Tag Archives: Berkeley photography

Black Panthers focus of new UC Berkeley exhibit

Members of the Black Panthers lined up at a Free Huey (Newton) rally in DeFremery Park in Oakland. (Photo by Stephen Shames/Polaris)
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By Kathleen Maclay
UC Berkeley News

Oct. 15 marked the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Black Panthers. While the group is closely identified with Oakland, the Panthers also had roots in Berkeley. For a time they had their headquarters on Shattuck Avenue. Steven Shames, a history student at UC Berkeley, met Bobby Seale, one of the Panther founders, in 1967 and went on to take thousands of photos of those involved in the movement. 

Five decades after the founding of the Black Panther Party, an exhibit of two dozen photos taken from the front lines of the history-making, activist organization rooted in the San Francisco Bay Area opens Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the University of California, Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism.

The “Power to the People: The World of the Black Panthers” exhibit in the Reva and David Logan Gallery of Documentary Photography at North Gate Hall stirs memories of the Black Power movement for those who remember it, and instruction for those who don’t.

It also offers a bracing backdrop to current national dialogue and tensions around race as seen in reactions to the Black Lives Matter movement, protests following fatal police shootings of black men and boys, San Francisco 49ers’ quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand for the National Anthem, and more.

Ken Light, the journalism school’s Reva and David Logan Professor of Photojournalism, said the photos by Stephen Shames “bring history alive and show the power of photography to record and share the Black Panthers’ social consciousness with generations that have only heard about them. Millennials and Gen Xers who are marching in the streets and raising their voices can share in the power, the pride and the struggle that was started over 50 years ago and come away with a renewed sense that Black Lives Matter.” … Continue reading »

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Nightscapes: Ira Serkes’ photo show at the French Hotel

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Long-time Berkeley resident, Realtor and Berkeleyside contributing photographer Ira Serkes has been going to the French Hotel in the Gourmet Ghetto for years. A few weeks ago Serkes gave Angel, the “super-barrista” who works there, his business card which features a photograph Serkes took of the 2012 supermoon over UC Berkeley, and he inquired if the hotel might be interested in mounting a show of his night photography. The next day, Serkes got a call from Marta Yamamoto who curates the shows at the hotel. The answer was yes, and the result can be seen mounted on the brick walls of the hotel’s café through March 14.

Serkes says the idea of a show at the hotel came to him several years ago when he saw an exhibit of black-and-white photographs by Len Blau there. “I liked them so much I bought a print which hangs above my desk,” he says.  … Continue reading »

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Elio De Pisa’s photographs capture Berkeley as it was

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There exist several photographic records of Telegraph Avenue in the 1960s: Rag Theater by Nacio Jan Brown (1975) and Telegraph 3 a.m. by Richard Misrach (1975). There now is a third, Berkeley Then, photographs by Elio de Pisa, text by Diane de Pisa, photo editing by Nick Cedar. Brown and Misrach were great photographers who went to Telegraph Avenue, took great pictures, and made great books. De Pisa was of Telegraph. He managed the Caffe Mediterraneum from 1960 until 1972. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley photographer channels Hokusai for ’36 views of the Bay Bridge’

East of Treasure Island, San Francisco Bay. Photo: David Garnick
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David Garnick doesn’t remember how many times he drove back and forth over the Bay Bridge on a wet, windswept day to capture a particular photograph he was striving for, but he remembers the toll charges were pretty steep.

The result, a shot of the soaring cables and tower of the new East Bay span set against an ominous, gunmetal gray sky, is part of a show, “Thirty-Six Views of the Bay Bridge,” that opens with a reception at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, in Novato, on Saturday Dec. 12.

The series, a photographic re-interpretation of the famous series “Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji” by the 19th-century Japanese wood block print artist Katsushika Hokusai (1760–1849), comprises often stunning shots of both the old and new eastern span of San Francisco’s “second bridge.”

