Bring Me That Horizon

Welcome to jennyweber dot com

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Home of Jenny the Pirate

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This will go better if you

check your expectations at the door.

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We're not big on logic

but there's no shortage of irony.

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 Nice is different than good.

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Oh and ...

I flunked charm school.

So what.

Can't write anything.

= Jennifer =

Causing considerable consternation
to many fine folk since 1957

Pepper and me ... Seattle 1962

  

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Belay That!

This blog does not contain and its author will not condone profanity, crude language, or verbal abuse. Commenters, you are welcome to speak your mind but do not cuss or I will delete either the word or your entire comment, depending on my mood. Continued use of bad words or inappropriate sentiments will result in the offending individual being banned, after which they'll be obliged to walk the plank. Thankee for your understanding and compliance.

= Jenny the Pirate =

Hoist The Colors

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I am a Blue Star Mother

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Insist on yourself; never imitate.

Your own gift you can present

every moment

with the cumulative force

of a whole life’s cultivation;

but of the adopted talent of another

you have only an extemporaneous

half possession.

That which each can do best,

none but his Maker can teach him.

= Ralph Waldo Emerson =

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Represent:

The Black Velvet Coat

In The Market, As It Were

 

 

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Contributor to

American Cemetery

published by Kates-Boylston

A Pistol With One Shot

Ecstatically shooting everything in sight using my beloved Nikon D3100 with AF-S DX Nikkor 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6G VR kit lens and AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.8 G prime lens.

Also capturing outrageous beauty left and right with my Nikon D7000 blissfully married to my Nikkor 85mm f/1.4D AF prime glass. Don't be jeal.

And then there was the Nikon AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-200mm f:3.5-5.6G ED VR II zoom. We're done here.

Dying Is A Day Worth Living For

I am a taphophile

Word. Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Great things are happening at

Find A Grave

If you don't believe me, click the pics.

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Dying is a wild night

and a new road.

Emily Dickinson

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REMEMBRANCE

When I am gone

Please remember me

 As a heartfelt laugh,

 As a tenderness.

 Hold fast to the image of me

When my soul was on fire,

The light of love shining

Through my eyes.

Remember me when I was singing

And seemed to know my way.

Remember always

When we were together

And time stood still.

Remember most not what I did,

Or who I was;

Oh please remember me

For what I always desired to be:

A smile on the face of God.

David Robert Brooks
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 Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

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Keep To The Code

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You Want To Find This
The Promise Of Redemption

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;

But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake.

For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;

Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;

Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.

For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

So then death worketh in us, but life in you.

We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I BELIEVED, AND THEREFORE HAVE I SPOKEN; we also believe, and therefore speak;

Knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.

For all things are for your sakes, that the abundant grace might through the thanksgiving of many redound to the glory of God.

For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

II Corinthians 4

Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom and then lost it, have never known it again.

~ Ronald Reagan

Photo Jennifer Weber 2010

Not Without My Effects

My Compass Works Fine

The Courage Of Our Hearts

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Daft Like Jack

 "I can name fingers and point names ..."

