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Evolving Doors

“When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.”
—Helen Keller

Most of my readers are probably already familiar with the famous words of Helen Keller quoted above. It is my assertion that her statement is but a half-truth, omitting even a mention of the doors of sadness that line the corridors of our lives and behave in like manner. If it were not for sadness, I could not know happiness; if it were not for happiness, I could not know I was sad.

"Shutting in the Shadows", Nikon D800, ISO 640, f/7.1 at 1/640 sec., 58mm

“Shutting in the Shadows”, Nikon D800, ISO 640, f/7.1 at 1/640 sec., 58mm

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Photographing people, places, pets and ponderings.

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Happy Halloween readers and subscribers!

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Enjoy… and happy haunting!

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #9

Upon meeting Patrick at his Kissimmee Valley Farmers Market booth, I instantly admired him. Patrick is the mind, hands and heart behind “PJ’s Bracelets & Key Chains”. He donates the money he raises, selling bracelets and key chains he fashions by hand from colored cord and aluminum soda can tabs, for cancer research. He buys the soda can tabs by the pound from Ronald McDonald House – and pays double what they ask.

Patrick is no stranger to cancer; it has touched and continues to touch his family. Because we share that experience, I applaud the fact that Patrick has determined to do something to help others. It was clear from speaking with him that his creations are a labor of love and of healing. While his donations help fund research to heal others, I know his work is helping to heal him, too. If you’re in downtown Kissimmee on a Tuesday evening, be sure to stop by his booth at the Farmers Market and support what he’s doing.

God bless you, Patrick. It was an honor to meet you.

"Patrick" [Click image to view larger size] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/1.8 at 1/1500 sec., 85 mm

“Patrick” [Click image to view larger size] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/1.8 at 1/1500 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #7 (Squeek! Squeek!)

As I sat at Mrs. Mac’s restaurant on Wednesday, enjoying a magnificent piece of lemon meringue pie (seriously delicious!), I suddenly became aware of a squeeking sound. So absorbed had I been in overexciting my taste buds, I hadn’t noticed someone had come in and started cleaning the windows. As my back was to one of these, it wasn’t long before we courteously greeted each other; he with a “hello”, and me with a “[unintelligible sound] this pie!”. He smiled and nodded in agreement and left me to my preoccupation.

I left the restaurant a short time later, lamenting that I hadn’t indulged in a second piece of pie but intent on capturing a few photographs for this series. It wasn’t long before I noticed the window washer doing his thing at another downtown storefront. I had still found no victims, save a parking enforcement officer writing a ticket. Though I had asked, he didn’t think it a good idea to be photographed while performing the task he had at hand. (Huh. Imagine that.)

Thinking of so many other things I needed to be doing at home as I took in the view of the empty 3 PM sidewalks ahead, I decided to pack it in. I would turn east and then turn again, heading back toward my car a block off Broadway. It was when I turned east that things changed, for there he was again: the window washer. I realized it was just meant to be.

I introduced myself and as Lee introduced himself in return, he jokingly asked if I was following him. I replied that it was unintentional, but yeah, I was. He told me how he had made his living washing windows in downtown Kissimmee for over 40 years. We spoke of the changes that had transformed the area in the passing of those years. He said I wasn’t the first over those years that wanted to take his photograph, either. I thanked him for letting me be the next one.

"Lee" [Click to enlarge or shrink image.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/6.7 at 1/125 sec., 85mm

“Lee” [Click to enlarge or shrink image.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/6.7 at 1/125 sec., 85mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #6

I was just about to walk away from the train station while I was out on my photo-walk the other day, when I turned my head and saw her. She was sitting on some steps, concentrating on typing a text message at a speed I found intimidating even from a distance. The lighting was great, especially the way it bounced up off the pavement and illuminated her face under the brim of her cap. I was hesitant to interrupt her, but couldn’t help myself; I wanted the shot if she’d let me take it.

She took my card, and then came the usual delay that comes as people consider my out-of-the-blue photo request. She said yes – hooray! No sooner had I snapped the shot then she put her head down and went back to her text message. Regrettably, I didn’t interrupt again to ask her name. I hope she sees this and contacts me, as I am rather pleased with her photo and would like her to have a copy.

[Click image to expand/shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.8 at 1/1500 sec, 85 mm

[Click image to expand/shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.8 at 1/1500 sec, 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #4

“To make the world a friendly place, one must show it a friendly face.”
– James Whitcomb Riley

NY Fan [Click image to expand/shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.0, 1/8000 sec., 85 mm

NY Fan [Click image to expand/shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.0, 1/8000 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #3

The Kissimmee train station is a fairly active place. The trains come and go with scheduled regularity. I like that I can clearly hear the whistles and rumbles that announce them from our home a few miles from downtown. Norris was waiting on a bench near the station. Her small suitcase told me she was a traveler; I wondered if she was coming or going. With Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, and so many other tourist destinations nearby, one can look at anyone in Kissimmee and wonder pretty much the same thing.

Good journey, Norris. Or perhaps it should be, “Welcome home”.

Norris [Click image to expand or shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/4.0 at 1/2500 sec, 85 mm

 “Norris” [Click image to expand or shrink its size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/4.0 at 1/2500 sec, 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #2

“Spread love everywhere you go: First of all in your own house… let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness; kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile, kindness.”
— Mother Teresa

I found Charlie as I walked along Dakin Avenue. He had a kind face and one of those personalities that you instantly feel comfortable with. I had just taken a photo of his friend, Mark, and Charlie was gracious enough to permit me to take his, too.

"Charlie" [Click image to view larger/smaller size] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.4 at 1/750 sec., 85 mm

“Charlie” [Click image to view larger/smaller size] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.4 at 1/750 sec., 85 mm

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Street Portraiture: Faces of Kissimmee, #1

I am taking on a new personal street portraiture project, which I am calling “Faces of Kissimmee.” A once-small town in Central Florida, Kissimmee has tons of historic charm and character. In 1950, the population of Kissimmee was a mere 4,310 people. These residents primarily made their living either cattle ranching or growing citrus. When Walt Disney World opened its gates in 1971, Kissimmee was thrust into an unprecedented age of growth and forever changed. Its primary industries are now travel and tourism. In the wake of that change, the population has grown to more than 60,000 people.

Mark [Click image to view larger size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.4 at 1/750 sec., 85 mm

Mark [Click image to view larger size.] Nikon D300, ISO 320, f/2.4 at 1/750 sec., 85 mm

I am going to be concentrating on random, unstaged street portraits for this series, and posting the photos here on “I Shutter at the Thought!”. It is my hope you will enjoy viewing some of the faces I encounter on the streets of Kissimmee, Florida.

Want to be featured in this project? If you’re in Kissimmee, send me an email and let’s set something up! There is no cost or obligation other than consent for me to use your photo.

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Cheerleader

Women are like elephants. I like to watch them, but I wouldn’t want to own one.
– W.C. Fields

[Click image to view larger size] Nikon D300, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/125 sec., 200 mm

[Click image to view at larger size] Nikon D300, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/125 sec., 200 mm

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[Click image to view larger size] Nikon D300, ISO 200, f/5.6 at 1/125 sec., 200 mm

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