The Blue Bottle Kiosk

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 thoughts on “The Blue Bottle Kiosk

  1. 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!)

    1. “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 =)

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

    1. 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

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