The darkroom's dry tonight, as Michael Palin would say... It has word "darkroom" scratched off and the word "studio" written in crayon.

Times like these I wished my teenager would work as assistant and dredge out the strobes, clear away the chemistry and pull back the curtains to setup copying for me. But after a mere half-hour's work I was able to shoot copies of the prints I made last week.

I started from the end. Developed the last Grafmatic load which had the day with Dad at Laguna. Now it's hot in LA in August, but my dad's the kind of guy who can lay out in the sun all day. Day before his 81st birthday. My wife hates the heat so she's miserable, we find a shady spot under Heisler park's lone palm tree to eat our packed sandwiches. An amazing woman in a wedding dress and her photographer (possibly mom or aunt?) appeared out of nowhere.

I've always wanted to shoot a wedding with no responsibility. Here was my chance, so I got out the camera, caught her photographer's attention and asked if she wanted a black and white picture. Tried hard to find a view that didn't have trees growing out of her head, but there wasn't a chance. I was wishing for a reflector, but it turned out fine without. Took two shots, both good but this has the better composition.

We packed up, got in the car and tried to find a good spot to park where everyone could be happy. The heat nearly split us apart at the seams. But got a good spot, a block from the beach, and went our separate ways. She thought I was insane. I hate crowds. I hate beaches. But here I was at the possibly most crowded beach on earth. Found the only patch of sand with room to set our towels and took off our sandals. Twins took to the water immediately and never came out. I had to divide my attention looking out for their safety and making sure dad was alright. It got easier when dad came out to the shore to wade. We were a bit nervous for the wallet in dad's pants. The four women in middle ground of the shot had been standing in that formation the whole time we were there. Took two shots, one blurry. Packed the camera and set it down by our towels. Gathered up kids and walked to the showers.

Damn somebody stole my Birkenstocks.

Photos are in the gallery...