Saturday, January 10, 2009

A bit of news from my world...

New gallery on the site. “Polk and Sacramento”.

This completes what will become the Street Photography section of the galleries.
They will ultimately be sectioned off by way of a main gallery menu.
I haven’t quite decided what the other sections will be just yet though.

The story behind “Polk and Sacramento” begins with my severe case of Attention Deficit Disorder.

I lived in San Francisco from ‘89 to ‘93, and supported myself by working in one hour photo labs (back when that was considered a “skill”).

The job itself can get monotonous pretty quickly. Day after day of roll after roll of boring family vacation pictures can make you want to claw your face off after a while.
So, to relieve the boredom, I used to spend my lunch break photographing everyone who walked past the store (which was on the corner of Polk street and Sacramento street, hence the name of the gallery).
All shot with my old Canon F-1, on Tri-X.

I had no designs on making a project out of it. It was really just a way to keep my brain from atrophying.
All these years later I revisited those shots and was quite surprised by what I’d captured.

An interesting little slice of life in the microcosm that was one street corner, in one neighborhood, in one city.
A documentary, of sorts.

It was fascinating to recall people’s reactions to me.
I’m sure they all wondered who was this freaky fellow just standing there taking pictures of everybody?
Some seemed to be amused by it. Others scowled. Most just ignored me and kept walking.

Being that I was stationary, it was tricky to compose the shots with any sense of inconspicuousness.
In other types of street photography that I’ve done, I was always moving.

With a few exceptions, it was a “hit and run“ style of shooting.
In Polk and Sacramento, I was forced to confront the awareness of each subject.

There were never any verbal exchanges. But the one-second conversation our eyes would have said enough.

In the coming days I’ll talk a bit about the other 3 street galleries and the inspirations and stories behind them.

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