Moving

After Shifting to SF, This Japanese Photographer Captured San Francisco’s Eccentricities With Perfection

While there are those who claim San Francisco has lost its edgy spirit, Japanese photographer Sage Akaboshi (@pueo_in_sf) tells otherwise in street photography that he has been amassing since arriving here eight years ago, says an SF Gate article featuring Akaboshi’s eccentric images.

One of Akaboshi’s pictures made its way onto the publication’s Instagram. The photo, which includes a dog with a Luigi doll riding on its back with a similarly colored F-line in the background, garnered acclaim. The photo displays Akaboshi’s amazing use of depth, balance, and leading lines (not to mention the charming duo as the focus).

“Actually, I saw the dog a few days before when I took a photo. When I saw that dog again, I wanted to take a photo of the dog without the owner, like the dog walking alone,” Akaboshi told SF Gate. “At that time, coincidentally, the F line that matched [its] color was passing.”

The quality of the work is the same for much of Akaboshi’s photographs, which features many characteristics of San Francisco’s daily life. Skateboarders, dogs, beautiful buildings, and murals are frequent subjects in his work. Although, nothing is off the table. If it catches his attention, his phone is out and ready. Considering his Instagram contains a wide array of subjects, viewers get a variety of San Francisco and what views the city has to offer.

Akaboshi’s passion for photography happened by chance. He grew up in Japan, where he would often carry around a film or Polaroid camera.

“When I was young, I just happened to be passing by a Polaroid camera promotion [in] front of a store with my friends and I bought one on impulse and immediately I took photos of my friends with the camera on the street,” said Akaboshi, in a story with PetaPixel.

After moving to San Francisco, he started capturing interesting situations and people with any camera he has on hand, whether it be the one on his Google Pixel smartphone or his Sony a5100, a mirrorless camera.

Akaboshi can be found anywhere in the city but especially in hotspots like Market Street or in the Mission District, where foot traffic is heavy and full of opportunity. Other frequent spots are both around and in the San Francisco Muni trains. The natural patterns and framing of its structures, coupled in contrast with unique happenings and people, make for great pictures.

While a lot of his work include candid portraits, Akaboshi tries to get permission of most of his subjects. However, with most street photographers, it is difficult to get the attention of all of them as they are passing by.

“When I really see someone close, something such as the outfit and object that they have, I’ll talk to them first,” said Akaboshi.

Akaboshi tells PetaPixel that he hopes to display his work in exhibitions soon. As for now, those who appreciate his work and the beauty of the city can always follow his Instagram.

“I hope to capture in the images my visual interpretation of the city around me,” said Akaboshi in the interview.

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