I hope you are going to enjoy helping me celebrate my birthday by being one of my 45 strangers who’ll take a joyful leap to celebrate this next big chapter in my life.
I’ve gone out photographing in San Francisco and especially China Town last weekend, when I was able to escape to the city! Hopefully it will now be a weekly opportunity to spend some time in this beautiful place, with the dirtiest streets and saddest stories that I have ever seen. So much neglect, so much wealth, such a strange city. So harsh and so addictive. Opportunity is always only inches away but if one grasps and doesn’t reach it, then one could fall far, as there are no security nets. I purposely avoided photographing the people and their fates whom I am referring to. A lot of tragedy is present. But in these photographs San Francisco shines. Below I enter China Town Early morning exploring of the neighbourhood in China Town, before the tourists got out of bed, still seeing sleepy locals out for their morning walks, hearing buddhist chanting faintly waft through the air from a nearby Temple on a second story of a building, hidden somewhat from passing strangers. It seemed that nobody …
One afternoon I managed to persuade my partner in this intercontinental love affair, to cover himself with a paste made from Thanaka powder to take some yoga photographs… It was a fun session, but what absolutely didn’t work was to apply an ‘effect’ as a neat idea with nothing more than the effect in mind. I couldn’t tell you ‘why’ this seemed like a good idea. But it did yield something a little different. But is that enough? Maybe.. What is thanaka ? It is a powder made from grinding the rind of a specific tree (than aka tree?). It is applied to protect against the sun, a natural sunscreen. This is what I understand. There may be more to it than this little soundbite of mine.
• The effects of a wildfire most likely caused by an illegal campfire that was poorly extinguished. These photographs are from our drive back to Carmel, near the Highway 1 which I just see now in the news is closed due to the Soberanes Fire which has been raging for about 2 weeks now. It had just started when we visited Big Sur for my birthday. Just think of the incredible loss of habitat for wildlife, the many people who lost their homes to the fires the irreplaceable damages caused. • Have you ever seen the sun look so red (as in the last picture) ? • • Sorry that I have been so uninspired lately to write properly, to add words to my experiences here in California. Sometimes it is easier to just observe and read.. I realise that this is really poor performance. • •
When we left Carmel, on July 26th, a week ago the wildfire was 3 days old and 5% under control. Just imagine living with this constant danger of fire! Hang in here to see a couple of my photographs from the day, as soon as I decide which ones to share..