They call it Black Friday but I call it Black & White Friday. On the Friday after Thanksgiving, I go to downtown Chicago and take photos of anything and everything that suits me. This is the third year in a row that I have set off on my own to observe the crowded streets and feel the energy that you can only get in a place like Chicago or New York. I don’t actually shop for anything myself except for my traditional peanut butter cookie snack or maybe a hot dog or bratwurst. It’s not about shopping for me.
This year I spent part of my time taking street photos of people passing by (en passant). So I got a lot of blurry shots of people on the street but it was fun.
This week I got to go back to the Washington D.C. area where I lived in the early Seventies. I met some interesting people and was able to revisit my old workplace at the Washington National Cathedral. The stone yard and construction sheds that I remember are all long gone now, replaced with beautiful landscaping and new driveways.
We stayed in the city of Alexandria across the river in Virginia and spent most of the next day exploring the center part of the town along King Street. It was very cold all day with little snow flurries peppered here and there. It was a short but worthwhile trip though for some reason the food we had seemed a bit below my expectations. That probably means I’m a bit too spoiled these days.
So what have I been doing this morning? Not much. Actually I’m working on a photograph of a sign I took in Sacramento. If there is one advantage to shooting digital photos it is that you can take multiple shots from different angles and then decide at a later date which works best for your intended use. Once in a while I see another photographers shot that looks really good to me and sometimes I will go back to my archive and see that I shot a similar angle but had a different use in mind so I did not use that shot and selected another. So today for my own entertainment I am working over one of my shots that didn’t make it to publication in my photo gallery on flickr.
My replacement viewfinder cover came the other day along with my 120 film. No progress today on the Brownie Hawkeye Flash Challenge. Maybe I will take some photos tomorrow if it’s not too cold outside. I put film in the SX70 after looking at a bunch of Pola-Diptychs on Flickr. No plans for that yet. Sometimes it’s better not to have a plan and just wait for things to happen. There is also film in the Agfa Jsoly waiting for inspiration to hit. Sometimes I have to laugh at myself when I leave the house armed to the teeth with cameras. I actually find it difficult to shoot with more than one camera or format at a time because it seems to distract me from what I am doing. The regular Polaroid is the worst because you have to do something with the prints while they dry and there is almost never anywhere to set them down without getting dust on them. Why is it always windy when I take out the Polaroid? At least the SX70 prints can go in a shirt pocket and not get too distressed.
So here is the problem – Many (not too many) cameras and little time to use them well. Not to mention the post processing of images which always requires much more time than it should. All for an audience of one.
We went to vote around 9:30 this morning. On the television news they said there were long lines at 8:00 am. There were no lines by the time we got there and no lines the several times we passed the polling place in our neighborhood today. I had it in my mind to take a photo for the Brownie Hawkeye Flash Challenge, which was a before and after diptych. It was going to be crowds and then no crowds but there were no crowds at all after we voted.
I also drove around a bit today looking for subjects to photograph. I got one for Easily Amused and B.D. (Before Digital). Nothing else seemed to gel, so I will think about it some more the rest of the week.
We finally decided to call it a day and went back home to make chicken and mushroom pasta for dinner. Now we are watching election returns along with everyone else in the country.
After waiting around for a year we finally went over to the Four Seasons Hotel today to check it out. The rooftop pool has a great view of the St. Louis Arch and looks like it would be a cool place to watch the fireworks from on the Fourth of July.
I started working on the Brownie Hawkeye Flash Challenge today and took five or six photos with my pinhole Brownie. I also had to order a new viewfinder thingamajig for the D300 today because I lost the original someplace. That’s because the D300 with the grip and the tripod plate is a pretty tight fit for the Lowe Slingshot 200. I think I popped the rubber eyepiece off when I was pulling the camera out of the bag. I also ordered some Fuji print film today which I have not used before in the 120 format. The Kodak Portra was out of stock so I took it as an opportunity to try something new. I used to use quite a bit of Fuji 35mm film before going digital and I still have some in the fridge that I should use one of these days. I must be in a film frame of mind today because I was poking around looking for my crummy light meter and ran across my stash of Polaroid film.
Photography seems to cost more than what people are willing to pay for it. It does not have to cost a lot but it does cost something unless you can scarf free film from your relatives. More on that subject in the near future.