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Under Construction
Ishmael Reed, author, Oakland Art and Soul Festival

September 13th, 2005

The Fast Lane
Saturday. Ishmael Reed at the Oakland Art and Soul festival. He is not altogether happy with Jerry Brown, the outgoing mayor of Oakland. I waited while he finished a conversation with another member of the audience after his panel participation to thank him for some really wonderful writing. With the cameras and the shooting jacket he probably assumed I was a member of the press, more often than not a problematic person to an old rebel and writer like Reed. Thus is life. I discharged my responsibility to thank him for the impression he'd made when I first discovered his writing so many years ago.

Monday. Time does fly. I futzed around the apartment Saturday, setting up the new CD printer, installing more computer cables and burning most of the pictures currently clogging my hard drive to DVD. I need to get better and faster at this. I need more hard drive space. Some may say I need a life as well, but some people will say most anything, particularly after they've had a couple of drinks.

I photographed the wedding Sunday in the late morning, early afternoon, at the Oakland Museum. I hadn't realized how much space they have up there on their roof. Photographed the wedding dinner later that evening in San Francisco (the Four Seas on Grant) and had a pretty good time. The pictures seem to have turned out - not to my satisfaction, they never turn out to my satisfaction - but to the satisfaction of the bride and groom. I shot candids while the professional wedding photographers, three of them, took care of the heavy lifting. They shot six hundred pictures (part of the contract), I shot eight hundred, which is why I've spent so much time downloading pictures and burning them to disk.

The full color labels that incorporate a photograph from the wedding and are printed directly onto the “printable” DVD's are nice, something a little different. The bride and groom should like them. Their families should like them. Hell, I like them. Be nice if they didn't have that big damned hole right in the middle, but I'll think about that the next time I do this: shoot a couple of photographs specifically for the DVD labels, something with a potted plant or the head of a blotto wedding guest right in the middle. Strange, making these calculations.

Tuesday. This has been a good day for reasons I'm not really able to articulate. Maybe it's the air. Maybe it's the drugs. Life in the fast lane, though, here in Oakland.

The photograph was taken at the Oakland Art and Soul Festival with a Nikon D2x mounted with a 70-200 f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at 1/100th second at f 2.8 at ISO 100.