Any Man

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Any Man, San Francisco, CA, Summer 2016.

This was an early evening shot at a Bart station in Down Town San Francisco. I was getting ready to jump on a train, eating a soft serve cone when my eyes began to see the potential of the space below come together.

At first glance my attention was drawn because the pigeons in the background were circling the courtyard en masse. I was looking to catch the action of folks walking into the station below and the ball of birds soaring above. I hovered shooting a few minutes after I took the last bite of the cone because of the action and the shadows but the lull of people trying to catch the train revealed a homeless man. I’m not sure if he was selling Street Spirit or just asking for money but it was clear he was doing one or the other after a few minutes of observation. By that time all but the bird caught on this frame flying were grounded. I think the end result says much more than the moment. Since we cannot see the detail of the figure he can stand for any man. The bird above him adds a symbol of freedom to contrast the grounded man below.

***See more of my photography at oaklandphotojournal.com***

— JMG

Shot w/ OLYMPUS OMD-EM5 DIGITAL CAMERA                                                                         Lumix G Vario 14-45 mm, f./4.0, 1/200, 200 ISO

Diablos Domingueros

Diablos Domingueros, Oakland, CA, Winter 2015.

Diablos Domingueros, Oakland, CA, Winter 2015

Grupo San Miguel Cuevas, Nuu Yuku from Fresno, CA doing a traditional Oxacan dance. Hand-made wooden masks with 3 feet long horns adorn their heads. They whip and lash as they dance to a banda’s “tambora”.

This group caravanned into Oakland to dance for the Alliance of California Traditional Arts and the Smithsonian Insititute’s Life Ways Recordings programs, which will air on Radio Bilingue.

 

—JMG

Lions’ Mount and Dismount

 

Lion'sMount&Dismount(Sequence)

Lions’ Mount and Dismount (Sequence), Oakland CA, Spring 2014

The sequence depicts precarious moments in a Chinese New Year’s Lon’s Dance practice at the Oakland Museum of California. Feet suspended in the air are the frames’ focus. These youngsters acrobatics are amazing. They reflect their teachers (in the 1st and 2nd frame) discipline and attention to detail. These shots were initially published on Flickr as singles but I always knew they should be presented in sequence.

— JMG

’47 Oldie

47 Oldie (Lowriders Series), Niles CA, Spring 2015.

’47 Oldie (Lowriders Series), Niles CA, Spring 2015.

Dusk makes color and chrome render wonderfully on the grey scale.  This plymouth’s owner was glad to pose with his 1947 Oldie as he made a flaming tail pipe exit.  My goal is to catch that on camera next time. The pride these cars brings to their owners speaks to the hard work they put into a machine that becomes an extension of themselves and sometimes even capturing the identity of complete familias. Given the craftsmanship and design involved in building a lowrider its understandable how some folks may see cars as extensions of their bodies.    
— JMG

Zeta’s Lupe

Zeta's Lupe, Oakland, CA, Fall 2014

Zeta’s Lupe, Oakland, CA, Fall 2014

 

Unique threads out on Oakland nights. I noticed this young woman and could not get my eyes off her unique sense of style. I had to work up the courage to see if she would humor me when I asked if I could shoot some of her tattoos and unique top. She told me the top was hand made by her grandmother and was handed down to her recently. She was more than happy to let me shoot her with my HTC One (M8).

I wish I would have had my Nikon, but this worked good enough as I could not let the opportunity go by without a shot. Since she was happy to pose, I regret not asking her to give me a profile of her face with this pose.

Alas, on the pursuit of the aura on the street and dive bars of San Francisco Bay area.

Showers of Light Over Angel Island

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Showers of Light Over Angel Island (f.64 Series), Emeryville, CA, Spring 2015.

I’m always always lamenting the fact that the Bay Area doesn’t get nearly the kind of dramatic cloud formations as in higher altitudes. But come and think of it there ARE great cloud formations around the bay but you have to know where to find them. What I call the mouth of the Bay is ideal. Especially in the summer, every evening clouds roll in across the Bay eventually meeting into the Berkeley Hills.

A Sunday walk at the Emeryville Marina was rewarded with this formation giving off dramatic light over Angel Island. It would have been great to shoot on Black and White film given how much one might be able to get out of the cloud formation in the dark room. I’m adding to my digital editing skills every day. I got enough out of the clouds her to want to share it.