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November 12, 2011

Know Pretty Soon

Saturday. To bed last night reasonably early, to sleep at a decent hour, up this morning at eight instead of six. I guess we were tired. I was tired. I alternate between the editorial we and the personal I without particular scheme or rhyme; you're really not supposed to do that. To breakfast and back, they'd put a reserved sign holding my table, nice of them, but a little embarrassing, home now thinking about a nap.

They gave written notice to the Occupy camp last night to pack up and move as they'd be coming in to clean them out, so I assume whatever shooting I do today will be the last. Maybe a follow-up tomorrow if they move on them this evening to document the aftermath. I'm assuming they pretty much have to give them twenty-four hours notice, they have to give them a reasonable amount of time to pack up and react, but there's no way to tell when it will happen and I'm not going to worry about it. The local politics on this are complicated. I'll go by again at noon, see what's up.

Later. A bus over to the Occupy area at eleven-thirty, the dark grey clouds starting to break with some patches of sun, the Occupy area again having changed its arrangement and shape in the rain overnight, some tents that were here are now there, some tents are no longer there at all, but it didn't look like a place on the verge of the end and people seemed unusually polite. Now at my age, particularly after looking in the mirror, I understand I get more “sirs” than I've ever gotten in the past, but I had half a dozen sirs walking through the camp, greetings and the like. Sounds like trouble. The calm of a tightly wound spring, it shows itself in odd effects.

Anyway some pictures, one younger guy asking me to take a portrait with his two friends. The friends said no way (“are you crazy?”) and got out from in front of the camera to watch. OK, not a problem, I emailed them to him when I got home.

Other than that, not much. This time there were police in evidence along the sides of the encampment, partially a result of the killing late Thursday afternoon, partially to hand out more eviction notices. I'm more hesitant in taking pictures of the police at any event, this one included, than I was with some (but believe me not all) of the people in the encampment. Some few were hanging around drunk or stoned, one or two younger ones a small bottle of whiskey or brandy in their hands, many - those who run the encampment - were active and busy getting things done. You could photograph the area and through you selection of photographs make it look to a viewer any way you might want, there's a bit of everything to support every opinion and prejudice on what this may be about.

So lunch in the City Center, another chicken Caesar crepe, a walk over for a bottle of 91% isopropyl alcohol at Rite Aid to clean the camera and lens electrical contacts later today (I've been having some auto-focus failures that are only fixed by rotating the lens back and forth slightly to regain contact). I'll check again on the web to confirm this antiseptic 91% alcohol is the right stuff, it lists the ingredients as alcohol and purified water, shouldn't be any residue with that, but when it comes to the cameras I find it best to check.

Back home now to take another nap. For all my sleep last night I'm tired. Not tired in the sense of stamina or muscles or any of that, just, I don't know, tired. Run down. Whatever. Which I'm blaming on aging, the all purpose excuse.

Are you worried?

I'm watching.

Evening. I guess tired or not doesn't stop me from producing pictures - taking them, manipulating them, posting them to the web - as I went through the lot of them without crapping out. Too tired to do this I thought, bringing the next image up on the screen. Hmm. A little foreground light, a little less background, a touch more contrast. Next picture please. So good, I guess. Not sure what I'd do it that weren't true. Still much to do, two sections today, but I will finish them in the morning.

We'll see what happens tomorrow, if they closed the camp down this evening, if they're going to do it tomorrow of maybe Monday. Riding downtown on the bus I noticed this small group out on the grass across from the lake off Grand, so I walked by them on the way back. Are you going to be putting up tents? No, they take everything down at night. Made me wonder about shutting the Occupy area down in front of the City Hall. Maybe there's more to this than they or we understand. We'll know pretty soon.

The photograph was taken waiting at the Oakland Occupy Wall Street encampment on November 11th with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24-70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens.