Photography Day at Santa Anita Racetrack

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Worker1: “There are a lot of people here this morning”
Worker 2: “It’s because it’s camera day”
I know I should write something, teach something, tell something about how I approach my photography. My blog posts have been pretty sparse since my husband’s illness in January 2016 with Gillian-Barre Syndrome (GBS) which we documented daily on his site Chick’s GBS Adventure.

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He is doing well, thank you, at about 75% of whatever normal might be had he not gotten GBS. He has his full mobility, but not full strength, and his feet are still “sleeping” and in pain. Our lives have changed. He has care-givers at the house most of the week, as he cannot yet drive due to the impressive doses of pain medication to keep the nerve pain under control. However, he may be more active than before GBS because now he has the company and driver to go places. He goes hiking, to yoga, and kick boxing. He goes to the beach and to museums. He and his care-givers do the shopping and the laundry. Unfortunately, often by the time I get home he has exhausted himself with the day’s activities. But his stamina is also improving and his nerves are slowly, slowly repairing.

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For me, I am enjoying new challenges at work, but I’ve been sick with a cold for the past week. I finally got out of the house today for the first time since I whimpered home from work on Wednesday. But I know that I too am only slowly returning to pre-2016 daily life. As I reorganized my Lightroom catalogs today, extracting my big trips and other important collections into their own catalogs, I again noticed that my 2016 catalog is very slim with a big gap between January 12th and November when I finally spread my photographic wings again during a luscious 2-week trip through Japan, following in Basho’s path, with Sam Abell, George Nobechi, and new found friends Mochi and Sake. Still, days out with the camera have been numbered and often limited to a few short hours.

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But this past weekend, on a lark, I joined with my buddies and went to Santa Anita Racetrack for Photography day. Santa Anita is one of two major thoroughbred race tracks left in California (since Hollywood Park closed a few years ago). It was built in 1934 and, like much of Los Angeles, reflect the Art Deco / Modern architecture of the day. It is caught right in the cracks of old, but not too old. And thankfully they have kept its great 1930’s esthetic intact all these years.

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It was a slow day at Santa Anita, so I was unable to get that big scene of the crowd cheering on their wining horse, but I had a great photographic day. For a street photographer, it was almost like shooting fish in a barrel as mostly folks gave me a quick glance, but then went right back to their study of the horses or betting.
I’m guessing I’ll be back, but not just for the horses.

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