Neighborhood photo zine launch

This month has been a run away of Bay Area Burger stops, SF Photo Junkets, and camera f-stops – – when it comes to creating more photography in town.

Stanley’s Pop-up Burger Nights on Monday at the New Taraval Cafe, really brough down the house. Bringing in all kinds of dormant foodies who were jonzen for probably one of the best burgers on Taraval street. 🍔

When it comes to photo education, Dave Buchanan and I teamed up, to create some video for the Sunset Neighborhood photo zine project. He was shooting the interviews with his Sony 7cii with Nikon 50 f/2 rig – – a nice digital-analogue combo// I snuck in some CineStock 800T shots at El Cafe – – to round out the digital-film making experience. 🎬

Photo Still from zine – – Verve Jazz album edition

And today, The Avengers: ‘End Game’ is being released on Blue-ray. Gotta get out to the local Perestroika Target store and pick up a copy 😜 ~ !

#photozine #photo-education #sanfrancisco #parkside-sunset #story-telling

All Quiet on the Parkside Front

El Cafe on Taraval street is a prime location to check out the neighb’s tasty coffee & panini sandwiches

June is at the halfway point, and although it doesn’t feel like summer in San Francisco, the fog just off the Pacific coastline reminds us of that. Summer prefers to come in October. Perhaps, the House Stark of Winterfell’s words, would be appropriate.

Winter is here.. so to speak.

So, if you have a chance to make it into El Cafe on Taraval street, you may be greeted by an energized barista who I once struck up a conversation with because he had a cool green Gucci t-shirt on that looked like the Green Lantern (DC comics).

Brandon serves up what he calls ‘a Cool White Deuce’, his own stylized espresso drink with ice. When he’s at the helm, he plays 80’s music– El cafe takes on an Mtv Cafe atmopshere and one can feel the good vibes happening here.

Just out the front door of the cafe, exsists a whole world on Taraval street worth investigating. Picking up a camera and shooting is a fun way to see the place from a different perspective. Nearby McCoppin Park has lush follage and trees, and one can forget they’re in an urban place like San Francisco.

Walking up and down the Parkside Sunset Merchant Corridor, you can see some old lots, in need of new businesses, or those restaurants who still have the signage ‘Grand Openings’, that last for years.

‘The 8 Immortals Restaurant’, actually did just re-open, earlier this year, and it’s a favorite Chinese place for local Parkside neighbors who are lunch special ‘specialists’. Where decent price meets tasty food meets value felt.

On the educational front, the Sunset District of San Francisco, has many schools in the area, like Lowell, Lincoln High School, and Hoover Middle School – who’s students like to come into the Parkside Neighborhood, and hang out. And who some, I’m told, are looking for part-time work experience with local merchants on Taraval street.

At the end of ‘The Game of Thrones’ Arya, found her calling on the open road, uhm, sea! The Parkside Merchant Corridor, here in San Francisco, has decent shopping, good restaurants, has some interesting places to visit with great photo opps! – – and it’s near the Pacific Ocean.

From the neighborhood film-strip 🎞

Street photography, in any part of the world, requires a little bit of photographic skill, but really, a lot of willingness to give yourself over to the serendipity of the moment. Like the flow of Japanese Koi swimming through the stream..

If you find yourself in an urban or even suburban environment, the neighborhood can hold different kinds of shooting challenges, as to how to photograph what you see around you, but that’s just it, find yourself in your own topography, get a camera that feels comfortable, a film stock that has a pleasing grain and aesthetic for storytelling, and let your sense of adventure take over..

For me, your storyteller, blog writer, and photographer, I’ve been diggin on shooting with a simple Contax G1 Range Finder Camera, with a 45mm Carl Zeiss lens. That medium focal length gives me the comfort of knowing what I’m going to get, and frees me up to be more creative with my personality and camera action. I don’t loose a beat, and as I’m talking with people at the coffee shop, for example, I can capture the action, just outside the window. The film stock I’m using these days is Ilford Black & White, which gives me that grit and contrast that puts me in the mood to tell stories, and see things just a little bit differently.

