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SFMOMA — 75th Anniversary

Silhouette (Tri-X 120 003-05)

SFMOMA has put together some fantastic photography for the exhibitions celebrating its 75th birthday. I wrote a short piece on one of works by Henry Wessel over at 1/125, but really, there are too many fantastic photographs to list.

Best of all, a lot of the photographers I was most impressed by are folks I had never heard of before. The one that struck me most was a street photograph by John Harding which is the most compelling photographic depiction of race I’ve ever seen. (That wasn’t made by De Carava, anyway.) But there are also fantastic images by Max Yavno, Leon Borensztein, Nata Piaskowski, and John Gutmann. (Apologies if I misspelled any of those.)

I also got to check some things off the big list of stuff I felt dumb for not having seen before. First time seeing Minor White’s photographs in print form. (Not as blown away as I thought I would be — the reproductions in Bunnell’s book are very good) First time seeing Atget’s photoraphs in print form — including a portrait of a prostitute which rather disrupted my notion of what Atget is all about. (Also: have I mentioned how much I love albumen prints? I really love albumen prints.) First time seeing daguerreotypes and tintypes.

I had the Koni-Omega with me (see above). I was shooting with Tri-X at 1600 — a good combination of camera and film, with the strengths of each covering the weaknesses of the other. (The weaknesses being Tri-X’s outrageous grain when pushed and the shallow DOF of 6×7, respectively.) And, of course — as usual — the Koni-O drew interested glances and outright interrogations from the other patrons.

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