Is APUG alive in the Bay Area?
I am an active traditional, hobbyist photographer, working mostly in LF (4x5 and 8x10) and some MF and 35mm; mostly B&W but some E-6 as well. I live in Maine, and am somewhat spoiled by the very active New England APUG regional group. I am considering moving to the Bay Area and am a bit concerned about how alive the traditional photography scene is in the Bay Area. When I look at the regional forum, it seems like most of the posts are along the lines of 'is there anybody out there?'.
I don't live in the Bay Area, but I do visit there about once a year (our son lives there - great excuse for a visit!). While I haven't encountered an LF folks in my visits, my sense from watching both APUG and the LF Forum is that if there is a 'center of the LF universe', it is in the Bay Area
I'm not in the bay area myself anymore, but I do know of at least a half-dozen active APUG'ers who live out there, and I drag my LF kit with me anytime I get out there myself. There are still a number of decent camera stores in SF and environs - Gasser's is still around (I think), there's a Calumet in SF on Bryant street, and down in Palo Alto there is Keeble & Shuchat, which is a VERY cool place to shop.
Thanks Louie, and I would agree that it would seem that it should be that way, I am just baffled by the lack of activity on the regional discussion list. Here in NE we are frequently organizing gatherings, either to shoot, or to visit galleries or museums etc. I don't see anything like that for the bay area. Even on LFF - there seems to be very little in their Groups and Meetings section for the Bay Area. -
Originally Posted by Monophoto
I think you need to look a bit further.
There was some kind of informal group LF shoot in Golden Gate Park just this past weekend. And there is an informal discussion group that meets in a coffee shop near San Jose on a fairly regular basis that has been announced in either APUG or LFF.
And as Scott noted, there are still some real photographic stores - Keeble & Shuchat is a neat place. In addition to the three places he mentioned, there are at least two shops in Monterrey.
Finally, there are lot of active photography galleries in the Bay Area - three in Carmel, a couple in Monterrey, a few in San Francisco, and one in Mill Valley.
It would be a great place to live - if I could afford it - because in addition to the concentration of photography activities, they don't have this damn snow and ice we have to deal with in the great Northeast!
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ah...well, yeah...there are many, many folks here in the SF Bay area shooting film and enjoying real cameras and doing what we do in the darkroom.
I think you have to understand that the SF Bay area is a fairly large area - geographically speaking - and traffic often makes it seem even larger. It is also one of the most culturally diverse places on earth. We literally have people living here from practically every country in the world....and for the most part, we all seem to live together in peace and harmony.
I think that there is a enormous cultural difference between the urban areas of California and...say, the midwest too.
All these things kinda give a different flavor to every aspect of life here....not better or worse than that in the mid west or on the eastern seaboard...just different...and,...so, what I'm trying to say, is that although there are a bunch of us here, we don't tend to interact inthe same way that folks do out there...know what I mean?
Last edited by BradS; 01-07-2009 at 12:42 PM. Click to view previous post history.
Reason: greivious typos
SF is the hub to photographers in Marin/Humboldt County, the Yosemite/Sierra, and the Carmel-Monterey. Historically the center of the hub was SF Art Institute, where Minor White and Ansel Adams setup the Photographic Department.
A new local resource I found is Photo Central in Hayward, on the East-side of the Bay, where our own Vaughn teaches a workshop in Alternative Processes.
For supplies in the SF Bay Area may I suggest this thread.
Comparing ME to SF: Besides the climate, the food (sans lobster) is also better.
Last edited by Iwagoshi; 01-07-2009 at 05:30 PM. Click to view previous post history.
I do tend to be a bit insular - not from choice, just the demands on my time. I am lucky to get out with the camera or into the darkroom these days. I even live in the same city as Iwagoshi but we have not met to my knowledge 8-)
If I can get the house reorganized, we might do something.
I feel, therefore I photograph.
I'm not exactly in the bay area but I'd love to see some meet-ups down there because there surely won't be any in Sacramento and the closest place to me that might have the population base is SF.
Hi Mark, another valuable resource (and a good sign of life for traditional photography), is the Rayko Photography Center in San Francisco:
This is an incredible place with a ground-breaking gallery (I can say that because I'm showing there next month), excellent classes, a rental studio, and some of the last color and B&W rental darkrooms in the bay area. There is also an excellent digital department.
The folks at Rayko are all enthusiastic advocates of traditional photography. In fact Michael Shindler has started a collodion program there that has really taken off. So if you are in San Francisco and looking for a community of enthusiastic and like-minded creative people, I recommend that you do some work at Rayko's facilities or take one of their classes. It has been a great experience for me.