photo essay · photos · san francisco

So Long 2020


These photos were taken around noon. In layman’s terms, the orange sky was caused when smoke from the surrounding fires – that had been burning for weeks – rose so high into the atmosphere that it blocked the sun. What I remember most about this day is that for days upon days the air quality was so bad that we couldn’t even go outside. But on this day the air quality was good. It didn’t smell like smoke and the air actually seemed fresh, as if the sky were blue. But it wasn’t blue. It was far from blue. Right before I took these pictures it was almost as dark as night. And I wondered if we would ever see blue skies again.

I don’t know what 2021 holds and I’m realistic enough to know that all the problems won’t go away with the turn of a page on a calendar. I have spent most of the year split between a feeling of dread and a feeling of hope. That’s not healthy. There has to be a point when things start to get better. I hope 2021 is that point. And to you 2020 – goodbye to you – you piece of crap year.

looking · photo essay · photos · walking

twelve days

Taken twelve days apart on December 3, 2020 and December 15, 2020 at roughly about the same time of day – late afternoon. The tree is so bare now that you can literally see the two trees behind whose trunks were only visible in the first photo. But look at those wonderful leaves still hanging on in the smaller tree. Still holding on. Standing guard until the bitter end.

photography · three things

Three Things (Links)

Issue Two and Issue Three of Kodachrome magazine.
  1. Photographer Thomas Hawk has been showing found slides over on his Flickr account. I love old photographs. I like to see the way people dressed, the cars, the buildings. Things seemed to have so much character back then. I suppose in forty or fifty years people might look back on this time the same way. It’s hard to imagine though. But I suppose that’s how time works. Here are a couple three of my favorites.
  1. On  my bucket list  is to travel the entire Country and take pictures. I think every photographer feels that in their bones. So it was a great pleasure to find that every Sunday of this year The Atlantic has been posting photographs from a different state. These pictures don’t get into the nitty gritty. The back alleyways. The details. But they are pretty interesting and beautiful of what a state has to offer. A jumping off point perhaps.
  1. And last but not least a documentary of photographer Harold Feinstein. I can’t find this documentary anywhere on the major platforms. But  here’s a trailer of Last Stop Coney Island. Man, I’d really love to see this documentary.

“Photography is about that moment. Most people try to complicate to show how difficult it is. When your mouth drops open – click the shutter. Hello. That’s it.”

Harold Feinstein
photobooks

on second look

Picked up this book by Helen Levitt at the library and I’m a little in love with the above photo. I ‘m not sure why.  Is it the look of confidence on this little boy’s face? The way his head is slightly tilted up as if he tilted it any further back the helmet might fall off? Is it his hand in his pocket? The other hand placed gently on the seat? Or is it the way his right foot is resting on his left foot?  Or is it the Wallabee’s he’s wearing. If you were a kid in the 70’s, as I was, such a thing can bring back an avalanche of memories. Or is it the  cuffs on his pant legs? Is it the front of the banged up car behind him with a hole in the grill? Is it the piece of paper across the street? The piece of paper behind him? Or is it what looks like a crumpled up bag in front of that paper? It’s here that I should tell you I have really bad eyes. What at first looks like a simple crumpled bag – on second look – looks more like a lions mask. A crumpled lions mask made out of a brown paper bag. Do you see it? Click on the picture. Tell me you see it. Tell me it’s obvious. Or tell me I’m crazy.

Or is it the composition? The subject? The light? It always comes back to the light.

I think it is that and I think it is all of it.