It all begins with those Martial Arts guys showing up and presenting their powers.. what they can do

And hey, they’ve got to have some decent wheels to get around
Scooter Nation
And a place to learn about photography.. with great coffee.. no back talk !
Watch out for Muni! – – Ra’s al Ghul in the ‘Dark Knight’ movie series, tells Bruce Wayne, the crime-fighter in training, ‘and always be aware of your surroundings’

And for all you photography & Marvel Films fans, ‘The Avengers: End Game’ arrives at theaters: April 26h.

Coffee & Comics: Hard Travelin’ Heroes Deluxe Edition

I’ve got a buddy in town, it’s great to have him staying at me place: because we’re having a kind of outer Sunset Comic book & Coffee Summit. As we scroll around the neighborhood in his hybrid, we talk about how this is our version of being that 10 year old and going into a convenient store, and buying that 3 pack of Marvel comics for 75. cents .  

But this time, we’re going into my local comic book store, Amazing Fantasy, and picking up a substantial bit of graphic novels to read – anything ranging from Death or Glory_volume 1, Fear Agent, to Moonshine vol I, to the Green Lantern/Green Arrow to Pearl, to a Wonder Woman/Batman one-off. Amazing Fantasy is truly an inner Sunset experience, in which the proprietor, knows all of his inventory, and is able to meet you where your comic book tastes are, or would like to be. This time he turns us onto some new titles.

With my life partner in Hong Kong, visiting her family, and taking care of some of her Teaching Business, she recommended that my Tokyo Travel buddy and I get together and have a little time in the neighbs, here in San Francisco.

Since it’s the Parkside Neighborhood of the Outer Sunset, there’s lots of really good Chinese food – such as the Kingdom of Dumpling. This place really feels like some of the Dumpling places, I used to go to, while living and teaching in Taiwan, with my brother. Authentic, quaint, and ‘tasty’ steaming dumplings and ‘no back talk’ (like the Coffee People slogan, in Portland, Oregon)

and of course there’s the classic Cheung Hing Restaurant on Noriega street

Having a little free time in the outer Sunset with my friend, Algis, provided us with some adult-time, that took us back to the feelings of those small and homey neighborhoods we grew up in.

Street Photography Presentation

Today, I was over at Looking Glass Photo in Berkely, California, watching a presentation on Street Photography by Valerie Jardin. It was quite inspirational as she talked about her approach from pre-visualization to the snapping of the photograph, in the decisive moment. She stressed, setting up all of your settings like black and white or color, JPG, focal length, prior to shooting so as to ‘get the photo in camera’ — not much post-processing is needed. She shoots primarily with the Fujifilm X100F w 23mm lens and the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 w 35mm f/2.0 lens. 📷

After the Street Photography presentation, I had a delicious Pesto & Chicken sandwhich at Berkely Bowl, with ‘Ansel Adams’, who appeared to be walking around the place – apparition, inspiration, or guiding star 🌟- it made me wish to pursue shooting more film photography! 🎞

And then I’d like to bring both digital & film photography education to students and media professionals alike, here in the burgeoning Sunset Parkside District of San Francisco. 

Andytown photo espresso ☕️

PicMonkey Collage copy

These days in the Sunset District of San Francisco, it seems there all kinds of specialty shops opening up, from the vinyl shop of Tunnel Records & Beach Goods, to the Seven Stills and Hard Frescos to Underdog’s too.

San Franciscans like variety, and expect their shopping and foodie options to reflect their sensibilities and eccentric Bay Area tastes.  We do have a lot of options living in the Bay Area, and so these little commercial neighborhoods, must offer something special, to lure people in.

My new job is working for the People of Parkside Sunset, as their assistant administrator, helping small business write grants, and generally just working with merchants in the neighborhood to improve the flow of people traffic to the area.

It’s clear the outer Sunset, is attracting all kinds of boutiques, niche arts shops, and bring some of the culinary uniques from places like the Mission District & SOMA, to this once sleepy urban Suburb.

In my off hours, I often like to go to the local artisan coffee shops, and enjoy the espresso drinks and coffee pour overs, and meet with the event coordinators from the area. And once in awhile I get to meet with some of my old photo industry colleagues, and talk all things  photography & gear.

By the end of our meetings, it kind of feels like a little Photo Boutique Pop-up just happened, and although informal, it feels like the vibe of 35mm film photography and digital workflow has just flowed over this spot  like that coffee pour over.


