Pissed Off

Because my office overlooks San Francisco City Hall, I’ve seen my share of; participated in; and even photographed, scores of demonstrations on every conceivable political issue. As I exited the office this evening, I ran into this demonstration.

I’m not going comment on Brett Kavanaugh and the rest of his anti-human brethren. It does give me hope, in a distracted world, that there are still people who think critically and become outraged to protest and organize. Trump, Kavanaugh, Weinstein, and company have really pissed off a lot of women…to the core. I could feel the righteous indignation like no other demonstration I’ve experienced.

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Goodbye Folsom Street

After a two year hiatus, I was mentally and physically “gearing-up” this week in preparation of attending Sunday’s Folsom Street Fair .  I’ve decided not to go.

With over 250,000 attendees, this San Francisco leather and fetish festival is packed into about 13 blocks. It is a photographic goldmine, especially for portrait photographers. As a street and documentary photographer, my images from past fairs show quirky moments that I specialize in. Unfortunately, many of those images are too risqué to be shown to a general audience.

According to local media, in addition to regular warnings of not bringing kids and/or stay away from the area if the nudity is not your cup-of tea, there will be warnings of getting consent before you touch anyone or take a picture. Flyers say “Gear is not consent. Nudity is not consent. Ask first before photographing or touching someone. No means no.”

Due to the nature of the event, I acknowledge that there were serious incidents of touching at past fairs (years ago, a drunk woman gabbed my butt and ran away…and that happened before I even went through the admission gate!). And I acknowledge current events such as the “me too” movement are driving needed awareness.  But I, and many other photographers, don’t attend Folsom Street because we need to touch someone or collect pictures for porn collections. We pack our gear to get great images. The below photograph was taken about 7 years ago and hangs in my home office. It’s part of my San Francisco collection. When kids ask me who it is, I tell them it’s Bane, from Batman. ! 🙂

I’m not here to debate the First Amendment. Anyone can legally photography on a public street but these “warnings” create a hostile environment for photographers with camera gear while those photographing with the ubiquitous smartphone are not branded as perverts.

What am I gonna do about it? It’s Not Complicated. I’ll just save the admission fee and film and photograph places that are not criminalizing photography.

Minimalist Writing on the iPad

 

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Thinking about starting a blog or sharpening up your social media posts? Due to information overload, we have developed simpler methods of communication. We read, write, even speak in abbreviated ways. Shorter, more concise language is now the rule. How effective you are in getting your message across is dependent on brevity. Text messaging is a prime example.

Here’s an example of the minimalist writing process I use, on the iPad, before I publish to this blog. Even if you don’t blog, you can be short, concise, and to the point in composing emails and social media posts.

(1) Most blog post ideas come at any time, day or night so I keep a supply of index cards in the car, house, office, and bag to get those ideas out of my brain and on paper. Any paper will do. Not to brag, but I’ve written magazine articles on restaurant napkins! 🙂

(2) Type paper notes into an event in my calendar or Evernote: a note-taking, organizing, and archiving app. The software syncs across most devices so it’s always accessible. The goal is to keep the post 300 words or less using plain English and less punctuation. Sometimes I paste the text into iA Writer for its’ clean, distraction-free interface. When I’ve developed something coherent, I’ll still continue to edit, edit, edit. Sometimes, I have to start all over again if it’s too complex.

(3) Copy the text to Hemingway Editor: I bought the stand-alone software for my laptop. They don’t have an app for the iPad but they do have a free website you can use in your browser. Hemingway Editor‘s entire purpose is to make you write more concise.

(4) Paste the text into Voice Dream: Once I’m sure about the post, I’ll review how it sounds. I can even edit within the app.

(5) Paste the text into my WordPress blogging website and format photographs, graphics, and schedule a posting.

The goal is to even shorten this process and I’m finding that the audio and text editing in Voice Dream may eliminate some of these apps in the very near future.

Remember, if you have another tablet brand or device, you can use the same or similar apps  for their operating system.

In the next post on simplifying life on one device, I’ll review social media. Might be the shortest post ever!

Starbucks: Tip of the Iceberg

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I lived through the American Civil rights era , with a life still negatively affected by racial bias in ways too numerous to count. So, I’m often mentally and spiritually exhausted following one racial incident after the other. However, it was refreshing to see that after the “racial bias” arrests at the Philadelphia Starbucks, the company’s CEO immediately addressed the incident. And it’s always encouraging to see younger people taking protest actions to contribute to a movement. But I hope that it’s understood that Starbucks is not an isolated case but the tip of the iceberg.

An iceberg is much larger than what is seen above the waterline. What is beneath the waterline of the American iceberg is the rest of America. “Serious” racial bias training may serve as an example for those corporations and government agencies, under the waterline, to follow, but it’s like putting a band-aid on a 400 year old gaping wound. The whole damn country, “From sea to shining sea,” needs to be shut down and go through psychiatric intervention until racism is removed from the American psyche. Unfortunately, that may take another 400 years.