[St. Patrick’s Church]: Built in 1851.

Saint Patrick’s church has been sitting between 4th and 5th streets on Mission St. since 1851. Really now, that’s impressive. While I personally am not Catholic, I visited the church website, St Patrick’s San Francisco and was very happily moved by the Dali Lama quote they’ve got resting on their services page. I’ll reproduce, due to the non-specific nature of it, and the sheer truth that rings in it. Beautiful.

“May I become at all times both now and forever. A protector for those without protection; A guide for those who have lost their way; A ship for those with oceans to cross; A bridge for those with rivers to cross; A sanctuary for those in danger; A lamp for those without light; A place of rugs for those who lack shelter; And a servant to all in need. – The Dalai Lama”

I find it incredible to reflect on history and note all the historical events that have occurred under the auspices of said old building, as well as amazing to reflect on the history leading up to it. For example, this building has stood through the entire past 100 years, and then some.

This building was completed in 1851, and I think designed by John Sullivan. The church rested on new land for the United States. Just a few years earlier, the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo was ratified – Mar 10, 1848. This treaty reflected an agreement, an agreement brought on by war. The Mexican-American war. The spoils of this conflict brought us California and New Mexico. Five years later, for a sum of ten million, we purchased what we know now as Arizona. This was widely viewed as a gesture of recompense to Mexico. Remember, in 1853 – 10 million is equivalent to roughly 246.5 million today.

Here’s a fascinating article on churches and cathedrals in San Francisco, focusing on St. Mary’s – which was given to the Paulists in 1984. Interestingly, it was the first church in the WORLD to be called Cathedral of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception… Pope Pius IX had just defined the doctrine of the Immaculate Conception seventeen days earlier. It was also the first church built in California as a Cathedral. Haydn’s Mass #3 Played during the dedication, Christmas Eve 1854…and people literally hung from the rafters of the nearly finished place of worship for service. It was the tallest building West of the Mississippi, and the stones for it were cut and quarried in China. The cornerstone was laid in 1853, @ the corner of present day Grant Ave [formerly DuPont Street], and California Streets. It’s still there, 155 years later.

I am amazed and delighted by all the wonderful historical photographs this blog author has placed into their work. St. Mary’s Cathedral is a 5 minute walk around the corner for me, so it’s relevant to learn about ones neighborhood and surrounding areas I feel…

credits:
CathedralsOfCalifornia.com
wiki-answers
photo: me [Omar Amer] – via iPhone.

[1701 Haight Mosaic]: still art, 40+ yrs later…

This is the inlaid mosaic work that rests in front of the shop that’s located at 1701 Haight Street. It’s a fun, cute little store selling clothing and essential oils, among a few other neat items. I believe it’s right at Cole St. =] This is also an iPhone capture.

[found tattoo]: yay area

I thought it was a terribly unique tattoo, so I asked if I may photograph it, and we spent a moment getting it right. Although I only had my iPhone on me at the time, I’d say it turned out fairly well after it went through Aperture. Still, I only do things that one could really do in the darkroom. :]

[Geoff Rickley]: Warped Tour 2002

Geoff Rickley, lead singer of the band Thursday, croons.

This image was shot by me back in 2002, with my Canon EOS 3 film camera. I have the PB-E2 power booster attachment on the camera as well, which makes it truthfully unstoppable. Truly a rugged camera, and *almost* as good as the 1V. Not nearly as waterproof, or as sturdy though, but well.. have you ever held an EOS 3 with the booster ? It easily weighs 8 pounds. ;] If I recall correctly, this was shot on Fuji Acros 100. Make that NeoPan Acros 100. Enjoy the photograph.

[rhyolite, nv #1]: broken down house

broken down house in rhoylite ghost town. rhyolite, nevada

This was photographed in a ghost town, that falls just a few miles outside of the California/Nevada border.  The town begins after Death Valley National Park ends, essentially 3 miles into Nevada.  After another mile or two – one finds themselves in the cute, but rather coarse [vs a big city] – town of Beatty, Nevada.  Beatty is home to about 3,000 people, and if you’ve been there, chime in.  I’d love to see your coverage of the area.  Most of mine is lost, however this old file was located the other day, so I’m overjoyed to post it.   I resized this from the 16 megabyte tiff I had created 3 years ago, and uploaded.  Levels are adjusted to what I’d be able to do in the darkroom.

That brings me to an important point for me, I don’t do anything I couldn’t do on film. with film. Generally.  It makes working harder, but I feel my work is much stronger for that.  I’ve always held this opinion.  Ocasionally I play with digital manipulation, however my work in what one might argue to be “simple black and white,”  I still find completely stunning and fantastic.  There’s nothing like it.  I try to stay true to form.

