Kate’s barn was off this road and I’ve driven by hundreds of times. Despite the fact that strawberries are my favorite food on the planet and my favorite type font is (as Steve calls it) homemade with two-inch paintbrush, this is the first time I’ve stopped here. I can’t believe I missed 22 seasons of deliciousness. This is where I live.
Rust always makes me swoon a little. Rust proves that something’s been lived in–maybe it’s been loved, maybe abandoned. But the texture and color of rust, and the way colors look next to rust, get me every time. Of all the colors, I choose the one that has a story to tell.
All photos by Kim Tackett. 1.2.3. Virginia City, Nevada 4.5. Davis CA 6. Isleton CA 7.8. Bodie CA 9. Amador County CA 10.11. Sonoma CA 12. Lake Michigan, Chicago, IL 13. Tomales Bay CA 14. Hope Valley CA 15. San Francisco CA 16. Tomales Bay CA 17.18. Point Reyes CA 19. Twain Harte, CA
In my circle of design and photographer friends, I was the last to discover Vivian Maier. I saw a few Facebook posts, and knew she was a previously unknown street photographer, and there was a new documentary on her life and work. When the film Finding Vivian Maier came to our independent theater here in Davis, we were first in line. Her story, and her work, is riveting, and I am still intrigued and inspired by the film.
Vivian Maier was a phenomenal street photographer who secretly took over 100,000 photographs from the 1950s through the 1990s. She worked as a nanny and caregiver, and not even those closest to her knew how talented or prolific she was. Her work was secreted away in overflowing storage lockers, and discovered by John Maloof, who first purchased a box of her negatives at an auction in 2007. That purchase changed his life, and also enabled Vivian Maier’s legacy to be shared with the rest of the world.
Maier’s massive body of work reflects urban life in Chicago, and also her solo travels around the world. She was a free spirit, a mystery, and an eccentric, proud and private woman. She was also one of the greatest photography talents of the century. Maloof was responsible for gathering and archiving her work, as well as producing the documentary. It’s his story, as well as hers.
“Someone who was intensely guarded and private, Vivian could be counted on to feistily preach her own very liberal worldview to anyone who cared to listen, or didn’t. Decidedly unmaterialistic, Vivian would come to amass a group of storage lockers stuffed to the brim with found items, art books, newspaper clippings, home films, as well as political tchotchkes and knick-knacks. The story of this nanny who has now wowed the world with her photography, and who incidentally recorded some of the most interesting marvels and peculiarities of Urban America in the second half of the twentieth century is seemingly beyond belief.” – VivianMaier.com
After the film, we spent the rest of the evening trying to figure out the puzzle of Vivian with our friends. They had been studying her work for years, and as professional photographers, were even more amazed than we were (and we were pretty amazed). How could she keep working, never printing or referencing her photos? Why was she so compelled to produce so much? Was it about the process, the taking of the photo itself, and not actually about the finished image? What was she trying to see, to heal? Was she crazy? And why won’t museums embrace her work today?
Vivian looked closely, and captured that moment when the rest of us are looking away. She was complicated, but her work is stunning. Simply stunning.
(All photos by Vivian Maier, from The Maloof Collection)
Woman at the NY Public Library
Armenian woman fighting, September, 1956, Lower East Side, NY
I love road trips, and I love taking pictures of anything broken and left behind. However, despite being a generally assertive person, I rarely stop. If I am alone it’s easier, but if I am with others, it’s harder to ask for the time to explore whatever funky building/store/sign/creature is just waiting for their photo opportunity.
Last week we were on a road trip to Oregon, and I immediately regretted passing the turquoise toilet-planter on our way to Crater Lake. I thought about it for two days and intended to make a pit stop (small pun) on my way out. But our route shifted and the turquoise toilet planter was lost before I discovered if the flowers were plastic or real (I’m guessing plastic, but I wanted to see for myself).
I have driven this stretch of California to Oregon road many times, and on each trip I say, “Oh that would have been a good photo…next time we should stop.” Every time my husband, Steve, says, “Do you want me to stop? We can turn around if you want.” And my Eeyore voice responds, “No, that’s ok…I don’t want to make you wait for me.”
That toilet planter may have not been as great in real life as it was in my imagination. But the fact that I felt regret, even a small amount of it, bugged me. And it kept at me until I changed my mind and my approach. We don’t get many chances to capture whatever it is that catches our fancy. In my case, it’s broken stuff, and this time I asked Steve to stop…eleven times in an eight-hour trip. And it was worth it. I did consider backtracking to get the turquoise planter toilet, but I decided it was best to not push my luck.
All photos by Kim Tackett. 1-2 Ft. Klamath OR, 3-18 Highway 97, OR 19. Weed CA on I-5. 20. Mount Shasta CA on I-5.
In keeping with the love is louder theme, I’m sharing my heart(s) with you today. That is, my collection of lost, found, and photographed wild hearts. I’ve done two previous photo collections here, Steps and Stairs and Sign Language.
All photos by Kim Tackett. 1. Vancouver Island, BC 2. Point Reyes CA 3. Cache Creek CA 4. Banksy in Chinatown SF 5. Sacramento Antique Faire 6. and 7. Putah Creek Bridge, Winters CA 8. Glass Beach, Fort Bragg CA 9. Cache Creek CA 10. K+B’s apartment in Chicago 11. San Francisco CA 12. My backyard, Davis CA 13. Temple Coffee, Sacramento CA 14. Lake Tahoe, West Shore 15. Insight Coffee, Sacramento CA
All my life I’ve been told that I think and care too much and look too deeply for meaning. While my loving critics may have a point, I just can’t help myself. Because messages are everywhere, and I take photos of them every chance I get. Pay attention, and something shows up. Maybe it’s how I entertain myself, but I like to think that everything has at least a little meaning, even if it’s just a reminder to slow down and lighten up a bit.
All photos by Kim Tackett. 1. Point Reyes Station 2. Harmony, CA. 3. Downtown Chicago 4. Lake Michigan, Chicago 5. Granville Island, Vancouver B.C. 6. Corvallis OR 7. Oregon State University, Corvallis 8. Mendocino Headlands, CA 9. Stebbins Creek Canyon, near Winters CA 10. Hope Valley CA 11. Midtown Sacramento CA 12. Hemlock Street, San Francisco CA 13. Sunnyside Dock, Lake Tahoe CA 14. UC Davis Arboretum, Davis CA 15. Huntington Beach CA 16. City Lights Books, San Francisco 17. Kaiser office, Davis, CA 18. Marin side of the Golden Gate Bridge 19. Ferry Building, San Francisco CA (for those anxiously waiting for the reopening of Hog Island Oysters).
“I think of all the thousands of billions of steps and missteps and chances and coincidences that have brought me here. Brought you here, and it feels like the biggest miracle in the world.” —Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall
I’ve always loved a good metaphor and am even willing to climb for one. For years I’ve been intentionally seeking interesting stairways to photograph. Sometimes there is a view at the top, sometimes there’s nothing but a resting spot. But always, it’s something different, and that in itself is worthwhile.
Where: Uniqlo in San Francisco, Angel Island in SF, Sugar Pine Point in Lake Tahoe, Oakland CA,West Sacramento, Hotel Carlton in SF, Hearst Castle, Indian Springs in Calistoga, Bandon Dunes in Oregon, Chicago, City Lights Bookstore in SF, Yolo Wildlife Basin, Mosaic Staircase in San Francisco.