moving day

•October 5, 2009 • Leave a Comment

I’ve decided that I will not automatically redirect, since I find it annoying when I encounter it myself. Instead, I will just say give you the link to the new incarnation: Shooting Wide Open 2.0. This is the feed URL: This page will no longer be updated, but of course it will remain, unless WordPress begins to delete inactive blogs. All the old posts have been transferred, so content-wise, the new one is almost exactly the same as this one. I’ll have slightly more control though, so there will be more room for future improvements.

I’d like to squeeze in a few words on this blog and my website…

I am a student. I’ve refrained from putting much of my own work into this blog because it simply feels too incongrous to place the work of established photographers with amazing projects alongside my stuff, which is meager in comparison. I have a lot to learn and the obvious difference in caliber makes me hesitate. But I will not always be where I am. There will come a point in the near future where I am more proficient and experienced, and my site will reflect that when the time comes.

I blog because there’s some strange part of me that wants to, feels compelled to share as soon as I see something interesting, funny or novel. I blog about things that I’m excited about, and that covers a range that includes science and politics. I tried keeping the subject matter strictly to photography, but it goes against my omnivorous tastes and in the end, it is impossible if you’re the type of photographer, which I am, who considers photography to be a tool to communicate about real world issues. I feel like a fat person painfully tightening her belt. There will be a few non-photo posts, esp as I start working on my next project. Consider yourselves warned.

This is my ship and this is how I’m going to run it!

weekend silliness: Walk on the Wild Side

•October 3, 2009 • Leave a Comment


For some reason, this just cracks me up.

SF street art

•October 2, 2009 • 2 Comments

Simmons and Belonax

Remember that Art in Storefronts initiative? The chosen artists have been announced, and the most interesting to me is Simmons and Belonax’s “Everything is Okay” neon sign installation proposed for Central Market St, not the least because there is a mock-up photo.

There is also Market St poster plan for next year that includes some work by Bihn Danh. One can only hope daguerreotypes are involved, but maybe that’s asking too much for street posters. The project is described as:

The final series, by artist Bihn Danh, called The Wonderful Life of Gardening, will be installed from April 5 to July 1, 2010. This series incorporates photographic collaborations with San Francisco gardeners, including some of those who tend garden plots under the San Francisco Recreation and Park’s Community Garden Program.

There’s also a bit of strangeness brewing. As, I assume, a part of the SF Planning Dept’s plan to prettify the Mission (I heard about this in the Mission Dispatch, and it certainly explains the construction on Valencia St), the SF Arts Commission announced the winning proposal for a Valencia St installation as Michael Arcega‘s, but it was a close one between Arcega and Brian Goggin. Apparently one of the jurors on the deciding panel voted with a fraction, and when he was told he couldn’t, threw the deciding vote to Mike. I’m not really sure what was going on behind the scenes, but Goggin saw an opening, and with some mobilization he has won a revote. Not sure when it is happening since I only heard about this today, but if you’re a local, you might want to take a look at the two proposals and let Mary Chou (Mary.Chou [at] know if you, as a community member, have any views.

Personally, I think Mike’s proposal is a lot more functional and meaningful as a part of the daily activity of the community, though it looks like Goggin has more experience in street installation. In the interest of full disclosure, I have to say that he was the TA to one of my art classes a while ago and I am swayed by the fact that the work he showed us in class was very interesting. Not to mention he is a nice guy! So if you have thoughts, shoot off an email. Who knows if community messages will make a real difference, but it can’t hurt, especially since one of the main goals of all these projects is to build a few spots where it’s pleasant for people to hang out and to make the area more pedestrian friendly.

the surgeon general’s Photoshop warning

•September 28, 2009 • 1 Comment

A Move to Curb Digitally Altered Photos in Ads

The Liberal Democrats, the third-largest party in Britain, after Labor and the Conservatives, adopted Ms. Swinson’s proposal for a labeling system this month as part of their official platform. The party wants to ban altered photos entirely in ads aimed at children under 16.

On retouching, even Ms. Swinson acknowledged that “a little bit is necessary to make a good photo.” Under her proposal, all advertising photos would be rated, perhaps on a scale from 1 to 4, depending on the degree of retouching. A 1 might involve only altered lighting, for example, while a 4 might warn of digital cosmetic surgery, she said. And the label would have to include an explanation of the changes.

In France last week, Valerie Boyer, a lawmaker from President Nicolas Sarkozy’s party, introduced a similar bill in the National Assembly, the lower house of Parliament. She argued that altered images were undermining young women’s ability to control their own destinies. “These photos can lead people to believe in realities that, very often, do not exist,” she said.

In her quest to rid the media of misleading images, Ms. Boyer wants to go even further than the Liberal Democrats in Britain. Her bill would require warning labels on retouched photos published for editorial purposes as well as those in print ads. Violators could face fines of 37,500 euros, or almost $55,000, or up to 50 percent of the cost of an advertisement.

Wow. A part of me is relieved but geez, shouldn’t this be the stuff of educational campaigns and classroom demonstrations rather than banning photoshop in ads? It seems that slapping a disclaimer on an image is really missing the point anyway – you look at an image and whether you know it’s fake or not, it still has a certain psychological effect on you. The only healthy way out of this is to foster a less body-obsessed, beauty-worshipping culture. Of course, that’s also the hard way. I’m usually for regulation of this or that, but this is just a little strange.

(Thanks, Ethan!)

wood logs and weblogs

•September 21, 2009 • 1 Comment

These were in a gift shop at the Muir Woods. It reminds me of the logging operation smack in the middle of Redwoods state park. One of those “wait a minute…” moments. There’s a project in and of itself. Like Sawdust Mountain for CA. For some reason I hadn’t made the connection that Sawdust Mountain was about the area of Washington around Olympic National Park. I’d driven through there a couple of years ago and we kept a list of all the questions, trip-inspired and not, that we thought up and wanted to look up when we got back. One of them was certainly why there was a logging operation or a field of stumps every few miles in NP land.

Some blog bizness – a heads up that after a year, I’ve finally set up a respectable (or is it?) domain for myself and will be transfering this blog over at the beginning of October. I will let this blog sit quiet in the long run so old links stay functional, but on the 1st landing on this URL will automatically redirect you to the new site. I will probably turn that off after a week. What’s the proper web etiquette for this sort of thing?

back and ready to sally forth

•September 20, 2009 • 3 Comments

Ooo la la, Brian Ulrich’s new show opened at the Robert Koch Gallery a week or so ago. I wasn’t in the country to make it to the reception, but I’m looking forward to seeing photos other than the one above, which the one they’ve displayed in group shows, in person.

I am back! (Got through customs and realized that the US is now documenting all foreign visitors with fingerprint scans and headshots.) The new school year starts on Monday. I’ll have less time to blog, but maybe that’s just a golden opp. for higher quality posts. First up will be a few images from a some books I picked up at 798 Photo, which, by the way, has a great little back room where some photographers’ large print portfolios are laid out for visitors to flip through. I wanted to cart their entire store home with me, but alas, budget and space constraints foiled the plan.

Will Rogan

•September 15, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Will Rogan

He seems to be repped by Jack Hanley, but there’s nothing much on their artist pages.