Day 119, art, visits

Sunday, 3/31/2019

Coffee and newspaper at the usual place. On impulse, I purchased a “cappuccino card”, a discount card where the last two of twelve drinks are “free”. Then I wondered, will I really be back here for twelve more cappuccinos? Or, if I’m living a mile-plus distant at C.H., might I come back here for Sunday mornings anyway, or would I find a nearer coffee shop? Transitions: breaking old habits, or adapting them. Ch-ch-ch-ch-CHANges! Thank you David Bowie, back in your box.

At 10:30 drove to Menlo Park to meet with Darlene and Jessea, who had invited me to join them looking at an exhibit of Ansel Adams photos being auctioned to benefit the Sempervirens fund. There were about 20, pretty much the gamut of Adams’ standard subjects, breaking waves, Sierra mountains, trees. It all seems very familiar now; partly because we’ve seen his pictures over and over, and partly because we all take these same pictures now, over and over. Adams showed everybody how to see these things, what to look for through the viewfinder, and the views are now clichés. But for any cliché, somebody had to coin it.

We talked about the technology changes. Take this shot, his Timber Cove breaking wave,


He did this with a big old wooden box on a tripod and a plate. How many very expensive 8×10 negs did he expose? Mind you, he wouldn’t have known what he had before he was back in the darkroom. (And maybe he didn’t go out to shoot a breaking wave; maybe he was there for the rocks, but back in the darkroom, he discovered he’d gotten lucky.)

Today, you’d sit on the same bluff with your digital camera, trying to time the waves, click, look at the back of the camera, nope, that wave doesn’t perfectly echo the shape of the rocks, do another — until you had the right one. And walk back to the car with your camera with its 128GB micro-SD card capable of holding a year’s worth of zillion-megapixel images, in your pants pocket.

So we had lunch at Anne’s Cafe, a throwback to the 1950s, which they enjoyed, talking about cameras and slides. Darlene and Jessea have the same problem as I, with thousands of slides, and not sure what to do with them. We talked about scanning, and they came back to the house and I showed them how I did slide scanning, which was fun for me anyway. But it emerged that they have a bigger problem in that their slides are nowhere near as well organized as mine were. They don’t have a catalog file saying what every slide is, organized by groups. More like, organized by rubber bands and shoe boxes. So just as they were leaving I remembered something: the slide sorter Marian used. A collapsing box, that opens to support a translucent screen with a bulb behind it, so you can move slides around, arrange and cull them in a batch. It would be worth nothing in an estate sale (not many buyers would even know what it was), but they could use it. So I pulled it from the back of the closet and handed it over.

Later in the day I ran the recorded game, #2 Oregon vs. #1 seed Mississippi State. Oregon won, and will face UConn in the Final Four on Friday. I have no plan to go to Tampa, but if Stanford should (against all odds) sneak by Notre Dame… nah. Probably not.




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