Monday, July 20, 2015

"Hot enough for you?"

What a silly question!

Unless it's a waitress asking about your cup of coffee.

Or someone fiddling with the shower controls and making adjustments.

Certainly NOT when discussing the weather.

Weather is eternal as this picture taken way back in the 60s will attest.

I was a staff photographer then for the San Diego Union-Tribune daily newspaper.

The paper encouraged its photographers to keep an eye out for feature-type photos that could run with just a caption.

My son is 3rd from the left in this shot taken in our front yard.

Yes, he was upstaged by the boy with the swim mask who had ignored my request that nobody look at the camera. Well, sure, that's the one the editor chose.

A few years earlier, he was in a different type of "hot weather" caption-only shot.

Hot weather, kids, water hoses and tiny inflatable pools were all pretty easy ways to see my photos published in the paper.

Having young children of my own meant "willing" models to capture these chilling moments.

It wasn't just weather shots.

When Chris was 3, he and I toured the San Diego Aerospace museum.

It ran as a long-caption item.

Not really a fleshed-out story, just a look at a boy in wonder, looking over a brief history of aviation.

The availability of exciting pieces of history meant I could move him around in a time warp - from a WWII Flying Tiger aircraft to a Mercury capsule suborbital spaceship like the one that carried John Glenn aloft.

The resulting story inspired some of my fellow photographer at the paper to take a hard look at their relatively idle children.

Hmm, they wondered, what setup could be used so their kid too could appear in print.

I was having a good time and my son enjoyed the new, strange surroundings his dad was showing him.

One joint effort with a fellow parent-with-a-camera was for a pre-Valentine's Day story.

The illustrations were to show his young girl in the role of Cupid, with a rubber-tipped arrow in her bow.

(The actual steel-tipped arrow was added for this shot.)

My son was to carry a large heart-shaped box of chocolates.

As I recall, he got a haircut and a new striped outfit.

In the 3-picture sequence, she sneaks up, shoots the arrow through the candy box, then hugs and tries to kiss his cheek as he squirms out of her grasp,

Sounded pretty simple but it took more than an hour to get the shots we wanted.

Here's the key shot, taken on a cool February day in Balboa Park.

As I said, using our kids in shots was not limited to just the weather.

One of the pictures taken in the Aerospace Museum showed my son giving his impression of the toothy look of a WWII Fighting Tiger airplane.

It was included in an overview full page which heralded that the camera could not laugh.

I still enjoy trying to catch scenes that raise a smile.

Or, even better, a full hearty laugh.

(Click on the photos for more details.)

Thanks for stopping by.

Sitting in front of my computer, with the AC keeping me cool, sure beats going out to take some hot weather shots.

When I show this picture of President Johnson campaigning, I often have to explain who he is.


It WAS a long time ago when I took his picture in San Diego.

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