Monday, May 31, 2021

Collage that goes too far

It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Artificial coloring, don’t ask about the flavor

The water in the fountain at Justin Herman Plaza is often an algal green, but not this more blue/vivid one.

Breezy lunch

If you look really closely, you can see that the sun made a sunspot in the image, and that it is shaped like a little asterisk (from the screen it is shining through.)

Those greens I adore

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.  

Festive railing (and shadow)

The colors!  The SHADOW!  The colors AND the shadow!

Cornice details

I want to say that this cornice is unique in San Francisco, but I don't KNOW that for certain, and so now I'll have to look at all the other buildings to be certain.  :) 

SF Corners

We sure have a lot of buildings with fancy frosting at the top, don't we?  (Answer: YES.)

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Camera test format variations

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.

Historic curtain wall (with fancy details)

Wikipedia now says that the Hallidie Building does NOT have the first curtain wall known to architecture.  It's still a pretty hip-looking building, however.

Moo-saic (sorry)

(Not sorry enough not to make the joke, clearly.)


When I scroll this image, the tiles look remarkably 3-D.  I mean, they are, but they LOOK it.

Empty retail nests

[cue tumbleweeds blowing down Market Street]

While we are lifting COVID restrictions and getting back out into the world, the streets downtown remain eerie to me in their relative emptiness.

Still remarkable makeover

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.)

Sharp succulents always win

The plants on the bridge at Yerba Buena Gardens are successfully settling in to their very exposed location.

Saturday, May 29, 2021

Hiding in the leaves

Some of the fancy cherry blossoms are still here, keeping to themselves.

Fancy sails

I don't know what the occasion was, but that looks like a grand ship, doesn't it?

Streetcar fan account

The website 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

Double 16th

I don't really think I'm the kind of person who takes photos with a streetlight IN THE MIDDLE of them, but apparently I am when I think the film isn't really advancing?  :D

Saturday, May 22, 2021

Camera testing: Lomo Instant Square

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.  

SF Streetcar 2059

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

Thursday night monotype (detail)

The sun set late enough for me to get some monotype printing in...  Hooray!

Saturday, May 15, 2021

Crane appreciation wall

Silhouettes of cranes decorate this wall (hidden behind the trees) in a hip tribute to the nearby port.

Double outlet

This wall has been through some stuff!

Pulled together brick wall (Pier 70)

Our common approaches for reinforcing previously unreinforced brick walls are rather visible interventions!

Red stems, green and gold leaves

Just to post something relatively non-geometric for you...  The color transitions are nice (and hard to draw, at least for me.)

Cranes under clouds

Yes, I _am_ very fond of Crane Cove.

Saturday, May 8, 2021

Transit rings

This was the only time I've been to Salesforce Transit Center (as it is currently called) without witnessing large crowds roving through the lovely gardens...

This still doesn’t look real to me

Glass box busy glass boxing.


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.

The new side of 16th Street

So many rectangles, so little time...  I still sometimes expect to see the warehouses that used to occupy this area when I round a corner.  (There are still a few warehouses left...)

Yerba Buena in sun

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!

A favorite installation back at SFMoMA

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.