It wasn’t a…

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…lazy Sunday, but this break from tradition allowed me to accomplish a thing or two, such as finishing the freelance project I’ve mentioned here before. This was after my crack-of-dawn drive to see Promise, which I mentioned yesterday. In the late afternoon I drove to Fells Point to meet Erin and Greg, who had asked me if I would take a few pictures of them. They had originally planned to do some sort of “engagement announcement” and were going to have semi-professional assistance taking a picture for it. Then their photographer friend fell through on her one weekend in town, plus the concept changed from “engagement announcement” to “picture we can blow up and have people sign at the wedding instead of a guest book that we’ll never look at again anyway.” (Indeed. Of course, A. and I neglected to get very aggressive about having people sign our guest book, so there wouldn’t be much to look at if we did get it out.) In other words, the bar was a little lower, which I guess is why they asked me. I can compose an interesting shot, mind you, I just don’t know what all those dials and buttons on my camera are for. I asked my brother for the most basic hints he could give me, which boiled down to using the “aperture priority” setting and using low f stops, so that my subjects would stand out while the foreground and background would be blurred, which I guess is the basic idea behind portrait photography. Whenever I find myself learning a little about this stuff I can feel the urge to learn more, it’s just a matter of taking the time to get down to it. So obviously it’ll never happen. I just need a simple, simple book about using an SLR. I should look for a children’s book on the subject.

We set out from “the bed and breakfast” (Erin’s and Greg’s comfy, comfy house, tucked away on an alley in eastern Fells Point) about 4:30 p.m., with lots of sunlight left, and poked around the waterfront and the Waterfront, with a visit to the Bond Street Wharf and to Slainte (which I guess means “cheers” or “prost” in Gaelic, but even so, this seems an overly precious name for a bar, especially since no one who doesn’t speak Gaelic has any idea how to pronounce it). While we tried different poses and spots on the Bond Street Wharf, a plume of black smoke became visible on the horizon, from the far side of Federal Hill. Looking at a map now, I can’t quite get the angles to look exactly right, but I suppose it must have been yesterday’s “inferno on the highway,” caused when a tanker truck full of ethanol overturned on a ramp to I-95 over South Hanover Street and burst into flames. (The time is right, anyway; on Flickr, though the time a photo was taken is not automatically displayed, you can see it if you click “more information” in that little list of data down on the lower right, depending on the preferences set by the owner of the account; the newspaper has it as “the six p.m. accident,” while my photo was taken at 5:57.) According to the Sun, firefighters fought the blaze for three hours, with the driver’s body still inside the truck’s cab. As usual, witnesses thought that the initial accident was “like something in the movies.” I guess if it weren’t for the movies, people would say something like “I’ve never seen anything like it.” Now, though, we’ve all seen something like everything, although it must have been pretty dramatic for the bystanders who were forced to watch as burning ethanol ran down the gutter and ignited their parked cars.

We finished up with dinner at the Waterfront. Sometimes I am an object of fun for always wanting to return to this spot, but why mess with a good thing? There’s always a table, the food is good, the building was built in the 1700s. What’s not to love? There’s this fetish for always trying something/some place new, as if we are showing ourselves to be bad, uninteresting people by doing something we’ve done before. I’m for the pleasures of being a regular, personally, and the Waterfront has exactly what I’m looking for in a pub-style establishment after a few hours’ wandering the cobblestoned streets of Fells Point.