Author Archives: Tim Porter

On the Job: Arrested

A few months ago, I interviewed and photographed a  cheery, avuncular, 70-year-old doctor named James Simon (below) who was the flight surgeon at a small airfield in Marin, Gnoss Field in Novato. Today, Dr. Simon found himself on the front page of the local paper, the Marin Independent Journal, as the lead character in a […]

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Mary Ellen Mark, Me & Mexico

I returned to Oaxaca this year to take a second photography workshop with Mary Ellen Mark. Here is an account of that trip — and its impact on me — that I wrote for a local magazine. It is an updated version of the story of my first workshop a year ago. *** No Bull! […]

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Texas, the Throw-away State

Other than serving as home to several members of my family, there’s not much I like about north Texas. One of the state’s more sad characteristics is its emptiness. I don’t mean the vast openness of the Texas landscape — which is alluring — but rather the pockets of  nothingness that mark the cities and […]

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Muertos — a Day of Life

Death is a lot of work. The dead are gone in a minute, but their survivors need hours and days and weeks to prepare a celebration for them. In Garfield Square yesterday, El Día de los Muertos, the sons and daughters and widows and widowers and friends and colleagues of the dead devoted the afternoon […]

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The Mission on the March

If San Francisco’s Mission District were a wild animal, it would be on the endangered species list. The neighborhood is hunted by predatory real estate developers who toss out longtime tenants like last week’s garbage, encroached upon by relentless and City Hall-sanctioned gentrification, undernourished by new immigrants (who can no longer afford to move there), […]

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On the Job: Psychics

Not all psychics are alike. But then some of you already knew that, didn’t you? It was a lesson I learned when I recently photographed several psychics and tarot card readers — they prefer the term “intuitives” — for Marin Magazine. When I got the assignment, I was thinking flowing robes, lots of jewelry, candles, […]

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On the Job: Marin Housing Debate

I dropped by the Marin County Board of Supervisors yesterday to photograph the newest board member, Katie Rice, for Marin Magazine. After I made the pictures I needed of her, I hung around to take in some of a contentious hearing on a countywide affordable housing plan. There’s no need to go into details about […]

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On the Job: Gavin Newsom, the Light and the Dark

I recently photographed Gavin Newsom for Marin Magazine and took advantage of the opportunity to make some images for myself after I’d gotten what I thought the magazine needed. Newsom, the current lieutenant governor of California and a former mayor of San Francisco, was pushing his book, Citizenville. I’ve photographed him before at several public […]

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On the Job: Farm to Table

I had the opportunity recently to photograph two of my favorite things — farms and food. Writer Mimi Towle put together a feature on San Francisco restaurants that use the organic food of Marin County to create their menus, and I photographed both ends of the food chain. (Here’s the story). The story featured four […]

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Running Free

One day not long after 9/11, I fell victim to the fear infecting the country and stayed away from the Golden Gate Bridge after the government warned of a possible attack against the span. I felt cowardly and ashamed afterward. To erase those feelings, I did a run over the bridge — a small act […]

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Venezuelan Face-off

On Sunday, Venezuela held a presidential election, choosing between Nicolás Maduro, the hand-picked heir to Hugo Chávez, the U.S.-taunting strongman who died of cancer in March after 14 years of rule, and Henrique Capriles, a state governor who, under the flag of an united opposition, ran against and lost to Chavez in October. Maduro won, […]

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On the Job: America’s Cup

John Kostecki is the brains behind the boat. As the tactician for Larry Ellison’s 2013 America’s Cup team, the 48-year-old world champion sailor is the guy who will be plotting the course when the team’s 72-foot catamaran races this summer on San Francisco Bay. I photographed Kostecki at Oracle Team USA’s headquarters off lower Third […]

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A Community Blooms

Food fosters community. I used those words from a young Bolinas farmer to start my book on organic farming. On Saturday, I saw them come to life again in the opening of the Canal Community Garden. Located on what was a vacant quarter-acre of city land where the butt end of Bellam Boulevard collides with […]

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On the Job: Cleaning Up Your Mess

Many of us are pigs. Sadly. We toss our plastic bottles, takeout containers and other trash out of our cars, inconsiderate of the environmental damage it does, the aesthetic blight it causes and the cost to to clean it up. I spent some time walking a section of U.S. Highway 101 in Marin County with […]

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Spring Training with Style

A bunch of us gathered in Phoenix over the weekend to take in some desert sun,  celebrate a friend’s 50th birthday and catch some Giants-ball at Spring Training. Our ticket package came with great seats, hats, T-shirts and a stay at the Arizona Biltmore, which until I read this Wikipedia entry had always thought – […]

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On the Job: Seniors for Peace

For 10 years, a group of elderly residents of Northern California’s hippest retirement community, The Redwoods in Mill Valley, have gathered every Friday afternoon at 4 o’clock on the street corner in front of their complex to demand peace over war. Mill Valley Seniors for Peace, as they call themselves, began the weekly demonstration in […]

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I was trying to make a picture the other day, but my camera and my computer wouldn’t let me. Sound silly, but it’s true. And it’s making me think my photography has become more complicated than it needs to be. I had the studio all set. The paper was out, the lights were up, I’d […]

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On the Job: Brenda Chapman, Oscar Winner

Brenda Chapman won an Oscar for co-directing the animated feature “Brave,” but before she did that she stopped by my studio a few months ago for an interview with Marin Magazine and a photo session. She was delightful. As she talked with writer Mimi Towle, Brenda mugged for the camera, sketched some drawings on a […]

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On the Job: Claudia Cowan, Fox News

The key to looking good in a photograph – aside from being biologically blessed with an attractive array of DNA — is being relaxed. That’s why I like pointing my camera at broadcasters and actors. They’re used to being in front the lens. They know how to hold themselves, how to smile and how to […]

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Finding Photography

Years ago, after the ‘60s and all the wanton indulgences of that time, I’d regained enough of myself to return to college. I had no plan, no major, no desire to be anything in particular. School was an escape, a way out from a place I could no longer be and still stay alive. I […]

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