Journalism and News

Kamala Harris Presidential Campaign Launch Rally

You can’t be what you can’t see. – Marian Wright Edelman On Sunday, January 27, 2019, California Senator Kamala Harris officially launched her 2020 presidential campaign at Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland. Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf introduced Harris in front of City Hall. According to various reports, the Oakland Police Department estimated more than […]

Let Oakland Be Oakland Again

  I was invited to Annie Campbell Washington’s “Farewell Party” at the Old Kan Beer & Company. I brought my camera. Someone else brought the photo booth.   I took a few photos. I recommend viewing them as a slideshow. Annie is not really going away. After thirteen years working for the City of Oakland, […]

Hornet Lunar Eclipse

If you live in North America, you may have missed the total lunar eclipse last weekend. The eclipse was visible throughout the rest of the world and it was also the longest total eclipse of the century. Six months ago, my children and I viewed a total lunar eclipse near our Bay Area home. We […]

The 39th Annual Carnaval San Francisco – Heart

Carnaval San Francisco On May 28th, 2017, I photographed the 39th Annual Carnaval San Francisco Grand Parade in the Mission District. The parade lineup included about 70 groups. I took about 1600 pictures. My final edited photo gallery has fewer pictures, but you should check for yourself. 2013 In 2013, 2014 and (again in 2015), […]

Songs for California

“I’m out to sing the songs that will prove to you that this is your world, no matter what color, what size you are, or how you were built.” Woody Guthrie Yesterday I drove to the Central Valley to photograph the Fresno County Blossom Trail. I wanted to reconnect with the part of myself that […]

State Champion Parade

The McClymonds High School Warriors won their first state football championship on December 17, 2016. On Friday January 6, 2017, Oakland celebrated at City Hall and West Oakland. I attended their last playoff game with my son and his friend. (McClymonds lost to Sacred Heart Prep in the Northern California final on 12/12/15.) I also […]

Oakland Ghost Ship Fire

Updated December 29, 2016; originally posted December 9, 2016. I have started writing at 11:25 pm. About this time one week ago, a fire started in a warehouse two miles from my home. Thirty six people died. I visited the Ghost Ship Fire memorials in the Fruitvale District a few times this week. Even though […]

Two Looks at World War 2

World War II ended seventy-one years ago today. Japan officially surrendered on the USS Missouri a couple weeks later, so some people might consider September 2, 1945 as the official VJ Day. This discrepancy is just one small example of the problems with writing history. Even when the victor writes history, the stories are not simple […]

The Photo Book of Questions?

Must news be new? Is five years too soon? If a picture is worth a thousand words, how much is a photo book worth? Five years ago, I taught at San Marin High School in Novato, California. From the moment I applied for the position on August 16th, 2010, until my last day at the […]

School and Basketball

This post is about three basketball games that all occurred on March 2nd. I photographed two of the games. The other game was played in 1962. When I was in 5th grade, I remember taking a standardized reading comprehension test. We read a short story about Wilt Chamberlain scoring 100 points against the New York Knicks. We […]

Occupy Some Things

Four years ago, I published a blog post about the local Occupy Oakland General Strike. The main protest started in downtown Oakland on the morning of November 2, 2011. Before I arrived at the protest, I captured images that I thought would illustrate a different part of the “income inequality” story. I visited the city of Piedmont, California and photographed the […]

Mayors Lives Matter

One month ago today, Libby Schaaf became Oakland’s 50th mayor. The Inauguration Ceremony was pure Oakland. She rode into office in a Burning Man snail car; she was met at the Paramount Theater by sharp dressed protesters and journalists. (I would like to think that I was both a sharp dressed protester and a journalist, but […]

Back at Mack to Pay it Back

Have you heard the expression Pay it Forward? In the right context, it is actually a nice idea. People deposit acts of kindness into a karma bank, and somehow the universe knows when we need a return favor. Sometimes I “Pay it Forward,” but I did not visit McClymonds High School on September 12, 2014 […]

Getting Closer to Maxwell Park – Judy Salamon

A year ago today, I taught a photography workshop in San Francisco. The students practiced “getting closer.“ I encouraged participants to acknowledge discomfort and create support networks. As I wrote last year,  “Photographers build bridges to people who are lonely,” but we often forget to build our own bridges. Three months after the workshop, I photographed a neighborhook […]

Earth Day and Cousteau’s Ocean Futures

Today is Earth Day. On the first Earth Day in 1970, the modern environmentalist movement had just started. In late January of 1969, the largest oil spill in United States history occurred in Santa Barbara, California.  The Santa Barbara Oil Spill would remain the largest US oil spill until the Exxon Valdez struck Bligh Reef on […]

Spring Forward Part 1 – Art of Gaman Continued

It is a few minutes past midnight on Sunday March 9, 2014. I have just returned home from Fresno County and I decided to post my photos from my last Fresno County visit. I wanted to post while it was still International Women’s Day, because this story reveals something unexpected about the struggle for liberty. […]

Keep Calm and March On – Season Openers

On Saturday March 1, I attended two season openers. One was a campaign and the other was a sporting event. There is probably a cheap joke here, but neither event felt cheap. In the morning, I attended Libby Schaaf’s “Libby for Mayor Oakland Campaign Kickoff.” (I took a few hundred pictures; here is the edited […]

Sharing Valentine’s Day with Steinbeck

A journey is a person in itself… We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us. – John Steinbeck Sometimes I have to let go. Too much happened in February. I want to understand it and explain all of it. Now. I want to explain one February […]

Art of Gaman – Starting a New Project

While I maintain the romantic belief that I can change the world with my pictures, I know from experience that meaningful long term photo projects usually change me more than the other way around. I can already feel the transformation now that I have started a new project about the Japanese American Internment Camp and The Art of Gaman. Before a […]

Putting It Together – Hot Couture First Runway Show

Last weekend, I photographed The Crucible’s 15 annual fashion show in Oakland, California. The Crucible is an arts education non-profit that promotes collaboration. Here are my photos from Runway Show 1. As an art educator, I appreciate the collaborative process. I also understand that if something is easy, it probably is not art. Nothing about […]

Maxwell Park Neighborhood Candlelight Vigil

Be careful what you wish for… it may come true. On Thursday evening I was relaxing in my Maxwell Park home noticing the stillness. My life has been busy recently and I missed the excitement. About five minutes later, two neighbors walked past our house and mentioned a memorial service for a neighbor who had […]

Tommie Smith 2013 Youth Track Meet

I met Tommie Smith on Saturday during the tenth annual 2013 Tommie Smith Youth Track Meet.  The two day meet occurred at Edwards Stadium on the University of California campus. I am still excited. I meet interesting people almost every day, and I met many interesting people during the track season, but Tommie Smith is […]

National Walk for Epilepsy

Dorothy Gale! This morning when I woke up in my own bed, I finally had an explanation to my recent eight day odyssey. I had survived three (?) Emerald Cities in eight days. I photographed two epilepsy awareness walks (Here are photos from yesterday’s National Walk for Epilepsy). My adventure included lions and super shuttles […]

Theme Songs for a Simple Life or Bad Funeral

I visited the San Joaquin Valley twice in March to photograph the Fresno Country Blossom Trail and surrounding area. Compare my photos from the first visit and the second visit. During the drive to and through the valley, I reflected on ”being from the Valley” while listening to the radio. On my first visit, a local radio […]