San Francisco Streets – An Evolution in Personal Style

by Scott Loftesness on November 28, 2015

My interest in photography was rekindled a number of years ago when I bought a Canon Digital SLR and a couple of lenses. That first DSLR was a Canon 30D and it served me well.

As often happens with a new hobby, I went in “whole hog” – buying lots more gear along with taking a number of photography workshops both locally (Stanford Continuing Studies) as well as on location at classic venues (Yosemite, Redwoods North Coast, Eastern Sierras, Bend, Bodega Bay, Havana, Paris, and more). I studied with some great instructors including Neal Menschel, Michael Frye, Sean Bagshaw, Valerie Jardin and Derrick Story.

Eventually, my workshop interest shifted away from landscape photography. Landscape photography workshops are hard – you’re in some far away place with a daily cycle of having to be up early to catch the sunrise and morning light while also need to stay out late to photography a beautiful sunset and twilight setting. And, in a landscape workshop, the participants come away with images that are very similar – as you’re typically shooting some iconic scene with your camera on a tripod – sometimes the tripods and photographers are all lined up in a row. Satisfying and beautiful it can certainly be – but after a while I’d had my fill of that genre.

Something happened about three years ago – my friend Doug Kaye and I starting meeting on occasional Fridays at San Francisco’s Ferry Building to do street photography. We really enjoyed being out on the streets, chasing the beautiful light (direct and from reflections) and being in touch with people. This followed a workshop in Havana in January 2013 that was a week-long extravaganza of street photography! We decided to take a couple of additional street photography workshops (Jay Maisel, Peter Turnley – in New York City) that brought us back even more excited about working the streets. It’s been fun to notice how our awareness of light and opportunities have increased with our experience walking the streets together.

In terms of gear, I’ve since moved on from my Canon DSLR – selling all of my Canon gear and becoming a Fujifilm camera fan. Most of my photography taken during the last year was shot with a Fujifilm X100T – a fantastic camera for street photography!

Each year for the last several years, I’ve created a portfolio book of my photography from that year. My earlier books have quite a range of genres – as I explored them during the year. This year I had that one dominant genre – street photography – and I focused my portfolio for 2015 on San Francisco Streets. You can view the pages from the complete portfolio book here on my personal blog. You can also might enjoy viewing my friend Doug Kaye’s 2015 portfolio book.

If you’re interested in street photography, perhaps we can get a small group together here in Menlo Park and meet up for a couple of hours of street photography and sharing? Let me know if you’d be interested!

Scott Loftesness is a Menlo Park-based photographer and co-founder of


Irene Searles November 29, 2015 at 12:17 am

YES!, I’d be VERY interested in a couple of hours (or more) of stretto photography and sharing. ANY time. Love your work and reading of your evolving love of photography.

Scott Loftesness November 29, 2015 at 5:59 pm

Irene, great to hear you’d like to hit the streets together! I’m thinking we should try to organize a few hours later in January – after the holidays and while the sunlight is still at a low angle helping make for dramatic shadows. Hope others want to also participate!

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