Monday, May 31, 2021
Verdigris, which I had thought was only French for green-gray, not for green of Greece. (Thanks, Oxford dictionary.) It's a copper carbonate (usually, there are other forms), but very close to the iron oxides I adore in Asian ceramic glazes now called "celadon" in English.
Sunday, May 30, 2021
I'm still testing the Lomo Instant Square (the version with the glass lenses), now with Instax Mini film (because I ran out of Square). The view through the viewfinder, which is shared between both formats, remains a bit confusing, and I'm still feeling out where the boundaries are, and am repeatedly surprised by what is in the resulting frame. But I'm getting the hang of it. And I'm having a little instant fun, which is always a good thing.
The red-brick deYoung Building was covered with 1950s spandrel-type panels for most of my time working downtown, an effort to make the building look modern... which appears to have done a lovely job preserving the more attractive building beneath.
The upward expansion wisely has a different color, texture, and more modern bent, and remains impressive to me. (I don't know what was done to have the original building support the additional weight, but it looks fantastic.)
Saturday, May 29, 2021
The website streetcar.org belongs to the non-profit Market Street Railway, an advocacy group that encourages San Francisco and its transit agencies to collect (with MSR's assistance) and operate City's collection of antique streetcars, and expand their use.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, San Francisco's entire streetcar (and most of the related subway) network shut down, as the City operated on skeletal "core" services... until May 15th, when many routes were restored, and the historic streetcars returned!
I'm delighted, and have been out enjoying them. (Those fish eye light fixtures inside really are cool!)
Monday, May 24, 2021
Saturday, May 22, 2021
Today I tested out my second Lomo Instant Square camera (the first was defective) from Lomography / the Lomographic Society International, loaded with Fuji's Instax Square film. San Francisco's lovely collection of vintage streetcars seemed like an ideal subject, though they don't stay still for very long, so I had to move fast!
I already like Instax film from my experience with an Instax Wide camera, but wanted a sharper lens than either that camera or the Instax Square camera samples I'd seen. I decided to give Lomo's model, which has a glass lens AND an attachment to allow it to use the popular Instax mini size, a try.
The images taken in full sun are vivid and well saturated, and my selective testing of the 'decrease exposure' feature helped prevent certain scenes from being washed out.
(My tests at home erased bright subjects. I prefer high contrast over bright images generally, though I should NOT have darkened the exposures of the silver Philly streetcar during these tests. I know that now - I didn't have time for the first print to develop before the train left, so they both use the same setting. The last image failed to show the colors of a mural in the shade, though that isn't entirely surprising - I didn't set it to the 'increase exposure' setting, which I should have.)
The images are sharp enough looking, and since focus is a manual slider, I'm taking the blame for the few softer images.
The only surprise and area I'll need to adjust for is the viewfinder: the white building in the top row filled the viewfinder when I composed, but the sky in the print is much larger than expected. This happened with all three distance shots, so I'll adjust my compositions accordingly, and try to work closer to my subjects (which will help the images be more vivid anyway).
Instax Square prints are smaller than Impossible/Polaroid prints, and don't work in Polaroid-compatible cameras. Instax film is also less than half the cost of Impossible/Polaroid, and still appears to be more vivid and more stable, so it seems a reasonable trade-off! I'll look forward to having fun with this camera again in the future.
San Francisco's fleet of historic streetcars on the F-line are BACK!
Service was suspended during the pandemic, but as of May 15th, they are running again. I'm not the only fan who was tracking which ones were running, and photographing them. (I started a little too early, before the light was good on the western faces, but waited patiently.)
Thursday, May 20, 2021
Saturday, May 15, 2021
Saturday, May 8, 2021
We don't have redbuds in this area as native plants, so it was confusing to encounter this one (and a few of its friends) in Mission Bay. I searched for "tree with sweet pea flowers" and it came up right away - it was a good call, they are in the same family.
This stairwell faces Howard street, and I don't think I've posted any photos before - the fountain is always the focus of shared photos (and postcards) of Yerba Buena Gardens. But it deserves some appreciation - it's a nice spot!
I am fully vaccinated, and took my first trip to a museum since March (or late February?) 2020, and was DELIGHTED - beyond delighted - to see a favorite Studio Olafur Eliasson piece in the SFMoMA atrium bridge! With capacity limits still in effect, I didn't need to wait long to take my turn to walk through the piece, which is different in each direction, thanks to the careful design and arrangement of facets that are either dark or colorful.