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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


March 23, 2014

Skimp On That
Sunday. And I did get to bed early, not long after nine, and awoke a good thirty minutes after the alarm would have sounded had I set the alarm. It is a Sunday, after all, no parking meters to dodge.

Up, out and back from breakfast, the Oakland Running Festival starting about now, so off to take pictures. How to vary it a bit from past marathons? Try something both the same and a little different, wander into areas I don't usually cover? This thing takes place around the lake and runs through half the city.

Just the downtown area and along Lake Merritt.

Well, yes. There's lots of Oakland I don't see, that the race doesn't cover, that's still the greater part of Oakland, after all. Shouldn't get ahead of ourself, Oakland is more than a café down the way, a bus to the City Center and a strip along Lake Merritt.

Later. A walk down the hill with two cameras, arriving just a minute late to miss photographing the first runner at the 24 mile mark on the Oakland marathon. Got the motorcycle leading him, but missed the shot, fumbling to get the camera up off the shoulder and ready. The shot from the back doesn't count. Ah, well. Kismet.

In going through the pictures I realized they run a marathon, a half marathon and a relay race all in intervals, all of the runners evidently passing through this part of the lake. One of the marshals had said this was the twenty-four mile mark making me think marathon, but why was that first runner and then the second runner so far ahead of the pack? Why didn't they look more tired?

Then, in checking the pictures, I realized the first group were part of the relay race and had clearly not been running for whatever impossible number of miles. Not that I'd look this up on their web site to check, you understand. We'll just keep guessing.

Anyway, many more photographs than I normally shoot in an event, looking for interesting facial expressions on the runners. It's easy with a race to slip into shooting fast. I've always had the feeling you tend to take your eye off your subject, if only a little, make do with clicks while losing control over the photographs.

For all the shooting I still didn't fill up the first card in each of the cameras, although I came close: one with eight hundred photographs and a hundred on the other. I'm guessing these cameras were designed for people who shoot a hundred or so shots before they sit down to breakfast. How do they go through them all with a clear eye?

I'm not at all sure shooting this way is better, at least with my particular kind of shooting, but better to test and then test again (said the old man sitting up there on that mountain).

Bumped into Ms. T and her friend while shooting, nice to see her doing well. Not so nice to see the picture I took was out of focus with crappy contrast, probably the least technically wonderful photograph in today's bunch. No excuses. Won't make the mistake again. He said, scratching his ear with a stern expression.

About two hours of shooting, now to look through the pictures. Which is going to take a while.

Later still. Working with the photographs in Photoshop, the version 6 Photoshop rather than the CC version, without the use of Lightroom. There's a big difference in not having access to Lightroom before moving them into Photoshop, the difference between Photoshop 6 and the CC version doesn't make that much difference. Figured you needed to know that for some reason. Please release the Lightroom upgrade for this new camera. Please.

Evening. More work in Photoshop. Enough photographs for two sections, which you'd think, having taken nine hundred photographs. Learned and relearned a couple of things in the shooting. You really need to use continuous focus for moving subjects, something I've used sparingly in the past because my kind of photography is better without it, but I forgot how to you change the camera setting when I was shooting. Lost one or two shots, no big deal, but frustrating. A mistake for beginners.

Nothing on television. Tried watching what they called a “contemporary” Masterpiece Theater at nine, but bailed well before ten. Got in enough, but barely enough guitar time, don't need to skimp on that again.

The photo up top was taken along Lake Merritt last week with a Nikon D4s mounted with an 24-120mm f/4.0 VR Nikkor lens.