Categories
Dream Journal

My Old Camera-on-the-Curb Project

Setting is some low-slung community living/art space that feels like a janky maze — almost a stock location for me. I notice there’s some high-ranking politician here on an official visit, along with his security. I don’t even think about it; I immediately navigate a back route. There room he’s in was made from a shipping container box, with a wall of various switches near the unguarded rear door where I emerge. I walk directly past a secret service guard without him even having time to get off his phone call.

I take an Orc-lord up on a standing offer. Given a nominal fee, I am allowed to eat any orc from the Orc-band I choose. Several distinct and varied orcs line up for me by height. The catch is that the orc I choose won’t just sacrifice itself, it will fight me — but if I win, eating it’s fair game. The trick then is to choose the right size orc. I stand in front of them one-by-one.

Finally, I successfully download a rare Russian track I’ve been searching for forever. It’s album art — or maybe it’s actual shape? — is a bulbous grey game controller.

Walking through my neighborhood here in the Mission, the streets near Cesar Chavez are like a calm colorful French Quarter. Despite having passed by it many times over the years today I stumble upon one of my projects from long ago: a point-and-shoot camera mounted on curb. It’s remarkable that it’s still there considering I installed it in… 2013? People can take whatever photos they want, then retreive them or give them to others. Some are given a surf background — now faded to a dingy grey.

Categories
Dream Journal

Forgot the Naked Pictures in my Wallet

On a university campus of a huge wide open green, I spot a parade of Cthulhu characters emerging. I race on an intercept course so I can start shooting a video and record the beginning of the column coming into frame. This seems like a unique tradition on this campus and I think it’d be a great idea to share it.

Following after the parade, I become like a student. Not bad academically in fact; I keep quiet and perform the class activities dutifully. The group arrives at an enclosed multi-purpose space where much occurs. I take initiative to remove the plastic cover of the room’s ring of string lights and jiggle them back into position as best I can. In one corner I notice “Gavid David”, supposedly George Lucas’ self-insert character from the new Star Wars, which is a broody chicken — his wavy hair is carefully coiffed and dyed rainbow colors.

In my wallet I discover some very cool photos of a clown girl I know, Sabrina W. She’s doing handstands and performing splits, looks like she’s naked and with body paint. I’m confused at first then they jog my memory, I took these myself not long ago when we had sex — sometime during the dream chronology, in fact.

On a street I attempt to find a relative of a deceased classmate from my youth, Stephanie Sukhram, to give $20 as a token of common mourning… enough at least to buy some flowers if they wish.

I observe part of Finland in the wintertime, where bodies are being buried by the side of a road. A man jokingly announces “that’s what happens to Finns who don’t sign the new road adjustment form”.

Categories
Dream Journal

Good Old Burning Man, I Suppose

Invited back to Burning Man, with the camp my sister stays at. They last stayed in 2015 — it doesn’t seem so long ago.

When I first get into camp I find a few emblems lying on the ground at he entrance. My old rabbit fur bag of elfstones (that I carried in middle school) appears to be there, as well as some important books from my past.

The camp is indoor and outdoor. There’s a book counter in our camp, and the bookseller asks me if I know that a photo of mine is currently first place in a competition. He seems to be clued in to the unusualness of the situation, and I can’t fully recall if it’s a photo I did take, but I definitely can’t remember submitting it. He reminds me of my wife’s dad’s friend, Loren.

Nice slow conversation with friends in our camp about bringing a good smartphone camera to Burning Man. Mickey is there, my sister Alia too, I even notice my dad sitting at the end of a table — had hung out with him without even realizing he was my dad.

The photo from the competition comes out: a very clear photo of statuary in a twisting wood, the lighting a deep velvety eerie calm midnight. Studying it closely, the sensation forms of how the angle, framing, color treatment, and more are recognizably my style. It must have been made several years ago now.

I help haul out stuff we’ve brought this year, much of it packed into a rundown old ’70s luxury car (one of those big fat Buicks or Cadillacs) parked on the roadside exactly behind the spot where I parked last time. After that long discussion on phone cameras earlier I happen to uncover an old Motorola flip-phone. Though only here for novelty purposes, it proves worthy of close examination — a true artifact. Somehow I finally appreciate just how many individual technological bits and pieces were sorted out in its making.

The chaos of the festival is just coming into swing, though it’s early yet… and a bit more reserved than I remember. I watch a procession of long mechanical costumes march up a slope toward us. An articulated worm-dragon, I realize, was probably made with help from my friends Don & Tracy.

Mickey is futzing around camp, pensively searching for a special spiritual emblem of his that’s missing. Meanwhile I’m feeling annoyed as the bookseller has closed shop early, and without notice. I could’ve asked him about the emblem — I’m worried a book I traded could’ve contained (or perhaps was) Mickey’s cherished talisman.

