I know it could be worse. I know it could be snow. We're coming out of a drought. I know we need it. But seriously. I'm over it. Enough with the rain... It's making me depressed.
Intermitant torential rain not withstanding, well over 100,000 people came out for the Women's March in San Francisco on January 21st.
It was a pretty powerful event, to say the least. I've never seen so many take to the streets in such a peaceful demonstration in my entire life. Police presence was virtually non-existent, no arrests were made, everyone got completely soaking wet and absolutely nobody seemed to care...
The march was more of a crawl until the mass hit Market Street. By then it was absolutely pouring. Didn't seem to slow any one down in the least.
Only posting a few images here. For more photographs check out the full Women's March gallery here, or use the link at left.
For more images view the full Women's March gallery here, or see the link at left...
On inauguration day, January 20th, 2017, hundreds of people gathered on the steps of the old Bank of America Building in San Francisco to protest the election and policies of Donald Trump.
The demonstration was absolutely peaceful despite some reports, there was a minimal police presence, I don't believe any arrests were made at BofA specifically. There were other actions around The City where people were arrested. The overwhelming theme was resistance to the racist, misogynistic and hateful policies of the incoming president.
For more photographs from this demonstration visit the gallery here...
Later that evening several thousand people gathered at UN Plaza near City Hall for a rally and march against Trump. Demonstrators marched down Market to the Castro District. Again, police presence was minimal, no arrests were made.
For more photographs from this demonstration visit the gallery here...
A little over a year ago now, on New Years Day, we ended up at the beach... It was freezing and horribly windy but the sun was out and the weather didn't seem to phase the dog one bit, as usual (mine is the little one on the left).
Digital proofs are printed on Canson Fiber Rag, 5x7 proofs are printed on Ilford Cold Tone Fiber. All prints should ship by the end of the week. Also including some polaroids from a little road trip we took through Palm Springs...
President Trump... (I just threw up a little in my own mouth typing that) is using some rather blatant, textbook fascist style strategies that we all should be tremendously concerned about. Chief among them has been his handling of the media, or rather his efforts to control it, since the beginning of his campaign, and now into his Presidency.
Step One: Demonize. Turn the public against the media, berate them, call them liars, say things such as...
“You know, it really doesn’t matter what the media write as long as you’ve got a young, and beautiful, piece of ass.”
"lies, deceit, viciousness, disgusting reporters, horrible people..."
"they're scum, absolute scum, remember that..."
"I am not running against Crooked Hillary Clinton, I'm running against the crooked media."
Trump seems to be a pathological liar in every sense, and when reputable media outlets call him out on those falsehoods he perpetuates, he calls them liars and dishonest. His press secretary and advisors offer "alternative facts" further entrenching his supports against the "disgusting reporters."
Step Two: Restrict. Limit media access, do not hold press conferences, do not allow the press to travel with you, do not let the press know whom you are meeting with. Trump's phone call after the election with Vladimir Putin was first reported by the Kremlin, not a single US news outlet knew of it. Let that sink in a minute.
Threaten to pull the press from the West Wing, shut down questioning from news organizations you deem "fake news," push your narrative and attack those who don't play along. Control the headline.
Step Three: Threaten. During his campaign Trump threatened to sue the New York Times after an article ran about his alleged assault of multiple women, then threatened to sue a second time for an article that released parts of his tax returns. Trump has said he wants to "open up" libel laws so he can more easily sue news organizations.
"I'm going to open up our libel laws so when they write purposely negative and horrible and false articles, we can sue them and win lots of money. We're going to open up those libel laws. So when The New York Times writes a hit piece which is a total disgrace or when The Washington Post, which is there for other reasons, writes a hit piece, we can sue them and win money instead of having no chance of winning because they're totally protected," Trump said, both demonizing and threatening in one motion.
Step Four: Circumvent. Bypass the media entirely, communicate your propaganda to the public directly, post videos directly to social media, tweet constantly, hold large rallies instead of press conferences, allowing you to continue to push your agenda to the public unimpeded by journalists. To my knowledge, no president elect in the history of this nation has ever made a victory lap around the country before, and that should frighten all of us.
Tyrants will always attempt to control the media, and while Trump has been in office for less than a week, he seems intent on doing just that. The only way to stop this demagogue is to inform yourself. Read the news, not the facebook headline. Demand answers not sound bytes. Seek the larger truth, not the 4am tweet.
For the record, I do not support President Donald Trump.
I do not support his policies, or lack thereof. I believe he is ill equipped for the office. I believe he is uninformed and willfully ignorant. I believe his intentions are single in nature, to enrich himself and his family by way of the presidency.
