Here are some additional photos from my San Francisco trip the past few days (my first photos are here ). Although I wasn't on a photo trip, my friends graciously tolerated my occasional need to make some photos. I also slipped away for a while and rode up and done some of the city's famed hills.
Most of the time, I shot the images shown here with my A6000. I used a 10-18mm lens and less often a 55-210mm lens, and nothing else. Although I didn't have a "normal" lens range, I really liked seeing the world through lenses that show the world in a way I can't with my own eyes.
Now you see it, now you see it again: Transamerica Pyramid
The doorman at the Sir Francis Drake Hotel was happy to pose for me.
This was at a shirt shop in Haight-Ashbury. I like to ask permission to make someone's photo. I tell them the truth: they look great, I'm visiting the city, and I'd like a photo. That usually works, and if it doesn't, there are always other subjects. The wide angle lens puts me up close and personal, and I can't help but connect with my subjects. Isn't that what we want when we photograph people on our travels?
I wanted a photo of the young woman at Daljeets, an "alternative" clothing store.
This young man seemed to carry all he owned on his back. While he was friendly, he was somewhat unfocused, in gaze and in response to a few questions I asked him. A few minutes later I saw him again with his friends smoking pot on the sidewalk, the odor of the popular weed drifting along the street on a zephyr.
The Jugband Pirates.
A street musician on Grant Avenue, Chinatown, plays a huqin, which is a two-stringed instrument, traditionally associated with Chinese opera.
Here's a guzheng, a plucked zither. We found this in a musical instrument shop on a narrow, uncrowded street off of Grant, the main thoroughfare through Chinatown.
Lotus flowers, buddhas, and Guanyin, the bodhisattva of a thousand arms, all inside a shop along Grant Avenue.
If you ask permission to make a photo of someone who is of Chinese heritage in Chinatown, chances are the answer will be no. I sometimes bring along a portfolio of portraits on my iPhone that can often soften the hardest of hearts; I didn't have it with me on this day. So I had to rely on my charm, which failed repeatedly. While I don't like sneaking photos, I did make - maybe the word "take" would be better - this photo without asking, in a shop an a quiet side street. Note the cost of whatever is for sale (things like dried squid and abalone): $100 per pound, $20, per pound; other items were over $300 per pound.
The service at the Chinese market was, for a tourist like me, non-existent. On the other hand, the salesmanship on display at Michael Fine Art and Antiques is the polar opposite. "This is not about the money!" "Chinese billionaires will bid on this at an upcoming auction!" "Eight is a lucky number in Chinese. How about $18,888 for this work of art, down from $74,500? And I will give you the geode as a gift!" I have never, ever had so much fun watching and listening to a true artist try to convince me to buy something that I did not want (maybe I wanted it a little bit), did not need, and certainly could not afford.
I took a look at the north facade of the Federal Building , near my hotel, and decided to photograph just a slice of it with my telephoto lens.
I spotted some lovely ladies on a Mother's Day walk up Polk Street as I pedaled uphill on my bike. Passing them, I stopped in sunlight, brought my bike up on the sidewalk, and when the women walked toward me, I told them they looked great, that I was visiting from Los Angeles, and asked if I could make a few photos of them. Having made quite an effort to dress for their evening out, they were happy to pose for me.
One more, and once again it's the Transamerica Pyramid, this time in a flipped reflection. When I look at an image like this, I sometime reflect myself on the immense amount of time it took for the lens in the eye to evolve into existence, the amount of time it took the entire eye to evolve, and the time it took for the eye and the brain together to evolve to make sense out the external world. Thank goodness the human eye didn't evolve to see the world the way it appears on the windshield of a car.
(Some of my other forum posts about my Sony e-mount cameras and travel are here and here and here.)