Sunday, April 09, 2023

Foo-tography: I am waiting for a bus


Digital picture of a couple waiting for the bus in Pacoima.

(Steps on soap box) I don't miss waiting for the bus. That act was a big part of my life and in many ways, it led me to pick up my bike because I got tired of waiting on late-night buses after getting out of evening classes in community college. Still, I remember how nervous and intimidated I was when I took it by myself to it becoming almost a second home on account of how much time I would spend on it getting around town. Since picking up photography with more intention, I caught myself noticing all the different pics I've taken of bus stops and people waiting at bus stops. In February of this year, the UCLA Lewis Center for Regional Policy Studies put out its study analyzing bus shelter provision in Los Angeles County, with a focus on how extreme heat impacts riders. If you haven't seen the study, you should, lotta amazing data and analysis that breakdowns what anyone who rides the bus regularly can speak to, it can fucking suck waiting for the bus on a hot summer day. And that's the problem. We are living through changes in weather due to global warming and that has resulted in extremely hot days. 

As the study points out, Metro and the ad agency it hired to install shelters, benches, etc. at bus stops have done a poor job of supporting riders. Waiting for the bus on a hot ass summer day with no shade went from being something that sucked to something that can kill you. And since people don't wanna die, a lot of people have stopped relying on public transportation for as many different reasons as there are people. As a former bus rider, the answer to me is simple in that Metro and all the other agencies in power need to support the people who rely on public transportation. If they dedicated their money and efforts to addressing the problems everyday bus riders face like more frequent service, shelters that provide cover from the elements, and a humane response to people that are houseless rather than funding more police, more people would be taking public transportation. It's all connected,  like some kind of Metro ouroboros! Anyway, here are a bunch of pics I've taken of people waiting at bus stops. (Steps off soap box) 

Monday, February 20, 2023

Foo-tography: Long Beach & Venice Bike Paths


During my December (2022) holiday vacation from work, I spent the first week going on hikes and hitting up beach bike paths. Since I spent October and the early part of December cooped up working from home, while also feeling general laziness from the cold, so I made it a point to get some physical activities in, and homie, lemme tell you it was hella needed. Getting out there in the morning, and breathing in that fresh air does wonders for your mental health. Also got to spend some time riding with the homies, eating out, and catching up on life conversations, which was also needed. We hit up the bike path in Long Beach and Venice to switch things up since both are in different communities and distances. I definitely need to get back to planning rides like this on a regular basis. Took my camera with me on these rides and got some great pics. Riding your bike and taking pictures is definitely a skill that is honed with practice, so be safe out there. 

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Foo-tography: The 6th Street Bridge


Hawk perched on a street light.

If you've been following me on social media, then you've seen that in the last two years or so, I picked up film photography again. The first time I picked up a film camera as an adult was in 2009 when I took a film class at East LA College. It fulfilled a requirement for my associate's degree in journalism, but I was also excited to learn how to compose and develop my own film and prints. I loved that class and the time I spent walking around with a camera, completing assignments, and learning about photography in general. For sure that class laid out the foundation for learning some of the basics and instilling a deeper appreciation for photography, both film and digital. 

So now all these years later, I can say that I am a better photographer than I was back then, but I know there is still plenty of room to continue growing and exploring what is possible and to continue developing my own style. So since I'm in this funny loop of taking pics on film, but then getting them developed and scanned so I can post them on my social media, I got to thinking about other places I can both share my pics, but also provide commentary. Then I remembered I have a blog! So I thought to myself, why not throw them up there. It'll give me another opportunity to reflect on the pics I've taken, but also an opportunity to stretch my writing muscles outside of work. With all that being said, lemme share with you what I think about these pics of the 6th street bridge.