7.12.2019

Someone just had to ask...."Why a brace of Fuji X-H1s and a pair of Fuji X-Pro2s? Aren't they all just exactly the same sensor???

X-Pro2 on the left, X-H1 on the right. 

It's odd. People have closets full of shirts and most try not to wear the same things everyday. Many people have closets full of shoes; some for dress up and some for hiking on mountain trails. Even some that are uncomfortable, ugly and poorly made ---- but fashionable in the moment. Golfers have bags full of different types of golf clubs. Some people have generic cars they drive to work, Range Rovers for time with the family, and Ferraris or Porsches for when they head out the driveway to take stabs at trying to retain their vanishing youth. Don't get me started on collectors.....

But people tend to look at you strangely if they find out that you have multiple cameras. They become irrationally perplexed when they discover that you have multiple cameras of the same model and they become absolutely agitated when they discover that you might have as many as six cameras that use the exact same sensor, which should yield identical photographs.

Ah well, this is life in the modern age. The guts of many models are exactly the same. A Porsche SUV and a VW SUV may share the same chassis. Many cars of similar size (but wildly different price points) may also share the same chassis and even the same engines, and the only real differentiators are aspects of the trim and some "enhanced" handling features. The small Cadillacs and the Chevy Cruze are likely sharing a large proportion of the same hardware underneath the sheet metal (or should I write, "sheet plastic...). 

As far as cameras go I'm pretty sure that, other than the sensors, just about every contemporary Sony full frame camera uses the same body shells, the same shutter mechanisms and the same control knobs. The same processors and the same circuit boards. The same wiring harnesses. 

I think the three top iPhones all use the same A12 "Bionic" processor. Only the screens and casings are really different.

But, critically, everyone who moves beyond "casual user" to passionate hobbyist, or hard core professional knows that even small feature set differences can add up to much different user experiences in daily use. True with cameras, cars, golf clubs, running shoes, backpacks and so much more. 

I bought the X-H1 body because I already liked the output from the camera's sensor and processing chain. I could see that while using my second Fuji camera; the X-E3. I knew I'd like to have at least one Fuji camera that featured image stabilization. I was equally sure that I'd like my workhorse, every-day-engaged-in-commerce, camera to have good video specs and good video features and I knew that most daylong jobs would benefit from having a battery grip that gave my money-making camera access to three batteries. 

I was not disappointed at all with the camera and, when the price dropped on the package of camera+battery grip+three batteries, to a price that was a couple hundred dollars less than the X-T3 I'd purchased in the Fall, I bought two more. On Sunday the 21st of this month I'll use the three X-H1s in the same fashion as I have twice before. I'll be setting up and shooting a three person video interview and I'll want one camera on the moderator (who is also a well known director), one camera to cover the two interviewees (who are well known actors), and one camera with a wider, center view in order to have an establishing shot  that shows all three participants; something I can cut back to from time to time in editing. 

Having three identical cameras for a set up like this eliminates mistakes. We can sit at a table in the studio before the shoot and set all three cameras to identical settings, from color balance to video profile to file type. Once we get on set all three work harmoniously. Once we get into the edit (and the quick turn around) we'll have all three sets of files matching one another. All three take the same lenses. All three take the same batteries. It's one way to eliminate unnecessary variables. 

All the LCDs match. All the necessary cabling is the same between all three cameras. And, since this is a three camera shoot, and I believe in back-ups, I'll also have the X-T3 in the camera bag; just in case. 

That's what I need for this particular assignment and I would hate to try and do it with just two cameras. It would be plain boring with just one camera. And at $1299 per station the X-H1 is a potent video making tool, shooting in high data rate 4K, that costs a fraction of what I'd pay for one Sony FS7 or equivalent. Sink $3800 in three wonderful cameras that can shoot stills and video or pony up $36,000 to get three of the video dedicated Sony FS7s? Easy math for me. I've seen both in the final forms we're aiming for (social media) and there's not a cat whisker of difference in quality, if you are working on a controlled set. 

