orange sky 2

There may be a nuanced discussion to have about the difference between, say, the fire management policies of the state of california and the ongoing effects of climate change; the difference between a black swan event (I think this is number 3 or 4 of those for this year) and leading indications of trends. I’m not the guy to write those essays; I think, at this point, they’re a difference without a distinction, or vice versa. We’ve been fucking up for a while, and the time to change was 10 years ago, and now we must do everything we can (we is intentional; collective action is the only way out of this).

In case anyone is wondering: I walked around for about half an hour to shoot these, and then we drove out to the emeryville marina for the last couple. White balance was set to Lightroom’s Tungsten preset, as that struck a nice balance between too orange to see what’s going on, and what it really looked like. Shot mostly wide open, mostly on my trusty Summilux.

Posted on 2020-09-09 23:43:02Z GMT

first slowly, then all at once

Context: I took these 20 minutes ago, outside my house. It’s 8:53am local, which means the sun should be up AND THE SKY SHOULD NOT BE ORANGE. I believe the technical term for this situation is ‘fucked’, or barring that, ‘entirely fucked’. We may be well and truly FUBAR’d.

Posted on 2020-09-09 15:55:16Z GMT

full narrative collapse

On some old pickup trucks, there was an option to lock the differential for use when in four wheel drive*. The idea being that one tire might slip where the others wouldn’t. You couldn’t use it for very long without unlocking, because the difference in the way the wheels spun would put twist in the axles, first loading up the drivetrain with spring tension and then causing something to break (at the right forces, any piece of steel is a spring, for at least a little bit).

But/And! impassable territory became passable, just barely. Drive, hit a rough passage, lock it down, drive a little, unlock, coast, lock, repeat, until you get past the obstacle.

That’s sort of how I feel about this here blog. when this blog is going well, there is a rhythm to it, a sort of A follows B follows C that kinda works. A smooth narrative from post to post, and sometimes I can keep that going for quite a while. But the world doesn’t fit a smooth narrative. Plans are lists of things that don’t happen. No smooth narratives here.

Let’s not think too hard about the metaphor. I’m not sure it actually extends to the territory being rough, all right? Sometimes it’s just that I get distracted by other projects, and they take over my time. Despite my efforts to never sleep, it’s still limited.

Posted on 2020-08-25 07:58:57Z GMT

Halloween, in the beforetimes

At some point in the last few weeks (maybe a month ago? time is a soup in a blender), I found a folder of images that was everything I shot from just after the trip to new york all the way through the beginning of december. So, starting from the top, here’s some stuff from Halloween night.

These are with the 35/1.4 voightlander, and I hadn’t noticed it being appreciably soft wide open, but these do have some glow. The close up portrait is nice, but the others… well, my technical game is always improving.

Current projects moving in one way or another:

  • Briefcase Bag - Doing a muslin in cordura before I use the expensive stuff. All cut, doing the assembly now. I’m not actually doing any new techniques, just recombining old tricks and a slightly different shape. Dimensions to fit a 16”MBP, in case I ever get around to buying one.
  • Books - So I have almost half a dozen possible book projects, three of which spring to mind immediately, so those are probably what I’ll go with. There’s the Brazil retrospective (15 years later! god I’m old), there’s the NY synthesis book (just called “The Questions,” probably), and the Dinner Club book, which I haven’t even tried to make an edit for.
  • Lathe Purchase - This is to support some of the other things I’d like to do, in particular make fixtures for a bike frame jig, and cut the tubes.

Backburnered projects:

  • The bike frame itself. I got to a point with my welding that I could get all the way around a joint with no blowouts consistently, and decided to conserve some material for when I was able to start up again after I make the frame jig.
  • San Pablo. Had to give it a rest. It may start back up, or it may not, but in the mean time, I’ll probably cast about for a new photo-project to work on. Open to suggestions.

Posted on 2020-08-17 08:43:42Z GMT

covid scare

yeah. So two weeks ago, we went camping for the second time in the Pandemic, this time with a couple friends, Cason and Ryan. We picked a spot up in the sierras, where there was a lake nearby that we thought we’d be able to swim in. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out; the lake was a bit gross, with a lot of foulness from various fowl. But, as luck would have it, there was another place to get in the water, in the river we’d crossed twice to get up to the campsite; we’d noticed it and the people there on the way in, so we decided to check it out.

As you might be able to tell from the pictures, it was really great. Access was a little difficult, I can’t imagine getting down to the water if I was only on one leg, but then again I managed a lot on one leg there for a while, so who knows? Anyway, there was a large local contingent, but we kept a good medium distance most of the time, and figured it was outside so it was probably good enough.

So, we get home, everything is fine, I develop and scan all the film and post the photos to facebook, because that’s primarily where our friends who came with us are, and for some reason that’s just where I went with them first. On that post, I wrote:

Photos from the weekend camping trip. Mostly from the river. Ryan, Cason, Sophia, and a few others that I don’t have links to on here. I know travel is dangerous right now, and I could be an unwitting hazard for others; this was managed with as little close contact and going inside of buildings as possible. Probably as much risk going to the grocery store, spread over a weekend. Distance maintained from the people not in our camp; masks when needed (always when inside).

Honestly? The absolute best thing to do is still to just stay home. But I don’t think that’s sustainable even in the medium term; it’s the same line they give you in abstinence based sex ed, and look how well that works. Our government has completely failed us, and we’re not going to get any relief until 2021 at least (vaccine, new government). So, in the interim, we’ve gotta figure out how to live in this world, manage the risks, and not go crazy trying.

And then, of course, five days later, I get a fever and body aches and I start to wonder if my luck has finally run out. I quarantined in our spare room, and slept most of tuesday; started to feel better that evening, made crappy scans of a bunch of negatives with my phone, and felt mostly better wednesday. I still took the day off, because I was still kinda tired, slept, and also just frankly worried I might be dying. I went and got a rapid COVID test, which was negative, and was insanely relieved. I then spent a while worrying about false negatives, but as it turns out the test I took is about as good as the slower tests. Why aren’t we rolling those out everywhere, instead of having people wait days and days? I don’t know.

Anyway, yeah. Moral of the story is probably “Don’t Panic.” Or maybe this is another one of my stories without any point, that I just felt like telling. maybe I needed a lot of text to excuse posting a lot of photos with this one.

we live in the future update: it’s now 1:15 in the morning as I’m writing, and the lab processed my other test, the one I got on tuesday, and uploaded the result to onemedical, who updated me with the app. also negative! pass by failing, yay!

Posted on 2020-08-14 09:23:39Z GMT