We settle down together at a table, playing some emulated old video games. Mickey brings my heavy motorcycle boots over and sets them nearby, which bothers me until I understand he wants them as a cool prop for his fighter jet game. Following that is yet another emotional conversation, both of us worried about different things. It strikes me suddenly that we’re both distraught somehow yet still doing exactly what we want — this is a true vacation, with no genuine adult responsibilities, and we’re both literally playing Nintendo just as we would in our childhood. (Though, odd detail: I have a Steam Controller and he’s still using a keyboard and mouse.) Our mood improves immensely after this observation is made. Ironically but perhaps unsurprisingly, when I unpause my game it crashes to the JavaScript backend. One can only sigh, or laugh, and wonder at the predictability of such things.

The bookseller returns unexpectedly soon afterward, having only taken an evening break.


The music playing in my head, as I woke up and tried to remember as much as I could: N.O.H.A. – Do You Know

Categories
Glot

The Game of Noticin.gs

Noticin.gs in 30 seconds:

Take photos of interesting things (things, not people) you see in public places. Publish and geo-tag the best ones on your Flickr account the same day. Tag them with ‘noticings.’ Score points for going to new neighborhoods, shooting persistently, or finding certain kinds of interesting.

I knew there was a reason I subscribed to Photojojo. They tipped me off 5 days ago. It really has brought out the documentarian in me, and I’ve been going on photo walks around my neighborhood every day since.

As you may know, I’m generally not good at sharing my beloved pictures in a timely manner… no matter how beloved they are. Anything that can be used to get leverage on myself is generally good. By that standard, I’d say noticin.gs has absolutely done it’s duty. Of course… we’ll see how long it lasts.

Heart You

Categories
Glot-glot

Photo Finder 4000

Ok, I am a photographer. Or I take lots of pictures, at least. Or I take lots of pictures and obsess over processing them. And then people use them all over the Internet (I use a Creative Commons license on all my photos, much like I use on this Glot).

I can point straight, at leastOk, so I’m a photographer. Today I was looking at this magnificent gallery of photos taken on the Suisun Bay Mothball Fleet. The photographer has a pretty nice gallery (although it could be a little smoother, photo transtions and such). And then I realized that her site actually links up with her Flickr. Huh, that’s a cool trick. I then found the very clever and useful Flickr Photo Album for WordPress plugin from Joe Tan. It allows you to put up galleries of your Flickr photos onto your own site — you know, like a “real” photographer.

My, my, it seems like I could get some real use out of that. For a while I’ve had a back-burner project to start selling some photos (although the feasability of that remains to be seen). I’ve always liked the idea of showing my stuff right here, where I can control the presentation. And, honestly — don’t tell ’em I said this, though — I’m beginning to think a lot of people consider Flickr kind of a photographer’s ghetto, where every level of quality or involvement is allowed, and where the best aren’t necessarily advanced forward. Having your own gallery is more than simply a mark of pride, or effort, or professionalism, but also a mark of status.

Little-known: I began at an early ageThus begins the odyssey to create something worthwhile. Things I hope to incorporate eventually into my very rough, yet functional gallery:

  • CeeBox for pop-up image enlargement
  • javascript toggles to show/hide sets
  • integrated commenting, so a visitor never has to leave the site
  • browsing by tag
  • javascript pagination — so there’s no tedious reloads
  • Flickr collections, favorites, galleries, view counts, contacts (maybe)
  • a classy dark layout
Categories
Optiglot

Seeing Up Close in Black and White

It’s fun to experiment. I got a most wonderful doodad the other day, a Sigma 70-300mm telephoto lens, and I was promptly forced at gunpoint to start taking pictures of friends and loved ones nearby. The results have been quite good so far, and Lynae’s merch should start looking better than ever. Parenthetically, that is to say that, yes—there was a good reason for this indulgence. And hey, tax-deductible business expense!

Anyways, the pictures I shot were good, but lacked that little something that makes ’em special. Fiddling around in Lightroom I loaded up a bunch of presets designed to imitate old black and white film. This was a curious move. I mean, I’ve dabbled before, who hasn’t? But black and white pictures… they’re nice, I suppose… I understand why the form continues to thrive… just… does this look like a website for someone who shoots photos with no color? Really now.

Yet despite my completely natural disinclination, I think I made some spiffy pics. They have some real character. Here are the magnificent seven, from my lens to yours:

Talk Into the Hand (by Orin Zebest)

She's a Smirker (by Orin Zebest)

Sherilyn's Dye Job (by Orin Zebest)

Girl with Glasses Black and White (by Orin Zebest)

Morningtime Squished Face (by Orin Zebest)

Fine Hairs Around Ears (by Orin Zebest)

Fine Hairs Around Eyes (by Orin Zebest)