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Under Construction

At a birthday lunch in Oakland.

February 20th, 2003

Ho, Ho
Yesterday was a blur; long hours, home late, early to bed. Today's been similar, but I'm home at a better hour and I'm almost coherent. Almost coherent is fine for writing, I don't fizzle until "almost blotto", "almost blotto" being subjective, you understand, but I know it when I'm there. I'm not there.

They let a number of people go at the office. More senior managers and many longer term lower level employees with eighteen, twenty years of service. I would be curious to know how the percentage of older employees being let go compares to the percentage of older employees in the population remaining. Curious only, you understand, no interest in pursuing it further. Life is too short to start an age discrimination crusade unless it's your thing and my thing it's not. Photographing it, maybe, yes, candids in court, but otherwise don't want to, don't have to, don't even want to write about it for, um, publication. Hmmm. Hadn't really thought of that.

The film of the wedding seems OK. I shot four rolls of color and maybe five rolls of black and white. They will like the color, they will like some of the black and white. My one roll of black and white shot at the San Francisco Chinese New Year parade was also, well, OK. You don't expect more than one or two good shots on a roll. Sometimes you get lucky, but I got my one or two, slightly overexposed, but usable. Make a mental note to back the exposure off another third of a stop when shooting really pale skin against a dark background with a strobe. I've been doing this shooting inside, but now I've screwed it up enough to remember when I'm outside, in the dark, at night, on Market Street in San Francisco. Ho, ho.

Speaking of black and white - and we're always speaking of black and white, now, are we not? - I subscribe to a magazine written for photographers in the darkroom, fairly technical, lots of developer and film tests for the three of us out here who still pay attention. I read a piece last night comparing the old and the new Kodak Tri-X and TMY/TMX films. Kodak moved to new manufacturing facilities last year and I've been using the new version of TMY. The tests showed that Tri-X, the old standard, now has much finer grain than my current TMY-400.

I know this news rocks you off your chair, but I'm going to test some of this new Tri-X and see how it performs. The rule was, back in the old days, Tri-X for grain and contrast, Tri-X for drama, Tri-X for those who would shoot the world in conflict. I've been happy with TMY-400, but who knows? I can process Tri-X as easily as TMY-400 in the bathroom. Might as well try it while it's still being made. That was their comment, of course, the new state of the art production facilities replacing the old, less efficient production facilities, preparing for the day the market is smaller and they need smaller, more efficient capacity to survive. The end of the Age Of Film: Digital is not only coming, it's here. Ho, ho. Oh.

The photograph was taken at a recent birthday lunch in Oakland.