I acquired a new lens today. Felt bidden to go to Mountain View and walk about with it for a bit. It’s remarkably small, fast and light; fits the camera nicely… 

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New equipment is always a moment’s pause to experiment, to try things, to test its limits and see what it does to your vision. It’s easy to fall into a sense of wonder – “Oh my, these are the greatest … I couldn’t do without this … ” – blah blah blah. The thrill of the new. The truth is that what it does for me over my previous choice of lenses is add a little capability and subtract a little weight from my bag. What I see, how I see it, hasn’t really changed. I guess I’m jaded with the thrill of the new … I just want to make photographs.

It’s the photographs which always matter most to me. While I was wandering downtown, I stopped into the used bookstore and found two wonderful photo books, Wide Open by Linda McCartney and Still Time by Sally Mann. I love used bookstores… I couldn’t put them down, so there went some of my store credit. I’ve spent a good bit of the afternoon leafing through them and finding wonderful gems between their covers. That’s the real thrill.

So I turned the corner from the bookstore, passed a cafe on the way to the car, and saw this table and chairs, newspaper lying on the ground. And something about it seemed so… just so, a state of suspension, of action that either just happened or was just about to happen. A conversation that lingered in the gesture of the paper lying there, passed it by, forgotten in the moment of that conversing as parties unknown went on to other things.

I like the lens, it let me see this moment better. 

Photography Workshops Update 

Here’s what’s on the calendar coming up in 2010 …

January 9-10 :: Lightroom: Starting In The Middle

A two-session workshop for photographers interested to learn how to use Adobe Lightroom. No prerequisites, some familiarity with Photoshop and image processing workflow is helpful. Students are welcome to bring a library of their own work, either on external hard drive or laptop.

January 23-24 :: Creating B&W Photographs: A Digital Approach

A two-day, hands-on workshop exploring the creation and rendering of black and white photographs using digital technology. Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom image processing application approaches will be shown. You will be guided through a variety of different rendering approaches and printing techniques. The class will focus on doing, be prepared to bring your own photographs to work on! No prerequisites required, some background in using Photoshop or Lightroom is helpful. 

Offered at the Media Center, 900 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto, California, USA

For more information and registration see the website – http://www.midpenmedia.org/ 

or call Dave Sorokach (650-494-8686) at the Media Center, or email me directly. 

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