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A building near Lake Merritt in Oakland.

May 25th, 2003

Me Oh My
Yesterday was an all day dizzy day, today is straight arrow. Got up early, drove downtown, parked near BART, rode to 24th Street in San Francisco, walked to 24th and Bryant – the forming area for the San Francisco Carnaval parade – and started shooting. Four hours of shooting – move, shoot, move, shoot – carting the cameras, an extra lens, two strobes and twenty rolls of film. I wondered, in that last long hour, should I look at one of those swell shoulder strap - waist belt helium balloon camera bags that look so dorky, but oh so comfortable? The weather was overcast, a slight mist getting off BART in San Francisco, which is excellent for shooting. None of this bright nasty contrasty stuff that requires skill and stamina.

And I am tired. Muscle tired, feet tired, yawning tired, but not particularly dizzy. The ears are popping, but the floor is firm. Need to keep walking to work, I guess, walk ever more never less, exhort myself here ("hup! hup! hup!"), start an upper body exercise program, except the doctors would have to say "do or die" before I would. But I would. If they should. (Too much "do or die" recently. Whatever happened to play and lay on a long summer day? Tequila mornings? Margarita afternoons?)

It is good that tomorrow is not a work day. It may even be good that Oakland is not having its Carnaval parade tomorrow, although I most certainly would have photographed it. Carnaval and Gay Pride have been great sources of pictures, be a shame to miss either one. I was thinking today, though, as I was shooting, shooting primarily women's faces, maybe I should just go with this studio portrait thing and see where it leads. Make every weekend a Carnaval.

I would not have guessed it would lead to this, say, three years ago. I've talked with people at the office and a number of them have volunteered to be photographed (with their spouses, kids and pets) and I'm thinking there are probably enough willing people around to give it a try. I'd still be looking for the same "look and feel" as the images you see on ArtandLife, but creating those images, the circumstances and the skills needed to create those images, would be quite different. I'm not sure I can do it, that I'll have the enthusiasm required, but not sure means I need to try. Me oh my.

The photograph was taken of a building overlooking Lake Merritt in Oakland.