(You Say You Want a) Resolution

Kwik Shoppe, Shoemakersville, PA from January 2014Kwik Shoppe, Shoemakersville, PA from January 2014

At the top of this year, as we do every year, we talked about the things we wanted to see and do in the next twelve months. The Big Picture. I suppose we’re no different from anybody else, and probably no different in this respect to anybody else in the results department: by February, the cares of life have worn us down to the point where we have completely forgotten any pending Resolutions, and by December we’re left wondering where the year has gone. And the Resolution starts over. Which begs the question, has anyone ever successfully followed through on a New Year’s Resolution?

Don’t answer that. I’d hate to think I’m the only one.

My favorite Resolution is the resolution of the sensor on my K-5. One of the things that I often try to do when I’m on a sign shoot is to haul out the longest lens I’ve got and take a few close-ups, put that Resolution to its fullest. Sometimes these are the most interesting shots I take. And it brought up an interesting thought come Resolution time. We focus in on such large things at New Year’s, the losing twenty pounds or finally finishing that novel or whatever it happens to be, and it does us a disservice. We can’t do it all in one sitting, and the Resolution fails us. The reality is, to make these changes, it takes much more, many small changes that change attitudes and lifestyles. Maybe the thing to do is to focus in on these small things.

Wright's Dairy-Rite, Staunton, VA from November 2013Wright’s Dairy-Rite, Staunton, VA from November 2013

Some of these shots, like the one above, capture a lot of the image, but what sets this one apart is the eyes, nose and arms of the chef holding the sign up. Some, like the one below from Won-Lee in Deland, Florida, distort the image completely, turning it into something completely different:

Won Lee Restaurant, Deland, FL, from November 2013Won Lee Restaurant, Deland, FL, from November 2013

In this, the bulbs of the cockeyed arrow are in reality one of the only straight lines.

Community Restaurant, Cortland, NY from October 2013Community Restaurant, Cortland, NY from October 2013

Sometimes I go far enough in to focus one thing that you never see what the full sign looks like, but again, it’s something new all in itself. In the case of this shot from the Community Restaurant in Cortland, the shadows of the bare branches from the trees that shade the sign are prominent and fascinating. These were by far my favorite shots of the day, shooting at 300mm from about twenty yards.

Sea Mist Apartments, Wildwood, NJ from October 2014Sea Mist Apartments, Wildwood, NJ from October 2014

If I have a Resolution this year, it’s to take more shots during the winter, when I’m usually hibernating, and to blog more (check). On top of that, I can’t forget to get more of these close-ups, because they have a wonderful transcendent quality to them. This year promises to have a few more road trips, including one to my old homestead of Chattanooga. Here’s to 2015 and the little things!

2 thoughts on “(You Say You Want a) Resolution”

  1. Hi,

    I have just been reading your post from bk in 2013. I stumbled upon it as I was trying to find out where my recently purchased vintage dress came from! The label states Bea Butlers, PA! Like you I can not find out any further information about the store. Which is rather sad.

    I should also point out that the dress turned up at a. I rage fair in Newcastle Upon Tune, UK! I would love to know how it got here from Pennsylvania…I bet it has a few stories to tell!

    1. That is the coolest thing I’ve heard all day!

      So Bea Butler’s, if I didn’t mention it earlier, is in my wife’s home town of Danville, PA. I’m not sure exactly when it closed down, but the latest news is the Mill Street building where it used to be has sold and is going to be converted into a restaurant, so I imagine the sign will not be there much longer.

      This afternoon, my wife called her mother to see if she had any recollections of this place, and as it turns out, she did. She said it was a very nice shop and they always had good stuff, and she’s pretty sure that she bought the dress she wore to her sister’s wedding there! If so, Bea Butler’s most likely would have been active into the 90s.

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