Saturday, October 25, 2008

busy day in the City

The morning started early with my files... During the previous day I had tried to copy/move my milllion image files to the newer hard drive... it took hours so I would leave and go shooting on the streets of San Francisco... when I returned, the operation aborted for some unknown reason and now I'd have to compare both folders on the source and destination locations, and copy the files not moved.... what a pain. So, I decided to just back-up all of the files. It'd just be a slight duration of a few days!

That operation in progress, I started by climbing the hills again to Telegraph Hill. Today Coit Tower was celebrating its long existence and was offering free elevator rides to the top; something I've never experienced in my life though I faintly remember a school field trip as a very young child. The view was amazing from the top, and it was well worth the trip up those hills and the stairs! Plus there were old fire engines and a display of period callsic old cars, and the Mayor would be speaking later that day - I didn't stick around but did get pixs of the engines and cars.
Last night I had heard online that a zeppelin would be flying over the city! So, I drove to Crissy Field then walked toward Fort Point at the base of the southern tower of the Golden Gate bridge..... stopping enroute to snap away at birds and more.
By time I reached a halfway point, lo and behold there was a huge white airship coming toward the bridge from the south... I started taking pixs with both a 170-500 and the wide-angle, finishing up with my standard 28-300. Many sunning at the beach were looking up at the airship, and there was a fireboat throwing up streams of water in celebration; this is the first time since the 1940s that an airship has flown over the City!!

That done, I went walking back to the Crissy Field marsh and photographed the birds there...
it's a "clean" marsh but getting filthier every week... but still... getting close and tight one can see the water and not the cups, plastic and filth... though it's still there!!

That done, I drove home, parked the car and walked toward Chinatown to see a friend who was participating in the San Francisco ARTwalk... I wanted to participate too but didn't have the money for printing the pictures, storing them in some protective sleeves, etc. It's not cheap nor easy to sell or even display images!! This morning I was starving as I hadn't eaten anything all day and had already walked a few miles, plus now will be walking up some steep North Beach hills, so I stopped at my previously favorite dim-dum place for a few snacks. They had depleted their supply of shrimp dumplings, so I took what remained - two - then grabbed some pork thingies that I liked too... the taste of the shrimp dumpling wasn't what I was used to... much has changed in the few months since I'd stopped there before. I went and found my photographer friend on Mason Street in front of the Cable Car Museum and stopped and chatted for an hour... she has an uncanny eye for flora details, and I love her work!!

After that I walked up and down those same steep hills again and drove my sister to a birthday party for her grandson and her brother-in-law.... I dropped her off to finish with the backing up of my files, plus to download the images of the morning and the zeppelin, etc.

I now went to the birthday party and spent over 3 hours there and finally returned to discover the backup operation continuing and now only two days and quite a few hours remaining!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I forgot

this is the nightmare awaiting me upon arrival
...a year ago at about 4:39pm, I arrived in San Francisco after a long tiring 9-hr drive from Eugene. I was barely settled in the Northwest when I had to move down here.... with increasing success on the tip of my camera lens, I wasn't too happy leaving Eugene and moving back to my hometown and have to start all over again. I really don't want to be here...

Today, I tolerate a first year here... a year that has seen me work alone, without assistance or help.... cleaning out the stuff of a deceased person, and attempt finding room where there is none for my stuff. My car was parked in the street for months with many boxes within, while blocks away cars' windows were being smashed and being broken into.

I tolerated a lot of stuff and know it will continue even more, as the work is far from finished. I estimate moving alone over 500 lbs of materials, stuff and junk in the first three months down six flights of squeaky wooden stairs. That doesn't include the mid-height piano I moved out of this same room I live in now, and out of the apartment, till months later it was finally moved ~ thankfully by others ~ out of the building. In the garage below, I've moved around probably over 400lbs of junk, gotten rid of another 300lbs, organizing the way it looks, and built some new shelves to hold some of my boxes. In the small room I live in, I started with only about one square foot of open visible floor in a room ~ guessing ~ measuring about 10'x15', and now I have about 20 square feet available of open floor space.

I don't know if I will stay to tolerate another year here.... but I am not happy and my heart is somewhere else. My only desire is to escape from my cell here.... and perhaps never return.

What would you do if you were confronted with this lovely sight?

After a year, it's not the best now but it's a much better and organized view than these above four images display. Perhaps I'll show some pixs at a future date....

When I departed Spain in December 2006, the euro was inching higher in value against the dollar - this being the reason of my departure. Since I have been in the USA the dollar has fallen since and hasn't dropped below $1.30 against the euro. Now for the first time that I know about, it's below $1.30 and still gaining ground against the euro!! Could this be a sign from that big bank in the sky to return?

2 hours to copy four gigs

oops!! Make that three hours!! I finally broke down and yesterday purchased a 500gig external hard drive. Gosh ~ I remember when 500megs cost almost a thousand dollars alone!!!! In trying to manage my image files, I have run out of room everywhere! On my desktop's 160gig HD, I don't have too many corners still available... I had purchased a 350gig external HD in Spain before departing in 2006 and that is now filled, though I have frantically been trying to burn off the files during the last few weeks and months - with little success as each week I shoot more, adding to my backlog and worklist.