And We'll Sing It All The Time
  • Elements Series: Fire
    Elements Series: Fire
    by Peter Kater
  • Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    Danny Wright Healer of Hearts
    by Danny Wright
  • Grace
    Grace
    Old World Records
  • The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    The Hymns Collection (2 Disc Set)
    Stone Angel Music, Inc.
  • Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Always Near - A Romantic Collection
    Real Music
  • Copia
    Copia
    Temporary Residence Ltd.
  • The Poet: Romances for Cello
    The Poet: Romances for Cello
    Spring Hill Music
  • Nightfall
    Nightfall
    Narada Productions, Inc.
  • Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    Rachmaninoff plays Rachmaninoff
    RCA
  • The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion
    by William Voegeli
  • The Art of Memoir
    The Art of Memoir
    by Mary Karr
  • The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    The Gorgeous Nothings: Emily Dickinson's Envelope Poems
    by Emily Dickinson
  • Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    Among The Dead: My Years in The Port Mortuary
    by John W. Harper
  • On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    On Writing Well, 30th Anniversary Edition: The Classic Guide to Writing Nonfiction
    by William Zinsser
  • Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    Green Hell: How Environmentalists Plan to Control Your Life and What You Can Do to Stop Them
    by Steven Milloy
  • The Amateur
    The Amateur
    by Edward Klein
  • Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    Hating Jesus: The American Left's War on Christianity
    by Matt Barber, Paul Hair
  • In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    In Praise of Stay-at-Home Moms
    by Dr. Laura Schlessinger
  • Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    Where Are They Buried (Revised and Updated): How Did They Die? Fitting Ends and Final Resting Places of the Famous, Infamous, and Noteworthy
    by Tod Benoit
  • Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    Bird Brains: The Intelligence of Crows, Ravens, Magpies, and Jays
    by Candace Savage
  • Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    Gifts of the Crow: How Perception, Emotion, and Thought Allow Smart Birds to Behave Like Humans
    by John Marzluff Ph.D., Tony Angell
  • Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    Righteous Indignation: Excuse Me While I Save the World!
    by Andrew Breitbart
  • 11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    11 Principles of a Reagan Conservative
    by Paul Kengor
  • Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    Mind of the Raven: Investigations and Adventures with Wolf-Birds
    by Bernd Heinrich
  • Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    Talking Heads: The Vent Haven Portraits
    by Matthew Rolston
  • Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    Mortuary Confidential: Undertakers Spill the Dirt
    by Todd Harra, Ken McKenzie
  • America's Steadfast Dream
    America's Steadfast Dream
    by E. Merrill Root
  • Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    Good Dog, Carl : A Classic Board Book
    by Alexandra Day
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
    by Lynne Truss
  • The American Way of Death Revisited
    The American Way of Death Revisited
    by Jessica Mitford
  • In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    In Six Days : Why Fifty Scientists Choose to Believe in Creation
    Master Books
  • Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    Architects of Ruin: How big government liberals wrecked the global economy---and how they will do it again if no one stops them
    by Peter Schweizer
  • Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews That Rule America From the Grave
    by Brannon Howse
  • Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    Lyrics of Sunshine and Shadow: The Tragic Courtship and Marriage of Paul Laurence Dunbar and Alice Ruth Moore
    by Eleanor Alexander
Easy On The Goods
  • Waiting for
    Waiting for "Superman"
    starring Geoffrey Canada, Michelle Rhee
  • The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    The Catered Affair (Remastered)
    starring Bette Davis, Ernest Borgnine, Debbie Reynolds, Barry Fitzgerald, Rod Taylor
  • Bernie
    Bernie
    starring Jack Black, Shirley MacLaine, Matthew McConaughey
  • Remember the Night
    Remember the Night
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, Fred MacMurray, Beulah Bondi, Elizabeth Patterson, Sterling Holloway
  • The Ox-Bow Incident
    The Ox-Bow Incident
    starring Henry Fonda, Dana Andrews, Mary Beth Hughes, Anthony Quinn, William Eythe
  • The Bad Seed
    The Bad Seed
    starring Nancy Kelly, Patty McCormack, Henry Jones, Eileen Heckart, Evelyn Varden
  • Shadow of a Doubt
    Shadow of a Doubt
    starring Teresa Wright, Joseph Cotten, Macdonald Carey, Patricia Collinge, Henry Travers
  • The More The Merrier
    The More The Merrier
    starring Jean Arthur, Joel McCrea, Charles Coburn, Bruce Bennett, Ann Savage
  • Act of Valor
    Act of Valor
    starring Alex Veadov, Roselyn Sanchez, Nestor Serrano
  • Deep Water
    Deep Water
    starring Tilda Swinton, Donald Crowhurst, Jean Badin, Clare Crowhurst, Simon Crowhurst
  • Sunset Boulevard
    Sunset Boulevard
    starring William Holden, Gloria Swanson, Erich Von Stroheim, Nancy Olson, Fred Clark
  • Penny Serenade
    Penny Serenade
    starring Cary Grant, Irene Dunne, Edgar Buchanan, Beulah Bondi
  • Double Indemnity
    Double Indemnity
    starring Fred MacMurray, Barbara Stanwyck, Edward G. Robinson, Porter Hall, Jean Heather
  • Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    Ayn Rand and the Prophecy of Atlas Shrugged
    starring Gary Anthony Williams
  • Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
    Passion River
  • It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    It Happened One Night (Remastered Black & White)
    starring Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert
  • Stella Dallas
    Stella Dallas
    starring Barbara Stanwyck, John Boles, Anne Shirley, Barbara O'Neil, Alan Hale
  • The Iron Lady
    The Iron Lady
    starring Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Harry Lloyd, Anthony Head, Alexandra Roach
  • Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    Wallace & Gromit: The Complete Collection (4 Disc Set)
    starring Peter Sallis, Anne Reid, Sally Lindsay, Melissa Collier, Sarah Laborde
  • The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    The Red Balloon (Released by Janus Films, in association with the Criterion Collection)
    starring Red Balloon
  • Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    Stalag 17 (Special Collector's Edition)
    starring William Holden, Don Taylor, Otto Preminger, Robert Strauss, Harvey Lembeck
  • The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    The Major and the Minor (Universal Cinema Classics)
    starring Ginger Rogers, Ray Milland
  • My Dog Skip
    My Dog Skip
    starring Frankie Muniz, Diane Lane, Luke Wilson, Kevin Bacon
  • Sabrina
    Sabrina
    starring Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams
  • The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    The Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer
    starring Cary Grant, Myrna Loy, Shirley Temple, Rudy Vallee, Ray Collins
  • Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    Pirates of the Caribbean - The Curse of the Black Pearl (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)
    starring Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom, Keira Knightley, Jack Davenport
  • Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    Now, Voyager (Keepcase)
    starring Bette Davis, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains, Gladys Cooper, John Loder
  • The Trip To Bountiful
    The Trip To Bountiful
  • Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
    Hold Back the Dawn [DVD] Charles Boyer; Olivia de Havilland; Paulette Goddard
That Dog Is Never Going To Move