And, because Garnick worked to find many interesting locations from which to take his photographs, there’s a “Where’s Waldo?” aspect to some of the images as the viewer scrutinizes the shot to find a tiny sliver of the bridge’s tower. … Continue reading »

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Fathers the focus of Nancy Rubin’s photography show

Photo: Nancy Rubin
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UPDATE, 07.16.15: Nancy Rubin’s photography exhibition at the North Branch of the Berkeley Public Library has been extended until July 31.

ORIGINAL STORY: When Nancy Rubin taught the pioneering Social Living class at Berkeley High School from the late ’70s to the ’90s, she became something of a public figure and was often asked to comment on the challenges faced by teenagers. People would say: if there was one thing that could be changed to help the kids who are getting in trouble, what would it be? Rubin was quick to point out that there was no “magic wand.” However she did have a suggestion: “Put a loving father in every home.”

That’s not to say that children can’t be raised exceptionally well by a single mom or two women, Rubin said recently at her home, where she was preparing for her first solo photography exhibition that centers on fathers. All sorts of kids do really well in all sorts of family situations, Rubin stressed. But as someone who grew up with a “wonderful, warm” father, Rubin could only wish the same for the students she was mentoring, some of whom had no relationships with their own fathers. … Continue reading »

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Share your photos with NOSH on Instagram

Strawberries. Photo: Kate Williams
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We’ve always enjoyed seeing and sharing your photos of Berkeley through our Berkeleyside Flickr page. Photography is such an important part of every story — especially when it comes to food. That’s why we’re catching up with the times by officially launching our NOSH Instagram, @EastBayNOSH. Follow us to find pictures of all of the food and ingredients that make our East Bay home great.

We want to share your photos, too. Each week, we’ll share a theme with our followers. Tag us with the hashtag #ebnosh and the theme of the week, and we’ll repost our favorite snaps. … Continue reading »

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Photos: Humans of Berkeley and the Bay Area/4

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Nancy Rubin is chronicling the people of Berkeley and beyond with her project, Humans of Berkeley and the Bay Area, or HUBBA. Today we publish a small selection of her extensive portfolio, the fourth time we have done so. Read our interview with Rubin in which she talks about what inspired her to start the project and its philanthropic element.

Follow HUBBA on FacebookTumblr, Twitter and Instagram to see new photos when they appear, and to read extended captions for the beautiful images shown here. … Continue reading »

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Exposing a tumultuous era: Photographer Ken Light

©Ken Light-60's Whats Going On16
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Drawn to documenting the burgeoning protest movement in the late 1960s, Ken Light came to photojournalism as an extension of his anti-war activism. He started by shooting marches and demonstrations, but it wasn’t until the Nixon administration’s secret bombing of Cambodia came to light in late April 1970, and campuses exploded, that he truly found his calling. Hitchhiking from Ohio State in Athens to the flagship Ohio State campus in Columbus, he captured clashes between students and the National Guard shortly before four students were killed at Kent State in similar demonstrations. Arrested despite his press credentials, Light retrieved his undeveloped film when he got out of jail, and “those photos were published in newspapers and magazines all over the world,” he says. “I was struck, you can really have a voice. I could look around at my generation and tell stories about what’s happening.”

On faculty at UC Berkeley since 1983, Light is a longtime professor at the Graduate School of Journalism and curator of the J-School’s Center for Photography (where there’s now a fantastic exhibition of work by the legendary chronicler of rock, jazz and blues musicians Jim Marshall). Over the years, he’s earned numerous awards and published books examining the lives of farm workers–With These Hands (Pilgrim Press) and To The Promised Land (Aperture); impoverished African-Americans in the deep South — Delta Time (Smithsonian Institution Press); and Appalachia — Coal Hollow (University of California Press). … Continue reading »

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Human rights made strikingly visible at Berkeley show

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Human rights organizations often depend on the media’s megaphone, calling malefactors to account by publicizing their misdeeds. So it’s something of a paradox that Berkeley’s most influential and visionary NGO dedicated to the international struggle for human rights, the Human Rights Center at UC Berkeley School of Law, tends to operate under the radar. In marking the center’s 20th anniversary, the HRC is presenting an alternately breathtaking and hair-raising photo exhibition, Envisioning Human Rights, part of a new effort to raise public awareness about the organization’s vital work. … Continue reading »

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Richard Nagler: Here’s looking at you, looking at art

Richard Nagler
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For his new collection of images, Berkeley photographer Richard Nagler spent a lot of time in museums. He also spent a lot of time waiting. Stationed in front of a work of art, he would wait for someone to come along and complete it. The serendipitous, unposed results come from both Nagler’s creative eye as well as his patience.

