All my baby pictures are in black & white. That’s how what we saw in the viewfinder came out in the lost world of our pasts. My mind sees them in high contrast, blacks and whites and not much grey, maybe a little blurry or at least grainy. Then came Kodachrome (remember the Paul Simon song: “It give us the nice, bright colors. Give us the greens of summer.”), and the world was awash in color. And if we wanted black & white we had to buy special black & white film. Now, with digital photography, any color photograph can become black & white with a couple of simple clicks. But it doesn’t look like those old black & white photos I remember. They are all shades of grey, not the stark icons of my memory. These images are just a few examples of how I remember the black & white world.
Details. Details. Details. All those little details make up the big picture. Universal beauty, universal truth â€“ they are a tapestry of details, and so each one is a glimpse of the whole. Many times I’ll take a picture and find something in it, a small part of the entire frame, that is really what enticed me to take the photograph in the first place. These are the parts that mattered. Life is that way sometimes. We lose sight of what matters, inundated in the wash of everything.
The camera is an extension of what you’re watching. I see crowds as a blur and landscapes as something far away â€“ I don’t take very good pictures of crowds or landscapes, most of the time. My eye’s focus always seems to narrow. I see a piece of the landscape or a single face among the many. So, that’s what is usually in the photographs I take. These images are some of the people I found myself watching.
I’m a big city boy, but I love small towns. The county courthouses, theÂ eclectic main streets, the attractions and ideas of artwork â€“ they drawÂ a picture that is comfortable to me. Maybe it was the small town where my grandparents lived, and the summers I spent there as a boy, but small towns always just feel like home to me. And who is FiDENCIO LOPEZ, anyway?
I think San Antonio is my favorite city in Texas. It is the mixture of the old and the new, the spiritual and the secular, the historic and the modern, that keeps bringing us back here. The kids love the Riverwalk (mostly the hotels we stay in on the Riverwalk) and the attractions, and they tolerate me taking them to the historic sites and Spanish churches. Really, I suppose, it satisfies the two sides of me â€“ the city boy and wanderer who wishes he lived in a different time and place.
I’ve heard the songs from The Little Mermaid hundreds of times. And not just from watching the Disney movie over and over again when my kids were kids. No, my daughter was Ariel in the Cypress Academy of Performing Arts’ (CAPA) production of the musical. We heard the songs so many times around our house that our son decided to try out for the play and why not, he definitely knew the songs. But even though I knew the songs by heart, too, I was not prepared for what I saw and heard when my baby, my 12 year old daughter performed on stage. My wife has called her a princess from the day she was born. Now she IS Princess Ariel. Photographs do not do her performance justice. You would have to have seen her take command of the stage and heard her voice rising through the theater to have any inkling of what Daddy felt.
I have been posting more of my photography on Instagram than on this site lately. I continue to be intrigued by how I am able to present images in the square format, even though some IGers (I think that’s what they call themselves) show landscape or vertical images with white letterboxing, and which images are more popular. Here is a new set of Instagram images that have risen to the top in my “Likes”. Interestingly, the first two are different crops of the same image. Come see what you like @pbwomack on Instagram. You’re still invited.
I entered a little corner of my daughter’s world about three months ago. I started using Instagram. It was really just to keep an eye on what she was posting, but now I’m hooked. I’ve posted nearly 300 images and have over a hundred followers (not many considering lots of folks have thousands, even my daughter has more followers than me). There are a couple of the interesting things about it, though. First, the images are all square which means my penchants for negative space and off center subjects is constantly challenged. In fact, some of my favorite shots won’t work in the 612 x 612 space. Then there is the phenomena of what images people like. What they like are not necessarily my favorites, and sometimes what I think is a really great photograph doesn’t get much attention at all. Theses five images are the ones that have the most “Likes” in my library. Some of them have been posted on mywastedspace.com before in their full frame dimensions, some I never considered posting before. Come see what you like @pbwomack on Instagram.
I went to Florida to see where I had lived there, maybe play a little golf and definitely devour as many blackened grouper sandwiches as I could. Thought I would take some pictures of the place to keep as reminders for my failing memory. But all the time, there the kids were. In the back seat. On the beach. Sitting across from me and my blackened grouper. And I’ll be darned if that wasn’t me with a camera in my hands taking pictures of them. Where did it all go wrong? Well, it didn’t go wrong. Here are a few of the shots I got of them. You be the judge on which are the better memories.
Anna Maria Island is just south of St. Petersburg in Florida, over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. We spent the week there during Spring Break. These are some intimate images of the place. Pictures of the kids will come later. I had forgotten how much I missed the Florida life. I lived in St. Pete for a few years almost twenty years ago now. The light and the sounds and the taste of the air are all part of my memories. Going to the beach is something you plan here, but it is just something you do there. I was glad to have a small glimpse of that again during our time there.