Wandering 187

I was curious about the San Francisco Polar Plunge event so I checked it out this weekend. When I arrived at the Aquatic park, I asked the policeman what time the event started. "At noon." He replied. I checked my watch and it was only 9:30 am so I walked around the area to kill time.

Spectators at the Dash and Splash 5k Walk/Run. Aquatic Park. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Spectators at the Dash and Splash 5k Walk/Run. Aquatic Park. San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Dog trainer. Aquatic Park. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Dog Trainer. Aquatic Park. San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Wandering 186

My high school friends along with their kids and spouses held a get together picnic at the open lawn behind the oblation at University of the Philippines campus last November. I saw the kids rush to Mamang Sorbetero (Filipino Ice Cream Man) and followed them as they ordered their flavors.

University of the Philippines, Diliman QC./ ©Stella Kalaw

University of the Philippines. Diliman, QC./©Stella Kalaw

University of the Philippines, Diliman QC./ ©Stella Kalaw

University of the Philippines. Diliman, QC./©Stella Kalaw

University of the Philippines, Diliman QC./ ©Stella Kalaw

University of the Philippines. Diliman, QC./©Stella Kalaw

University of the Philippines, Diliman QC./ ©Stella Kalaw

University of the Philippines. Diliman, QC./©Stella Kalaw

The Billboard is Up!

The billboard with the image Tito Phil's Chair from the Family Spaces series went up on the corner of Mission and 14th Street in San Francisco earlier this month. Thank you to The Arts at CIIS curator Deirdre Visser for making me a part of this project.

About the Billboard Project:

In 2013 The Arts at CIIS is reaching outside the walls of the school and into the streets. Our first site is the billboard on the east side of the CIIS Main Building, visible from the highly trafficked intersection of 10th and Mission Streets. Over the course of the year, we will feature the work of ten artists, both emerging and mid-career, starting with Wendel White, Cristina de Middel, and Glynnis Reed. This forum allows us to expand our audience while inserting art into a space typically used for advertising. The curatorial focus this year is on contemporary artists navigating ideas around landscape—a landscape of memory, an emotional landscape, or a landscape of collective history.

Source: The Arts at CIIS

2013 Year End Thoughts

A few years ago, I came across an article online that had gone viral. It was called Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Wares. Every now and then, I would read the list to remind myself of what truly matters in life. This year, I realized that I needed to work on number four: I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends. The first person I thought of was Lek. I haven't seen her since she moved back to Thailand with her husband and son several years ago. I've been visiting my parents almost every year in Manila but I never seemed to have enough time to make a side trip to Bangkok to see Lek. I finally changed that this year and made the commitment in February. No matter how connected we are online, I tell you nothing beats seeing each other face to face. We just picked up where we left off. I know now not to let years lapse before seeing each other again. The same is true with my other friends. I also made trips to Los Angeles and Santa Barbara in April and back again in Manila last November. Some friends I spent time with locally when they happen to be visiting San Francisco. I feel truly blessed to have them in my life and appreciate the gift of time to be with them.

S, a graphic designer friend of T gave us a bunch of postcards this year and one of them read: stop thinking and start something. That's exactly what we did this past summer. We've been talking passionately about the incredible healing effects of eating a whole foods plant based diet that S said we should just start a small project together. We spent a lot of time in the kitchen trying out several dishes. I photographed the food while T designed the recipe cards. It's still a work in progress but you can see some of the images at my tumblr site: Shoots to Roots. My dad once told me that "Health is wealth" and I really believe that now more than ever.

On the photography front, I'm proud to say that I've hit a milestone. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (Central Bank of the Republic of the Philippines) purchased two images from the Family Spaces series last May as part of their growing permanent art collection. The email came a day before my birthday so it was a wonderful gift to have this year. BSP holds about 1,400 works of art spanning more than 200 years, from the late 18th century to the present. They began collecting major works by contemporary artists in 1971 and later expanded in the 1980's. It is considered the most significant institutional collection of Philippine art today.

As 2013 closes, I am most grateful to God for all the experiences He has blessed me. I thank Him for for giving me the strength and courage to overcome my doubts and fears. It was a difficult year emotionally especially confronting past issues head on. Thankfully, it has been resolved. I can say with certainty that I finally have peace of mind. I look forward to a productive and prosperous 2014!

Wandering 185

I was walking on Market Street towards Powell station yesterday when I saw this intense afternoon light slightly angled from the left and steam coming from the underground blowing furiously to my right. I just had to stop and photograph.

Market Street. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Market Street. San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Market Street. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Market Street. San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Wandering 184

I checked out the last Sunday Street SF event in the Richmond area yesterday. Weather was overcast with temperatures from the low to mid 60's. I suspect this was the reason why the crowds were not as dense compared to the other events I've attended during the summer months. Nonetheless, people still came out to enjoy the farmer's market, the food stalls, the local restaurants and stores along the route. There were many blocks both on Arguello and Clement streets that were empty. I had my bike with me so it was nice to ride peacefully along these areas.

