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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

June 24, 2010

Along This Far
Thursday. It's overcast with hints of rain, although I suspect it will eventually clear up later in the afternoon. To bed last night at ten, up this morning well after eight, not having set the alarm, so I obviously needed sleep. I guess I'd call it the old man gets up in the morning, takes his meds, heads out for breakfast and the papers, returns later in the morning than is his habit and now he feels reasonably ready to face the world.

The EEG testing group at Stanford hospital called and we made an appointment for the first week of next month. The rule is no sleep after midnight the night before the 8:30 in the morning exam and you'd better bring along a driver or they'll not be happy. I'll see about a driver and call them back, but the MRI and now the EEG are scheduled, the blood test I'll get done tomorrow morning when I have my monthly blood thinner test scheduled and life, one assumes, will be swell. Unless it isn't. Still, we won't know for a couple of weeks at least, let the candle burn! Riotous living: breakfast in the early mornings, photographs in the afternoons! Life is a rocket, my friends, if we'd but recognize it! Diddle-dee-dit.

We can stop this now, right?

Indeed. A slow morning start, but something is out there needing its picture taken, I can feel it. Well, I can conjure the feeling, same thing until the day is done and the photographs are counted. Then there's always sake. And Korean soaps.

Later. I got off the bus just after noon on Broadway opposite the City Center and heard music coming from the plaza in front of City Hall. Hmm. I wonder what that's about?

A walk over with a camera to find a quite large production going underway on the staging area in front of the City Hall entrance, I assume a Filipino celebration of some kind (that's the Philippines flag in the photograph, I understand their Independence Day was June 12th), although, given the size of the production, I thought the audience deserved to have been larger. I do look for announcements of these things but the various newspapers I check, the web sites I check,, generally daily, if they displayed this information, they hid it well.

So I took a few pictures thinking in terms of how to take a picture of a crowd, a question I've been considering for some time (since I screwed up the last crowd I photographed, come to think of it). A line of dancers in costume. What's important? For me it's the faces, although I assume a major element in this presentation is the display of traditional costumes. I was carrying an earlier model camera with the equivalent of a 36 - 105mm lens, not a bad choice for shooting during the day where the ability to shoot high ISO's isn't necessary and the 1.5 magnification factor is nice, although I'd have brought the 70 - 200mm on a backup body if I'd know this was waiting for me when I set out.

Anyway, some pictures of the event, a walk over to the City Center to sit and take a picture, a walk then to Peet's in front of the old office building for a small cup of coffee and chocolate, a walk back to the City Hall area again to take one or two final photographs. They must have performed continuously for well over an hour.

So interesting. I remembered my babbling about pictures awaiting when I was writing this morning. (Hup! Hup!) A bit strange to be right. They were waiting for me, there wasn't much in the way of security to keep photographers away (I saw a couple of TV trucks, but no obvious newspaper photographers taking stills) so I was able to get in fairly close without being intrusive. Better for quality if the photographer tends to be intrusive, but we were operating on magical time, an entire production company in costume performing for my benefit. The mind reels. Well, the mind makes up little stories, one of the reasons (they say) the human race has managed to come along this far.

The photograph was taken at the San Francisco 2010 Carnaval Parade with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens at f 8 at 1/500th second, ISO 200.