A Serendip of San Franciscans, 3 March 2015: Working People.

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Good Evening:

We have cackles of hyenas. Businesses of meerkats. Murders of crows, exaltations of larks, and wakes of buzzards. We even have escargatoires of snails. Collective nouns for animals show off the English language at its most imaginative.

Collective nouns for humans? A team of ballplayers, a congregation of worshippers, a battalion of soldiers. Not very impressive. We can do better.

Pouring Cement at the Civic Center, San Francisco, California

Pouring Cement at the Civic Center, San Francisco, California

So I have decided to invent my own. So far, I’ve come up with a Liberty of Philadelphians, a Brash of New Yorkers, and my personal favorite–a Serendip of San Franciscans. Serendip, in the Old Persian language a word for what we now call Sri Lanka, suits San Franciscans. It sounds exotic, and serendipity gave birth to this city back in 1822, when a British tourist (sailor) blew into town, consumed vast quantities of drugs (alcohol), attended an all-night rave at the local nightclub (a dance at the Spanish garrison), fell in love with a local mixed-race hottie (the Commandant’s daughter), and decided he would never leave, as have millions since.

Window Washer, Market & Polk, San Francisco, California

Window Washer, Market & Polk, San Francisco, California

Thus begins a new series here at The San Francisco Scene–Seen!, where I try to publish thematically related photographs of my fellow citizens. Today’s theme: working people. The Civic Center area has quite a variety.

Construction Worker, Hayes & Polk, San Francisco, California

Construction Worker, Hayes & Polk, San Francisco, California

Here are the first of what became a large group of media people gathered in front of the San Francisco Superior Courthouse. I don’t know why.

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This last one might not look like working, but she was working, and hard.

Wedding Photographer, City Hall, San Francisco, California

Wedding Photographer, City Hall, San Francisco, California

This young lady is a wedding photographer trying to post the happily married couple who stood on the City Hall steps behind me. The bride couldn’t quite figure out what sort of pose the photographer wanted, so she contorted herself in all sort of twists and turns to demonstrate the picture she wanted to take.

Thus concludes the first Serendip of San Franciscans to be published here. I hope you like these, and all of my serendips yet to come.

Vonn Scott Bair

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3 responses »

  1. really enjoyed this post and I really look forward to the upcoming posts – capturing folks at work is a personal interest of mine and on ym recent trip I wanted to photograph workers but did not really have the time to focus like that – (and will maybe do it another time) – but I really like all the background stuff you give us here too – and nice variety., window washer is my fav.

    • yprior1: Thanks for the kind words and feedback. Actually, taking the pictures isn’t so hard with a little practice–keep in mind that most of the time, I don’t even look at my subjects when I snap the shots. I simply use the Landscape mode on my point-and-shoot, zoom all the way out, hold the camera down by my thighs, shoot, then crop and straighten the raw file in iPhoto. Vonn Scott Bair

      • well thanks for sharing your technique — and the way you get your photos – I bet you find a lot of surprises this way….

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