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Berkeley on New Year’s Day

For quite a while now, I’ve been shooting a stream of birds and strobist shots. As I mentioned in a previous post, that’s mainly a function of how freaking cold it’s been here, although there are other factors — how busy it was at work before the break, how quickly it’s been getting dark, etc. And I’ve also been pushing myself on a lot of sedentary and non-photographic tasks, like updating the site.

But I got myself out the door for a while today, packed just my three essential lenses (35mm f/1.4, 55mm f/3.5 Micro, 105mm f/2.5) and left the strobist junk at home. Good thing, too, because I’ve been all too conscious as I go back over my images of 2008 and put the site in order that my best images are made just walking around with open eyes and seeing what’s to be seen.

I was expecting to see a lot of post-New Year’s Eve detritus, but surprisingly, there was very little. I mean, even on mornings after non-holidays, streets in my neighborhood are strewn with underwear and single shoes; however, the streets today were free of both. I surmise people just left their underwear and shoes at home last night before they went out to party.

There were a few signs of the festivities — a discarded box of Lindt chocolates, an apartment building door propped with a newspaper (next to a beer can and some unidentifiable spillage), and this wonderfully ironic benchside tableaux:

The spray that does it all

I sincerely hope that no one took seriously the suggestion to spray their bedsheets with lysol. ::shudder::

The light was…weird. More directional than it should have been, or so it seemed at the time.

Behind Church, Dana and Haste, Berkeley, CA (View Large)

This scene caught my attention because of the way the little area behind the church — framed by the two staircases — was illuminated by the sun, while the entire street and the side of the church and surrounding street where I stood was shaded. I initially set up my composition and exposure with the garden house in mind and no idea that there was a man pacing along that elevated area. He only was only visible after I corrected my camera position by taking a step to the left. I was surprised to find him, and as you can tell by his tiny expression if you click there, he was also somewhat bemused.

Somewhat later, as I was starting to head back, I passed by these two elderly ladies with their banner:

Young people these days... (View Original)

I switched from the 35mm f/1.4, which I had been using before, to the 105mm f/2.5, in time to catch the rather blase young men passing by the banner…

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