Making things worse was the fact that the kid behind me was screaming almost the whole time on the ground (not to mention during the flight) and his parents did little to try to quiet him. I told the flight attendant before I left the plane that every aircraft should be equipped with a brick to deal with such situations. The fact that I had gotten absolutely no sleep the night before didn’t help. Why no sleep?
I attended the annual San Francisco Silent Film Festival for two nights, and the late movie on Saturday night ended around 12:15 a.m. I hurried out of the theater and made the 12:30 streetcar from the Castro area back to Fisherman’s Wharf, a few blocks from my hotel. With a 6:30 a.m. flight, I figured that the restaurants at the airport might be closed that early, so I went to a 24 hour IHOP in the Radisson Hotel and had a big stack of buttermilk pancakes with hash browns between 1:00 and 1:30.
I got back to my hotel room at the San Remo around 1:40 a.m., then spent the next hour-plus packing my bags and getting ready to leave. I pretty much finished that around 3:00, so for the next half hour I rested atop the bed without closing my eyes – fearful that I might doze off and miss my 4:10 shuttle bus pickup for the airport. The bus was on time and things went fairly smoothly except for the screaming kid and his almost equally loud older brother. That put an end to any thoughts of sleeping on the plane, so I watched some episodes of Doctor Who and Space:1999 on my portable DVD player (though I did doze off numerous times).
Still, I did get home safely, which is the most important thing. I guess the pilot ordered the plane to be filled with enough fuel, after all.
As for photography on my trip, I photographed models on two days – first a day trip from Las Vegas to Utah to work with Tamara, then a morning spend with Kat in Marin County, north of San Francisco. I’ll write about Kat another time, so I’ll concentrate on my session with Tamara now.
I had never been to Utah before, so I was excited at the chance to photograph around Zion National Park, which I’d heard is quite beautiful. Before getting to Utah, I had to drive through the Nevada desert, much of it cruising around 80 mph in the 75 speed limit zone – something I’m definitely not used to doing here in the east. When I made the turnoff from the main highway in Utah to head out to Zion, there was a sign naming number of restaurants nearby, most of them with American sounding names like Rancho Canyon Grill or some such thing. Among those names, however, I noticed the one for Hunan Chinese Buffet. “Yes,” I thought to myself. “No place can call itself truly American without a Chinese restaurant there.”
Actually, I was nearly late meeting Tamara. We had agreed the day before to meet at 3 p.m., so I figured that with an estimated two and a half hour drive, I’d leave Las Vegas around 12 noon or so. Later that evening, though, I realized that I’d forgotten to ask her one thing: are Nevada and Utah in the same time zone? I didn’t want to be an hour late, but I didn’t want to be an hour early, either. I couldn’t get in touch with Tamara the next morning, so I called the Las Vegas AAA office and I was told that Utah is indeed one hour ahead. I wound up leaving around 11:20 a.m. and arrived in Tamara’s town just a few minutes before 3.
As for the photo session, I first had lunch with Tamara and her boyfriend Matt. Both are avid rock climbers and they lead me to a great spot just outside Zion National Park that they’d found on one of their climbing adventures. I shot eight rolls of 220 BW film and I think the images I got made the long drive worthwhile. You can see some of my digital snapshots of Tamara here now. It was fairly late when we started, so the sun was below the horizon by the time we finished, though thankfully there was enough light to navigate the dirt road that connected up with the main roads. We had dinner afterwards but I didn’t start heading back until around 11:00 p.m. I finally got back to Vegas around 1:00.
As for the film I shot, you’re probably wondering when (or if) I’ll ever get around to developing them. Well, as Gomer Pyle would say, “Surprise! Surprise!” I actually developed three rolls from this session last night. I normally develop film in the order in which it’s shot, but as I’m planning to put together a somewhat lengthy slide show for the Community Zoe get-together in September and I want to include new work, I’ve decided to develop some of this year’s nude images along with my photos from Laos and Cambodia (the first in line) right now. So far, the negatives look good, but I’ll have to find a lot of time to scan them.
Finally, the day is now past July 11, which means that two of my photos should now be on display in the Artful Nude exhibition at the Center for Fine Art Photography in Fort Collins, Colorado. The show runs until August 9. You can see the images selected for the exhibition by clicking here. (My photos are all the way at the bottom, for some reason.) The reception for the show is the evening of August 1. I’m planning to be there.