Lately, I’ve been working on a portrait series with the San Rafael Downtown Streets Team. After admiring Richard Avedon’s iconic portraits shot against plain white backgrounds, I thought I would try something similar, but using black.
Avedon took hundreds of photos in this style, traveling all over the United States to find subjects for his gigantic 8×10 Deardorff view camera. I’m slightly less ambitious.
I travel less than ten minutes from my home in Greenbrae to downtown San Rafael, where the St. Vincent de Paul free dining room is located. And rather than a Deardorff, I’m using small Nikon and Olympus cameras.
St. Vincent’s dining room is where the San Rafael Downtown Streets Team holds its weekly team meetings, and where I’m using the back alley as a studio.
The San Rafael Downtown Streets Team is one of the few programs for homeless and disadvantaged people that has received almost universal acclaim. If you’re interested in successful programs of this sort, I recommend visiting their website.
Here are two iPhoto snaps from Alvedon’s book, Evidence, to give you an idea of what I mean when I say I got the idea for my portrait series from him.
Richard Avedon from his book Evidence
Richard Avedon from his book Evidence
And now, some of the Streets Team
Marin County | California
Here are some of the Track and Field photos I took on April 23, 2015. Marin Catholic, Terra Linda, and Redwood competed on Redwood’s campus in Larkspur, CA.
You’ll find more of the photos at VarsityPix.
Here are the scores as reported in the Marin Independent Journal.
Redwood 77, Marin Catholic 59
Redwood 95, Terra Linda 32
Terra Linda 88, Marin Catholic 41
Redwood 99, Marin Catholic 33
Redwood 105, Terra Linda 27
Terra Linda 84, Marin Catholic 50
Marin County | California
Here are some of the photos I took at Marin Catholic’s last two track meets, March 19th and 26th.
All together, Marin Catholic faced five different Marin high schools; Novato, Drake, Branson, San Marin, and Tamalpais. Don’t even think of asking me who won.
Many more photos are at http://www.varsitypix.com.
Marin Catholic hosted Justin-Siena and San Rafael Thursday in its first track meet of the 2015 season. I tried to find the results in the Marin Independent Journal the next day but was unsuccessful. The MaxPreps website was more confusing than helpful.
I have the feeling that winning or losing in track isn’t as big a deal as, let’s say football. The young athletes just seem to be out there having a good time. There were more parents volunteering on the field than watching from the bleachers. Here are a few shots from the day.
As the season progresses I’l try to feature different events. You’ll find more photos at VarsityPix.com.
The Seattle Seahawks meet the New England Patriots in the NFL Super Bowl XLIX on February 1. I’m rooting for the Seahawks because I like their name better. Besides, Seattle managed to pull off a gutsy last-minute win last Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. I had turned the TV off, assuming the Packers had the game wrapped up, when my iPhone flashed the final score. Thank goodness for TIVO. I sat back down and watched the final four minutes in amazement. The Seahawks never gave up on themselves even when all seemed lost. How could anyone who likes storybook endings not root for them?
And then there is Deflategate, calling into question the integrity of the Patriots football machine and its golden boy quarterback, Tom Brady.
But this post isn’t about professional football or its quarterbacks. If you’ve been following my posts you know I photograph Marin Catholic football games. Marin Catholic is just a few blocks down Sir Francis Drake Blvd. from my home, so even though I’m definitely not Catholic, I’ve come to think of it as my school.
Lately, I’ve wanted to summarize the MC season with a collection of photos picked at random. But then I read a piece in our local newspaper, the Marin IJ, which changed my mind. The paper named Marin Catholic’s junior quarterback, Darius Peterson (7), the paper’s offensive player of 2014.
According to the Marin IJ, Peterson piled up 3,000 yards at the helm of the league’s (MCAL) most prolific offense. He accounted for 40 touchdowns. Twenty-one through the air and 18 on the ground. And if that wasn’t enough, Peterson also scored on a kickoff return.
So I decided to change course and go back through my files looking for shots of Peterson in action.
Darius Peterson will be back at Marin Catholic next fall for his senior year as quarterback. He deserves some attention. I’ll be there, along with the college scouts.
Rica and I just returned from spending our 26th wedding anniversary in Carmel, California. We stayed at Clint Eastwood’s Mission Ranch. We were here last year at this time, so for me, as someone who usually avoids anything that smacks of ritual, this has become a tradition. Two years!
A Hindu priest conducted our ceremony on Christmas Eve in India, at a wedding arranged by Professor B. P. Sinha. I met Jai at Ohio State University where we were pursuing Ph.D. degrees. Jai had an easy time of it, but I was in deep trouble most of the time and wouldn’t have succeeded without his friendship and long hours of tutoring. So in a way, I owe him big time for a happy marriage and a long career in psychology. I think of him a lot this time of year.
I brought my new Olympus OM-D E-M1 camera with me, and here are some photos. As you see, we spent a good part of our time near the water at Point Lobos State Reserve, the Piedras Blancas Rookery, and on Monterey Bay.
Mission Ranch was originally a working dairy farm. In the 1850’s, the property became one of the first California dairies. Clint Eastwood bought the ranch in 1986, keeping it from becoming a condominium development. Our room was on the ground floor of the original farmhouse pictured above.
This pasture seems a sheep paradise. They spend the night in the little shelter to the right in this photo, but during the day they roam freely over acres of lush grass.
This was our view as we ate dinner on Christmas Eve. An evening fog was rolling in off the nearby ocean.
The creamery, which provided the county with cheese and butter, now houses the Mission Ranch restaurant. It’s where we ate many of our meals.
We had our continental breakfasts at the tennis club.
Rica made sure to buy me lots of candy at my favorite store in Carmel.
I don’t usually enjoy touristy streets like Ocean Avenue in Carmel. But I have to admit some of the shops are interesting.
We always make time to visit Point Lobos State Reserve, and never tire of the beautiful coastal views.
We drove over to Monterey and discovered that someone had used a hot branding iron to mark this little girl.
While there, we noticed someone seemingly in trouble, but after a few minutes of struggle, he recovered.
We always find time for birdwatching.
The Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery is located four miles north of Hearst Castle on California Highway 1. In the photo below you see moms squabbling over their newborn pups.
And finally, I set up my tripod to memorialize the happy couple. As the year comes to an end, we wish all our friends around the world a wonderful 2015.