Posts in Category: California

“It’s In Their Eyes” is a present for you on my birthday

Well it’s my birthday, literally today is my birthday, and so I wanted to give you a present. I’m 57 years old today, in case you were wondering. Frankly, because of some mental-health and past booze-related reasons I’m amazed and very happy to still be here. But that’s a story for another place and time.

Right, on to your gift.

2020 was a shitty year for many reasons, mostly the COVID-19 pandemic. I mean, my daily movements and social interactions were restricted, your daily movements and social interactions were restricted, we had more free time, more booze, more Netflix, less money, less security, and less hope. It was a big fucking mess that will hopefully come under rapid and compassionate control due to the leadership of our new president.

Anyway, what I did most of last year during my short trips outside my house to the supermarket, the pharmacy, and a few other essential places was take photographs of people in masks doing the same ordinary, essential stuff I was doing in our vastly-altered national circumstances.

And now I’ve made a book of my favorites of those photographs.

ItsInTheirEyesCover

And, as with my last two books, I’m making it available to you for free. It’s full of both color and monochrome photos of folks in the same kinds of places doing the the same kinds of things you have been doing since this national disaster started in March, 2020.

  • So download “It’s In Their Eyes” here. It’s in PDF format and totals 36.6MB.
  • And donate (if you’re so inclined) to my “getting ‘It’s In Their Eyes’ printed” fund here.

I’d love to hear your comments or criticisms. You can unload on me about “It’s In Their Eyes” by leaving a comment on this post, or by contacting me via Facebook, or Twitter.

Thanks for having a look, and I hope you enjoy “It’s In Their Eyes”.

SignatureRed

(Brisbane, California, January 21, 2021. See my other work here.)

In darkness…

In darkness
we cannot
shine a light,
so we
undervalue
our own radiance.
We pick locks
we cannot see,
taste foods
we cannot smell,
and gossip about things
we do not know.
We enslave
ourselves
and blame
others for our capture.

Christmas Eve at the 380 offramp, part 1...
San Bruno California, December 2020

We stop loving
our lives
and blame
others for our cold empty.
In darkness
we dance
with the children
we used to be
and wonder why,
now we’ve grown,
we don’t dance
any better
than we used to.

(Photographed in San Bruno, California on Christmas Eve, 2020. See my other work here.)

Saturday, at the edge of the world

My wife and I,
imprisoned with each other these past one million days,
decided on a Saturday morning
to hope in the car and go see the edge of the world.
(I meant ‘hop’ but the effect is the same.)

ThorntonBeach 7-1

When we got there
I looked out
at the crest of the ocean,
the horizon it made,
and I wondered if
there were people in Japan
looking from their edge of the world
who couldn’t see me either.

ThorntonBeach 8-2

It’s probable.
It’s likely.
My wife and I blew
the dreamers on Japanese coasts a kiss,
and laughed because we love
that the ocean is here
at the edge of the world
even though we rarely come to see it.

ThorntonBeach 9-3

And then I thought
in 31 years
of bad careers, drink, and madness in California,
she has been my sun.
My sun more than the actual fucking Sun.
And all the bad
was erased
standing on the edge of the world with her.

ThorntonBeach 10-1

Everything bad
in my life, in our lives,
was all worth enduring
to be able after 31 years
to stand at the edge of the world with her.

ThorntonBeach 11-5

And I told her that.
And she kissed me.
And I knew, once again,
we would be okay.

(Photographed at Thornton Beach, Daly City, California in November, 2020. See my other work here.)

Convenience

I’ve shopped in a lot of 7-11s in my life.

At the 7-11...
South San Francisco, California, September 2016

Maybe you have too.

At the 7-11...
South San Francisco, California, May 2017

I only started photographing people I’d encounter at 7-11 a few years ago. I was a public school substitute teacher in 2016 and 2017, and I used to stop by whatever store was on my way to work for a Dr Pepper and some kind of donut for breakfast.

At the 7-11...
South San Francisco, California, November 2016

I’m not a school teacher any longer, but I still treasure my 7-11 adventures. See more of the people I met at the convenience store here. I hope you enjoy them.

(Photographed in South San Francisco, California in September and November, 2016 and in May, 2017. See my other work here and here.)

