I wrote a few paragraphs yesterday about 9/11, but couldn't really finish them, then I cut it down to just one paragraph, then to one sentence. I finally ended up with nothing. I guess I'm not good at writing about some kinds of feelings. --------------------
I am happy because I just got back from some street shooting, and that feels good. I also took my first subway ride ever. I bought a 1-week pass and hopped on the LA Metro at Hollywood and Vine, took it to Hollywood and Western, then back(yes, it was almost a mile). I shot a few people on the subway, and took a few shots of a Thai food restaurant that I found particularly amusing. The restaurant occupies a building that apparently was at one time a hot dog stand... and they haven't yet taken down the big statue of a hot dog on top of the building. Either that or they serve Thai hot dogs, which I've never heard of, but probably wouldn't want to try... mmmm, this is the best hot dog I've ever had! Is that Poodle or Terrier?
Unfortunately I couldn't really go out for too long, hence the one stop subway trip, as Lucky still howls when I leave. I hope she didn't make too much noise during the hour and a half I was gone. If she did, I'm sure I'll hear about it soon. I'm hoping to have her "trained" by this weekend, so I can just shoot all next week. I've been really in the mood for photography, and now is the worst time, but I have my Metro pass and I'm gonna hit the streets next week. I am going to start with Union Station, but I'm also thinking of checking out the Getty and LACMA and some other museums and galleries. I've been in Hollywood for 2 months now and I have hardly been anywhere, and that just isn't healthy.
I put up a small gallery of old stuff last night, I wonder what people will think (you can see it here). I have already received feedback that I shouldn't have it on the site, since I am going to be focusing on street photography and it's good to show focus blah blah blah. I understand that, but to misquote someone, you can't understand where you're going until you know where you been. I was never a great portrait photographer, but I had fun doing it most of the time and I made a few people happy with their pictures. If you do look at the gallery, though, you will see that I am not good at scanning yet, especially slides, which is what the Liz shots were done on. At the time I shot that for some reason I thought that slides would be the best way, even though the final output was to be prints. I ended up shooting all of Liz's stuff on Velvia, so her makeup is really saturated. I think maybe I'm just not good with color, period, and that makes it even more difficult to get good scans. Luckily, I've never been too interested in color photography, so it works out ok.
There's a building across the street that I really want to shoot in the right light, but I don't think the sun hits it at the angle I want. Maybe I have to wait for another time of year. It is a brick building, but some of the bricks jut out of the wall, and I'm thinking that they would cast great shadows in the right light. Yeah, I know, not the most original idea, done by a thousand people already, but not by me, and that's what matters. There's another building across the other street (my building is on at an intersection) that I took a few shots of, from behind. We'll see if there's anything decent once I finish the roll. I have been searching my building for something interesting to shoot, but have found myself uninspired. I think it's that fact that it's a 5 story brick building with fire escapes and large windows (sounds great so far, huh?) but the entire building has been painted grey. They painted right over the brick, every surface of the whole damn building. It's the lowest contrast building on the whole block. Oh well.
I have been reading the book I got 2 days ago that Dave Beckerman recommended to me. It's great so far. I have maybe five or six other photography books, but they all said the same things, and somehow they just didn't cover what I wanted. I'm about 1/3 through this one, The Ansel Adams Guide : Basic Techniques of Photography, and so far it's been great. Just got through the section on visualization... hopefully some day I'll get to the point where I can look at a scene and actually visualize the final print. I'm a long way off though...
Here's an image from the Rennaisance Faire from about 2 months ago:
This is when I first started shooting again after my year off. The Faire itself wasn't too interesting. People really wanted to have their picture taken. This little girl was staring at a guy in this freaky looking devil bat costume of some sort, and she just caught my eye. A cute pic, though nothing spectacular.
I am a moron. I was excitied about developing the roll I shot today... not because I thought I had anything great on it, but because I've been cooped up in the house all week and it was nice to get out and walk around a little, and certainly nice to shoot a roll of film, so I just wanted to see what I had done. Well, I had everything ready, all the chemicals measured out and cooled to 68??, the film was spooled and in the tank, and I had my watch with the second hand next to the sink. -- The second hand moves toward the 12... and... pour! Ok, finished pouring in the developer... put down the grad cylinder... and begin inversions... splash! Ooops! Forgot to put the big red lid on the developing tank, and there goes 1/3 of the developer! Quick, dump out the remaining developer and rinse the film in water... mix new developer, cool and start over...
Well, I guess I'm glad it happened on a roll that I don't think is too important. This way a lesson is learned nice and early on and although I don't think any harm was done, the sheer feeling of stupidity that washed over me will help me to remember to put the damn red lid on every single time I pour in some chemicals.
It's really easy to be stupid sometimes...