Pop up owl

Monday, April 22, 2019

Easter, Long Beach

We sold our stuff out at the Long Beach Flea Market yesterday. That means setting the clock for two, being on the road at three and after an hour and a half ride sitting in a long line of trucks and vans that makes a serpentine crawl around Veterans Stadium in the crisp dawn air.

Set up in the dark. Pull out the boxes and tables, maybe try to get some of the early dealer business.

I used the boundary chain link fence to hang paintings and drawings on, we pitched up our tent and got down to business.

After a show last week in San Francisco which failed to fire with a booth of expensive artwork, I needed to get back to the pavement and actually sell again, this time with artwork that commanded one, five, ten and twenty dollar increments.

Try to humble myself, make transactions. Move stuff.

Was only mildly successful yesterday, it was Easter and Passover after all and a lot of people didn't show, missed a lot of regulars. But did meet some old customers, and sold some things. Had fun.

I only do the swap meet a couple times a year but people seem to remember me and it is a totally different type of customer than those who come to the indoor shows. A young and edgy crowd, slightly off kilter, easy to like.

Warmboe was in the next space, he says I have a totally different attitude out on the asphalt and he is right, I revert to the carnival barker, nothing to lose, loose patois that I just can't summon up in a stuffy old building. Actually have a good time.

Long Beach is always a freak show, and doubly so on a holiday. Lots of rabbit ears and costumes yesterday. At least I think they are costumes.

I brought a camera along but hardly took any shots. It's a great place to catch characters and faces. I was just too busy to focus on photography.

I was using a difficult lens, my nikkor 55mm ƒ1.2 and got very few keepers. This is the film lens that I had converted to work with my D850 digital.

It is a manual focus lens and shooting wide open is difficult if you are not nailing the proper focal plane. Missed exposure and focus, shots were soft. I should have narrowed it down. Should have taken more time and care. But I didn't.

Oh well, failure is my middle name. Next time I bring the nikkor 85mm 1.8. Far more forgiving.

I was in my cultural anthropologist mode driving in to work today and I was thinking about humans. So many cultures believe in religion or a higher power of some kind.

I think that it is maybe because life is such a struggle, so bleak for so many, without the prospect of a resurrection or better life ahead in this life or in the hereafter people would simply lose hope.

Not be able to put their shoes on in the morning. Things have to get better, right? So invent what you have to invent, believe what you need to believe, whatever gets you through the day and long night.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire, Del Mar setup starts the day after tomorrow.


Jon Harwood said...

With fast Leica lenses or the 135 the darn things are nasty sharp and hell to focus. When they are IN focus they are IN when they drift a tiny bit off they are OUT as in WAY OUT. The only effective thing I discovered is to use a focus magnifier that tames the beasts nothing else does. If they make anything like that for Nikon it may help. Maginification of 1.2x is sufficient.

Anonymous said...

Wait..."Failure" is your middle name ??? Good thing it ain't yer last name ! "Mr. failure, call on line 1" or "Table for Mr Failure"...now that would be harsh. Gotta look on the bright side, brother. You're welcome.