Tag: urban photography

Read More

Flickr a Week 45a: ‘Welcome to Paradise’

Two years ago today, the Northern California town of Paradise largely burned to the ground during the raging Camp Fire, which destroyed in excess of 18,000 structures and displaced more than 26,000 people. Ninety-percent of the community’s residents have fled, and the majority won’t return anytime soon; if ever.

There are several documentaries about the disaster. Tonight, National Geographic will air my pick for best: Ron Howard film “Rebuilding Paradise“, which my wife and I rented and watched about four months ago. The doc tells the story of those who stayed.

Read More

Delivery Door Art?

Surely you’ve come across something and wondered: “How long has that been there?” That is the question I asked on Oct. 6, 2020, while walking down the alley behind Kairoa Brewing Co., which is located along the main commercial area of San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood. The Featured Image is what I saw on the establishment’s rear door, where I presume supplies are unloaded. What does that image bring to your mind?

For me, the goats (or are they rams) immediately flash subliminal recollection, but not something precisely recalled. Looking at the beasts—bathed in blood red, so to speak, with their pointy horns—elicits creepy feeling that I have seen them before. In a horror movie perhaps—something like a “Constantine” or one of the three original “The Omen” films (1976, 1978, 1981). But somewhere. You do know that, biblically and mythologically, goats are associated with symbols of the devil?

Read More

Flickr a Week 39: ‘Money and Run’

For this week, we revisit two photographers profiled in my 2015 series—and purely by coincidence. I deliberately don’t look back for good shooters but freshly search for noteworthy images; seems like cheating if I cull from the 365 entries from five years ago. However, before using anything new that tickles my eyes (and hopefully yours), I search my site to make sure there is no accidental duplication; that’s when I occasionally discover some shooter from five years ago.

We start with Raul Lieberwirth, whose “Glowing Mouth” was “Flickr a Day 208”. He returns with self-titled “Money and Run“, which he captured on July 28, 2012, using Canon EOS 5D Mark II and EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens. Vitals: f/18, ISO 100, 25 sec, 24mm.

Read More

Flickr a Week 34: ‘Mel’s Drive-In’

For the previous 33 weeks, I wondered what photo from Thomas Hawk would make the series—something that was inevitable; more when than if. I figured that the time would come when I’d know the one, and self-titled “Mel’s Drive-In” is it. What a splendid shot by every meaningful measure, but same could be said of anything in his Photostream. Funny, though, the eatery is in Florida and not California, where Thomas lives, and was location for film “American Graffiti” that so prominently made Mel’s an essential element of the story.

He captured the moment on July 14, 2019, using Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and EF 24mm f/1.4L II USM lens. Vitals: f/2.8, ISO 2500, 1/400 sec, 24mm.

Read More

Why Watermelon?

As I crossed the Vermont Street Bridge from San Diego’s University Heights neighborhood to Hillcrest today, something strange stopped my morning walk. Why was there cut-up watermelon? Was it left for someone—perhaps the homeless gent wrapped in a blanket, lying still, and (likely) sleeping on the sidewalk outside the structure’s entrance? Was it a flavorless, abandoned breakfast? The slices looked fairly fresh and no flies swarmed about. So free from wildlife and human attention, the makeshift meal could have been the final feast of the apocalypse.

Update, June 19, 2020: Call me clueless! This morning, I showed the photo to my wife, who scolded: “You do know that there’s a stereotype about black people eating watermelon?” That’s news to me. “I love watermelon, and I don’t understand why there’s some kind of negative stereotype about it”. She, and me, is hyper-aware, given three weeks of protests about racism in America.

Read More

Flickr a Week 16: ‘Overwhelming Life’

We present another portrait that, like “Willing Prisoner“, was taken in one context but is appropriate for another. Duke Yeh captured self-titled “Overwhelming Life” on Jan. 29, 2018, using Fujifilm X100F. About the photo, he says: “Whispering under his breath, I couldn’t capture what the gentleman was saying. But surely his posture says it all”.

The subject’s “life complexity at a glance” sadly suits the current global crisis, where the SARS-CoV-2 (severe acute respiratory syndrome Coronavirus 2)—also known as COVID-19pandemic has shattered economies, driven a wedge between people (“social distancing” and “shelter-in-place” orders), isolated entire nations (government-imposed quarantines), and turned cities into scenes from post-apocalyptic movies. Then there are the millions infected, ill, or deceased.

Read More

Flickr a Week 11a: ‘The Luck Gas Station’

The first of two Friday the 13ths this year is opportunity to slip in an extra entry between the two regulars. Bill McMannis captured self-titled “The Luck Gas Station” on Aug. 5, 2017, using Canon EOS M and EF-M 22mm f/2 STM lens. He explains about the photo: “On NC 209 in Luck, North Carolina, is an old gas station that surprises travelers and is often photographed”.

The street shot takes the informal, impromptu holiday for black-and-white character, contrast, timeliness, and timelessness.

Read More

Flickr a Week 5a: ‘Union Jack Flag and Rollercoaster’

This first day of February 2020 brings Brexit to its inevitable, real beginning. At 11 p.m. GMT, yesterday, the United Kingdom officially severed its 47-year membership with the European Union. The turbulent exodus started with a June 2016 referendum and ended with a December 2019 Parliamentary election that brought to power a UK government capable of ratifying an agreement with the EU.

I mark the occasion with an additional entry this week—self-titled “Union Jack Flag and Rollercoaster” by Nick Page—that is most appropriate. Surely the nearly (estimated) 68 million peoples begin a roller-coaster ride that will last, at the least, through the eleven-month, EU separation-transition period that concludes on the last day of this year.

Read More

Once a Mighty Palm

Strange story the stump tells. Gone is the magnificent palm tree that dominated the corner of Monroe and Cleveland, nearby the Wilcox’s old apartment, in our San Diego neighborhood. This morning, while driving by, on my way to North County, I saw a tree cutter toss down the last frond before lopping off the top. Late afternoon, walking back, the devastation confronted me.

I haven’t written much about this tree over the years, but fleeting mentions are significant enough: “Fallen Fronds” (December 2017) and “Bell” (November 2016) from my “Cats of University Heights” series, where the kitty sits by the palm trunk that is now a stump.