Weekly Photo Challenge: Renewal – con(decon)struction, San Francisco, November 2012


Good Evening:

If San Francisco is not change, then San Francisco is not. Unlike “the surreal is that which lies at your feet,” that previous sentence is my own creation, although I have no doubt that someone has said something similar decades ago (Herb Caen would be a great place to start looking for precedents).

Oh, and economists will have to cover their eyes again as I repeat my no doubt hopelessly incorrect hypothesis that you can measure the health of a city by the number of construction cranes silhouetted against the sky. San Francisco has begun yet another construction boom–I have no idea when one construction boom ends and another begins–and here are some recent photos of the heavy equipment at a few of the sites. These come from my “con(decon)struction” series of photographs.

The above photograph (taken at Market & 10th Streets) exploits a weakness in the camera of the iPhone 4. When the software detects a shade of blue associated with the sky, it seems to oversaturate that shade of blue, making it more intense and vivid. It also has the effect of turning foreground objects into silhouettes. Rather than gripe about my tools, I seek to use their “personality quirks” to create different and sometimes decent shots.

These next come from a construction site near Market & Guerrero, and I also added them to my “White & Blue” series.

I wonder if the construction workers ever think of their beasts as sculpture. Note that the blues are more natural, more “correct.” I used a Nikon Coolpix S9100 for these. The last comes from a second construction site in the same block (no, really!) as the previous two.

What can I say? I’m just crazy for construction cranes.

Vonn Scott Bair


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