I am disgusted with the Republican Party, not only because of their policies, but because they could have stopped this. They could have stood up for something. They could still shutdown this circus and attempt to make things right, but they value power, not progress. I'm looking at you Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell. Shame on you both. You have harmed this great nation with your inaction.
More importantly, I do not support a hateful president.
I do not support a man who degrades, demeans and assaults women. This is not locker room talk. This is not acceptable. This is not normal behavior. If you believe it is, you are part of the problem.
I do not support a man who demonizes immigrants, Muslims, African-Americans, Latinos or anyone else that does not look or speak like him. This is not ok. This is not acceptable behavior for anyone, let alone a president. This is racism. This is xenophobia. It is not an "opinion." It is disgusting.
I believe education is a right, and not a mechanism to build "God's Kingdom" as the nominee for Secretary of Education has said.
I believe healthcare is a right, and the size of your bank account should never determine wether or not you live a healthy life, or live at all.
I believe all people, women, men, gay, lesbian, trans, black, brown, white, red, green, purple, yellow, whatever you may be and however you identify, deserve equals rights, equal pay, equal treatment under the law, equal access to healthcare and housing.
I believe the roles are reversed. Those of us in big cities who value diversity aren't living in a bubble. Those that believe the only "real" Americans are the ones that look, speak and act as they do, this is the bubble. The bubble of ignorance, of intolerance, of racism and homophobia and misogyny.
I'll be on the street tonight, in the pouring rain, cameras in tow, to show the world that we do not support this president. We support equality, we support diversity, we support human rights. We are not in a bubble. We are the majority. And we will drag all of you with us, one day, kicking and screaming if need be, out of your bubble. Because you deserve better, all of us do. For the record.
The City feels quiet these days... there's a silence in the air, people are worried...
Inauguration day looms large and everyone seems to be realizing all at once that this is not in fact a horrible nightmare, but our reality, at least for the foreseeable future.
I've never felt more fortunate to live in the Bay Area. We've got our problems, but we're also one of the most diverse, open minded, inclusive and progressive places on earth.
I read an interesting thing the other day that really resonated with me...
"What if the people who live in diverse cities filled with multitudes of points of view aren't the ones living in a bubble?"
I'm sticking with that.
Take #2 from a shoot with Flora (http://www.modelmayhem.com/3055887) in October of last year, we shot through intermittent rain and a stiff wind, which is a hell of a lot easier for me to work in than for her, as it turns out...
Second take from a shoot back in October (when the world was a brighter, warmer place...) with Amber (http://www.modelmayhem.com/ANudeMuse) at Marshall's Beach in San Francisco. Sifting through these images... I'm really looking forward to printing some of them soon, watch for a print release from this shooting coming up...
As always... if you want to get in a print releases as well as other bits and pieces I'm releasing each month, visit patreon.com/jszymanski.
Occasionally, not often, things just seem to fall into place... having been invited to a party by a model I'd worked with some years prior, along with a few other creatives, a couple other models, a few more photographers, things got weird, and this image happened.
Digital proofs were printed on Canson Fiber Rag, 5x7 proofs were printed on Ilford Cold Tone Fiber. All prints should ship this week.
To get in on monthly print releases and to support my work, visit https://patreon.com/jszymanski/.
If you're interested in purchasing this print you can find it in my shop... Here's the link: https://www.josephszymanski.com/shop/no-043025a
Happy New Year… and enjoy…
For the record, models are pretty tough customers. Sure I've worked with a few prima donnas over the years, but they were the exception not the rule. Flora was no different. We ended up shooting during the first big rain storm of the season. Thankfully it was somewhat intermittent...
There were a few good breaks in the weather that allowed for relatively un-soaked shooting. The light was wonderfully soft, and It made for some interesting images to say the least...
Sonder: n. The realization that each random passerby is living a life as vivid and complex as your own—populated with their own ambitions, friends, routines and worries - a story that continues around you and is connected to thousands of other lives.
After several false starts Amber and I were finally able to pull it together and shoot again in October. She's a wonderful model and just a lovely person... you can see more of her work at http://modelmayhem.com/ANudeMuse or at http://anudemuse.com/
All images shot with a Leica M2, Leitz 90mm f/2.8 on Ilford FP4 125 film.
So it's the holidays, again... and seeing as the buying season is already running full tilt, I though I'd remind all of you about all the really amazing stuff that you could buy (from me) that isn't from Wal-Mart or Target... so in turn, I can buy more film, bourbon, shampoo, you know, important things...
I've updated and added a bunch of new prints to the shop... and I'll be adding more throughout the month. In addition to regular prints I'm putting up some framed finished pieces that I have on hand at reduced prices...
All three books that I've put out listed in the shop as signed copies, limited to what I have on hand... you can find them here...
If you're not interested in a signed copy you can pick up any of them on demand through http://www.blurb.com/user/origin at the links listed below...
