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Friday Slide Show: A Long Walk Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

26 February 2016

It was a sunny afternoon in 2006. We had a big bulky Sony H5 to review. It was a 7.2-megapixel wonder with a 12x zoom that reached to a 432mm 35mm equivalent that ran on two AA batteries. And you bet it had image stabilization.

The other evening we were scrolling through our collection of images looking for a particular gag shot when we ran across these. For a moment, we abandoned our search to enjoy that long ago walk again. From the sunny Bay to the foggy Golden Gate, it caught a lot of what makes San Francisco what it is.

We're not licensed to teach history but we can tell you a few things to look for as you go through the images.

Rincon Annex, where this all starts, used to be the Post Office before it was redeveloped. It's called Rincon Center now because you don't want your world headquarters stuck in an annex. You want it in a Center.

The Plymouth. Loaded with sacks.

Every Wednesday night, we would toss dirty mail bags full of bundled magazines into a 1958 Plymouth Sport Suburban station wagon and drive down to Rincon Annex to unload the sacks, as we called them. At Christmas we'd also unload a bottle of scotch to show our appreciation to the guy who took the sacks in.

The Anton Refregier fresco that starts this show depicts the events of the Great Earthquake and Fire. These frescos are in the well-preserved lobby of the old Post Office.

We step into the Center in the next shot. But not into the center of the shot because, if you look closely, you'll see water coming down from the skylight. We had a skylight that leaked like that a few years ago and had it replaced. But people who inhabit Centers think of them as water features.

We walked along the Embarcardero, catching a skiff, the Ferry Building, the Bay Bridge and some gigantic sculptures of women with their arms upraised (The Passage by Dan Das Mann and Karen Cusolito that debuted at Burning Man 2005), a little poetry from Pier 14, a historic F streetcar, inside the car, Alcatraz from the beach, a sailboat chased by pelicans in the fog, the Palace of Fine Arts from Fort Mason and the statue of Phil Burton appearing to dance before the Golden Gate National Recreation Area he helped establish.

The H5 only captured JPEGs and rather saturated ones at that. But we did our best in Lightroom to optimize them. Clarity was the big hammer. The Highlights and Shadows sliders were also stretched out.

Hard to believe that was 10 years ago. Almost every shot could be reframed exactly the same today. And yet none of them are classic postcards of the city. Just random scenes that caught our eye then. And the other night, too.

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