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Dusty's Last Stand

Dusty's Last Stand

April 2000

Le Club

At the risk of belaboring the point (it has been mentioned in this column before) when people talk about going out clubbing in Whistler ninety-nine point nine percent of the time they're talking about going to that investment in concrete known as the town center. Club life in the hub of town has apparently gotten even better with the addition of one new and one relocated club, not to mention the still relatively new brew pub and the resurrection of the club near the convention center, as well as last winters opening of the subterranean club across from it. There doesn't seem to be a lack of nightspots in Whistler. It remains to be seen whether there will be line-ups outside every club in town this winter but given the profile of many Whistler visitors, not to mention Whistler residents, it's quite possible there will be.
There was a time though when the hot spot to go, the place to see and be seen, was down the highway a few miles. This club was located in a building which still stands, although it's slated for demolition in two more years. It was in this old building, right beside the new Whistler lift out of the Creekside, in the bar that's now called Dusty's. The place was called Le Club.
Le Club existed in the early eighties. It was a packed every night. It was so popular that by nine-thirty the room would be full and a line-up would start at the door that faces up the mountain (the one that opens onto Dusty's and the restaurant) By ten the line would turn ninety degrees and continue along the outside wall of Dusty's, the wall that faces up the mountain. By ten thirty it would turn ninety degrees again into the courtyard between Dusty's and the old gondola barn and end somewhere near the sports shop.
The boss would tell the doormen to stop letting people in when it took him more than ten minutes to force his way from the door that divides the bar from the restaurant to the door that divides the bar from the cafeteria, a distance of less than a hundred feet. Doormen were employed whose sole function was to watch four windows each to ensure patrons inside weren't opening the windows to let their friends outside get into the club. The place would be so jammed that four windows were about all any one doorman would be able to see.
Le Club was run by the same people who ran L'Apres for years: Big Leo, Peter and Maria, and Little Leo. Big Leo didn't have a lot to do with day to day operations, he was the big boss. Peter Skoros, his wife Maria, and Little Leo managed the club in a very hands-on way however, they would be in the club early and would remain there well into the wee hours of the morning. Peter went on to create Peters Underground beneath Tapley's. That enterprise went on to complete a circle last winter when it metamorphosed from a kind of family fast-food restaurant (based loosely on Fresco's in Vancouver) into another night club - sadly without Peter.
To describe the ambiance of Le Club is fairly simple. Picture Dusty's as it is today. Eliminate the pool table and the electronic games. Add a "gold-fish bowl disc-jockey booth" (as the Le Club DJ, who asked that his name not be mentioned, recently described it) to the wall between the bar and the door that divides the room from the cafeteria, a mirror ball to the ceiling, and several hundred hot, sweaty people dancing up a storm, and there it was.
The music was what made Le Club happen. The Police, Blondie, the B-52's, Elvis Costello, all were staples in the DJ's repertoire. A few cynical club patrons claimed they could tell what time it was by what song was playing.
'So Sad, Too Bad' was a particular favorite and was often played two or even three times back to back. Nobody complained. One night Doug Bennett came in while the song was playing, seemed slightly startled when it played again, then finally went over and tipped the DJ a penny when he played it a third time.
Tunes from the Rocky Horror picture show were also big. 'Time Warp' was guaranteed to fill the floor. When the doormen got bored they'd ask the DJ to play 'Rock Lobster' by the B-52s because that song moves to a point where the lead singer chants, "Down...down...down..." and the crowd would obey the command and slowly collapse into a heap of moist bodies. Then the lead guitar would pick up the driving rhythm again which would bring everyone bounding back to their feet. The only time one end of the club could be seen from the other end was in those brief intervals during that song.
Although it didn't really fit into the category of early eighties music 'Mack the Knife' by Bobby Darrin was also a popular song at Le Club and even Frank Sinatra could occasionally be heard warbling a tune. Joan Armatrading tunes were popular with some patrons. While the theme was early eighties the music selection was fairly eclectic. The Jesse Winchester tune 'Bowling Green' was often the last song of the eve

Jefferson Memorial, DC: night

Jefferson Memorial, DC: night

[Minolta 500si Tamron 28-300 0eV evaluative, Kodak Gold ISO400 color negative film > Epson V300 scanner > Gimp]

...easy as pie, off a mini-tripod from a few hundred yards.
Decent focus, decently stable, no real noise to speak of...and 30MP.
How can I complain.

