Friday, June 26, 2009

Aussie Tractors !

Let me start first by saying that I did not take the following series of tractor photos. They were done by my 15 year old daughter last week on a farm which is about a two hour drive from Brisbane, Australia. A few words to her will follow below the photos. . . As you can see, like father, like daughter; she's a chip off the old block.
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Second, I'd like to dedicate this post to Nathalie over at "Avignon In Photos" who was named a Blog of Note this week by Blogger.com, and who richly deserves that most prestigious form of recognition among Blogspot bloggers. Congratulations Nathalie ! And thank you for your kind words over the past months which have really shown me just how good a blogging friendship can be.
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So, if you haven't yet been to Avignon in Photos, please take a peek there soon, and if you don't wind up in the bargain at least a little bit tempted to go visit Avignon, well, I'll eat my hat . . . my hat which right now is off to Nathalie. . . (Partly why this tractor post is dedicated to Nathalie is because she lived out in Australia for quite a few years, so I thought she might like them. . . although why, or if, a nice lady like Nathalie would like a heap of rusty old tractors is another question entirely !)
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Dear Mimi,
Thank you ever so much for e-mailing your Papa these fabulous tractor photos you took with your new camera. I can't tell you how proud I am of you. First, because you worked so hard in school that you were one of only eight students in the whole class to get picked for the exchange trip to Australia. Second, because you organized all by yourself the summer job you're going to do when you get home to pay me back for your camera. That wasn't easy to do, but you sold your skills well. That is an art that will prove useful in life. Third, because in taking these photos, you have just shown me better than any words could do that you love your old Papa just a little bit, your Papa who loves to photograph abandoned cars, ancient falling down houses, cemeteries, and all manner of other strange and wonderful subjects.
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Keep taking pictures honey ! Photography is an art you can practice your whole life long, few activities can be more rewarding than to produce a beautiful image. Be patient though, it is easy to take mediocre photos, but good photos require hard work and concentration and care and just a little touch of magic, plus a large dose of humor, a willingness to laugh at life's absurdities. Experiment ! Don't be afraid to take lots of pictures of the same thing from every angle possible until you find what works. With digital cameras that is easy today. When I was learning how to take photos, I had to be very parsimonious with the film, and could only take one or two pictures of any given subject. You have complete freedom to make mistakes, and learn from them. Do close-ups of details of objects that please you. Back away and think about how you are framing your shots, and about exactly what you want in the picture. Take your time, don't rush.
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I can't believe you're out in Australia and left your parents at home ! All I can say is, we never had any opportunity like that when I was your age in our school. I don't know if I'll ever get to take Maman to Australia, so we're counting on you to take tons of good photos out there so we can at least see what it really looks like. Maybe your photographs will be the final straw contributing to helping us decide to go there one day.
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Make the most of the time you have left out there ! Can't wait to hear all about it when you get home. We're proud of you !
Lots of Love !
Papa
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PS. . Make copies of your photos, put them on a CD or USB key or something, keep them separate from the camera, change the memory card and keep it in a safe place... cameras have an unpleasant habit of wandering off in airports and at beaches and restaurants and so on...
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30 comments:

swan said...

This post is really wonderful, what a talent and I adore the letter! Blessings and thank you for posting, the tractors are very inspring to me... They look alive romantic even ready to tell a story.

AB said...

Amazing machines — the rust just makes them look better.

Steve said...

Strangely skeletal - like the bones of ancient dinosaur tractors...

Japy said...

Lovely photos. Old or ancient vehicles are good models for photos and you got the best of them. Greetings.

Bill Evertson said...

Proof that talent is genetic! Love that red Farmall - I used to drive one like that on my Granddads farm.

Nathalie said...

Thanks for the link Owen, you're too kind. The letter to Mimi is wonderful. Aren't we lucky to have children we can be so proud of?

My favorite photo is the first one so your choice was right. The exposure is right and there's a beautiful focus on the many shades of rust and faded paint.
The third one is my second favorite.

I hope you manage to visit Australia one day... except maybe you shouldn't. I think you'd fall in love and it would be too hard to leave!

louciao said...

