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June 23, 2012

A Tangent Again
Saturday. To bed last night to leaf through a photo magazine that arrived in the afternoon, one story about an exotic digital camera that shoots stills, yes, but at a very high rate of speed, designed to catch an elusive look on a face you'll often miss by a fraction of a second with a still camera, catching it just that one instant after you'd tripped the shutter. The large number of frames taken allows you to go through the sequence, just as you'd go through a video sequence, but each frame is large enough and of a high enough quality to blow up just as you would a still image taken by one of today's better digital cameras. Depressing.


These things are selling in the 15 - 20 thousand dollar range, but given the way the technology improves and the prices come down, they'll be available not all that far in the future for a price I, for one, will probably convince myself I can afford. There's a never ending line of these coming down the pike and there's been, so far, no saying “let me off this train” without coercion or, well, personal effort.

And you don't like effort.

Some effort gives you no choice. Best to make them now rather than later, but everyone says that and then just keeps right on truckin.

Anyway, a bright sunny morning, up at seven without the alarm, off to breakfast and back noting the ten cent drop in gas prices. I'd seen they'd changed yesterday afternoon while at lunch, so it was no surprise. We're in odd financial times, one aspect the anemic world economy causing the demand for oil to drop, but then when haven't we been in odd financial or otherwise times? I suspect there are other shoes yet to drop, all this talk about the European union is more than just their problem and it will one day pretty soon come over the waters and bite the lot of us.

But you digress.

But I digress. There's a support the Lakeview school demonstration scheduled in front of City Hall at noon where they're planning to march to the school for the usual speeches and exhortations, so I suspect I'll be out photographing. Not sure about all that marching part. Hard to avoid, happening as it is here in my own neighborhood.

I wish them well, but you suspect they'll have no effect on our local elected leaders here unless they can actually pull people together at a coming election. You can say that right up the line at all levels of government right up to, well, enough. We started with a digression and now we're into a too well worn sermon heard many, too many, times. It's a Saturday, a day to relax (and take photographs and maybe march in a save the local schools demonstration).

Later. We'll know tomorrow morning how the antics of today will play themselves out because tomorrow morning is the San Francisco Gay Pride Parade and there's no way I'm not going to photograph it.

A bus downtown at eleven-thirty to catch the forming up of the noon hour Lakeview school demonstration and march, just a few people milling around making signs when I arrived. The Fresh Juice Party, the people who've done these in the past, had another chalk mural at the entrance to the plaza and so the shooting started right off the bat.

An hour or so later, the crowd having formed to a fair size, I headed across the street to catch the bus back home before they set out for the school and blocked the road, arriving home in good order to begin downloading the pictures to the computer, pick up a second camera and head out the door again down the hill toward the school. I could hear shouts in the distance. Pretty good timing: they arrived by my street on Grand just as I arrived and I set out shooting as if I'd never stopped. Hup?

Maybe twenty minutes of picture taking following along with the marchers to the school before deciding I'd had enough and headed on down Grand to have lunch (a grilled cheese sandwich, ice cream and a diet Coke), returning to the school in maybe thirty minutes to see they were still at it, a now smaller crowd still blocking Grand out in front of the school as the speeches were winding up. A few more photographs (I was, indeed, tired) and then on home. Tired is the right word. Good, old fashioned, been out running around tired, none of this weird head in a cloud tired that I've been ascribing to old age, sake, prescription drugs and old less than successful operations.

So, as said, we'll see how it goes in the morning after today's running around, the parade starting at ten-thirty (which I will confirm, I no longer trust myself to remember it right) which means I'll need to head out straight from breakfast. Still, an easy enough drive to the station, plenty of parking and getting off BART right where the parade will be forming up. Even if I'm pooped I won't poop out.

Evening. Crappy pictures. Enough to put up three sections, but three sections of crappy pictures. Not sure what happened, maybe I should have used the long lens at the City Hall photographs instead of just those at the school, although both sections of photographs are, well, less than good.

We'll see what they look like tomorrow. I go through these phases. I was asked by three different people downtown who I was and why was I shooting pictures of people. One young couple from Canada (I assume from Canada) was passing out fliers and small cloth patches to support the students who are demonstrating in Ontario against their government's cut back in their colleges, raising fees, who said they'd seen me before and had assumed I was taking pictures for the police. Well, I understand, who knows who the old guy is with the camera, so I mentioned the web sites and gave them a card with their address. The first time I've had people suspicious or, perhaps, brave enough to walk up to me and ask.

You don't like the pictures you got.

I don't know if it's me, the luck of the day, the what, but they're, I don't know, not making me sit up and I'm wondering about the day, the lighting, the photographer, the new camera, by new infatuation with Lightroom and any and everything else. Par for the course. Par, perhaps, for the life.

Footnote for climate change masochists: I stumbled across this today on the web, a very good and straightforward presentation of where we stand today on climate change. As I said, very good and straightforward, but very very depressing when you realize, should what he's saying come to pass (and I hope one or two statements he states as fact do not come to pass). There won't be much left in our world any but the youngsters among us might recognize as we won't be around.

You're off on a tangent again.

The photo up top was taken of the white columned pergola at Lake Merritt with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 300mm f 4.0 Nikkor D lens.