Archive for the ‘Bay Area News’ Category

More Banksy in San Francisco

More Banksy in San Francisco

Banksy Hits San Francisco

Banksy Hits San Francisco

Hot Donkey! the world’s most notorious vandal, Banksy, has hit San Francsico. This time in Chinatown with a peace and love mural complete with an old school doctor checking out the heart with a stethoscope.

Thanks to the world’s bestest Invisible Cirkus for the heads up!

Come Photowalk With Robert Scoble and I At the 20th Annual Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show This Coming Sunday

Mother Trucker

For the past two years Robert Scoble and I have been attending and shooting the Pacific Coast Dream Machines Show together in Half Moon Bay. It’s one of the best car shows in the United States, but is not just limited to cars. There are fire engines, trucks, airplanes (and airplane rides), steam engines, just about every kind of mechanical machine you can imagine.

Anyways, we are going to hang out and shoot the event again this next Sunday, April 25th, 2010. The show starts at 10am. Both Scoble and I will have to leave in the afternoon a little early (he’s going to Israel and I’ve got my son’s baseball game) but I’m looking forward to shooting the morning and part of the early afternoon down there with anyone else who can make it.

If you like shooting cars this is one of the best places to shoot cars I’ve ever been. Everybody is totally cool with open photography and are happy to have you photograph their vehicles. They also do a monster truck show (photo above) which is great to shoot as well.

I set up an upcoming page for the photowalk here. Come on out if you can make it!

ChevelleSmileAnd It Only Caused Me SorrowLook Before You Leap

More details on the event can be found at the event’s official website here. The event is $20 per adult, $10 for seniors, $10 for 11-17 and free for kids 10 and under and includes parking. The event is a fundraiser for the Adult Coastside Day Center.

You can check out my Flickr photos of the event from the past two years here.

59 Year Old Man on Life Support After Being Mugged by Thugs on the Streets of Oakland in Broad Daylight

Senseless Violence

Yesterday while shooting in Downtown Oakland I ran into a police action. Apparently a 59 year old San Francisco man was assaulted in broad daylight and mugged pretty bad. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the man who was attacked remains on critical life support system today.

More details from the SF Chronicle.

Had a Great Time Shooting at Last Night’s SF Weekly Web Awards

American BeautyKissMelissa Monroe Itamura

Well I was totally blown away and honored to learn yesterday that I’d won an award from SF Weekly here in San Francisco for the best San Francisco Flickr account. I’ve been a huge fan of SF Weekly ever since I arrived in SF back in 1990 and it was really something to have a publication that I enjoy and have respected so much over the years recognize my photography. So I went to the awards party last night and in addition to receiving the award had an *excellent* time shooting portraits at the event.

One thing I’ve been trying to do lately is shoot more portraits of people. Some of this work I’m doing more formally through things like my $2 Portrait Project, but a lot of it is just street photography or shooting friends who know me or at events or other places especially where people might expect to be photographed and are more relaxed about things. So I spent a lot of last night just trying to find the best light at 111 Minna and work on shooting people. Most of the people that I shot were strangers, but I found most people very accommodating about letting me have a few seconds to shoot them.

I also enjoyed shooting alot of the art at 111 Minna last night. 111 Minna is a fantastic gallery and really focus on more cutting contemporary work. I especially loved seeing a Ron English Warholish piece there called Dead Andy.

Dead Andy

I also got to meet Alexia Tstosis for the first time last night. I originally met Alexia a ways back in the hey day of FriendFeed back before Facebook had bought them. At the time she was a reporter for L.A. Weekly, but has since moved up here to SF and is now the web editor for SF Weekly. Alexia is a fun and connected journalist who does a great job keeping the pulse of whatever the next great things coming out tech are. I’d traded emails with her, but it was so nice to finally meet her in person as well. Thank you again for the award Alexia and I love the work you’re doing with SF Weekly.

