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graffiti battle

battle
Saturday was the 3rd Annual Estria Graffiti Battle over in Oakland, and I had the chance to get some good shots of the action.
blue
24 artists from around the country gathered at DeFremery Park to showcase their skills. The theme of the day was “grow,” with each artist free to interpret this theme through their piece.
tenfold
Tenfold, from SF.
katch
Let your mind grow…
doves
Piece by Doves, winner of the Harlem graffiti battle.
prime
Hawaiian artist Prime works on his canvas.
notebook
Unknown artist writing in his notebook.
refa
Nice burner from Refa.
grow
Muet.
vogue
The winning piece from Oakland’s own Vogue. More shots from the battle here.

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minneapolis

After putting it off for far too long, I finally decided to upgrade my camera gear and purchased a Canon 5D Mark II. The Pentax gave me four-plus years of solid dependability, but I was starting to feel hampered by its limitations. In addition to the 5D Mark II, I also picked up 16-35mm and 70-200mm f/2.8 lenses. The slower Pentax lenses drove me crazy in low light situations, so it’s nice to have something that can handle even the most difficult lighting. The price was painfully steep, but the quality is unparalleled and I don’t anticipate upgrading for a long time.

Despite having gone to college in the Twin Cities and living there from 2006-2008, I’d never done a thorough photowalk of Minneapolis. Most of my photography was limited to peripheral industrial areas, abandoned buildings and other weird, seldom-photographed parts of the Cities. When I was back there last week for a wedding and found myself with lots of time to kill, I decided to give the new camera a test drive in downtown Minnapolis.
brutal
First stop was Riverside Plaza (aka Little Somalia), a low-income housing complex and a great example of architectural brutalism. I didn’t linger as some residents were giving me the stink eye. The 70-200mm isn’t exactly subtle.
riverside
Next up was Nicollet Island and the Hennepin Avenue Bridge
hennepin bridge

grain belt beer

guthrie
Detail of the Guthrie Theater
reflect

tennessee williams
Giant portrait of Tennessee Williams on the outside of the theater.
ceresota
Wandering down 2nd Street towards downtown.
downtown

urban canyon

jet

murrays

purple
After about four miles of wandering, I headed back to the Stone Arch Bridge and waited for the sun to set. Just as the sun started sinking and the sky turned pink, about six photographers showed up, including a wedding photographer with her clients. It’s a cliche shot, but it’s the best angle of the Minneapolis skyline.
stone arch bridge
On my way home I stopped at the 24th Street pedestrian overpass for a different approach to the Minneapolis nightscape.
stone arch bridge

refinery

refinery

hunters point naval shipyard

Finally found a good time to slip inside the abandoned naval base at Hunters Point, and it was worth the wait. Some shots from the photo excursion:
barracks
Approaching building 600, a former barracks at the southeast tip of Hunters Point. The shipyard is the most toxic place in San Francisco, so I didn’t want to spend much time in this cesium-polluted wasteland. It took some serious problem solving to get inside this building, but it was worth it.
building 600
The building itself is a gutted shell filled with broken glass, empty lockers and ratty old mattresses.
interior

doorway
10 floors of photogenic emptiness.
living well
Living well. I didn’t come across much quality graffiti.
shattered

thousone

decay

lurker
Whole set here.

street philosophy

inner love

inner peace

inner harmony
As seen in Clarion Alley.

dogpatch

Along with the area around Islais Creek Channel, Dogpatch is one of my favorite spots for abandoned industrial photography. The buildings are mostly inaccessible, but the exterior architecture is beautiful and easy to shoot without access. Some shots from a recent excursion:
condemned

linear

fenced

bricks

window

garage

gauge

blue

cranes

broken

derelict

haunted
Full sets here and here.

peppers

pepper

pepper

pepper

pepper

pepper