One of those “the best camera is the one you’ve got on you at the time…” shots. In this case, of course, that camera is my iPhone, and I’d ridden my bicycle past this sight (in the Fruitvale district of Oakland) on the way to work that morning, thinking it looked cool, but the light was in the wrong place, and I’d never be back in time later that day to do it when the light was in the right place — and in a day or two the flooding would be gone anyway. But I got off work early, and there it was. I go past this building almost every day, one way or another, and until recently it housed a working business; but now it’s up for sale or lease, and gentrification can’t be far off (just like much of the rest of my neighbourhood). I can’t help wondering how long it’ll be before this place ends up in another Now And Then article here….
I used to do street photography with a view camera. Yes, really — bellows, light hood, heavy tripod and all, a bit like Ansel Adams, but with a lot less talent. Not street photography in the sense of waving your camera in the face of snarling or indifferent people on the street, of course, but in the sense of taking photos on the street and of the street. I tend to avoid taking pix of San Francisco because everyone takes photos there (plus I’m a long-term Oaklander who mostly couldn’t care less about SF), but this is one of the few exceptions I made, because, well, I really liked this beautiful exposed wall. It was on an old semi-derelict building on Mission near Third in San Francisco; I used to see it every week on my way down Mission. So early one Sunday morning sometime (I think) in the late 1990’s I set up my 4×5 on Mission Street a little north of Third, and spent a bunch of minutes taking a couple of black-and-white film negs while people wandered past me. It’s one of my favourite rushed get-in / get-out street view camera shots from those days (how do you do rushed […]