~ RIP JAVIER ~

1999-2016

Columbia's Finest Chihuahua

Simple. Easy To Remember.

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Monday
Oct312011

My klediments

TG and I have just returned from a brief visit with our granddaughters.

You know! The tarheel tootsies.

Melanie:

Allissa:

To that I can think of nothing to add so I will simply say:

Happy November!

Saturday
Oct292011

You'll never hear a Southern boy say this

Ohio boy meets the Citadel Bulldog circa 1970My beloved TG, you know if you've been paying attention, was born and bred in Northwest Ohio.

His initial foray south of the Sweet Tea Line was when he was recruited to play basketball at The Citadel.

This was a quarter-century before Shannon Faulkner and the inevitable infiltration of females into the Corps of Cadets.

My future in-laws packed up their firstborn in August of 1970 and drove him the eight hundred miles from Toledo to Charleston, approaching the campus along Moultrie Street, right through the Lesesne Gate, past the Summerall Chapel and up to the barracks.

There the man who nine years later would become my husband encountered for the first time things like grits, collard greens, Southern fried chicken, the aforementioned sweet tea, hominy, piping hot buttermilk biscuits dripping with redeye gravy and molasses, palmetto trees, Spanish moss, ocean breezes, the Gullah accent, and humidity so thick you can cut it with a case knife.

And he met him some good old South Carolina boys.

The kind of boys who folks from up north are generally inclined to believe are blessed with, shall we say, less intelligence than their Yankee counterparts.

(TG learned early on that Southerners are smart too. In their own special way. And funny! Eventually in an extra-smart move of his own, he married one.)

At any rate, these guys are all pushing sixty and they still keep up with one another.

Occasionally I'll hear TG on the phone with his college roommate, Jim, down in Charleston. Talking about getting together, which we sometimes do when there's a wedding or a graduation.

They sound just like the papaws they've turned into.

Sometimes the overheard conversation is heavy on reminiscing about the glory days of falling out of the rack at the sound of Reveille early on a frosty morning in Dixie, hitting the quadrangle and getting into formation before your eyes were hardly open, followed by long hours of academic study and athletic practice in the military environment.

But they love wearing The Ring. They agree it's true what everybody says: The Citadel is a great place to be from. 

Old times there are not forgotten! Look away, look away.

Every now and then TG receives an email from a college buddy. Such was the case a few nights ago. I was in another part of the house when my sweetheart came to find me and dropped two sheets of paper in my lap.

I started reading and pretty soon I'd gotten my recommended daily allowance of spontaneous belly laugh.

Now please understand, I've had to clean this list up a tad bit because of ... well, just because. You know. This was an email between guys who went to college together.

