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 Sinclairification by Grant Sinclair

Part 4: In And Out Of Focus

30 Oct 2009

Now that the tickets have been purchased and all the arrangements set, I was ready to head to California, take some pictures and do a write up of Festival 8 for Get Out the Map.  I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really keen on dragging my gear across the country for a concert festival, but it is my job.  After all, would only writing a blog be enough to qualify my trip as a business expense?  Probably not.  I’m going to need pictures.

I checked Phish’s Festival 8 FAQ about cameras and what I found didn’t surprise me:
What sort of cameras are allowed on site?
Video cameras and cameras with SLR or Interchangeable lenses are not allowed in the event field. You are free to take pictures or video in the campgrounds.

Huh.  This means I can’t bring my camera gear with me, as it wouldn’t be allowed in the concert area and I’d have no place to put it during the show since I’m staying at a hotel far from the venue.  The real dissapointment is that I only have a digital SLR, a film SLR and a film point and shoot.  If I had a digital point and shoot, I could bring that, but I have to buy one.  Coincidentally, I had a bunch of points from Best Buy that were about to expire and Canon had just unveiled their new compact point and shoot camera, the G11.  You see where I’m going with this.

Now, I’m a decent photographer, so having a new camera is good, but I anticipate a lot of low-light situations on this trip and bringing a tripod would just look bad and be a pain to drag around.  However, there’s this different sort of tripod you may have heard of from Joby called the Gorillapod.  It only stands about 9 inches tall, but its flexible legs wrap around poles, trees, railings and other stationary objects, so it can mount your camera in ways a traditional tripod can’t.  This seemed like the perfect solution for my dilemma and the perfect compliment to the G11.  Expect reviews of both the G11 and the Gorillapod in the coming weeks.

Now that I was bringing along new equipment, would a travel write up with photographs of an event AND a gear review make this a business trip?  This is Get Out the Map.  If that won’t do it, nothing will.

The day after I bought my camera and ordered the Gorillapod, I heard from my Web guy about the next project.  He apologised that things are taking too long and told me how we’re going to move forward.  Excellent!  AND Cathy bought us tickets to see KISS at Philips Arena the Monday before I leave for California!  This is great!  Things are really looking up!  Hell, even the Bills won on Sunday against Carolina!  Nothing can stop this trip from being just the vacation I need!

Except this slight cough.  But that’ll go away, right?


On Sunday I had a sore throat. Monday I was fine for the KISS concert, but on Tuesday I felt kinda sick.  On Wednesday, however I got hammered by the worst cold in recent memory.  I was concerned, of course, that I would be sick at the concert (cause I sure as hell wasn’t staying home), so I did the obvious thing; I posted on Facebook.  I asked my Facebook friends about how they take on the common cold.  Replies came back in spades and I did everything they said.  Echenatia, chicken soup, orange/cranberry juice, zinc losenges, Halls, DayQuil, NyQuil and chicken soup (I had a lot) to name a few.

And wouldn’t you know, it worked.  No lie, by Thursday morning I felt great.  It was like I wasn’t even sick the day before.  I kept up my routine, of course, but it was incredible what the difference was in just one day.  On Wednesday I was sitting at my desk, trying to work, fading in and out of focus and on Thursday I was a new person.  Amazing.

Now it’s time to go!

© 2009

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