It has been quite a while sine this camera and lens have given me a bad shot.
What it does do, and what I'm having to work on, is burn through a roll of film in short order. I went to the Mall twice, Lake Artemesia once, the SW waterfront twice and to the Inner Harbor once the past few weeks and smoked through 6 rolls, 3 rolls in one hour one day and 2 rolls in one hour the next day. Of course a good # of those shots were test-shots and re-shots, but still. Even so I still haven't gotten some shots on film that I really wanted to get on film, because there was either too much light or I didn't have the right film, I ran out of ISO100 film a while ago and shot through all the ISO200 that I had in my bag and didn't know it until I was downtown & had to stuff ISO400 in the camera to shoot at all, even at noon on a clear sunny day. But it's hard to be somewhere in the hour around sunset when you have no real reason to go there other than to take pictures :) So I'll make some real reasons. That still means having the right film in the camera...not a very efficient way to shoot, really. If I wasn't in the mood to take test shots I wouldn't have taken shots in broad daylight with ISO400 film etc.

So, with digital gear you can shoot "for free" at whatever ISO you are willing to stand, just have to pay for the camera. With film you have to actually have the film on you to shoot it. That is much more of a problem than I thought as when I do shoot I tend to fly through rolls. I'm starting to buy film in packs of 16 at least. The faster film will last a while. ISO100 disappears like spring snow. And I never buy ISO400 anymore, it's too fast and too noisy for outdoor shooting most of the time and too slow for indoors and twilight shooting. Its only saving grace is that it works well on a tripod at night where the slower film gets too slow especially in a breeze.

Anyway it's just interesting to not worry about chroma-noise, color or cost, just grain and having the film I want to shoot in the first place. At 10 cents/shot I really can't complain about the cost. So my main concern is keeping the grain under control, relative to the shot I'm taking. In low light like this, on a tight crop like this, at 640x480, grain is just not an issue. Film is overkill for this. It's certainly capable of doing a good job on most of the shots that I want to take, except those that require a butter-smooth, ultra-clean yet highly-detailed shot, where even the slightest visible grain ruins the shot. Where even ISO100 film isn't good enough even with a great exposure.

You can make the case for that with any scene, with large-enough output.

With small-enough output you can shoot wide-angle landscapes with ISO1600 film and get away with it.

The results don't have to be perfect.
Just good enough for the display-size & viewing-distance.
Reliability counts for a lot more than ultimate IQ.

For $175 this rig gives me shots that are functionally superior to the output that I used to get from a $3000 5D with an equivalent Tamron lens. What I lose in terms of fine-detail and grain I more than gain in color realism, lighter weight and cost-savings. Could I say the same thing about a $175 SX130?

Honestly aside from the cost of the film and the occasional headache of dealing with a fullsize SLR and superzoom, I don't know if I really care. I'm not going to want to shoot an SX130 beyond ISO80 and I'm not even sure that I can deal with the color on day shots. I could easily see buying one, remarking that it sure is portable...but never wanting to actually use it when I could shoot film or the D70.

I mean, look: there is *no* visible noise here. At ISO400.
With no NR.
And decent color, if a touch green from a slight underexposure.
Why would I want to mess with that?

If you had a nice reliable mid-size car that performs well and is easy to afford and maintain, would you really trade it for a car that's more cranky and doesn't perform as well, just because it's cheaper and smaller? Would you really want to fly 2500 miles to go somewhere for a week and rely on a $150 point & shoot? Sure the SX130 might be better than film at ISO100. But I'd have to drop at least $150 on one just to find out. Is it really worth that investment?

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05.11.2011. u 15:31 • 0 KomentaraPrint#

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