San Francisco (as viewed from a cable car)


A couple months ago, I had just finished reading Girl With the Camera by Carolyn Meyer (which is a phenomenal book, by the way. I highly recommend it if you’re into the history of photography, specifically the women of it) and was overtaken by a desire to take photos documenting something bigger than just me or those surrounding me. So naturally, I turned to my dad and said, with great enthusiasm, “I want to photograph a protest” (Which are words that I’m sure every parent wants to hear).

So I started researching photojournalism, and the women associated with it, and I stumbled upon a couple different pages on Instagram that were completely centered around the women of street photography. Now, I had heard of street photography, but I had never really understood it up until this point. While browsing one of these pages, I discovered that there was an exhibition call going on at that time. Not being one to back away from a new challenge, I immediately made plans to go out and experiment with street photography techniques.

Now, being an extreme introvert and therefore an avid people-watcher, I’d like to think that I’m good at spotting interesting people. Naturally then, when I started thinking about places that I particularly enjoyed people-watching, and my mind immediately went to San Francisco (along with Sacramento and literally any airport). My dad, being the cool person that he is, offered to sacrifice his day off and was even willing to give me pointers on where he thought I could get the best photo opportunities since he knows the area better than I do.

So bright and early on the fifth of October, we set off to catch the BART into San Francisco, and then proceeded immediately from the BART to the nearest cable car. While on the first cable car I was able to sit while I took photos, I didn’t have that luxury the whole time. I will say, it was an interesting new experience to take photos one-handed while using the other hand to grip for dear life onto the side of a cable car while going downhill as cars go by. I recommend it actually, it’s quite freeing, especially if you’ve never done it before.

Once we got closer to Ocean Avenue, we got off for awhile and started walking around.

It just so happened that we were in the city on the perfect day to make my wish of photographing a protest come true. Thankfully, it was peaceful and it happened to be a cause I agree with.

There was a citywide labor union strike on the day we were there.

After exploring for a bit, we hopped in line for the cable car yet again, which at this point had been delayed for so long it was about a forty-five minute wait. However, what we didn’t know was that the day we were visiting happened to be the day that the Blue Angels were performing, as it happened to be San Francisco Fleet Week. So while we were there waiting for what would have normally been an uncomfortably long time, having such an incredible photo opportunity while I was in possession of my zoom lens took the sting out significantly.

At least I’ve got photos for next Memorial Day covered!

We did eventually manage to get on the cable car, and we gradually began to make our way back to the BART station, and then headed home.

Thanks to whoever did end up reading this, even if it was kind of a mess. You can look forward to more of these in the future. I look forward to seeing you then.


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