It's eleven in the morning as I write, the overcast has broken and the sun is out. It's going to be a good day to go downtown and shoot the Art and Soul Festival, although I'm thinking of going later in the afternoon and early evening when the light is better and I can make use of this vibration reduction feature on the new lens. You don't need vibration reduction when you're shooting at noon at one five hundredth of a second. You need vibration reduction when you're shooting at f 2.8 or f 3.5 hand held at a sixtieth. A two hundred millimeter lens can look like a drunk with a fire hose at one sixtieth of a second. This thing says it will let you shoot stone cold sober. Or something like that. Let's find out.
Later. I packed two cameras and took the bus downtown around three. Although crowded - there are four stages - it wasn't so crowded you couldn't get around comfortably and find a place to sit. I opted for the City Center stage, rather than the larger stage in front of City Hall where Ziggy Marley was playing as I left. The City Center area had a small canvas covered stage set up at one end, a restaurant with tables and umbrellas on one side, a cafe with tables on the other side and something like a hundred comfortable metal chairs lined up in rows out front. Opposite the stage was a large fountain - sculpture thing where people could sit in two tiers around the base. Crowded, but not so crowded you couldn't find a place to sit. And Blues, of course, this was where the local Blues bands played. I recognized half the players and not a small number of listeners (and dancers) in the audience.
So what to say? I shot some pictures, hung around for a while, walked over to PCB to have a turkey, mashed potatoes and peas dinner with a Guinness; walked back to sit in front of the restaurant to have a Becks and listen to the music, getting up now and then to shoot the occasional photograph to justify all the hardware sitting in my lap; shot maybe two rolls of film, got maybe one or two good shots. Not a lot of film, no great visual epiphanies, had no need to turn on the vibration reduction on the new lens, but a good afternoon, the head a little funky, but no thoughts of freaking out whenever I was hemmed in by the crowd, not that I was hemmed in by the crowd.
A couple of guys from The Crucible shooting video asked about the cameras, who was I shooting for, what kind of shooting was I into, so we traded cards. A friendly crowd, but you still want to be careful shooting somebody's girlfriend, whether she's under full sail, decks cleared and ready for action or no. ("Ready for action...." This seems "quaint", somehow. A recollection that grows dimmer with time. Click!