That's one reason of many that I own X-H1 cameras for work; price versus pure utility. I could add to this that the EVF is superior and that the selection of fast Fuji lenses (while not optimum for lots of moving subjects in video) are great for mostly static interviews. It's a pretty convincing camera
for me

I took two with me yesterday to shoot a location portrait at a hedge fund office. One to shoot with and one as a back-up. 

So, if I am absolutely enamored with the X-H1 as a work camera/system then why am I "fooling around" with an older, weirder, more eccentric camera in the form of an X-Pro2?

When I've got the cameras off the tripod and I'm not working with long lenses in low light, with clients over my shoulders, I don't need all the size, weight and bulk that comes with the ready to shoot X-H1. If I'm heading out to shoot something for myself, for art, for show, for grins, for love, I want a camera that's got a form factor and an overall package that feels fine riding on my shoulder and swinging by my side. But for me, the reason to own an X-Pro2 is pretty much all about the viewfinder window in the top left of the camera (as I hold it up to my face). 

During two and a half decades of film photography I used many different cameras but there was always at least one Leica rangefinder camera in the inventory. Sometimes as many as three or four. Mostly M series but also some dalliances with the older screw mount bodies. One of the main things I liked about shooting those cameras; M3 through M6, was using the bright line finder with 35mm and 50mm lenses. 
Being able to see outside the frame is great. Using an OVF when you're in bright light is great. Especially great if your subject is in shadow and the area behind them is bright. It's a compelling way to shoot and especially in tandem with manual focusing and zone or hyperlocal methods. But being able to immediately switch to EVF with all the benefits of pre-chimping makes the X-Pro2 an ultimately flexible art shooting machine. 

I bought a used one on a whim months ago and played with it over the first weekend. I was using a 35mm f2.0 on it and I had a modicum of fun but I wasn't really bowled over. Then I bought the 35mm f1.4 and the 23mm f1.4 and started using them. I've never really been fond of the 35mm angle of view (the 23mm on the cropped frame) but for some reason the optical finder in the X-Pro2, along with focus peaking and the punch in when turning the focusing ring, made the clutch between AF and MF a revelation. I love shooting this way. It's great. So much so that I took the camera with me everywhere from the outset, and still do. Even when I'm at work shooting with the X-H1s. 

When I started seeing the results of the Pro2 with three of my lenses: the 23mm 1.4, the 35mm 1.4 and the 56mm f1.2 I was so happy with the files I was seeing, even of mundane subjects, that I tossed down more money and got a second body. Now I'm thinking I'll get one more. 

Why? Will I use them in conjunction with the X-H1s? Not at all. Here's my logic. I love to shoot with the X-Pro2s for the kind of personal work I post here all the time. If I go out and shoot in earnest I will use primes and I'll most likely have something like the 23mm on one camera and the 56mm on a second camera. That's it, just two cameras. 

But, I think the hybrid viewfinder is complex to build and expensive for Fuji to keep making when they can rationalize at this point that a good 5+ megapixel EVF is more or less perfect and "all that anyone really needs." I fear that any future X-Pro body might keep the basic format of the body but reduce their cost by eliminating the bright line OVF and replacing with with a "wonderful" and detail rich EVF. Something like the finder in the GFX100 or the Panasonic S1R. And, yes, for most people it would be a nice overall solution but for me it would kill one of the two things that makes the X-Pros special to me. 

I might get a third body as just a hedge against the relentless homogenization of manufacturing. I know that if I were the product manager for the X-Pro line and I could source a strictly EVF finder that was very, very good and that my company would only lose a small percentage of potential buyers I'd be weighing the options with a calculator and coming to the same conclusion. And, I'm sure if they took away the OVF, added a spectacular EVF-only, and then gave potential buyers the bonus of image stabilization in the new body, they'd gain more new users than they'd lose. But it wouldn't be the same. 

