Trying to capture candid shots of homo sapiens sanfrancisciensis in its natural habitat can pose a host of challenges, especially when San Francisco is not exactly a “natural habitat.” But we are an interesting subspecies, so I persist, even though I persistently delete most of my attempts. How Henri Cartier-Bresson did it, I’ll never know. Here are some recent comparatively adequate photographs.
Look closely and you’ll that this gentleman’s cat carrier has wheels and an attached pole for tugging the box behind him; nonetheless, he seemed to find it easier just to carry his cat (who took one look at me and hid):
I’ve written of this location in “The Photographer As Crocodile.” This is a recent shot:
Snippet #1, overheard near the Civic Center Farmers Market this past Sunday: “Laaaaaadies and Gentlemen! Presenting the world’s finest wino! Jingle bells, jingle bells, help me get drunk now”
For over two decades, a group of chessplayers have set up shop on Market Street, playing for fun, spare change or serious dollars. They used to set up at 5th & Market, but recently moved to the block between 6th and 7th Streets. But I used to play chess myself (peak USCF rating: 2282), and I know that devotees will play anywhere, anytime (even during the annual Pride Parade).
The celebration of the San Francisco Giants’ 2012 World Series victory in the Civic Center drew street vendors selling the newest culinary sensation in town: bacon-wrapped hotdogs. That was not a misprint. Take a hotdog, with all its, shall we say, interesting ingredients, wrap with a few strips of bacon, serve on a bun topped with onions. San Francisco might represent itself to the world as one of the great culinary destinations, but between you and I, we love our junk food.
Don’t tell anyone.
Snippet #2 featured the man in the picture below:
He fixated upon me, ignoring the woman with the green and yellow who remained completely oblivious to his presence.
“Hey, you! I know your kind! You have a big house, don’t you? You have a wife and two kids, don’t you? I know what kind you are. You hate your brats’ crappy rap music, don’t you? I bet you stuff your chimney with paper so you can’t hear that s—, don’t you?”
Then my bus arrived and he wandered off to find a new “pestered husband.”
So ends my latest collection of street photography. I shall keep practicing (and deleting) because for the time being I can’t think of a better way to get better.
Vonn Scott Bair