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August 14, 2009

Unexpected Directions
Thursday. Adobe sends me an email now and again with links to some of their PhotoShop training videos and I look at them and think, well, I should do this, I know too little about PhotoShop for someone who pretends to take photographs. I got an email today, beginner's tricks using CS4, and realized I really should do something. I've had these thoughts before, even purchased a set of training DVD's at no small cost (for CS3, as it happens, some of it still useful maybe in CS4) and, in the past, I've taken online and classroom courses.

This, in conjunction with a series of events requiring me to review some of my earlier photographs taken in the era of film, has made me depressed and thinking I really do have to do something. Remember my ramblings about using the small strobes, learning how to set them up properly to light a room? My take fifty portraits project, all of them different? They're still sitting half complete: thirty portraits, not fifty; five small strobe lights on their stands now that they've been unpacked after the Portland trip. No reason I couldn't, you know, pick up where I left off. Is there? Something to productively occupy my time during retirement? Something I think about with some pleasure, occupying my time, whatever time I have? I could do that. I'm good at saying “I could do that”, am I not?

Breakfast at the usual place: coffee, a waffle, mixed fruit and a piece of cheesecake one of the waitresses brought in this morning from home. I was hungry after just the waffle, so I was appreciative. Cheese cake, not bad. A trip to the gas station and then a swing by the supermarket for cat food, sake, cheese and crackers. It is Friday, after all, and a bit of sake to celebrate is in order, to hell with the cholesterol.

BART has voted to go on strike Monday morning. BART is my access to the city, has been for so long I don't even think in terms of driving except on the occasional weekend when I know where I'm going and there will be parking available. There's a benefit party for Mr. W a week from Saturday in the city that I've been looking forward to as I'll see a number of people I haven't seen for about a million years. I have mutual friends living in various distant places who've asked me to take photographs, they'd like to see them too. Now the BART strike. We'll see. Maybe something out of the ordinary will be required. Nothing as strenuous as, say, learning PhotoShop or putting lights in the right place, but something, right?

So, we've decided?

I've worked my mornings out much to my satisfaction, I steam through them with enthusiasm. Let's start by mapping out a trial afternoon that includes a more formal schedule for learning PhotoShop and using these damned lights. I've told myself I should wait on learning the lights until the announced Pocket Wizard radio slaves become available. That's bull. I more than suspect I don't really need them for my kind of shooting (they are a standard for those who do) or, if it turns I do, it will be revealed later as some now unknown aspect reveals itself while paying my dues. So let's start now. Hup! Hup!

All this sparked by watching a dumb three minute PhotoShop video?

Enlightenment can come from unexpected directions.

The photograph was taken at the 2009 Pistahan festival at Yerba Buena Gardens in San Francisco with a Nikon D3 mounted with an 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at f 2.8 at 1/320th second, ISO 200.