Archives for the month of: November, 2010
It’s been kind of an odd week. As much as I tried to get done, it felt like nothing got done. Yet I see the evidence of work all around me on the desk, in the computer, in the inbox of my email. Hmm. A mildly annoying cold poked its way into my nose on Tuesday too. A feeling of something pending pervades… 

Must be the holidays coming on.

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So yesterday I was about the house, doing this and that, and feeling a bit chilled I sat down and watched a documentary on photographer William Eggleston. Got a good laugh about when his work was hung in a very notable gallery exhibition, Ansel Adams called the gallery to upbrade them and The New York Times rated it as “The most hated exhibition of the year.” That must have smarted, but Eggleston didn’t stop at all … he just kept on going. 

Realizing I’d been around the house all day I got antsy for a cup of coffee and a read at the cafe. Brought the camera along. 

These two fellows were engaged in a spirited to and fro, then all of a sudden they stopped for a moment. A Pause. 

I made the exposure, nodded at the fellow looking at me. He laughed, and they went right back at it with a chuckle … I heard the word “picture” and “snapshot” float over a couple of times for a few minutes. And then my attention drifted onwards. I looked up and noticed them gone.

Must be the holidays coming on. 
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Last evening was a special event: the annual lighting of the classic fresnel lamp at Pigeon Point Lighthouse in Pescadero, California.

I arrived shortly before sunset began and was lucky to find a place to park quite close to where I had wanted to do my picture taking. It’s a little to the north of the lighthouse with a broad view of the cliffs and seacoast. 

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There was quite a crowd gathered, I have no idea how many in toto but the row upon row of photographers assembled was impressive. The spot I’d envisioned was wonderfully free of obstructions and gave me the view I wanted. I imagined a fearsome din of shutters chattering at the moment of lighting, but you would need better ears than mine to hear it. 

I made about 200 exposures from sunset through the lighting … then stopped and just enjoyed the glorious view of this beacon alight once more for a half hour. Such a beautiful light! Its beams reach out across the vastness and warn sailors of their peril at the same time they beckon onwards: “Soon you will land in a magical place!” they seem to say. 

That was enough. It was cold, my fingers were frozen. I was done for the night and happy. 

Lots of rendering to do now … 
I had occasion last night to visit Foothill College in Los Altos Hills: an exhibition of photography made in Cuba was opening. It was a fine show of intense work by a half-dozen or so photographers. Inspiring … I’ll have to go back to see the photos again, of course, since actually having space and time to appreciate photographs is about the last thing you get to do at a reception. A beautiful place too, the reception was in the Krause Center For Innovation gallery, housed by old observatory buildings. 

As I left, the late evening dusk was just fading and the lighting on this lovely old observatory dome and wall stopped me in my tracks. And I realized, I don’t have my tripod with me! Ah well, I had the new camera: new technology  … wonder what it can do? I wonder what I can get with it hand held …? 

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It’s amazing, the rush of technology this past half decade and some in photography. The capabilities of today’s cameras is simply astounding compared to what was available as recently as 2005, and lightyears beyond 2001 and before. It seemed obvious to me, working in the Dark Ages of digital imaging in the 1980s and 1990s, that this revolution would be profound when it hit production prices. But how could I have predicted it would happen so quickly? I couldn’t, I didn’t. And I am glad it was: it means I will have time to enjoy it, to learn it fully, to get back past all this equipment bother into Photography again. 

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Another milestone passed yesterday … After a month’s persistent work, my office in our new home is finally fully operational. It’s been a big job, a lot of work, but the shelving is built and in place, the desk and worktables are arranged, the equipment is hooked up and humming. I’m still unboxing and putting things away but finally there is a place to put those things away, enough mental space to be productive and think again. 

Now to think hard and move forward with a new plan, new ideas, into new endeavors. The hard part, in other words, is now in front of me. And, as it turns out, it’s the fun part that I’ve been working to get to. 

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Moving onwards …