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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Cynthia Gable, Jockey Club, Palm Springs

Around 1980 or so, I was the photographer for the Jockey Club in Marina Del Rey.  In July 1980 or 1981, they had their annual get together in Palm Springs and hired me to photograph that event.   Don't know why they picked July in Palm Springs - every day was 112 degrees!  But anyway, there were lots of wonderful people to photograph, including a TV star from The Young and Restless and a guest star from Three's Company.  I no longer remember their names, but do remember Cynthia Gable, who I had been told was Clark Gable's niece, and which brings me to the reason for this blog post (well, besides posting some photos of some of the people I met there).  I shot lots of photos of Cynthia - she was happy to pose for me and we had some fun with the photography.

After returning to LA from Palm Springs, I got together with her, and she gave me some transparencies from another photographer to have made into prints.  I had the prints made, but she moved and I have never been able to locate her since then.  So much has happened since then with the advent of the internet.  I found the first person I ever knew outside of my family thanks to the internet, as well as some other old friends who I hadn't seen for years and who had modeled for me.  I had hoped to find Cynthia, but no luck with that.  I  still have the prints she had asked me to make for her.  It would be great to get them to her and I'm sure she would like them.   Plus she would probably be happy to have the shots I took of her while at Palm Springs - nice memories.

They say that everyone is connected to everyone else, I believe, in six degrees of separation, meaning that if I ask someone to ask someone they know, and this is done six times, the sixth person will know the person I'm looking for, at least at some point.  So if anyone knows or can connect with her and give her my information, that would be amazing and astounding!  Below are some of the photos from that July trip to Palm Springs.

 Cynthia Gable - Nice and cool inside, relaxing after a long hot day!

 Cynthia being interviewed by the Young and Restless star.

 Out by the pool at 112 degrees.

 One of two ways to stay cool.  Either this or in the pool.

This last shot is one of the ones that she had given me (shot by another photographer) to have prints made for her.  I still have them.

 The Young and Restless star.

 No one knew who she was - turned out she wasn't part of the event.

 Of course, I had to have one photo with me in it.

 The guy in the middle was an extras casting director who got me extra work in Messenger of Death with Charles Bronson.  I had done some headshots for him.  The girl on the right ended up doing some modeling for me.

 The guy on the far right was the one in an episode of Three's Company and may have been in the Young and Restless.  Had a nice conversation with him later on.  

Hard to believe these were taken 36 years ago.  To say it's a long shot this will connect me with Cynthia Gable is probably an understatement, but who knows.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Daylight Savings Time

Something a little different to write about today because Daylight Savings Time ends tonight in all the places that have it (celebrate it?).  Some places don't have Daylight Savings Time, such as Arizona and a few other places.  Depending on where you are in your time zone, there is about an hour difference between the extreme western edge and eastern edge of the zone as far as what time the sun rises and sets.  I'm in Los Angeles, so today the sun sets at 5:57 pm PDST.  Tomorrow it will set at 4:56 pm Pacific standard time (PST).  And on Dec 22, it will set at 4:43 pm PST - much too early!  But in Phoenix, on Dec 22, the sun sets at 5:25 pm - so not quite so bad.

What effects can the change from PDST and PST have on people?  There have been reports of more car accidents, increased workplace injuries, 5% more heart attacks, longer cyberloafing, increased cluster headaches, and increased pain within days of the changeover due to the changes in circadian rhythms.  Sounds sort of similar to jet lag.

A few years ago I decided not to celebrate the end of PDST.  I never liked it getting dark so early. Plus there are the other possible side effects listed above, although I don't recall ever having any of those problems.  What's the worst thing that could happen?  I would be an hour early for something but it's easy enough to remember what the actual time is when I have an event coming up.  And there are some things I want to go to an hour earlier, too, so now I can easily do that.  What I like best is that it wouldn't get dark until almost 6 pm even on the shortest day.  As long as I'm aware of the change back to PDST, I won't overcompensate causing me to be late, which has never happened.  Some people may think what I'm doing is odd, but it has worked well for me for the past three years.

If you have children or a large family, it would probably be too confusing to stay on Daylight Savings all year.  I'm not suggesting you try this, only that it works for me and might be something to think about, depending on your location in your time zone, your situation, and your preferences.

Meanwhile, don't forget to change your clocks tonight - turn them back one hour (remember, spring ahead, fall back)....or not, ha ha.

Because this is a photography blog, I suppose I should have some photos, no?  All were shot at Venice Beach - on the bike path near the art walls (Carolina) and one at the art walls.

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Digital Photography or Film?

