THREW Mikes EyEz

Original Writings, Images, Video and Artworks of Mike Hartley

Love of images

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I love taking photographs. And the more I do it the more I love it. I thought about it as a career when I was in my late teens but never pursued it. I thought I would. I started a year in college as an Applied Art and Design major, with an emphasis on photography. I picked up what was supposed to be a part-time gig doing photo reproduction for a local newspaper chain mid-first semester.

Here I ran into some young and very talented photojournalists. I immediately knew I didn’t have the skills with the tools and interpersonal confidence and abilities to be a working newspaper photographer. And then that part-time gig turned into a 60-70 hour workweek, college ended after year one and here I am in my mid-60s still cranking out newspapers and online presence.

I feel like I’m about to break off some rust. Photo by Mike Hartley

Between the full-time plus gig that pays the bills, the chores of home ownership, and an acre of property. Between maintaining several close relationships with great friends and spending as much time possible with my own children and grandchildren the time to pursue my photography interest is limited at best.

95% of the pictures I probably grab are on the go or on the spot. In other words, I’m always doing something else than photography while trying to take pictures. I try my best and I feel successful in not impeding the group to and from wherever we are going. Sometimes I may stop for a quick shot on the street while walking but I always run and catch up and it’s only a few seconds pause.

I’ll get to places early if possible to take a few shots and be on time for the festivities. But most of the time it will be like today when we head to the pumpkin patch as a family and while I’ll snap a few generic shots, I really won’t want to take my attention from my own children and grandchildren.

Oh, I’ll take a ton of shots of them. But I don’t share here much to respect their privacy and I didn’t want this blog to be a family presentation, because I take a lot of family photos. I make a lot of prints for them because when they get older I want them to discover the joy of having prints to pull out an old box of when their kids were young and be struck so hard by the memories when they pull them out it brings a tear to their faces and lots of joy.

I like when I see pictures in the water. Photo by Mike Hartley

This past week I had 2 instances where I had an hour or so on my own and it was rather liberating. My better half was having some tests run and I got to walk Lake Elkhorn in Columbia. And I had an hour to walk Ellicott City earlier in the week between errands and appointments.

What a difference it is. And what fun it was to have time to think. Time to go down a path that when with others wouldn’t be possible. To take the time to say, let’s try a few different settings in this same spot. Time to take a few seconds to pause on a bench without feeling lazy because that big Nikon gets heavy some days when my back is talking to me.

Time to wait at the spot that is perfect for the clouds above to clear and bring the light you wanted to the shot. Time to wait for a cyclist to hit that right spot with the perfect background. Time to walk to different angles or utilize higher or lower vantage points. Time to bring the tripod along for a steadier shot.

I want to think about how to do fall differently this year. Photo by Mike Hartley

Having that time really made me smile with the thought that once the full-time gig is removed from the schedule in another year or two that things like this are possible. That I can make some strides in my knowledge and execution.

That I’ll have time to learn new tricks. And time to spend more than a minute or two making a crop or opening up shadows more and then save the image. That is one reason why I haven’t invested in photo editing software yet. No time to learn it again and utilize it.

Get in the flow of things. Photo by Mike Hartley

The thought of pursuing photography and some of my other hobbies is very exciting. I try to keep a positive outlook on doing them now but sometimes it’s a bit frustrating to know I want to do more but the time isn’t there. And while that shallow stream of water above represents my output now, I hope for the day that I’m producing a waterfall of quality work.

Random Thoughts of the Day (morning edition)

  • I was cleaning my desk and found a book I need to finish reading.
  • It’s the season of the leaf blower.
  • I have a lot to do today so I hope it’s not the day we get vaporized by nuclear weapons.
  • Subway sure spends a fortune on advertising. Maybe they should sink some of that in the quality of their subs. I’ll go to Jersey Mikes every day of the week over Subway.
  • Alex Jones is a piece of CRAP – again.

Author: Mike Hartley

With a lifetime and a half in the Newspaper industry I'm preparing for my retirement career as an Artist, Writer, Photographer and Video content provider. I'm a proud father of two wonderful children and I'm still married to the first girl I fell in love with and probably only one that would have me.

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