Posts Tagged: San Francisco CA

My week of shooting, Easter Sunday 2019

“It’s easy to be a holy man on the top of a mountain”…

Tuesday I was in this pre-apocalyptic part of San Francisco right next to the 101 freeway that’s a mixture of big box retailers, warehouses, fast food joints, and a few liquor stores. Homelessness abounds in that part of town, so I wasn’t oblivious when this frail, gentle old man wheeled his shopping cart up to me and asked for spare change.

I gave him a few $1 bills and took a few photos of him, with his permission, during our transaction. And although he didn’t say “What would Jesus do?” while we briefly spoke, I keep looking at my photograph of him and thinking that the question and his image would fit together perfectly.

And for me the answer is I don’t know what Jesus would have done, but I know what I would’ve done if I wasn’t too broke myself to do it…

Homeless man San Francisco

This photograph is also on Flickr. And please have a look at my other work here and here.

Remember: people and the world are more beautiful, odd, and interesting than you think, you just have to stop and look long enough to notice.

My week of shooting, 7 April 2019

Be your happy self, peoples…

If you’ve seen this column before, you know what it’s about. If you haven’t, you’ll figure it out quickly. So I’m just going to get right to it because life as it unfolds is often patently obvious in its meaning and intent…

  • Sunday, March 31st, my wife and I went to Alemany Flea Market in San Francisco, where I encountered a young man with a box on his head (it was really sunny) and a young woman in a foam rubber wig (she was really stylish)…

Alemany2019Mar 1-6

Alemany2019Mar 7-5

  • Later on Sunday I went to a wake at the Brisbane Eagles hall for a local Brisbane character I’d known for decades. See other images from the wake here and here

Flowers at a funeral for a friend...
Brisbane, California, March 2019

  • Monday was my 19th wedding anniversary. To celebrate, my wife and I drove down to Alice’s Restaurant in Woodside, California for lunch. Like the song for which it is named, the restaurant is very overrated, but they have a nice kitty there…

Alice's Restaurant cat...
Woodside, California, April 2019

  • Tuesday I drove into San Francisco to meet a friend for lunch. On the way I photographed this young homeless man at the Octavia Street off-ramp after giving him all the change I had in my pocket…

SF RAW 1370-2

  • I was in San Francisco again on Friday to pick up a dear friend at St. Mary’s Medical Center. This hospital attendant wheelchaired my friend down to the passenger loading zone, where I had literally half a second to get this shot…

SF RAW 1375-1

That’s it for now. Until next time see my other work here and here.

Remember: people and the world are more beautiful, odd, and interesting than you think, you just have to stop and look long enough to notice.

My week of shooting, 24 March 2019

Codename: Homeless Dancing Albinism

Photographically speaking, I had a great week. It was full of the brief but enriching encounters with people that drive home to me why I’m a photojournalist. Even in the most mundane places, and my life right now encompasses a LOT of mundane places, I observe instances of friendliness, open-heartedness, and joy that keep me hopeful that all of us just might be okay if we don’t burn it all down…

  • On St. Patrick’s Day, an affable homeless man and the dollar bill I’d just given him at a freeway off-ramp in San Francisco…

SF RAW 1343-5

  • Tuesday at my local grocery store I was on line with a lady and her dog, so I did what I do and photographed them both…

MidtownBrisbane 1421-4

  • On Friday while having a quick bite at Costco I shared a table with this little girl with albinism and her mother…

ChloeAndMom 1-3

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  • On Saturday it was a nosh at McDonald’s, and an encounter with this cool teenager who smiled despite the new braces on his teeth…

DanielBraces 1-1

That’s it for this week. Until next seek see my other work here and here.

Remember: people and the world are more beautiful, odd, and interesting than you think, you just have to stop and look long enough to notice.

My week of shooting, 03 March 2019

a.k.a. ‘My WEAK of shooting’…

In terms of photographing people, my week was frustrating. I felt like my reflexes and timing were off, my heart wasn’t completely into this work I love so dearly, and that my Nikon D90 is plotting against me in service to the vast global machine intelligence planning to overthrow its human masters. I’m hoping this is merely a very short phase I’m going through. I missed a lot of photos that would have been far better than the images below because I was too slow or too indifferent.

Anyway, here’s what I have for you this week…

  • On Monday in San Francisco I had breakfast at the WORST fucking diner in the world. At the Silver Crest Donut Shop it cost me almost $19 for a bottled Coke, cheeseburger, and fries. The fries tasted of stale motor oil and the burger tasted of mammals not native to our planet. It is a sad place I will never revisit…

Silver Crest Donut Shop, San Francisco

  • On Tuesday while my wife played with our cat Kuro-chan I photographed the scene from an unexpected angle. I photograph our cats constantly. See more of them here and here.

