Victoria Manalo Draves Park, San Francisco
Chris Brennan had no idea what he was getting into when he agreed to photograph his friend Ben Schwartz’s project for a class at the Art Institute of California—San Francisco. But one afternoon last December, Schwartz drove up to Brennan’s house with 25 gallons of milk, baked “letter” bread, a kiddie pool, and a giant spoon and said, “Get in.” They set up at the park, but when Schwartz tried to spell 3-D typography—the name of the class—the letters drifted. Soon, the bread got soggy, the light began to fade, and the groundsmen were about to lock the gate. The two got a shot Schwartz could use for class, but Brennan says this one’s his favorite, because “it captures the absurdity of the situation.”
Muir Beach Overlook
In the words of the immortal Obi-Wan Kenobi, “That’s no moon, it’s a space station!” Well, it’s actually the International Space Station whisking past
the moon—see that trail of white specks— a phenomenon that’s as hard to capture as the Millennium Falcon. In order to get this shot, the following things needed to go right for Phil McGrew: It had to be just before sunrise; the moon had to be bright enough; the space station had to track just so; the weather needed to be perfect (no fog); and McGrew’s calculations about the flight path had to be correct. His margin for error in clicking the shutter? Too small to think
about. The station crossed the moon in less than a second.
Sundance Kabuki Cinema,
Apparently, this is what happens when filmmakers get in front of the camera. German director Wim Wenders (right) and Bingham Ray, former executive director of the San Francisco Film Society, couldn’t resist hamming it up with 3-D glasses during a Q&A after a screening of Wenders’s new film, Pina. Can you blame them? The documentary on the late German dancer and choreographer Pina Bausch is Wenders’s first 3-D movie—and he had just
learned that the film had been short-listed for an Oscar nomination (it’s now official). The shot is poignant as well as funny; Ray died unexpectedly after suffering two strokes on January 23, a little over a month after appearing with his old friend.