My Christmas Presents from Livi
Livi always gets me amazing presents, but this year was very special. These watches are a perfect statement of the personal style I’ve crafted over the years: simple, timeless, and subtle. Can’t wait to see how the leather softens and molds into the shape of my wrists.
I can photograph a person outside with relative ease but inside? Inside “street shooting” makes me nervous. I flinch. I double-think. I don’t shoot at all. Sometimes I think I’m being polite but really, I’m just missing the shot.
Here, I did not miss the shot. After a day of work interning at The Veteran’s Equity Center, my group members and I stopped by Blue Bottle in the South of Market district. They waited for their coffee and I waited for this lady to lower her gaze. She was reading quite intensely. From the giant “FRENCH” typed on the cover I assumed it was a tour guide or a language book.
I just love the diagonal tilt of the lighting. Feels very Edward Hopper-esque, only closer. The line across her face isn’t her hair – it’s mine. It was stuck inside the bellows, just behind the lens, and appeared in every subsequent frame. Does that count as a photobomb?
You know those nights when the sky just feels pitch black? Like the uncertain darkness of an Mc Escher sky, you
wonder what is up there, hiding and spying on you.
I had on chunky basketball shorts, a paper-thin t-shirt and a fuzzy Star Wars themed bathrobe my girlfriend
got me for Christmas. I probably drove around for 2 full hours trying to find something worth photographing,
anything at all, really. I remembered a bridge and overpass that looked photogenic during the day so I wondered
how amazing it might look at night.
So there I was, feeling almost naked in my bathrobe with my Polaroid 360 on a tripod on the corner of the road
trying to get a shot. Then a white van pulled up to my left and in front of a house. I looked back and noticed an
older Chinese man who looked at me and without hesitation shouted out to me.
Chinese Man: HEY!
*my head turns to him*
Chinese Man: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
Me: I’m taking a picture
Chinese Man: OF WHAT?!
Me: The street
Chinese Man: FOR WHAT?
*I kept thinking he said “of what”*
Me: The street!
Chinese Man: FOR. WHAT?!
Me: Nothing. I’m a local photographer
Chinese Man: *in a very sarcastic tone* So… YOU’RE a local photographer taking a picture of THE STREET?
At this point I became fed up with his CSI interrogation of me and decided to bark back.
Me: YES! THAT’S WHAT I SAID!
He shut up, I turned back to my camera, took a shot and this is what I got.
I kinda like it. The blacks in this shot truly do capture the essence of the blackness of that night. As I walked back
to my car and drove away, I noticed the Chinese man peeking through a small crack in his front door, checking to
see if I were up to no good.
Do I really look that criminal? Perhaps I shouldn’t dress up like such a crazy person in a bathrobe at 1am and maybe
I won’t be so “suspicious” looking.