Yes, basically boring. But somehow I kinda like it. In a retro sort of way. I don’t know why.
We picked Sarah’s parents up in Emeryville and headed down to Newark for dinner with friends. Across the bay, the sun was setting behind San Francisco. I tried to resist, but as we were leaving, I couldn’t stand it anymore and stopped to take some shots of the sunset. Out on the south side of the Watergate, the last burning rays reflected off the low-tide mud, and it was just too much to not at least try to shoot. I only had the 35mm prime with me, but it would have to do. I’m pleasantly surprised at how well this hand-held 1/25th sec. shot came out. Granted, I had to kneel in the ice plant in my dress clothes to stabilize myself.
This last weekend was jam-packed with activities and photo ops. It started on Saturday with a whole day and evening sailing in San Francisco Bay. Well, not quite sailing. We were a crew with only one current sailor, and a bay with strong winds and lots of white caps. So, the sails remained furled and the engine hummed. Nonetheless, it was beautiful day with none of the forecast rain, and all the anticipated excitement of seeing a beautiful urban landscape from a unique perspective. And that night, we watched the KFOG kaboom fireworks show from out on the water.
The next day we checked out Maker Faire for the second time. It sneaked up on us again, so we didn’t have the time or freedom from a certain Lego maniac to see as much as we wanted. Worse yet, there were no pictures taken. The reason goes back to the previous day.
While otherwise glorious, there was sadness, too, during our sailing excursion. Above is one of the last pictures my little D40x took before the shutter mechanism quit working. There was suspicion that the environment led to the failure. But I was careful to keep it pretty dry and I don’t think it was out there long enough for salty air to penetrate the body and gum up the gears. I’ve searched for information online and it looks like quite a few people have experienced the same error. One person posted a fix. I just need to get some tiny screwdrivers to take the camera a little bit apart and apply WD-40 to a gear or two. I’m hoping for the best, though clearly, the camera was not built to last as long as this bridge.
I’m not sure what to call the kind of photography I have been primarily engaged in since getting back into it over the last two years. I just know it hasn’t been landscapes and scenic photography. Indeed, I have not been trying to make images that are overtly beautiful or aesthetically pleasing at all.
Yet, there is something irresistible about nature. Often, it is awe-inspiring. And as we all know, sensations of pleasure, well-being, and the loss of self in the one-ness of the creation often lead to addiction. Gotta get that fix again and again. That leads to wanting it for oneself, even in a puny way like making a picture of it.
That’s not to denigrate scenic photography. I find a lot of it pretty wonderful. I just also see the production of it as beyond my ken–not to mention my lacking the wherewithal to afford the gear and the travel to seriously pursue and produce beautiful scenic photography.
All that said, I’ve had fun working with some shots of San Francisco Bay taken mostly as an afterthought–or just because I always have my camera with me, so why not? And the other night I was at a friend’s home that is on Albany Hill and overlooks almost the whole bay. After taking a couple shots from the deck, someone showed me the Richard Misrach book of the Golden Gate. It was inspiring. I came to see the intrinsic interest of a series of photographs of one thing taken over all the different conditions to which it may be subject. I think I may try my own little series from a given vantage point and see what happens. If only I could get a neon martini glass, or rusted car, or dead cow or something in there…