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In southern Oregon.
July 20th, 1999

Don't You Think?
This should be an interesting Thursday and Friday coming up and I'll tell you about it next week when the smoke clears. For the members of my family who may be reading this, I'll begin running some of the family pictures tomorrow and sending the usual batch of prints to Aunt Vivienne early next week. The three of you I talked with at the party, by the way, you know who you are, have yet to wire the money to my account to guarantee the loss of those particular prints we were discussing.

This day on the train coming back to Oakland is being written from home on Wednesday. Cat's alive, apartment didn't burn. A call to the office indicates no one has died or gone postal in my absence. No one, in fact, has noticed my absence. I say another successful Seattle trip and a good party.

I read Chuck's admission that he once had a secret life as a photographer, one, for example, who's spent his time rubbing his fingers on a print as it develops to bring up a section more quickly to make it darker. And now he has not only gone out and acquired equipment (Nikon FE, lenses), but pissed off his first subject in the street. This is good. Encounters like these are considered successful when they don't break your camera or your fingers (one by one, all the while grinning), this wisdom imparted to me by John "Three Fingers" Free, my street shooting instructor.

I was thinking about my photography returning to Oakland on the train. There's a time when you have to settle in and start shooting projects Union Station, Portland. if you really want to get more serious about shooting pictures. I've been making technical mistakes that have to do with time and practice, which are no big deal, since all they require is more of the same, but if I really want to improve I have to pick a subject and just shoot the damned thing until I've squeezed every image, every angle, every lighting, every not lighting, every drop of knowledge I can glean out of it. It might take a day, it might take a week, it might take a month, it might take a year, but that's the way they say you learn. I'm thinking about the day deal or maybe a week, but two hours each evening or, and this for me verges on madness, two hours in the morning before work. (What am I saying?) I've never done that. I've shot a bunch of pictures, but I've never sat down and said, well, let's go shoot the shit out of (fill in the blank) and see what happens.

Later. Sounds like the usual Sole Proprietor bullshit to me, but I maybe I'll try it. Next week, no, not next week, next month, after the move. Next month is always safe, don't you think?

The banner photograph was taken through the train window in Oregon near the point where yesterday's banner was taken. The flash went off in error and I rather like it. I may take more of these. The second photograph was taken at the Portland station.