Category Archives: berkeley border

Pinhole Day Workshop @ The Looking Glass

Ok, full frontal disclaimer… this event takes place in Berkeley.  I know, I know.  I can hear some of you groaning already…

But Berkeley is good for a few things… like amazing radio (KALX you rock!), incredible Indian food (Vik’s, yummm!), used record/cd shops (I love you Amoeba), a wealth of intellectual and progressive “capital” that truly drives our country forward (despite how annoying it can be sometimes), and this photography store:  Looking Glass Camera & Photo Supply.  Their motto is “the camera store that loves you back!” and it’s really true.

buy local, the looking glass, best camera store east bay

This Sunday, April 25th, they’re hosting their annual Pinhole Day Workshop & Celebration in honor of Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day.  Don’t know what I’m talking about?  Photobugs are likely familiar with the concept, but for you laypeople out there, a pinhole camera is the simplest kind of camera consisting of nothing more than a box with a tiny hole in it.  There is no actual lens.

It easy to make a pinhole camera out of a box or cyclinder (I’m going to use a coffee can) by simply poking a hole into your container.  You need a way to cover the hole… simplest method is thick tape, like electrical tape.  You also need a larger opening into the container so you can put your film in.  My coffee can already has one built in… a shoebox, similarly.  And then the whole thing has to be relatively light-tight, so you don’t get light leaking in through seams to expose your film in unwanted ways.

I won’t get into all the physics of it, but the neat thing about pinhole photography is that everything from the closest blade of grass to the farthest horizon line are all equally in focus.  You can also make multiple exposures, or create interesting visual “tricks” with long exposures.

In any case, The Looking Glass is like one of those old-school mom & pop shops. They’re always throwing fun & interesting events to bring the community together around a shared passion of photography.  Others include Print Swaps, Summer Lectures,  Photo Contests, Free Studio Portraits on Halloween (you have to be in costume!), and more.  Plus all the other stuff you want from your camera/photo store, and great prices that are comparable with the big boys in the city, but you don’t have to drive across the bridge.

looking glass photo, pinhole day workshop, worldwide pinhole photo day

Sunday’s workshop costs $10 for adults and $5 for kids… In their words “Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day is a great way to create and share the most historic and simple form of the camera. Our workshop gives you the chance to make your own camera, capture your image with a minimum of fuss, then print out your photo in our darkroom. It’s the ultimate in hands-on photography!”

I’ll be there. Hope you will too…

More info here:
Pinhole Photography Resources
Looking Glass Photo on Yelp
Contemporary Pinhole Photography Gallery

Crude & Gats

So I’m a little late getting this one up… always so hard to catch up after the long holiday weekends… busy busy busy. And even though this is a new week, it’s the last day of the month and I really wanted to finish up the graffiti focus of last week with the stellar and ubiquitous work of a couple of local artists

“Dead Eyes” is the tag you’ll see on much of one guys work, but he’s a West Oakland artist who actually goes by the moniker “Crude”. I know this because my graf friends tell me these things. Thanks Endless Canvas!

He’s enough of an entity that KQED actually did a brief feature on him as part of their arts program Spark… you can check out the clip here.

I’ve featured his works before… I think the first one was a hand-drawn USPS sticker right outside my home. You can use the search feature to find all the other posts if you’re curious… He does lots of faces with a wide flat nose and thick lips. He embellishes many of them with more ornate elements reminiscent of African masks.

Crude, graffiti art, sticker art, dead eyes sticker

In the shot below, the smaller sticker top right is his… it says “Dead Eyes”… duh. The sticker below and slightly left (with the beard) is the work of another artist named Gats (short for Graffiti Against the System). This is one of his simpler pieces… You’ll see a developing trend…

Gats, gats sticker, gats graffiti art, west oakland graffiti

Here’s another pair… Crude on the left (Army of One) and Gats on the right… This face with the beard seems to be his trademark.

crude sticker art, stickers by crude, dead eyes stickers, dead eyes graffiti, graffit art oakland

A lot of these works seem to be unique hand drawn stickers (rather than mass produced)… maybe that’s why one was ripped off below….

Dead Eyes Stickers, Crude stickers, West Oakland Sticker art, west oakland graffiti

This one below is the most detailed of Gat’s images that I’ve seen…. it’s incredible.

solidarity forever poster, poster art by crude, dead eyes graffiti art, wheat paste

Another Dead Eyes with a handful of other folks…

sticker art by crude, dead eyes stickers

And two more Gats…

wheat paste by gats, gats wheat paste

gats wheat paste, sticker art west oakland, wheat paste by gats

Time’ll Tell

I was at a party last weekend and a friend was talking philosophically about how the rate of change is continually accelerating. What once might have taken a century in terms of transformation, now takes a decade. In the future, maybe just a year.

This not-so-little piece of graffiti art seems to touch on that…


It’s actually a giant wheat paste! The bicycle rack gives a sense of scale… needless to say, it’s large. The buffalo probably measures a good 10 ft in length and nearly 7 ft in height, and seems to be a reproduction of a smaller drawing. It was printed out onto 5 large sheets of poster paper, then cut out into pieces and pasted up onto this shuttered Wolf’s camera drive-thru. There is no artist’s signature.

I’m not sure what it means… a clash between eras, and the conflicts that result? Man’s domination of nature? The title lends a clue, I suppose. What do you think it’s about?

It’s technically in Berkeley, at the intersection of Ashby & Telegraph, but it’s only about 6 blocks from the Oakland border, and cool enough to warrant the border crossing.