Tag Archives: Phoneography Challenge

Grey Series, 3 December 2015: Rain and Concrete.

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Good Evening:

San Francisco enjoyed a series of storms and showers today, and the raindrops produced some effected I liked on the concrete slabs of the nearby buildings.

The beginning of a storm splattering on the State Building on Polk:

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And after the storm as the concrete began to dry:

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Meanwhile, the Superior Court building on Redwood Alley developed its own patterns.

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Maybe it’s just me, well, probably it’s just me, well, almost certainly it’s just me, but grey has always seemed like far too underrated a color.

Vonn Scott Bair

Wordless Wednesday: A Tree Half in Daylight, Half in Night. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Transition)

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Good Evening:

Saw this tree transitioning from day to night in Buena Vista Park last Saturday afternoon.

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Vonn Scott Bair

Recent Shots of San Francisco City Hall. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Trio)

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Good Morning:

I believe that an unsurprisingly surprising/surprisingly unsurprising number of people have taken a photo of San Francisco’s City Hall at the same time of day every day for an entire year. Not yours truly, although it might sometimes seem that way. Presenting a trio of recent shots, all taken with my iPhone 6 Plus.

Edited in iPhoto, using the unfavorable light to experiment with a silhouette effect.

Edited in iPhoto, using the unfavorable light to experiment with a silhouette effect.

The folks at City Hall like to turn their property into a giant decoration. Never could find out what that gold and silver theme means.

The folks at City Hall like to turn their property into a giant decoration. Never could find out what that gold and silver theme means.

Memorial to Victims of the Paris Attacks.

Memorial to Victims of the Paris Attacks.

Vonn Scott Bair

San Francisco City Hall @ Sunset, November 2015. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Ornate)

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Good Evening:

True, San Francisco City Hall has some very ornate decorations.

Sometimes, so does the sky behind it.

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During the five minutes spent taking that second picture, at least 50 people joined me in photographing the scene.

Vonn Scott Bair

Jocularity in the Portable Sanitation Industry on Haight Street, 7 November 2015.

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Good Evening:

Or in simple English–toilet humor.

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Of all the time you spotted a portable john, did the word “honey” leap to mind? Me, neither.

Vonn Scott Bair

And the Women, They Are A’Changing.

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Good Afternoon:

I enjoyed a very good Sunday brunch at La Urbana on Divisidero, one of the seemingly millions of new restaurants to open in the wake of San Francisco’s latest tech boom. Pricey, yes (you learn to expect that at brunch places on Divizz), but the portions are quite substantial and very well done (the “house made” sausage was at least twice as big as I expected). But just as tasty–the conversation at the table next to me.

You don't seriously think San Franciscans call them garage sales, do you?

You don’t seriously think San Franciscans call them garage sales, do you?

“The thing is, she is so aggressive, all the time. She is always pushing her employees and herself. Driven. You should hear her do sales presentations. She is so passionate, she always pushes for the best deals.” And so on and so on.

You’ve probably heard women executives described in this fashion all the time.

Except you haven’t.

Jack O'Lanterns, 25 October 2015. Note the one on the far left with the "cell phone."

Jack O’Lanterns, 25 October 2015. Note the one on the far left with the “cell phone.”

If you have any misconceptions, put them aside. Every single word of this monologue was spoken as praise. This probably does nothing but tell you that I am very, very, very old, but I hear women executives described with this vocabulary all of the time, but never as praise always as criticism. This has struck me as unfair for a long time–many Apple employees loved Steve Jobs for how rough he could get, he sometimes making them cry–but in the past, when I’ve heard women described as aggressive and/or pushy, it always sounded like a complaint and not a compliment.

The demographics at this table might interest the sociologists amongst you. Two heterosexual couples, the men looked 30-35, the women looked 25-30. The speaker was one of the women. Another detail that interested me, but probably does nothing but tell you that I am very, veryvery old. The men did not interrupt. They just listened, and nodded, not speaking until she had finished.

People can and have said and written much about how the tech boom has negatively changed San Francisco. Have you heard of the documentary Million Dollar Shack (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SBjXUBMkkE8). Amazing well produced effort and well worth a look. But the tech culture has yielded some positive changes as well, and praising women for aggressiveness counts among them.

Vonn Scott Bair

Eat Your Heart Out, Jackson Pollock! (Because You Can’t Eat Your Paintings)

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Good Morning:

Given that the Little Griddle sits on Market Street diagonally across from Twitter and only two blocks away from City Hall, I suppose that lunch could cost a lot more than it does. Fortunately, they do an excellent job with burgers and you don’t have to pay extra for french fries (unlike too many places–it’s San Francisco’s worst culinary atrocity), so the Griddle does deserve the occasional visit. Esp. when the huge $12.75 Evil Knievel burger comes looking like this (all shots taken with my iPhone 6 Plus).

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As it happens, I don’t dress my fries in salt and ketchup. Never have. Always preferred mustard and black pepper–seriously, you should give that combo a try, absolutely delicious. Lately, I’ve experimented with mustard, black pepper, and Mexican hot sauces like Chohula’s “Original” red hot sauce and various green habanero sauces. So when I finished off my lunch, the tray looked like this:

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Inspiration.

Using my last french fry as my paintbrush–seemed appropriate–I went all Jackson Pollock on my condiments and ended up with this:

A La Recherche Des Evil Knievel Hamburgers Perdu.