Sunday Streets. Clement Street. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Clement Street. San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Clement Street. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Clement Street. San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Clement Street. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Clement Street. San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Clement Street. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Clement Street. San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Clement Street. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Clement Street. San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Deborah Turbeville: Past Imperfect

My friend JZ first introduced me to Deborah Turbeville's work while we were students at Brooks. When I first saw her images, I was blown away. I've never seen anything like it before. They were fashion pictures but they were less about the clothes but more about presenting dark and mysterious visual tales set at a certain time and space she created. Her photographs pushed the boundaries of the photographic scale with blown out highlights and blacks without details. She had a preference for blurred and loosely focused subjects to enhance a certain look, a particular point of view or emphasize an emotional moment. Exposing her creative process was part of the final product. She used contact sheets and raw polaroids which she cut, rearranged and pasted back together to form her visual narrative. She definitely opened my eyes to a different way of seeing pictures.

Here is Ms. Turbeville's own words from her latest book Past Imperfect.

The photographs on the following pages are of models who worked with me in the late 70's… They perform throughout this book as a kind of repertoire company… Little pieces that were put together like silent films… at least, the making of them…the process was very similar… It is typical of my way of thinking and working to prefer a work in progress… in this way I can play with different elements… place – light – time – space – texture –emotion (facial expression) – movement… Endless possibilities suggesting allusive stories that take you somewhere yet remain incomplete… a bit like fragmented dreams.

Publisher: Steidl

Wandering 183

I had planned to catch up some reading this afternoon but that all changed when I saw a tweet this morning that the Berkeley Sunday Street event was happening today. After lunch, I grabbed my camera and stuffed it in my small back pack. I pumped some air on the tires of my bike, packed it in the trunk together with my helmet and drove to Shattuck Avenue. I arrived at 2:00pm and had two hours to cover the entire route before it ended. There was so much going on that it was hard to dwell on every event along the way. Nonetheless, I had so much fun just taking in the moment and enjoying the lovely weather.

Sunday Streets. Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Sunday Streets. Shattuck Ave. Berkeley, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Wandering 182

It's always great to see different perspectives from fellow photographers! Here is my friend Erika Gentry's thoughts and photographs from the Black Cowboy Annual Parade last Saturday. The San Jose Mercury News also sent a photographer to capture the event. And, here are a few more of my mine.

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Wandering 181

Yesterday, Erika and I were at the Annual Oakland Black Cowboy Parade and Festival. She had mentioned it earlier in the week and I asked if I could come with her. We had so much fun! The parade was very informal that we were able to get close and take photographs as much as we wanted. Everyone was warm and friendly and I felt a real sense of community among them.

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oakland Black Cowboy Parade. West Oakland, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Wandering 179

I heard over the radio that there were some 60,000 attendees for this conference which increased the San Francisco city population by about 7%. In spite of this staggering number, I found myself uninspired to photograph what was going on around me probably because I am not a big fan of corporate america. Nonetheless, I went out there for two days with my camera and tried to get some images that were interesting to me.

Oracle Openworld Conference. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oracle Openworld conference, San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oracle Openworld Conference. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oracle Openworld conference, San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oracle Openworld Conference. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oracle Openworld conference, San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Wandering 178

Fort Funston is one of the most popular off leash dog parks in the Bay Area. It was my first time there and I couldn't believe the sheer number of dogs and their owners that packed the trail heading towards the beach. (dog traffic, literally!). I had so much fun taking all this experience in and learning about different breeds from my friend Erika who was dog sitting Lucy this past weekend. I did recall a few of them from books I've read when I was a child living in Manila. I was delighted when I was able to identify some of them correctly. I even got to play ball with Lucy at the beach. Although my throwing skills were rudimentary, she chased the ball with such vigor and brought it back sometimes with a bit of prodding. I must say it has been a long time since I had the chance to play with a dog. I really enjoyed it!

Fort Funston. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Fort Funston, San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Fort Funston. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Fort Funston, San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Fort Funston. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Fort Funston, San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Fort Funston. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Fort Funston, San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Fort Funston. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Fort Funston, San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Wandering 177

The Oracle logo has sprung up at Yerba Buena gardens today and Howard Street between 3rd and 4th is closed down. Oracle Openworld, the largest convention of the year, will be in San Francisco next week. It's going to be very crowded around town.

Oracle Openworld 2013. Yerba Buena Gardens. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oracle Openworld 2013. Yerba Buena Gardens. San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw

Oracle Openworld 2013. Howard Street. San Francisco, CA/ ©Stella Kalaw

Oracle Openworld 2013. Howard Street. San Francisco, CA/©Stella Kalaw