Documenting the Streetscape

Test Shot for Streetscape Series

Yesterday’s post had me opening my big fat mouth about the sorry state of Albany’s commercial streetscapes. The rant led up to my mention of a project to photograph the retail zones in Albany in their entirety. Once one starts talking like that, one becomes committed to undertaking the project. And if I don’t, I know somebody else will.

Today, I took a couple test shots, and here’s how my approach is shaping up. I want to have a consistent scale across all the shots, so I am going to try to do it entirely with the 35mmf/1.8 and shoot from across the street. On my D300s this ends up being a 50mm angle of view. I will at least start out using a tripod to get the sharpest and most consistent results possible.While I admit I have an axe to grind, I don’t want to intrude too much into the frame, so I hope to take a kind of documentarian “just the facts, ma’am” approach.

I plan to shoot all of San Pablo Ave from the El Cerrito border to the Berkeley Border, and Solano Ave from San Pablo to the Berkeley border. I’m going to try to shoot at regular intervals, about 12 to 14 paces, so that’s going to be a lot of photographs.

It would be nice if it were overcast for that nice even light. Not likely to get that for awhile, at least not without rain. I’ll shoot the west side of the street in the morning hours, and the east side in the late afternoon. Mutatis mutandis for Solano.

Wasn’t there an artist who did a piece where he photographed all of Sunset Blvd.? This is like that, only quainter and more family-friendly.