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Here In Oakland

Art & Life


November 10, 2013

Another 48 Hours
Sunday. My, my. I skipped out on Arne Dahl at nine last night, running until eleven, deciding instead to turn in early and read in bed. Became really interested in a current story in the New Yorker about, a local outfit that does very detailed weather analyses of farming conditions literally field by field and sells crop insurance based on the data to farmers who use it in managing their crops.

The numbers they generate give a very detailed look at changes in their local (again by field) climate and allow farmers to maximize their chances of bringing in a good crop, farmers from areas that don't believe in climate change, but farmers who believe in crop insurance and access to data that helps them plan when, what and where to plant and harvest their crops. Gave me a new insight into climate change. Sobering and a bit exciting. There's stuff going on out there right at my doorstep that I, at least, know nothing about.

Up with the alarm and off to breakfast with the three large Sunday papers in tow. The Veterans Day Parade coming up at eleven in San Francisco, so I need to get hopping.

Later. Arriving at my local bus stop ten seconds before it arrived to ride to the Broadway ATM and then walk the short distance to the BART station where a train arrived two minutes after I entered the station. Hmm. Luck seemed to be with us. Let's hope it holds for the photography, the Veterans Day Parade has never been an easy shoot.

Out of the Montgomery Street station at Second Street where the parade had begun forming at nine-thirty, not all that many people having arrived yet, the horse trailers unloading as I approached.

To cut it short I walked up and back along Second for an hour an a half, taking what pictures I could find, ducking into the BART station to go home just as the parade was starting. Not all that many people in this year's parade, not all that many spectators, maybe something you'd expect for San Francisco perhaps, particularly after all these less than popular wars. That and the fact I didn't see any active military presence. Something to do with the sequester?

Still, I'm a vet and don't really have an ax to grind with the military, more with the political class that sent so many of us to Asia, so I had mixed albeit not particularly intense emotions as I took the pictures.

Back now to look at the damage. It's not an easy parade for a photographer with my particular interests, hard to find opportunities for candid portraits. Or maybe better stated, not many opportunities for me and my particular eye. Sometimes you're hot and sometimes you're not and “not” may have to do more to do with a hesitancy to get right into people's faces.

Anyway, a pretty good day, no thoughts at any time of bailing. A section for artandlife, anyway. I might be able to scrape together two if there aren't too many not quite good enough images that would have to be used to fill out a second section, but we'll see. I'd thought for some reason I'd taken more photographs at past parades than were displayed on the one section of the 2009 parade. Maybe go back and look to see if we can find them one day. But not today. We're busy today.

Evening. Much work on photographs. Two sections, as it happens, we'll post them tomorrow morning. Right now we need to pick up the guitar, turn off the computer, and do our duty for the lesson that's coming up on Tuesday in another 48 hours.

The photo up top was taken at the Fruitvale Dia de los Muertos Festival with a Nikon D4 mounted with a 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II Nikkor lens.