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San Francisco Gay Pride Parade

September 17th, 2004

Something Like That
Thursday. For those of you who are younger and single, say in your twenties or thirties, taking a photography extension course isn't a bad idea. My first beginner's class last night had thirteen students, five men and eight women. The women were attractive, one from Norway, one from the Netherlands, all extremely well educated (a couple of MD's, some graduate students) and interesting from both a photographic and a conversational standpoint. I'm just mentioning this, you understand.

I, of course, shot pictures across our large rectangular table with the F3 (they said bring a 35mm camera with manual controls). No one else was shooting pictures in the class, but I think one or two of them may well have it in them before the class is over. I've probably established myself as a pain in the ass (click! click!), but what the hell, I'm a pain in the ass. I take pictures. Oh, yeah. The men included a professor of micro-biology, a younger guy with a PhD in the astronomical sciences and an associate attorney with the City of San Francisco. And one old(er) techie (with a battered Nikon F3). Nikon's predominated. In fact, I think they all had Nikons. I felt at home. There in Berkeley.

Friday. The license plates arrived today. I called the dealer asking about the front license plate bracket and they said it should have been included with the rest of the stuff (I'd placed in the back). Sure enough. On with the plates, off with the temporary registration stuck to the windshield in a plastic blister pack. I'm no longer a newbie.

The fog lights, I learn from asking, can only be turned on when the headlights are on. You can't run with fog lights alone. They're impressive, running with both the fog lights and headlights, but I'm not sure why you can't run with fog lights at dusk when it's still quite light, but you want some light to give other drivers a clear beacon to judge their distance; or, and this seems somewhat radical, run them in the fog when your headlights give back too much glare and you can see farther and better with the lower level fog lights. Then again, people, some of them sober, probably forget and end up running around town after dark with fog lights alone terrorizing the local (potential Honda customer) populace. Or something like that.

I'll voice my standard complaint here about a long ragged day capping a long ragged week, but I'll keep it to that. I read a story on the web this morning that said IT jobs in San Francisco had been cut by 49% from the height of the 2001 employment bubble through last April. One in two (doodle-dee-do) and it could be you (if you don't watch out) or me (deedle-dee-de) if I carp too much.

Tired or no I bought ten rolls of Tri-X after work. They asked us to use Tri-X for the class and although I remembered I had half a box of Tri-X left in the refrigerator (photographer leftovers), I soon realized, when I'd checked them out, they'd expired in May of 2000. How slothful of me not to have noticed. This is the new reformulated Tri-X I've read about and this will be my chance to compare it with my mainstay TMax-400. I'll shoot some of the old stuff too (it holds up pretty well when it's been kept cold) to compare with the new Tri-X. I've heard the new stuff actually has better grain quality than my TMax. Tri-X, the film of my youth, always delivered a wonderful contrasty grain and now they say it has finer grain than TMax? My, my. Wonders never cease, here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco Gay Pride parade with a Nikon F5 mounted with a 135mm f 2.0 Nikkor lens on TMax-400.