Noticin.gs in 30 seconds:
Take photos of interesting things (things, not people) you see in public places. Publish and geo-tag the best ones on your Flickr account the same day. Tag them with ‘noticings.’ Score points for going to new neighborhoods, shooting persistently, or finding certain kinds of interesting.
I knew there was a reason I subscribed to Photojojo. They tipped me off 5 days ago. It really has brought out the documentarian in me, and I’ve been going on photo walks around my neighborhood every day since.
As you may know, I’m generally not good at sharing my beloved pictures in a timely manner… no matter how beloved they are. Anything that can be used to get leverage on myself is generally good. By that standard, I’d say noticin.gs has absolutely done it’s duty. Of course… we’ll see how long it lasts.
It happens to all of us.
I got caught. I was exploring, as I am wont to do, a little-visited and forgotten part of the world. This particular one used to be an old U.S Navy base on the Eastern shore of San Francisco bay: Point Molate. I was there to drop off a certain someone for her certain Dad’s birthday shark fishing trip. I don’t recommend the road unless you use it for offroading. Anyways, coming back in the slight pre-dawn I took a closer look at the rows of oddly placed, identical housing. That’s when I figured that this place was just like the Ord—an old military base that had been decommissioned and left to the elements. That’s what I thought anyways. In the Ord’s case, the place had been partially (and I do mean partially) converted into a college, where quite frankly the coolest thing to study was the Ord itself. Sure—sometimes one has to cross a few barriers to get to somewhere abandoned and cool. It’s best to take a camera in case you can’t again.
So when I found a gate along the way back to civilization, and a smallish turnoff nearby, I was lured in. I sauntered around the edge of the fence and was inside. Seems the City of Richmond has a beachfront park which they keep closed for no good reason. Sure, there are big signs in there nearby the splintering picnic benches and rusted-out trashcans stating “no open fires: high explosive material in adjacent area” but I don’t see that stopping my enjoyment of the place. Finding myself at the the end of the “park” I found myself in front of another gate. To get around the fence (again) it was necessary to get down on the beach and over sea-slippery rocks. Nice views down there of one of the many San Francisco bay bridges, floating away into the morning fog. It’s at this point I see that there’s a gravel path leading around the next bend—a path which is very far and very exposed. Not that there’s much traffic at this hour… but still. I make my way along the path, running some distance and notice that there’s what looks like a house after the bend. And there’s what looks like a guy coming out of the house, and it looks like he’s taking out the trash. And it looks like he sees me. Uh oh…
I turn tail. But it doesn’t really matter as this guy has a truck and to be sure now, he sees me. I’m on foot. I have blue hair. I skirted around two fences to get here in the first place. Turns out that this area now belongs to the Chevron Oil Corporation, although I didn’t find that out right away. No… I was just asked what the hell I was doing there. I answered honestly: I was taking pictures. And I said “I just walked around. I didn’t break and enter or anything. Just wanted to see what was here.” The guy gave me a long look, and I guess that was the right answer because he told me alright, I just needed to go now. He sped on ahead to the gate and I walked along behind (didn’t really see the need to jog anymore). As I began clambering down the rocks to the sea, I heard the guy call out “you be careful now. Take care.” Of course, I didn’t really know if he meant climbing on those rocks, or going places I shouldn’t, or exploring the world in general or living my life to the fullest or whatever, so I answered back in a way that fit all of them: “Thank you. I will. Thank you.” And then I got the hell out.