A La Recherche Des Evil Knievel Hamburgers Perdu.

Dang, I’m good. The gentlemen sitting diagonally across from me at the next table perhaps did not think so; he took one look at my efforts and spent the rest of his lunch studiously avoiding looking at me.

True genius has never received proper appreciation in its own time.

Vonn Scott Bair

The View from Above at Work. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet)

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Good Evening:

Technically, all of these events took place beneath my feet–at least, in terms of altitude.

The headquarters of the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission does not sit on the most exciting real estate in the city, yet every once in a while something interesting presents itself. Some of these shots have a bluish tinge because I took the shots through tinted windows, yielding something resembling one of the filters in the iPhone 6 Plus.

This protest, for example, took place on Golden Gate itself.

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I have no idea what these two dancers in red tee shirts were advertising, but they got paid to dance and were probably the happiest people in the Civic Center that afternoon.

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The plaza in front of the Federal Building frequently lends itself to tableaux such as these that remind me of the work of Edward Hopper.

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Assembling a recent carnival in front of City Hall. Hey, this town is kinda fun.

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Finally a nearby roof swarming with all sorts of neat vents ‘n stuff.

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Vonn Scott Bair

Wildflowers Et Alia at Land’s End, San Francisco. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Beneath Your Feet)

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Good Evening:

Photograph objects beneath our feet? Rather an interesting Challenge if you live in San Francisco. Took these near dusk on a cloudy day at Land’s End. The light presented both opportunity and challenges: wonderfully even with little shadow; but a tad dark. Still, a few turned out well without editing. All take with my iPhone 6 Plus.

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The orange flowers are probably California Poppies, the others are native plants recently restored to the park that I can’t identify. The green stuff actually are water plants that had taken over a pool of stagnant water at the ruins of the Sutro Baths. And what the heck, here are two shots of man-made items that also fit the bill.

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Vonn Scott Bair

The Minimally Artistic Art of Instant Minimalist Art, 21 July 2015. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Half and Half)

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Good Evening:

Saturday afternoon, walking to the grocery store, wondering how one might respond to this week’s Photo Challenge. An odd one, given how all photography texts emphasize the Rule of Thirds. Then I noticed this in a laundromat:

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Huh. One color becomes two by the simple expedient of shadow.

Turns out that if you look around, you will find a lot like this. You will see only one color in each of the following, but shadow will create the impression that you see two. All pictures taken with my iPhone 6 Plus.

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Of course, eventually I had to break my “one color” rule–or in this case, bend it:

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And then I just forgot about the rules, period.

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Vonn Scott Bair

Wordless Wednesday: The Bus Stop @ Cesar Chavez & Connecticut, 10 June 2015.

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Good Afternoon:

Studies of some of the buildings at that intersection.

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All shots taken with an iPhone 6 Plus.

Vonn Scott Bair

San Francisco Food Trucks, 5 June 2015. (Weekly Photo Challenge: Vivid)

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Good Evening:

When we discuss instant traditions only a few years old in San Francisco that have hung around since the 1800s (or something like that), we must discuss the Friday lunch hour food trucks that gather just across the street from City Hall. The tradition: the work week has almost ended, let’s get lunch and a side order of fresh air, sunshine, cool breezes, greenery and shade.

The challenge for the trucks: standing out in the crowd and drawing customers.

The solution: Colors. Really. Vivid. Colors.

For example (all shots taken with my iPhone 6 Plus):

HiYAAA! Food Truck, 5 June 2015.

HiYAAA! Food Truck, 5 June 2015.

Senor Sisic Food Truck, 5 June 2015.

Senor Sisic Food Truck, 5 June 2015.

Let Your Falafel Affair Begin.

Let Your Falafel Affair Begin.

I like the front of the Liba Truck:

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Yes, that’s a mirror image of “FALAFEL” like a mirror image of “AMBULANCE.” Which makes sense: when hunger has become an emergency, falafels come to the rescue. The next truck look restrained by comparison, but when you look at what they sell, basic black is fine for Bacon Bacon.

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Ah, but you, my clever and intelligent reader, you are asking a clever and intelligent question! “Does all this wildly colorful decoration-slash-advertising work? Do these bright and vivid colors draw hungry crowds to these trucks?”

Behold the answer:

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Vonn Scott Bair

PS–If I have accidentally induced hunger pangs in anyone, I apologize. Unless I don’t.

Wordless Wednesday: Father and Son on the 7R Bus.

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Good Evening:

Father & Son on the 7R Bus, 12 May 2015, 7:57 a.m., San Francisco, California

Father & Son on the 7R Bus, 12 May 2015, 7:57 a.m., San Francisco, California

Taken with my iPhone 6 Plus.

Vonn Scott Bair

Another New Picture Puzzle!

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Good Evening:

Fair warning; this post is a tad raunchy. I don’t mean to offend anyone.

The men’s room at The Exit Theatre is famous in the Bay Area theater scene for possessing one of the most abused warning signs in the entire history of restrooms inside Western theaters.

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Oh, well, look at the bright side–it’s time for another picture puzzle!

How many clever puns on “urine” or “urinal” can you find?

Vonn Scott Bair

PS–The answer: sorry, it was a trick question. There are no clever puns in the sign!

PPS–OK, so how many groaningly bad puns can you find?

PPPS–I have no idea what the women have with their sign.