No Particular Significance: http://www.blurb.com/b/4537424-photographs-of-no-particular-significance
A quick snap from last December, at the cafe where I pick up coffee most mornings, on New Montgomery Street in downtown San Francisco.
No. #0419_10A - Cafe Window, New Montgomery Street. San Francisco, CA. December of 2015. Shot with a Leica M2, Zeiss 35mm f/2 lens, on Ilford HP5 400 film.
Prints should ship out in the next week or so... All digital proofs are printed on Canson Fiber Rag, 5x7 proofs are printed on Ilford Cold Tone Fiber.
To get in on monthly print releases and to support my work, visit https://patreon.com/jszymanski/. If you're interested in purchasing this print you can find it in my shop... Here's the link: http://www.josephszymanski.com/shop/no-0419-10a.
A few snaps from my periodic magic hour strolls. Now that daylight savings time has ruined everything I'm really missing these late afternoon walks. Seems like the best place to be this time of year is the darkroom...
Finally getting back into some semblance of a routine, and feel more eager than usual to get back to work. As such I've updated a few things on Patreon going forwad...
First and foremost, I've changed the payment schedule from per release, to per month... I've got a lot of new work to share and new prints in the queue, so I'll be releasing a new print each month in addition to normal posts.
Second, I've added another tier of support at $5. It's the quickest and easiest way to support my work. For $5 a month you'll get access to all exclusive content I post on Patreon, behind the scenes updates, process notes, discounts on prints and books and the like.
Thanks to everyone for all the support....
Seems trivial sometimes, in light of recent events, wandering about making pictures. Maybe one day it will matter, people will remember, we'll have this record, we were here. Sometimes I have to remind myself that the work is important, even if it isn't important to anyone else, it's important to me. Now more than ever...
A man sleeps on Market Street at 5th Street, one of the busiest shopping districts in the city of San Francisco. In the fall of 2016 the median rent for a one bedroom apartment in this neighborhood hit $3,190 per month.
A statue of Donald Trump entitled "The Emperor Has No Balls" appeared in San Francisco and other cities around the country on August 18th, 2016. Created by Las Vegas based horror artist Ginger, the statue in the Castro at one point adorned a hat with the slogan "Make America Gay Again." (This image was taken when we thought was all a joke, now it's a nightmare.)
A homeless woman in the Castro District, San Francisco. As of the fall of 2016 the median rent for a one bedroom apartment in this neighborhood hit $3,630 per month.
Frank Chu, a local San Francisco eccentric, walks the streets of The City campaigning for the impeachment of various presidents for collaborating with aliens. He's been at it since 1999. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Chu
I'm appalled, disgusted and embarrassed to be an American today. It's not about political views or difference in policy. It's about a candidate running on a platform of hate, racism and misogyny, and winning. I thought we were going in another direction, and it makes me sick to my stomach how wrong I've been.
Yesterday I apologized to my entire class, about half of which are here on student visas, for what they are about to endure in this country from here on out. They're scared, and I don't blame them. It was quite honestly the most embarrassed I've felt in a room in recent memory.
My wife is devastated. This election will affect her patients directly is horrific ways... In her own words "I spent the day in clinic working with patients who already have so little, but have so much to lose in the next 4 years. How do you take away health insurance from 22 million people? How do you deport 11 million people? I see fear, hatred and violence written on the bodies of the people I serve. How much more can they take? The gap between what is needed and what I have to give has never felt so great. My heart is breaking tonight."
This is not a difference of opinion. I'm not upset because of some trivial disagreement. Stop telling me to respect your views, that's for things like "I don't care for coffee" not for things like "I think Mexicans are rapists and all Muslims should be banned from entering the country." The ignorance displayed by so many in this nation is absolutely staggering, and I refuse to tolerate it. Bigotry is not an "opinion."
But things don't stop. Tomorrow we all have to wake up and do it again. I know I'll wake up and go to school and continue to teach, and I'll make photographs and create art and put good things out into the world. My wife will wake up and go to clinic. She'll help those that truly are in need, the most marginalized and vulnerable among us, people with so little left and so much to lose. She will do whatever she can to keep her patients safe and healthy. We'll both take solace in the fact that we're part of a community that doesn't judge people on race, color, creed or sexual orientation, and we'll make sure those within our community know that they are valued and respected.
War is not peace. Freedom is not slavery. Ignorance is not power. Now more than ever, it is so important that we keep moving forward, no matter what.
In the long famous words of Howard Beale, you've got to get mad. You've got to stand up and say "I'm a human being god dammit, my life has value." Get up, go to your window, stick your head out, and yell "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore."
Write, create, speak out, help, educate... If we stop, it's over, and hate wins.