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Inching along

I used to do a fair amount of macro photography. I have always had a fascination with lenses and magnification, and for a long time I dabbled in close up work.

I saw this critter inching along (inchworm?), and decided to give it a try.

I think it came out OK.






We have a lot of wild Turkeys around here, and I don’t mean just because it is Berkeley.


Often, you can be driving down the road, and traffic will be stopped while a flock of Turkeys try to figure it out.

I was once showing my client Tom a condominium, and this large Tom was walking around the parking lot. Generally, these guys kind of scrawny are generally pretty unappetizing looking, but as I approached, he must have needed to let me know who was boss. He puffed up like you would blow air into a rubber glove, and started strutting his stuff.

Condo Tom

Copyright 2015  Jimmy Reina


Speaking of Turkeys, have you been to the United States Postal Service website lately?


I regularly use the mail to remind my Real Estate clients that I am still out there trying to make a living. Sometimes, a piece of mail comes back because of an incorrect Zip Code,

so I need to refer to the USPS website (!input.action) in order to correct my database.

As expected it asks you to type in the street address, City and State, and the last field is for the ZIP CODE!

Zip codes


Wait a minute. I thought I was using this reference because the Zip Code was the one piece of information I didn’t have.


It gets better.


I was recently selling some stuff on eBay, and had to calculate some shipping.

I tried to use Flat Rate packaging whenever possible, but sometimes a special box size has to be calculated, so you go to the calculator (, and there is an image of packaging options-


Apparently, there is a packaging guideline for shipping tires.

Between my eBay stuff, and my end of year business mailings, I have probably stood in that line ten times in the last few months, but have yet to see someone holding a tire.

Did you move to Chicago, and your Dad sent you some snow tires because he wanted to help?

Is there a tire dealer that uses the Postal Service to send their product?

Think about the unfortunate mail carrier that has to make that delivery.

And what then?

Your tire has been delivered, and you are standing in your living room with it, what do you do now? Putting a tire on a rim requires some specialized equipment, so do you go to your local tire center or service station, and ask them to install a tire you just bought from somebody else?

How many Forever Stamps do you stick on a tire?


But wait, there’s more.

If you are not mailing tires, at item 4. they want to know what you are mailing.

The first question asks if you are mailing live animals, the second wants to know if it is live or day old poultry.

Live animals


Does this mean that if I could have captured that Tom Turkey on that parking lot, I could have mailed it to someone for their Thanksgiving dinner?

For this, I would need their Zip Code.




Jack O Lantern

There is something about that little bit of theater when you see people in costumes-they are willing to have a little fun, and we (the observer gets a slight suspension of reality when we are standing behind someone dressed as a hamburger while in line at the bank.


And what better day to be a kid!

I don’t think I am being nostalgic when I say Halloween ain’t what it used to be. Everybody knows you need darkness for the spooks and hobgoblins, but modern parents are so freaked out, they take the kids out at dusk-where’s the spookiness in that?

We used to take a lot of effort to make out own costumes. I was always a hobo, so my mother sewed patches on some old clothes, and drew a beard on my face with a cork that she charred on the stove burner. The popular image of a hobo was that he carried his worldly possessions bundled up in a fabric ball that was tied to the end of a stick, so I stuffed a towel with newspapers, and tied it to the end of a piece of broomstick. It was also a good place to hide my cigarettes from my parents.

Now every costume and every decoration is just a product, every house has the same sparkly skulls, and the same tombstones.

Does anybody have a curmudgeon costume I can borrow?



Skeletons I have known-


Copyright 2015  Jimmy Reina

Skeleton with Flag

Copyright 2015 Jimmy Reina

Skeleton with Bomb





I just read the text by Liese Ricketts  accompanying her photo essay about this same subject.

She says it better than I do-

At Halloween, we dressed up in homemade outfits and walked around the neighborhood collecting candy and pennies in old brown paper bags. We just didn’t talk to strangers. …………..Grownups have hijacked Halloween, decorating their modest homes with the stuff of nightmares. For about a week before the holiday, I walk around and find, not the innocuous black cat or smiley witch of old, but tended lawns transformed into scenes of vicious savagery, toxic violence, and wanton gore. Police patrol the streets and set the curfew for 7 pm.



There was a “dead” period where I didn’t even carry my camera. For awhile, I was taking tons of pictures of my growing child, but very few images of anything I wanted to display, to put my name on. I didn’t need my Nikkormat for that, and it was too heavy to schlep around, so I gave it to the local high school photo class.


Around 2006-07, I bought my daughter a compact digital camera, and for a few years, it was what I used to record our Kodak moments.


At the end of 2009, I had a reason to get out and take some photos that for a specific purpose. For a couple of years previous, my company had been commissioning a photographer to shoot local points of interest for a desk calendar that we then sent to our clients.

I know, that is all the world needs is another cheesy real estate agent calendar with a Hallmark Card landscape on it.

Fortunately, our marketing director had very good taste, and carefully chose both her photographers and the image used on the calendar.


But I didn’t think the 2010 calendar images lived up to the previous years, so I asked if I could use my own pics instead. Along with permission, I got a two week deadline to provide 13 images. There were only two small problems, I had nothing to offer, and I am not a prolific shooter-I normally don’t make 13 satisfactory images in a year.


But I did it.

I wanted to stay in the spirit of the “House” calendar, and I wanted it to be personal, so I decided to shoot East Bay landmarks that I cared about, or that I had found visually interesting. I carried that little camera everywhere, and because I had a goal, I shot more images that I had shot in years.

I narrowed it down to 13, and published this calendar. Doing so reignited my interest in photography, and I have been slowly crawling out of the mud ever since.

2010 calendar