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February 10, 2008

Afternoon Ahead
Sunday. A really nice morning, the sun bright, the temperature perfect (for a February, of course). What can be done other than to go photograph the Solano Avenue Chinese New Year parade? Two cameras - one with telephoto, one with a normal range - a couple of extra memory cards and off I go, ho-ho-ho. Or is the air making me giddy? Is the head feeling better? Is there a smile on my face? Is god in her heaven? Could be. Anything could be, here in Oakland, clear headed and ready to zoom.

Later. I drove over to Solano Avenue, parked at the base of Solano on San Pablo as I normally would in photographing the Solano Stroll held in the fall, found, turning the corner, that Solano itself had plenty of available parking (there'd been no need to park so far away), walked past the stage where the parade was to finish, walked up Solano thinking this parade would form up where the Stroll parade forms up and found nothing so I stopped and had a cup of coffee to catch my breath. OK. Nice table out on the sidewalk, the day clear, folks walking to and from breakfast at the various P.C. restaurants that dot the street. Civilized, actually. More civilized than I've been accustomed to on a Sunday morning in a very long time. No blame, no complaints, although “P.C. restaurants” is a snotty little remark for someone who says his mood is good.

Walked back down to the stage and had a cup of coffee on the sidewalk across the street thinking I was glad for the walk, two cups of coffee inside me now not counting the one I'd had with breakfast, the trip worthwhile just for the exercise and the high of a clearer than accustomed head. Sitting watching the people prepare the stage it became clear, from the number of young children dressed in red silk Lunar New Year outfits, that this was an event designed primarily for children, at least that's the way it was coming across, and I'd had my coffee, the car was just around the corner, why not just skip this thing and call it a day? I'm not big on photographing children (without their parents specific invitation) as it is. So I'm back home now at the apartment, the day clear, the sun warm and thinking there's a whole afternoon ahead.

The photograph was taken on Solano Avenue today with a Nikon D2X mounted with a 17 - 55mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens at 1/2500th second, f 2.8, ISO 100.