Friday, May 15, 2009

I am still in love with film

Woman in Starbucks

I love shooting digital and the digital work flow. A digital camera is like a good friend that lets me make some great pictures, but I am still in love with film.

Film sees light in a totally different way. Film reacts to light organically. The light changes film, it is not like a digital sensor that responds to light as a result of programming. A film emulsion feels light and is unalterably chemically changed by light and that makes film different. Once it sees light the film is never the same again. The film holds that latent image and awaits its interpretation in development.

Once processed, those qualities can be scanned and brought into the digital world but that first reaction to light is unique. The tonal scale is not the same as digital. I love it and that is why I am still in love with and still shoot and still process film.

Everything else is a side show, to me. Film is the real deal; to me.

Since I only take pictures for myself, that is what matters to me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Staff union and CSU extend contract two years

The California State University Employees Union (CSUEU) represents the lions share of staff (classified) employees in the California State University System. The collective bargaining agreement between the union and the CSU system was set to expire on June 30 this year. According to the CSUEU Blog:

CSUEU and CSU agreed to extend the contract, which was scheduled to expire June 30, 2009, to instead expire on June 20, 2011. The terms of the contract remain unchanged. The parties also agreed to form a Labor-Management Committee to discuss compensation strategies, and to end the FY 2008/2009 salary reopener.

This should mean there will not be tense contract negotiations for staff during this tight budget year.

My opinion:
I am relieved as this, in my opinion, would have been a bad time to be in contract negotiations. CSU and CSUEU should be working together, as much as possible, to save funding for higher education and being in confrontational negotiations could be a big distraction from that process.

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Monday, May 04, 2009

Bell Bottom Blues

Marie in old house, 1978

I cannot sing her praises too loudly or too long
Marie was a keystone in many lives. You could tell her something and know it would never get retold. She accepted and loved people for who they were. She was a friend you could depend on. She was a safe harbor in a storm. She was selfless, loving and kind. She was stoic and strong but soft and tender hearted. She had an inner beauty that radiated. I have never known anybody who did not like Marie. She was the kind of person people would call and talk to for hours about the troubles in their lives. I know I did. Yet, she seldom would complain about troubles in her life.

In December 2005 Marie's sister Martha died in a freak auto accident. It was one of the worst times in her life. It was terrible. It was not her first sudden loss. Marie was a good friend of my first wife, as I said before; she was the first person I called when my first wife was killed in a car accident.

Marie was a cancer survivor. Her strength got her through this and other awful times in her life.

Years ago I took the photo above. I titled that photo Bell Bottom Blues. I hope in the photo I captured a hint of the admiration I have to this day for Marie. She was an inspiration.

She was 59 years-old when she died. Far too young to die. If you believe there is a God, this is a time of reunion for Marie; reunion with old friends and family. It is a time of grieving and loss for us and a cause of hope for me. I already miss her terribly and I hope somewhere, somehow, to see her again. Until then, she lives on in many, many hearts.

I still cannot believe; she is gone

Marie Roby April 26, 2009

Someone I have known for a long time, and love very, very much died Saturday night. When my first wife died the first person I called was Marie. That night in 1991 Marie and her husband Kirk drove late into the night to be with me. She was my oldest, and one of my closest, friends. I still cannot believe; she is gone.

Saturday night she had a heart attack and died. It does not seem real, she who had such a wonderful heart, who loved people and life; is gone. How could that wonderful heart become still? I had just seen her a week ago. I still cannot believe; she is gone.

Marie in 1978

Over the years I have taken many, many pictures of Marie. Some came close, but none could ever catch her spirit, her heart and the love she had for her family and friends. I still cannot believe; she is gone.

Last year she and Kirk celebrated their 25th Anniversary. I still cannot believe; she is gone. She was 59 when she died.