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Under Construction
Today's San Francisco Carnaval Parade

May 30th, 2004

Bitch, Moan
I was obviously up for the San Francisco Carnaval parade: up at 6:45, on BART at 8:10, on site at 8:30, shooting from 8:30 through noon. About three hours of shooting and half an hour for breakfast at a hole in the wall restaurant where I always eat breakfast on Carnaval day. I have no idea if the short order cook/owner behind the counter remembers me now after these four or five visits: I'm the guy who comes in on this one Carnaval day every year with the exotic cameras acting tired, hungry and thirsty; he's the guy who nods his head and cooks breakfast - really good Salsa, by the way, as good as I've had - everyone in the place speaking Spanish with no apparent interest in the parade that's been forming up for the entire morning sixty feet from the door.

I was tired, of course, but muscle tired after it was over rather than foggy headed sleepy tired before it had begun. I had a little talk with myself as I was walking toward BART going home. Would I be willing to work out (for upper body strength, I walk enough as it is) to build my stamina to the point I could contemplate shooting for, say, five hours straight instead of three? Nah. No way. A thought, though: an ambitious thought I thought as I was dragging my ass back to Oakland.

I shot film, five or six rolls, most of it color and a total of 53 shots with the digital. I've shot as many as sixteen rolls at Carnavals in the past. I don't think I'll bring the digital tomorrow. I'm going to do my homework on this digital camera I've bought to see if the color I'm getting is the color I'm supposed to be getting (I suspect it is) and if it is, how I'm going to use it in the future. Without a need for immediate images it doesn't seem to make sense to me to use it to replace film. I like the digital work flow, it's clearly the future, but I want full blown lots of pixel images with good saturation and that's not what the D2h seems to produce.

It shoots like an F5, pretty much as fast as you can push the button, 8 frames a second, no delay, bang! bang! You occasionally check the LED display on the back to see if you're getting something, more often to look at the image's histogram than the image itself. You don't turn it on like a movie camera and then push the button when you see the image you want. You push a button to see what you've just shot. I'm just not satisfied yet with the output. Or, and I suspect this is closer to the truth, I've not yet got my head around the output: the softer less saturated tones you get with a higher ISO, the fairly severe color corrections you have to make in Photoshop working with an image.

You've got about two readers who care about this, you know.

Yeah, but I'm one of them.

Tomorrow, I guess, is the Carijama Festival downtown in front of City Hall. At least I think it's downtown tomorrow in front of City Hall. Still nothing on the Oakland Tribune or Chronicle web sites in either of their Event sections. (Bitch, moan.)

You've had the thought it's in there somewhere, but you haven't been able to find it because you haven't looked hard enough or because you're getting senile. Everyone else finds it in a second because they know where to look.

Bitch, moan.

The photograph was taken today at the San Francisco Carnaval parade with a Nikon D2h mounted with a 28 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor lens shooting at ISO 200.