Thursday, July 31, 2008

Bricks & Reflections

Another pix from the Levi Strauss Plaza.

Photo: Bricks and Reflections—San Francisco, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Boards & Thistles

Yup, the old boards and thistles routine. Maybe not worth $28,000 though.


Photo: Boards and Thistles—Marin County, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


Another Farmers Market photo.

Photo: Corn—Marin County, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mirror (Va De Vi)

The whole Diners’ Club contingent met in Walnut Creek yesterday for a "small plate" lunch at Va De Vi. Nice to get an update from everyone!

Food was good, too!

Photo: Mirror, Restaurant—Walnut Creek, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

My Agenda

My agenda will be somewhat hectic next week.

Luckily, I have been able to schedule some entries in advance!

Coffee Bar

Friday night we met at "Coffee Bar" (that’s its name) on Bryant in San Francisco for Margaret’s birthday dinner. Coffee Bar covered in Yelp here. The food was prepared by Radio Africa & Kitchen (a "nomadic restaurant"). . . for info, see here. Yelp reviews here.

Great food! . . . everybody had a nice time.

Photo: Coffee Bar Sign—San Francisco, 2008

Saturday, July 26, 2008

. . . from the archives #19: Bill Mundy—Joshua Tree National Monument, 1969

One of the pix made with my Nikon F (purchased at the Okinawa PX in 1964.) I guess it wasn’t very warm that day, since Bill is wearing a jacket.

Joshua Tree has since been justly upgraded to a National Park.

Photo: Bill Mundy—Joshua Tree National Monument, 1969

Friday, July 25, 2008

Seagull, Boats

Another in a long line of seagull pix. (Here, here, here , here and, um, painted ones, here.)

Seagull, Boats—Princeton, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008

On The Waterfront

Travelling along the coast, it’s not that unusual to see row upon row of exquisitely kept-up yachts and sailboats, but what a pleasure it is to come across remnants of the past, when commercial fishing was the mainstay of the California coast.

As well, the omnipresent overcast at the coast makes for nice translucent light, as in the above scenes from Crescent City and Princeton.

Photos: Del Norte Ice—Crescent City, 2005; Used Oil—Princeton, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I met Wanda in Pacifica yesterday and we drove down to Princeton for lunch at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Company.

Oh, did I say Princeton? Sorry, I really meant Princeton-By-The-Sea.

We didn’t eat at Barbara’s . . . maybe next time. In the front, the sign says "Barbara’s Fishtrap," and on the side, "Barbara’s Seafood Parlor" as shown here.

Photo: Barbara’s—Princeton, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Farmers Market

I dropped by the Marin Farmers Market last Sunday, for melons and pluots. (Yum!)

They also have crafts, baked goods and flowers, as seen above.

Photo: Sunflowers—Marin County, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Trees & Reflections

Very symmetrical composition with, yes, reflections.

Part of my search, you know.

Photo: Trees & Reflections—San Francisco, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008


The old bicycles-in-front-of-a-brick-building routine. Taken at Levi Plaza in San Francisco between Battery and Sansome.

Photo: Bicycles—San Francisco, 2008

Saturday, July 19, 2008


I have been thinking about my photorealist theories. As we know, photorealist paintings use photography as a launching point. However, the end product of the photorealist, while superficially resembling a photograph, is almost never concerned with "the decisive moment"—the description of a particular moment in time, which informs even the most static of Weston still-lives.

Photorealists quite frequently start with a source photograph as their initial inspiration; they might even use back projectors outlining the photograph on their canvas. At that point, their main decisions have to do with overall composition and the issue of how much detail to put in.

My question is: could the process go in the other direction? In other words, given that photographic files are now, thanks to Photoshop, incredibly plastic, could one start with a photograph and "work backwards" to a photorealist composition? I wouldn’t doubt that it would be possible. One would have to decide what a "photorealist composition" is, to begin with, and then, how to technically achieve the result.

I decided to try, for the moment, to duplicate a Richard Estes photorealist painting. As we all know, Mr. Estes is famous for including reflections in his paintings. See here, and here. So all I would have to do would find a suitable subject (with reflections) and squeeze off a few shots.

Well, it wasn’t quite that easy, but during a recent trip to San Francisco (luncheon date with my daughter, Shawna) I tried to scout out various locations. It turned out that this photo of a revolving door was the best example that I was able to find. At the Citibank Building, I think . . . at the corner of, um, Montgomery and Market? Of course, there’s more to it than the initial exposure. This photo, then, is the first iteration of this project.

Photo: Revolving Door—San Francisco, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008

. . . from the archives #18: Glacial Pool—Sierra Nevada, 1975

Almost all my photographs from the 1950’s to end of the 90’s were in black and white. But now and then I took the odd roll of slide film. This photograph was taken on a backpacking trip using—probably—Kodachrome. I eventually quit using it because viewing slides required irritating (to me) intermediaries: slide viewers, projectors, etc. As well, I disliked the look of color prints at the time.

Photo: Glacial Pool—Sierra Nevada, 1975

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Self Portrait

We have, at last, gotten some blessed morning overcast helping to keep the temperature down. This was taken looking into a vacant building in back of Trader Joes in San Rafael a few mornings ago.

I take a lot of photographs, and some are obviously marketable. Others are not. While not being something that I would package and try and sell at an art festival, this photo is an image that I might use for a project end photo (always a self-portrait of sorts.)

Or maybe it could be shown at one of those snooty art galleries.

Photo: Self-portrait, Reflections—Marin County, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Not Quite What I Want

Every time I hike the Roy’s Redwoods loop I pass by this rock—serpentinite, I would guess—surrounded by oak, grass and poison oak. And every time I whip out the camera and take a few shots.