Last night it took four hours to format the new HD, then after a reboot it took another three hours to partition it to make organizing the files better and easier. As I type this, I am moving the files slowly over to the 500giger from the 350gig HD, and to move 4gigs it's taking an average of three hours.... grrrr

Luckily, while last weekend attending the opening exhibit at my friend's gallery collectively Grasp when she introduced me to a musical website where you can hear your style of music, all the while remembering your likes and dislikes, then searches for more music that fit your musical likes so you only hear the type of music you enjoy, and those similar. I love it.... The other day I listened to about five hours of flamenco guitar music which I really love, and makes me miss Spain even more. Right now I'm listening to Dido-type music while moving these massive files and am enjoying with immense pleasure the tunes of these different artists with a similar style, many whom I've never known by name but by their music.

Once I get everything moved to the new external HD, I'll format the other external and partition that also, something I've been trying to do but not really, since I have over 280gigs of images on there and I didn't want to risk losing them in the case something happen during the partitioning process....

Suuuuure, all this should keep me again in front of the monitor for about a month at the very least!!!

In the meanwhile, my eyes and vision continue to slowly improve as they heal... I've driven a few times at night now and am happy I can see better in dim light where I am not uncomfortable driving blindly into the darkness as it was that situation previously. I often like to look around ~ for example while stopped at a red light ~ and see distant billboards, buildings etc, to test my vision and how I couldn't see something clearly last week, and now can. I can clearly see 18'x24' billboards a block away well, and other lettering farther as well. "Seeing" is to define the act of seeing sharp focused edges, define the lettering, the message and sharp lines; and the ability to see low-contrast colors as opposed to brighter colors.

Hey!!! Only two and a half hours remaining on the copying to the new HD!!!!

Just a picture captured while around the city as Halloween nears; snapped with my Motorola RZR cell phone camera...

Monday, October 20, 2008

cleaning out my old sent box - my life in emails

It's not easy seeing where your Life has been - no better method of "seeing" its direction but through cleaning out your old emails in your sent box. Seeing emails dated while living in Spain, later emails upon my arrival in Eugene were a revelation; even more those emails after my move to the Bay Area.

Then I've reading through the other stuff.... emails to models hoping {begging} for a foto session and being refused. People and others who posed for others of lesser abilities photographically, and never posing with me. Models who were excited about an upcoming foto session with me, and never showed up... flakes who were just like snowflakes... appeared from seemingly out-of-the-sky, then disappeared and with just a few words here and there, gone as if they never existed. Others who even bragged about their opportunity with me - called me an artist - and were so "looking forward" to my photographing them... they too like leaves on a dying tree.... fell and disappeared.

Virtual letters from people whom I knew to be ~ thought I ~ good friends and then disappeared without a trace when I moved to the USA. Friends that were and later friends I knew and had, but no longer... never without a reason. Thy just died virtually and left no forwarding soul to contact.....

Yes, that and this now has been my life... sad and depressing. I don't know how many times I've been told that they "love my imagery and can't wait to be photographed by such an artistic artist" and then I never hear from them again... It's depressing when this happens on such a routine basis that one wonders if the life they are supposedly living is real.... or not.

I got upset before - not any longer - when I see someone whom I wanted to photograph - pose for someone else. I don't have any money to pay models and I get turned down by any and everyone. Yes, quite sad but who cares.... they have their life and don't care about how I feel.... later I'll see through their modeling website that they had posed free for some other photographer, who had/has less vision than I... the pictures being little less than studio snapshots a 5th grader could've snapped, or nudes so horrid who but an idiot would display them? But they do and they have...

I remember once a "friend" - no longer as she abandoned me too - wanted me to do a portrait for her.... bragged to all her friends and family of this upcoming portrait session with me. Months later I saw her casually on the street and asked what had happened with that need for a portrait.... she just shrugged and said she went to a studio and had them done. I asked if she liked the results and she told me no, then proceeded to describe each and every little detail of WHY she didn't like them. I told her she shouldn't be telling me as I was not her photographer - she should tell that studio.... she stomped off and I never saw her again.

Now it's difficult to talk to people about my photography - I am always wondering: will they be like the rest and just say things that are nice, but the truth is.... they will disappear like the others....

It happens so often....

I've often wondered should I give up this hate/love relationship with photography ~ how I love photography but it and the people who see my work hate me and my images so much as to avoid me so. I remember how some people would stare at me as they would a fly when I told them I was an "artistic" photographer; after a few days they were awed as they described how they felt so together with the beauty I had "captured". They were agasp when I told them I made very little money from my photography..... they too promptly disappeared as do the others.

As I write this, my camera is again in the shop for the same problem it's had three previous times over the past few months and I haven't even had it a whole year! Have previously tried to stay away from a camera, but tis difficult because it's like chopping off your hands, your feet and walking blind into the darkness....

But they don't care.... I feel so bitter at times but who cares.... to go begging online to create pictures for someone.... If I had the money to pay for a model they would probably still turn me down.... I am "so" artistic they don't see how I feel when they turn me down and go to some other less-experienced photographer. They don't see my hurt when I see their newest cheesecake pictures taken by some guy with a camera who does his work more to see nude women than anything else, and makes more money in one day through his photography than I have made in the last five years.

They don't care how I feel.....

Right now I am listening to flamenco guitar music off the internet, listening to the spanish-style music all day and wishing I were back in my small apartment in warmer friendlier Spain... not restricted within a cell of so many feet and with no room for my clothes, my things and my memories. That I must relocate things each and every day just to be able to move around and do things ~ for that reason often I cannot find things.

This is not Life......