My week of shooting, 28 April 2019

Codename: McDonald’s Hamburger Eyes

Because I live about two miles south of the San Francisco city and county line, my photographic work continues to evolve and to benefit from the rich cultural, religious, and ethnic diversity of this area. It also benefits from living with two loveably-insane cats…

  • This week I got a big boost professionally from Hamburger Eyes, a highly-regarded Los Angeles photo magazine that has just published some of my cat photographs in its latest issue. The photos are from my ongoing “Kitty Noir” photo series about my cats Kuroneko and Mikadzuki, which you can see here.

HamburgerEyes38Promo

  • Thursday I stopped into a Daly City McDonald’s for a snack, and congratulated myself for deciding at the last second to walk inside instead using the drive-thru…

SF RAW 1393-3

  • As I left that McDonald’s, this woman asked me for a light and some change. I gave her both, and felt a kind of peace and comfort while standing in front of her. Visually she reminded me of CCH Pounder.

SherryOrSheri 3-2

  • On Friday “Avengers: Endgame” opened nationwide at a theater near you, but I’m sure you knew that. Huge American movies like this follow us everywhere. They watch us as much as we watch them. This photo is also on Flickr.

Superheroes on the menu...
Daly City, California, April 2019

  • Saturday in Brisbane I encountered a Sikh and his family. And I think once you’ve photographed a suburban Sikh dad who’s wearing coordinated shades of pink, you’ve reached some kind of visual pinnacle. He is also on Flickr.

Once you've photographed a suburban Sikh dad in coordinated shades of pink, you've reached some kind of visual pinnacle...
Brisbane, California, April 2019

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

MitchellBouyerMemorial 3-2

  • 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, 24 February 2019

Codename: Pink Tuba Fire…

Welcome to the first installment of a new weekly feature here on Brisbane Graphic Arts Museum. It’s an ongoing showcase of photographs from my growing body of photojournalism and street photography work, featuring what I think are the best and/or most interesting photos I shot during a given week. I hope you enjoy my work, or get some value from it, and will come back here each week to see how I’ve been seeing our world.

Here we go…

  • On Tuesday I unintentionally unnerved this adorable little girl who was walking past my house with her grandmother…

AlexandraSasha 6-1

  • On Wednesday there was this kid in a shopping cart at a Japanese supermarket in San Mateo where my wife and I were getting some groceries…

RAW-SanMateo 36-2

  • On Thursday Brisbane’s only public house, the Brisbane Inn, caught fire on the top floor and burned for a while. See more photographs of the incident here.

Fire at the Brisbane Inn-5...
Brisbane, California, February 2019

  • On Saturday I encountered this fuzzy pink kid at the public unveiling of a raccoon statue in a small park here in Brisbane. You can also see this photo in this collection

The brilliant fuzzy pink...
Brisbane, California, February 2019

  • Also on Saturday, I came across tuba player rehearsing in a shopping center parking with his banda group for a gig they were playing later in the evening…

Brisbane RAW 2106-5

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.

Bunny Sunday

How to knit a cell phone

There are no roses for us
but the ones we make
from Japanese paper
made in China, by the way,
that we buy in vast retail spaces
stocked with glue and glitter and ribbon
and blank books of impermanent quality
with which we build volumes
of memory and dreams.

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft store, Colma, California 2018

The dreams are for ourselves, supposedly.
The memory is for anthropologists, hopefully.
They’ll see how we were
then marvel at how dull it all was,
and wonder why we wasted our time
compiling scrapbooks,
seeing our children,
or writing poems.

And they will envy us that we tried,
goddamn we really tried,
and that we left behind for them
enough of a world to pity.

Calling occupants of interplanetary craft stores….

(Michaels, Colma, California, March 2018. See my other work here and here.)

Ink jets and heart attacks

She ran the dead’s carpeting
throughout the office supply stacks.
She wanted a toy, not pencils nor tacks.
She was bright, shiny cuteness
in an Office Depot®,
or was it an OfficeMax®?
You know,
wherever the corporate types go
for overpriced ink and free heart attacks…

RAW-ElCamino 160-1

(At Staples in South San Francisco, California, February 2016. See my other work here and here.)

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