So what’s new? …and krishenblog assignment

Well, for starters I’m taking a photography class. It’s an introductory course, but I wanted to start at the start, so I here I am. It’s less about the technical aspects of using your camera, and more about the art of photography, so that’s perfect for me. Having had my camera since 2002, we know each other pretty well.
That said, we covered F-stops vs shutter speeds on the first day πŸ™‚ Wheee… it’s gonna be fun. At the end we have to present a portfolio, and somewhere along the way, we have to do a presentation on a photographer of historical significance of some kind (our choice). So that’s pretty neat. And I convinced Louis to take the class with me, so that’s pretty fun too! Our first assignment was to bring in 3 pictures of both patterns and texture (the way light strikes a subject), so last Saturday I traipsed about Sarasota in search of things to photograph.
And photograph them I did. I took 88 photos that day; shortlisted 33 and picked out these six (click for bigitude):

What do you guys think? It was actually a pretty fun assignment; if you’re up for it, I’d love to see what you come up with. Send your shots to my gmail account, and next Friday and I’ll post whatever I’ve got. Again, three shots of texture (how light hits a subject) and three of patterns.
Anyway, I’m pretty happy about the class so far. Our next class is a field trip out to Siesta Key to take some long exposure shots, so that’ll be fun. Last class we were out in the parking lot and had one of our classmates drive his car by so we could take slow-shutter shots of his taillights πŸ™‚

Also, just in case any of you are trying to decide on a movie, do not see: Flyboys (okay special effects, not much else), Employee of the Month (a few laughs, but not quite enough to be worth it), or, especially, The Marine. After that film you’ll be wishing you had spent the last 90 minutes getting a root canal. On the plus side, at least it was short.

Cam, Melissa and family; Sarasota Pre-nats; Jeff and the Xbox 360

It’s been a while since I’ve posted any new pictures, so I thought I’d give you, dearest loyal reader, a few.
There are three batches here. The first is from a couple weeks ago, when we got a visit from Melissa’s mom and daughter Alicia. We enjoyed dinner on the beach, and, generally, a wonderful time.
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The second comes from last weekend from the first-annual local Ultimate tournament, Sarasota Pre-nats, held at the Sarasota Polo Grounds, the same place the UPA Club Championships are held in the fall.
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America is the land of the bumper sticker (or was that free?), and Ultimate players make no exception. πŸ™‚
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Heh. Here are a few pictures from the tournament itself:
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Alec and Capt Tom
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Tournament director Ben Stone (in the hat)
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Shot of the grandstand.
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Joe tiptoes for a high throw
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UF championship boatracer Cathy throws a backhand to her Hungry Hungry Humans teammate
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Darren goes “sploosh”. There were probably a couple of inches of standing water on the fields on Saturday
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Jake misses the defensive block but looks good doing it
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View from the grandstand
I received a link to 199 pictures from Dan and Lori over at Space Coast Ultimate, one of the teams we played against that weekend. Thanks guys. If you hunt around, you might find a couple of me in there πŸ™‚
And from the week before that, here’s a couple shots from hitting Jeff‘s place with Kemp, Mark and his girls. We were playing “Need for Speed Most Wanted” — these pictures really don’t do the Xbox 360 justice; the graphics were simply amazing.
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Downtown Sarasota

Taken between 11:01-11:29, Friday, July 21st.
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Lease renewal nonsense

I just got the yearly lease renewal notice in my door. Not only are they going to raise my monthly rent by $39 without any (stated) reason, but there’s also a note, a couple paragraphs later, that says: “the above rates do not include additional fees, such as pet, storage, parking, etc…”. Sorry, what? Parking? Parking has always been free. So I’ve left them a message about that. Hopefully it’s a bit of extra stuff from the form letters of the company that just acquired the property.. we’ll see.
Time to research apartments again.

Sarasota Film Festival: Fin!

So, the film festival ended yesterday. I think this year I went to more films than I ever have previously. I went to two more over the weekend: The Amateurs and The Hole Story.

