Jonathan Fleming's Blog

A Photography Blog

The Blue Bottle Kiosk

with 13 comments

Olympus E-PL2 + Panasonic 20mm f/1.7

Time off work for a visit to the doctor’s on a Friday. Gotta love it. After my appointment, I had some time to kill before picking up the wife from work, so I decided to coffee up.

Tucked away along a small city street in the heart of Hayes Valley lies a Blue Bottle Kiosk. No big signs proclaiming its whereabouts. It’s Blue Bottle for crying out loud! All the locals know exactly where it is.

After I ordered a cup, I turned around and saw….a Shiba Puppy! Though Shibas are increasing in popularity here in SF, it’s still pretty rare that you see one on the street. This is Ichigo, a 7 month old, male Shiba:

I wish I had my Shiba with me, but this little guy would have probably tried to run from her =P
Unlike Suki, Ichigo is very shy, so I couldn’t go right up to him. I took a few snaps and–

“Sir, your latte is up!”

Yummmm….and served in a 100% biodegradable, custom-logo-printed, natural-colored hot cup. When you’re done, you can toss it right in the green compost bin along with its corn-based, polylactic acid lid. How very green…and expensive,which probably filters down into the price we pay for this brew!

Oops, cash only, and of course I didn’t have any. The super-cool barista apparently thought I had a pretty trusting face, so she let me take my coffee and go grab cash at the nearest ATM. Oops again. Card wasn’t working…so I had to huff it to my nearest bank. Oh well, photo walk!

Haha, how can you not take a picture of this guy? (right)

All images in this post were taken with my new Olympus PEN E-PL2. Apparently Adobe just made available a release candidate of the latest Camera Raw that supports the E-PL2’s raw files, but I haven’t downloaded it yet, so these are all out of camera JPEGs.

One of the things I noticed about shooting with a smaller camera is that people usually don’t notice you using it. The extra stealth over my DSLR is pretty refreshing out on the street.

….and oops, I took too long getting cash, so Bridget just took the bus to meet me back at the kiosk, where I had more coffee…oh yes. There she is in the background, waiting for me to stop dancing around my double shot with my camera and just drink it already. Mmmm…love coffee.

I wouldn’t typically do a blog post about a trip to the coffee shop, but I’ve been trying lately to focus a little more on the every-day, seemingly mundane things that I do when it comes to my photography. There are a few blogs that have inspired me quite a bit in this regard. Check’em out:

Pink Peony Photography, Karleen Su

A Happy Day, Jacqueline Jaszka

Saaediaries, Kelven Ng

These fellow blogger/photogs are just fantastic when it comes to still life…and putting diptychs together, which I’m totally lame at doing myself. At least giving it a try is forcing me to do more vertical shots =P

Seriously though, all three have a talent I envy for turning the ordinary into something extraordinary, which I think should be the goal of every photographer.

Have a great weekend!

13 Responses

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  1. awesome shots Jonathan, love the diptychs too. 🙂

    Felix Lim

    March 12, 2011 at 1:37 am

  2. I love your photos of Suki, and I think Ichigo has a blog:


    March 12, 2011 at 5:40 am

  3. Dude, thank you! What a nice surprise to see the shout out to my blog. I loved reading about this trip to BB — you should definitely do more of them! I am always a fan of wee adventures. 🙂 And your dippys were great — not lame in the slightest! The pics fit together really well.

    I’ve never been to Hayes Valley, btw. I need to explore SF more. (See, this is where your blog comes in — I can bookmark places like these!)


    March 12, 2011 at 10:02 am

    • “Wee adventures!” Yes, that’s exactly they are, aren’t they =P
      This is what I love about following the work of other artists. It often opens your eyes to new ways of thinking and seeing. So, thank YOU!

      Knowing other local artists is always a good thing right? Can’t be everywhere at the same time every weekend, so I’m glad I can get the inside scoop on other places by peeking at your blog as well. Keep up the good work! And definitely check out Hayes Valley…very cool area =)


      March 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm

  4. Love these “everyday” street photographs and hope with your E-PL2, you’ll bring more of them on here. Love visiting local bloggers to find interesting places and see how others look at the area. Thanks for sharing.


    March 13, 2011 at 12:19 pm

  5. omg! thanks for the link to my blog!!! i love posts like this – awesome street photography! they allow me to experience SF (like Jackie’s) without having to be there. Although all these posts about Blue Bottle make me want to book a flight to SF just to taste their coffee, ha!

    BTW, that guy’s hair is just fantastic! I had a good hearty laugh =) I agree with Jackie – your diptychs are put together very nicely. And Bridget – she’s such a trooper!


    March 14, 2011 at 9:16 am

    • Karleen, you diptych master you…thanks for the inspiration. One day, we’ll have to do a blogger/flickr/suki meetup over several cups of Blue Bottle. Haha, that guy with the hair…saw him from a block away and new I had to get a shot =P


      March 15, 2011 at 7:41 pm

  6. This is what street photography is all about. I like it.

    Jim Dell

    March 15, 2011 at 4:57 am

  7. Oh, Blue Bottle is my favorite coffee too!! ^_^

    Gary Ngo

    March 16, 2011 at 6:25 pm

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