Not mine, of course. I’m just here as a witness, a guest (and as a photographer). It is interesting watching how different people prepare for graduation. Some women dress up in flowing gowns (quite attractively, in fact). A few graduates roam in and out of the hall, getting their beloved ones situated in their allotted seats. It’s all pretty strange, a strange tension/untension. People are tense, but happy, and refuse to admit to the tension they hold. It’s not like there are any real surprises anywhere in here. The people will sit up on the stage and, one by one, be called upon, and given a diploma signifying… well, nothing. Signifying whatever that graduate WANTS it to signify. We are all simply here on our own agendas, in whatever fashion they are.

Still, I’m happy for them.

The hall is starting to fill and bustle. I was here early, and thus am assured good seating: second row back of the “open seats”. This is the first time I’ve managed to sit this close, done because I have a camera (a very nice one, better than my skill), and need to be able to illuminate faces as I photograph them. Of course, the year I am closest is the year that I have the most overkill equipment: I brought my D60, with the 75-300mm lens, and the 550EX flash, which (I already tested) is quite capable of filling faces from the BACK of the room. But hey, better to be overprepared than under. Far too often all I pull away with at these graduations is my own experiences, and some blurred, dark images. Not enough time, not enough patience, not enough FILL!

It is approaching time, now 6:50, ten minutes til the procession enters. And still the hall fills. An experience if there ever was one.

Time to go live instead of write.