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Today at the pump

The Sole Prop's Sister?


Under here.

November 11, 2009

To The Good
Wednesday. Another good start to another good day, a drive to breakfast and reading the papers, home now with the sun poking out, just briefly poking out, from behind a grey ceiling of clouds. They say a cloudy day today. I'm not sure exactly how that plays out, but projections say a high in the mid-sixties and I'm good with that. No rain, anyway. Partly cloudy tomorrow, sun on Friday. But then there's always sun on Friday, even when it rains, is there not? Photography weather. But then it's always photography weather around here, now, isn't it? Silly to say. On a Wednesday.

Let's see. B&H emailed me to say they haven't received the camera from Nikon yet, so they haven't shipped to me as promised, do I want a refund? No, I don't want a refund. I'll wait. I thought about it, a chance to flip back to rational behavior coming to me out of the blue, but rational behavior isn't one of those things that's high on my list. Or anyone's list, if the truth be known. Not that we'd admit to it in public, of course. Payment on the credit card I put it on is coming up in another two weeks, but then that's the way of the world. Every thirty days reality strikes, both here in Oakland and there, wherever you are, I would be willing to bet. Rational behavior indeed. Another novel thought strikes before noon - rational behavior and reality, both within the same hour - I'm on my way to a headache.

I occasionally wonder if I might take to video one of these days. I bought one of the popular little Flip video cameras a year or two ago and indeed it's easy to use and it produces a perfectly useable video for embedding in a page like this, but I've never taken to it and don't much use it at all, although I occasionally bring it along on a shoot with an equally small digital recorder (just in case). The only reason I think about video at all is because it's becoming a favored form, if not the favored form, for web images: news casts, happy puppy dog romps with the kiddies and the like. Still photography is my bent, always has been. Still, this new camera I have coming is capable of shooting video. Probably pretty good video, given the quality of the still pictures it will produce.

I'm hesitant about having video built into one of my still cameras. It's a professional model, the professional model of a respected professional's brand, why clutter it up with video? Why create a perception of compromise in the design of your still camera by adding something considered extraneous to its primary purpose? People who feel the need to buy a high end digital camera, if they want to shoot video, will buy a separate (and probably) high end video camera to find out. There's a certain element of ego involved. A technical thing. An ego-technical-aesthetic thing, not unlike identifying with your car.

Whole branches of psychiatry have been developed to explain why you buy and bond to this or that particular automobile. You don't usually want to shoot great still images, go to the trouble of acquiring the equipment and then settle, if you have the bent, for making crappy video with it, so you get what you think best for both. You don't make sushi with a Swiss army knife, you slice sushi with something made by old Japanese blade freaks living like hermits up on a mountain, hammering away over anvils as they're talking with god. But then, but then. So many opinions, so many of them you learn to be suspect. I don't trust photographers who talk about their equipment and not about their pictures. Nikon vs. Canon, Windows vs. Apple, my dick is bigger than your dick, you can see by the Nike swoosh tattooed at its tip.

You're obsessing again.

Again? When do I ever stop?

Later. I most often don't feel like walking to my early morning breakfast, but I invariably feel the need to get outside and take a walk near noon, although there's been a certain amount of temerity in it this last, what, year? Two years? Get out for the walk, but not too ambitious a walk, a certain tiredness both mental and physical setting in.

Not so today. Not so these last number of days. A good two hours of ambling about shooting the occasional picture, noting the road construction still going on down toward Broadway on Grand, having three of my fabled (fabled to me) chocolate muffins and a cup of coffee at the café across from Sears, passing, as I was returning, the new recently opened coffee shop down the street from me and noting that everyone is sitting at a table in front of a laptop.

Why? At my morning café, maybe one in a hundred customers opens a laptop. Two or three older farts sit at their accustomed places with a spiral bound notebook either writing or taking notes, the two that come immediately to mind being writers from what little conversation I've overheard, but no laptops. Now I own a laptop. I own one of everything that's digitally related to photography and one each of most everything else. (I don't own an iPhone. An iPod, yes, but no iPhone.) Why am I not sitting at a table in front of a laptop too? I spend enough time in front of a screen here at the apartment. Age? Probably. Old farts don't do digital. Some cafés attract laptop users (all younger) and some don't (although my café is cohabited by an age and ethnically mixed crowd of loners and couples both). So I'll think about it some more. Loners and couples, both young and old, but no (almost no) laptops where other cafés are packed to their LED lighted gills.

Still, the mysteries of the universe aside, a good day today and it's still early in the afternoon, photographs in hand, looking forward to the next outing. Cooler weather, maybe? This inhaler and that spray in the nose thing finally kicking in? The lungs seem to be coming around. Or just the fact that change comes in this world as it turns, no way around it, and sometimes it turns to the good.

The photograph was taken of the white columns on Lake Merritt with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 24 - 70mm f 2.8 Nikkor ED lens at f 8 at 1/1000th second, ISO 200.