Looking at my entries, this has been a spotty month. Hard to say why. And now it's not looking so hot for the next couple of weeks either. I may have to be out of town over the 4th of July weekend, from next Wednesday to the following Wednesday, actually, but I will try to post from the field. You can tell you're a tired old relic when your reaction to an Asian business trip is "why me?", but it was only decided day before yesterday and it's been a scramble to prepare, not having, for example, a passport. Well, now I have a passport.
The Gay Pride Parade is this Sunday and I'll go early to shoot the Dykes on Bikes contingent. No, I know little about women, of gay ladies still less, and of dykes on bikes in tight leather fripperies nothing at all, but the Gay Pride Parade is a day for playing out fantasies in front of photographers and it makes for good pictures. They conveniently form up just outside of the Embarcadero BART station on 2nd. Last year I was still half swacked after my jaw operation and I screwed up my camera settings and exposures. This is actually fairly difficult to do unless you're really stupid, so I'm suggesting I was in no great shape after the operation, and, you know, I wasn't. But, swollen, weird and balloon face vulnerable out there in the middle of the street or not, I have amends to make.
I remember I lost an entire roll of film in the N90s because I hadn't rewound the film when I opened it.
Yes, things were happening, big chopped Harleys were roaring down the pavement, half the riders were throwing off their clothes, but shit, opening a camera without rewinding the film? This is the move of a hot bring back the photographs dead or alive photographer? This time I'll do better. I received the second Nikon yesterday. I will pack carefully Saturday night and go through my check list: film, camera, lens, batteries, lens cap (take it off), rum drink, shooter's vest, rum drink, camera strap, rum drink.... I've shot thousands of pictures since last year. I'll succeed. Really. Besides, the F5 can be set to rewind itself automatically after the 36th frame. Added insurance in times of rum confusion.
I heard an interesting story at the night photographer's get together last night. One of the photographers was coordinating a photography show earlier this year that involved sending the photographs through his AOL email account as jpeg attachments to a judge for the event. One set kept bouncing back with a "could not deliver" message. I thought, ah, the attached jpegs were too large. Most email systems have a size limit for attachments, two to four megabytes. No, he said, they were around 300K. The thing that made them different was the fact that some of the photographs, not many, but some were nudes and those were the only ones being bounced, so he ran some experiments and only the groups containing nudes in addition to other photographs weren't getting through.
Now I'll say (although I don't feel I have to say) that these were art studies done by one of the female
photographers at night under moonlight. This was a night photographer's class, remember. Still, someone at AOL had to intercept the email and look at each attached picture in order to bounce them. The bits and bytes inside a jpeg image don't shout "Body parts!" unless somebody opens the attachment and looks at it. AOL is evidently checking email and any attachments and bouncing the ones it doesn't like. Which I don't believe, because how could they sift through so many, there have to be millions, which my photographer friend didn't believe either until he'd made a point to test one against another, sending some with nudes, some without, and found that only the nudes didn't get through. Paranoid? Sure. True? I don't know. I don't see how they could physically do it. Anyone out there had a similar experience?
Funny. I mentioned I was thinking of getting more serious about my photography and the last black and white contact sheet I got back this week was quite well exposed. I'd obviously been paying attention. People against bright backgrounds weren't black shadows when I was looking for good skin tones. The content, unfortunately, sucked. Ah, well. Another day tomorrow. Not out of film yet.