It’s Labor Day here in the U.S. Working on a few projects so I thought I’d repost this blog from last year.
Enjoy the last few hours of summer!
Originally posted on JerseyStyle Photography:
Today here in the United States, is Labor Day. The commemorative day began in 1882, originating from a desire by the Central Labor Union to create a day off for the “working man.” It is still celebrated mainly as a day of rest and marks the symbolic end of summer for many. Labor Day became a federal holiday by Act of Congress in 1894.
“It’s the working, the working, just the working life.”
~ Factory, Bruce Springsteen
This day is not for me. I don’t work.
I mean, of course I do. I put on a shirt every day and have a place of work to go to, an office to go into, a computer to sit in front of all day and “get things done.” At the end of the day I shut out the light and go home, and…
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Labor Day is just like Memorial Day, but without the expectation and excitement.
All right, folks. Last stop of summer. Train will be in the station in a few minute. Gather up your belongs – bathing suits, picnic baskets, beach balls – and kindly depart the train. Exit to Fall.
It’s over. My favorite three-month span of the year. Here in the U.S., we’re heading into the long Labor Day weekend, which to me is the unofficial end of summer.
Sure, the weather in September is pretty great, and you can still have a nice day at the beach or the lake. But school starts, traffic gets worse, the general mindset changes, and the light gets sharper and flatter.
But what can you do. Time waits for no one, as they say. This has been a good summer for me. Had a lot of fun with the family, shot a lot of interesting people.
I guess the good thing about September rolling in is that I’ll be keeping busy. I have some good projects to work on at the 9-5 job, and will be speaking on a panel near the end of the month (more on that to come). And another in late October. And some of my work will be featured in a couple of upcoming books.
And, of course, things keep rolling with the family. Liv will head into 2nd grade, Chase will be in preschool and Matt will be a kind of pre-preschool program.
So there’s that. Time keeps rolling. Mornings are cooler. Leaves are changing.
But we keep clicking the shutter.
This Week’s Links:
* If you get a chance to watch this documentary, Grab a Hunk Of Lightning, on Dorothea Lange, do so. It was great.
* Still Moving, by Danny Clinch. Looks great. Christmas is coming…
* Good read via New Yorker: The Twilight Of Baseball.
* More great work from Gary S. Chapman.
* From TIME: How the selfie stick is killing the selfie.
* Absolutely beautiful version of Springsteen’s Downbound Train by Joe Pug.
* Good video by Daniel Norton on shooting noir, but I don’t know what I’d do with that type of gear. Maybe I should do one about using desk lamps.
* “Photography is not about cameras, gadgets and gismos. Photography is about photographers. A camera didn’t make a great picture any more than a typewriter wrote a great novel.” ~ Peter Adams
Earlier this week, August 26 actually, was National Dog Day. Though I spend a lot of time online, this day crept up on me and, sadly, I didn’t do anything to celebrate with my pups.
I’m a dog guy. Always have a been. Got bitten by one when was 7 or 8 and still that didn’t shake me. Had a poodle mix from hell when I was growing up – one of the snarliest dogs you’ve ever seen. Probably, though, he wasn’t trained correctly so that was probably our fault.
Then, my high school and college years saw me without a pooch. After college, living in a rented row house in South Philly with a buddy of mine, I got back on the dog track. Why?
We wuz robbed.
Yep, one steamy summer night, while we were asleep in our bedrooms upstairs, someone climbed into our screened-in window and stole our TV. Walked out the front door and left it open.
My roommate and I decided the next day we should have protection. A gun or a dog.
We didn’t really want to get a gun and dog was a much more fun option. So, we headed to the local pound and found one of the best dogs I’ve ever met. Mack.
Mack was a beagle mix with one of the best personalities I ever saw on a dog. Fun, funny, loving. He was the best. When I moved out, Mack came with me and was a constant companion for years. Heck, I broke up with girls because they didn’t dig on my dog Mack.
When Leslie and I moved out to San Francisco, though, Mack was getting on in years and didn’t make the move. He went to live with my parents where he spent the twilight of his years going for walks in the cool air of Northeast Pennsylvania. He passed away at 14 in 2008.
After moving back from San Francisco, I came home one day to find this furry little black and white ball of Shih Tzu puppy.
“Oh hello!” I said. And Bella promptly peed on the carpet.
She turned 10 this year, and we’re lucky she made it this long. Back in 2009, she was very sick, doctors didn’t think she’d pull through. But she’s tougher than we gave her credit for and she did. Now she’s the elder stateswoman of the house. She watches over everything, commenting very little. But she’s there and she’s our gal.
Next came our little spitfire, another Shih Tzu. Roxie Maybelline. She’s a cranky little pup, but never hurts anything. You scratch her belly and she grumbles and growls. But not in a mean way. That’s just her. She’s like an old man from Brooklyn who hasn’t had his coffee yet. (actually, my wife says she’s the canine equivalent of me. Or I’m the human equivalent of her. In any case….)
This two dogs are so much a part of the family. Our decision to go to Vermont, where I shot these portraits of Bella and Roxie, was based, in part, because they could come with us. And they enjoyed it up there, I think, even dipping their paws in Lake Champlain.
This week, while my wife and the kids were at the beach for a few days to enjoy the last week of summer, I dogsat my in-laws dog, Samson. He’s a Shih Tzu too, but bigger than my two girls. And still a puppy at just over a year.
Got me thinking it may be time to get Number 3.
Now to convince my wife….