I've got my eye on a used Graphite X-Pro2 body but it's on hold for someone else right now. I'm kinda hoping it sells to the first buyer because I've been spending money on Fuji gear like a drunken sailor in port for the weekend after months at sea. But ...... you only live once so you may as well use the stuff you like the best. 

Of course this rationalization could be all for naught. It could be that the EVF in the (not yet announced but hopefully coming soon) next model of X-Pro will be sublime. It may be that the camera features IBIS. It may be that the magicians at Fuji reduce EVF black out to zero. It is my fervant hope that the body configuration stays largely the same. It's nice to have choices. 

Some days I wear black trousers and I like to match them with black, cap toe oxford shoes from Allen Edmonds. Other days I might be wearing khaki pants and I might like to match them with brown oxfords from Magnanni, but sometimes I'm just wearing some old, worn shorts and I want to wear some floppy sandals. You get to use stuff in the moment that works in the moment. Same with cameras. 
Same with cars. Same with vacation destinations. Same with ..........


The photographic time machine.

Painting Studio at UT College of Fine Arts. 
Working on that second degree.
circa 1980.

If you want to have a steady flow of self-made art that you really like you have to constantly remind yourself to keep shooting. We become, I think, more perfunctory about life, and recording the wonderful daily magic of our lives,  as we get older and we become a bit jaded about taking time to click the shutter. It's largely a function of having seen so many variations of life before. Why both to record one more?

It's good to remind myself that every moment is, in some way shape or form, different from all the other moments we live through, and that we'll live through in the future. 

The image above is a copy shot from a print. I have no idea where the negative is right now. It could be in one of those boxes full of negatives from the 1970's and 1980's that I have shoved into a closet with the realization that I'll never have time (make time?) to sort through tens of thousands of old negatives (and slides) in order to make any rational, accessible archive of my oldest photographs. 

I'm too selective now in what I make with my camera for my personal use and I need to remind myself to be more promiscuous with my photography. Shoot more and push aside the agonizing realization that most of the work will never see the light of day or a rapt audience. 

But for me images of Belinda painting on canvas so long ago are like wonderful small treasures that surface sometimes by surprise and fill me with a quiet kind of delight. 

That, and the realization that,  maybe blinded by love, she appears more and more beautiful to me with every passing year. 




7.09.2019

I think each of us knows why we love to do photography for ourselves but a long time ago I figured out the main reason I like to do it commercially.

Checking in on that next job?

Photography can be a bit addictive. You give yourself leeway to walk around with what is basically both a portable time machine and also an almost instant "art factory" and having both operational rationales firmly in mind when you leave your front door you've already gone a long way toward mitigating any guilt you might otherwise experience by having no set schedule, and by taking hours and hours to walk around aimlessly and just look at stuff in a different way from everybody else.

I'm not sure non-photographers get it. Everyone is so goal driven and schedule driven these days. Everyone also seems to want a guarantee that if they spend the hours something of practical value will emerge at the end to justify the temporal expenditure. I think we understand the process of roaming around looking for things to photograph to be more like fly fishing than a newspaper route....Part of the reward is either the looking, or the standing in streams. Or both.

I have friends who, when they have spare time from their work-work jobs, are given lists of things to accomplish by their spouses. Clean the garage. Clean the gutters. Take your ratty leisure suits to the Goodwill.  They tell me how lucky I am to be a photographer; my take is that they should rethink their approach to relationships and priorities. But I digress....

I've used the excuse of photography to go so many places I wouldn't otherwise thought to go, and met people I would have never said "hello" to if I hadn't thought they looked interesting enough to photograph. I approached them because of the camera in my hands and little else.  Photography is also a great hobby, akin to three dimensional puzzle solving.  You get to figure out stuff in your head, on the fly, and in at least three dimensions (not counting time). 

There is a real pleasure for most of us in being able to "research" (spend hours reading reviews on the web) cameras in order to find just the right one for me, and then, having bought it, realizing that there might be a camera out there that would fit you even a tiny bit better and so you start the process of looking for that ultimate portable time machine all over again. 

