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.


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