My familiarity with downtown San Jose is a result of working at The Tech Museum of Innovation from 2000-2006.
I did web marketing and design for the museum and it was the coolest job I had in my 43 years of working.
The museum was just off Plaza de César Chávez, kitty-corner from the San Jose Museum of Art. The Tech staff was housed in a building around the corner on West San Carlos, and I had a decent sized work-space near the entrance, big enough to park my old Schwinn Collegiate in my office.
Whenever the weather was decent, I’d jump on my bike at lunch and ride around downtown with cameras, my Domke F6 fitting perfectly in the basket hanging from the handlebars.
Lots to see and shoot, with San Jose State, City Hall, The Children’s Museum, Japan Town, and older parts of town well within reach on bicycle at lunch hour.
Jump ahead to 2007, after a short stint as webmaster for San Jose State I landed at Santa Clara University, where I did web marketing until I retired in 2015.
The lure of the city was strong and I would still head downtown on occasion, just to find interesting and unusual subjects for photography.
These six shots were taken around the plaza late December 2008 using my old Pentax K10D and a Sigma 28-135 ƒ/4 zoom/macro lens.
This is my first attempt at using Hamish Gill’s @pixllatr.
I used my iPhone 8, hand held, to make the image. The light source was my 9×12 Artograph lightbox.
I used a mask that I made from chipboard to block out any extraneous light (I’m already thinking of ways to make that gizmo and process a little smoother).
I transfered the shot to my Mac Mini via AirDrop, opened the image in Photoshop, converted to black and white, used the Transform/Skew tool to square it up, then adjusted levels.
The results look pretty darned good. An absolute success.
Side note… I made this image back in 2006 with my Holga 120N using Ilford HP5+ 400. The shot was made in downtown San Jose, CA in front of the convention center on West San Carlos Street, directly across from the main office of The Tech Museum of Innovation, where I worked at the time.
The film was developed by Calypso Imaging, a Santa Clara company that went under not long after these negs were developed. Like many companies at the time, the advent of digital cameras was disastrous for the film industry.
I started developing my own black and white film soon thereafter.