Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A friend in Phoenix.

The Phoenix trip is now a part of history. For some reason I'm feeling pretty crummy this evening. I don't think there's a connection with the trip. This post is going to be relatively short and then I'm crashing.

Mostly I want to offer a public thanks to Lucky. He is a Prince Among Men!

Sunday evening found me in Phoenix. Lucky and I had made tentative plans to go find some trouble once I blew into town. We made connections by telephone and set a plan. Our group was booked into the Phoenix Grand Resort. This is an absolutely beautiful place. Needless to say, the G11 got a workout. To my surprise, almost all my photos turned out really nicely. I'll share a few later.

Lucky went well above and beyond what I would consider to be an offer of friendship. Phoenix is a very large city in the area it covers. I was at the resort with no wheels, having taken a cab from the airport. Lucky came and picked me up at the resort. Then he played tour guide in showing me some of the area. We traveled on some roads that comprised his ride to work. It's always interesting to read in a person's blog about their commute. Especially about roads that are troublesome. Once you travel them yourself you can really relate to their writing.

We ended up at a place called the Red Devil Italian Restaurant. With a name like that, how can two troublemakers go wrong? We certainly felt right at home!

I entrusted my gastronomic soul to the pizza maestro. This is what we ended up with. Sort of a house special. Lucky took over the G11 and snapped the photo for us. That's my elbow in the top left corner of the frame. This pizza was quite good. None of the ingredients took over center stage. Rather, they all worked as a team to provide an excellent blend of tastes. The crust may have had a touch of sourdough in it. It was slightly crispy where it should have been and had a great texture all the way through.

All too soon we were full. It would have been nice to enjoy the taste of the pizza longer but there is only so much storage space. Things always taste better when eaten in good company, don't they? Lucky and I made a valiant effort but there was still pizza left. Here the extra pieces are snugly packed in preparation for a visit to Lucky's house. In the interest of equal time, I included Lucky's elbow in the photo. Now both of us are represented in the official record!

After the meal we saw some more of the city at night. Lucky actually delivered me back to the resort, which I greatly appreciate. Safe and sound, I might add.

I'm amazed how we can build such relationships with others that we very seldom see in person. This was actually only the second time we had met face to face. Once in Oregon and now in Arizona. Lucky and I were together for hours. It wasn't that we were chatterboxes, but we also never lacked for conversation. Lucky's a very intelligent guy with a great sense of humor. Taking the opportunity to spend some time with him was very rewarding. Thanks, Lucky, for the friendship and effort extended on my behalf.

Here's a photo I took that sort of wrap things up. I notice there's a similar photo in the slideshow for the resort's website. I didn't know that when I took the photo as I just now looked up their site to link it here. I think my picture is better.

If you look at the tower just right, you can almost see a face with a somewhat toothy grin. This grin's for you, Lucky!

Miles and smiles,



bobskoot said...


I find the same thing. when I met Troubador and Trobairitz for the first time in December down in Seattle, it was like we were old friends that had not seen each other for a long time. The same thing when I met Lance down in LaConner during the summer.

In your case, I am afraid of you and shutter to think you may be riding behind me sometime this summer . . . and evaluating all the bad moves.

I'm waiting for Lucky to open that pizza joint down in Astoria and I certainly plan to have a pizza there

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

682202 said...

Friends and pizza it doesn't get much better. GAW

Chuck Pefley said...

Dan, sorry to hear you're feeling a bit off after your trip. Hope that clears with a good night's sleep.

I've had similar experiences with people I barely new ... Bobskoot comes to mind, as well as my friend from Sicily who was in town briefly this past week.

Common interests help although not mandatory.

bluekat said...

Holy cow, I want pizza. No more food descriptions from you!

Hope you're feeling in top form again soon!


Conchscooter said...

Irondad as food critic. I hardly know what to think.Children's book writer next.

bobskoot said...


I'll answer your question here about apertures.

I am from the Old school of photography having come up the ranks using all types and speeds of film where there was no manipulation using software to correct mistakes, unless you developed and printed yourself, which I also did. So I learned the hard way about the relationship with light and film grain and the effects of development to correct for dynamic range. The rule in film is to overexpose and underdevelop (Pull developing). Of course if you shoot RAW then errors can be corrected easily.

The sweet part of the lense is between F5.6 to F8.0 so naturally I shoot in Aperature priority mode, which is "A" on the G11 and I notice what the shutter speed is when I half depress the shutter button. If too low, then I adjust, perhaps with a wider opening (lower F number). It all depends upon the scene and whether the subject is moving or not. In bright light I still try to maintain F8 as my high limit. The G11 should have a neutral density filter built in so use it in bright light to cut the shutter speed down to what you deem acceptable.
Even in bright sunshine if your subjects are backlit, then I use fill flash (Force flash ON mode) but set flash compensation to -1.0 , the trick is not to show that flash was used.
It's like a bell curve. Images shot below F5.6 or above F8.0 start to degrade but you use them if you have no other option. It all depends upon the quality of the lenses you are using. Leica lenses are optimized for low light shooting so they are more forgiving wide open (Low F number)
I don't purchase photo magazines anymore, but if you go to the magazine rack and find something like Popular Photography where they do a lens test you will see a resolution chart showing how many lines per mm it will resolve at different F stops and it always boils down to the F5.6 to F8 range as giving the optimum results.

bobskoot: wet coast scootin

Mike said...

Hope you're feeling better Dan.

Lucky said...

You're far too kind, sir. Here's hoping we can get out riding sometime soon!