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September 18, 2010

Didn't Crap Out
Saturday. To bed at a decent hour, up two hours later than usual at eight, to breakfast by nine, home by ten, the sky overcast with a light very intermittent rain. More a mist, than a rain, but I'm wondering how long it will last, how it will change my plans to photograph the San Francisco JPop Festival in Japantown later this afternoon. I'm getting to be a wuss when it comes to setting out on a longer bus-BART-bus trip to wherever packing all the gear, but I am in need of photographs. I'm always in need of photographs, otherwise why would I always be carrying a camera? (Best not to ask such questions, puts your brain in a place where it might have to address your own neuroses.)

You consider your picture taking neurotic?

Only in always toting a camera. Otherwise I'm a rock.

Later. I'm sorry now to have missed whatever JPop's they've had in the past and I won't miss any that may come along in the future if I can help it. I was in a bit of a funk, earlier, thinking about heading out for San Francisco and taking a Geary bus with the sky chancy, but I found myself going on automatic pilot: camera in backpack, another over the shoulder, heading out under an old beat up Tilly hat. Hopped a bus, hopped a train, hopped the Geary bus in San Francisco on Market Street that dropped me off beside JPop just like that. Easy as easy can be. Deedle-dee-dee.

JPop is more an art festival, Japanese pop art, than anything else and I liked it a whole lot. A whole lot. Took many pictures, eventually found myself looking at my watch and discovered I'd been there shooting for almost three hours, longer than I'm usually able to last without bailing.

I ran across a book of photographs early in the decade taken in the late nineties in the Harajuku district of Tokyo called Fruits and I was taken by both the off the wall over the top images and the obvious dedication of this group of Tokyo teenagers to their take on western clothing and style. They were literally creating their existence around style.

JPop seems to reflect this culture, certainly there were a number of people at the festival dressed to the 9's in the same way as the teenagers dressed in the book, but it also included a broader range of arts: ad hoc experiential art, done like this one in the middle of the street; pop music (I really liked Jinny Oops!, a band they brought over from Japan, for both their music and their image); various Manga stories and characters (a number of people were dressed as popular Manga heros, none of which I knew) as well as other fascinations I know nothing about. Fun to photograph, though.

So I was there happily taking pictures, heading back after three in the afternoon, arriving home both elated and dragging ass, spending the next three hours going through the photographs here at the apartment. I might actually have enough for more than one section on artandlife, but I'll think about that later after a night's sleep. Easy to kid yourself about what you've got, no way I'm going to get them done tonight. Still, a good outing, really happy I didn't crap out.

The photograph was taken at the Oakland Pride Street Festival with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70 - 200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.