Woman plays with a Kitty

  • On Thursday I photographed this animated fellow and his dog at my local Grocery Outlet. He was very nice, the dog was friendly and cute…

GeorgeAndBuddy 3-2

  • A fellow Brisbane resident, who wears that propeller beanie everywhere he goes. He says it’s his trademark, and as a fashion statement I think he pulls it off quite nicely…

The propeller beanie is his fashion trademark...
Brisbane, California, March 2019

And that’s it for this week. Until next seek see my other work here and here.

Remember: people and the world are more beautiful, odd, and interesting than you think, you just have to stop and look long enough to notice.

Supergirl on the Fourth of July did not fly away

Superheroes have childhoods too, you know…

You can be anything in America, and anything can be you. To even put the costume on you have to believe somewhere in even the smallest part of your little girl’s heart that you can some day be a woman who can fly. I like to think this child’s mother gently held her daughter’s hand to keep her from flying too early, before she was ready to see our sloppy, maniacal, perilous world from above.

Because we all in our hearts once believed we could fly, until something in life changed and our quest for human flight died. I hope that never happens to this little one, and that one day she knows how lucky and privileged I was to meet Supergirl in a supermarket parking lot…

SF RAW 1228-1

(Grocery Outlet, San Francisco, California 2018. See my other work here and here.)

Goodnight, America…

…I leave you with this.

You don’t have the right to look away…

Homeless, Brannan @ 5th, San Francisco

(Brannan Street @ 5th Street, San Francisco, California 2018. See my other work here and here.)

Mother days

Yeah, I know, Mother’s Day is quasi-holiday that is way too commercialized. But that doesn’t mean we can’t legitimately set aside one day per year to honor our mums for bringing us into this world and then doing their best not to fuck everything up after that. Motherhood is hard work, a lifetime of it. It’s 24/7 for at least 18 years but really it’s from the day you’re born until the day one of you dies. And for the rest of their life whoever remains has to do whatever it takes to keep from falling completely apart emotionally.

It’s vicious, it’s cruel, it’s love, and it’s life itself. If asked I bet most mothers would say they wouldn’t trade one good, great, bad, or horrible second of raising their children for anything. I hope that includes your mom.

To celebrate this day of Eggs Benedict, mimosas, and fresh-cut flowers I present a small gallery of photographs I’ve taken in the past few years of moms and their kids. I hope you enjoy it, and see the beauty and edginess in these people who share a human bond like no other…

Brisbane RAW 327-1

Brisbane, California, July 2015

Akagi Shrine, Kagurazaka, Tokyo 2015 (Story: http://www.brisbanegraphicartsmuseum.com/?p=116)

Kagurazaka, Tokyo, Japan, November 2015

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Sierra Point Yacht Club, Brisbane, California, September 2016

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Clarion Alley, San Francisco, March 2017

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Nijiya Market, Japantown, San Francisco, July 2017

(Photographed in Tokyo, Japan, and Brisbane and San Francisco, California. See my other work here and here.)

Wheel chair blue

He had stationed himself in front of a Grocery Outlet discount supermarket on Bayshore Boulevard in San Francisco. I had just stopped by for some Dr Pepper. I’m addicted to Dr Pepper. As I walked toward him he asked me if I could help him out a little. A little was about all I had jangling loose in my pocket so I gave him all three bucks of it. He thanked me for the money and said he appreciated the help because he’d had two heart attacks and lost his job while recovering from the second one.

“That’s why I’m in this wheel chair pretty often,” he said.

“I can relate,” I said, “I had a heart attack myself fourteen years ago, three weeks shy of my 40th birthday.”

WheelChairBlue 2-1

That look people get when they think they’ve found a kindred spirit flashed across his face, and he started telling me details about his first heart attack. Frankly I had no desire to swap myocardial infarction stories. I still periodically suffer from PTSD because of mine and talking about it has never helped. That shit just gives me nightmares I don’t need. So I told him very apologetically that I really needed to get my shopping done and then went inside the store.

I was in and out of the supermarket with my Dr Pepper in less than five minutes, but when I emerged the man in the wheel chair was gone. And I felt bad about that, because I was going to give him three dollars change from the $10 bill I had just used to pay the clerk for my liquid fix. But I did feel good that our lives had intersected, even if minutes later they probably had diverged forever. I hope he felt the same way. It’s better to know people in a few fleeting minutes and let them enrich your life than to never know them at all.

And I wonder if he wheeled himself out of the grocery store parking lot or walked pushing the chair in front of him. I hope he walked.

(San Francisco, California, February 2018. See my other work here and here.)

A priestess of the check-out line

Life is balance, popcorn a paltry modern offering to Demeter and the famished New Microwave Gods…

African-American woman with microwave popcorn

(San Francisco, California, February 2018. See my other work here and here.)

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