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November 16, 2009

Not Sure Myself
Monday. Another good start to the morning, the head pretty damned clear, the attitude feisty. Feisty is a good sign. A carry over from yesterday, perhaps, with its long walk in the morning followed by a second long, if not so long, walk in the afternoon after posting here. My, my. I'll have to change my subject matter. Find other stuff to complain about.

Another cold morning, by the way. The sun is out, it will be nice and warm later, but we've achieved sweater weather here in California now that it's later in November. I'll say hooray. Sweater weather, camera weather, it's all the same in Oakland.

Speaking of which, noodling around last night looking for something to keep me entertained before going to bed, I opened the manual for the Nikon D3 and checked some of the settings. For those familiar with these cameras, they're encrusted with little rotary switches and buttons, many of which I've noted in passing as I've used it over this last year while shooting pictures. My, my. No, I didn't find the setup I was using was, well, wrong - debilitating - responsible for all my photographic ills, but they do things I should be, should have been, aware of. How bad is that, owning one of these things and then not knowing how to use the many features you spent so much money (one assumes) to acquire? Perfectly understandable in a universe that has no meaning.

You push the button on the elevator to go up, you push the button on the elevator to go down, you don't push the button at all but build a fire and set up shop. What's the difference? One person read the elevator manual, one person didn't, the rest of us didn't know it existed. Same with all the crap we accumulate in our closets. I save the manuals because I have a phobia about throwing away books, but I compromise by keeping them together on a bookshelf in a far corner of the apartment and only bring them out at night to examine them when the moon is full and I'm desperate.

That's enough. Take a drink of water and chill.

Later. A walk all the way downtown, this morning, sitting in the City Center for perhaps half an hour watching the people and drinking a cup of coffee, taking one or two pictures, but none of them turning out as I hoped they might. OK. These things happen. A walk back down Telegraph, turning on 20th Street to pass the Café Madrid, the home of the famous chocolate three for a dollar muffins, thinking I really don't need another cup of coffee, but.... So, with a large breakfast and now three of the famous three for a dollar muffins I've eaten just about all that I'm going to today with the possible exception of an apple that's still sitting in the refrigerator Am I obsessing on food? Well, I'm writing about it, but my stomach is telling me to lay off the food, the coffee and anything else that may come to mind, we'll think about an apple later. Much later. OK.

It's easy to fall into the trap of repeating your walks and only really looking to find a photograph when you pass an area you've found photographs before. The City Center comes to mind. Maybe even Café Madrid, come to think of it. You look, but you don't really look and the results get worse as time goes by. You can shoot with a fresh eye, but it's harder and harder with every repeated journey. Anyway, that's what I'm telling myself at the moment.

That trip up to Seattle next month is starting to take shape as a longer trip with stops along the way, planned stops where it's unlikely I'll take the steering wheel in hand and drive straight through to my destination. “You're here for the party? A week early?” Can't do that, even I can't do that, so stops along the way it is. May well be, if I'm serious. New places, a fresh eye. “A fresh eye” is where this all started.

Later still. No second walks this afternoon, I'll have to fill my time with something else. Cleaning? Probably not. Well, we'll see. I have a budget to clean up, a storage locker to empty and some books to deep six.

Books! Deep six books!!!

Yeah. I'm not sure myself where something as crazy as that could come from.

The photograph was taken at the Fruitvale 2009 El Día de los Muertos celebration with a Nikon D3 mounted with a 105mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR lens at f 2.8 at 1/640th second, ISO 200.