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Berkeley Parade

September 26th, 2000

Another Mindless Ramble
Monday. For some reason the weekend produced two polemics, one about oaks, the other about genetics, both of which just sort of popped out. I don't spend a lot of time thinking about either one. Could be diet. Could be indigestion. Don't know. Spent the day in San Francisco at the Windows 2000 class. I stopped by the office early to drop off the How Berkeley Can You Be? parade film asking MSJ to drop it off at the camera shop later on when it opened. It was a good parade, larger, I think, than last year's parade with a contingent of weirdly costumed painted up crazies moving in their own phalanx of tricked out vehicles. I've photographed some of them at other parades in the past, but this is the first one where they've all come out together. My kind of people. Masks and puppets and tattoos. Good day to be a photographer.

Tuesday. Another day in class, more time at the office, picking up the contact sheets of the How Berkeley parade. Berkeley Can You Be? parade after work. Maybe it's just been a long day, an hour on the phone at the office early this morning answering questions before getting on BART and going to the Windows 2000 class in San Francisco, then a second two hour conference call just now with Asia. Same routine tomorrow: In early, another day in class, another conference call in the evening. I'm pooped just thinking about it. Some of the pictures on the contact sheets seem OK, two of them here on the page, but most of them look less inspired than I thought when I shot them. OK. Maybe it's just me and my attitude. Maybe they're better than I think. Get some sleep, check them in the morning. I get all charged up and then I get all charged down. Yo-Yo man doing Yo-Yo time in this Yo-Yo reality.

I did shoot one roll of color print film (out of a total of ten) to test the film (and the light and the camera and the photographer) before I use it to shoot a friend's wedding next month and I was lucky in that the puppets were on that one roll. I was shooting the color print film with a 135mm lens when I ran across the lady with her puppets. She gave me a card and asked if I could send any to her if they turned out. A good opportunity to scan the negatives and run prints on the new color printer. I've sent people prints before, although I've never been happy with the quality of the prints I've had done at the local camera shops.

The machine prints of the puppets from the camera shop have a slight yellow cast (which means I have to find a better lab for the wedding) and it might be interesting to see how much better I can print them on my own. The one above has better color balance than the prints do, I scanned the color negative and not the print itself, but there are many more things that I could do to really tighten it up before sending it to the printer. If I'm going to make prints, I'm going to have to make them myself, same with developing my own black and white film.

You either find a very good and very expensive guy in a lab to do them for you or you do them yourself. (It's a hobby. This stuff is supposed to be fun. Twenty four hour a day fun. Lock yourself in the bathroom, brew up some evil smelling developer, load the film, check the water temperature, set the timer, agitate, agitate some more, pop it in the stop bath and run it through the fixer. Actually, I've always liked the smell of the fixer.) I've done it before, but I'm old now and I'm lazy and I'm thinking I should have settled out of this business altogether when I was twelve.

The photograph were taken at the How Berkeley Can You Be? parade last weekend. The quote under The Sole Proprietor title is by Dorothy Parker.