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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


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November 8, 2011

Doesn't Seem Right

Tuesday. To bed last night at ten, up this morning with the alarm at five forty-five, off to breakfast and back by eight. Life in the fast lane. Still, feels good, this existence, for all my carping. I finished out the Occupy photographs for artandlife early last night without particular strain so I'm caught up and ready to take on another batch today.

An interesting project, this, the first day of the fifth week since it started. I've missed all of two days in four weeks of coverage. I can live with that. They've run a couple of articles in the local papers about non-press photographers - video photographers - who've documented the encampment, younger guys who've made it a point to be out on the line late at night with the tear gas and rubber bullets. I'm not looking for night time excitement on the Oakland streets (a sentiment I tend to repeat), but it's nice to see others out there doing what's needed.

For all your protestations I think you too would like to be running around in the middle of things with the crowd. Envy is my guess, although you don't want to admit it.

It's the slower response times and reflexes. I had a similar reaction when the army wanted to send me to Vietnam, responses again, I couldn't outrun a bullet. It didn't seem altogether safe over there and, worse yet, they weren't sending me to take pictures.

You had photographer friends who did.

I had photographer friends who were smart enough to avoid becoming an Infantry lieutenant, who went there with Leicas and Nikons rather than foot powder, bullet proof vests and automatic weapons.

Later. No Photoshopping to finish up this morning so I fell back into my routine and set out for walk with a long lens camera along the lake heading to the ATM out on Lakeshore, the nearer of the two ATM's my new bank has in the area. OK. A picture of a female Black-Crested Night Heron standing beside the lake in the same place I've found others, taking the picture carefully to keep it in focus. It's not in focus. Another picture braced against one of the white columns. It too is not in focus, but it's in better focus.

I'm assuming it's not the lens (I need to confirm that), but the shutter speed on the older D2Xs camera. It needs to be up around one five-hundredth of a second. It doesn't have the high ISO capabilities of the newer full frame cameras where you can jack it up to increase the shutter speed. Hmm. The camera or my quivering hand? Open up the aperture to the full f 2.8 instead of the 5.6 I was using and try again? None of this stuff ever stops, there's always something else to tinker with and bicker about.

Later still. A bus downtown to walk around the Occupy encampment a couple of times, the camp pretty quiet, nothing really going on, the place a little tidier maybe with one or two new signs. So I took some pictures and went back home. Such is life.

I have things I've been putting off, checks to write, a health insurance company to select (for next year), my ex-company not renewing mine. They say it's just a matter of switching to one of a number they've listed, but I wonder. There was a little note saying if you had anything really unpleasant the new company might not take you on, so I'd best look into that. I don't yet have anything “really unpleasant”, but I'm probably not one of their cheaper accounts either. Welcome to the material world.

Other than that some guitar, the usual Korean soap (it really is horrible in ways too numerous to mention, but I watch it anyway) and to bed early rather than late. Hup. Hup.

Although I eat pretty regularly throughout the day - the large breakfast, the lighter late lunch/dinner - I haven't been able to generate any interest in any of the foods I once liked. And ate. Too often and too much, mostly. So I'm staying just below one-sixty at the moment, which is good, but again, novel, something completely different. Just noting it in passing.

I don't really obsess over it, we're thin again, after all, but I do think about it now and again, right now because I really haven't eaten very much since breakfast and yet I'm not hungry. The same thing yesterday. And the day before that. Are you a member of the real world if you're not working on a diet, thinking about a diet, actually avoiding pizza, avoiding McDonalds, avoiding bacon, ham and eggs? I'm not sure. Doesn't seem right.

The photograph was taken at the Oakland Occupy Wall Street protest, November 7th with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24-120mm f 4.0 Nikkor VR lens.