Be that as it may, here you go:

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The Top 31 25 Things You'll Never Hear A Southern Boy Say:

25. When I retire, I'm movin' north.

24. I'll take Shakespeare for 1000, Alex.

23. Duct tape won't fix that.

22. We don't keep firearms in this house.

21. You can't feed that to the dog.

20. No kids in the back of the pickup, it's not safe.

19. Wrestling is fake.

18. We're vegetarians.

17. I'll have whole wheat toast and half a grapefruit.

16. Honey, we don't need another dog.

15. Who gives a flying flip who won the Civil War? (expletive deleted)

14. Give me the small bag of pork rinds.

13. Too many deer heads detract from the decor.

12. I just couldn't find a thing at Wal-Mart today.

11. Trim the fat off that steak.

10. Cappuccino tastes better than espresso.

9. My fiancée, Bobbie Jo, is registered at Tiffany's.

8. Checkmate.

7. The tires on that truck are too big.

6. I've got it all on the C:// DRIVE.

5. Unsweetened tea tastes better.

4. Hey, here's an episode of Hee Haw we haven't seen!

3. I don't have a favorite college team.

2. You guys ...

1. No more beer for me. I'm driving a whole busload of folks down to re-elect OBAMA!!!

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One thing you'll never hear me say:

Drop and give me twenty, knob.

Hope y'all are having a great weekend!

Thursday
Oct272011

SkyWatch Friday: The day is gone

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The day is gone, and all its sweets are gone!
Sweet voice, sweet lips, soft hand, and softer breast,
Warm breath, light whisper, tender semitone,
Bright eyes, accomplished shape, and lang'rous waist!
Faded the flower and all its budded charms,
Faded the sight of beauty from my eyes,
Faded the shape of beauty from my arms,
Faded the voice, warmth, whiteness, paradise --
Vanished unseasonably at shut of eve,
When the dusk holiday -- or holinight
Of fragrant-curtained love begins to weave
The woof of darkness thick, for hid delight;
But, as I've read love's missal through today,
He'll let me sleep, seeing I fast and pray.

John Keats (1795-1821)

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Wednesday
Oct262011

Take my advice. Take a picture. Take a thousand pictures, for each one may be worth at least a thousand words.

If my middle name were not Lynn it could just as well be Lazy. Also Impatient.

Jennifer Lazy Impatient Weber.

However.

In equal measure, my two-part middle name could be Easily Inspired.

Jennifer Easily Inspired Weber.

And when it comes to taking pictures, I am neither lazy nor impatient. I am easily inspired, unusually energetic, and (for me) unnaturally patient.

The reasoning behind it is not important. It's a mystery even to me.

All I know is, with that camera in my hand I can say (and often do) with Sweeney Todd when warbling of his precious chased-silver razors:

At last! My arm is complete again.

I also know you don't need a fancy camera in order to take good pictures.

My first digital camera, a Sony Cybershot, was a gift from my children on my birthday in 2005. I think it cost them around one hundred fifty dollars. Within three years I all but wore it out taking pictures of Melanie.

During that time I never entered a cemetery to take pictures. In fact I entered a cemetery only once in those years, for the usual reason. I'm just thankful I was able to walk out.

When the Sony Cybershot died I was camera-less for a good while. Like most people I've always loved taking pictures, but the real burning desire, the absolute necessity of taking pictures of things other than my family members or my pets or of a vacation, had yet to grip me.

On our thirtieth wedding anniversary in 2009 the kids gave "us" a Nikon Coolpix. It was Erica's idea. Thanks, little Boo. Cost: one hundred twenty dollars. TG never touched it; he never got the chance.

I took at least fifteen thousand pictures on that camera (thousands of those in cemeteries) and it's still a good camera.

Many of the pictures I took with the Nikon Coolpix have been published in magazines, including the November 2010 cover of American Cemetery, which was my serendipitous shot of the Thomas Theus monument at Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia.

Last Christmas I got a Nikon D3100 that cost my family around eight hundred dollars. Now granted, it takes better pictures than either the Cybershot or the Coolpix. Naturally.

But the way I use the camera is the same. I go picture-taking on purpose but often take pictures spontaneously. I go hardly anywhere without my camera. Forgetting generally leads to regretting.

You never know when you might see something that begs silently for its picture to be taken, or when you may require a spot of point-focus-click therapy.

Gobsmacking sunsets occur with alarming regularity whether your camera is handy or not. And once they're gone baby, they're gone.

