March 9, 2018

Storytelling with Childhood Comic Books

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is to reflect on the idea of storytelling, with one picture or a few.  Jen’s essay Story on the subject is lovely and if you are a photographer who blogs, perhaps you should look it over.


The idea of storytelling has more than one meaning.  The ancient idea of a story is a great deed, and, now in recent times, many variations on story exist including the marketing idea.  A brand should engage its audience by telling a story, by representing itself as sometimes a great notion that people can feel involved in what the brand is about and how it functions in the space of marketing.  If people trust a brand’s “story,” they want to be a customer of the brand as it belongs to the space understood by both the storytellers and by the consumers.


If you watch Stranger Things, you know that the Dungeons & Dragons player who organizes game sessions is referred to as the “Dungeon Master.”  Being a blogger is a little like being a Dungeon Master because you are organizing some kind of storytelling effort for other people to read and otherwise consume.


For this week’s Photo Challenge, I am telling a story visually with what is a popular visual form of storytelling, comic books.  They turned up in the kitchen of the church where I work and they belonged to family years ago, which I borrowed informally on the suggestion of my father, who noticed they were there.


March 9, 2018
Superhero Story for WordPress Photo Challenge

I picked a couple of these that I did read when I was a kid and a couple more that reflect the interests I had as a kid.  I hope you like the photo I have taken, and that if you see this, you relate to how it is to come across something from the past that is a nice memory.


Blurring a photo is a normal aspect of photography and the blur in this photo was done with the camera.  The photo hasn’t been blurred by software.


Attack of the Video Content

Do you have an inkling what influencer marketing is?


Influencer marketing, I guess, is when a brand with an expansive and powerful Internet presence helps a newcomer gain exposure by sharing the smaller brand under the umbrella of the major brand who is widespread across the world wide web on several channels.


When the Hulu video streaming service was becoming a monster, I know they experimented with following various Twitter peeps in order to help make themselves a household name.


November 28, 2016
Hulu among other Twitter followers

Now I see commercials on TV for Hulu that make it seem all the more like a juggernaut, but for some time they were most alive in my mind as the entity on Twitter that seemed to be joking around all the time waiting for all those people to start transplanting their attention to Hulu instead of all the other options for video entertainment that likewise wanted consumer dollars in exchange for a wild consumption experience of the most dynamite video to be found.


Hulu kept adding all kinds of classic TV shows to their roster line-up, and beginning with The Handmaid’s Tale began to fill its slot of originals with more and more series, like Marvel’s Runaways.


It felt to me like the underdog Hulu challenging the king of paid content, Netflix, for a portion of its subscriber base.  Who had the best originals, Netflix with its incredible budget and seeming out-of-control finger on the market with a business model set to break all records?


But what happened… this is surely a simplistic interpretation of what was actually experienced… the Harvey Weinstein effect rocked the entertainment industry and pretty soon many respected actors were back to the drawing board.


I am not an analyst, but are these two events connected in any tangible way?


Netflix established an extraordinary budget for its current and future programming, all growing from a point of origin that was one particular Netflix original that was historical for being the first there was.  It was House of Cards starring Kevin Spacey.


Spacey came under stern criticism and was let go, costing Netflix a ton and generating at least a little bad publicity.


With their very first entry as a Netflix original series becoming a distraction, I felt I was seeing Hulu rise up in response and setting their sights on becoming a major competitor in the wake of the scandal around Spacey.


It can’t have been that direct a transition, I don’t think, but I would infer that with the breakdown of Netflix’ House of Cards at a critical time, when Hulu was beginning to launch its new originals, I think it certainly meant the time was right for Hulu to begin to market itself more traditionally, rather than with its jovial influence marketing that resembled stunt tactics.  Maybe Hulu still does play with influence marketing, I’m not sure, but all of a sudden it seems like all the more professional a brand than it had been previously when it was a minor competitor to the juggernaut Netflix.


Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale also demonstrated its penchant for winning many major awards and on top of that, it carried with it a feminist zeitgeist that was all the more effective in the face of the Weinstein effect that was leaving men everywhere clutching their walking papers.


November 16, 2017
A year later Hulu unfollows

These days when I see the TV ads for Hulu I smile.


I think the video streaming market is mad, but it is interesting to see that there have been many measurable changes in it in the last several months as Hulu grew into its mode of expansion and gained tons of credibility.


