My name is Mike Ross and I have obsessive-compulsive photography disorder, although I consider this a somewhat healthy obsession.
I was born in New York City, spent most of my life on Long Island (pronounced Lawn Guyland), and am now living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.
Compared to some of my past addictions and obsessions, this one is a walk in the park.
Tuesday March 20th is the first day of spring and the forecast is for 1-3 inches of snow tomorrow followed by 3-5 more inches on Wednesday (of course I expect them to be wrong as usual).
Ernest Hemingway once said: “When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest.” He’s probably not the best one to give that kind of advice but let’s go with that.
“A lot of photographers think that if they buy a better camera they’ll be able to take better photographs. A better camera won’t do a thing for you if you don’t have anything in your head or in your heart.” Arnold Newman
Yesterday three museums in Lancaster County celebrated Pennsylvania’s 333rd birthday by offering free admission for Charter Day. Charter Day commemorates the charter King Charles II granted Pennsylvania founder William Penn in 1681.
I went back to the Railroad Museum to practice using my 35mm lens. While most people seemed to be enjoying themselves, I heard several bored kids ask their parents when they could go home. The smart ones just used body language.
I’m walking around the park this morning and noticed a dead Carp floating next to a small dock. I thought it would make an interesting abstract with the clouds reflecting in the pond so I started taking some photos.
I felt a little stupid photographing a dead fish but waited for the sun to go behind the clouds and tried different angles and compositions. I wasn’t really finished but when a mother, two kids and a tiny dog came over I walked away.
Not only did they notice the Carp but the mother took a photo with her phone. They seemed genuinely upset and the four of them stood for a moment of silence, probably pondering the meaning of birth, old age and death.
Then the boy asked; “Why did he die mom?” And the mother said; “Because he was old,” which was probably true. But then I thought to myself, I’m old too now! So after they left I stood there for a moment of silence and pondered birth, old age and death.
William Shakespeare wrote: “Your bait of falsehood takes this carp of truth.” I have no idea what that means but I’ll say that the next time I’m photographing a dead carp if anyone asks why. Yes.
“A tulip doesn’t strive to impress anyone. It doesn’t struggle to be different than a rose. It doesn’t have to. It is different. And there’s room in the garden for every flower. You didn’t have to struggle to make your face different than anyone else’s on earth. It just is. You are unique because you were created that way.” Marianne Williamson
“Who we are has many faces, but these faces are not who we are.” Charlotte Joko Beck
Last night the weathermen were very excited about another Nor’easter heading towards Lancaster overnight and continuing into today bringing up to nine inches of snow and probably a complete apocalypse. School closings were flashing on the screen and then a special notice about vehicles prohibited from major roads, including motorcycles.
I thought that was strange because most motorcycle owners know that bikes don’t handle well in heavy wet snow. Its hard enough on a warm summer day to do 80mph on back roads here without hitting a deer or getting a speeding ticket (with a lawyer and a little luck that ticket can be reduced to 45 in a 40 with no points).
When I woke up it was snowing pretty heavily and I was about to head to my survival shelter but after checking my email and the weather channel I saw that the forecast had changed to an inch or less. This is not the reason I dropped out of my meteorology class in college but if anyone ever asks I’ll say it was.
George Carlin as the Hippy Dippy Weatherman knew how to keep things simple and accurate. He used to say: “Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning.” He also said: “Some people have no idea what they’re doing, and a lot of them are really good at it.” Touché.