People in Madison Square Park sat in the fountain to watch the U.S. Open men’s final on Monday—the water replaced with artificial turf. I suppose the green indicated tennis. When Andy Murray won, this is how the crowd reacted.
I typically make a photo essay on 9/11—here’s last year’s—but this year I spent the day shooting outside shows. However, while walking back from dinner in SoHo, I saw this at Greene and Houston.
One of my best friends from way back got married over Labor Day weekend. A couple of his relatives and a friend celebrated outside the venue.
I love this intersection at St. Germain and rue Bonaparte with the city’s best known cafes in the background. Late one night, this woman rode by. She was fast, but my shutter was slow, producing the motion blur.
Yes, helmets are required these days, even in the West Village.
Outside Milk Studios for NYFW S/S 2012.
There two women got out of their car to watch the march down Grand last Saturday. Of course, they didn’t have much choice because the marchers had shut down the entire street.
This woman and her family—three sons and a husband—had come from Mexico to watch Rafael Nadal play in the U.S. Open final. On the 7 train to Flushing Meadows, they caught a few minutes of rest.
Leica M7, 50mm Summicron-M with Kodak Portra 400
Perhaps, the man on the right wishes he had an aperitif instead of a coffee.
While walking back from a exhibition opening at la Petite Poule Noire in Paris, I saw these two boys spending a Saturday evening playing outside their doorway on the boulevard Beaumarchais.
I’m in the process of reviewing the Yashica Electro 35 rangefinder for Steve Huff’s website. It has a fixed 45mm f/1.7 with a tendency to flare—usually inelegantly. Fortunately, it behaved itself here and produced some nice flare.
Yashica Electro 35 GSN with Kodak Ektar 100
I was in lower Manhattan on 9/11 taking photos as people protested against the building of a mosque near Ground Zero. I noticed someone else shooting with a Leica and took his photograph. It turned out to be Anthony Suau, one of the best photojournalists in the world. You can see Suau’s photos from the same scene here. Here’s a short promotional video he did for Leica.
This was the first year of my life that I documented more with my photography than with my writing, especially if that whole picture = 1,000 words equation is true. Here are some of the things I saw in 2010, arranged, more or less, chronologically. For those of you who are curious about gear, I took most of the shots with a Leica M7, Leica M8, or Panasonic GF1. And I’m still waiting for my roll of Kodakchrome to be processed.
This man was sporting two flags on 9/11 next to ground zero.
In SoHo, a woman chats on her cell phone, worried that the children passing by may suddenly rush past her for the best chocolate cake in the world. Meanwhile, Spiderman waits to make his move.
I had the opportunity to shoot a few rolls with a Leica M7 last week, and absolutely loved the experience of shooting film. At the risk of sounding trite, it made me more considerate of the images I was taking and more patient in the process of taking them. The time and cost of getting from film to prints or digital images was another story. However, once I saw the prints, I was bowled over. The texture, contrast, and color of Kodak’s Portra line of film is just outstanding. There’s something very cinematic about the prints, that I don’t recognize in digital images.
This group was walking through Alamo Square after Bay to Breakers when I photographed them.
I can’t think of another race in which a participant would dress up as a ballerina or stop halfway through to message her friends on her BlackBerry. But this is San Francisco, and this is Bay to Breakers.
Leica M8 with 40mm Leica Summicron-M, processed in Adobe Lightroom.
The juxtaposition between this awkward looking couple and the advertisement was too good to ignore. Click on the image for the actual, uncropped version.
At this red light, two bikers look left and two look right. Who’s going to come out ahead? My money is on the woman with the Kookai bag.
This young man takes a break from his kitchen to smoke a cigarette, standing just out of the shadows and in the light on the Boulevard des Italiens.
This man in a suit typed furiously on his BlackBerry while he sat at a red light near St. Germain. As the light turns to green, he places his phone back in his pocket before he pedals away.
It’s often said that the best camera is the one you have with you because being able to get the shot even with compromised gear is better than not getting the shot at all. It’s a phrase that people use to defend iPhone cameras, and sites like Cellular Obscura show that cell phone cameras can, indeed, capture decisive moments. My iPhone goes with me most places, but I’m sure I’ll replace it within the next year or two.
However, before the iPhone and before digital pocket cameras, the camera that went everywhere with me was the Olympus Stylus Epic. It was small, stylish, and had better and faster optics than most point-and-shoot cameras produced in the 1990s. It spent five years in my backpack, going, literally, everywhere. Eventually, I stopped using it around the time I became more serious about black and white photography and also found a digital camera whose quality and controls I felt were up to my standards.
A couple weeks ago, I found the Stylus in a drawer. I popped in a new battery, rewound the roll of film that was in it, and had it developed. On that roll of T-Max 400 were a few decent shots, which I’ll be posting on this blog over the next couple weeks. The one in this post I shot on the street in San Francisco in 2001. I don’t know if I was driving or walking but I do know that this is the very sort of scene that you shoot if you have a camera and you don’t if you don’t. I had my camera, and you can see the result. It’s not great, but it’s better than nothing.
And twelve years after I purchased the Stylus, it still shoots as well as it did on the day I bought it, which I can safely assume is more than people will be saying about their Canon digital ELPHs and iPhone cameras in twelve years.
This KRON reporter and her cameraman were waiting for their live spot on the local evening news to begin during the March 4 protest at the Civic Center.
Panasonic GF1 + 20mm f/1.7 Pancake lens, processed in Aperture
Of course, you can’t go to any large gathering in San Francisco or Berkeley without seeing some vocal supporters of Lyndon LaRouche. And here they are at the March Forth protest at the Civic Center on Thursday.
On Thursday thousands of people all over California and the country protests budget cuts to education. I went to the protest at the Civic Center in San Francisco, where this woman seemed to be hiding behind her scarf from the crazies.
The woman on the right was protesting the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq at the World Trade Center site on 9/11/2003. The man on the left grabbed her sign from her and tore it up just before I shot this photograph. The sign had said, “Love thy neighbor / STOP WAR.”
I spotted this dog in a bicycle sidecar on Emerson outside Fraiche in Palo Alto.
I went to the farmers market in Palo Alto this morning and brought along the GF1. The naan that the Indian man is making is awesome.
This photo had too much motion blur to look decent, so I added a lot of grain in Silver Efex to produce an acceptable result.