My good friend Troy Holden (who is now working at Twitter) was also at the event last night where he and his cohorts Julie Michelle, Travis Jensen and Rumnose (really Stuart Dixon, but I like to call him Rumnose because that’s how I met him on Flickr originally in DMU) received the award for Best SF Art Blog. Troy, Julie, Travis and Rumnose run the excellent CaliberSF.com blog, which is really putting up some outstanding work these days, if you haven’t already checked it out, definitely do so! 🙂

My Pal Jeremy Brooks also came out with me to last night’s party. Jeremy shares a passion for neon signs like I do and is another great prolific SF shooter. Jeremy has recently developed the SuprSetr application for Flickr, which is by far my most favorite 3rd party app that I’ve ever seen developed for Flickr. If Flickr were smart, they’d hire Jeremy and have him build this technology for the entire Flickr universe to use as a feature rather than 3rd party app.

Old SchoolTroy HoldenHey Model, I Barely Met YouThree

I also enjoyed meeting Aaron Durand, who shoots a lot of graffiti stuff that I love as well.

I met so many other cool people at last night’s party. So many interesting people working in tech or the arts and doing interesting projects and things in SF. I put together a set of images from last night on Flickr that you can check out here. I’m absolutely terrible with names, so apologies in advance to anyone that I photographed but didn’t get your name down or right. If you know someone in one of the photos, do me a favor and leave a comment or tag with their name so that I can identify them.

Congratulations to all the other award winners last night. Also thanks again to SF Weekly for the award, and also for all those free Asahi beers last night too!

You can find my complete set of images from last night’s event here.

Happy 50th Birthday Frank Chu

Frank Chu and Prince Charles

One of San Francisco’s most eccentrics turns 50 today according to Wikipedia. If you see Frank on the streets today, be sure and wish him a happy birthday. I think my favorite shot I’ve taken of Frank was when he turned out to welcome Prince Charles to San Francisco (above). My complete Frank Chu set here.

New Cranes Arrive at the Port of Oakland

Crane Delivery

Earlier this morning the Zhen Hua 15 ship carrying 253-foot tall cranes passed under both the Golden Gate and the Bay Bridge. The bridges reportedly only had 10 feet to spare and were part of a coordinated effort that involved Cal Trans, the ship and both bridges. The three new cranes were headed to the Port of Oakland from Shanghai China.

James F. Donnelly, Registered Sex Offender Moves in Across the Street From Public Elementary School

Update #4: KRON is reporting that Donnelly has moved from the residence across the street from the elementary school.

I grappled with whether or not to publish this email that I received last night. It’s not so much that I object to having a registered sex offender live so close to me, even if on a personal level with four young children that bothers me. It’s more that I think it’s irresponsible for the state to allow, and for a registered sex offender to choose, to live across the street from an elementary school. Not just because it’s my community’s school, but because I don’t think a registered sex offender should live across the street from *any* school.

While I can personally empathize with the plight of registered sex offenders and their need to live *somewhere,* I think across the street from a school is not a good idea for a myriad of reasons. I thought that Megan’s Law precluded registered sex offenders from living close to schools and so I called our local police department this morning (to both confirm the press release as well as to inquire about the law’s requirement). The police told me that because Donnelly was convicted Federally, rather than at the State level, that he was under Jessica’s law rather than Megan’s law. Apparently Jessica’s law allows registered sex offenders to move in across the street from elementary schools under a Federal conviction rather than a state one (which seems entirely inconsistent to me personally).

I also asked the police department whether or not it would be legal for me to republish the press release that they issued and they told me that it would be. So this is the press release that I received. While I recognize that Donnelly did his time for his crimes, I do hope that he reconsiders his decision to live across the street from a school. I also hope that people that might deal with him who have children are made aware of his criminal past.

The Piedmont Police Department is providing information to the public about a person required to register as a sex offender pursuant to California Penal Code Section 290. The Piedmont Police Department deems this notification necessary to ensure the public safety based upon information made available to this department by the United States Department of Justice and to allow the public to protect themselves and their children from sex offenders.

James F. Donnelly has been released from federal prison after serving time for Possession of Child Pornography. The Piedmont Police Department believes that in addition to the charge for which James F. Donnelly was convicted, he was also the subject of a federal investigation into child sex tourism, was a participant in NAMBLA (North America Man Boy Love Association) and has moved very near an elementary school.

