San Francisco, My Cut

A local photographer shoots impassioned street art, improbable angles, haunting waterfronts, and other slices of San Francisco as he's come to know it.

About the photographer
After 13 years in San Francisco, David Fenton is finally back home in Oakland, Calif. His clients include Sunset, Rhino Records, and Adidas; find out more at davidfenton.com.


Photo captions
1 The Castro Theatre has shifted its tone over the past few years—think less provocative Fassbinder films and a lot more Little Mermaid sing-alongs—but with a marquee like that and a working Wurlitzer organ, complaining just doesn't feel right. Photo

2 I love this: multiple generations making their way up a Chinatown hill, with the old gods cheering them on from above. Photo

3 Maybe it helps to be a photographer to appreciate the web of streetcar cables in the city. Look up and there's an ever-changing grid, each little rectangle its own framed image—for as long as you're standing still. Photo

4 Yerba Buena Gardens is S.F.'s answer to NYC's Bryant Park—a well-managed little green zone in the middle of all the bustle, where people with day jobs manage to fall asleep at lunchtime. Photo

5 Not all graffiti is created equal. I can't even begin to wonder what this means; the artist asked first, anyway. Photo

6 There are a LOT of hookahs for sale on Haight Street, but no one's ever offered to sell me flavored tobacco. The hookahs do carry an element of mystique, however, that a row of bongs just can't deliver. Photo

7 I came here to shoot a sunrise that never really happened. Hours later, it looked exactly the same. But then again, maybe the S.F. waterfront looks best this way, clipped of all its colors by the fog, almost like a film noir. Photo

8 This huge old tree at the entrance to the Botanical Garden provides a dose of humility to anyone who stands under it. I guess it helps put things in perspective, which I imagine is just what the groups of people who commune under it every morning have in mind. Photo

9 St. Francis Fountain, deep in the Mission since 1918. Tofu scrambles and something called the "Nebulous Potato Thing" may be its bread and butter these days, but kids still line up for old-time candy and ice cream cones all summer. Photo


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