For example, I don’t even use layers.  You heard it directly from me.  Yes, I’m serious.

[targeted info]: a fresh beginning, some words on film.

I prefer to shoot film, however the past few years of photography for me have been spent mastering the digital work-flow. I’ve been shooting digitally since 2002, however mixing film shooting in as well. I prefer black and white above all as a working medium, doesn’t matter if it’s film or digital. I enjoy working in the tonalities of grey vs color, it’s simply easier for me to highlight the things I want to share with the viewer. I do also shoot a smaller volume of color work, and quite enjoy doing so.

After shooting around 100,000 images in the year 2005, and a substantial break, I’ve recently – for all intents and purposes, began fresh. Due to massive catastrophic data loss, the aforementioned volume of photographic work has been “lost to the digital ether.”

Noticing how frustrating this was, I’ve decided that developing mostly film would be indeed prudent. Digital photography has many uses for me though, and don’t get me wrong – you’ll see many digital photographs here. I typically use digital to “capture ideas, and thoughts,” a way to bookmark concepts for later, and for sharing and response metrics.  I’ve redesigned my in-house data structure thought for storage, and I should be on the way to a much better system when I get to fully implement and integrate it.

[euchronia]: @ burningman 2006.

euchronia @ burningman 2006

This was Euchronia, set entirely ablaze.  The one month long grueling construction schedule, the twenty or so Belgian’s loaded to the gills with construction equipment who flew over to California and drove out to the site of The Burningman Festival in the Nevada Desert… The 60,000 + 2×4 style beams, and all of the nails that held it together, went up in a truly magical and frenetic geometric-patterning-en-fuego the night of August 3rd, 2006. That Sunday night will forever haunt my mind, it was –

beautiful.

There was some controversy after the burn – when the artist’s work ended up in a Lexus commercial.  The ruckus was over wether or not the artist had a previously standing agreement/contract with Lexus/Toyota to build a test model at Burningman, leveraging the artwork a clever marketing tool.

I do not recall the outcome of the aforementioned snafu, however that’s not what my memory prefers to rest on -  Euchronia was a truly gorgeous art project, utilized by many fire spinners, dancers, and happy people while it rested on the playa for all of one month, mostly used one week, however we were lucky enough to see it for almost two.  Euchronia, and artist – hats off, what a wonderful project.

Photograph taken with Canon Powershot A530 – [no-longer-in-possession].  I gifted this camera to my sister 6 months ago.  It’s getting thousands of %’s more use with her.  I prefer to shoot other camera systems I’ve got over here, naturally.  =]

[abstract #1]: abstract images project.

abstract #1

this is image #1 in an abstract series. This series will be of images that appear almost entirely abstract. This project will focus on studies of light and shadow, seas of color, and beautiful abstraction. This idea is long overdue to culminate, expect it in the coming months. I lost my work on this project in the great-data-loss-of-2008, however I fully intend to re-birth this idea. Here’s that beginning. :]

[francesca]: my cat likes to help me garden.

francesca asleep by plants

This is my kitty, Francesca – being cute. She fell asleep next to the herb garden, after some rigorous kibitzing on my gardening techniques. ;] I was trying to grow some Hopi Amaranth, and some Holy Basil. The cat ate both. I’ll perhaps try again soon, and document the progress if it goes well, or if it doesn’t. It’ll be interesting for us to track what happens.. The first time through, the seeds for the Tulsi (Holy Basil), sprouted and were an inch tall in 6 days. Amazing. Also, the seeds are from seeds of change, and are certified organic by the Oregon Tilth.

I was attempting to grow the plants with 150 watt light bulb from Verilux, and using photo light stands that I have already to hold them up. It was fun, but didn’t ultimately work out due to the cat eating the plants as they got bigger.

[valley floor #1]: from atop Durnst Peak

This quickly became very cold up here, and was wonderfully refreshing. The wind was howling! It was however, quite gorgeous, and drive down was indeed rewarded with dinner at the bottom. I thoroughly enjoyed this part of our recent trip to Southern California for mothers day weekend; turned vacation. April and I drove up here as a special treat for my birthday, which went relatively un-celebrated back in January due to a lack of strategic planning. [I’m actually born January 21st.]

The drive is fun, and goes through the countryside – away from Santa Clarita, towards Lancaster and Palmdale – ultimately ending up connecting to Pyramid Lake/Castaic area, and passing through the small towns of Lake Hughes, CA / Green Valley. If you’re unfamiliar, and in the area, travel down Boquet Canyon Road, in the direction of Palmdale – you’ll find all sorts of cool nature areas to explore!