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Here In Oakland

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Under here.

July 2, 2012

Making Progress
Monday. To bed reasonably early last night, but futzing with the Kindle, downloading an issue of The New Yorker and then reading an article or two, delaying getting to sleep until after ten. Still, not bad, up with the alarm (we're still wondering if a new mattress might not make the sleeping better) and off to breakfast, the streets and parking close to deserted this third day of a five day weekend. Overcast, of course, but cool without being cold, the day ahead.

You said you'd check out the local county fairs.

I said that and then immediately forgot about it. But I'll do it. The idea I'd go, well, seems unlikely, but we're still open to something different. The idea of something different. Here in virtual Oakland.

Checked the fairs: Marin and Alameda; Marin is open today, Alameda tomorrow. I've been calling this a four day weekend, but obviously, to anyone paying attention, it's a five. Except there really isn't something called a five day weekend. Until maybe now.

More lack of attention on my part, automatically, without thinking, calling it a four day weekend (and writing it here, I'm sure, although I'm not willing to go back, find the error and make amends), but we're by now well into sloppy thinking and attention, no need to apologize or explain. Getting old. Something I rarely mention.

Later. A two hour nap, defining a nap as a period where I lie down and fuzz in and out of consciousness; not quite sleep, but then again, not quite awake. Up and then a walk over to the morning café for lunch (strawberry ice cream and coffee - don't laugh, it's not the best diet, but what the hell, I'm two pounds under my target weight with or without vegetables) taking a picture of two flowers I happened to notice in passing, one along the lake, one along Grand sitting out by itself in a large sidewalk pot.

Everybody photographs flowers, even those of us who don't photograph flowers, nothing to explain, but they are, of course, hard to differentiate once you've shot more than a few. There are photographers running on flower bents and there's (from my standpoint) an extra measure of obsession required for flowers in that as it's hard to create something different once you've done all various ways you can shoot: color, backgrounds, focus, viewing angles and such.

Of course, in thinking about it as I'm writing, the same can be said for people who's bent is candid portraits. In many ways all my photographs look the same and I've occasionally admitted I's essentially shooting the same photograph over and over. How many different “far away eyes” can you find? How many different stances, costumes, tilts of the head? Maybe every “bent” is ultimately the same, each and every one: flower photographers, news photographers and street photographers, all understanding the narrowness of their obsession, but also understanding that for them, the possibilities and excitement are actually endless.

Still, that said, the two photographs were better than some I've shot in a while, not that I've ever shot any that are particularly exceptional. A little cropping, a little more cropping, a willingness to take the time to experiment and it comes together.

Anyway, a nap, then a walk and we're now into the late afternoon. I'd like to get in a long session on the guitar, not so much to make up for time lost, I've spent quite a bit of time practicing so far this week, but to get this new, more complicated riff down cold, before Thursday's lesson. Occasionally we grit our teeth and deliver, and this week is a week we deliver. Hup! Hell, two hups. (they're small).

Evening. I've been successfully avoiding things all afternoon, all the things I usually avoid on any given day, but otherwise the time has gone well. Nothing on television, at least on the limited choice in stations and programs I've allowed myself (might have to do something about). More time on the guitar, more to go, so we're still making progress.

The photo up top was taken at Justin Herman Plaza last month with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 Nikkor VR lens.