Bay Area Photo Walkabout with a Selection of Camera

My photography hobby focuses mostly on cameras and mediums that don’t allow for post-processing editing. I have several Lomography cameras that use a variety of film types – 120mm, 35mm, and instant.


The inspiration for my recent photo walkabout was a combination of a new camera and a new type of film. I recently built my own Konstruktor 35mm SLR camera from a kit, and I learned about an artist called Dustin Adams who creates experimental 35mm film that is pre-exposed based on the artistic theme chosen. I chose Psych Blues #4 and #6.


Rather than putting all my photo dreams in one basket, I brought along my DJI Mini 2 drone, my Android Pixel 3, and three Lomography cameras – a Diana, a Lomo’Instant Automat and a Konstruktor. Above you can see my hardware taken with my phone’s camera. Spoiler: it was too windy to fly the drone


I had a few destinations in mind when planning the day, but as I pulled out of the garage, I realized that it was sprinkling a bit.  UGH!  Knowing that the Bay Area is full of microclimates and driving a few minutes in any direction might present you with a change in the weather, I headed to my first destination, the South San Francisco Wind Harp.

Wind Harp

Even at the Wind Harp, the weather wasn’t great. Not sure when this love lock thing started here, but I captured the locks with the Diana then the Konstruktor.

photo by Traci Wilbanks

photo by Traci Wilbanks

Then I moved onto the Harp and took photos with the Diana and the Konstruktor. The Harp isn’t red, but the flare on the pre-exposed film really made the metal pop.

photo by Traci Wilbanks

photo by Traci Wilbanks

16th Avenue Tiled Steps

The steps, the landscaped gardens lining them, and the mosaic tiles started as a grassroots neighborhood project that gained support and additional funding by the city.

I started out with the Konstructor camera with the pre-exposed film. Even though this pic is a little blurry, I liked the way the subject matter worked so well with the pre-exposure. I’m not into this type of photography to replicate reality.

photo by Traci Wilbanks

Then I moved to the Diana and got this cool double exposure with the next photo on the roll. When the film advances and stops based on my precision (or lack thereof), I get these kinds of surprises.

photo by Traci Wilbanks

I was here on a weekday, so I was alone, which is super rare. If you come here on the weekend, there are plenty of Instagram photoshoots going on. I had to document this special occasion with my phone. The sky may have been cloudy, but you can still see the Pacific Ocean.

photo by Traci Wilbanks

Thornton Beach Vista

This spot is a quick place to drive up in a car, walk a few steps, and look out at the Pacific from a cliff.  There are opportunities to see the paragliders who launch from Fort Funston to the South and see people riding horses from a nearby stable to the North.

I realized that I brought too many cameras when I uncovered my instant camera when I grabbed my jacket off the front seat. So I made sure to get an instant snap before the others.

photo by Traci Wilbanks

Then I moved to the Konstruktor camera.

Followed by my trusty Diana. This is the easiest camera to use and gives me what I’m looking for almost all of the time. It has few settings, and it’s easy to load and operate.

photo by Traci Wilbanks

Back home

I knew that I had more pre-exposed film to play around with after getting home. I have a white dog (Shepherd mix) so he would be a great subject to see what I’d get.

photo by Traci Wilbanks

photo by Traci Wilbanks

And here’s a bonus Instant pic of the doggo.
photo by Traci Wilbanks

My takeaways

I was really pleased to be able to compare and contrast the differences in hardware and medium with fixed subject matter. The differences in the light and shadow were remarkable, even if the weather was kinda moody. Doing this walkabout reinforced that you need a lot of patience and juggling skills to take several pictures with different cameras that each have their own special quirks.

When the norm is to see the output of a snap immediately, it’s a unique experience to have to wait to see the results months later after you get the film developed. There are some pictures that surprise and delight me, and I’m the one that took them. That’s cool.

~Traci Wilbanks

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3 thoughts on “Bay Area Photo Walkabout with a Selection of Camera”

  1. Traci, I really enjoyed your article! That sounds like such a fun day playing with your various cameras in such scenic spots. I’m looking forward to finding out more about the pre-exposed film, so thanks for sharing the links. Your doggo looked great in that film, loved the smile! 🙂 I have a konstruktor camera that I’m saving, and I don’t know why. Thanks for the inspiration to pull it out, put it together, and take some photos with it!

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