So see? You don't need a thousand-dollar camera or a bulging lens kit or unwieldy and expensive accessories or photography lessons in order to take decent pictures. You don't even need Photoshop.

What you need in order to take good pictures is first, the burning desire coupled with a willingness to take ten times the number of shots you might actually keep or use. You must become intimately acquainted with the delete button, both on your camera and your computer.

Then train yourself to begin looking at things in a certain way, and fearlessly take hundreds upon hundreds of pictures without worrying too much about how they're going to turn out. Like soap, data cards are cheap.

Then it's all about surrendering yourself to the arduous process of combing through your pictures, cropping and tweaking as you go, to locate or create worthwhile shots. And the occasional miraculous ones.

It helps if you have an iMac. Thanks again, kids!

Do you remember last weekend, I told you I took one thousand pictures?

Around one hundred of those are what I consider excellent pictures. Of course, that's only my opinion. The actual number of excellent pictures may be twenty. But I'm going with one hundred.

Now why, you may be asking yourself, is a rank amateur who doesn't know an F Stop from the Key of F -- or F Troop for that matter -- deigning to pepper us with photographic philosophy?

Because I felt like it and that's all the reason I need.

Although I will say, I get a fair number of emails and comments praising my "eye" and asking, with regard to my photos, "how I do it."

I choose to think such compliments and inquiries are sincere.

To which I say the following, illustrated with what I believe are good examples.

Pay attention because I am getting ready to reveal simply all my secrets when it comes to photography.

Don't worry! This part won't take long.

First you must choose a subject. I am unfailingly amazed at subjectless photos. Why were they taken? What is the point? I can never figure it out.

In order to locate a subject, open your eyes and look around you. Really look.

For example, when at Old Gray Cemetery in Knoxville last Saturday, we were leaving when I noticed the old sign resting behind the bars of a caged office just inside the gate.

After squeezing off several shots of different angles of the sign and the office, I turned my attention to the gate itself.

After all, I was fixing to walk through it. Audrey was already at the car. Seems when it comes to impatience I have reproduced myself. Just kidding, Audge. Thanks for taking me graving and for bringing me that Diet Coke toward the end.

But the shadow ... the shadow! Breathtaking. I love taking pictures of shadows.

Once you've identified your subject, begin taking pictures of it. Don't forget the law of thirds: the subject should occupy one-third of the frame on either side rather than being smack in the middle. If possible. Remember though, rules were made to be broken.

As much as you can, avoid the use of artificial light. Take your pictures when the light is good, not too harsh or bright but not too low either.

Approach the subject and start taking pictures at different distances and from various angles. As often as not I don't even look to see what I'm getting. I bend over and put my camera close to the ground or train it on a lower part of the subject, and just keep on pressing the button.

You get some evocative images and interesting ideas that way.

When your subject by necessity fills the viewfinder, take the photo at an oblique angle, which adds interest, rather than head-on, which can be flat and boring.

Often what separates information from emotion is a thin taut membrane of perspective and context.

Ah, poor doomed Lillien Gaines, her span on this earth less than eight years.

I took several shots of Lillien's entire monument but I'm not going to show you those. Instead I'm going to show you the intensity you can evoke by drawing a bead on intricate details.

The lichen-spotted likeness of little Lillien broods this one and one-third century:

In her cold stone lap rests the ubiquitous funereal floral bouquet:

Don't be afraid to get close! Close in is where all the good stuff is.

And don't be afraid to omit whole parts of your subject. It's much more dramatic and suspenseful than revealing all. The human mind loves to fill in blanks.

As you survey your subject, allow yourself to feel compassion for it. Settle down and go still. It will come to you. Then you'll notice something you might have missed, like a wee sad cracked arm and wrist:

And perhaps you'll be moved to capture a plump little-girl hand from a unique, slightly more ominous point of view:

Next thing you know, you're practically in tears for the child's tiny silent feet and the brief curve of a calf.

How Lillien's mother and father must have suffered! Were there siblings? Of what did she die?

Then you shake that off and go for the jugular.

If that last shot failed to make you gasp, don't tell me. It's enough that it made me gasp when I first saw it. A trifle unsettling.

Good photography will make people feel something. And it's worth whatever you have to do to make that happen, if that's what you want to do.

