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Monday, March 16, 2015

Zen & the Art of Long Exposures

Riding home from work, something I really enjoy to unwind is some urban landscape photography. Tags, city scenes, the star trails of automobiles, that sort of thing.

I can have listened to incredible bullshit at work, 'Obama is a Muslim who was trained to be President at a special school by the Chinese and the Arabs to bring America to its knees,' for instance. I'm not exaggerating, a guy actually said that to me and when I didn't seem sold, he acted like I was a deluded idiot. But you know what, he was a customer, and you know what they say about how the customer is always right.

The Obama hater was frustrating not just because the idea that the 'Chinese and the Arabs' got together to even order a pizza is laughable, but because he's not some wino on a park bench. This motherfucker has a real business and generates enough income from it to at least leverage a high end German car. I've met real life winos who make more sense.

But I can set up my Nikon on a tripod and leave the shutter open for a few minutes and wait and wait to see what I get and it mellows me the hell out and I don't care. Which is good, because the one thing worse than a freak who thinks Obama is the worst thing that could ever happen is someone sending people off to 're-education' camps to further systems that actually are as bad as a lot of Republicans think Obamacare is.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a big fan of Obama. Or Obamacare. I can't say I'd prefer McCain, Palin or Romney to our present figurehead. In fact, they all seem scarier in a lot of ways. Obama is probably 'weak' in foreign policy, for instance, much to the Ukraine's detriment (if Putin thought Obama had an appetite to put American troops in Ukraine to protect historic borders, there wouldn't be Russian troops in Ukraine obliterating those borders). But while it's a good thing for assholes like Putin to think America will just throw down at the drop of a hat, it's abad thing when we have someone like W. where it's actually true.

Because when it's true we accidentally invade the wrong country on false pretenses of weapons of mass destruction. Or in another era, JFK, whatever his faults, is sitting in the Oval Office with everyone he should trust for military/strategic advice urging him to launch nukes at the Soviet Union, there is no tomorrow. He might have been a lousy husband, a sorry excuse for a leader in a lot of aspects, but at least he was sane enough to ignore all those five star generals. I literally wouldn't be sitting on this comfy couch venting from my nice Macbook if we'd had someone like W. in office for the Cuban Missile Crisis. George wouldn't have had to hear it twice, he would have pushed 'launch' as casually as if it said 'lunch.'

Oh, the photographer and client on the bridge? They're a little outside my usual subjects but as I set up on the bridge by the FBI building the other night, there was a photographer doing some portrait work, putting a girl in a baby doll dress on a concrete wall, having her stand out in possible traffic, etc. I was mostly waiting for the light to change for my tripod shots but they were just too fun not to shoot.

And when I get a night shot just so, it's so worth it. It doesn't happen all the time, as you can tell by these shots. And I shot a lot of frames, these are the ones I felt willing to share, and it's not like they're all that.

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