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October 24, 2009

Numb, At Least
Saturday. Back now at eleven after a very large breakfast. What was I thinking? The pork chops were tasteless. Their pork chops have always been tasteless. On a bright sunny Saturday morning, the head half screwed on (this is good, half is good), the day ahead.

Various climate change activities are scheduled all over the Bay Area today with a gathering in front of the Ferry Building in San Francisco at three. I plan to photograph the gathering as I sit here comfortably at the computer, I have no idea what I'll actually do when the time to leave arrives. It's an easy trip on BART, three is a good hour because there are plenty of trains and busses available to take me back. And I can use the photographs. I can always use the photographs.

Yesterday I went through some of the PhotoShop books I've accumulated over the years looking for instructions on how to use some of the techniques the San Francisco retouching teacher demonstrated. Boy howdy are some of these books dense. You don't just turn to page seventy-six and get what it is you're looking for, you need to skip back and forth and up and down and around and about to get it to work. It isn't just point and click. But I'm into this. Once I'm in I follow through. I futzed again yesterday with photographs I've been working on since the class for the third and fourth time. How to make this better, how to balance that. Progress. Maybe I need to write one of these books myself, cut to the chase. Or is that what these authors said when they started out? I suspect.

Later. I've got the tired old man dragging his ass back from the city down pretty good at the moment. Makes for sparkling writing. I did get over to San Francisco and I did photograph two of the events, a bicycle group forming up and then heading out to trace what the new city shore line will be in another decade or so, and the rally that followed, one of fifty-two hundred they said being held today worldwide. And I was tired. And I shot maybe one decent photograph, although I think I taught myself a useful lesson or two. Never sniff at an outing that teaches a useful lesson, even if earned through embarrassment and sloth. Maybe especially if learned through embarrassment and sloth. But I digress.

It's now five in the afternoon and my day is done. Maybe there's something on television, maybe there's not. Either way to bed early, another day to string it together tomorrow. The lungs burn for an hour or so after using the inhaler, particularly if I get out and run around, but I suspect they're getting better. Suspecting is not knowing, of course, but we'll know soon enough. I'm not sure I've had this before, probably not something you want to be going through when you get swine flu and have to crawl into bed. It's the lungs, they say, that get you when you get old. But that's not really what I'm thinking about, I'm thinking a bath and then a look at one of the camera manuals, a thought that occurred today while I was shooting. Opening a camera manual is like turning the world on its head. I'm struck dumb. Numb, at least, here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2009 LovEvolution Parade with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at f 2.8 at 1/200th second, ISO 200.