Dear J-

Once in a while I have taken a morning route that brings me along San Mateo Avenue through the Burlingame Automotive Row and I only now just noticed the Alfa Romeo sign at the Fiat dealership; there’s some excitement for your morning details. Discuss over coffee or tea, your choice. I also see a lot of graphic photographic opportunities, especially now in the darkening mornings. The Toyota dealership, which features a lighted wall; the empty parking garage, all ready for occupants; the deserted parking lot; the classic BMWs parked out proudly in the night. There are chances for seeing everywhere so don’t be too proud to capture them when you can, if you can.

I will start bringing a camera in my bag again; this was one of my favorite things when I was in grad school: little camera, big flash (Olympus 35RC/Vivitar 285) but I think the next step is to find a suitable tripod now instead of a flash. The combination of focal length and lens speed made for a pretty decent capability, although I doubt if I ran more than a roll or two through that machine. At this point the daily commute serves as more of a slow death sentence for most of the cameras I’ve brought: both the DSC-V1 I started out with and the DMC-LX1 I replaced it with have given up the ghost, the LX1 in particular not bothering to respond after any prodding.

Some people, to be prepared, will bring extra tools and handy gadgets in their bag; mine isn’t there perhaps yet but that’s one of the things I should work on; at least I have some suitable cameras to peek at and stick in my bag. I may not be ready for much but at least I can take care of some photographic situations. The longer it goes on the better my chances at capturing something, though; it’s the old rule about monkeys and typewriters. We have a good portion of time carved out for visual arts, even if all the style I have is spent aping other influences. I feel like a voracious consumer at times, and it’s time to give back and contribute instead.


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