What Have You Been Doing All This Time?

Yes, I know, I know. It’s been three months since I last posted anything here. The lack of words does not mean I’ve not been occupied with creative projects! Here’s a quick summing up.

I was distracted by baseball all the way from the All-Star break to the dismal ending of the San Francisco Giants postseason, when I wrote in my journal on October 14, 2021:

Tonight I witnessed one of the worst travesties I’ve ever seen in baseball. Once again the state of refereeing was revealed in all its ugliness. This five-game series, a tight and highly wrought matrix of struggle and courage (on the part of both teams) was tarnished on the very last out of Game 5 when Wilmer Flores was called out on strike three on a check swing. A check swing! The most subjective call in baseball. Sounds like an easy call to get right considering everyone can see it. Did the bat go past the plane of the plate? Yes? Then it’s a strike.

As I said to Charles and Julia and JS, I don’t mind being beat by a team, but being beaten by a blind joker in a blue suit is ignoble. Its long past time for balls and strikes and check swings to be monitored by the same processes that are monitoring just about everything else in the game. To have something like that be the final play in a season like this, well that’s spitting in the face of baseball, the players, and the fans. Just terrible. Especially since a check swing call cannot be reviewed.

But in this case the bat did not break the plane of the plate. Gabe Morales, the umpire at first base, who has blown many of the check swing calls I’ve seen this year (no one get it right more than 50% of the time in my view—I saw scores of them missed as I watched more baseball than I have watched in years), yes Gabe Morales blew the call. Big time. Clearly shown on TV there was not a doubt. Right now it’s circulating as a gif all over the Internet.

As my brother wisely points out, every other major sport in the country has more or less corrected their abysmal refereeing, except for baseball. It’s long past due and I’ll think twice about shelling out a monthly subscription to MLB-TV simply to have my hopes ground into the dirt by incompetence.

Needless to say I’m terribly disappointed. I know it doesn’t matter in the larger perspective, but can’t I find one thing that isn’t ruined by idiots?

My regular readers who are San Francisco Giants fans will know exactly what I meant.

At the same time my creative pursuits rolled back to photography, and I started two projects. First, to get the bitter taste of that reckless check swing call out of my mouth I created a gallery of photos that I made at AT&T/Oracle Park from 2008 to 2021. Most of these were games I attended, but some of the images were made back when I worked for Advent Software (when it was a great place to work, before it was ruined and destroyed by…wait…stop, Richard—no point in going on about that—take a deep breath) and the stadium was used for offsite meetings for the entire company. The photos were taken from many viewpoints, behind home plate, up in the corporate boxes, way up in the upper deck from left field, and a few from the bleachers. There’s even one taken from a cruise boat trolling through McCovey Cove.

That gallery can be perused at this link. Leave a comment if you’d like. Eventually I’ll get them over to my SmugMug site which is in urgent need of a refresh, where I’ll put them on sale. If you’re interested in prints in the meantime (fine art made by yours truly) contact me at richard@imagerag.com.

The second project developed (yes the pun is intended, why do I feel I need to point it out?) as a result of my eldest daughter helping me organize hundreds of snapshot prints created during from 1985 to 2006, all of them of family and friends. Back in those days I would run rolls of Kodacolor through my Nikon FE and FM, have them processed at Long’s Pharmacy (remember them?), and shove the prints and negatives back into the envelopes after viewing them for a while. (A small selection made it into albums.) I hadn’t looked at them in many years and decided that it was long past time to scan them into my archives.

I was unimpressed with the results from the print scans, even though I have a high-quality flatbed scanner in my studio, so I switched to scanning negatives with Silverfast, and the results are outstanding. As the artistic passion (or obsession) kicked in I dropped all my writing projects (except for my journal which is a daily practice) and since early October I have scanned over 4000 images. Serendipitously, Adobe released new code in Photoshop and Lightroom that makes creating masks a painless, quick procedure and now all that film is a source for new images. It’s like having a darkroom again, without the chemicals—a hybrid process that combines both the analog experience of film with the digital experience of post processing images in ways I could only imagine thirty years ago.

You can view the color results here. The black and white images are here. The latter galleries date all the way back to 1978. These are not fine art shots. They are pictures of my life on earth, but they are renewed and recovered from my own storage vault. (Well, maybe that’s fine art after all.) They may not resonate with most of my readers, but if you were an old friend of mine way back when you’ll get a kick out of them.

During eight weeks of scanning I knew that I was not posting anything to the blog. But—there is news on that front. I’m working on a little something that was inspired by the Get Back documentary directed by Peter Jackson that began streaming on Disney Plus on Thanksgiving. Actually it may be more than a little something, I’m not sure yet. I can tell you it is in the vein of Winterland Nights, so if you read that memoir and enjoyed it you might want to check back and see what this new project is all about, once I start posting it that is.

If you sign up to receive notifications when I post on this blog you’ll be in the loop for that project. There’s a subscription link at the bottom of every page so have at it. I do appreciate the fact that you take the time to read my work. Enjoy the photos and I’ll be back very soon!

Richard

Notes on the post

  • Photographs of AT&T Park copyright 2021 by Richard Gylgayton
  • Beatles record bin photo by Mike on Pexels.com (thank you!)

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