider. The shots have age to them now, nine years actually. I had the opportunity to take pictures of the Blessing of the Bikes in Lima. I have very little in common with the folks in these pictures, and I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed this experience.

It didn’t matter than I knew almost nothing about this hobby (to some, a way of life, really). No one “called me out” for being alien to this subculture. By the way, when I met my husband, he was wearing a DILLIGAF trucker’s cap, and I presumed the logo belonged to a business started by someone whose last name was Dilligaf. I even wondered what country gave birth to the Dilligaf clan.

Clicking on the picture (or this link) will show my Flickr photo album of this event:

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