New York Photography Volume II

Dave Beckerman Photo Blog (New York Photography)

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Pizza, Hotdog Stands and My Corporate Stint

29 June, 2008 (21:45) | black and white photography, cameras, paper, workflow etc.

pizza-in-rain1024 Pizza, Hotdog Stands and My Corporate Stint

It took them forever to open the car door.

I was a lot more careful shooting in the rain (w/ 40D) after my bad experience with the thing going dead for about six hours after getting soaked (I guess that was a few weeks ago). This time I used one of those new fangled things - I think they call it an umbrella.

I had it taped to a flash-bracket that was attached to the camera and this worked okay until a gust of wind nearly turned the contraption into a windsurfing camera. One of these days I should check out the waterproof housing, or else use a plastic bag with a hole for the lens.

* * *

On other fronts (no pun intended) I added a nice google search gadget (it’s there in the sidebar and also on my home page) that I configured to only search through the gallery pages. In the setup you can give it a list of folders / sites you want it to search. This works - though if google isn’t kept up-to-date you may get some dead pages in the search. I’ve submitted sitemaps to Mr. Google but it takes a while before it uses them for the crawl. If I were smart, I’d put keywords on those pages just to make sure they’ll show up in relevant searches; and I should replace the default 404 page missing with my own page-not-found.

I also fixed the problem with images not showing up in the archive pages. Just a touch of code that tells it to put the whole post on the page rather then just an excerpt.

I was chatting with my dad about this life and how much I enjoyed what I was doing and he asked whether that comes across in the blog. I had to say that I think it comes across but that I never simply say it out loud. He always wants to know what’s the latest thing I’m fooling around with; and I usually start the conversation with - oh - you know - nothing all that much; and the next thing I know it’s a half-hour later and I see that I’ve been up to a lot actually. It’s become a running joke with us. But for the record - it’s true - I usually get up in the morning and can’t wait to get on with whatever it is I’m up to at the time. Even on those days when I know that I’ll just be doing packaging all day - still - if I go back and compare that with my previous life in the corporate world - there’s just nothing like being your own boss; and being able to make the decisions that may hurt or help you.

When I split from corporate world co-workers used to ask what would I do if this photography thing didn’t work out (i.e. I couldn’t survive on the money) and I used to joke that I had already scouted out a good corner for a hotdog stand. There were times when I thought that might not be so funny (selling photos on the street in front of the Met) - but even that was better (for my tastes) than following what were often insane orders in the old world.

I haven’t talked much (have I?) about how new administrations were constantly arriving at the old advertising firm during the big dot conversions and how they’d just mess everything up (for great sums of loot) and then cut out and head to the next firm. When dot-world was new, upper management didn’t know what it was and could be taken in by whoever promised the most and wore the best clothes. The big-ten accounting firm that lead this charge would eventually collapse along with the Enrons of the world. Some of us saw them as emporers without clothes - but not being able to sling the b.s. as well, we were ignored.

In a one year period, the ad firm changed it’s name three times. What were they called: i-AdFirm, e-AdFirm, AdFirm-dot- something. New systems that were going to give real-time information on stuff that didn’t matter were paid for (millions and millions) and never completed.

I remember sitting at a big meeting with The Outside Suits where they explained exactly how the new systems were going to be integrated. Maybe I was a suit myself - I had the title of Vice President of something having to do with technology. And I turned to the row of suits and asked them if they knew what the worldwide employee identification key was. Dead silence. One suit ventured that it was the employee social security number. All heads turned towards me with deathly stares. No, I said. There isn’t any. In some countries it’s the employee name. In others it’s their phone number. Yes, in the states it’s their SS number, but only in the States.

The suits assured management that this wasn’t going to be a problem and kept going with their powerpoint demo. They still don’t have one. What pissed me off was that a lot of employees who actually knew what was going on were kicked out during this period… Oh man - don’t get me started.

What I learned about corporate life was that 90% of management had climbed the ladder by knowing how to cover their collective behinds.

Well okay. Let me remove my rant hat and put on my packaging hat. There’s a bunch of stuff that’s got to go out today.

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Comment from MitchK
Time: June 30, 2008, 3:12 am

Hello Dave,

And I always enjoy your blog, as I’m sure do other readers. Marvelous shots from the last few days, including the color. Seems like you’re in a groove of high creativity, similar to last summer’s run of IR work.


Comment from Chris Klug
Time: June 30, 2008, 11:33 am

Yes, your enjoyment comes through as well as your love for the city. I grew up in the Jersey burbs and lived them mostly until 2001. I left six months before 9/11 for a new job. I miss NYC so much I ache and one wonderful thing about your blog (for me, anyway) is that every morning I can come here and see another beautiful image.

I work in the video games industry and while I one time I did work for a company much like you describe (their acronym is simply two vowels) even then I felt like there were a lot of really smart people in the room who were trying their best. But the part of the business I was in was new to them and they really didn’t understand that audience. So I don’t think I’ve ever had it as bad as you seem did.

The other part of your blog I really enjoy is your ‘phases.’ I go through them myself with my photography. landscape, no, no, street photography, no, no, telephotos for birds, no, no, fast lenses for low-light, no, no, black and white, no, no Velvia, no no digital, no, rangefinders, etc.

I laugh at myself.

Anyhow, I enjoy your images and your blog. Thank you.

Comment from peter
Time: June 30, 2008, 2:25 pm

Big smile when reading your corporate rant. I believe that those who do well in this environment share one quality: they know how to monopolize successes and to deflect or, at a minimum, share failure. But this is not why I decided to comment … I really enjoy your photo stream and I’m looking forward to more color pictures.

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