There are arguments to be made for both.  I think it really doesn't matter because it's the end result that matters.  Besides, I would imagine that most people who view the final image will have no idea how it was shot and probably not even think about that.  Are people really going to look at a beautiful classic image of something (a landscape, portrait, action sports shot, etc.), and think, "Gee, was that shot with film or with a digital camera?"  I doubt it.  If it's a great shot, I certainly wouldn't care.  Each one might give a slightly different rendition - maybe a little more silver here, a little more shade of gray there, more or less grain, etc., but it's really the final image that counts.  Each person will see it differently, anyway.  Side by side you might see a difference, but by itself as the only copy of the image and without another duplicate image shot with another medium, will anyone really care how it was shot?

I started photography long before digital was even a thought (I used to worry, as more and more photos were shot, about what would happen if we ran out of silver).  When I learned photography, my camera was manual only - no autofocus, no auto exposure, no auto white balance, etc.  You wouldn't know for sure if everything you shot was going to look good (you couldn't check the back of the camera) and be exposed right until after it was processed, and even if you got everything right, but the processing wasn't done right, you wouldn't get a result you could use.  For example, here is a photo of Van Cliburn (the pianist - he was giving a concert and talk at SUNY Fredonia) - everything was good as far as exposure and focus, but I had made the mistake of using chemistry that was mixed by someone else, and it wasn't done correctly.  This was the result:

I had taken a bunch of photos of him.  This was the only one I could salvage.  It was shot during a break in his amazing performance.  If I had had my current digital camera back then, I have no doubt I would have had some wonderful photos of him.  He was not only a great pianist but a wonderful person.  Meeting and talking with him was like talking with an old friend.  This was shot with a Nikon FTn and most likely plus-x film.

The point of this article is this:  with today's digital cameras, I get almost no photos that are out of focus or that are exposed wrong and with excellent colors.  For example, I shot the below photo with the Nikon FTn (film), but had forgotten to change the ASA of the film, and so metered the scene wrong (for the whole roll of film).

We were both up in the tree.  Never got the chance to reshoot it.  It was shot with Kodachrome, I think ASA 25.  I thought I had 100 ASA in the camera.  This was the best I could get out of it.

With digital today, it's pretty difficult to mess up the exposure, but even if you do, and you've shot with the camera RAW setting, with post-processing editing software, you can probably not only salvage it but get a pretty good image out of it.

Another advantage to digital is the ability to shoot in low light without a flash or strobe, which keeps getting better.  Not to mention shooting perhaps 1000 photos on one memory card.  And if that scares you (maybe the card will get corrupted and you'll lose all your shots?) with some cameras you have can have two memory cards and can record each photo on both cards for safety.  RAW and jpg images won't fade over time, cost next to nothing, and I've probably left out some other benefits.

Considering the viewer won't notice the difference, and with all the benefits, I'm all digital these days.  Now you only have to worry about lighting and composition, and depending on the subject, perhaps posing and expressions.

The photo below was shot at the Muscle Beach weight pen at Venice Beach of a beautiful young lady doing a split. I happened to be walking by, and although the lighting was not ideal, got this shot of her with a Nikon digital camera.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"Where Is Venice Beach?"

As I was wandering around Venice Beach today, as I often do when I'm not playing paddle tennis, that was the question I was asked by a beautiful young skater (see photos).  I told her she was standing on it (Venice Beach - or perhaps skating on it?) and then had a nice conversation, including that I was the unofficial Venice Beach photographer - I expanded that from being the unofficial Paddle Tennis Photographer, both of which are true and sound like a good title to have.  I've been shooting photos at Venice Beach since 1980.  I gave her my unofficial card and hope she will get to see these photos, as the link to this page is on the card.  The came out pretty good even as unofficial photos.  I also told her she should check out the paddle tennis courts and try playing.

My favorite one!

She asked me if I shot posed photos.  I usually don't because I want more relaxed realistic looks.  However, these were sort of posed in that she knew I was taking them, but because she was actively skating they were more candid then if she had been just standing still.  Below is one photo that does look a bit more posed even though she was rolling by - which would you prefer if that was you, the ones above or below?  I prefer the more candid.

I'm glad Carolina found Venice Beach and after asking me where it was and found out that was where she was, too.  Got some nice photos and met a wonderful person.

NOTE:  If you should stop by here, Carolina, and would like the full-size file, please let me know.  Also if you would like to shoot some more photos.  Thought these came out great!!!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Pop Tennis Nationals Photos

I'll be adding some larger photos here and on Facebook (my FB page is here), but for now here is a link to most of the photos I shot at the Pop Tennis Nationals.  Hope you enjoy:  Pop Tennis Nationals at Venice Beach.  If you do go to FB and you know some of the people in the photos, please tag them - thanks.