Archive for February, 2010

Daily Photo: Go Big Red

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

red pants_crop

This one’s a deliberate crop, to remove distracting elements (like his head, which had a purposeful scowl aimed in my direction, as well as a clever little porkpie hat). Maybe I’ll do a closer crop of that face for tomorrow. Or maybe I’ll forget, like I forget everything these days. I need some better sleep, people. Maybe walking for miles before bedtime isn’t the best idea for a twitch like me. All I know is that I’ve been 150% more social in five days here than in the past five months back in the cold place where all my crap lives. And I need a rest.

Luckily, tonight’s a recharge night. I’ll fortify myself at the neighborhood sushi bar, then park it on the couch for some boyskating. Too bad we’re not IM pals, because we could squee and snark together. The Russian Mullet and Captain Naranja are 1-2 going into the free skate, but I find them greasy-weaselly and meh with hints of self-serious.* I’ve got my fingers crossed for the swiss one with the pretty spins or any of the Japanese. But my heart belongs to Johnny.

*We get it, Evan Lysacek: YOU’RE NOT GAY. And WE DON’T CARE. Of course, Plushenko’s gay for the quad, but that’s about all he’s got. He’s the equivalent of a dead fuck with a giant cock, and I KNOW some of you have been there.

Daily Photo: Mesmerize Me

Wednesday, February 17th, 2010

dilated_close

I found this gentleman outside the Indian grocery on Valencia, and he was gracious about posing for a single shot. While I knew he had a great weathered face, I didn’t realize how hypnotic his eyes were until I opened the image onscreen; I feel so lucky he shared his amazing gaze with me.*

In other news, I am eager to attack the vital question of the day, which concerns the skating outfits worn by last night’s men’s short program competitors (or should I say sparkle-Elvis-iceponies?), but must table that discussion until last night’s variously-flavored vodka gimlets** stop crushing my temple like a tyrant’s bootheel.

PS: If you haven’t seen Johnny Weir’s short program yet, hie thee to YouTube; god love the diva-peacocks, we need their crazy, bitchy light. I also loved the Japanese guy who skated to Jimi Hendrix, mainly because he was so fast I thought he’d melt himself into the ice. I’d find the links for you, but I have hills to climb, pictures to take, and vodka to walk off.

*This is one you should see full size; just click on the picture, then select “all sizes.”

**Bitey chinese five-spice, clean lime, and something else in the middle that went down oh-so-easy, all courtesy of my friend and enabler, The Divine Ms. W, who’s a highly gifted mixologist. Thank you, and damn you, Leanne.

Happy First Birthday, Nephlet!

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

Ford rainbow chew

In honor of your big day, mom tells me you busted out some new language. Apparently, you said “thank you” when she handed you a bottle yesterday, and that’s great because manners matter, even in an age when civic life feels more like reality television.

You also said “Du-u-ude” in an appropriate context, which shows that you’re socially aware, as well as being a talented mimic and one chill little hondo.

So happy birthday, dude; your birth changed everything.

I love you, neph.

Daily Photo: Stealing Souls

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

backpack&bowlerhat

This is one of the street portraits I took walking through the Castro on Sunday. It was my first trip out into the crowds for some people shots, and I learned that there’s a lot to consider when taking a stranger’s picture. First, you have to decide what you’re after. To capture interesting faces? To catch people unawares, with their regular faces on? To provoke just enough of a confrontation that the image has energy? To meet new people and build trust as you take several semi-posed shots? To uncover the essence of a person in two dimensions, even though you’ve never met them, and the image will be the only evidence of your encounter?

Then there are the technical considerations: Is your camera set up to stop motion and give you the kind of depth of field you want? Can you set the focus points on the fly, so the subject’s eyes are sharp? Have you selected the appropriate ISO and white balance and eleventy trillion other things? Can your fingers do all this without fumbling around?

And finally, there are all the compositional elements that really make the picture sing. What’s happening behind the person; is it distracting or does it add to the story the picture tells? Is there energy, rhythm, balance? Does the image move you, intrigue you, delight you?

And even if you have all this down, the other big consideration in street portraiture is luck. It’s all about timing, fluid motion, and keeping your eye out for the face, the form, that fleeting instant when you should click the shutter.

PS: Press the picture to embiggen. You can click through the links above to see more shots from Sunday, or just go here. There’s more to come, as I get new pix processed. And lord, that’s a whole other story; what happens after you steal the soul.

Daily Photo: You Know What I Like

Monday, February 15th, 2010

blckdck

I wish I could tell you I was mature enough not to snap a photo of this excellent graffiti. But sadly, no.

I did a guerilla streetshoot yesterday late afternoon, pointing my camera at every freak and frolicker out in the Castro, which was funfunandmorefun. There’s a real art to catching people in motion without blowing the focus points or pissing them off. I need more practice, so I’m glad I’m here in a sunny city while everybody’s out enjoying the easeful air. I’ll get in some more shooting on my trek through the Mission and over Bernal Hill to Betsy’s house for dinner. I’m supplying the salmon, and she’s lending the critical eye, because I went to H&M this morning, and I think I’ve got denim derangement syndrome; I’m not sure what looks good on me anymore. So Betsy’s going to do an asscheck and tell me whether I’m allowed to keep my new jeans.

