pacman inkee

chinese new year parade

parade, originally uploaded by hep.

saturday evening was the annual san francisco chinese new year parade. every year we go, every year we see agntprovocateur and raven and cheer for them. it is one of my favorite parades in sf, a city notorious for using any excuse to have a parade.

our former across the street neighbor family, (and in the manner of this weird town where every person has many connections to each other, lifelong friends because the dad is also my dad's best friend so he is my "uncle") celebrate the holiday, and as our kids all grew up together, we have a "cultural parade exchange" where we hit up parades together to try and instill some cultural respect. this year we were running too late, and it is too difficult to fight upstream on kearny through the crowds, so we did not get the chance to hook up.

as such we definitely did not last as long as in other years. things to remember for next year: remember to pack handwarmers. make sure everyone packs a bag the night *before* including scarves, hats, gloves, extra sweatshirt. bring 2x the snacks. pack a third thermos of hot cocoa, and one of coffee one does not last 3 children for 3hrs. pick up two more stools.

the wait is long and cold, but totally worth it. it's probably the only time during the year that you can get away with constantly throwing blackcat firecrackers at the feet of cops while looking them straight in the eye and they will just laugh and cheer you on. we were having a mock war with the other side of the street, everyone was armed with black cats, smoke bombs, and poppers, and when supplies would run low, crowds of children would run the gauntlet to the fireworks pusher on the corner.

my secret spot is around kearny and clay. there are plenty of forgotten on the weekends alleys to park, if you get there at 5 they only meter for another hour, so you don't even have to refill with quarters if you remembered to pack them. the trick to front row seats is to loiter inconspicuously near an intersection until they close them at 5:15 then you have prime real estate without having to wait hours since noon. most people stake out areas further up, this year we were directly to the right of one of the sets of bleachers which meant that we were right in view of one of the spots where they put on the best show.

after parade we headed over to yet wah in sunset chinatown for dinner. next year however i think we will just head back to our own chinese place in town. i love yet wah, and any excuse for the roast duck, but after standing around for an hour waiting for the parade, then standing around for 3hours WATCHING the parade, the last thing i want to be after eating a full meal is on the other side of the city facing a long drive home. also somehow, because we were standing in the crosswalk and perhaps there was a slight incline, or i was just standing weird because my bag was between my legs, but i stood with all my weight on my BAD leg for the entire time, so today i could barely get out of bed and had to use my cane all morning. did i learn my lesson? no i took zorya for a 2.5 mile hike with yuriy. i am sure tmrw morning is going to be even more fun.

i need to pick up a new lens. my 50mm is too tele since on a crop ccd it is actually a 70mm, and i can't stand shooting with the classic nikkor 18-55kit lens. i am thinking about picking up the nikkor 35mm prime f/1.8 but i am concerned that it will actually be too wide. PICKY! i want to eventually replace my old prime with the sigma 50mm f/1.4, and i think i might pick up the sigma kitzoom 18-55mm to see if it can be a decent snapshot lens. i hate the loss of clarity you get with most zooms, but we will see if this will be crisp enough for my nerdy specifications. as i told my friend the other day, all full size is for is so that nerd photographers can find something to be picky about, back in the day as it were, no one gave a crap if you were pixel crisp when you blew a 35mm neg up to 3ft by 4ft. however, photographers feel free to chime in on my lens dilemmas with advice and wisdom <3

the last above, and this below are what happens when you hand someone your camera when they say "let me try!" most people don't understand that, like in shooting, punching, sports, and pretty much anything that matters in life, follow-through is super important. i think also a lot of people don't understand either how long a 1/5th of a second really is, or how much your breathing actually makes you jitter around. the depth of field on this lens is so shallow too, that it can be a real pain to focus, and the focusing ring is about 1mm thick because it is missing the rubber grip. i am probably the only person in the county that can focus it with any decent ease or accuracy.

gung hay fat choy!