What a beautiful tribute your Mimi made to her papa! And he to her, but a picture's worth a thousand words.

The first photo in particular is absolutely wonderful!

louciao said...

No, wait!--the THIRD one is my absolute FAVE.

Mundo Mundaca said...

The Man and yours conspire fantastic.
beautiful women and poetic images.!
xoxo.

Margaret Pangert said...

Congratulations to Mimi! She has accoplished a lot thus far on her suumer exchange program. The tractors are beautiful, especially since she had to discern that they worked as subjects, how to get the angle, lighting, etc. Very impressive, and I think you are right, she's somewhat following in your shoes, Owen. I'm sure this letter means a lot to her.

the watercats said...

Well... As far as old tractors go, they are some spiffing examples, especially love the big red one.. Sounds and looks like your daughter is a truelly sorted individual! No wonder you're proud of her :-) Cheers for sharing!

jeff34 said...

Owen...! Tes tracteurs sont superbes ! Quand on sait d'où ils viennent en plus ! Je ne peux pas rester plus longtemps... petite visite ! Je reviendrais pour commenter plus "largement" ces tracteurs !... Sorry mille sorry Owen !
A très bientôt pixelpote !...8:)

*SparkleMirror* Kiln-Fired Art Studio said...

These are some fantastic shots... Mimi's quite the photographer, for sure! And what a magnificently loving and encouraging father... very touching.
David

Alberto Oliver said...

Give Love to your sons, til heaven and beyond. Love them, care them, encourage them, make them to feel protected and lucky, make them to love life and their existence. Anyway, i think you already do it so, but ok, love them not to heaven, but to infinite and beyond!!

Not Waving but Drowning said...

What a thoughtful girl.

You must be so proud of her,

GG

Anya said...

Hi nice to meet you !!

Fantastic shots :)
Great post ...
Have a nice weekend

Kareltje =^.^=
Anya :)

Catherine said...

That third tractor looks particularly forlorn and in need of some TLC...great photos..

Denise Jelonek said...

Hi again, thanks for stopping by my blog. I love antique tractors, etc... There is so much history there I'm sure. I have some relatives in Australia that have sheep farms for wool. Your daughter did a great job on these photos. Great angle on them and clear too!

Jo said...

Those photos are wonderful. Daughter has inherited Papa's good eye for photography.

I hope she is having a fabulous time in Oz.

Owen said...

Hi Jo, she is, she is, and we are sitting back at home just drooling every time she gets in touch to tell us what she's doing. Thanks to Skype we chat for free every couple of days... which also amazes me. (dinosaur that I am)

Hi Denise, you're very welcome, your blog makes my feet itch though... those mountains have a powerful magnet in them I think...

Catherine, hi, I think all old tractors need some TLC ! Just like the old geezers that drive them or like me (and now my daughter) photograph them...

Hi Anya, thanks for stopping by here, and leaving a cat print... love all your cat shots, many of them are close to purrfect... feel free to leave a "meow" here any time !

GG, absolutely, only the most thoughtful of daughters would a send a rusty tractor to her dad... best wishes for strength and fortitude in dealing with ordeals...

Alberto, many thanks for you kind words of wisdom... indeed, we all need love, and children most of all...

Hey David, thank you !

Salut Jeff, reviens quand tu peux, aucun souci... toujours un plaisir d'avoir tes fabuleux commentaires parfois juste un chouillard déjonctés... un plaisir quoi ! On ne sait jamais ce que tu vas sortir de ton chapeau ! (Autre que tu sais quoi !!!)

Dear Watercats, hhmmmm, the red one huh... I wonder if we could develop a psychological testing tool based on which tracter picture people choose as their favorit ??? There must be something profound there ! Anyway, THANKS, always love to see those wet kitty prints you leave in various comment boxes around the blogosphere, including this one ! An honour to have your company ! Hope we'll get to jam someday for even just a little while... hmmm, I hear Ryan Air has cheap flights from Beauvais to Cork or some such???

