Monday, August 27, 2012

Morning Leaves

I almost went into work today. As a salaried employee (read - teacher) who is required by contract to be in school at specified times, any of those times (and there are many) that I spend in school beyond the parameters of my contract I just I would consider a bonus to my learners. Many of us in the teaching profession provide that bonus time on a regular basis. The difference now in the 21st century is that students/parents have access to teachers at an unprecedented level. Sure there was always telephone, or at least since Bell invented it, but with texting, video and all the supporting social media that exists today we as educators have an opportunity to work with our learners in completely new ways.

So why is change so difficult? Why aren't we meeting learners more "where they are at"? Why is it so difficult to let go of tradition and move forward in new and different ways? I am not the sort of educator that usually leaves questions unanswered, but in this case the answers will provoke other questions. Here are some connected photos from our driveway this morning while fetching the Bangor Daily.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

American Idol

OK, so I spent too many hours last winter watching these kids getting their education in the professional music business via the "School of Hard Knocks" my Dad always talked about when my brother and I were growing up. I couldn't resist the temptation to see them perform live in concert, and besides I hadn't photographed a professional concert for a number of years. To make a long story short, this was just fun. The performers enjoyed what they were doing, each other, and they were especially grateful for the audience, which is always cool. The evidence of this for me was when Phil Phillips was singing the closing song and the two guys singing backup behind him hit this awesome harmony, he turned and gave them a big nod and smile. You could see that he acknowledged what they did because it made the performance better. Anyway, enough "gabbing", here are some photos. These are for those of you that were fans so I won't even bother to name the performers, you know who they are!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Foggy Morning, Puffy Clouds & Early Sunset

There was lots of fog on the bay this morning as I could barely see the "Wild Thing" on its haul off 100 feet from shore, but the morning cleared off, an occasional "puffy" cloud passed across the sky, and there was a beautiful sunset that showed the edges of the clouds very brightly, but hid the sun almost a half hour early. This sequence is documented below.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Matt Out of the Hopital!

While it seems like a red letter day, there are still many stress factors and such to contend with in a new environment even if it isn't a "hospital. I am so proud of how Matthew handles things and he amazes me with his coping skills. Probably an illegal photo taken here, but nobody is identifiable and Matthew was discharged and all.

I was too easily frustrated tonight on the phone with him and feel that I did not do him the justice that he has done his mother and I, but I will make it up to him after he adjusts to his new space. He told me he got his things packed away and so I think he has started, at least, to settle in with things.

Jen and I took a detour through Castine on the way home and just kind of tried to process things in our own way, by sharing a positive adventure together. She has had her real estate license and dealt with real estate for years and we were amazed by the homes that were and were not for sale on the peninsula. Here's a shot (Hipstamatic) of Castine Harbor.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jackson and Grandma in Portland

We had such a wonderful time with our grandson in Portland! He loved walking around the Old Port and seeing all the people and the cars and the business of the city. His expressions are priceless! Here are two iPhone shots, first with the Hipstamatic app and the second just a straight shot with the iPhone 3gs.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

"Hipstamatic" and Jackson

I'll just post one picture (of the seemingly thousands I have taken) of our grandson "Jackson Johnson" here, but not without comment.

I posted a shot taken with the Hipstamatic app on my iPhone a few weeks ago and got a comment to the effect that the photo "sucked". That might have been an accurate observation (although I was insulted enough to remove the comment) had the intention been to pass off the picture as a state-of-the-art high quality use of contemporary photographic technology. That was not the intention. I think I realized the intention more this morning as I began to look through photos that I've taken the last few days while Jen & I have been "on vacation" here in the Portland area. It's kind of like the "Lomo" popularity that has become a part of the modern "every-person"photo world and wants to use older technology to appreciate the emotional and creative possibilities inherent in capturing an image.

