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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

May 20, 2010

Tripod At Home
Thursday. There's cloud cover, but it's thin and the sun is coming through, a good sign. Back now from breakfast and the supermarket, the day ahead. I will undoubtedly become antsy pretty soon and head out the door. To where, to what end, who knows? Not downtown, we've had our fill of the downtown for a while. San Francisco, maybe. Not sure what I'd do there, but I don't get over all that often. Maybe meet the usual crew later this evening for Guinness. Thursdays are most often the days we pick for these adventures, not sure why. Thursdays, after all. Not as crowded as Fridays? Nobody I know with one or two exceptions is working anymore, one or two retired, many more without a job. People with time on their hands? Who knows?

My computer still freezes up within about an hour of first turning it on. Once you do a hard reboot it's fine for the rest of the day. Something kicks in, does whatever it does, and then freezes up the machine. I've tracked down a couple of problems and gotten it to the point where it's predictable, this freezing within that first hour and then, with a reboot, no more problems. So I haven't installed the copy of Windows 7 I bought now some weeks ago. Was it a week? Two weeks? After a week there's often no way to remember. Not a month, certainly, the mind is still able to remember events incremented in months; but weeks, not so much. I probably won't install the new Windows until it freezes at a particularly inopportune moment and I lose something I consider important. It didn't happen today, but it came close.

Let's see, we were talking maybe San Francisco, heading over to San Francisco. Take more pictures of the three headed, six armed sculpture they've set up near City Hall, get the exposure right this time? Bring a tripod, do an HDR series of photographs? Well, most people don't know what an HDR series is and suggesting I carry a tripod to San Francisco means I'll undoubtedly crap out, so we' drop this and get real. An interesting thought, though. A tripod. HDR. The thoughts a real photographer might have on a Thursday morning.

You're not a real photographer?

We are all real in our own heads, we snapshot shooters. It's just, well, sometimes as I said reality creeps through and we see, if only for a moment, how easy we tend to be on ourselves.

You don't live in the real world?

You've been following this for how long now and you say you don't know?

Later. I surprised myself. A bus to BART and then BART to San Francisco, getting off at the first stop at Embarcadero. A walk then through the Ferry building thinking, well. this feels pretty good, let's head down toward Fisherman's Wharf and see what we can see, go where we will go. This burst of energy or whatever it was sent me over to the base of Telegraph Hill, then back to and up Broadway passing old haunts I haven't been by in years. I even stuck my head into the Beat Museum, paid the $5 to go upstairs and look at the memorabilia and pictures. Puts you in your place, your place in years anyway, when you realize you've met some of these ancient artists and writers they had up on their walls. What the hell, I'm getting (a little) old.

I brought the D2Xs with the 18 - 200mm lens thinking it was versatile - a range the equivalent of a 27mm wide angle to the equivalent of a 300mm telephoto - and on a well lit day there was no need to take along a camera that can shoot in the dark (and having to carry two of them with separate lenses to get the same range). You may think this is a no brainer - bright sun, single camera - but it's something I think about longer than I probably should before I head out the door. No complaints, but the question come while I, say, sit on the (low light) train or walk through a less well lit museum. Which means, I guess, I do have complaints. Hi, ho.

Back now after these many miles of walking, a phone conversation setting up another trip to the city tomorrow evening to meet with one or two of the usual crew. No way I'd want to go back to San Francisco this evening after this long afternoon. Feeling good, though, the head clear now that it's after four. Given my recent history this is quite a change. Let's see if I've screwed it up by pushing so hard, if I indeed pushed it at all. No sore muscles at the moment and, as I believe I mentioned, the head, the sinus-palate-screwed up head, is pretty clear. Also hi, ho! Or ho! ho! You can never tell who's the butt of the laughter around here. Which can be disconcerting, let me tell you.

My initial reaction to the photographs I took today was, well, less than enthusiastic, but I ended up dropping most of them in Photoshop and discovered I was finding and appreciating some of the elements that caused me to take them in the first place. Not that they're all that great, but I'm realizing I really do have to look at them closely to gain everything they may have to teach, much as you need to look at the photographs of the masters, not once, but over and over and over.

As in doing your homework? Not goof off?

A bit of a turn around coming from me: take it easy, don't push, leave the tripod at home?

The photograph was taken on the Oakland Bike to Work Day at the Oakland Frank Ogawa Plaza with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 105mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR Micro lens at f 9 at 1/125th second, ISO 400.