pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: July 2013

26 July 2013

Big wheel

Ferris wheel
Costa Mesa, California
25 July 2013

People who take photos have so many options for fiddling with them these days. I took this with Hipstamatic (potluck. I just shook the phone and shot with whatever options came up. That makes the process slightly more organic--luck of the draw--than choosing a "film" and a "lens." But not really). Looking at the photos that had been entered in the fair's competition, I felt a sense of exhaustion. So many bore evidence of endless Photoshopping--supersaturated colors, various effects--that none of them felt special. Sure, old school was shooting with certain films to get certain effects, cropping in the darkroom if the composition was less than perfect, but you were limited by your materials, your equipment and your expertise. Not so much any more. I haven't decided if that's good or bad.

I'm not sure if I'd go back to shooting with film if the opportunity presented itself. I came across an old manual 35mm yesterday, a not particularly good camera, and didn't even seriously think about using it. I learned how to use Photoshop back when the third or fourth iteration came out, years ago, and I've never really looked back. Mostly, I use it for fixes, for watermarking, for obliterating faces when the need arises for the blog.

But looking at so many of those photos yesterday...I was surprised at how much so many of them bored me.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4, using Hipstamatic. For the record, I'm not saying my own photos are anything special, though I do get off a good shot on occasion.

25 July 2013

Wherein I am dragged to a concert

Pacific Amphitheater
Costa Mesa, California
25 July 2013

A turn up for the books. Usually, I am the instigator in the concert department, as we know, but I've been hauled off to two shows in the last two weeks. Tonight probably would have been easier if I hadn't had a migraine.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4. You know, there are performers whose stuff you know via the radio, and it's fine, and you sing along, but it would never occur to you to go see them live. And the show was friendly and energetic, but.... The migraine really didn't help.

09 July 2013

The dead zone

An empty mall
Lake Elsinore, California
5 July 2013

We left early to drive to Julian and by the time we got half way there, I was starting to hear cries of "I have to use the bathroom."

Conveniently, we saw signs for an outlet mall, and we pulled off the freeway, thinking we could take a little rest stop, maybe get a cup of coffee. I don't really enjoy shopping; once upon a time it was a fun activity, but the fun has long since gone.

In any event, it was just after 9 in the morning, and we pulled into the parking lot. It didn't escape our notice that the parking lot was basically empty.  It turned out, of course, that the place didn't open until 10, but fortunately, the customer service building was open (though empty but for a man stocking a snack machine), and the restrooms were available (and clean!). So we availed ourselves of the facilities and set off back toward the car.

It struck us all about the same time just how quiet the place was. It was almost eerie that there weren't even any employees about.

Because I fact check my posts, I looked the mall up, and it was sad to see lots of negative reviews of the place. While there, I noticed a lot of dead space but because we didn't walk the length of the mall, I didn't realize that apparently, quite a lot of it is empty. It was clean, and nicely landscaped, but there was an air of desolation.

And emptiness.

Driving home that evening, the daughter again needed to stop. I took her into a bustling home center located across the freeway from the mall. The level of activity was somehow reassuring.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

08 July 2013

The son was amused

Julian, California
5 July 2013

To be fair, I was amused when I walked into Trader Joe's this morning and heard "New World Man."

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4 using the Hipstamatic app.

05 July 2013


Palomar Observatory
Palomar Mountain, California
5 July 2013

The observatory actually comprises several telescopes; this is the dome that houses the 200-inch Hale telescope.

My father-in-law graduated from Caltech after World War II. He still talks about seeing the giant mirror for this telescope. It was on campus to be polished after it was transported to California and before it was installed in the telescope. The process took years.

It's impressively enormous.

Tech stuff: Taken with my iPhone4 using the Hipstamatic app. You can read about the Hale telescope here.