San Francisco Bay Area | August, 2017

I was only in the Bay Area for the first week of August before taking off to the East Coast for the rest of the month, but in that first week I managed to visit two museums, go on a hike that ended in a wine tasting, and enjoy a few meals and meetups with friends. See my mini adventures below.

First off, a visit to the Oakland Museum of California. I caught their special exhibit on documentary photographer Dorothea Lange, which had been extended due to popular demand.

Dorothea Lange’s most iconic photograph: the Migrant Mother.

As you might know, I actually studied documentary studies in college, and I remember being fascinated by the role of editing in documentary photography. Before that iconic image above, Lange snapped a whole series of other frames of this mother and her children, but none have the enduring impact of the image she ended up choosing. In fact, seeing the series as a whole seems to diminish the power of that single image.

Lange also often deployed the power of cropping toward her social justice-minded images. Such a different feeling between left and right.

Both Lange and Ansel Adams were actually hired by the U.S. government to photograph Japanese internment. The government initially thought this would be a great way to convince the country that the internees were treated humanely and internment was actually a good idea, but they quickly decided they should just bury all the images instead, so they went unseen for decades.

In the second image below, a portrait of Dorothea Lange by Ansel Adams.

Light play.

And my sketch of the museum… I took a great online architectural sketching course by Stephanie Bower, and I’ve been trying to draw with perspective and lots of straight lines ever since.

This leads us to Craft Day! Do-Hee started Craft Day at her studio, and I’ve decided to try to keep them up with monthly dates. Here’s Nicole with her watercolors.

 

Thanks Craft Day crew!

Next, it was time for another round of Museum Hack with my friend Whitney. Museum Hack runs fun counterculture tours at a few different museums around the country. We went on their “Un-Highlights Tour” of the deYoung Museum last time, and this time we went to check out their “Badass Bitches” (feminist tour). But first, brunch at Parada 22 (delicious).

Also on show at the deYoung: Summer of Love.

Unfortunately female representation at most museums is in the form of naked ladies rather than artists. But the Badass Bitches tour pulls off some behind the scenes stories of the female artists that are represented, and we get to play some little museum games to lend our own reinterpretations of some of the women depicted too.

The Summer of Love exhibit wasn’t part of our Museum hack tour, but we went to go check it out anyway.

We got sunglasses from the tour so we could throw shade at the patriarchy. And of course, we followed up the trip with a stop at Boba Guys in Hayes.

Next on the adventures list: a hike and a drink! We visited Bartholomew Park, which has a loop hike that we totally underestimated, but then we felt like our wine tasting was extra well earned afterwards.

Greg & Tiffany looking like giants and Hillary and Paul running off like tiny people in the forest.

Yes. We made it!

I loved the oak grove setting for our private tasting! Could’ve done without all the bees though.

We were most amused by this zombie pourer.

And then we rounded off this trip with lunch at Sonoma Grille.

I took advantage of a San Jose shoot the next day to meet up with my friend Rebecca and her little one, Guy.

And finally, meeting up with some incredible ladies as part of our monthly “Lean In Circle.” Kait hosted us with a delicious summer salad and veggie chili, and she led us through a great core values exercise.

Cheers to August!

Anna Wu is a wedding and portrait photographer based in San Francisco but often traveling and working around the world. See more of her museum, opera, and symphony exploits under #awculturetime on instagram and view more of her professional work at annawu.com.

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