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Your Roving Reporter

For a multitude of reasons, people like their camera phones, whatever make they have. One, of course, is because they always have it with them when something remarkable occurs, and two, the phone cameras have a really fast lens allowing for quality photos in most lighting conditions.

I remember when I began selling photography that folks were amazed that I used a point and shoot, however, eight years later, most of the world is using a point and shoot in the guise of a mobile phone. And, what people have come to realize is, that it is not the camera so much, as it is the creativity and curiosity of the photographer. And a fast lens. A quick Google search reveals all sorts of new photo books and exhibitions like this article details. Imagine--the winning photos will be displayed on billboards around the world! Me, I'm not great with my phone, mostly because I can't hold it steady enough--I need a handle.

But what I have had for more than seven years is a Panasonic FZ8 that I loved like mad. A long zoom at the touch of a finger, and a very fast lens. Bonus points for easily fitting in my purse. However, for the last two years or so its' home has been a camera bag. Why so, you ask? The batteries were just plain worn out. And, once again, turning to our friend Google last year, I did not find a suitable replacement. Perhaps I overlooked said replacement because earlier this week I searched again, and lo and behold, I found more than I needed! With the magic of Amazon Prime, I am once again back in business! What probably prompted me was that crazy owl obsession of mine. I just knew I could get a shot of one easily with the Panasonic. The minute the battery was fully charged, you just know where I went!
Partly to see how it would turn out, and partly because I know that there is a learning curve again. Mostly keeping my hand steady when the lens is zoomed all the way out. That was pretty much my only struggle, and it explains why the head is so close to the top of the photo--learning curve!!

Now, when I want to photograph something a distance away, I feel pretty confidant I can get the shot. For the longest time I've wanted to get a shot of this for nostalgia purposes. Taken out the passenger window while I was stopped!
That neon sign has been there for as long as I can remember, and if it is anything like most things that have been around forever in Orlando, before long, it too will be gone.

Bruce is feeling top notch once again, much to my relief. I don't know what it is about the airport in DC, but he keeps bringing gifts home...for no reason except that he loves me. :) Seriously, it had been years since he came home with something (so much for the love excuse!), but in the last month and a half he's come home with a beautiful blouse and cute sandals, and on two occasions, a dress. Thursday night, after a weather delayed flight, he came in the door to find me reading in bed and within about a minute he's got his suitcase open and ta-da!
Cute as a button, and cotton too! So, I wore it on our date last night. Finally, the promised reporting. Oh wait, before that, here's a news flash...
See the above house. Coming soon to a television near you. This is going to crack you up. Stopping on my bike ride the other morning to visit, Cheryle asked if I'd seen this house. No, I had not. Well, it is on her street, and about a week ago, the windows were suddenly boarded up, and the front elevation looked as you see it. Film crews were around. Something was up, so she set her mind to find out. Apparently it is for a flip or flop type of show, and they will be working on it for three months. The part that will really get you is this: they boarded the windows, and used that crazy spray paint on the front to make it look worse than it really WAS!! That's television for you...

Okay, so I wanted to see the Orlando Eye, and while there, how about we eat at Yardhouse? The place was packed with only two seats adjacent to what Bruce called the "service bar." Ever wonder where your drinks are while seated at a restaurant?
Must have been twenty drinks waiting for the servers! I love watching bartenders, in case you are wondering why we just don't wait for a table. I find it very entertaining watching them juggle their duties. Anyway, it was all good, and before it got dark, I slipped out to take this shot. Unlike the previous four nights, the sun was shining with no stormy weather in sight!
I asked Travis, our bartender what happens during our very frequent lightening storms. He said it was good for their business because if lightening is spotted within twenty miles they have to stop the wheel. Bruce and talked about how we wonder if Merlin Entertainment had considered that obstacle? Now we've seen the Eye in Brighton, been on the one in London, and soon we will ride the Orlando version. Our plan is to buy the combo ticket for the Eye, the wax museum, and the aquarium. We may have to wait until later in the year because sunset seems like a good time, and what with the colossal storms of summer.....Well, you understand. We poked our head inside the complex, and here's Mr. Bruce and waxy Lady Gaga.
Once the sky darkened completely the wheel looks so neat. Or, so I think.
When was the last time you saw folks lying on the grass at a tourist attraction? Actually it is fake grass.

This morning, responding to a notice on fb for volunteers, I went downtown to help with an art installation at the Orange County Administration building. It has been a while since I was last there, so it came as a surprise that there are wonderful new sculptures on the lawn.
Have you seen them yet?
If you look closely, you might notice the man seated near the building. That red thing is CUP!!

Despite the heat, quite a number of the artists friends, and a few volunteers like myself, came out to put up colorful plastic bottles along the fence. Sounds crazy right? Anything but. COLOR bonanza!
Arriving a little early, I was fortunate enough to meet the artist, Dale Wayne, from Altamonte Springs, and she was only too happy to explain the process. Apparently, following a local display of Dale Chihuly's art glass, she was inspired to make her own version of his riot of colors. That is her on the left, pictured in the white blouse, figuring out the layout.
With all the help it wasn't long before all the panels were tie wrapped onto the railings.
How happy will it make people driving by? I suspect pretty much. She relies on the generosity of friends for all those bottles! I only hope, during the month it is up, people will respect it.

There you have it--a reality show house, an entertainment complex and an art installation. All happy news instead of the more somber news you will find elsewhere!

Happily pointing and shooting again,

Gail


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