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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


July 4, 2015

The Tablet

Saturday. Overcast, sparse traffic on the roads driving to breakfast this morning of the 4th, the parking meters happily not in force. To bed last night at nine-thirty, awakening again thirty minutes before the alarm was due to sound and so a good night's rest. One would think. Hope.

Not sure what the day may hold. The farmers market was setting up across from the theater as I drove to breakfast, there's a holiday oriented something or other going on in Jack London Square. It's over in the late afternoon, no fireworks display as they once managed long ago in the past. Oakland has been scrambling for money since the financial crisis and fireworks was one of the first things to get the ax.

San Francisco?

They always have a show, but, you know, they hold it after dark. We don't get out much anymore after dark, what with all the bogey-men about.

Later. Good night's sleep last night or not, we seem to be tired this morning and so spent most of it lying down listening to the radio in between attempts to sleep. No sleep, but long sessions fogging out along the edges, whatever counts as “the edges” of sleep.

Out the door later? Hard to say, right now; still tired, but we'll know by the next paragraph.

Later still. I did lie down again, still tired, when I realized I hadn't checked the blood pressure in a very long time, something that's proven to be the problem in the past. Eighty-nine over sixty-seven, too low, more than low enough to cause the “tired” feeling. Went up a few points after standing up for a while, but a walk then over to the lake to see where the music that I'd been hearing was coming from and to see if the walk hadn't increased the blood pressure when I got back.

They'd set up a D.J. sound system at the pergola and there were people beginning to assemble on blankets on the lawn and so I took a few minutes to sit and listen before returning to the apartment. One-hundred over sixty-nine, better, but not enough, particularly just after having walked up a hill on the way home. So we'll watch it, start taking the blood pressure med at six in the evenings again, instead of the mornings. If it's going to knock you out, let it knock you out when you're trying to get to sleep for the night. This could be called success, the lower pressure, maybe we'll be able to get rid of the med altogether.

Evening. A walk in the mid-afternoon again over to the lake taking one of the older digital cameras with a lens that can be extended to an equivalent of 300mm, all in a small package to photograph the crowd that had continued to grow. Decent pictures, but they don't compare with the newer technology and its larger image areas and higher ISO's.

Not quite as many people as I was expecting, not sure who put it together, but everyone was pretty laid back and having fun. So photographs. Snapshots. We didn't put any real energy in it. A bit tired, you understand.

And lazy.

And lazy. I listened to a radio interview yesterday with a woman war photographer who answered another woman caller's question: what does it take, what do you have to do, what do you have to learn to become a photographer?

Her answer: you need to have a passion to tell stories through pictures. The passion will kindle the drive, will force you to learn the technique, will make you spend the time and energy required to create those pictures and a lifetime of taking them. All this “decisive moment”, third eye “seeing” crap you hear will fall into perspective, fall into line through that passion.

I've taken photography further than some, but I don't have the passion that takes it so many steps further, I don't have the drive (and it isn't only because of age, although age is a factor) to take it to the next levels. Which is fine, actually. If it weren't, then I'd change, take it wherever it led (and watch less television).

Speaking of which, there doesn't appear to be anything on television tonight. Maybe get to bed early and search out something to watch on the tablet.

The photo up top was taken at the San Francisco 2015 LGBT Pride Parade in San Francisco with a Nikon D4s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 VR II Nikkor lens.