Archive for the ‘Berkeley’ Category

Things you discover via referrers!/Jim Sharp vs. Graffiti

Sunday, April 5th, 2009

Painted Leaves

Interesting. There’s a guy in my area who goes around spraypainting over graffiti with silver paint, taking down postings and stickers, etc. I see a lot of his handiwork, and I’ve seen him in action a couple times.

The image is a particularly odd example — the graffiti was obscured by leaves, barely visible from the sidewalk; the silver paint calls far more attention to it than would have been given otherwise, not to mention the collateral damage to the shrubbery.

Anyway, I found out a little more about the fellow from this blog post, which I found via my flickr stats referrers log, since they used one of my other CC-licensed images:

The Press Never Sleeps (Portra 800:004:13)

It’s an odd sort of culture war. I don’t really have a stake in it — I seldom notice graffiti unless it’s unusually good, unusually interesting in its placement, or particularly atrocious; the vast majority of it falls well below the threshold, like most of the text that surrounds us city-dwellers.

It is an interesting story, though, and I’m glad to know a bit more about it.

Berkeley on New Year’s Day

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

For quite a while now, I’ve been shooting a stream of birds and strobist shots. As I mentioned in a previous post, that’s mainly a function of how freaking cold it’s been here, although there are other factors — how busy it was at work before the break, how quickly it’s been getting dark, etc. And I’ve also been pushing myself on a lot of sedentary and non-photographic tasks, like updating the site.

But I got myself out the door for a while today, packed just my three essential lenses (35mm f/1.4, 55mm f/3.5 Micro, 105mm f/2.5) and left the strobist junk at home. Good thing, too, because I’ve been all too conscious as I go back over my images of 2008 and put the site in order that my best images are made just walking around with open eyes and seeing what’s to be seen.

I was expecting to see a lot of post-New Year’s Eve detritus, but surprisingly, there was very little. I mean, even on mornings after non-holidays, streets in my neighborhood are strewn with underwear and single shoes; however, the streets today were free of both. I surmise people just left their underwear and shoes at home last night before they went out to party.

There were a few signs of the festivities — a discarded box of Lindt chocolates, an apartment building door propped with a newspaper (next to a beer can and some unidentifiable spillage), and this wonderfully ironic benchside tableaux:

The spray that does it all

I sincerely hope that no one took seriously the suggestion to spray their bedsheets with lysol. ::shudder::

The light was…weird. More directional than it should have been, or so it seemed at the time.

Behind Church, Dana and Haste, Berkeley, CA (View Large)

This scene caught my attention because of the way the little area behind the church — framed by the two staircases — was illuminated by the sun, while the entire street and the side of the church and surrounding street where I stood was shaded. I initially set up my composition and exposure with the garden house in mind and no idea that there was a man pacing along that elevated area. He only was only visible after I corrected my camera position by taking a step to the left. I was surprised to find him, and as you can tell by his tiny expression if you click there, he was also somewhat bemused.

Somewhat later, as I was starting to head back, I passed by these two elderly ladies with their banner:

Young people these days... (View Original)

I switched from the 35mm f/1.4, which I had been using before, to the 105mm f/2.5, in time to catch the rather blase young men passing by the banner…

Mysterious Commute

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

This morning, I was running late for work. I should have rushed as much as possible without straining my asthmatic lungs, but I kept running across the most interesting combinations of light and shadow — specific combinations that I simply don’t encounter on the days when I’m on time, or on the weekends, when I either don’t go into work (preferably) or go into work at different times entirely.

Running Late

This is a parking lot. The wall is recessed several feet at the bottom, and the light was streaming in almost horizontally, so that it passed below the edge of the nearer portion of the wall to strike the lower portion of the wall, which creates the downward-pointing light patch.

Running Late

This is the same parking lot, standing farther back. The area covered in the first image occupies the upper left hand corner of this image. You can also see the crossed diagonals of the long shadows of trees, the white lines of the parking spaces, and a wedge of light coming off/through a car window.

Running Late

These halos of light are caused by light passing through the thick and filthy glass of the parking meters.