Shopping makes me a little sweaty and desperate, but I try to meditate on my dressing room mantra: It’s not your body, the clothes are poorly made. I also practice the art of defocusing my eyes until I’ve gotten the pants or skirt all the way on, because my other dressing room wisdom is: Don’t look at your butt.

What’s your survival strategy when trying on clothes? Or are you one of those forgiving people who’s never hard on yourself?

Daily Photo: Burning Heart

Sunday, February 14th, 2010

burning heart

San Francisco seduces me every time. I left in snow, arrived in sun, and spent my day out on the sidewalks with all the other joyful freaks in short sleeves. I’m writing this from a cafe where my bags have just been christened by honeybush tea with soy, but the wireless works and I’m sharing the table with a long lost friend. It’s just gone dark outside, but we’re all here together in the bright lights, a wired community tapping out a staccato symphony on our keyboards.

I took 400 pictures on my first trip out today, exactly none of them in focus. But sharp is overrated, I say. Give me smear and atmosphere, the I-meant-to-do-that of loving your mistakes.

Happy whateverdom.

Won’t you be mine?

Daily Photo: Tear This Old Building Down

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Ford's first haircut

Ford, you had your first haircut today, and it was a struggle. Aunt Cake had her hands full, but look how handsome you look, just in time for your first birthday. I’ll miss you while I’m on the west coast for three weeks. By the time I get back, you’ll be walking, running, cracking jokes and genomes. That’s how fast you’re changing these days, Ford; I feel lucky to draft off all your evolution.

Happy birthday, nephlet.

I wasn’t kidding when I said you were my favorite person.

XOXOXOX,

Yr. Aunt Banana

Daily Photo: Nape & Shriek

Friday, February 12th, 2010

Ford kitchen 6

You knew it was coming, the day I could not decide. I’m trying to be all curatorial and decisive with these selections, but it’s Friday and I’m running way behind on my pre-trip To Do list*, so today, you get the salty and the sweet.

Mom bought a learning tower for Ford—a sort of all-in-one wooden structure that’s equal parts castle and booster stool, with some puppet stage thrown in—and he loves it. Yesterday, he “helped” scrub the drainboard, by which I mean he scumbled some bubbles around while brandishing a spatula and shrieking. That’s where these shots are from, and it’s really too bad they don’t come with an audio track, because Ford’s a hoot, literally. He’s gotten loud of late, everything’s in his outdoor voice.

Ford kitchen 4

This is the first picture I’ve gotten where all his chicklet teeth are visible. Note the full fingers, as well. And the visible impery, of course, but then, that’s hard to miss.

See more Ford here.

*Skittery run around tasks? CHECK.

Taxes and other hard focusey stuff? GET ON IT, GIRLY.

Daily Photo: Embrace the Grain

Thursday, February 11th, 2010

reflectedme2

It’s Old Skool iPhone photo week here, apparently. That was the only camera I had upstairs while I was sick in bed, so there you go: an after-bath self-portrait taken in the french doors. Damp Girl With iPhone Face, let’s call it. I love the elusive glimpse you get when you bounce an image through a reflective surface; in fact, I’ve got a remote control and tripod ready to take a series of reflective self-portraits. (Most of which I’ll destroy in horror, but any keepers will end up here, so stay tuned.)

I’m heading to San Francisco for three weeks and my flight is ass-roustingly early on Sunday, because I figured the less time I spend here on Valentine’s Day, that unholy Xmas for the encoupled, the better. Onward to new, more vivid surroundings, and the hope of fresh encounters. I’m planning on epic walks and ethnic eats; anyone who wants to meet up for either or both, you know how to reach me.

PS: It’s right over there, under the out-of-date copyright statement—>

PPS: You don’t have to know the meat me to email. Remember, I’m all about the fresh encounter…

Daily Photo: Words To Live By

Wednesday, February 10th, 2010

stop slow down

I’m feeling much better today, although I’m still wearing my gamy jams and my hair is three days unwashed, with the bangs up in a tiny star-shaped clip, which makes me resemble a frazzled third-grader with shockingly adult BO. I’m out of bed, though, and that’s a good thing, but I can’t quite make myself go outside, even though today is sunny and tomorrow’s iphone forecast calls for sad clouds with drizzle.

So I’m living by the wisdom in this photo from Golden Gate Park. STOP SLOW DOWN sounds like good advice to me; no sudden moves, no shocks to the recovering system. I will take a bath, though, and put on fresh pajamas. Stopping and slowing is all well and good, but you can’t let yourself get stuck.



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Words and the occasional image by me. Link back here or give me credit, please. Email me at: the subtle rudder at mac dot com

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