We are fortunate here in Oakland to have several very talented Mural Artists. I drove by this mural yesterday, made a U-turn, parked, and took several shots.
At first glance from the car, this appears to be straight out of my childhood nightmares. So much so that I wondered if the artist, whom I have never met, had a window into the horrors of my brain. This mural is HUGE, painted, as you can see, on 2 sides of the building, and probably 15 feet tall.
From the car, this portion was all that I saw. It is terrifying.
Up close, I saw the full mural.
This mural completely overwhelms you. But once I had gotten up close, I noticed this small courageous figure and the forrest of stark trees, which hadn’t been noticeable from the car.
This young boy, standing up to the wild, fantastical beast, is showing so much bravery, that you think that he just might prevail. He must be terrified inside, but he continues to stand, recorded in paint on a wall. It ends up being a powerful symbol not only of courage, but of resistance. I suspect the world is in desperate need such symbols, haunting though they may be.
I had tried to capture this skylight several months ago with my DSLR and standard lens. Due to the fact that the skylight isn’t flat on the top, I found that if one part of the skylight was in focus, another part wasn’t. And since I was standing on the floor, I couldn’t simply back up to create more space between me and the object. I finally packed it in and figured that I’d come back to it another time. The skylight is in one of our local Peet’s coffee stores, so I knew it would be no problem to come back and drink more delicious coffee. However the next time I was in, I didn’t have my camera with me. So I took a chance and took the shot with my phone. I was shocked at how perfectly it turned out. The ceiling registered as a deep, smooth black, and I had purposely angled the shot a little bit. The result is that the “walls” of the skylight, and the skylight itself appear to be floating in space – a very Salvador D’alí effect that I absolute love. The black of the ceiling would normally be considered negative space. And yet if I cropped off the black area, the result of seeing only the skylight would have produced a completely unremarkable photograph. Instead, I have a photo that I want to hang on my wall.
Click on each photo to enlarge. Also, see if you can find two reflections of me taking these photos with my phone.
Also Posted for Six on Saturday
Images: Hannah Keene 2019
Some images may appear to be so similar as to be the same, however, if you look closely, they are not. Some show more, or different, reflections than others, or show more of the inside structure of the shop. Enjoy!
I live in a city so my Lakeshore photos are going to be a bit different than most. We are incredibly lucky here in Oakland, California to have Lake Merritt available to all residents and visitors. Lake Merritt is in fact a natural salt water lagoon, although with the construction of a dam in 1865 between the estuary of the San Francisco Bay and the tidal lagoon, water levels of the lake were able to be more controlled. That means that the salinity of the lake could be reduced, opening the lake not only to wetland birds but also to fresh water fowl such as ducks. Over the last 100+ years, the land around the lake has been build up with apartments and high rise offices buildings. None-the-less, Lake Merritt offers respite, wild life, and sanctuary for all who come. It is known as The Jewel of Oakland.
Here is a daytime view of the lake taken from the north shore looking south east toward some of the wetlands.
This photo was taken from the north-east end of the lake, looking toward the western shore.
And finally, looking toward the south western shore at twilight.