Imagining New York City

Subscribe

San Francisco Adventure: Walking the Embarcadero to Goldsworthy's Tree Fall and Wood Line

Embarcadero to the Goldsworthy Art in the Presididio - a 12.5 mile urban hike

Let's walk from the Ferry Building to the Andy Goldsworthy art installations in the Presidio. It's a sunny June Saturday morning, 70 degrees with a slight breeze. Click any of the panoramas below for an interactive version shot with a Ricoh Theta 360 camera.

360 panorama skateboarding outside the Exploratorium
360 panorama skateboarding outside the Exploratorium

We take BART to Embarcadero, and thread our way through the art vendors and Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Outside the Exploratorium, we do a little bit of skateboarding:

Along the piers, a hundred cruise ship passengers wait for taxi cabs. We run the gauntlet of tourists at Fisherman's Wharf. We do not eat soup in a bread bowl. Here is a scale model of Alcatraz:

Alcatraz scale model along the Embarcadero
Alcatraz scale model along the Embarcadero

After watching tourists on rental bikes struggle up the hill at Black Point, we reach Fort Mason. We load up our backpacks with some books at the SFPL Readers Bookstore, and then get takeout food at Greens. Also, we learned how to spot UFOs:

UFOs and how to see them
UFOs and how to see them

We walked through the Marina Green and Yacht Harbor.  Jogging, cycling, and volleyball ensued. We arrived at the crowded beach where a dog was digging a large hole:

dog_digging

Curious about the new approach to the Golden Gate Bridge, we left the beach path and walked on Old Mason Street, crossed under the freeway, up past the pet cemetery, San Francisco National Cemetery, and down to the Main Post of Fort Mason.

The Andy Goldsworthy piece Tree Fall is in a small, unsigned building in the square of the Main Post of Fort Mason. From a distance, it looks like a bathroom building. We sat down inside and contemplated the art:

Tree Fall diptych
Tree Fall diptych

Continuing through the neighborhood, we walked to the Lovers' Lane Trail, and found the Andy Goldsworthy installation Wood Line. A young Indian fellow who was up along the road above the trail asked what I was photographing. I showed him the Wood Line and after a short walk he exclaimed: "Wow, it's HEAVY!" I couldn't have said it better myself.

The area on the map at the top of this post where we double back is where the Wood Line is. We walked it both ways. Here's the view from the top:

Andy Goldsworthy: Wood Line - photo by Joe Reifer
Andy Goldsworthy: Wood Line - photo by Joe Reifer

If you're in the area, Andy Goldsworthy's Spire is also worth a visit. Exiting the Presidio, we walked through Pacific Heights, and down to Civic Center BART for the journey home. San Francisco is yours to experience. Put on those walking shoes and roar!

San Francisco Lion Panorama
San Francisco Lion Panorama
Subscribe

Walking All of Geary Street in San Francisco Redux

Five years ago, we walked all of Geary Street in San Francisco. Yesterday, we did it again. Market Street, the Tenderloin, Western Addition, Japantown, and out through the Richmond District. This time we used a GPS app, and logged the trip as 8 miles, including the walk down the beach to get on the N Judah for the return trip downtown.



Subscribe

Cultural signifiers are analyzed to determine if photographs still have meaning in the age of the image as social currency

Subscribe

San Francisco Diptychs: Hipstamatic vs. Film

Six side-by-side photos compare a photo taken with an iPhone 4 using the Hipstamatic app with a photo shot with a 1950′s Franka Solida III medium format folding film camera. Much like last year's experiments with a Holga, I prefer the film images.

The certo6.com site has a lot of great information on vintage folding cameras. The Franka is compact, works perfectly, and looks beautiful -- not bad for a 50+ year old camera. The best part is Jurgen from certo6.com does a full CLA on each camera before selling them on eBay.

The downside of shooting film is the cost -- a roll of 120 plus developing ends up being $12 -- $1 per shot. And then of course you need to scan the film. If you want to make prints, the extra hassle is worth it. Film has a lot more dynamic range than the iPhone. And the 5 megapixel iPhone 4 or 8 megapixel iPhone 4s can't compare to the resolution of scanned 6x6 film. Even on my old Epson 4990 flatbed scanner at the 2400 ppi setting I get a 25 megapixel file from my Franka negatives. Big enough to print a 16" square image at 300 dpi, which is a nice size for these images.

Subscribe

Fire, psychic powers, scattered remnants, and worldly transport

Subscribe

Time-lapse: First roll with the Franka

Last month I received a wonderful birthday gift -- a 1950's Franka Solida III medium format folding camera. The camera shoots 6x6 images on 120 film. The Franka features a very sharp 80mm Schneider f/2.9 [sic] Radionar lens. For this first roll I shot Kodak E100VS slide film and then cross processed in C-41 negative chemistry. This roll of film was in another camera and then got pulled out and used in the Franka. Due to these shenanigans the roll wasn't wound tightly and light leaks are visible on the edges of some images.

The Franka is really fun to use. Here's the shooting process:

  1. Open the case if you're using it.
  2. Press the button on the bottom of the camera to release the lens. Unlike many folding cameras of this vintage, the lens opens from the side.
  3. Use the rangefinder to figure out the focusing distance.
  4. The rangefinder is not coupled to the lens, so next you focus the lens.
  5. Set the aperture and shutter speed.
  6. Cock the shutter
  7. Press the shutter release.

Once you get the hang of it, this isn't a lot of work. The camera is very compact when folded up, and was only about $200. The eBay seller Certo6 has a very informative vintage folding cameras website. The shutter on my Franka seems spot on, the lens is very clean, and everything works really smoothly. I'm looking forward to more shooting with this beautiful little classic.

Time-lapse technical details:

  1. The images were shot with a GoPro HD camera set to record a photo every 2 seconds.
  2. The results were imported into Lightroom 3, developed, cropped to 16:9, and settings synchronized.
  3. Next I made a collection in Lightroom with the time-lapse images and the film scans from my first roll.
  4. Using Lightroom's slideshow module, I set each image to appear for 0.3 seconds.
  5. In order to show the film scans and a few key frames for longer than 0.3 seconds I made virtual copies of those images.
  6. I tried exporting the slideshow from Lightroom but the pacing seemed a lot different than the preview I was seeing from within Lightroom. I used ScreenFlow screen capture software to record the preview, add the end titles, and upload the 720p video to YouTube.
Subscribe