Factories, Art, Industrial Decay, Vessels and Dinner in Oakland, California
Large industrial warehouses and captivating urban decay dominate the area surrounding 16th Street in Oakland, California, where I had the pleasure of showing some of my photography during the Local Social Vessels event at Chris French Metal last month.
Train Tracks Across the Street From American Steel factory in Oakland, California
The side of a large work of art on a giant slab of metal in Oakland, California
With a bit of extra time after setting up and inspired by the 200 Yards photography project, I set about to capture scenes of factories, train tracks, doors, signs and art in the 200 yards surrounding the Vessels event space. I’m pretty sure that my wandering brought be beyond that distance, but hey…this was just for fun.
Not a Through Road, Oakland, California
Stop Do Not Enter
Local Social is the brainchild of Gretchen Krebs and Catherine Weis. Their mission is to merge elements of design, art, and craft through community collaboration and events in Oakland and the Bay Area.
A building reflects in the hubcap of a classic hippie Volkswagen Bus
The event itself was held in a giant warehouse space that was beautifully transformed into a warm and inviting dining hall. Surrounding two long dining tables were physical vessels of clay and paper mache by Ann Weber, Whitney Smith and Sara Paloma. Sara also delighted the crowd with an evening-long demo of her work on a potter’s wheel, creating numerous vessels of all shapes and sizes as the evening went on.
A paper mache vessel by Ann Weber
Me with my selected images for the Local Social Vessels event
Gretchen and Catherine selected six of my images and gave me space on an industrial wall to “hang” them on. It took a while to figure out how and my hands turned black several times from moving dirty metal girders around to set up my space, but in the end I feel that I came up with a creative way to display my work using a very non-traditional space.
A crooked truck down the street from the Local Social event
Dinner was a delight, with tri-tip steak, perogies, pasta, pastries and other exquisite gourmet foods cheffed up by Caleb Jones from Michael Mina and Maggie Weber-Striplin from Pachamama. The evening’s musical entertainment was courtesy of Uriah Duffy and Max McVeety and the bar featured some of the most delicious custom cocktails with names like the Ship’s Cove and Piggy Bank. I can still taste the rye!
Rye and the other ingredients that went into the delicious cocktails at the Local Social Vessels event
Also displaying their photography were the very talented Melissa Kaseman and Summer Makovkin. Be sure to check out their Web sites and support local art!
A railroad crossing sign plus a little bit of a stop sign near 16th Street in Oakland, California
Perhaps my favorite part of the photo walk I took was all of the train tracks and signs in the surrounding area. I have loved the rails since my father and I first set up a Lionel 027 Gauge toy train set on my grandfather’s living room floor.
There may be a railroad crossing sign, but something tells me there hasn't been a train in that area in a long while
The decaying doors of the still-active steel and iron mills also captivated my interest, as evidenced by these next two photographs.
A side door to the Romak Iron Works in Oakland, California
A side door to the American Steel Plant
Finally, here is a more broad view of the types of streets I was walking down to capture these images.
A run down street in Oakland, California
All of the above images have some sort of digital darkroom work done on them, whether it be burning, dodging, color correction, levels or curves adjustments or anything else I love to do with the mouse. Below are the rest of the highlights from that day, exactly as they came out of my Nikon D80 on Sunday, June 26, 2011. Enjoy!
Fine art abstract photography of the inside of a dome. While you are not allowed to take photographs in a casino, there were no rules about pointing my camera upwards in the lobby of the Casino Niagara. read more >>