But given how much the business of photography has changed, and how the foundational make money work  of picture taking has evaporated, how much competition has multiplied, and how accountants and data jockeys have replaced shared creative concepts, you have to wonder why anyone in their right mind would take up, or continue, to ply photography as a trade. 

To read statisticians one would think that embracing a career that has no safety net, no guarantees, no real rules, and no widely acknowledged process of certification, is akin to financial suicide. Hence the jokes:

What's the difference between a commercial photographer and an extra large Pizza from Luigi's? Well, you can actually feed a family of four with the pizza.... (Bada Boom, implied). 

Or: How do you make a million dollars in a career as a photographer? Start by inheriting ten million.... 

Or: ( and this one is for younger photographers or musicians...): "What do you call a photographer whose girlfriend just dumped him? Homeless." 

I just love being at a conference with my cameras and being asked by an employee/attendee/guest: 

"Do you do this photography thing full time?" No, I think to myself. I'm just doing this as I work my way up to being assistant manager at the McDonald's down the street. Then I'll have it made and never have to photograph again. Plus any burger that falls on the floor you get to have for free!!!

Sometimes I tell people who ask these sorts of questions that I used to be a pathologically shy accountant and that I do these "gigs" at the behest of my psychoanalyst as therapy. "I'm getting better. I can talk to strangers now without wetting myself anymore....." 

So, why do I do this? It can't be the only thing I'm acceptably competent at; I mean, after all, I've written seven books, run a regional advertising agency and taught at a University, surely I can find something, anything that makes more sense than hanging out a shingle as a "camera guy." Costco always seems to be hiring....

Well, here's one of the main reasons I decided that this would be a good career for me: I don't like repetition and I don't like being around the same people all day long, everyday. One of the things many people who crave security hate about a freelance lifestyle is the idea that you never know what you'll be doing tomorrow, or next week or next month. But I adore the idea that I won't know what I'll be doing until I book the next job.....or wake up tomorrow and self-assign something that came to me in a dream. 

I take pleasure in knowing that if the client I am working for today is a real train wreck of an asshole my job will probably be over by tomorrow and I'll never have to accept an assignment from him again.  ("I'm so sorry, we're all booked up for 2020. Do you want me to see if we have any openings in 2021?). 

If an  advertising agency demands a Bentley level job but has a Hyundai level budget I can laugh and say. "No." Or "Hell No." and there will be another job in a day or two that comes attached to a wonderful and interesting client who comes complete with an ample budget and the perfect idea of where we should go for lunch during a break from the work. 

Another aspect of the same gleeful reality of only having to be "on" a day or two at a time is the knowledge that there are many, many clients out there and they cycle through regularly enough. Most good art directors at decent sized agencies work with illustrators, are compelled to use stock photography, or use some graphic other than commissioned photography for most of the projects they do. The reality (and it's been the same story for decades) is that each art director usually only gets to produced five or six ads per year which require them to hire and work with a photographer. Pretty bleak...at least until you realize that good photographers are constantly building and repairing their network of clients. Direct clients, advertising agency clients, business owner clients, event producer clients, editorial clients, video producer clients, and even individual portrait commission clients. Some photographers can also add to that list galleries and collectors (the lucky ones). Oops! I forgot association marketing directors....and non profit arts organizations.

I was working at Dell one day about nine years ago. The bottom was falling out of the U.S. and world economies. Banks were failing. You could hear corporate check books snapping shut. You could sense the fear everywhere. I was set up in a little conference room with my Dell Blue Background and a couple of lights, making headshots for the marketing people. 

