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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


August 15, 2013

We've Lucked Out
Thursday. To bed early, up with the alarm, the morning overcast, the attitude for a change, well, good.

Off to breakfast and back, having had plenty of time to read the papers, home to work on yesterday's entry, but spacing out in a trip to the bathroom and lying down after ward to take a nap thinking I'd posted to the journal.

Not the end of the world, but a lapse. You go into a room and momentarily forget why you came. You detour through the bathroom and think you've posted an entry, but haven't. How often do they come, these lapses, these small glitches in the fabric? Daily? Pretty close, I'd say, here in, um..., where again?

Later. Another nap, drifting off into something not quite sleep, the radio burbling down low in the background before getting up to pack the long lens camera in the backpack, put the second camera over the shoulder and head lickety-split out the door to catch the downtown bus. No thoughts it's heavy, it's bulky, it's unnecessary, so probably a sign the head is in its rightful place.

Perhaps an hour of shooting with a break to have a raspberry shortcake cookie (I certainly do like those damned cookies) and coffee in the Rotunda building, back then on the bus with what I was guessing was enough photographs for a section on the web sites. Still, today is their deadline to finish, so photographs enough or not, we'll return later in the afternoon to document the end. He said. We said.

Home to spend two or three hours working with the photographs. Three or four photos short of a section is my guess unless I'm willing to make compromises I'd rather not make, so good, no argument when the time came, back to the square at three in the afternoon for another half hour of shooting. We now definitely have enough photographs. Too many, perhaps, so putting this one together will be a piece of cake. We'll probably post before the day is out.



Later still. I was wrong about having enough pictures with plenty to spare. Turns out with some weeding I had just enough. So much for my ability to guess before I've actually opened them for a look-see on the computer. I've been realizing these last few days, while shooting this thing, that my method for taking pictures is changing in that I'm shooting more pictures to get a particular shot than I have in the past.

I've been wondering if it's a hold over from film. With film you don't just run through a roll (I don't run through a roll) to get a particular image, so you hunt, you watch closely, you learn to anticipate the shot and shoot (you hope) just as it appears, almost before it appears or you'll miss. You don't hit it every time. Maybe once in ten or, if things are going well, one in five. One in five is good, very good.

I asked a newspaper photographer who was using what was then the new and rare to see on the street Nikon D4 (mine was on order) what he thought of the camera and he mentioned he'd shot twenty thousand photographs with it in the last month. (These cameras are said to be good for an average of two hundred thousand images, some many more, some less, before they fail.) That's almost seven hundred photographs a day against my, say, two thousand photographs in a heavy month. Closer to one thousand most months.

Anyway, I was wondering if my slower pace had to do with coming from film where again, you can't just burn through roll after roll after roll. I've shot, say, eight hundred digital images in a day, but that's probably a record, a long day at a large parade and more likely a maximum of four hundred images in the days of film (ten rolls).

Sounds good, anyway. I suspect it's not true, but I've found myself lately taking, say, four or five images in looking to get a particular shot and sometimes, it's that third or four image that turns out to be the best. Anyway, feeling frisky at the moment, maybe leading the mind to wander into area it otherwise wouldn't.

Evening. Another Swedish repeat at six, no need to see it again. I even know how it turned out. Well, pretty close. If I'd watched more than the beginning scene I'd have remembered the rest. No doubt.

Another chapter of a Korean soap that runs on Wednesdays and Thursdays while playing along on the guitar, working on chord changes my fingers don't want to make, although I felt I was changing their mind over time. You'd think something like your fingers would go where you willed them to go, but if it's a new move they crap out. Or it takes the brain many iterations to burn in the connections to the needed finger muscles. Or something like that. Progress, in other words, but slow progress as is the nature of guitars.

It's nine, nothing on television, we've lucked out.

The photo up top was taken at Latham Square with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 24-70mm f/2.8 G Nikkor lens.