It will be interesting to see if there are more upstarts as entertainment continues to change.


Today’s WordPress Daily Prompt is the word inkling.


A Funeral with an Ominous Sky

When I was studying art history in college, one of the more difficult areas for me was architecture.  Identifying architecture was a challenge for me.


To ring in the New Year, I’ve done a free ten-day photography course with WordPress called “Developing Your Eye.”  I am a junior operations manager at a cemetery where I provide some assistance with funerals occasionally.  Evaluating how best to address architecture with a single monochrome photograph I settled on taking a photo of the exterior of a local church where a funeral service was being performed.


An ominous sky helps set the mood for the photo.


Outside a church where a funeral service is going on

I don’t want to say a lot about the symbolism of how the monochrome sky appears in the photo.  That being said, compared to the church itself the sky is the real architecture, the architecture of God at the end of the lifetime of a human being remembered and bid farewell.


This course Developing Your Eye has been the first learning I’ve done in photography, even though I’ve been taking photographs five years, and the first study I’ve undertaken in a couple of years.  I was in college years ago and I just scraped by–I wasn’t brilliant.  However, that doesn’t stop me wanting to write my own blog.


Life without a blog is like complete illiteracy.


I don’t feel very scholarly nor a luminary, but I am grateful for what outreach I’ve had on this blog.  Sometimes it’s been flattering.


As well, I’ve been able to impress a few family members with what I’ve undertaken with this blog.  Please rest assured that I would thank you for seeing my blog and reading pages from it.  I wish you well and let’s continue to have a great 2018.


That Green Lever is the Well in Winter

To end 2017 with self-improvement in mind, I decided to complete a free ten-day course with WordPress.  I have got a little better as a photography owing to the exercises I’ve done for the course, called “Developing Your Eye.”  I am a week late finishing it, but today I am doing the ninth day.


I was asked to select a color for today’s photo, one color, and show it in a photo, perhaps to create mystery about what the photo shows.  For example, a brightly-painted door in a citadel could raise the question of what is beyond the door.


I looked around a little, but it wasn’t too hard to turn the theme of the exercise into a photo, and what I did was shoot the pump of the water well at the cemetery where I work.  It is winter time here, but the point is that the pump is the color green, in a white setting (snowbound).  The question for someone seeing the photo might be, for example, who draws water in summer?

Water pump in winter

I am comfortable taking photos at the cemetery, and that lent to the confidence I had to take this picture.


The color green reminds me of a corporate décor, but in this case, the green merely points to the aesthetic of a well-kept cemetery.  It is behind the church which is at the front of the property.  Nothing about the exterior of the church is painted green.


I have been glad for the change of pace doing the course, even with the procrastination that challenged me when the holidays were here and taking up my time.  The winter weather has been extreme, as well.  Thank you for visiting my blog.


The Treasure that Reminds Me to Laugh

In personal ads, it’s not surprising to someone advertising GSOH–a good sense of humor. I see TV ads promoting services like eHarmony or I know from the pace of those kinds of services that a gentleman needs to represent that he is a good guy in order to attract a mate.

To start the New Year with something new on the horizon, I have been doing a free ten-day course from WordPress called Developing Your Eye–I am a week late, but mostly on schedule. Today I’m doing the exercise for the eighth day of the course.

The theme of today’s photo is “treasure.” I reflected on this and realized I could take a photo both literal and figurative. I photographed a clown ornament at which I regularly gaze. The clown was given to me by a dear friend, and it both reminds me of friendship and to remember the humor in life. I admit I am not a keen fan of comedy nor see much mirth in day-to-day life, but some days the best times I have are when I again find a reason to laugh.

Clown ornament

The clown is playing the “world’s smallest violin,” that joke, and I think of that from my father’s perspective. As to make your bed and lie in it.

I realize the clown is a touch creepy, I suppose, but reflecting on “treasure” I think the ability to laugh is dear and also that if I have tried anything at an evocative decor the clown in the photo is among what I cherish most.

I’m not a funny individual, and I can’t put the abbreviation in GSOH across the Internet or in the newspaper.

Remember that the personals can sink you.


Doggedly Capturing Developing Your Eye Themes To Ring in the New Year

Happy New Year!  It is the beginning of 2018, of course.


