50 Years Poster

Posted in Uncategorized on 2019/10/26 by jimhairphotos


In the process of evaluating and trying to organize my work, I assembled photographs of my cameras and favorite images made with those cameras.  The earliest photographs I can date accurately are from my 6th Grade graduation in 1965 and David Crosby from a concert in San Diego in December 1969.  Even though I am approaching antique status, I am still active and using all of the above cameras somewhat regularly.  The Hasselblad 500 c/m, the Rolleiflex, and a Speed Graphic are my favorites currently.

This image is available as a 20×30 poster for $35, priority US Mail shipping included to addresses within the domestic United States.



“Earth’s Edge”

Posted in Uncategorized on 2019/10/26 by jimhairphotos



An Assortment of Postcards

Posted in postcard with tags , , , , on 2018/07/18 by jimhairphotos


Early on in my adventure as a photographer I submitted a few images I was very proud of to a small art photography magazine.  This was the mid ’70’s and I actually received a rejection note, with the comment that my work was seen (negatively), as merely postcard photographs.  I aspired to be Edward Weston or Dorothea Lange, so for a few days I was depressed, thinking that the work I had confidently submitted, was not as complex or beautiful, or insightful as I had imagined.

At some point, as if I went through a doorway into another room, I realized that making “postcard” images was not a bad thing, and I have happily enjoyed the thought that my photographs might have their own life wandering the world.  I love the idea that something I’ve experienced; photographed and printed, rather than hanging silently alone on a bare wall, might be discovered by someone I’ve never met, decorated with a unique stamp and the personal writing from a friend.

My favorite images are created as collaborations with someone I meet, and the postcard as object allows that collaboration to extend to people I may never meet.

A Baker’s Dozen Assortment Set of Postcards

13 different images, $10 per set, free shipping

Birthday Sale Print

Posted in Prints with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on 2018/07/10 by jimhairphotos


Limited to 65 numbered 8” x 10” prints, the “birthday” sale is active from July 10 ending July 17.

Prints numbered 1 through 4 are reserved by the photographer, print number 5 will be donated to the San Francisco Public Library, Special Collections, all other prints will be sold first come first served, with a limit of one print per buyer.

Each print will include a document recalling the circumstances of the making of the photograph in 1991, and the specific print number, signed by Jim Hair.

“Marian and Vivian Brown, San Francisco Embarcadero, 1991” was made by Jim Hair using a Hasselblad camera and Fuji Reala 120 film.  It has not been offered for sale previously, and will not be available for the special “birthday price” after July 17, 2018.

First patented in 1912, the “chromogenic” process for creating color film and prints is nearly extinct, replaced by digital media and methods.  The chemistry and equipment necessary to create this print is presently limited, and may soon be completely unavailable.

The print offered in this sale was enlarged from the original 1991 negative and optically printed by Jim Hair, in the Photoland color darkroom at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington on July 9, 2018.  The actual image size is 7.5” x 7.5” with white borders printed on 8” x 10” Fuji Crystal Archive glossy paper.

Pocket Photographer’s Notebook

Posted in Uncategorized on 2018/07/04 by jimhairphotos

I always carry a small notebook to record my exposure if I am testing new films/cameras/developers, and I usually fill the pages with names and contact information for the people I meet.

I also try to make notes of the basics: who, what, where, when, how and why of the photographs, as the stories I am told are much better than any I can imagine.

This small book includes a few of the notes I have made to help make photographs; exposure times and developers for specific films, a list of the photographers I admire, and books and movies relating to photography that I have enjoyed.

My intention in making this available is to assist anyone interested in documenting their life as they experience it through the viewfinder of a camera.


Photographs by Jim Hair : The 1970’s

Posted in Books and Publications with tags , , , , , , , , on 2017/12/05 by jimhairphotos

Hippies to Hells Angels, San Diego to Santa Cruz; the photographs in this modest book were made primarily with a Canon F1 or Rolleiflex camera, on Ilford HP4 and FP4 film.  60 pages, paper bound, black and white. $20 each, free shipping within the USA.




Saving a Journal After it Goes Through the Wash

Posted in Uncategorized on 2013/11/27 by jimhairphotos

Saving a Journal After it Goes Through the Wash

For years I have kept notes when I make photographs in a small, inexpensive notebook. It fits in the back pocket of my pants and when I meet someone I can write down their contact info easily. I have also asked people I photograph to write their names in the book, and especially for someone who does not speak English, it has helped me to correctly understand their names.

I also ask for an email address so I can send copies of the photographs to the people who are willing to stand still for me.

Last week, my loving wife took my work pants and washed them for me, but did not notice my notebook. I had spent the morning photographing under the St. Johns bridge (an outing she declined) and when I came home to fix us breakfast, Vicki came in and said that I would be very unhappy, and handed me my journal.

Fig. 1. After washing it was a lump of pulp, and I was pretty sure it was lost. There is a pause of 24 hours between Fig. 1 and Fig. 2 while I was “pensive”. This journal covered the last six months and the first entries were from Santa Cruz and ended last week after we had settled in Portland. In those six months I had participated in a state-wide photoshoot, three trips back and forth between California and Oregon, a trip to Las Vegas to photograph artwork by a Chinese artist for a book, Death Valley, and hand-written addresses and names of all the people we met, including a husband and wife from Spain, young people from Poland, a father and his daughter from Quebec riding their bikes around America, and tourists from Japan. What obsessed me most was all the notes I had taken and allowed myself to forget: they were written down in the notebook and I could always refer to them later. I was most concerned about what I didn’t know I had lost, and the promises I had made to people to send them photographs that would not be sent.