One of the executives from my list of folks who needed to be photographed came in and sat down and we started talking about all the little stuff you always talk about with strangers who about to be photographed. After a few minutes the talk turned to the economy. How could it not? At any rate he looked a bit embarrassed as he asked me, "With the economy heading into a huge recession aren't you scared all your work will dry up? What if Dell stops using you?"  Things did seem a bit perilous but I thought for a minute before I answered... and then I responded: "I've got forty or fifty clients I shoot with on a somewhat regular basis so if one of them takes a break there's always someone else that steps in. But you work solely for Dell. If you get fired from this job, in this economy, it might take a good long while for you to find another job. Doesn't that scare you? I mean, after all, I have fifty clients you really only have the one..."

For me one of the real pleasures of being a photographer is that it's unlike being a contractor building a house. I'm not stuck on one project for a year or more. It's unlike working in an office because I can be somewhere new and different every day. It's not like working on a team because I don't have to suffer through working with some jerk who demonstrates a personality disorder day after day. It's not like being a doctor because I don't have to argue with an insurance company to get paid (usually) and I don't spend a bunch of time around sick people. 

In fact, quite often people will call me, talk about their creative project, give me a budget and leave me to sort out how I want to do the work. And that's about as much freedom as I guess most of us can expect and still have a real job. 

And when I am not on the clock I always have a good excuse for my family as to why it's more important for me to walk around with my newest camera and lens instead of: cutting the grass (which we pay someone else to do) or trapping skunks under the house (which we would definitely pay someone else to do) or participate in amateur plumbing projects, or draining the crankcase oil from the car into the aquifer. My excuse is that I'm constantly working on getting better and better at my real job. Seeing. And my "hobby" of indolent camera walking is done in the service of keeping my reflexes and my operational fluidity with cameras up to.....a professional level. Yes. Done correctly this career is a great dodge. 

Just don't tell too many people. 
I love all my theater clients. We work with them for a day at a time, a couple times a month...

this is the look I give to potential clients who think it should be fine to miss swim practice for a number of mornings in a row.....

I am certain this is my photographer friend, Tomas, in disguise and under cover. Working as a hobbyist.

mostly I love photography because it's so colorful.


7.08.2019

Mechanicals. Found abandoned behind a building that used to house a printing shop.



I was out strolling with a camera on the 4th of July when I noticed some older machinery behind a building that used to house a print shop, on the west side of downtown . I stepped into the old parking lot and looked around. There were a number of ancient mechanical devices that did things like fold printed paper to make brochures. Another machine was used, I think, for staple stitching brochures and booklets. Some were just like a vague puzzle with no starter clues. Perhaps an old school printing craftsman would have known exactly what each was for, even though they were beyond salvage. 

The parts were mostly monochrome and dirty so I thought they'd render better in black and white. The Fuji camera I was using has a black and white profile called, Acros, and it tends to add sharpness and grain to make photos more like what we used to get from the wet darkroom. The profile also gets me closer to the way I like the tones to appear in black and white photos. 

I spent a few minutes fiddling around with my photos and then moved on. It made me a little sad because I remember ink-on-paper printing very fondly. We used to do a lot of it when I worked in the advertising industry. I remember many a middle of the night press check. The smell of solvents, the viewing booths with their color corrected lighting, and even the little, folding printer's loupes that we used to check registration of the plates. That, and the endless clacking, and soft roar of the four and five color presses. To see parts of the old way cast aside after decades of daily use seemed like a repudiation of all the art and craft of a certain age. All the angst and loss captured by a digital camera, of a subject that was so relentlessly analog.




Side tracked. But still interested.


Do you ever get side-tracked from your primary interests? Man, I do. And I have one of those bulldog personalities that won't let me unclench my tight bite on whatever I have in front of me until it's done, complete, finished and wrapped up. There's very little ability to multi-task over here at the VSL studio. I don't do stop and start well. I am compartmentalize-challenged. 

What am I talking about now?

