4.07.2020

It's Tuesday, the 7th of April, and we're learning day-by-day new ways to entertain ourselves. Mostly with old photos.


A previous (to 2019) production of a Janis Joplin musical at Zach Theatre. 

This is a quick report from Austin to keep in touch with all my VSL friends. Last night I stayed up late looking through boxes of prints that span decades. Wow. Everyone progressively grew up and got older. Buildings in Austin got newer and taller. Theater productions got bigger and the lighting got much, much better. 

Yesterday I played around with the GX8 and the 45-150mm Panasonic lens and it was much better than I remember it being. Or maybe I just shot that lens with older cameras that didn't have the capability to do as sharp and noise free a file as the newer camera. I wish I had some good samples to show you from the combination but I was disappointed with the weather and nothing gelled for me; photo-wise. 

A bit of sad news, but it was bound to happen... The State of Texas officially closed the state parks for the time being. Sad because I was looking forward to climbing Enchanted Rock this week, out near Fredericksburg, Texas. It's also a great trip out because the highways are lined with the beautiful colors of the Spring wildflowers... Seems that people were disregarding social distancing but I think a bigger issue was with the need for much more frequent sanitizing of the facilities in the park. Either way, that's some wide open space that's off the table for now.

A bit of good news. The painters arrived this morning to splash some samples of tinted wood preservatives on an exterior, cedar wall. Belinda (being a picky graphic designer/art director) shot down four different tint samples and we ended up choosing a clear, oil based wood preservative. The house is about half rock and half natural cedar. We've been needing to treat the wood for while... The exterior work is allowed by both city and state ordinances during this time and the two workers came in separate vehicles, are focused on social distancing and are wearing faces masks and other protective gear. 

People need an income stream and we think it's a good idea to keep hiring local companies to do as much as we need, and can legally and ethically manage, in order to help keep folks paid. We've put off interior work until the pandemic subsides. The cedar is looking so much better already...

Since the Easter holiday is coming up and Belinda is trying to limit her grocery shopping to once every two weeks I head over to Trader Joes twice a week to get produce. There are fewer people in their stores, they have a time just for "seniors" from 8-9 a.m. And both customers and employees are wearing masks at all times. They limit the number of people in the store at one time to facilitate social distancing. On today's adventure there I found everything on my shopping list including: bag salads, fresh cauliflower, broccoli and green beans, gruyere cheese, goat cheese, Kerrigold butter, organic milk, my favorite muesli, organic blackberries (so sweet), greek yogurt, sourdough batard, and hand sanitizer.

What more could you ask for? Oh, and though I didn't need them there were paper towels and toilet paper. 

Life goes on here with few rough spots but the lack of socializing is taking its toll in slow motion. I'm so used to seeing friends, colleagues, clients and swimmers, in big doses everyday that our current existence seems like science fiction. At times as though we are pioneers on Mars. But pioneers on Mars with cameras. 

I hope you are happy and well. Don't let dread rob you of the joys of the moment. It's wise to consider the future but not at the expense of the present. Looking forward to making a sandwich with toasted sourdough bread, Dijon mustard, ham and swiss cheese. I stick the half with the ham and swiss cheese under the broiler for five minutes and the whole thing is so damn yummy I can hardly stand it. That's today's lunch --- along with a bit of fruit and maybe a slice of raw onion on the sandwich. Gotta look forward to stuff....

A previous (to 2019) production of a Janis Joplin musical at Zach Theatre. 

Remembering when Samsung used to make cameras. And send them to me for free...

Demonstrating the "dirty baby diaper" camera hold engendered by EVF-less cameras. 
Like my Sigma fp. Dammit. 

Renae and her adorable daughter.

I already miss the agony of modern travel...

Remembering my first (and only) trip to Berlin. It's the #2 destination on 
my list of immediate, future travel plans. Hope they are doing well. 

S. Korean Photographer I met in Berlin. Having lunch together at a Chinese restaurant in 
Germany. How multi-national of us...

Berlin. Opera House lunch break. 2013. 

How to not practice social distancing. Not to worry, this was a few years ago...



 Every night, as I go to sleep, I hope there will be a time again soon when we can make portraits. 


13 comments:

Jeff Kott said...

Kirk,
Instead of doing the "dirty diaper hold" with the strap hanging, try putting the strap around your neck and extending your arms so there is a some moderate tension on the strap. This is a much more stable hand hold position for framing with the LCD and allows for really slow shutter speeds. Of course, depending on your eye sight, you may need to lengthen the strap to get the LCD far enough away from your eyes.
Stay well,
Jeff

Chuck Albertson said...

I had booked a trip to Berlin and Dresden for mid-March, but of course had to cancel. Here's a look at Berlin during the pandemic: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vbaI4pEHPR8 (I've been watching a lot of DW's docos on their channel).

Anonymous said...

Our local stores are so crowded, even during senior hours, that it's a bit risky to shop. Been trying deliveries but have a lot of trouble getting a time slot and a lot of what I have ordered. I dream about yogurt and fresh fruits and lettuce. And water, the tap here tastes awful.

Tom Dills said...

Our local grocery store started dedicated "senior" time from 6-8am on Mondays and Thursdays. I went the first time and the place was so crowded there was no way to properly distance! I went back to my usual 9-10am time and the place is pleasantly uncrowded. No toilet paper yet, but 20% off a case of wine!

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Tom, senior hours aren't all they are cracked up to be... But the wine discount sounds like a solid score. I waited my turn to get in and there were only about 30 other shoppers in the store at a time. Carefully measuring people going in versus coming back out. We're lucky here in West Austin, we've got three good choices for grocery stores. Two within a mile or less and one about two miles away.

The biggest one is generally more crowded by it's very well run. Our Trader Joes is the best of the bunch and they're bending over backwards to make it pleasant for the shoppers. They put up tents when it rains, they wipe down each cart as they wheel it over to you and they've got hand wipes everywhere. They stepped up well.

robert quiet photographer said...

I'm on my fourth week of lockdown...getting used to it....nice to have internet, phones and skype to interact with other. And nice to read you Kirk!
robert from north italy

Nigli said...

Kirk, I've got to do some wood oiling etc too. Any chance you could let me know what the product was?

Ken said...

Ha! Now I see what YOU mean by the dirty diaper hold on your camera. When I shoot that way it's between 8-12 inches away from me rather than 24 inches. It's far more comfortable for me and I too would have more problems if I needed to hold it at arms length

Jim Restle said...

Hi Kirk, perhaps you mentioned it previously, but if Berlin is #2, which destination is #1 on your travel list once this is over?

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Rome. Very much Rome. I've always loved it the most, from not just a photographic point of view but also the food and the people.

Yoram Nevo said...

Yes! Rome and Italy, where the sky are blueer (is this correct?) the sun is yellower, the grass is greener and the coffee is always tastyer. God,even the coffee at the gas station is so good, and served in real china coffee cups.

christer3805 said...

Shopping time reserved for seniors from 8 to 9 a.m. would not suit me. 8 to 9 yes, but p.m.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

And I laughed out loud when I saw that Walmart was setting aside 6:00 am to 8:00 am for seniors. I'd rather sleep. Can't imagine who might want to be in a Walmart at 6 a.m. That thought frightens me nearly as much as the pandemic.