I had some time. I gave myself an official break from assembling the accounting information for my CPA and I went downtown with a little camera and lens just to see if I could still move through crowds, make new friends and get over my shyness. (I am kidding, I'm no more shy or retiring that anyone else.... maybe less so...).
After hauling around bigger cameras earlier in the week I gave myself permission to use one of the wondrous and adorable Leica CL cameras along with an equally winsome Sigma i-Series 56mm f1.4 lens. I didn't walk endlessly. I just planted myself on a few hopping blocks of East Sixth St. and watched the people go by. There were lots of bands that were not part of the official SXSW roster but who had come to SXSW to do impromptu showcases out in the streets or to give the public a taste and then pass out promo cards for later performances at big and little clubs sprinkled all over the downtown area; spilling over to the east side. The bands down here on Friday afternoon were predominantly composed of African American musicians and performers. The energy was high. And finally the street was filled with people filming for social media...with real cameras.
I made myself right at home. As a 67 year old guy with white hair I guess I must have stood out from the crowd, all of whom were younger and more appropriately dressed for the event. I must have looked like I just walked out of a geriatric REI catalog. But I really didn't care. If I saw someone whose look I liked I just smiled and walked up and talked to them about making their photo. Everyone was game. Well, I did ask one person who was doing a food concession and didn't want to be photographed, but everyone else was up for it.
I shot four or five hundred frames with the camera set to DNG+Large Jpeg and when the battery in the camera expired I was torn between calling it quits or pulling another battery out of my pocket and going onward. In the end I decided I'd better call it quits. I had a dinner invitation to a famous photographer's house and I remember that both he and his wife are incredible cooks. I dropped by Trader Joes for a bottle of wine and headed over for an amazing St. Patrick's Day dinner. A nice way to end a day of wandering around aimlessly in crowds and trying to figure it all out.
I did feel less shy and retiring as I walked back to the car......
I'm showing some frames in color and in black and white just so I can look at the differences and decide how I really like them. Don't tell me which way to go. I'll change my mind tomorrow.