I should be hunkered down in the studio office trying to get the marketing done that I'll need to succeed financially in the 3rd and 4th quarters. A mix of post cards, e-mails, some Linked In posts and a splattering of Instagram posts. It's a good time to do this stuff because we're officially in the doldrums of Summer when clients run and hide from the heat and nothing much gets done, but I have two things (at least) that are pulling my attention away from doing the work. The first is a re-start of what was, at one time, a never-ending construction project at the multimillion dollar house next door. I've gotten used to the daytime hammering; even the jack-hammering, but what I can't get used to is the contractors mindlessly parking their trucks across both of our driveways --- it's almost like they can't understand that two separate houses could have two separate driveways and that parking across the one that isn't your client's is stupid, and wrong. 

If we were in the perfect world of my imagination my neighbors (who I do like) would be at home instead of out of town for two months. If they were home I'd just stroll next door and ask them to have a word directly with their various contractors and instruct them NOT to park in front of my driveway. Then my neighbor and I would crack a bottle of fine Champagne open and we'd take turns making inane conversation like, "Wow! How about that last game of the World Cup???" But in the real world the neighbors are gone off to somewhere cool and restful and I can't even locate the foreman for the ever expanding project next door. 

So, in those quiet moments during which the offending trucks have been relocated (by me) and the blank stares of the workers have turned back to other tasks, I'll start working on my own stuff until I get a phone call, e-mail or letter asking for clarification of something about my father's estate. Can I send a death certificate? Can I send letters testamentary? Can I fill out this form? Do I know my great grandmother's social security number? Usually I try to return calls quickly only to find that I'm ushered into the original caller's voicemail which then begins the routine so prevalent at big firms; the call back and message left five minutes before closing. I've have been trying to connect with one person who called to "assist" me on this "estate project" about ten times. She's never there. But she does seem to hit the office once or twice a day, usually during lunch or some other inconvenient time, to leave a voice mail in which she consistently tries for an interjection of humor with the hoary and withered, "We seem to be playing phone tag!!! Ha. Ha.

I have a f@cking cure for phone tag. It's called setting up a time certain in which to make and receive the phone call. As in, "Hi Mr. Tuck, I'm sorry I wasn't able to reach you. I'll try again at 10 am tomorrow. If that's a good time can you just send me an e-mail to confirm? If not, can you suggest an alternate time?" But, of course, I don't have a clue as to the nature of her call or what I can offer but it's coming from one of my dad's investment companies so I feel duty bound to find some sort of closure. 

Ah, the mail just came. I picked it up out of our mail box after tracking down another slack-jawed, barbarian worker who once again positioned his oil leaking Chevy pick up truck right in front of my driveway. I was heading out for coffee.... So, now there are letters from three banks, an insurance company, and the Texas Retirement System, and all three of them would love to have... something. Something I'll need to find, research, prepare and send. It just never seems to stop.

And all I really would like to do is take some photographs. You know, use the cameras a bit. Maybe finish an assignment without some unwelcome interruption. 

I'll even blame my recent gear purchases on a repressed desire to actually use photographic devices. Maybe my internal logic is that by buying yet another camera or lens I'll show the universe my intention to make photographs and the universe will move mountains to assist me. In reality, the new toys mostly sit in their boxes or on my desk....taunting me and making my lack of clear direction and unencumbered enthusiasm painfully; excruciatingly obvious. 

I'm actually thinking of going out to buy my own tow truck tomorrow. I'll be hooking up horrifying pick up trucks of the workers (parking illegally) at projects all over my neighborhood and I'll tow them to downtown parking garages where the prices to free one's vehicle are a hundred bucks a day, and let everyone else sort it all out. But I really won't because I can't see how that will help me at with all the paperwork requests.

I've included two photographs from Iceland to remind myself that cool weather will come again someday. That I do get to do fun stuff, usually. That I can afford to take the time off to get stuff done. The only thing I am not sure of is whether the constant remodeling, tearing down and rebuilding, etc. in our neighborhood will ever abate. When pesky homebuyers buy million dollar houses with the intention of demolishing them in order to build much bigger and more expensive homes one wonders whether it's a never ending cycle which will eventually morph into new buyers buying the two to four million dollar houses only to tear those down and start again on even bigger and pricier ones. Maybe it's time to move.....

