The Good, The Bad, and the Foggy

It has been a discouraging week at school.  The State and district have abandoned all desire for covert destruction of non-academic programs and now simply and openly have laid down rules that, if we follow them, will force us to break the State mandated outcomes for our “Applied,” i.e. “vocational” (although ‘vocational’ is a term way out of favor) program.  The ultimate ‘Catch 22’,  They want us to drop our required credits in the discipline for a degree to 18 – we’re now at 42.  Yet we are supposed to graduate students who have all of the skills necessary to work successfully and competitively in the field.  Those goals are mutually exclusive and utterly incompatible.

Then, to top it off, we had to give up our “Video for Still Shooters” course to RTV whose goals and approaches for their students are very different from ours.  Even though some of the topics in the outline sound the same on the surface, the direction from which they are taught and needed by our various students is quite different.  No matter to admin; I guess you cannot care very much about topics over which you are nearly terminally ignorant.

However, last week’s workshop on video for still photographers for the Adobe “Digital Artistry Workshop” we held at City College has led to a request for me to give the material as a 5-hour workshop in January at one of the local camera shops… and it is a paying gig!  As complete details are hammered out I’ll post them here so if you are local and wish to sign up you can.

But lest another week go by without at least one shot, this morning (Sunday) I had forgotten to set my clocks back for the end of Daylight Savings time so was up an hour early.  And I was greeted by a gorgeous fog bank of my back yard.  I love those thick fogs visually; on one hand it is right out of a Jack-The-Ripper frightmare and on the other it so alters our perceptions of the world around us as to create an alternate reality happening right before our eyes.  I was watching the fog consume the world in the canyon behind my house when the sun just started to light up the eastern sky.  And then the color started… 

My “real” cameras were still in the car since I had not unloaded them from the last shoot, so I grabbed my little point and shoot Canon and ran out in my skivvies and slippers before I lost the light just as the sun crested the mountains to the east.


Dawn fog from my back yard.  Shot with Canon 120S P/S camera

When we got to Ocean Beach for our Sunday breakfast we were running a little early so I swung by the pier to see if it too was socked in with fog… and it was.  So I produced this tritoned shot if it.  The little café on the pier is completely obscured in the fog.  Amazingly enough there were lots of people out to see the sights that morning and the parking lot was almost full.  I mostly shot some video B-Roll but also grabbed this still, again with the little point and shoot.


Ocean Beach Pier in dense fog; tritoned in Photoshop CC 2017.  Shot with Canon 120S P/S camera.  Here the sun was not piercing the heavy marine layer so the world was reduced to a dreary blue-gray monochrome.  The little point and shoot rendered it accurately but it was boring.  The real view had a sort of dread-filled life to it so in the image above I added a hint of split toning. 

The admin nonsense has, I confess, taken a huge hit on my enthusiasm and I simply had little interest in doing much over the weekend.  But now I need to get with it and ready for next week’s classes.  It is hard to feel enthusiastic when your bosses make it clear that your efforts to make the best program there is are, to them, irrelevant and not particularly valuable.

Oh well….. I think it is time to apply for a sabbatical…


About ndking

Commercial Photographer and Professor of Photography at San Diego City College
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