Friday, February 12, 2021

Pictures I Like

I wonder if I would ever have found these pictures in a year without pandemic restrictions? I've always taken pleasure in the colors of mangrove country, odd red and yellow leaves, sunsets that I share with no one and the clouds like castles overhead. As much as I read about other peoples' pandemic misery my wife and I both feel very lucky. I get to walk my camera, I am protected in my office at work, my wife teaches adult ed from home for her last three months before retirement and we choose not to socialize. We have even both had our first vaccine shots. We still take all precautions. We are looking forward to normal life.
I read about other photographers who feel shut down in their various countries and assorted lockdowns, putting their cameras away and staring at the wall wondering when their families will get together, wondering what happened to their dead relatives who died alone in the hospital. Its grim stuff. It may have happened to you, and I think about that every day.
Some people love snow and fog and dark days and seasons and all that stuff, but anyone who reads this page knows that's not me. So to me the area we are stuck in, as it were, is perfect for us. But more than just mild weather Florida has been as usual a bizarre place in which to ride out a pandemic. The governor has been unflinching in opposing lockdowns and has left it up to people to manage their lives. This has led to many infections and a few critical weeks for hospitals and health care organizations but we seem to have reached a stage of endless exhaustion and infections at a low constant hum. I have no desire to stand in crowd or be around maskless people even as I complete my vaccination protocols but other people don't seem to mind. Good luck to them and their medical staff.

Carolina Dog
I get to wander, I choose places with few if any people, I play with my camera settings, trying to force myself to move away from my preferred pedestrian documentary style of pictures. I over exposed Rusty under a buttonwood and got an island of detail in a sea of light. I rather liked it and would never have tried it if I hadn't been bored! True confession.....
Usually there used to be people standing at the top of the bridge watching it crumble but most of the time I'm alone here these days and if there is someone there I walk a long way round. I never thought much good came of the lockdown process as it seems people go nuts once released from lockdown and act as though all restrictions are done. I'd rather see the usual mask wearing hand washing and distancing enforced steadily until the end. This constant yo-yoing of restrictions and rules and fears abut variants and double masks and all that stuff wears me out. My freedom to walk Rusty with my camera gets me past all that.
Winter traffic has been much reduced this winter, not that Key West is empty but for those that are used to the winter cramming you'd be amazed to see how much empty space there is in town. My views are all empirical I cannot back them up with numbers but my perspective is my life. I don't go to the sunset celebrations for obvious reasons but maybe after my second shot I'll take a swing by to check but so far it just hasn't seemed worth it.
I read about the slow vaccine roll out in the rest of the world, the lockdowns, and the word I hear is all about the tedium of life and I drive home at sunset to this: a world bathed in gold.
Just another day in the Florida Keys. As good a place for a pandemic hide out as any I dare say.