Oct 272011
 

Saturday sees one of the biggest rivalries in college football when the Georgia Bulldogs travel to the Everbank Stadium in Jacksonville to take on the Florida Gators.

I spotted the emblems of the two teams reflected in windows of the Baywater Square Building on East Bay Street.

Canon 40D and Zeiss Planar T* ZE 1,4/50. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

I can never understand the American interest in college football but a lot of people prefer it to the professional NFL games. College football’s popularity is helped by the games being played on a Saturday, while the most of the NFL games are played on Sunday.

I doubt whether people would flock to watch Manchester University’s soccer team on a Saturday afternoon instead of watching either Manchester United or Manchester City.

I also fail to understand how people who are not alumni of a particular  American university can get so enthusiastic about the fortunes of its football team. But it happens. Even people who left school at 18 will have their favourite college team. In Florida, the choice is between the University of Florida, better known as the Gators, and Florida State University, otherwise known as the Seminoles.

From Jacksonville’s point of view, the annual Georgia v Florida game is a big money earner. Downtown Jacksonville will be awash with people instead of its normal ghost-town demeanour and the bars along East Bay Street, pictured below,  will be primed for business.

Canon 40D and Zeiss Planar T* ZE 1,4/50. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

British readers may be confused as to why I wrote Georgia v Florida when the game is being played in Jacksonville, Florida. For reasons best known to itself, American football always gives the away side first. Don’t ask me why. I guess it is just another way in which America has to do things different, or should I say the opposite, from the rest of the world.

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Oct 172011
 

Yesterday, for the first time since I acquired my Canon 40D, I experienced the battery running out. Usually, I am meticulous at checking the battery’s status but somehow it got overlooked before I set out. Luckily, I managed to fire off a couple of dozen shots before I reached the point where I pressed the shutter and nothing happened.

Zeiss Planar T* 1,4/50 ZE and Canon 40D. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

Why did this oversight occur? Well, my mind has been in a state of flux these past couple of weeks as a result of medical issues, proposed life-changing ventures, which seem somewhat ill-conceived to say the least, as well as the realization that this web site and also the Calvin Palmer Photography web site may cease to exist in a few weeks when the registration and hosting fees become due for renewal.

You may ask why I did not carry a spare battery.  I never do. The battery in the Canon 40D is capable of lasting for a couple of days of shooting. And, like I said, usually I monitor the level of the battery pretty much in the same way I monitor the fuel gauge on my car. It just goes to show how worries and concerns can prove to be a major distraction.

The above shot features what was originally the Lynch Building on E Forsyth Street, Jacksonville. It is now an apartment complex and known as 11 East Forsyth.

The building dates from 1926 and was designed in the Chicago skyscraper style by architects Pringle & Smith. It originally housed commerical offices and was opened by film pioneer Stephen Andrew Lynch. When it opened it was Jacksonville’s second tallest building behind the Barnett National Bank Building.

In 1962, the building was renovated and became the headquarters of the American Heritage Life Insurance Company until it moved away from Jacksonville in the 1980s.

The building opened as an apartment complex in 2003 following a $24 million re-development and financial assistance from the City of Jacksonville.

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Sep 232011
 

As much as I enjoy following the fortunes of Stoke City, some games fill me with a feeling of dread as to the outcome.

One of those games occurs tomorrow when the Potters take on Manchester United at the Britannia Stadium.

In the course of the past few weeks, I have seen Manchester United several times on the Fox Soccer Channel. At the moment, United seem unplayable. They demolished Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea and routed Bolton Wanderers 5-0 away from home.

In their five Premier League games so far this season, United have scored 21 goals and conceded four.

Now, you can probably understand my feeling of dread.

Factor in Stoke City’s 120 minutes of football in Tuesday night’s third round Carling Cup tie against Tottenham Hotspur, and given that many of the same players will take the field against United, and my fears are far from being unfounded.

However, as Jimmy Greaves used to say – It’s a funny old game.

United will start out as favourites to win — bookmakers William Hill has United 8/15 to win; 3/1 for a draw; and 5/1 for a Stoke win – but it is still eleven men against eleven men and a lot can happen out there on the pitch.

One thing is certain. Stoke City will give 100 per cent. The matches against Manchester United are always viewed as a derby game. I think it stems from Stoke City having ex-United player Dennis Viollet when they returned to the old First Division in 1963. A year later they acquired Maurice Setters from United.

The rivalry between the two clubs has always been intense. Older Stoke fans like me will remember those famous victories in 1971 and 1972 in the League Cup and FA Cup respectively, when Stoke knocked out Manchester United boasting players such as Best, Law and Charlton.

So despite the bookmakers’ odds, a Stoke win can be achieved. Here’s hoping.

And to take my mind off it all, here are a few photographs captured last Saturday in downtown Jacksonville.

Ricoh GRD III. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

 

Ricoh GRD III. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

 

Ricoh GRD III. ©Calvin Palmer 2011. All Rights Reserved.

The B&W conversions used Silver Efex Pro in Photoshop CS3.

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