The above is my current collection of sunglasses. I have learned, since moving to Florida, that the most essential part of anyone's wardrobe is a pair of sunglasses. And that is year 'round.
I've lived other sunny places - California, Texas and (surprisingly) Colorado - without owning any and got by. California and Texas because I was a kid and kids are notoriously stupid and in Colorado mostly because I was too cheap to buy prescription sunglasses. But here in Florida, there is no getting away from the necessity,
There is something about the sunlight here that makes it more intense. To be fair, I have blue eyes and the lighter the eye colour (or so I'm told) the more sensitive to light. But it's also the sun reflected off the water and the sand. Yes, I said, the sand. Apparently the sand is made largely from Quartz and quartz is not only reflective, it's also refractive. And moreover, the sand is everywhere! And then there is our lovely clean, no smoggy, air. There is nothing blocking that beautiful sunlight. Put all that together and you bet I wear sunglasses now. Anytime I step outside.
Now that I had my cataract surgery (several years ago) I can buy cheap sunglasses which also means I can have more than one pair and that is awesome. The very first pair I bought for myself after cataract surgery were from the dollar store. They were pink and had tiny black polka dots on them. I adored them and wore them nearly every day. Wore them out in fact. In the way of most dollar store items they didn't last very long.
Around that time Joy bought several pair of sunglasses for herself that she ended up not using. She gave them to me! Woohoo! I still have them. In the line up on the table they are the first two pair (from the bottom up). One pair is black, the other a tortoise shell. I wear the tortoise shell ones the most. They are comfortable, the lenses are very dark and they go with virtually everything I own. I love 'em. Here they are below:
We do occasionally have gloomy days and I learned pretty quickly that the really dark lenses are sometimes too dark to see well in overcast weather, but without sunglasses there is still a glare. Which led me to buy the 3rd pair from the bottom on the table. Bought those at Publix on an overcast day when I had the choice of either squinting against the glare without sunglasses at all or feeling as if I were driving in the dark with them. These much lighter lenses are just enough to knock down the glare, but not too dark. I wear them more often than I anticipated. Glad I have them.
The 4th one up are another pair of dollar store sunglasses. And they are mirrored too so extra snazzy (HAH). I wear those every time I'm doing yard work. If something happens to a pair of dollar store sunglasses, I'm not nearly as devastated as I otherwise might be. And yard work is a messy, dangerous business (especially if I'm involved) As you can see, they are scratched all to heck and back but so far, they are still good enough for their intended purpose. If I wreck 'em.......it's back to the dollar store for me!
The next pair were an experiment that failed. After my cataract surgery I was left with perfect distance vision. I mean PERFECT! But my close up vision stinks necessitating "readers" for anything remotely like reading. These are bifocal sunglasses. Clever concept, but not great for taking pictures. If I wear them I have to tip my head to a bizarre angle to see through the bifocal part to shoot. Not great. And hurts my neck. Probably the bifocal sunglasses would be fine if I was sitting in the courtyard reading a book. If you look carefully at the photo below you can see the bifocal part.
The last pair, well, I honestly don't even know where they came from. They are too small for Tim so they are in my drawer. They would do in a pinch if I had no other sunglasses to wear. I have never worn them. I'm not sure why I have kept them except it is completely against my nature to throw out something that is perfectly fine. Maybe I'll donate them to Good Will.
The only thing about needing sunglasses when I'm outside that continues to be an issue is when I am on a photo safari. I'm outside, so I really should be wearing sunglasses. Yes, I know. But I need readers to see through the camera because it's close up. And therefore I am left with a few options.
I could wear sunglasses until I am ready to take a photo, then switch to my readers, take the photo and then switch back. Which, you know, is reasonable (not). "Hey butterfly, stay right there while I switch glasses!" Nope that doesn't happen.
OR I can try to take the photo without seeing anything through the camera itself. My sunglasses are polarized of course which means I see a black screen and not whatever it is I'm attempting to photograph. That almost never works.
I could just take off the sunglasses and try to shoot with blurry vision. Sometimes that works. Sometimes it doesn't.
Or I could do what I've been doing for a very long time now which is, not wearing sunglasses but a ballcap and hoping that the visor of the cap protects my eyes enough while wearing readers perched either on the end of my nose (so I can look over the top while walking) or popping the reading glass to the top of my hat until I need them. The only problem there is sometimes, they fall off. And when they do Joy and I end up retracing our steps until we find them again. Dang.
Tim has solved the problem for me. My Hero!
He had made for me a pair of non-polarzied reader sunglasses! Woohoo! Problem Solved! In theory I can wear them perched on the end of my nose and look over them while walking or seeking something photo-worthy and then when I'm ready to shoot, one tiny little finger push up and I'm ready to go! Yeehah!
They arrived over the weekend so I haven't had a chance to field test them yet, but this week will be their maiden voyage. I have no doubt that this is the solution I've been waiting for! And I'm excited to try it out !! I am ready to roll. I'll let you know how it works out
Yup, this is me. Some people said, "Sam, you should write a Blog". "Well, there's a thought", I thought to myself. And so here it is.