Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Photography as a Hobby by Margaret Mendel

Hello and welcome to the Focused on Story Blog! I'm taking a break from blogging, so I have chosen a very popular post from way back in 2013. I hosted a series called Hobby Hoedown featuring guest authors. The following blog post is by talented author Margaret Mendel about her hobby, photography. Please enjoy taking a break in your day with this delightful guest post. 

Focused on Story Blog

Welcome author Margaret Mendel to the Hobby Hoedown!  Margaret shares her hobby of photography and stories about the photos she captured with her camera. 

Photography As A Hobby by Margaret Mendel

Writing is my first love though photography comes in a close second.

I discovered photography after graduating from high school when a friend told me I could order a Pentax camera directly from the factory in Japan.

I saved my hard-earned dollars working as a power sewing machine operator, sent a money order to Japan and waited. When the camera arrived I thought it was the most exotic thing I had ever seen. It was a heavy, black 35mm film camera. There was no digital back then.

Margaret's mother
This is a photo I took of my mother many years ago with my Pentax. And here is an excerpt from a memoir I wrote sometime later:
            “From this hiding place, my sister and I spied on Mom as she hung the wash or picked the dead leaves from her dahlias. A thin woman, Mom always looked as though she carried a load equal to her own weight in her arms, either the laundry, one of our two younger sisters, or the bushels of vegetables she dragged in from the garden for canning. She worked like an ant, always dragging, lifting or pushing something. 
            The dahlias were a different matter. To tend them she would actually tiptoe into her garden. My sister thought she did this to be quiet, but Mom said she did it to keep from packing down the soil. I saw Mom lift a blossom slowly once, cupping the giant flower in both hands, as though she was looking into a face.  She smiled, and I thought she intended to kiss the bloom. A couple of times I saw her talking to her flowers. My sister didn’t see this and said that Mom wouldn’t talk to flowers. My sister may have been right Mom did not have time to spend talking to flowers. She hardly had time to talk to us girls.”

Some years later my Pentax was stolen. I was heartbroken. There were not enough funds to replace it. Life took some interesting turns around that time with a marriage that fell apart, raising my son on my own, going back to college, and photography became a low priority.

Eventually, I scraped together enough money and got a new camera, a Minolta. Once again, I was off and running, clicking the shutter every chance I got.

Over the years I’ve upgraded my camera. Now I use a Nikon 7000, and like my laptop, it goes with me just about everywhere. Photography has taught me a great deal, but unlike writing, where a story builds scene by scene, a camera captures with one click of the shutter an image that capsulizes an emotion, a moment in time, or a dramatic scene that tells volumes without the use of words.

Margaret's grandson, Devon
Here is a photograph of Devon, my grandson. He and I take walks exploring NYC. This is an excerpt from a blog post on my website about one of our adventures:

“It was a windy day and several blocks before reaching the bookstore we encountered a huge dragonfly. The poor thing was having a terrible time in the wind and was being banged into the window of a drugstore. Then when it tried again to fly, the wind thrust it down to the ground where its wings and tail shimmied in what must have felt like a gale-force-wind to this fragile creature. Devon reached down, offered the bedraggled insect a finger. The dragonfly climbed on board and held on for dear life. “Do they bite?” Devon asked after the dragonfly was fully attached to his finger.”

Photo of New York City by Margaret Mende

I live in NYC and there is no end to photographic opportunities in this city. I don’t have to go far, because even sitting on my terrace; either looking down at the activity on the street or gazing out onto the water towers across the way, the view presents an unlimited chance to click the shutter and grab a photograph.   
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About Margaret:

Margaret Mendel lives in New York City and is a past board member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, NYC. She has an MFA in creative writing from Sarah Lawrence. Many of her short stories have appeared in literary journals and anthologies. For more than twenty years, she worked in the mental health field, though now she devotes herself to writing full time. She is an avid photographer and not only drags a laptop but a Nikon D7000 camera wherever she goes. 

Click here for Margaret's Facebook Page
Read more about Margaret on her blog at Pushing Time
Take some time to peruse Margaret's photos on her Flickr site

Do you enjoy taking photos? I sure do. Please leave a comment below. 

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Great role models to inspire girls to DREAM BIG!
Girls Succeed! Stories Behind the Careers of Successful Women 
was chosen as Book of the Week at the HERstory blog.

Katie Cox from HERstory said in an email--"We loved having your book as Book of the Week (left it up for two weeks actually because we loved the message and wanted to lead some people to it specifically."

Click here to download this interactive eBook with Study Guide 
at your favorite digital bookseller.
# # # #


Susan Bernhardt said...

Such a wonderful post (and author)!!

Margaret, I love your photography and your writing.

Computer Tutor said...

Interesting article, JQ. I can see why it's one of your most popular.

Helena Fairfax said...

I remember this post from when it first came out, JQ. Great to revisit it again. Margaret's photos are stunning, and I loved the excerpt about her mum.

Juneta key said...

It is an excellent post. Enjoyed reading and the photos.

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks for visiting, Susan.

J.Q. Rose said...

Yes, you've been hanging around this blog for a long time, Helena! LOL Thanks for being such a faithful subscriber and friend.

J.Q. Rose said...

The photos are fabulous. Glad you enjoyed the post!

J.Q. Rose said...

Thanks for visiting Jacqui and leaving a comment.

rado said...

Nice photos are relay nice.

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