Tunnel Records & Beach Goods



Capturing Urban Angles | photo learning module

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San Francisco Mission Dolores District

Doing some shooting around the Mission, with a Nikon Tilt Shift lens, to change perspective through varying focal lengths. I call these little outings ‘Photo Dirges’ , and they’re quite fun to get to try out new cameras and lenses to see what you come up with..

Media Internship on Taraval St.

The POPS internship ended today, with the final efforts of Raymond Thai and Dylan Essex who edited this documentary piece; about their learning experience. Great job! gents, I think the social media, photography & video skills you exhibited, during the training, will take you far.. 😎

2nd Intern Social Media Activity: learning to write blurbs for blogs


When Avengers Infinity War was released, the world was shocked. Now everyone awaits the next Marvel movies to see if they will release answers. Many shocking deaths and scenes were revealed in the movie as a cliff hanger. As we wait and look forward to  Avengers “End Game”. [written content example: using popular films]


The story of the MYEEP and POPS internship: recently, actually on May 23rd, my birthday, I was hired by the People of Parkside Sunset in San Francsico, to work as their administrative assistant. POPS is a local outer Sunset merchant association that performs many tasks that support local businesses and the district 4 supervisor’s office.

Chief amongst their purpose, is to administer an OEWD grant to the outer sunset events that are put on every year by local merchants. A big event coming up is the Movies at McCoppin, run by my friend and boss, Albert Chow. Every Friday in October, there is an outdoor movie at McCoppin park. This year, 4 movies will be featured: Hidden Figures, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Wonder Woman and Coco will be played for local SF residents.

Movie flier mock-design.jpg

[Mock Movie Event Poster: created by media interns]

So, one of the great things about POPS is that they paired up with MYEEP, a government organization, that helps place high school interns into worksites to get summer work experience, to place interns within the POPS organization.

At POPS, we needed some help building out our social media web presence, so we put our interns to work creating more and contemporary social media channels, and began looking at rebuilding the POPS web site.

We were successful at adding some more channels, and figuring out the best way to cover local events through photography, video and content writing. I’m proud of what the interns accomplished over the two months of the program, and I think our leader, Albert was also pleased with our progress, and could see how these young guys could breath new life into local businesses with their ability to use social media to bring people to the area.



The Waves of Southern Oregon

Brookings Oregon Kodak 200ASA film

Last November, my wife, Paula Mak, and I made a trip back to Oregon, to Brookings, to be exact, to enjoy an American Holiday, Thanks Giving. If you’re not familiar with the christian holiday, it’s a time, in which, we give thanks for what we have — christians during the time of harvest, gave thanks for the crops that nature had yielded.

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So, in that tradition, or, in the art world, I’m thankful, for the photographs, I received, hum.. had taken, with my 35mm film camera loaded with Kodak 160 ASA Portra film.

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These days, I’m mostly shooting film, because I like the results it’s giving me – the grain, the color, the lighting contrast.. it just seems like you can feel the grain of the negative once you’ve committed your image to film.

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Also,  because, you’re limited by the amount of shots you have, 12, 24 or 36 frames, it makes the process of capturing your image, quite special. It requires a fair amount of skill and for sures, a bit of luck.

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I felt lucky on this trip back to where I grew up in Southern Oregon, and the lighting conditions here show that. I’m also lucky to see my entire family, basically, thriving and sharing their gifts — for my brothers, that’s their beloved children.

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For me, here is my wife, Paula, ever present on my photo shoots, and my best friend in travel and making a life in San Francisco. She loves photography also. Behind her, is my sister-in-law, Julie and her little one, Genevieve.

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This here, is Paul Mansfield, the man with his sturdy Nikon F100 camera and a Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5 – f/5.6 lens. His niece, Maddy, is the subject of his photography.


Oh yea, and if you’re tuned into wanting to see a remarkable piece of American-British Cinema, Dunkirk is a captivating movie: shot entirely on 70mm film and IMAX by Christopher Nolan and his crew. It takes place during a critical time when Great Britain was in the clutches of the Nazi invasion. The story embodies what came to be known as ‘The Dunkirk Spirit.’

aight, happy shooting tomodachi!
(tomodachi = ‘friends’ in Japanese)

😸 — 📷