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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

February 13, 2010

Not This Part
Saturday. Pretty much clear last night when I went to bed, some white clouds here and there, but you could see the one or two stars or planets visible in an Oakland night, foggy this morning after breakfast, home now with the day ahead.

I've been futzing with the self portraits again, playing with the lighting. “Futzing” is a good word, far short of a planned assault on learning the process, this lighting business, but maybe I'll carry it through this time and learn how it's done. I've talked about it enough, actually worked on it without visible effect, acquired some interesting looking light stands and such. I can do this, but in the background, “futzing” with it. I have all the equipment just not the, well, let's say ambition - I have the brains - to bring it off I suspect. Here in Oakland.

You sure you want to run those two pictures? The angry plucked chicken look?

There's a certain freedom gained in opening up your internal editor and just letting it all hang out. Something you learn from your models (sometimes, if they're good) and from those very few others you meet who both understand and live the concept. I'll get there one of these days myself, but as always, slowly and behind the pack. Well, one reason to pick your own races, races in which others don't usually choose to participate: there is no pack, just you pacing yourself. A more comfortable state.

No desire in your life then to participate in something like the Olympics?

I was on my University bowling team for two years. Learned not only my limits, but what might be needed to get around them should I but try. Led me to more serious ventures beginning in my sophomore year: quit bowling altogether, became involved in other dubious off the wall enterprises where you went as far as you could go, but at your own shell shocked pace.

No one knows what you're talking about.

I know, but it's a first thought, a first take and it doesn't sound quite right. Pace, limits, a solitary race. Sounds interesting - “pace”, “limits”, “race” - but I'm not sure they mean anything this early in the morning on a weekend.

Later. A generally recognized description of my current state would be “pooped”, I would think, having just returned from walking back to the apartment from the downtown. A decent walk, no regrets, thinking as I was walking, well, I don't really have to buy a place, a condo, if I were to move to a totally different environment. Rent for a year, get something half way decent, check it out, check out the neighborhood. If it turns into something less than wonderful then move along. Take another step. Up, down, sideways, it doesn't matter. Just get with it. The thinking didn't contribute to getting me “pooped”, not sure what it did, but it seemed like good thinking, something on which to make a plan.

The weather, by the way, is very nice. The overcast foggy morning has turned into a sunny afternoon with loads of people of every age, shape and size out walking the lake in couples, singles and groups; dragging their dogs, their dogs dragging them. No cats on a leash, but then that's to be expected. The kind of of thought you have when you're “pooped” and not thinking quite right. More thinking out on the floor than out of the box.

Later still. A bath. A nice hot bath and a complete change of clothes. I set out wearing a shirt, sweater and jacket and that was fine for the trip downtown, but then the sun came out as I was sitting out in front of Peet's drinking a Latte (for something like half an hour), shooting one of the same old pictures, and the sunny walk back was overly warm. Still, I did wander down the way in back of Sears, taking a picture or two of the murals they have around a vacant lot, another picture of the beauty supply store (I really like it for being so out front and in your face!), a picture through the window of a store selling wigs, another mural on another wall (I like murals on walls. I like graffiti too, if it's not too rude and destructive and even then, rude and destructive, I appreciate it if it's good.).

So a California day that goes well, another farmer's market held down the way across from the Grand Lake theater than I managed to miss, no organic deposits to the refrigerator, I'm afraid, just a couple of small lemon something or others at Peet's. A good start to a weekend, I think, in a fresh set of clothes, ready for a rock and roll evening, if not here, then starting later as the evening arrives somewhere out there in Oakland.

Most people think of gunfire when they think of “the wilds of Oakland”.

Not this part.

The photograph was taken of a mannequin through a store window on Telegraph Avenue with a Nikon D3S mounted with an 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor G lens at f 5.6 at 1/320th second, ISO 200.