James F. Donnelly is a 71 year old, white male, residing at 256 Wildwood Ave., Piedmont, CA. Mr. Donnelly drives an orange 2010 Honda Fit 4-door hatchback.

Any person who criminally misuses the aforementioned information will be subject to criminal prosecution.

John Hunt
Captain / Interim Chief of Police
March 2, 2010

Update: A more detailed conversation about my decision on whether or not to publish this post can be read here.

Update #2: The NY Times picks up on this story here.

Update #3: 2nd article from the NY Times says that Donnelly is trying to “speed up” the process of relocating. Also, someone claiming to be Donnelly’s niece responds in the comments.

Someone Stole All My Friend’s Photo Gear

I’ve had two cameras stolen in the last five years or so. I lost a Canon 10D with a 28-135 lens on it when someone stole it at the San Francisco Zoo and I lost a Canon 5D with a 135 f/2 L series lens on it at the Atlantis Resort in the Bahamas a few years back. It really sucks. Even more than losing the gear, there is a sense of personal violation and especially when photography and your equipment is such a big part of your life. I’ve always wondered why they can’t put some sort of GPS chip in a camera to help you locate it if it’s stolen. If they can do that with a $500 iPhone, why can’t they do it with a $3,000 DSLR? I know that’s a feature that I would certainly want to have.

On a personal level if I had to choose between getting my gear back when it’s stolen, or not getting it back but seeing the piece of crap that stole my stuff arrested for it, I’d chose the later. To me the violation is worse even than losing the gear.

So I was very disappointed to read over in DMU this morning that someone stole all my friend Shim’s photo gear yesterday. Shims is a hell of a nice guy and a great photographer and I’m really pissed that something so horrible has happened to him this way. I’m not sure on all the details on how or where Shim’s gear was stolen, he was very upset when he posted about it, but hopefully will be back with more details on the theft. In the meantime, if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and hear about someone trying to unload any of the following on craigslist or elsewhere, get in touch with Shims. Best I can tell, this is what he lost yesterday:

D700 Camera Body
Nikon 24-70mm Lens f2.8
Nikon 20mm Lens f2.8
Nikon 50mm Lens f1.8
Tamron 70-200mm f2.8 Lens
Sandisc Extreme Memory cards

Update: Shims says that his gear was stolen from the Abri Hotel’s lobby mens room in San Francisco. He said it was a 20-something looking white guy who stole it. The serial number of his D700 camera body is 2071413. If somehow through Google Indexing this serial number shows up, please know that this camera was stolen and help Shims get his gear back and the person who stole it punished.

Update #2: Shims got his gear back! Amazing story. Read about it here.

If Wireless Service is Now Available on BART in the Transbay Tube, Why Can’t I Get Service?

Descent

The SF Chronicle reported yesterday that wireless service is apparently available in the Transbay Tube now between Oakland and San Francisco. From the Chronicle:

“(12-21) 21:51 PST — The latest wireless hot spot? Under the bay between San Francisco and Oakland.

That’s because four cell phone companies – AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint/Nextel and Verizon – have just turned on their wireless networks in the Transbay Tube, BART announced Monday.

“The best news is that the installation and operational costs are paid by the providers – not by BART,” said James Fang, president of the BART board.

Nearly 161,000 people take the Transbay Tube each weekday. Now their cell phones and laptops won’t have to be idle during the 10-minute or so ride under the bay.

Wireless service on BART has been gradually expanding since 2004.”

So I was looking forward to checking out this new service this a.m., but of course as expected crappy AT&T and their horrible network wasn’t able to get a signal in the tube on my iPhone once.

If all goes well, I suspect I *might* be able to get an Edge signal on my 3G iPhone if I’m lucky for about 20% of the ride by 2015.

Thanks for nothing AT&T!

Update: I tried the service again this morning in the Tube and it worked pretty well. I lost my AT&T 3G signal for the last 2 minutes or so of the Tube, but most of the time I was able to use the internet pretty well in the Tube. 🙂 Thank you AT&T and BART! An update from the SF Chronicle on the service here.