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September 11, 2011

Figure That Out

Sunday. A bit fitful, last night's sleep, but decent enough for all that I guess. Up this morning without an alarm some fifteen minutes later than usual, not sure why only fifteen minutes after describing the sleep last night as “fitful”, but up and out the door without the Chronicle which wasn't finally delivered until sometime later while I was at breakfast. More disconcerting than you might think that, but what the hell, overcast or not, there's a day ahead and a street festival to photograph.

Later. Worked out pretty well. Years ago when I first started photographing street festivals I'd go to the Solano Stroll early in the morning, park at the foot of Solano on San Pablo, almost always getting a good parking spot, and then walked the mile up Solano as they were setting up along the way, generally shooting the parade as it was coming toward me wherever in the middle we'd meet. I haven't done it this way in some time, missing some of the festivals altogether. Last year I went in the early afternoon, the year before that on the bus, again in the early afternoon. Not sure why I changed my routine, not sure why I've missed more than one or two of the Strolls in the process.

This morning the traffic was very light on the freeway, I found a parking spot twenty five feet from Solano on San Pablo (almost as if it had been awaiting) and set out up Solano as the vendors were setting up, the carnival rides assembled at the San Pablo end of Solano. Good omens and a good start.

Walking up to the top of Solano (somewhat over a mile) I found the parade forming on a side street near The Alameda and spent much of my time taking pictures of the participants as they prepared. Most of them were youngsters - this is, after all, a neighborhood parade - with a smaller number of marchers who were making political statements (this is, after all, Albany-Berkeley), so I sought out photographs of the adults (attractive women seem to get my attention more often than not) with some few pictures of kids. You shoot what you find when you're there and sort them out later. Pogo is famous for saying something very similar.

Anyway, I arrived before nine, set back out for home around eleven thirty, close to three hours of walking and taking photographs. And I'm tired, but in a good mood. And I'm tired. I may have mentioned that.

Later still. Some small aches and pains, the usual stuff after a long outing, but those go away soon enough. Glad now that I didn't photograph the Moon Festival yesterday or today I'd be paying the price. I was hungry so I walked down the way to the usual place for a large lunch, carrying a camera of course. I had one fleeting thought that it was somewhat over the top to be taking pictures a short hour after a long morning session like the one I just finished, but what the hell, if it is: it is. I only took three pictures. Really.

Otherwise a long afternoon into the early evening in Photoshop. I'm guessing I have two sections for artandlife and maybe three. Don't want to stretch them out, use some just to flesh out another section. Many of them I like a lot, but many are borderline and I worry about that. Then I generally say the hell with it, it's my site, I'll do what I want. And then I'll worry about it some more. We are predictable, even to ourself.

I have to admit I seem to have no problem getting into Photoshop and staying there for however long until the photographs are finished. Probably a good sign I really am into this stuff. An odd balancing, though. I know where I hold back through laziness or whatever else and where I don't. Carry a camera always? Well, when I'm outside. They did a documentary on the photographer Dorothea Lange in which her son mentioned she always carried a camera, both inside and outside the house. She answered the door with a camera around her neck, so I'm hardly setting records.

You're no Dorothea Lange.

How long has that taken you to figure out?

The photograph was taken at the Oakland Pride festival Sunday with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens using a 1.4x teleconverter.