Sunday, December 29, 2019

Oh, California

SF Union Square tree

I love to photograph SF's trees on clear, dark nights!

The star is really nice.  I've photographed it many times, and always find it charming.

We really need to get our giant city menorah a nicer enclosure: police barricades aren't FESTIVE.  

Local people


There are some "new" interpretive signs at the bridge atop Yerba Buena Gardens that heads toward the original Moscone center.  It has great information on the old shoreline, and the archeology that has cropped up during construction work.

This map shows the names (used by archeologists? collected by Spaniards exploring the area?) of locals who were disrupted/displaced by the later arrivals, including the Spaniards, Mexicans, and Americans who took over the region.

(Whenever people talk about immigrants, I remember that I live on land that has been controlled by the Ohlone, Spain, Mexico, AND the U.S.  We are the immigrants!)

Sunny winter Saturday, the last of 2019

I'm very fond of my hometown.

Thursday instants (color)

I'm less impressed with the new Polaroid color film, which isn't as colorful as I would like.  These images all were intended to emphasize green or blue, and it could really only do blue.  I've had better luck with other batches and overtly bright colors, but I was expecting some good greens here.

Thursday Instants (b/w)

I'm a fan of the Polaroid (Impossible) black and white now, though I can't say it makes sense to pay $2.25/frame retail.  But the contrast is good, and it develops at a reasonable speed now.

My SX-70 didn't focus for the Jewish Museum photo (center top), but was able to handle some very challenging lighting conditions (the rightmost image), which was a photo of reflections in shade on a backlit building.  

Thursday, December 26, 2019

Old enough to blend in quietly

There are useful buildings that haven't yet been replaced by full-block skyscrapers (yet)...

Cranes with cranes

There are many photos I take just because I realize they will be obscured by new construction in a year (or sooner).  It's interesting to live in such a dynamic city!

Glass wave

I'm always about the greens.  Greens were going to be a theme of today's outing, but my color Polaroid film didn't cooperate (though it is still developing).

Upstairs garden (from an upstairs garden)

Looking up at palm trees and lush gardens is still new.

I’ll keep taking variations of this for years

So many facets, so little time.

Ever more reflections

Tall glass box

San Francisco historically isn't so tall as this.  The new additions really do tower over old downtown, at least on this South of Market side.

Blue crystal

These shade photos are always a gamble, but my phone is up to the lighting challenge.

Patterned lure

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

Cute and little tree


Monday Polaroids

The contrast is good in this Impossible/Polaroid film.  I'm shooting darker subjects without adjusting the exposure wheel to dark (as I usually have had to do), and it's just what I'm after...

Monday, December 23, 2019

Sky wedge

I like it when the glass-covered buildings do what they are supposed to do, reflection-wise.

New view

Downtown is more fun to visit if you don't have to be there daily for work. :) 

Figure (like coral)


It still surprises me to see this in the skyline.  How long will it take before I adjust?

The colors of water

I do love this fountain.

Reflected #576

Reflected (#575 of thousands)

This only reminds me that I did a photo essay of reflections in skyscrapers while I was in Seoul last fall, and I haven't organized ANY of it...

Three layers of building frosting

While I wasn't paying attention, Jackson Street evolved from a design district for furniture and architecture to a designer clothing district.  (I didn't receive that memo.)

Red, flat luck

I haven't been in SF's Chinatown much lately, have I?

Corners and shadows

San Francisco has buildings from so many eras, that it's like walking through a textbook. :)

Alley art

I don't recall there being murals on Claude Lane, but it has been a few years...

Clarion: Hella Resist

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Beyond ordinary basketry

My parents love visiting the SF Asian Art Museum, and especially love the baskets.  I think my father returns home from visits with dozens and dozens of basket photos...  the collection is quite remarkable.

Really, I love the entire museum.  I loved the building when it was the SF Main Library; I love Gae Aulenti's revision of it to accommodate the Asian Art Museum; and I love the colors of the rooms, the contemporary art intermingled with the antique art that it is referencing; and the depth of the sculpture collection.  There is a lot to love!

Stitches catching the light

This is a detail from a multi-panel screen in the style that shows kimono hanging from kimono racks, except that they sewed an actual antique kimono into it.  Which is clever.  And meta. 

Grand works by Chang Dai-chien

The Chang Dai-chien show at the Asian is compact, but very, very good!  The man was not afraid to use ink! :) 

Sleeves up my sleeves

A costume for a female character in SF's Asian Art Museum.

Last week’s photo walk as clouds moved in

So, after that power surge destroyed my refrigerator earlier this autumn, I had to reconcile with my film stockpile, which was more than 70 rolls/packs that suddenly thawed.  But, I've been working so much and have been so tired, it took until quite recently before I could make a dent.

And then, when I got out for a photo walk with this Polaroid (yes, they relicensed the name again, basically to Impossible America, if I understand correctly) black and white for SX-70s, the clouds came in before I could get out all eight shots.

That next break in the weather will come!

Sunday, December 15, 2019

Blue wall

This only serves to remind me that I have a vast stockpile of glass reflections on buildings that are reflecting OTHER BUILDINGS, which I should break out and... do something with.  Like maybe bore you! :) 


Completely out of sequence, but the story of my walk today doesn't need to be linear.

As an aside, this colorful-strip-vertical look has been a thing in Europe for years now, so we're late to the game.

Chase Xmas Cone (tree)

There is something efficient about dispensing with the actual tree, and just working with triangles.  (I've done this with lights and a pole, and from afar, no one knows the difference!)  Pyramids are kind of natural, right?  Think of this as a holiday volcano with a very high angle of repose...

Civic installation 3/3

This may have been my last photo before the clouds took over...  another part of Kosuth's installation on the Bill Graham Civic.  Can you tell I was delighted to see it?  

Civic installation 2/3

Second view of Kosuth's installation between the fire escapes.

Civic (neon installation)

I went on a photo walk today, at least until giant clouds ruined all the good lighting that I was out to take advantage of.  My wanders took me past the west-facing side of the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, where I was delighted to see a new art installation.  Well, new to me: it's been there since spring.

It's by Joseph Kosuth, and this link ( has a very charming image of it in the evening, as well as some background information about how it was planned and funded.

Cool eyes in an alley

Jazz portraits - installation

A good use for a building that is awaiting renovation.  Photos by William Gottlieb.

The times (mural by BIP: baby with a handgun)

Compelling.  Alarming.


Sunday, December 8, 2019

Reflections (at closing day of Noguchi & Hasegawa show)

Noguchi was known for his creative take on traditional paper lamps, and I like reflections, so this little collage seems like a fitting summary of closing day at this great exhibit at the Asian Art Museum.

Lily pads of light

The leaves of Victoria amazonica are lit beautifully in the Conservatory of Flowers by night.

Conservatory by night

The Conservatory of Flowers here in San Francisco is fantastic by day, and recent lighting installations make it interesting in new ways by night!

The building came from a kit, was a gift to the City, and is now the oldest wooden conservatory in the U.S.   The plants inside span multiple climate zones (I like the cool, misty, high altitude room especially), and are very well cared for.  

Violet undertones

I just like the colors.

I love blue lights

I have a program to help me make long exposures, but it doesn't work as reliably as simply being jittery. :)

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Digital patterns from a photograph

You'll be able to say you knew me before I was sent off to the Home for the Easily Amused, Pattern Division.