But how do you know a photo you took has merit? You may be asking yourself at this juncture. I used to do that too, about my writing and my pictures.

I don't indulge in such questions anymore. If I want to write it and put it out there, if I want to take a picture and post it or submit it for publication, I'm going to. And you should too.

The worst that can happen is rejection and if you're scared of that, I cannot help you.

Although I am not necessarily an admirer of Andy Warhol or his art, I very much like a quotation attributed to him:

Don't think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it's good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.

That's how I roll, y'all.

And all of that was free for nothing, and that is all.

Monday
Oct242011

Volunteering in the Volunteer State

TG and I were honorary Vols this past weekend.

No, I do not refer to football. Long ago I said no to football and yes to black lace.

Although as I recall, the UT Vols were playing on the 52-inch plasma in Andrew's bachelor pad on Saturday night.

TG and Andrew were glued in horror to the humiliation that unfolded for the Vols in Tuscaloosa.

Meanwhile Audrey and I went in the other room, piled up on Andrew's spacious and comfortable bed, and watched a movie on my laptop.

We would have loved to watch our movie on the 52-inch plasma in HD with surround sound, but we were selfless! Selfless, I tell you.

After all, TG had volunteered two days of his time to paint Audrey's apartment. She wasn't going to be part of denying him a relaxing football game. And neither was I.

Her apartment looks great. She had us over for a splendid repast of homemade spaghetti after church on Sunday. And then we had to come home.

My volunteerism while in East Tennessee mostly involved doing the same things I do in the midlands of South Carolina: planning meals, shopping for victuals, cooking, washing dishes, and doing laundry.

Plus I took nearly one thousand pictures.

We arrived on Thursday evening right around suppertime. It was too late to cook so supper was pizza. Those ready-to-bake deli creations from Wal-Mart are the best deal around.

We got two great big ones and browned them to dizzying deliciousness in Andrew's oven.

First we stood around outside for a few minutes and visited. TG and Andrew weren't as pensive as they look. Andrew had had a busy day and we'd been driving all afternoon.

They were pausing to take in the beautiful view of sunset in the foothills of the Blue Ridge.

The next day I took Javier and Rambo outside to enjoy the perfect weather.

Ramby enjoys sitting in the sun, surveying the acreage of the campgrounds.

Audrey arrived shortly to fetch me and we went shopping. At Marshall's I found a Nine West purse in metallic pewter, very cool, on clearance. The handles are clinky-clanky. Marvelously Marley-esque.

That night, Andrew grilled hamburgers on -- what else? -- a Weber grill. For sides we had baked macaroni and cheese, Mission tortilla strips with black bean and white corn salsa, and fresh, warm chocolate chip cookies.

Then we watched Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. Captain Jack Sparrow is adorable on a 52-inch plasma in High Def with surround sound, just so you know.

For two whole hours we giggled, except during the scary mermaid part.

On Saturday morning I made chili and put it in the crock pot to simmer until suppertime. At serving time we embellish ours with Frito Scoops, grated sharp cheddar, sour cream, and banana pepper rings.

If you don't eat yours that way, I feel sorry for you.

While I waited for Audrey to pick me up (she'd promised to take me graving) I had a photo shoot with the irrepressible Rambo.

He'd found himself a stick and was being cuter than even he knew. And that's saying something.

Then it was time to go to Knoxville's Old Gray Cemetery.

I went to the National Cemetery too, right next door to Old Gray, but I'm saving those pictures for another day.

I always notice dates on tombstones but lately I've been looking at them in a different way. Someday soon I'll tell you why.

Broken tombstones always catch at my heart and this one was particularly beautiful.

Elizabeth Ann died four years to the day before my mother was born.

"I know that my Redeemer liveth."

Amen, sister. Me too.

After two or three hours of intense graving I still wasn't ready to leave, but we had to go home and eat that chili.

The sun was setting the trees on fire when we arrived back at Andrew's bucolic crib.

That was the night Audrey and I watched The Tree of Life. If you haven't seen it, you should. It's sad but beautiful, a little strange but haunting, a film that will stay with you.

The way of nature versus the way of grace. Unless you love, your life will flash by.

Much better than a football game, the Vols getting shellacked by a Crimson Tide, thousands of folks in houndstooth hats yelling their fool heads off the whole time.

That is all.