BIJAN SABET

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San Francisco, California. August 2014.

A few weeks ago I was in San Francisco and went exploring with my friend Aaron. Tyson Wheatley joined us as well. I had never met Tyson but I’ve been enjoying his beautiful photographs for some time. It was a thrill to meet and hear his life story over a photowalk and dinner. Such a talented and super cool person. 

(All photographs taken with a Mamiya 7ii and Kodak Portra 400 film scanned at Richard Photo Lab in California)

One day if I go to heaven…I’ll look around and say “It ain’t bad, but it ain’t San Francisco” — Herb Caen

I was in San Francisco for the last few days. 

There is so much going in startup land within the South of Market district of San Francisco. New ideas are bouncing off the walls and you can feel the desire, ambition and passion on every corner. 

It’s infectious.

But getting out of SoMa is something I truly appreciate. The part of SF that is quiet, mysterious and reflective. 

I’m glad I could catch up with friends and see both sides of such a special city. 

Mamiya 7ii

I recently added a Mamiya 7ii to my camera collection. It’s a medium format system. The sensor size increase over 35mm/full frame is astounding. 

There are a few reasons why I wasn’t sure about this camera. The lenses are slow compared to my Leica M glass. It’s much bigger than my Leica M. The shutter makes almost toy like click when pressed and way too sensitive. And it only takes 10 exposures per roll of film. 

But none of those things end up mattering that much (to me). The Mamiya 7ii is a joy to use and feels great in your hands. It is portable enough and I can carry it with ease. It is a rangefinder system which has become second nature to me. And there is something so magical about film that is hard for me to put into words.

I will likely still mostly make digital photographs, if nothing but the ease and the instant feedback to determine if I made my exposure correctly.

But there are times when I just want to shoot film and on those days I will happily pick up this Mamiya 7ii.  

(The above photographs were taken on a Mamiya 7ii + Kodak Portra 400 film along a recent photo walk with my friend Aaron Durand in Lands End, San Francisco. Processed and scanned at Light Waves Imaging in San Francisco)