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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


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November 6, 2011

Unless It's Not

Sunday. Up this morning at seven-thirty instead of five forty-five because it's Sunday and I can sleep in a little late without having to feed the meters, to breakfast to find the café doors locked. A knock, my waitress letting me inside. Hmm. What's this?

I believe I went all the way through the Chronicle before I figured out Daylight Savings had fallen back last night when I read one of the cartoon strips using it as the subject. Did you remember to set the alarm? Well, no. I knew it was coming in November, but obviously whatever number of things I do during any given day, hearing about Daylight Savings in not one of them. No big deal, but interesting if only in how long it took for me to figure it out.

You might just, you know, go around and change all your clocks. Right now!

That's actually good advice.

Although I spent a fair amount of time practicing last night - good for the guitar - I did manage to stay up until eleven and so got, well, not a great night's sleep. Feel pretty good for all that, but I'm still hopeless and should talk a good deal less about it. A sunny day from the looks of it, another session at the Occupy encampment no doubt, but later, after we've finished up these outstanding artandlife pages that I spent so much time on yesterday morning and night. Fewer (better) photographs, maybe, cut down on the production time.

Later. OK, a smarter man would take the photographs he's taken this afternoon and boil them down to twenty-one, the number we need for a section on artandlife, no more than that. But I probably won't, knowing myself better. A little better.

A bus downtown to walk the Occupy encampment, not much happening that hasn't happened before, no interesting pictures with my first walk around the perimeter. Then an eat right, support the farm workers parade came down Broadway going who knows where, but resulting in one or two pictures. Good. And the gospel singers were quite good, not a very large audience, but very good prepping for what I suspected would be a much larger crowd later when an interfaith sermon was scheduled.

A quick walk over to Peet's to catch a cup of coffee and a ginger cookie before they closed, eating the cookie and getting most of the coffee down before they came out and trundled in the tables and chairs as they were shutting down. OK, another walk over the way to the City Hall area, more pictures, more things going on.

An anti-oil, anti-pipeline gathering of people on the City Hall stairs. Good. Things had started to fall together now pretty well, so a walk to the bus stop, no need to stay any longer, that anti-pipeline, climate crisis group having moved on down to encircle the buildings at 17th and Broadway across from my stop.

I'm doing OK this day, pictures coming to me without effort, almost as if I were in a state of grace. But we were tired. A younger more focused photographer would have blown off the bus for at least another half hour and mingled for more pictures, but I am no longer that younger photographer (if I ever really was).

There were half a dozen other photographers shooting pictures at the encampment, only one looked like he was press, another young woman was working on what I would guess is an interview project of some kind using a digital camera in video mode for her interviews.

I'm curious about them, younger people who've obviously made a decision to create something they have in mind to document this thing. A fellow with a fairly professional looking if well used video camera has been there most of the days I've been there, may even be staying in one of the tents. What will he have in hand when this thing is finished? I'm a bit jealous for their age and ambition if nothing else.

So back now having downloaded the pictures to the computer, some hundred and twenty or so, enough of them good enough to make up that one section. Or two. We'll think about it as we look through them more closely and I've axed my resolve to keep the proliferation in check.

Do you see your series as a project that will one day gain note?

Actually not. It's a project, but not one that will see more than a glimpse of light, not unlike this journal. An edifice of some kind build on the web rather than something wierd in the back yard. Only the neighbors aware of your existence. I'll put them together on the hereinoakland site, I think, once it's been redesigned by Mr. P, who's in the process of a redesign for artandlife. We need to make progress, can't have all these damned photographs buried in a place no one can find them should they want. A not very complimentary comment on my intent, taking them and then losing them at the bottom of a pit.

If I were selling these or promoting them I'd pare them down considerably and display them in a different way, but we're not going to go through that. Too much energy involved, too little ambition to do it, too much sake left to finish in the larder before all is done. I often have the better equipment when I'm out there in the field, but I don't have the brighter spark.

Later still. Well, we played our guitar, we worked to good effect on the artandlife additions, they'll all go up tomorrow morning, and then we made a run to the supermarket because we were hungry and ended up bringing back some sake, cheese and crackers. Not the best of moves, particularly as the sake was on sale and I bought more than my usual two small bottles, but such is life.

Something British on public television's Masterpiece Theater that wasn't too terrible, spies and such, more interesting than the Korean historical thing by about twenty miles, so I watched it until a Daylight Savings adjusted eleven, drank more sake than I should (without going too overboard) and have ended up, well here, writing this. A good day, a good evening and the artandlife stuff caught up (I'm sure) later tomorrow morning. Unless it's not.

The photograph was taken at the Oakland Occupy Wall Street protest, November 5th with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24-70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens.