Tag Archives: Dogs

FINAL EXAM

I have a love/hate relationship with San Pablo Avenue, a major road here in the East Bay.

123 sign

For more than 25 years, I have been on it almost every single day. My home is a block off of it, and for most of the last decade of the 20th Century, I had a retail business on San Pablo Avenue  in Berkeley.

It is crowded, hectic, and it stinks of diesel fumes, but I know I can’t escape it, so I have come to grips with it.

 

Wikipedia starts its San Pablo Avenue entry with-

State Route 123 (SR 123) is a state highway in the U.S. state of California in the San Francisco Bay Area. Named San Pablo Avenue for virtually its entire length, SR 123 is a major north–south state highway along the flats of the urban East Bay in the U.S. state of California.

 

That entire article is here-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_State_Route_123

 

 

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to use some of my own photos on a desk calendar that was mailed out to my real estate clientele. There was a press deadline, so for two weeks, I drove around and shot photos of what I thought was significant or interesting in “Jimmy’s World”.

Orthodontist Sign

Dogs on Board

Cerrito Theater

When I realized that 3 out of the 13 calendar images were taken on San Pablo Avenue, it occurred to me that it might be a worthwhile project to do a San Pablo Avenue photographic road trip.

I presented a version of this series as my Final Project in my Special Projects in Photography class, and a revised version was incorporated into my website-

 

http://www.jimmyreinaphoto.com/Galleries/123/

The photos are arranged geographically, where Frank Ogawa Plaza Anchors San Pablo in Oakland at the South end, to where it ends at The Carquinez Bridge in Crockett.

 

I have been asked about the situation or “backstory” behind a few of these photos, and will tell a few of those stories in the days to come.

 

Dogs on Board

 

Dogs on Board.   Copyright  2014 Jimmy Reina

Dogs on Board. Copyright 2014 Jimmy Reina

I was driving down San Pablo Avenue, the major thoroughfare here in the East Bay, and this trailer was parked at the curb. I knew I had to have a shot of it, but didn’t have my camera with me, then I remembered my phone. I don’t want to hurt its feelings by calling it dumb, but it’s no smart phone, and I had never used it to shoot a photograph.

I was shooting blind.

Framing the shot required standing in the center of the fast lane, and in order to get the desired point of view, I had to hold the phone at arm’s length above my head. Also, because it was high noon, even if I could have seen the screen I wouldn’t be able to see what I was doing.

Since I was standing in the center of the fast lane, I had to keep my eye out for oncoming traffic, so I could only snap two or three shots before traffic started bearing down on me and I had to walk to the curb to let it pass, then I could go back out. I used this “shotgun” approach, going back out enough times to until I felt I had something of value (due to the bright sun, I couldn’t even review on the screen).

Do you know those crows that feed from the McDonald’s bag that is in the middle of the road, moving to the side in order to let you drive by, then going right back out, once the cars have passed?

Well, I was one of those crows.

Update: I later learned that these dogs are from the sign of a local burger joint, that they have been photographed a lot, and are all over Flickr and other social media sites.

This is just my version.