Q/A

Hello.
I saw your street photograph of the murals along 24th in the Mission and wanted to ask you a quick question about it.
I am a graduate student of architecture at Design School in San Francisco and am in the middle of carrying out some thesis research. I am for now focusing on a certain stretch of 24th street and for part of my research I am surveying the internet and looking for images that people have taken of this part of the city and am asking them why they took each image.
So, I would be so grateful if you would tell me very briefly why you are interested in taking these highly cropped and focused images of murals in this area.
Thanks very much for your time. I appreciate whatever response you can give me.
Best, Joane

1204 Masonic

Hi Joane,
That is a very good question, thanks for asking it. I am going to use the answer in my blog.
There are several reasons why I spend most of my free time as a photon sponge:
1) Technical (since you asked about “cropped” and “focused’)
Sometimes I don’t have the right lens with me, the alley is 10 meters wide and I only have a telephoto. Hence the only decent shot is the detail.
It is also very hard to take a decent picture with a wide lens, because I don’t like cars (aesthetics) and people (privacy) in my photos. It is also harder to shoot not details. The sun does not always cooperate and the sky is often blown out.
2) Logistical
I am working on a project where I take at least one picture in every street in San Francisco, so I would have to take pictures of the 24th Street, even if it was replica of East Germany from 1978, all gray and old school. This past weekend I was in Central Richmond after shooting exclusively in the Mission for a while, and I had to take a hard look around to get inspired by just buildings and concrete sidewalks.
3) Aesthetic
I have been shooting the streets project since January 2010, and in the beginning I did not pay much attention to street art. I had no idea about the breadth, magnitude, omnipresence and history of the art on the street. My eye opening moment was when I finally decided to take pix on Balmy. I live in Potrero and I started biking on the 24th. It took me two hours to travel the six blocks to Balmy, I shot over 300 photographs. The murals, colors, wheat paste, billboards, stencils, multicolor utility boxes, art forms I don’t even have words for, the whole nueve metros.
4) Personal
I see more, I notice more, and I am more alive walking the streets. The problem is when I need to get somewhere on time, I have to leave my camera at home.
Hope this is what you were looking for. Good luck with your thesis, let me know when it’s finished.
TWITA2005

Garage Doors

Oh yeah, and garage doors too. I changed my mind. Originally, it was to be a celebration of house openings. Doors, windows, stairs, roofs, chimneys, walls, pillars, TV antennas and sat dishes. House décor done with a camera and a mem card in plain daylight, but apparently, there are too many doors already. Hence the new post devoted to garage doors only.
0024 Lilac

0201 3rd Avenue

Sirron Norris.
0354 5th Street

0144 Lilac

0148 Townsend

Safety first.
0388 Congo

0149 Lilac

0175 Lilac

0010 Galindo

2524 Bryant

0013 Cedar

0046 Cedar

1575 Palou

Politix 2

Sticker of old Karl, can it get more political than this? I am not sure, but lets take a look at the second round of San Francisco street art as politics.

Old stencil of Cindy Sheehan running for Congress. Sheehan ran on a platform of single-payer health care, media reform, overturning all free trade agreements, repealing the Patriot Act, renewable energy, nationalizing oil and electricity, ending the War on Drugs, legalizing cannabis, ensuring all talks in the Middle East are fair to all parties, ending torture, closing Guantanamo Bay detention camp, overseas commitment to cleaning up Superfund sites, ending deregulation, ending No Child Left Behind, and legalizing same-sex marriage, according to Wikipedia. She lost to Nancy Pelosi.

More old school hippie stuff, we used to call this symbol anti-atom. It was started in the fifties in England, the little arms are flag letters for N and D (Nuclear Disarmament).

Proposition L restricts sitting or lying on sidewalks citywide from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and requires the City to maintain a neighborhood outreach plan to provide access to social services for those who need it. Police officers must give a warning before they can give a citation and the ordinance cannot be used to restrict the people’s rights to free speech and peaceful assembly (if they have bought city permits). A single offense will result in a $100 ticket, while subsequent offenses may result in 30 days in jail.

Poster on Valencia. This is funny to some people, sad to others. It is funny to me, because I know he’s pointing to a liposuction machine.

Corporations are people too.

Bring Our Murals Back.

Resistance is fertile. Here is the URL of the poster: http://thecloud.crimethinc.com/pdfs/the_police.pdf The text goes like this: In every nation, in every age, you tell us you’re indispensable, that without you we’d all be killing each other. But we know well enough who the killers are. You won’t fuck with us much longer. Police everywhere, justice nowhere.

This had gotten some kind of Pulitzer when it came out as a photo. Eddie Adams was the photographer. Colonel Nguyễn Ngọc Loan executed Nguyễn Văn Lém with shot to the head, February 1, 1968.

0013 Grace