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September 22, 2009

In The Corner
Tuesday. Up at six, off to breakfast at six-thirty, home now before eight. The attitude is good, the head relatively clear and I'm thinking of a trip over to see the Avedon exhibit at SFMOMA to celebrate. And maybe find a picture on the way I can put up top. We are skating along the photographic edge here, but that's the way it works. Without the skating, without the pressure, nothing would get done in ProprietorLand. Not a lot of pressure, you understand, we wish to remain civilized and relatively sane, but enough. I'm good with enough.

Later. I set out at nine catching the bus thinking maybe I'd transfer to Berkeley, maybe catch BART and head to San Francisco, maybe stay on the bus end up downtown finally ending up sitting at a table in the City Center talking with an APL employee who'd just had his HR exit interview at the company offices across the street and was heading for the BofA ATM in the City Center to deposit his severance check when he spied me sitting at the table. Same thing happened yesterday actually, not someone I knew, but someone who'd flown up from L.A. to attend a Bob Weir, Phil Lesh concert and we got to talking music and such when I sat at his table in a crowded area to eat lunch. I go weeks without a thirty minute conversation one on one but these made two within twenty-four hours. What's that ex-APL'er doing now that he's no longer employed? At age sixty-two?

Anyway, walked back home camera in hand, strap wrapped around the wrist, stopping for a cup of coffee at a cafe near the apartment. A good morning for getting your head into pictures. A good day to walk looking here, looking there, finding nothing particularly exciting, but the head in a pretty good place.

I've run across the guy in the picture at the top before doing his exercises out in front of City Hall so, as I passed, I stopped and took three photographs. Why only three? Why was I hurried? Why didn't I do more with the shadow? You learn (over and over) one step at a time and it's time I started stepping again and making mistakes. You aren't moving forward if you're not making mistakes.

I say I'm an amateur and don't have clients (lucky me), but I'm a client, this journal is a client, artandlife is a client and I'm consciously or unconsciously often as not playing it safe for the client's sake. My ego (combined with sloth) dodges putting up problematic pictures. You learn to shoot one kind of picture reasonably well and you're happy with that, but instead of continuing, learning to push the boundaries and shoot other subjects you repeat, repeat, repeat because it's safe. Silly. But easy to fall.

Later still. An hour's nap, the head aching a bit, the mind fuzzy, pop the second pain pill (one twice a day eight hours apart) keeping tabs on how and when it kicks in. As I said, too bad to have to depend on them, but good they're around. It's now mid to late afternoon. Normally I'd be watching The News Hour on public television, but I've listened to, read and watched enough news these last months for a lifetime so I've decided - hold onto your seats, ladies and gentlemen - to swear it off for a couple of hours.

A couple of hours? We are trying to be ironic? Isn't that more than a little dumb?

Take chances with the photography, take chances with the writing.

That's why editing was invented. Go sit in the corner.

The photograph was taken walking through the City Hall area today with a Nikon D2Xs mounted with a 17 - 55mm f 2.8 Nikkor DX lens at f 4.0 at 1/750th second, ISO 100.