Camera crazy

The Eye

I bought a new camera. Yes. The same model that so mysteriously vanished last week in Sonoma. I had to. Living without an emotional support camera proved too much for me. I felt antsy, tense, like a smoker trying to quit…

“Once photography enters your bloodstream, it is like a disease.”— Anonymous

It is. Maybe more like a virus. It is insidious, but once you are infected, I don’t believe that there is a cure for it. Like a diabetic, you have to accept the fact that it is impossible to survive without taking daily shots.

A good photographer is like a dog who smells and goes after things that nobody else sees… A unique snapshot is there, but like a truffle it is hidden and you have to be attentive to uncover it.
It is also ephemeral. It lasts the blink of an eye. The photographer has to be alert and catch it before it vanishes, or before some oaf obstructs his field of vision.

After a while, taking pictures becomes second nature. You don’t wait for special occasions to feed your addiction. You walk with a camera in your pocket and you shoot whatever presents itself or tickles your fancy.
Unlike many disciplines, there is no season for photography. Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, there are always gems waiting to be discovered.

So, don’t believe for a minute that after Sneaky Pete was “cam-napped”, you would be free from my unblinking eye. No matter what, I will be there to record your triumphs… or your failures.

In addition, I am convinced that everybody longs for his/her 15 minutes of fame, and through my camera, I can fulfill your expectations. Do something spontaneous, touching, brave or unexpected (like streaking ) and The Eye will be there to record the event.

Take heart fame seekers. Sneaky Pete II and I will record your fancy stuff and make you a (temporary) star. Fame, by the way, is a strange animal. When you reach for it, you will do anything to be noticed. Once you have made it, you will do anything (including punching the photographer) to be ignored. Make up your mind.

“A photographer is like a cod, which produces a million eggs in order that one may reach maturity.”– George Bernard Shaw

In the future, when you will see Sneaky Pete II and me, smile because you are about to be briefly famous… (or infamous). And never blame the photographer… he just keeps you honest.


Tattoo mania

“Show me someone with skull and crossbones etched on his flesh, and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t go on a lot of job interviews.” AMY LINDEN

Yesterday I noticed a young woman with a man’s first name tattooed on the back of her shoulder. I could not help but reflect that this very deed required a lot of faith… or guts.

A tattoo is permanent, or at least difficult or painful to remove. In our turbulent times, liaisons are volatile… Here today, gone tomorrow.  Who can be sure that a relationship is going to last forever?
And what happens when the romance fizzles out?

Personally, I would play it safe; if I absolutely wanted to get inked, I would pick something safe to be etched on my skin. Something like “Mom”, “Toby” or “Fido”. You cannot go wrong with sure values like that.

Getting a tattoo is often an impulsive move requested by immature young people. Monkey sees, monkey does. According to a recent survey, the average number of relationships for men and women in the United States is 7.2. Math was never my forte, but I understand that if you are fond of tattoos you could get 6 or 7 names (or more)  inked on your skin in your lifetime. For all kinds of different reasons, it could become difficult to manage.

If you don’t want to get embarrassed, the ideal time to get a tattoo is when you are on your deathbed. It is then very unlikely that you will have to change the name of your beloved in a very near future.

A word of advice. If you are dead set to get a tattoo though, make double-sure that it is free of typos. Hire a guy who at least finished high school.
Letterings likeToo cool for scool,Never don’t give up” or “No ragretsdo not have the same impact as the intended idea.

Also think of Johnny Depp who, after his breakup with Winona Ryder, had to modify his “Winona forever” tattoo for “Wino forever.” Clever, but not flattering.

I am not totally against tattoos, but I want them small, hidden, witty. I don’t want “in your face” American style tattoos… graffiti covering your entire body.
Remember, small is always more potent than large.

If I ever decide to get inked, I might go to Japan to get the right inspiration and design. And I will keep the thing out sight; I will show it only to lovers, close friends, relatives or freemasons… on special occasions… like the 4th of July.

Think before you ink!


PS: I still lament for the loss of my Canon GX7 (Sneaky Pete) camera. Will I ever get it back? I am starting to despair… 😩

Field of Sorrow

When I go to a pétanque tournament I usually have two goals in mind. First, to play the best I can until elimination, and then to concentrate on documenting the event. And this is what I did yesterday in Sonoma.

Unfortunately, something unexpected happened. When I came home and unpacked my gears, I noticed that my small Canon camera was missing. A crying shame because it was holding a large array of many of the players who were competing that day.

When I cover an event, I usually use 3 devices. My iPhone for quick close shots, my Canon GX7 for intermediate shots and finally a larger camera for long distance shots.

Yesterday I used the 3 devices as I usually do, and around 6:30 pm, after photographing the Concours finals with my large camera, I packed my stuff and went home. That’s when I realized that my cherished small camera was missing.

So today, regrettably I can only show you the shots that I took during the Concours finals.

I know that talking about yourself is rather gauche, but it is the subject that I am most knowledgeable about.

So, yesterday I was playing with my friend Francois Moser and my wife Tamara. Not a fearful formation, but a resolute one.

On our first game with faced the imposing team of Kevin Evoy, Holly Sammons, and Bob Lanter. They won the coin toss and chose to play on what I call “the Field of Sorrow”; the devilishly pebbles and stones strewn court usually used for the finals. I told my mates that I would be happy if we only made 3 points.

As it turned out, this court proved difficult for us but also for our opponents. We lost the game 9/13, but it was quite an accomplishment for us against such talented players.

We played our 2nd game against Tish Harris, Chia Vang and Chue Thao. Another impressive team. But due to the inspired pointing of my mate Francois, we managed to win by the skin of our teeth. Chia Vang also mightily impressed me with her shooting ability.

On our 3rd game, we played against some strangers called I believe Don McPherson, Linda McPherson and Jim Tosio. Don’t ever judge people too quickly. This unexceptional looking formation trounced us 4/13 due mainly to the excellent shooting of Jim Tosio.

After lunch, in the Consolante, we came across Teri Siroco, Larry Brown and Hank Muldin. We faced them with no particular trepidation. They murdered us 2/13.
But beware; any success could quickly become a pyrrhic victory.

In the afternoon, I watched and photographed different encounters. Louis Toulon and his Iron Triad particularly impressed me. Louis played his best ever. He pointed incredibly well and occasionally shot. He was supported by two first-rate players (Mickey Coughlin and Thomas Moua) who would pulverize any interference when called upon.

Their excellent performance throughout the tournament brought them to the finals where they faced Tim Wetzel, Mike Cooper and Alex Cannesse (another excellent shooter).

I am gleefully reporting that the Iron Triad prevailed 13/8. A great outcome for a veteran player who at 80 (my own age) still has what it takes to keep younger whippersnappers in line.

1st place: Louis Toulon, Mickey Coughlin and Thomas Moua
2nd place: Tim Wetzel, Mike Cooper and Alex Cannesse

1st place: Kevin Evoy, Holly Sammons, Dave Lanter
2nd place: Tish Harris, Chia Vang, Chue Thao


PS: I still sorely miss my rather expensive little Canon camera. It would be extremely grateful if anybody could return it to me.