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July 25, 2011

Less Is Better

Monday. I finished the Ginza Bazaar photograph section for artandlife yesterday. Took me enough time, but I was tired after the San Francisco outing and sitting at the computer seemed all I could master. As opposed to sitting and watching television. Probably because there was nothing on television. So a hot bath and to bed, taking my time getting to sleep. Seemed a long time anyway, when I was in the middle of it, the world not dropping away as quickly as you'd like.

Up with the alarm on an overcast morning - they say it will clear later, high sixties, low seventies farther inland - to breakfast and back feeling pretty good. We'll see what follows. I still have this idea things are indeed getting better, the energy returning after much too long an absence, my list of things I'd like to do getting closer to making some small application of effort. I say this without embarrassment. Mostly.

Later. A walk out the door on automatic pilot having gone through various options: the local theater, downtown, Jack London Square, Berkeley, the morning café? None of them of interest. Still, a walk around the local area getting an ice cream cone at the convenience store, a slow amble really, taking in the surroundings. The geese weren't much in evidence, the lake wasn't quite as populated with runners and walkers as it usually is, back now at the apartment, the sun coming through the clouds.

We'll see, we're on auto pilot at the moment, but there are opportunities to do something a little different. I've been thinking of going downtown for a whooping cough vaccination, probably a good idea, might do that later. Something making prints? Just one print that would lead me on to frame it, encouragement to frame others? Might. But I doubt it. Still, the mood good, if laid back, something will come up.

Later still. When I'd arrived at the Ginza Bazaar a little early and discovered the street setup pretty much empty of people I sat on one of the chairs for a bit and looked around. How to find a picture or two now that I had the time to just sit and think about it? The lanterns, of course, colorful if you could isolate them properly and find a way to fill the frame without including a lot of crap. Get closer is always the thought, standard stuff right out of Photography 101.

Sitting then I noticed the line of shadows they cast on the street. How to include both the lanterns and their shadows, again in a way that wasn't too cluttered? I don't think I pulled it off, but I did shoot from a couple of angles to see what I could find.

A similar experiment with the drums. Still, interesting for a photographer, sometimes the mistakes and failures are as interesting in themselves as the ones that work out. Some, probably most, are things shot at angles you've learned to shoot in the past and, although they can work out very well in new ways, they're really cheating a bit. Push to try something new, even when the something new for you is old hat for everyone else. (enough of the hup, hups)

Evening. A walk over to the usual place for a cup of coffee and a lemon something or other out at a table in the shade. A decent walk. A picture or two coming back - stone junkie, how could I not - the camera malfunctioning on three of the shots. I've had this happen before with the 24-70mm lens, not often, but once is more than enough. It will rotate just a smidgen when seated and locked, a thirty-second of an inch, maybe, could it be loose, could it be losing electrical contact?

So I cleaned the lens contacts when I got home after checking the web for instructions. Best to use isopropyl alcohol and avoid dust. Sounds good. Not quite rocket science, but best to be prepared. I tested it shooting this (you may notice I didn't make an effort to move from the desk, economy of motion and all that) and it worked, seemed tight, seemed right. I don't believe I fixed it, but time will tell. It usually does.

Enough effort for a day I'd think, ambling and cleaning lens contacts. I've gotten in some guitar practice, good for me, more now to finish out the evening. I said the attitude was good and the head does indeed feel reasonably tight, although I had some double vision earlier during the walk. Nothing too much, nothing like the usual stuff, but just enough to notice. Didn't last long, didn't get in the way. Which is good. Less is better, here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken in San Francisco Union Square Saturday with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.