The Bradlands

Through the Back Door

I purchased an older house as that's what they have in the older neighborhood I wanted to live. I love the creeks, patches, leaks, dips, slants: the things that make the new undesirable. In the old this is the good stuff.

Photography is an on again off again hobby of mine. The latest addition to my photography toy chest is a flash, umbrella, and stand. Lighting in photography is a disclipline unto its own. I've watched videos and read books yet I stare at it all knowing only how to turn it on and shoot. Sometimes the flash doesn't even fire.

One of the spots in this old house that caught my eye is the view through my back door. It's not actually through the back door but through the glass door that is meant to help insulate the back door which is old and drafty all the while being old and drafty itself. Old and drafty loves company. The draw to this view is the paint on the glass, the grain of the wood, the layers of paint underneath the other layers of paint, the chips, the scratches, the cracks, the places in the frame for locks for which there are none, and most importantly the back yard.

Out both doors a lazily laid brick walkway leads to a cement slab under the 30 foot oak tree. I'd like to say "my oak tree" but with the power it has over my life (i.e. its ability to destroy my house in a storm) I tend to avoid claiming ownership for fear I may offend it. To us it is "the" oak tree. Left of the slab is a raised garden of which this year contained serrano peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes and peppers. Behind the slab is an unused by this owner brick fire pit. Beyond the fire pit is dog shit camouflaging mulch whose earthy and dog assy scents waft up through sprawling fence ivy.

Further beyond into my neighbor's back yard is a tree mingling above the rooftops with the oak. Its unclear which is taller but I'm not sure why it would matter. They're both taller than me and will be around longer than me, already have. I have a great respect for them. But you know who doesn't respect the trees or anything for that manner? Squirrels. Squirrels use the branch network to subvert man made barriers of which they could scale with ease anyway. I think they run, jump, and leap from tree-to-tree yard-to-yard because they can. I would. I would also throw acorns on unexpecting heads of which they do as well. I hate them out of jealousy of their nimbleness and lack of fear for their own lives. I've twice witnessed a squirrel flying from branch to branch only to mistep and fall 20 feet to the ground. Each time the squirrel landed with a thump from the concrete slab, a "WHAT THE !?!" from me, a leap to action from Rita, and a run for life for the squirrel.

As you can tell I have a thing for this view. Because of this thing I have and this other thing I have for photography I have it in my mind to capture the seasons and years through the backdoor. I've spent a little time off and on trying to get it dialed in camera wise. Without the flash I was unable to get any detail of the inside of the door when it was bright out (for reasons I won't go into today). Accompanied by the flash I'm able to more easily and accurately adjust the light level in the house to capture the full scene. The photo I've included above has no touch ups applied. It's not printable because the high dollar high tech autofocus thought my neighbor's house was more interesting than my view. But I'm getting closer and hopefully one day can get something print worthy that captures a small glimpse of this thing I have through the back door.

-bradrer on Sep 30, 2015