Get a Tamron 17-50 f/2.8, the VC one. You won't be disappointed, it's like the best walkaround lens ever~
also how sad is it that I miss all the lovely shots you took and focus straight in on hurf durf cameras like I don't do that shit for a living and it's not like I *LIKE* my job or anything argh

those photographs are lovely, Hep. You are a Good Photographer and you should be real-life proud of it.

(hint: soooooooooo sad)
i am the exact same way. i take all these shots i really like, yet i obsess over the technical details of what i could have done better.

are tamron lenses really good? i havent even considered them at all because i always heard that tamron glass was somewhat substandard, but these days sigma can be as well, so who cares right? my problem is that i need to extensively test a lens style before i decide whether i like it, stff like the a-m switch (if there is one) location is important, the reach to the focal ring, etc. my hands are small! and i am picky!
I'm not a real expert, but as I understand it Tamron's lenses are closer together in terms of quality control than Sigma's. You could hand out five 50-500 bigmas to five different people and you'd get five different opinions on those lenses, but everyone I've ever spoken to has raved about the quality of the 17-50 f/2.8.

The real concern with a third-party lens is that these lenses aren't designed to take advantage of the little quirks and play to the strengths of particular brands, because what you are buying is manufactured the same way for all the mount types they support.
The Tamron 17-50 is kind of big compared to your average kit lens(I think it's a 62mm filter size), too, but if you're shooting with a d300 it shouldn't unbalance it too much.
ok im gonna go hold it downtown later this week. and i usually shoot on a d5000, which is smaller subcompact dslr, not a fullsize. the studio camera has too many lenses already. i need more for my purse camera
it was super fun but my hair smelled like fireworks for two days no matter how many times i washed it!
Those are really awesome pictures. I love the first one, wow! And the night ones have a sense of motion. IDK how to explain it.

Also, you are really adorable.
hehe thank you! that sense of motion was what i was going for, doing long exposures and then triggering my flash by hand. i have shot chinese new years parade so many times now that i try to do something different each time to switch it up!
I love your photos. The ex was a photographer, so when you post these and talk about technical details, it's all a language that I don't speak but is still very familiar and comfortable to be around.
hehe yeah, camera nerds can nerd out with the best of them. i used to confuse all my computer nerd friends by just going full camera nerd on them when i was tired of discussing computer quirks.
and marathons which turn into parades (bay to breakers)

i post a LOT of pics of sf. and children. and chickens.
i think *san francisco* was originally about going along a course and drinking profusely. everything else just stems naturally from that.

i raise chickens. and i take lots of pictures of them, only about 1/100th of which i show on lj. because i am super weird and attach personalities to my chickens, and i love them because i have raised them from tiny chicks. we don't have all of them anymore because of an ongoing war of attrition with raccoons, but i have pictures of them all.

plus they make EXCELLENT photographic subjects when i am bored and the children are in school

no chicks were harmed in the making of these, altho one cat got a squirt bottle to the face. he also got a lesson in humility when those chicks grew into chickens and chase him around the yard now.
yeah, ak thought he was getting a fun snack, turns out really *we* were getting some funny entertainment. someday i will set up the video camera when i let the chickens out so people can watch him run around with them right on his tail. the other cats are always all "WHATEVER! *eyeroll* I WILL JUST SIT UP HERE WHERE _CHICKENS CANT FLY_ UNTIL THOSE BITCHES GO BACK IN THE KOORITSU GULAG!!" (chicken jail) but he is too curious and can't help trying to stalk them even tho he knows the consequences if they see even the tip of his ears.

if you have small amounts of hens only they aren't loud at all. the problem you run into is, if you want to raise them from chicks (best because they will always love you personally) then you can't for sure know the sex unless you get the ones that were sexed at a day old, or breed into sexed colors (red sex link breed chickens, so called because the red chicks are always female and the white chicks are always male. or something, i forget the sex to color spread) but those breeds aren't pretty. right now we are lucky with six hens, but we have had a couple roosters who were huge pains in the rear, sometimes literally. they will cluck loudly at you when they want something tho. my girls will make a racket if they knock over the waterer or something.