First Digital Stills
December 11-15, 1999
Marina Del Rey, CA

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December 11, 1999 - Near my home in Marina Del Rey, I am testing my first digital camera, a Nikon Coolpix 950.  With the exposure cranked to +2.0, it captures the backlit birds perfectly.  As I play more with the new digital camera, I am pleased with its film-like images.
That night, from the same walkway by the channel, tall ships sail by, decked with lights for the annual Christmas Parade.  With the slow exposure and loose timing, many of the shots are duds, and yet it is wonderful to see my shots on the screen right away, instead of waiting for processing.  The camera steady on the railing, I shoot many times until I get lucky.
December 12, 1999 - Marina Del Rey, CA, from my balcony, I see the tall ships still in town, sailing up the channel towards the Marina.
December 15, 1999 - Rollerblading up from Marina Del Rey to Santa Monica, I swerve off the path to shoot the colorful architecture of Venice Beach. (I was pleased to see the color preserved both in sunlit and shadow areas - no color enhancement has been added to these images.)
With rollerblades still on, I clomp up the steps to Santa Monica Pier.  The bubbles are blown by the machine on the right side of the path.  The can next to them says "bubble fluid donations" - somebody's clever alternative to the cliché "will work for food."
I used to think that Santa Monica always looked like a movie.  After seeing how many movies and TV shows are filmed here, I realize that it is the other way around.  Movies look like Santa Monica.
I am hurrying home to avoid rollerblading in the dark (especially with the digital Nikon in my vest pocket!), but stop one last time to grab the obligatory Santa Monica sunset.
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All pictures copyright ©1999 Jeremy Birn.