Sorry, no time for photographic writing today. Too busy being inconvenienced. 


Proof that at some point in the past I actually had time to photograph.

A couple of days with the X-Pro2 have helped me sort out a new working methodology. And use up some shoe leather....


After a bit of trial and error, and the purchase of two competing lines of lenses, I've come up with what is for me a nice, small kit to take when I go out for walks in our lovely urban spaces. It consists of an X-Pro2 body (see the welcome grip attachment in the photo above...)  along with a 23mm f2.0 and the 50mm f2.0. I also bring along two of the NP-126S batteries; just in case. The small bag (it's really very small) is big enough to hold two of the f2.0 WR lenses along with a wallet and, if wanted, a phone. The camera doesn't go in the bag. It would take up too much space. It goes mostly over my left shoulder on a traditional strap but sometimes I wear it, bouncing up and down, on my chest like a 1970's tourist, and that's okay too. 

I guess you could consider this my "day time" rig; the lenses are the f2.0 variety instead of their faster, f1.4/f1.2 counterparts. I'm pretty sure that if I were doing mostly interior photographs (at the museums, in coffee shops, in hotels) that I'd switch out the lens selection and go with the 23 f1.4 and the 56 f1.2 APD. But in broad daylight the max aperture differences are inconsequential as I seem to be settling in on f4.0 and f5.6 as my preferred settings. 

I also keep my car keys in the little bag and, as you can see in the above photo, I keep the batteries in a separate plastic bag to prevent an unfortunate marriage of the battery terminals with the metal keys. 

I've made a few mistakes in shooting the Fuji X-Pro2's but nothing so embarrassing that I'm hanging my head and leaving the field of play. The X-Pro2 just requires a "newbie" like me to pay a bit more attention to the process and the difference in controls; especially when using the optical finder. I tend to get into using EVFs so much I just assume automatically (and incorrectly) that the camera will "see" what I see through the OVF and that's a bad presumption. I'm working on it....
This gentleman was working on a music video with his friend. The camera is a Sony A7xxx. He asked me if I could play a small part in their video and so I acted the part of a photographer taking images on Congress Ave. His actor rode up on a scooter and showed me an I.D. card and asked if I had seen the person in the card. I said "yes" and point off down the street. I'm proud to say we got the shot in just two takes. 

This is the actor I worked with for my short cameo.
It looks like they were having a lot of fun and had their 
camera work well figured out.

The traditional group shot upon completion. 
23mm (I'm still learning with this one).


This store always has the best signage...

One step up from a food trailer? Weird business model in my mind. Cook burgers and fries. 
Delivery them to customers who sit in the sweltering heat under a little tent. 
Want some sweat with your burger? Maybe it all makes more sense in the winter...

This is a new addition to the ever increasing inventory of downtown hotels.
It's called "The Fairmont" and it was the site of the WP Engine Summit Conference 
that I was photographing just two weeks ago.

Big flag on a Rainey St. bar.




Love a good ad. 


So, I discovered Bangers during the WP Engine Summit and I made it the 
"turnaround" destination for my long walk yesterday. I broke with long 
tradition and stopped in for one of their lower alcohol IPAs. 
Very refreshing and a bit of chancy hydration for the long walk back to the car....

I was walking by our new (giganctic, grandiose, over the top) public library when I realized 
that I'd swum hard, walked far and hadn't had lunch yet. It was already 3 pm when 
I ventured into the library's very nice cafĂ© and ordered their version of 
heuvos rancheros. The beans were spicy and delicious. The bacon downright sybaritic. 
Washed down with a blueberry Italian soda.




Nicely manageable walking kit. I'll re-use this packing concept.

Quick Swim news. Our regular pool is closed today so I'm heading over to the spring fed pool known as "Deep Eddy." It's 33 and a third yards long and the water temperature is about 10 degrees (F) cooler than our regular pool. I just want to get a mile or two in before I start my day in earnest.