And every time when I get back I look at the photograph and think . . . hmmm . . . not quite what I want.

Of course, I don’t know exactly what it is that I do want. I’ll know it when I see it. Maybe a different time of day . . . different light . . . different angle.

Just don’t let me fall into the poison oak.

Photo: Rock & Poison Oak—Marin County, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Blue Sky and Green Chairs

Sunday was the first day in a long time that saw a blue sky. Hali, Tuffy and I celebrated by doing the Roy’s Redwoods loop trail, a scenic loop that starts at the stable, winds through grassland, parallels the golf course, dives into the redwoods, then up to the ridge, then down through the bay trees and thence back to the stable.

At the stable, I couldn’t help noticing these bright green chairs; the horse obligingly posing for me.

Photos: Dark Fence Posts—Marin County, 2008; Green Chairs & Horse—Marin County, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

Saturday Afternoon Light

Filtered through the smoky haze, its diffuse illumination cast a very interesting pallor over our courtyard garden.

Photo: Courtyard—Marin County, 2008

Sunday, July 13, 2008

East Bay

Took Hali and my in-laws to the Oakland Airport yesterday. On the way back, stopped off in Emeryville for some Peets Coffee, and pix of the trackside industrial scene.

Photo: Coulter Steel—Emeryville, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Ishi Weather

Hot and smoky, as I can imagine Ishi having experienced in the Central Valley in the mid-to-late 19th century during the excruciatingly hot summers around Oroville and Chico.

Hard to demonstrate in a photograph. Let’s just say that the California Buckeyes are quickly turning brown; the grass has long been yellow and sere.

Photo: Stairway—Marin County, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008

Road—North Carolina, 1999

Early morning, on the way towards the coast and Kitty Hawk.

Road, cloud and sky, in amongst the cotton fields.

Photo: Road—North Carolina, 1999

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Posters—Los Angeles, 1973

Another earlier L.A. photo.

An abandoned Thrifty Drugstore, with deteriorating posters for a Paul Newman movie called "The Mackintosh Man," released in July, 1973.

Pasted on top of the Newman poster are flyers calling for a Giant Rally at the Fairfax High School Auditorium on Sunday, November 4, 1973, in order to "Stop Oil Blackmail."

Photo: Posters—Los Angeles, 1973

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Yes, very hot.

And smoky. All I have able to do is dog sit and shred old documents.

Photo: Painted Horses—Inverness, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Beverly Center—Los Angeles, 1994

Another photo taken at the Beverly-La Cienega intersection. The camera points towards Ma Maison restaurant, itself now long gone. I was standing on the sidewalk across the street when I took the Beverly Park photo 22 years earlier.

Photo: Beverly Center—Los Angeles, 1994

Monday, July 7, 2008

. . . from the archives #17: Beverly Park—Los Angeles, 1972

Taken at the intersection of La Cienega and Beverly Boulevards. At one point, the main attraction for our family was the Pony Rides. I remember one memorable occasion when we were able to meet Hopalong Cassidy there (I think). I'm going to say (thanks to the internet) that the Pony Rides were still there in 1972.

Now, of course, the location is home to the multistory posh Beverly Center shopping mall.

Photo: Beverly Park—Los Angeles, 1972

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Coos Bay

We were heading back to Marin County after a visit to Eugene, Oregon. I think these were taken in Coos Bay . . . or somewhere near. Have that Oregonish look to them.

Both pix were in color, but I think that the dock works better in black and white.

Photos: Docks—Coos Bay, 2000; Fishing Floats—Coos Bay, 2000

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Recycle Center

You back up your truck to the edge of the cement pit and then toss all manner of unwanted things into it. What a liberating experience! And the sounds!

The recycle center (officially, the Resource Recovery Center) in San Rafael is a wonderful place, photogenic too. I took this series of pictures on color film using a Minolta 7000i. My first collage was a physical one: printing the photos and pasting them to a background as in David Hockney’s Pearblossom Highway. For this version I used Photoshop, adding a drop shadow to each photo to add a little depth.

It only remains to be said that the print has also been a modest commercial success, multiple copies selling these past few months.

Photo: Recycle Center—San Rafael, 1999

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fort McHenry

In the Fall of 1999, I traveled to Baltimore to attend specialized training for the Social Security Administration. Topmost on my list of things to do was to go to North Carolina in order to sample pulled pork. (Well, yes, of course, I was intensely interested in the training too. O yes.) My trip had something of a nostalgic air, since I had also attended a much earlier training session in Baltimore at the Fort Holabird US Army Intelligence Training Center.

During the 1999 trip I managed to make it to Fort McHenry in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. A less stylized picture of the flag can be seen here.

Photo: Flag, Fort McHenry—Baltimore, 1999

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Inverness Library II

Went over yesterday afternoon to pick up my photo exhibit pix at the Inverness library. A nice day, except that I have a cold. No sales . . . maybe 8x10s too small? Also quite possibly the venue too obscure. Hm.


Photo: Flowers, Inverness—Marin County, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

More Turkey Antics

a) Turkeys scrabbling around by the pool.

b) Turkeys leave pool, hop on fence, thence up to our roof.

c) Turkeys traverse the roof, fly off.

Photos: Turkeys by Pool—Marin County, 2008; Turkey on Fence—Marin County, 2008; Turkey Flying Off Roof—Marin County, 2008

Tuesday, July 1, 2008


We are dogsitting Eddie. Very energetic and charming little dog.

Photos: Ed Looking—Marin County, 2008; Ed Dynamic—Marin County, 2008