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November 13, 2010

Feels Like Christmas

Saturday. A what turned out to be undeniable urge to drive down to the local Safeway to pick up sake, cheese and crackers around nine last night resulted in a couple of glasses, some tasteless cheddar (on crackers), another session on the guitar (good, always good) and getting to bed at close to eleven. Not sure why the sake and cheese, the cheese strictly verboten to avoid the ocular migraines, why the evening run to Safeway, but it resulted in sleeping in til eight and a walk instead of a drive to breakfast at the usual place (quite crowded after eight on a Saturday morning, although my usual table was available when I arrived), home now after ten. My, my.

Perhaps there are some few things that can only be put off for so long before you crack, although I had a couple of drinks without cheese the night before and the night before that. Maybe you get itchy, nothing to do with cheddar cheese and alcohol. Do you think?

Some people get itchy and max out their credit cards flying down to Rio. Relax. Sake and cheese won't put you on the endangered species list. Ocular migraines may be something else.

Rio? I'd hope, if I were to find myself flying down to Rio, I did so in the company of Ms. Right or Close To Right, sporting a gleam in her eye equal to mine. Still, point well taken. The sake did not cause me to max out my credit card account.

We have a beautiful day, this day, a beautiful morning. Too much contrast out there for photography, was my cranky thought, walking back from breakfast, the farmer's market at Splash Pad Park beginning to take on life. I like the idea of the market, very occasionally do some shopping myself (for home brewed sake and organic cheddar), but find I'm ultimately ambivalent about them as they don't attract me as they probably should, even as opportunities for photographs.

The 14 - 24mm lens is now mounted on a camera and tucked into one of the small over the shoulder camera bags, my thought to check out more building fronts and doorways. I'll carry two cameras, pull out the wide angle when I run into a subject that requires it, put it back when the subject doesn't. I don't like to travel to and from a place where I'm shooting with both cameras clanking together over my shoulder. Without a bag they're awkward to transport and much too visible in a crowd.

A small bag with one of the cameras inside works well. When I'm carrying a camera with a long lens it has to go into a small backpack, a bit more awkward than a bag over the shoulder, but comfortable enough for all that. We do get in our little habits. And I've had plenty of time to develop mine. I'm afraid. Here in Oakland.

Later. A walk most of the way downtown packing the cameras, one over the shoulder in the bag, one in hand. (Hup! Hup!) I'd forgotten what the 14 - 24mm lens was like and shot a couple of pictures as a test setting out, these at Peet's taken from the same sitting position, the one at 24mm (taken with the 24 - 120), the other at 14mm (taken with the 14 - 24). Something of a difference. Good though, fun to remember why I don't use it all the time, interesting to see what it's good for and what it isn't.

Taking a picture of the branch of a berry tree hanging out over the sidewalk in front of Coffee With a Beat near my apartment (I know the name of the tree and it will at some point come back) with the wide angle and then noticing the bird eating berries on the branch. No time to switch from one to the other. You're shooting with one, you'll undoubtedly at some point be left flat footed needing the other. I'm sure there's a rule about that.

Later still. Play with the photographs, wrestle with the computer (I've had to set it back to an earlier image now more than once since the last) and practice the guitar. The fingers on the left hand ache a little as they stretch to finger the chords, which again to me is progress. (hup! hup!) We're into progress. And, I guess in saying that, aching fingers. Which doesn't quite make sense.

Dark now before five. Nothing unusual about it, given it's now the middle of November, but it's always a bit surprising even after some sixty-seven years. I bought a new hat at the hat shop on Broadway as I was passing, something I've been thinking of doing for the last couple of months. I was surprised to see they'd gotten some new ones in that I rather liked.

This one has the right shape and feels good when it's turned around so the brim doesn't get in the way when I'm taking pictures. Hard to see any detail in the photograph so maybe I'll take something later tomorrow in the sun. Thanksgiving is approaching, but wearing it now makes it feel like Christmas.


OK, OK. At my age, every new day feels like Christmas. Still, a nice hat. I like it.

The photograph was taken at the Mehserle sentencing demonstration in front of the Oakland City Hall with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.