To better myself a tad, I am doing a free ten-day photography course from WordPress, and while I am a week late, the timing isn’t too bad because I am literally ringing in the New Year with exercises in photography that I wouldn’t otherwise have thought to do.


Today’s exercise is to take a photo of something big.


To illustrate the theme, I thought of some symbolism.  You see, I went to the park, where there is a library, aquatic center, and playground.  You can see a Canadian flag flying as well.  The nation of Canada is, of course, massive, and that is one component of the symbolism of the photo.


A “big” park on New Year’s Day
  • The aquatic center is comprised of what is probably an Olympic-sized swimming pool, which is a big space for water.


  • To a child, the playground in the park is “big,” for the reason that a child is small.  It cannot be reasoned the same with adult eyes, but I feel it helps symbolize bigness all the same.


  • Last but not least, the volumes of knowledge inside the library represent a massive amount of information, which I feel represents the idea of big.  In fact, as today is New Year’s Day, and folks are beginning the start of a resolution (or more), one suggestion you may wish to try is to resolve to read more in 2018.  If you aren’t a regular reader all ready, I would ask if you feel you waste time on social media.


This is not to say that social media isn’t a lot of fun; it is.


It is just that if you find you are wasting time with social media, you may wish to resolve for 2018 to trade the time spent on social media for time spent reading.  Whether to try something like that is up to you.


Once again, happy new year.  I am glad I am able to share it.  Have a bountiful 2018!


Solitude I Can Justify

Not to be idle, and also to say farewell to 2017 and to welcome 2018, I am doing the free WordPress course, ten days long, called Developing Your Eye, to help me get a little better as a photographer. Honestly, I am a week late, but there has been holiday fun, the intense winter weather, and other reasons to procrastinate.

To complete the exercise for Day Six of the course, I took to the idea of solitude. How I thought to illustrate solitude is to show the vantage point of a walking trail up the street from where I live, between an elementary school where some of my education took place when I was little, and a gospel chapel on the other side of the trail.

A gospel chapel the last day of the year

While I don’t attend the chapel, this point of origin symbolizes for me the distance between my home now, to the road to where my parents live, and where I spent my teenage years and most of my twenties. Down the street I live alone. The solitude is having left where I resided in my younger years.

On the path beside the gospel chapel

In 1978 DC Comics gave us the big screen adaptation of the Superman comic starring the late Christopher Reeves–I realize the film belongs to a generation older than mine. Superman, reflecting on his power, travels north to his Fortress of Solitude to find answers about his fate and his obligation as a hero.

The silver screen images of Superman’s Fortress of Solitude became so iconic that even in the present Henry Cavill version of the Superman saga the recreated Fortress of Solitude in his films strongly resembles the design of the 1978 film with Christopher Reeve. The nineteen seventies Fortress of Solitude has been translated to the current Superman films with a similar design that remembers Superman on film in the seventies and eighties.

Why does the caped superhero require solitude? Solitude can permit a person to approach life with his own direction, unimpeded by the feedback of others.

The town here is small but it is a city–it is never that lonesome. There is contact with people each and every day.

It doesn’t mean that I don’t cultivate an attitude of preserving solitude, and I imagine it shows in the style of the blog I write and in the appearance of the photos I take. I imagine many humans likewise treasure their solitude, particularly in that as adults there are so many demands and requirements for living in a Western culture that we have little choice but to conform.

When there is an opportunity for solitude, in contrast to what we are tasked with doing in the course of day-to-day work, solitude becomes extremely valuable, at least in small measures. In other words, silence is golden.

I realize it is ironic I am writing that when blogging can be seen as a search for a community (and WordPress is an inclusive community). Blogging is a given in this day and age–if you have even a basic amount of computer literacy, it is not surprising if you are blogging.

If you are doing business, and you personally have some computer literacy or otherwise a member of your team is computer-literate, you should have a blog. Even as I assert my blog is not making me money, that doesn’t mean I don’t want to pursue it. I suppose I am trying to have my cake and eat it, too, but I have the solitude that I think makes me truer and I am likewise active at participating in the Internet, which is millions and millions of others.

I don’t think foregoing solitude is the answer, but I respect those people for whom blogging is not just satisfying as an opportunity to make discoveries, but who profit financially by being business-savvy with the blogging that they do.

You can find my church at