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Lake Oswego, Oregon

August 1st, 2001

Most of the photographs were slightly overexposed. Most of my black and white photos are always slightly overexposed. Time to stop that.

We drove up to Seattle from Portland on Sunday and took the ferry to Bainbridge Island. Nice weather, the sun shining. My cousin and his family have moved into a condominium down on the beach, just around the corner from a very small town, a junction in the road, really, with an old movie theater, a couple of what were described as decent restaurants and two stores. Maybe there were three stores. I didn't really check them out or take photographs as we were sorta lost and busy looking for their driveway, but they left the impression of being extremely picturesque. A nice kind of picturesque. Not the kind of picturesque you can find here in Oakland.

I spent an hour after work this evening shooting pictures of a blues band playing on an Oakland street near the office. They do this during June, July and August. I notice the bands seem to be older, usually African American, old blues musicians who have been playing the blues since the Revolution. The American Revolution. These are probably rare and valuable performances, out on this small street near the Oakland downtown and maybe one day my pictures will provide a rare and sought after record of their performances. A slightly overexposed and sought after record of their performances. I really do have to stop that. Mr. Overexposure Man. Here in Oakland.

The lens came today for the used Nikon F3 I picked up last week. It snapped right into place and Bainbridge Island, Washington it was nice to play with the beveled barrel and the split focusing screen I remember from earlier days. I think I probably overexposed my black and white back then, too, but I tended to shoot most of the time under the same lighting conditions and I knew without thinking what shutter speed to use and where to set the exposure. This new lens is an f 1.2, faster than hell, and it's fun to set it wide and watch the various elements in the viewfinder come in and go out of focus with the slightest adjustment. I'm still not sure how this experiment is going to work out, this manual versus auto focus-exposure business, but I'm going to shoot a lot of pictures with it over the weekend to see if the clouds part and the angels come forth singing. Another step, yes, but forward? Forward, yes forward. I can feel it.

It's not just another way to spend money on toys. It's another step toward the great art horizon. (Repeat that: "It's not just another way to spend money on toys, it's not just another way to spend money on toys, it's a veritable leap into the great artist's beyond", which is a really swell place that you can find on most any map right next to Disneyland.)

Nine forty-five and tired. Get some sleep tonight. Shoot more pictures tomorrow.

The banner photograph was taken in Lake Oswego, a suburb of Portland. The second photo is of our kind hostess on Bainbridge Island in Washington. The quote is from The Zen Koan, by Miura and Sasaki.