The Amateurs is a heartwarming story about a do-nothing in small town America who tries to make it good by making a porno. The whole town gets behind him. No, not like that gutterbrain. Yes, it’s as ridiculous as it sounds, and a must-see. Stars Jeff Bridges. 8/10.

Despite its awkward title and the fact that it follows my review of The Amateurs, The Hole Story has nothing to do with porn. One day, in the middle of winter, a giant hole opens up in the middle of a Minnesota lake. No-one has any idea how it got there, but director Alex Karpovsky’s semi-autobiographical epic goes on a quest to find out. Oh, and it’s a got a great climax. Oh geez. 7.5/10.

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Sarasota Film Festival 2006

So, the Sarasota Film Festival kicked off on Saturday. Over 180 films! Thanks to a heads-up from PatrΓ­cia, on the opening day of the festival, I caught a talk given by several of the directors/producers exhibiting at the festival. It took place at Metro. That was really cool; we got to hear their experiences doing the film festival circuit, budgeting, what it’s like to be an independent filmmaker vs. being funded commercially, and other stuff. Tip to first time filmmakers: if you want to show at Sundance, don’t submit your film to any other festival, or the Sundance folks won’t accept it.

L to R: (leaning over) Director Jaci Judelson, Tina Barney: Social Studies; Director Goran Dukic, Wristcutters: A Love Story; Director Van Fischer, Neo Ned; Director Susan Seidelman, Boynton Beach Club; Director I’m not sure, of some film :); Director Jay Wade Edwards, Stomp! Shout! Scream!; Directors Jenny Abel and Jeff Hockett, Abel Raises Cain.

That night we saw Wheel of Time, a German documentary about the habits of Buddhist pilgrims. A great film, done in true German style (that is to say, scientific and rigorous). At times I felt a little uncomfortable watching it, because it felt like the camera was invading these peoples’ sacred rituals, but nobody seemed to mind (the younger kids even hammed it up for the camera a few times). But wow… it was a real eye opener. I had no idea anyone could be so selfless. Amazing to watch. 8/10. Unfortunately the projection system screwed up and we were left for five minutes with audio but no video; it’s okay, though, we got vouchers to see another movie for free so alls well. Opening day woes methinks.

Sunday I saw Stomp! Shout! Scream!. It was a tribute to the 60s Beach party/Rock and Roll/Monster movie, set somewhere in the deep south. It was great, a true homage to a genre that really defied any sort of logical explanation. Director Jay Wade Edwards (of Aqua Teen Hunger Force fame) says they tried to play it straight and they do, for the most part. Except there are a couple of knowing winks to the audience that had me laughing out of my chair. It was this earnest dedication to the craft of making a quality, new picture in a genre that hadn’t seen any new films for decades, that caught my eye and caused me to pick up the DVD. You don’t often see people putting this much work into things these days and it’s clear Mr. Edwards and his crew loved every minute of it. 7/10.

And finally, last night I saw the documentary feature Before the Music Dies, which was, in a nutshell, an indictment of the current state of the music industry. From the summary: “With outstanding performances and revealing interviews, Before the Music Dies takes a critical and comedic look at the homogenization of popular music with commentary by some of the industry’s biggest talent. Using historic footage, the film looks at the evolution of American music and the artists who created it.” All I can say is, I can’t wait for this to come out on DVD (should be out this summer). It was one of the best documentaries I’ve seen in a long time. You can keep an eye on showings/release dates on their website. 8.5/10.
I’ve still got that free voucher, so I’ll be seeing at least one more film before the week is out πŸ™‚

Jay Wade Edwards doing Q&A after screening of Stomp! Shout! Scream!

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Downtown waterfront, sunset

So I guess those photos I took Wednesday night turned out after all:

About 3 minutes to sunset.

I’m pretty sure this guy was no longer living. So sad. Foot provided for scale.

I sat on this ledge to take the sunset shot.

Not sure if it’s always like this, but I found the amount of media coverage on the new Pope kind of overwhelming.


I think the the G.WIZ Science Center is here, too.

An old friend.
That’s it for the Wednesday night shots. Here’s one I took today. I’m sure glad I can recycle these somewhere (Publix takes them). This is just from the past three months: