Nikon F2’s maiden voyage

While shopping with my wife, in the neighborhood, I met this lovely woman, Mercedes. Turns out she’s originally from Nicaragua and has been living in the states since she was 18. She so appreciates this country and what it has done for her. She says she never would’ve had the opportunities like owning her own house, had she stayed in her home country.

Paula Mak

The situation started, where she was getting back in her car, after shopping at the Sunset Super Market. She was giving me a friendly reminder, to not forget my 35mm Nikon camera, which was just sitting idly up on top of a News paper machine.

Sunset Super Market

I had been taking test photos with my newest vintage film camera acquisition, The Nikon F2. We struck up a conversation in both Spanish and English. Ended up speaking mostly English, but she gave me such an invigorating story of gratitude about her life here in the USA.


She asked my name, I gave it to her, Paul Mansfield, I told her that I was a photographer. I asked her if
I could take her photograph, she was more than happy to oblige me. As I was snapping my first
photos with the Nikon F2, equipped with Nikkor 50mm f/1.4 AI lens, she sadly told me,
she has 3 forms of cancer happening to her, but that she’s ready to face her mortality. It’s her time
she said. I admire Mercedes for her candidacy and openness, which makes taking someone’s
picture all the more easier.

Her main sentiment was her gratitude of being allowed to live such a blessed life here in the states.
She told me she lives down in her home on Taraval street. Hope I get to run into her again. I plan to have
this roll of Black & White Ilford Delta Pro 400 film developed at The I’d like these photographs
to be part of the neighborhood portraits series I’m currently shooting. & include it on my new business website Popzeit Arts & Edu. Would Love to give Mercedes a print as well.

Paul Mansfield
July 4th, 2020
The Shire 🏡

MujiFilm Spring Journal

This passage could be called something like ‘a Chance Meeting with the Basque woman in South San Francisco’ — because in..

Early March, as I was practicing cinematography along 19th & Sloat ave. Those houses just had this beautiful old 1930’s architectural feel. They caught my eye, and as I shot movies of them, it put me in the mood of a being in another era. I ran into this lady, Nadine Goyhenetche, who was inquiring to what I was doing with this big clunky iPhone & army khaki fishing hat on.

As Nadine and I got to know each other, it was evident just how passionate she was about her Basque roots, and she is a regular attendee at the feasts that are put on at The Basque Cultural Center.

The conversation moved onto photography. She shared with me that she knew this rather well-known photographer, Michael Collopy, who has shot portraits of many fascinating people, including producing a book, entitled ‘Works of Love and Peace’ Mother Teresa of Calcutta and the Missionaries of Charity’ – – which connects with one of Nadine’s passions, her Catholic faith and admiration of people who are helping the world.

I shared with her that my wife Paula Mak, is currently designing the curriculum for advanced English courses at Holy Name middle school. Nadine loved the idea of my wife being so closely involved with the education of students in the Sunset Area, and it re-affirmed her belief that life is full of gifts, and she wished to give me a gift on that day, by connecting me to the storied photographer, Michael Collopy.

Video spec: I was shooting with my iPhone XR handheld. I was using the Pro Cam 7 app – – which gives the photographer more manual controls versus the native camera on the iPhone.

Hohem iSteady Mobile Plus Smartphone Gimbal

The next time I begin shooting, I am going to tryout the new Hohem Gimbal that my wife and I picked up to give us a more professional tools for producing the YouTube video channel we’re both teaming up on.

Cinema Bit: the soundtrack music was used on the 1st movie clip

One thing I really liked about the Road to Perdition, by Sam Mendes, was that the emotional gravity of the characters, the father-son relationship was embedded in the action and the visual storytelling – – the story of the heist, of getting even with the mob boss who wronged the protagonist and his family, becomes an ‘on the road story’ about a father and son becoming to understand one another.

And when things have improved enough during the re-opening of our communities and businesses, here in the Bay Area, I’d really like to attend one of those Basque feasts at the Basque Cultural Center in South San Francisco. There just might be a lot to celebrate, people coming back together, and learning about new cultures, and new horizons..

MujiFilm Winter Journal

Klamath Lakes Photo Pop-up

Last Winter, I was working as both a grant writer and educational coordinator, for the POPS nonprofit organization in the Sunset District of San Francisco. I rather like serving the neighborhood in this way, because I could help small businesses thrive and I also got the chance to teach middle school students from nearby schools, about things like public service, the nonprofit world, and photo journalism. The photo journalism part is an old fashioned term I use to describe writing social media shares today. Hopefully, the education I provided helped these students with critical thinking & to be thoughtful about what they put out into the world.

Sunset Photo Walk in the neighborhood

Since I like to explore in my own hood in search of garage sales, I found a household of SF State type students, who had this Art Cooperative garage sale format, in front of their house. I met this cheery guy named Carlo, who works for the Leica SF shop in town. Bing! We hit it off right away. He liked the classic Photo Journalism curriculum I was developing for the POPS Seasonal Internship, and said he wouldn’t mind being a guest teacher at one of my photography workshops in the future. 

Leica M6 Range Finder camera

Since Carlo works at Leica and likes to shoot with the M6 35mm film camera, I shared with him my chosen walk-around camera: the Contax G1 range finder. The WWII photographer Robert Capa, apparently, switched from Leica to Contax cameras, during his tenure. I would love to tryout shooting with a Leica at some point. These days, I am shooting with CineStill 50D daylight film. (see below)

I purchased my Contax G1 Range Finder camera at Camera West
5$ grab bag of photo trinkets from garage sale

I found my treasure in Carlo’s Photography bin: there were pins, patches, stickers & a cool-looking filmic booklet. He gave me deal at 5.$ I picked up a little inspiration that day to keep moving forward with my photography & storytelling presence in the neighborhood. I shared these wares with my middle school interns, and they have been encouraging me to set-up shop on line, ever since.  

Popzeit CineStill 50D current photo zine issue | 5$ photo zines featured at Etsy Paul’s Boutique

Vintage Shopping: The Family Way

Paula Mak exploring at HOV in Portland

Beginning this year, my passion for Vintage clothing surfaced again. And life would have it that, we were traveling to places like Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Washington where my brother introduced us to a place called, House of Vintage.

‘Vintage Finds’

Portland has such an original flair for lifestyle, with that Pacific Northwest vibe running through it. Whatever kind of boutique shopping you entertain, you’re bound to discover a unique shopping experience in any neighborhood.

In Vancouver Washington too, House of Vintage, has another shop, but this one has many different ‘personalized’ booths, that feature individual Vintage sellers’ wears. What makes these booths interesting, is that they’re all very carefully curated, and show off the individuality of the proprietor and particular taste in their Vintage finds.

John has a nose for 60’s style button snap shirts
WWII B3 Bomber’s Jackets hanging from the rafters

For my end, in all of this, I had wanted to discover a WWII Bomber’s Jacket that might have looked like something I would’ve worn in high school. I found several, but they didn’t quite fit right, or they were a little stale, but just none of the ones I tried on, felt like they suited my style & comfort needs.

Even mom got into the act

My wife, Paula, suggested I go on line, and find a more contemporary version, that would have modern day sizes and fittings. She was right, because, the next time we came to Vancouver, we were shopping with my mom, and my mom also has a nose for deals, and while we were shopping for a green ruby for her at Kohl’s, I just happen to find the perfect modern facsimile of a WWII Bombers jacket that I was looking for.

The Levi G1 Bombers Jacket + Hoody hybrid: perfect choice for these modern times

So between, shopping with my brother, John, who has quite authentic tastes and knows his way around Portland Proper, and my mom in Vancouver Wash, and my wife, Paula’s sensible sensibilities, I was able to locate a leather jacket that made me feel like I was back in the driver seat, of my styles, and lifestyle moves. It was a family affair on both sides of the Columbia River, this Winter.

Just around the corner, does lay a vintage gem, staring back at us, waiting for
a home or neckline to be worn on

Vintage shopping does require patience and a sense of imagination, to procure that most unusual garment, or vinyl choice. It’s not for everyone, but if you have the curiosity and sense of adventure, it can lead to amazing fashion originality. And at the very least influence some of the style choices we make with current day garments.

Parkside Photo Pop-up 📷

Once again, my photo comrade, DB, and I had found ourselves, planted down in the Parkside neighbs, drinking coffee at the new Boavida shop & later cruising vinyl and cassette tapes at their sister-store, Tunnel Records.

Dave’s shooting with a digital Fujifilm XT2

Even though we both shoot digital, we like to mix it up with all things analog, because as Dave put’s it, ‘this Leica has soul’

During these Parkside Sunset Photo Junkets, Dave and I often talk about influences on our photography. For Dave, the Rock Photography of Jim Marshall has a look & feel that inspires him. And it follows, that after zippin out on espresso and scones, we head down to a well-stocked vinyl shop like Tunnel Records.

Photograph by Jim Marhsall

We get to put our musical tastes into action, as photographic ideas spin around our collective artist’s imagination. We make a morning of it, and usually walk away with new motivation to shoot more, film or digital. And of course, a new piece of vinyl or a cassette tape.

Boavida Cafe & Tunnel Records are both located in the Sunset District of San Francisco, on the corner of Taraval at 46th avenue

Muji Film Notes

specs: Canon AE-1 w 50mm , FujiPress 800 ASA

The thing about travel photography, is it’s a freeing up kind of thing: one’s in a different land, everything’s fresh, even your perspective is keen. While in Tokyo, I would employ this ‘Noh Look Photography’ where you conceal your camera gear, and put on your traveler’s hat, and just experience Japan for awhile.

Walking around Shinjuku on this night, it was so packed, I could hardly move, let alone make a frame on something. Then out of the corner of my eye, I saw this interesting couple walking along..

and it all happened so fast, you don’t have any time to set your camera up, you just have to pull-up and shoot. And hope you got the shot.

In this case, I had my camera settings set up for what I wanted. Now it would just be up the film labs at Yodabashi to develop it.  

photo taken in the Shinjuku District of Tokyo Japan

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.