Color photo taken in Germany by Daddy In the neighborhood of Dinklesbuhl, I believe.

My dad was a great photographer – he took pictures of his architectural projects, but also of scenery. When we travelled for whatever reason, the camera (and the fishing pole) were always in the car. Many a stop was made when the light was just right or a fantastic fence, rainbow, mountain goat, flock of sheep, old stone bridge or other beautiful object appeared. Sometimes – usually a fence or a cliff – the shot demanded a person, artfully arranged. Early pictures show my mother, but later it was us, the children who had to sit still on a bit of rough wood or walk ahead down the forest path, stopping just where the light rayed through the trees. Once he made us sit on a park bench with a fat sleeping fellow; he called that picture “blind date” I think. I’ll have to get a scan of it.

Anyway, usually these stops happened when we were hungry – morning or evening light makes the most magical photos. As we waited for the camera to be focused or the sun to come back out, our stomachs would growl. As you can imagine, we complained mightly. But oh, we treasure those pictures now.

This picture was taken on a trip with my parents in Europe. I was dancing in Germany at the time and they met me, saw the last performance of the season, then took me off for a tour. I was with Daddy and he was trying to teach me some of the tricks of photography. The water was dead still; he pointed out how the photo would look better with rings of wave, found a rock and tossed it. Except the toss was misguided and the rings were at the wrong angle! We waited until the water stilled – seemed forever – then he tossed again. This time was perfect and he got his shot.

Some of Daddy’s desire for making it just right must have come down to me…not in photography, but in writing. Struggling with a sentence or with the order of paragraphs, I can really appreciate what he achieved in his pictures. This one hangs over my fireplace and is much loved, both for the picture and for the memory.


  1. Daddy was right. Those ripples really make that photo. Gorgeous!! I’m so glad you have his photos to go with your memories 🙂

  2. Mary Melick says:

    Years ago before the digital era, cameras required film. Either black/white or color, slides or prints. Then there were the lenses – wide angle, telephoto, this mm or that. That meant either a lot of changes or several cameras. Daddy chose the latter and since he could not carry them all, we were each given the responsibility of carrying and caring for “baby”, my father’s name for his camera(s) so he would have the appropriate camera for that perfect shot. I think daddy saw the world through a lens – literally.

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