one shot: laguna beach at night

middle of the trip, maybe thursday, we tried to get away from Irvine for a minute, ended up going to Laguna Beach, this sleepy little beach town maybe 20 traffic-free minutes from where we were staying. A moment to take a breath in a week otherwise jam-packed with work.

Posted by Matt on 2018-04-16 18:41:45 +0000

beach hike to tide pools

So this was actually the day before the last post, but last friday I just wanted to look at something pretty for the weekend. Anyway, this was a long time coming; to see the tide pools you have to go at low tide, and we had to shoot for a weekend day. So, after I missed the last time, we decided to shoot for a weekend, and this was the next available one. Low tide at something like 2:30 in the afternoon. I’m sure I could look it up, but it doesn’t super matter.

Walking a mile on sand is not the same as walking a mile on a dirt track or asphalt. If you’ve never hiked on a beach, maybe remember that when you’re planning.

I’m behind on my “two posts a day” pledge; I’m a lot closer to one, as it happens. I might not get to the end of the photos by the end of the month. Then, there’s also what I’m shooting now; I saw some nan goldin at SFMOMA and it reminded me of what I used to do with my pictures, even when I shot film. Anyway, I’ll try for two tomorrow; I’m out of effort for today.

Posted by Matt on 2018-04-16 07:00:43 +0000

flying through a sunrise

This was the start of the last Super Sprint, which is what my company calls bringing our mostly-remote team into the office every quarter or so to work in a focused environment, with all the engineers and stakeholders in a room. It’s pretty intense.

But, in planning for this, I decided I didn’t want to spend any more time in hotels and eating at crappy chains in Irvine (where the company is located for some reason). So, instead of flying in on sunday and sleeping there, I flew in on monday morning ass-early. My friend Mike says, whenever the subject comes up, “They have a 6AM?” as in, that time exists? I’m here to tell you it does, and it’s just as bad as you think. I had to be at the airport at 6 for a 7am flight; I think I got up at 4. So, by the time I’m on the plane, I’m all hyped up on caffiene and can’t even nap properly.

It’s a morning flight, and I’d chosen my seat so that I could look out to the east, flying south. I always try to do that; imagine what side of the plane will have a better view and sit on that side. Sometimes I don’t get the seats I want, but sometimes that works out in my favor anyway. This time I guessed right, facing away from the rising sun was just the ticket. I couldn’t believe the color that came through in the photos. It was just as unbelieveable in person, the whole world bathed in pink light. You wouldn’t believe so much of any color could exist, but there we were, right in the middle of it.

I say we, but I might have been the only person looking; the flight, being ass-early on a monday, was pretty empty. I know at one point I looked up and I was the only person with an open window. I’ve heard there’s a direct flight, 16 hours, from Charles de Gaulle to SFO, that is this, the whole way (assuming you catch it at the right time of year, I suppose). I’d love to do that some day.

Posted by Matt on 2018-04-13 06:21:27 +0000

the crane thing

So for a while there I thought I was doing a project on construction in the city. In the end, I decided it was boring and abandoned it, simply because I wasn’t getting close enough to the subject. You can only shoot one or two kinds of pictures from the outside of a construction site. I did a passable job getting photos of the early parts of the construction of the transbay terminal, since that was right on the walk from where casual carpool drops to the office I worked in at the time.

No, though, the real problem with the photo essay on cranes is it does nothing to talk about what the cranes mean, in terms of the growth and change of a city; the gentrification of large swaths of the people that have lived there; or the political forces that allow such things to happen. It’s hard to make pictures that are about YIMBY and NIMBY. My take: doubling the density, going from 3 to 6 stories for most residential properties, would be amazing, but only if the city started doing mixed-use zoning again, allowing for ground level retail and restaurants; how are you going to live without a car if you can’t walk a block to the bodega to get a sixer of beer and then a slice from the place next door? I am not an urban planner, but I do miss NYC sometimes.

Posted by Matt on 2018-04-12 06:55:48 +0000