Do you want to help record images of your neighborhood?

Recruiting Photographers:

Primary qualifications are interest & enthusiasm

The neighborhood photo blog idea is something that’s been in my mind for a while. I’ve participated in and organized several neighborhood photo shows where photographers of various levels of experience shot in certain parts of town for a set time. Then we would hold an exhibit. Over time I grew to like organizing and promoting other people’s work as much as showing my own. I found I had the knack for it and I can be pretty good at wrangling creative people. I still shoot photos all the time but I enjoying helping other photographers more now.

I believe in the power of places, whether in their natural state or developed by humans, to stimulate ideas, create feelings and invoke memories of personal and shared experience. The main thoroughfare in my neighborhood is a brick paved boulevard lined with vintage lampposts, trees and older building and homes. The modern is there as well, but there is enough of the old left to create what to me is a comforting atmosphere. One of the reasons I live there is that I like the frame of mind that I’m put into as I make my way home. Without over analyzing it, I’ll just say that it feels like home to me. It evokes memories of various times and places from throughout my life and helps provide continuity and context as I learn to embrace life’s never ending changes.

I want my online documentary site to be a place where anyone with a desire to record for posterity those aspects of their local environs that provide comfort now and yet may someday disappear. It can also be used as a place to share things we like about our world without any thought to whether or how long it will stick around. Ideally, it can even be a place where we all learn something about other places, times and cultures, exploring and sharing the differences and similarities that weave together to form this rich and wondrous world in which we all share an existence.

The site has places for images, writings, participant galleries and a forum to discuss the how and why of what we are doing. It is all set up and ready to go at I am a lover of people’s photos and a recognizer that many things can be said with images whether or not the person creating them even realizes it. I welcome participation on any level — from a single photo to an entire gallery. Please contact me by leaving a message on this page if you would like to participate. I look forward to hearing from you.

Where I live, there aren't many evenings  when I can get a shot like this at 10pm and so I wanted to record it.

Where I live, there aren’t many evenings when I can get a shot like this at 10pm and so I wanted to record it.

This just in…

gardening blog to return to roots.

Over the last six weeks I’ve been taking Blogging 101 and Blogging 201 and as I’ve worked through my assignments, I’ve learned a little more about myself and what I like to write about. Let me tell you, it can zing and zip all over the map. As a consequence of my recent endeavors, it seems to me that the subject matter of this blog has drifted a little far afield.

In Blogging 201 we worked on establishing our brand, creating a hub and giving things a recognizable image across different blogs and media types. What I have decided to do is to create a whole new hub and let this blog be one of the spokes. I want to move all the subject matter that doesn’t fit the original idea (subject to my usual broad interpretation of subject matter) onto the new hub blog. I worry that this could, at least in the short term, amount to self inflicted blogicide. As my dear old friend Lee Jones used to say while giving me that askance knowing glance across his face out of his one good eye, “Boy, you’ve gone all the way crazy.”

So here is my plan for the new blog setup. There will be a hub which will include posts on general subject matter, blog event posts and occasional fiction pieces. I will still have my photo blog which will be entirely devoted to photography (with comments) without regard to subject matter — I hope to have an opportunity to post and comment on other photographers photos as well (no hints or anything). Then there will be this blog which will be devoted to gardening, art and nature and the ways they intersect and sometimes get all stirred up together in a big pot in my backyard. This was my original intention with this space and I hope you’ll find that it cleans up quite nicely after a little shipping of things off to other locations.

There is also my long term Neighborhood Photography project which has previously manifested itself in a number of collaborative exhibits at area venues. My goal is to move this online and with the help of interested photographers (of all skill levels) expand the neighborhood as wide as we possibly can. I’ve decided that due to the scope of my goals and intentions for the this site, it will better as a completely separate “brand” with it’s own community identity, galleries and a forum. I’m even considering a fresh start from scratch and taking the classes again just to get that endeavor underway.

Just so that you don’t think this sounds too ambitious, let me tell how I see it (rationalize it?). This blog (Learning to Paint) is where I talk about and chronicle things that are very important to me and part of my daily life. The hub is where I can put up anything that I want to write about that doesn’t fit here (there’s always something). The photo blog is a place where I upload and yak about pictures of any subject. Having things compartmentalized should help the individual areas make more sense.

Well, the migration (explosion) starts tomorrow. I hope that I don’t lose any of you cherished readers in the process. This blog will still be in the same place with the same name, anyway.

“One more thing — if anyone is the least bit inclined — please feel free to follow me on Twitter!” he implored. A big Valentine’s Day loving shout of thanks to the THREE of you have already taken the plunge!


This really counts

Many of you may have heard of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and/or Great Backyard Bird Count. Some of you may have even participated. If so, then don’t worry about reading this. Just go sharpen a couple of pencils so you can be ready for this year’s count.

For the rest of you, following the links above will tell you much more and more accurate information than I can, but I can say, having participated in this event for several years, that it’s easy and fun. You’ll be part of a very large worldwide event and you may not even have to leave the comfort of your blog.

My wife and I like to sit in the backyard, have a cup of coffee and look for every bird we can. You can count for as little as 15 minutes on just one of the days, but it’s pretty easy to do more. And you can even go to different locations over the course of the count which runs February 13-15. Lists of birds that you are likely to see in your area are available on the Bird Count website.

This can be a fun and educational event for adults and kids. After the count is done, you’ll be able to see data showing how many of each species were counted in your area or any other part of the world where people participated. Last year 144,109 checklists were submitted and well over 17 million birds were counted.

While you’re at it, be sure to take a look at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology web site. In case you haven’t been there, it is an amazing resource for the identification of bird species. Along with tons of other good information, there are sounds and/or video of 215 species and these can be really helpful in identifying backyard birds. And of course, be sure to check out the All About Birds Blog!

For anyone with an interest in birds or nature in general, the Great Backyard Bird Count can be a great way to get involved in determining what’s going with bird species these days.

Come on, admit it, haven’t you ever wanted to sit somewhere comfortably enjoying your beverage and try to tick off every last living creature that passed by? Hey it’s for science

Tres Limbos – Uno

Still searching for paths through a digital world

I begin with an expression of deep affection and enjoyment of the all the wonderful computer technology that now fills so much of our lives. I follow that by saying that if it all went away, I’m not sure I would mind a bit. As I move forward in my life and continue to enjoy things I’ve always enjoyed, there are still dilemmas facing me in regard to how to participate in these things. Three activities stand out as the most difficult — readin’, writin’ and shootin’ (photos, that is).
Starting with reading, there were times when I told myself it would always be books first. I thought I would never be able to read on screens.

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Time for a production upgrade

Until recently my blog life has been lived in an erratic manner. I just finished Blogging 101 and although the next session has already begun and registration (completely free) has closed this time, you can still look over the topics from previous classes to help you decide if you want to participate next time. The class helped my blog develop some momentum and I highly recommend it.

This blog was started almost two years to the day before the class began which gives the analysis of my progress a nice consistency. During the first year I published 6 posts, the second year, 7 (Always able to look on the bright side, I’m at least glad the number went up!)  Continue reading