Now I find myself understanding more about the "why" involved in my fascination and enjoyment around this sort of photography. Of course the fundamentals (and we should always be learning more about those) are still there; the use of lighting, the arrangement or composition of the photo, and of course the subject and its importance to the overall effect (and affect - I'll explain presently) of the image. Here's the key, I think. Creativity is fun. It's that simple. Why are learners more engaged by the ARTS and what they have to offer? Because it's fun. It works with all the arts, but when a learner loses the intrinsic motivation to draw, perform, sing, dance or make movies it is because we as teachers have imposed too many restrictions and "crushed" the opportunities for learners to engage in the process of creativity!

Here's a shot of Jackson, where I see a young person who is fascinated by everything, who is amazed by all that his around him, and uses all his senses to perceive his world. Minutes after this shot was taken he was playing with my phone, seeing images on it and making sounds (BeBot app) by touching it. As he gains more control (physically) he will have even more fun and opportunities to be engaged in the creative process!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

HMS Bounty

Jen and I stopped in Belfast to see this ship as it is an historic movie piece and although it is twice the size of the original (real) Bounty, it is still operating and sails all over the world. I might have mentioned on FB that we saw Johnny Depp there, but as this post proves, I guess - still not sure, that it may have been someone else and not Captain Jack Sparrow.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

First From the iPhone

Lying in bed getting ready to read as I usually do before drifting off to sleep and remembered that I had linked to a phone version of Blogger. Checked my message box and sure enough, there was the link! Downloaded it and here I am making my first blogger post through the iPhone. Now to add a random iPhone photo.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Bee on Weed

This morning I went up to the end of the driveway to photograph some of Jen's flowers, the gladiolas are especially beautiful right now, but I got sidetracked by the weeds on the edge of the field. I was surprised that the bee let me get so close, but here are two shots, one of the weed with a wide depth of field  (f 36) and the other of the bee. I think he (it) was looking right at me!

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sea Glass (Beach Glass)

One of our house guests spent a few hours today scouring the beach in front of the house for glass and ceramic shards. I looks like she got a pretty good "haul" from this photo I took on the kitchen counter a few minutes ago!

Macro Flowers... Again

I never seem to tire of the beauty of the flowers that surround the house and fields here, and they are ever changing as some fade and pass on and others bloom fresh as the summer progresses. I got the 4X magnifier out yesterday and screwed it onto my 18-55 mm zoom to take the following photos. I didn't touch them up and left them a little "grainy" as the light was low in the western sky, producing some interesting shadows.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Sullivan Days Fireworks

 First, briefly, I wanted to post a picture of the summer squash in the upper garden. That soil has a lot of clay in it, but those plants took off this week while I was away from home and I was amazed when I saw them.

Yes, I did go over to the bridge after I got back from Bangor to see the fireworks at the Taunton River Bridge. Mostly to take some pictures of fireworks, but also just to see the lights and get the experience of being within a couple hundred yards of the display. We can see the Bar Harbor 4th of July fireworks from the house and even see the "high ones" at the bridge tonight from the house upstairs, but there's nothing like being there. Here are five that I was sort of happy with, although I had the older auto focus Sony and struggled with focus. Essentially I was in a hurry when I got back and grabbed the wrong camera! Oh well...

Last Night

Heading to Bangor today to spend some time with my son Matthew, but here I will post a couple of pictures from a "just before sunset" session out around the house last night.

The first is brother Vern's skiff "Wild Thing" high and dry as it was a very low tide.

The second is a shot of our house being lit by the setting sun and taken from the beach.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Great Gardens, Batman!

The gardens are doing pretty well overall. Tomatoes, lettuce, peppers and carrots are all pushing forward and the recent heat and humidity has seemed to help, especially the vine stuff. I'll post some pictures of that tomorrow.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Kilcollins at the Oasis

Yeah, we danced a little last night. Celebrating the arrival of August in Maine! iPhone photo in the dark, but captures the motion and spirit. Kilcollins Band... check 'em out on the web!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Where's Rob?

See if you can find Rob Westerberg in this photo! The TL2's are working on beginning to fill up the "depository" of assessments, rubrics and lesson plans for the ARTS!