September 04, 2012

About the Author: David McDonald is a local web developer, writer and photographer in San Francisco and currently operates out of the Castro. He enjoys photography, bike rides, yoga, Cher, and a good burrito. Check out David McDonald Photo, and follw him @davidmc.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret; I don’t know anything about photography.  That might be too harsh, but my technical prowess isn’t nearly as high as the other Brotogs that you see on these pages.  The best way to learn is by being the worst person in the band.  Brotogs is mostly a good reason to hang out with a bunch of my friends and take photos; two of my favorite things.


Ross and I briefly chatted online about a trip down to Santa Barbara to see Christian, and not long after we had a gaggle of guys getting set to traverse down south.  Packed bags and a destination, we were off down the coast to relish in the sun.  I grew up in a beach town, Seal Beach, and spent many days in the heat.  I have a proclivity for cooler climates because of it, so I was not terribly excited about the warmth of the sun.   Call me a pasty San Franciscan!  I will say that I reveled in the climate provided by Santa Barbara, and it brought me back to my days filled with beach cruisers and surfboards.  Trying things outside of your comfort zone is good!  See below.


Create. All these frames came from my Polaroid SX-70 that my dad gave to me a few months back.  He had spotted it somewhere and picked it up for me figuring I’d enjoy it.  This camera is pretty nifty, and this trip was the first time I was taking it out as my primary camera.  (I never actually used the Fuji X-100 on the trip.)  Thanks to the fine folks at Photobooth, I was able to pick up some Impossible Project film for this dude.  This gear is still a learning curve for me, but I’m finding it to be a challenge that I enjoy wholeheartedly.  Plus, isn’t the combination of film meeting the axis of instant gratification the ideal situation?


Grow. Rather than shooting digital, film is precious.  You’re limited in resources and a lot more factors come into play.  It put pressure on me to lighten up the trigger finger.  Each of these shots were shot with more reverence than when I normally shoot, and with that reverence comes a lot more thoughtfulness.  Are they technically perfect? Hell no.  They have a ton of heart and room for growth.

Photo by Patrick Stern


While it was great to be in Santa Barbara, nothing beats the view from my window in San Francisco.