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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


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October 10, 2011

Hup. Hup.

Monday. OK, up a little later as I didn't set the alarm, to bed last night after eleven as I indeed watched the second half of that soap. The second half because I got lost in an Inspector Lewis episode (which I like at least as well if not better than its predecessor Inspector Morse) on public television, something I wasn't thinking would happen when I turned it on. I'd turned in earlier thinking I could get to sleep, but the sleepiness or tiredness I was experiencing late in the afternoon had evaporated by then and I was wide awake. Go figure.

Still, an overcast morning, a decent breakfast, another Occupy Wall Street demonstration scheduled in Frank Ogawa Square in front of the Oakland City hall later - I'm assuming during the noon hour - so I'll head out and photograph it, this my first. I have no idea where this series of demonstrations will go, but I certainly sympathize with their discontent with the one percent. I have very specific issues that have to do with what they've done to bank and market regulation that brought on the current crisis, something that hasn't been fixed yet, and pretty much admire Paul Krugman's analysis this morning. But you know these things and what I think about them, even though I do try occasionally to put a sock in it.

So fine, the head is reasonably clear and there's a rally to photograph ahead. Given the lateness of the year, anything coming along like this is a gift (and we're into gifts). One would hope the revolution would occur during an off season. Now, however, to get in some time on the guitar before it's time to leave. Should I bring one or two cameras? If one, what lens? Hmm. Fogs the brain now just thinking about it. Two, I would guess, instead of one. To be safe.

Later. Before forgetting I did post the photos taken at the Rockridge Out and About Festival on artandlife. I seem to be driven to do these things on the day they were taken, the time in Photoshop both pleasurable and unavoidable. Which is a good sign, I suspect, for a photographer.

Rain, by the way. They'd been forecasting sun today before the weekend and we had sun over the weekend, but rain today and sun starting again tomorrow. I'm still going downtown to see if anyone shows up for the Occupy Wall Street thing, but figure I can as easily settle for coffee and a swell raspberry shortcake cookie if not. We are flexible this morning in the gone to frigidity Netherlands of Oakland.

Later still. Rain, as I said, a steady rain, but not a hard rain. A rain in which you need an umbrella or, in my case, a Tilly hat and a rubberized coat, the camera trussed up in a plastic bag and the other protected in the backpack. No one in front of City Hall, of course, I suspected that would happen, but a cupcake and a cup of coffee in the Rotunda building before taking a bus back home. Maybe they'll gather in the late afternoon, but if they do, they'll be there without me. I'd suspect, looking outside through the sliding glass balcony door into the gloom. Such is life, there will be another day and another demonstration.

Guitar now, I think. How many times have I said that today? No more than once or twice. And it does happen, often, without too much failure or regret. Pretty good record for doing anything around here I would guess.

Even later still. Well, phooey, at least two sources (including Oakland Occupy Wall Street itself) say they're getting together this afternoon at four, less than an hour from now. I could still catch the bus. But it is raining, raining enough I'm surprised I'm even thinking of hopping another bus to check it out. How many people planning to attend are still planning to attend? Some, I'd guess.

Evening. Well, I got on the gear, took but one camera with the 24-120mm lens and hopped a bus downtown. The rain had stopped, although it looked as if it could start again at any given moment, and there were some two hundred or so people crowded together carrying signs, so I got my butt in gear and started taking pictures.

An interesting group, a good mix of people carrying signs, most of them to do with Wall Street and the broken financial system, but also, as you'd expect, small knots of anti-war people, socialists and whatnots. More than a few whatnots. Young, most of them, with lots of media about. A good hour's shooting and I'm happy with the result, two sections for artandlife tomorrow. (hup, hup)

The photograph was taken futzing around in the apartment with a Nikon D2Xs mounted with a 180mm f 2.8 Nikkor AF lens.