January & February 1999

This area is mostly for my friends & family. Photos were taken with a Kodak DC20 or a Kodak DC120 Zoom, scaled & in some cases color corrected.

Taken at the lake which circles Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park.
I'm not sure what kind of bird this is, but I like the picture.

Taken on Sutter at Stockton from the top of the Stockton Tunnel.
Way in the background there you might see Macy's, FAO Swartz, and all those Union Square shops, which this particular night were being lit by these huge lights like they have at stadiums. Maybe they were making a movie down there. That's about the only reason you'll see lighting like that, besides night construction.
In the foreground you have one of my personal favorite San Francisco landmarks, the Green Door.

Shot out a lobby window of the Embarcadero Theater.
This is one of those shots where a person sees it, and thinks "Now there's something!" Then one pulls a camera out & thinks "It will never come out. I tell you. Why do I do this to myself? I'm in a theater lobby and all these people are watching me pull out my camera and will wonder what the heck I'm doing...And will come by when I am gone and try to figure out what I was shooting. They'll say 'Ah. Naked woman  painting.'" Later, finding it came out after all, one congratulates oneself for being such a genius.

Magnolias in Golden Gate Park, just outside the Arboretum.
One of those times where everything is there already and a person simply can't help but take a nice photograph.

Stockton at Pine. The Pacific Bell building, center. To the left is the Ritz Carlton.
This is one of those photos which takes several years to capture properly. I first saw this op at least two years ago, walking down the street. Sometimes during certain parts of the year the light at dusk will shine flatteringly on the tiled, blank side of this building. It is such a wacky danged building, has almost no windows, looks unfriendly from all vantage points, and yet has an uncanny architectural appeal.

The Financial District in the rain. Battery at Sutter, just coming out of Happy Donuts! Yes as a matter of fact I had two donuts. One was a buttermilk bar, the other chocolate glaze. They were fine donuts and I ate them. Got a bonus rainy day photo op.

Market Street around Valencia right in front of the GAP Store there.

Taken inside 101 The Embarcadero, while picking up a job from one of our clients.
Lighting situations such as this have always appealed to me, but they are very hard to capture without getting some kind of musty, soft-focus, easy-shot sentimentality to them. Most of the shots I take like this look like they could use a nude stretched artfully out somewhere, or maybe a tragic babushka herding a cute kid in a hat. Can you see it? Not in this shot. This shot was kind enough to have a life of its own.

Taken from the top of Strawberry Hill in Golden Gate Park.
In the distance there one can make out the B of A building and the Transamerica Pyramid.

It is a rare occasion that I step into an empty elevator without checking for photo ops. They are the perfect thing; a puzzle and studio built into one. One has only a few seconds, only a few light sources, only so much space, almost no subject matter, and will be mortified if caught with a camera when the doors open.

"I wasn't doing anything."

Since my job takes me to many elevators, I photograph and throw out an astounding number of these shots.

A pond in the Arboretum in Golden Gate Park.
This turtle (at bottom) looked to me like it wanted something. Maybe it thought I was going to throw it some food. Not me. I was busy pointing my camera, squatting, pressing the zoom buttons and trying to use any sort of mental telepathy I could on those two birds to get them positioned right. Literally, the picture was composed while the birds were still swimming around the edges. Then for some reason the birds swam right where I had envisioned them. After I had finally taken the photo and the composition dissolved, the turtle submerged, looking disappointed and I ended up feeling strange about the whole thing.

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All photos copyright, 1998 Dave Benz

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