If I’d only been a bus driver …

I’d be retired and have lots of time for projects. As it is, I have a backlog of about ten years worth of projects. There’s furniture to rebuild, a kitchen to redo, and a whole house to build on the beach in Canada. And photographs galore that need finishing and then all the ones floating around in my brain that still have to be shot.

Work keeps interfering with the fun stuff. Why didn’t I become a bus driver? Who knew that the politicians were going to be so out of control that public employees would make more money after retirement than before and public pension costs would soar out of sight. Instead I’ve been working (ok, not that hard a lot of the time) for forty years and retirement still seems a ways away.

Currently, I’m trying to rebuild and refinish a century old desk. Someone in its past did some misguided work on it and now multiple parts, including the top, are warped beyond salvaging. It is a roll top desk with a working, interlocking tambour (not the fake slats of wood glued on a piece of canvas stuff) so I had to buy it.

Last week, I made a new top for the desk out of quarter sawn, white oak, and it is gorgeous. Also it is flat which is an important feature for a desk top. There will be pictures when the whole desk is done, along with the Yucca Valley chair, and of course, a nude model.

On the other hand, bus drivers don’t get to see what I see every day, so maybe it wouldn’t have been a good idea.

I’m also working on finishing the Legs images. There’s a new one above and about 20 in the queue for finishing. One nice thing about this blog, the images don’t have to be complete before posting. There’s so much difference in resolution required for these tiny web images than for a real print.

Trying to bring order to the studio

My office is cluttered with stacks and stacks of prints, mats, boxes, equipment, and (oh yes) postcards. Also lots of junk. But the good kind of junk, you know, the stuff that you can’t bear to throw away.

I’ve spent the couple weeks since getting home from Yucca Valley trying to impose some sort of order. I’ve been sorting and matting prints and making up portfolio boxes for each of the major series. I’m getting ready for the rush of customers who after reading this blog are overwhelmed by the need to buy a print. When they come calling, I’ll be ready.

In truth, I’m trying to get a handle on the situation so I can safely sort through the rest and throw it away. It will be interesting to be able to see the desk top again after a few years. I don’t think I’ve seen it since I got ready for Photo LA in a big rush and left other stuff scattered around.

At this point, I have 8 boxes of 10 prints each. 4 more series to go. Then I’ll be able to safely sort through the rest of the stuff and throw most of it out.

After the office is clean, I plan to clean up my computer and the terabytes of external storage that is full of images. I don’t think there’s a chance of cleaning up my cluttered mind.

Along the way, I’ve made a few new prints when I come across an image that strikes my fancy, and I say, why wasn’t that printed in the first place. Here’s a new Dune image. It wouldn’t pass the postcard-eligible test. I like it.

My Camera in the National Parks

I told a friend last week that I was planning a book named “My Camera in the National Parks” and he said, whoa, that name is already taken. Yeah, but that was more than 50 years ago and besides my book is going to be different, the photos are going to be in color. Otherwise, just scenes of the wonders of nature.

I’m planning a circular tour of central California to catch a bunch of different scenes. Sequoia for the giant trees, Mojave for the wide open barren desert, Death Valley for the dunes and racetracks, Mono Lake, the Alabama Hills, and back through Yosemite to home. I’d also like to go down to Amboy or up to Shasta to catch a cinder cone, but that may be too far on this trip.

Not sure what I’m going to do in Yosemite. Unlike when Ansel Adams photographed it more than 50 years ago, that park has been so over photographed, that I wonder if there is anything new to do. (I don’t think there are any nudes inside, so you just get to see the cover.)

Of course, I’ll have a nude model with me at Yosemite, so there’s that. Maybe we’ll find an out of the way, unrecognized part of the park. Or I wonder if I can get the woman who climbed Half Dome nude to do it again and pose for photos?

You saw my scene of Joshua Tree National Park several months ago. Here’s a scene on the dunes at Oceano.

Okay, for all you sticklers, that’s not a national park, officially it’s the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area. It’s like a dog park, but for off road vehicles. If you have one you can let it loose there to play with the other vehicles. And they play like dogs, running into and falling all over each other. Carnage multiple times a day. Sort of like NASCAR.

Postcards, postcards, and more postcards

I’ve got a lot of postcards:

Not sure what I’m going to do with all of these postcards. They’re pretty good quality, but, wow, there are a lot of them.

I wanted to have a variety so I ordered 100 of 12 different designs. I received 250 of each. Now I understand the postcard pricing policy. Ordering 250 postcards doesn’t cost much more than ordering 100, because you get 250 in either case. I wonder if that is always true.

Maybe they print these on large sheets and if anyone ordered 250 they have to run the press for that long. And then they just cut them and give them to you no matter how many you ordered. Or maybe it’s too hard to keep track of how many were ordered so they just always make 250 for everyone. I kind of like this last idea. It’s too hard to keep track of what was ordered, so always do the same thing.

In any case, I now have 3000 postcards. I’ve given away about 20, so only 2980 postcards to go.

I’m going to the SF Art Book Fair, and the Anarchist Book Fair in Oakland, and the SF Zine Fest this year to sell books and postcards. Last year, some people thought my business cards were bookmarks and wanted to buy them. This year they can buy postcards. $2 each, all 12 for $20.