Looking at Art, The Art of Looking, published by Berkeley’s Heyday Press, and launching tomorrow night at Mrs Dalloway’s bookstore in Berkeley, is the culmination of all those hours spent at major art museums around the world.  … Continue reading »

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Photos: Departing Cal students leave debris piles behind

A heap of trash near Prospect St. Photo: Jasper Burget
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Around this time each year, thousands of UC Berkeley students move out of their accommodations and head for home. And each year they leave behind a colossal mess. Walking through the area south of campus near Piedmont Avenue, which hosts a number of fraternities, sororities and other student housing, the evidence of the exodus is everywhere. Discarded belongings line the sidewalks. Couches and mattresses are especially common, but other items included a television and a teddy bear. Also present are heaps of debris whose original form can be difficult to identify. Even when students make an effort to place everything in appropriate receptacles, the contents inevitably overflow.

Before all Cal students are labeled slobs, it should be noted that there were also numerous signs of attempts to clean up. U-Haul trucks lined the streets and students were hard at work packing belongings into car trunks and trash into dumpsters. The city and university have also taken steps to minimize the mess. … Continue reading »

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Cris Benton: Seductive images of a landscape in transition

berkeleyside benton cargill crystallizers
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Cris Benton, a retired professor of architecture and former department chair at UC Berkeley, recently published Saltscapes: The Kite Aerial Photography of Cris Benton (Heyday Books, 2013), which provides a fascinating, and beautiful insight into the salt evaporation ponds of the southern portion of the San Francisco Bay. The photographs are taken using a kite and radio-controlled camera, a technique Benton pioneered in the early 1980s. Berkeleyside talked to Benton — whose work has been shown at the Oakland Museum of California, the Exploratorium, and the Cooper Hewitt Museum among others — about the story behind the images, as well as some of the joys and hazards of kite aerial photography.

Can you tell us how and when you started this type of photography? 

I started my kite aerial photography (KAP) in 1984. The idea sprang from a confluence of photography and radio-controlled sailplanes, two of my favorite pastimes. I often flew my sailplanes down at Cesar Chavez Park where there is a fine community of kite fliers. While flying my planes one afternoon I bumped into Anne Rock, a Berkeley resident who talked about using kites to raise cameras. Having previously considered mounting a camera on one of my planes the kite idea struck me as brilliant since kites tend to be a stable, self-tending platform.

I spent a few years sorting out how to fly kites, mount the camera, compose the photographs, and keep my lofted gear from crashing. There was a middle period during which I travelled broadly with my KAP gear in a continual quest for aerial images compositionally worthy of display. I am now well settled into my third period, use of the technique in sustained studies of specific landscapes. … Continue reading »

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Berkeley 14-year-old photographer goes to White House

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Andrei Crandall, a 14-year-old student at Longfellow Middle School in Berkeley, got the opportunity of a lifetime recently when he was invited to the White House by the President’s personal photographer, Pete Souza, and ended up snapping his own shots of Barack Obama.

Andrei and his two mothers, Kathleen Crandall and Lori Gitter, were invited to meet Souza on Sunday March 30 for a private tour of the photographer’s offices in the executive building, as well as the West Wing and the Oval Office.

The middle schooler was then invited back the following day to the White House to take photographs of the President at the ceremony on the South Lawn honoring World Series winners the Boston Red Sox.

Crandall took pictures alongside photographer Chuck Kennedy in a special area set aside for the White House photographers.

It all started over a year ago when the then 13-year-old emailed Souza asking him for advice, and Souza not only responded, but became something of a mentor for the aspiring snapper.

But the path to the White House started even further back than that, as Crandall showed promise from an early age. … Continue reading »

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