Hi Margaret, I'm a lucky Papa, that's for sure... she's been working hard at figuring out how to take pictures, am trying to point the way and give her a push to get her rolling...like the bicycle...

Mundo, hi, thanks for dropping by, wish my spanish or portugese was better... sorry for that. Love the cat in your header !

Owen said...

Lynne, ahhh, I can see you're a little torn between the two... it's ok, you're allowed to have as many favorites as you like ! :-D

Hi Nat, you are most welcome of course, always a pleasure to link to your place... and yes, we are lucky! Yeah, could be a problem getting out there and then not wanting to come home... but you managed to tear yourself away finally, so maybe there's hope ?

Hey Bill, I am starting to suspect that more things are genetic than we realize... hmm, we too drove a tractor around at our Grandparents' place when we were little, did that pre-dispose me to like old tractors ? Could well be.

Japy, many thanks for dropping in here... beautiful mountain shots you did there !

Steve, Congrats again ! Hmmm, dinosaur tractors, yeah, can just about imagine a Stegosaurus sitting on the seat of the red one... and looking around with his beady reptilian eyes for small mammals to snack on...

AB, I think rust makes alot of things look better...like that old CocaCola advert : Everything goes better with rust !

Swan, that is really sweet of you, I find romance easily in ancient tractors or abandoned houses... glad you're enjoying... I was reading more of your story today, btw... thanks !

Buskitten said...

Yes, Mimi certainly has her father's eye for detail! What a lovely letter Owen, and yes, haven't times changed? We were lucky to get a seaside trip, or the odd trip to see a play....wow, Austrailia! How lovely for her (she has a great name too!)

Mylene said...

I love Australia, you can get amazing photos! This tractors are lovely!!!

Owen said...

Hi Mylene ! Welcome, the more the merrier, glad you liked the tractors from Oz... tried clicking your link, but can't see your profile ? Do you have blog ? Anyway, whatever, thanks for stopping in to my humble abode here... :-D

Hey Liz ! She's a lucky gull, for sure, flying all over ! While her Mom and Pop stay home... something not right there, eh ? Hope all is well in Scotland ! Did Tiddles come home from the beach finally ???

ladydi said...

Mimi has inherited her papa's wandering foot - how wonderful for her to have this opportunity to travel. There certainly is something appealing about Australia. Two of my favorite bloggers are there. (How funny that she also inherited her Papa's taste in rusty objects, the bigger the better :})

Arnaud said...

Owen,
Congrats to your daughter. I hope I'll write such a beautiful letter about mine, in few years... I can't imagine her leaving for Australia in 5 years ... She's so young ! :-)
In any case, you touched my heart with this letter. Enjoy tomorrow's meeting ! ;-)

Loulou said...

Owen, this is adorable, touchy and certainly so... unique to receive such images from your own daughter!
CONGRATS TO HER when she reads this...

See you soon
Loulou

The Sagittarian said...

Sorry for being late to the party, my PC spat the dummy at home so am doing this at work...what a chip of the ol' block (blog?) your daughter is eh? Isn't it great what school kids get to do these days, a trip half way around the globe! Wonderful! In my day we just looked forward to getting free milk that hadn't been left in teh sun all morning!!

Jilly said...

Just love these tractor photographs. Well done to Mini. Like father, like daughter in terms of talent, I see.

I so agree with you about Nathalie's blog. She has long been an inspiration to me and her recognition as Blog of Note was so well deserved.

Sar@h said...

Wouah !
Congratulations !

Passé un paragraphe, mon esprit a du mal à se concentrer sur l'anglais. J'aime beaucoup les roues arrières en métal. Très ingénieux, sûrement pas confortables.

Bon séjour australien à votre fille. Mon petit est parisien, le temps des oraux … Réaction : "Tu sais quoi, j'ai voulu aller à la piscine près de l'hôtel, elle fermait à 17 heures ! Tu parles d'une ville !" C'est sûr quand on est habitué à aller se baigner quelque soit l'heure …

Les marées sont hautes le soir … alors ce n'est que du bonheur ! Un peu de non air breton …