Fig. 2 is a photograph of what the notebook looks like to start with, and the washed book after I had soaked it in a bath of luke-warm water. I gently pulled it back into shape, but saw that the paper was dissolving in the water as I touched it, so carefully made it as flat as I could and then placed it on wax paper.

Fig. 3 is after a few hours of carefully separating the pages with a dull knife, and placing small sheets of wax paper between them. At this point the paper felt like wet Kleenex, and I limited myself to two cups of coffee and the music of Radiohead while I carefully pulled the pages apart.

Fig. 4 is after placing the notebook in a room with a dehumidifier running continuously. Every few hours I rotated the book so the moisture could be removed evenly. I am careful to use a Gelly Roll or Pigma Micron pen when writing in the journal, and especially if I have someone else write in it, as the ink in these pens is waterproof when dry, and archival quality. The paper feels fairly brittle now, but the writing is clear, and I am transferring the notes to a spread sheet that I will print.

Fig. 5 shows the last two years of my notebooks, and my project for this weekend of transcribing addresses and emails.

Every night when I come home, I empty my pockets and kiss my wife.

Film or Digital?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on 2013/02/23 by jimhairphotos

It is a strange thing to live through changes that affect the way everything works.  When I was ten I believe my grandmother guided me to becoming a photographer, after the death of her favorite brother Jack.  He had been a photographer since high school and went on to become the Asian Bureau Chief for Life magazine in World War Two.  I was taken to the Naval Training Center Hobby Shop evenings and weekends, where I learned how to process film and make prints while my grandmother painted cast ceramic frogs that would end up in my grandfather’s garden, peering up from the dichondra that surrounded the goldfish pond.  My grandfather had created a fountain out of black painted cinder blocks that had a cement cast Thai Buddha sitting on top.  I never had the chance to ask my grandfather, a Pearl Harbor survivor and officer aboard the USS Enterprise throughout the war, why he had created a Japanese style garden in his backyard after the war, complete with koi, the Buddha, and a Torii Gate?

Generally we pass through life without asking questions about what we experience as it seems natural and just the way things are.  Photography is different.


Forty years I made photographs with a series of cameras and film, and the only question was color or black and white, or 35mm or large format?  It seemed like I shared this with generations with relatively few variations, until the end of the 1980’s and computers became a tool we used to change the way we did things.  Gradually film has been displaced by digital to the point where I am now wondering how much longer it will be possible to continue making photographs as I have for decades, or will I also have to accede to a new limit with the loss of even the possibility of using film?


Does it matter?  I have recently received a package containing twenty rolls of processed film from Blue Moon Camera and Machine in Portland, Oregon.  A decade ago, if I photographed an event in San Francisco I might have shot twenty rolls in a single day, but now these twenty represent the film I have used in the last six months, everything else having been documented digitally.  The act of making a photograph has changed as people used to have the patience to stand still while I adjusted focus and f-stop; now the meeting of a stranger, the exchange of a few words of introduction and granting permission, then making a photograph, are over in seconds.  Maybe there was the illusion of making a connection with someone in the past, of sharing a story and hearing about someone else’s life, if even for only a few minutes; now the limited exchange allows only for the sharing of superficial details.  It is now easier to make thousands of photographs in the time it took to make a few dozen just a few years ago, are the images we make now as significant as when our collecting was constrained?


If we are making superficial images of what we see and experience, what have we sacrificed in a deeper understanding of our world and the people we meet?  As the technology has improved, is there any difference in the quality of a film and a digital image?Image

Unwind Yarn Shop Sold to Bikers

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 2012/12/24 by jimhairphotos

In 2006 Vicki and I closed up our lives in California to move to Indiana to care for her ailing parents. We came to love Richmond, Indiana for its history, the people we met, and the possibilities we dreamt could happen. In the six years we lived there we made very close friends and worked to make some of the things we dreamt happen. One of our successes was the Unwind Yarn Shop, located in an historic building on Main Street that had been neglected for years. We re-connected the electricity and removed the metal façade that covered the second and third floors allowing light and air and life back into the building.
Unwind Before and After
Unwind became a clean and safe place for (predominantly) women of all ages and social stations to gather and become good knitters as well as friends. Vicki learned to knit with her mother, and I feel Unwind was in a way a living memorial to Priscilla Hawley of her daughter’s love. I know it was with a heavy heart that Vicki left the successful business she created to return to our children in California.

After months of negotiations, and support from many groups in Richmond from the City, and Center City Organization, the SBA and West End Bank, we are very happy to announce the sale of Unwind to a young couple who have their own visions and dreams to build, and the energy and family support to accomplish their goals.

Samantha (Sam) and John are both knitters and weavers (and bikers) who will take Unwind and the building on Main Street that it was our honor to care for the last few years, to the next level. Vicki and I look forward to seeing the new changes these two young people will bring Downtown, and to the community.

Sam and John with Bike 2249v121110

April & May, 2012

Posted in Uncategorized on 2012/06/03 by jimhairphotos

I left Indiana, drove across the country stopping to see beloved friends Chen Yi and Zhou Long in Kansas City, and Jill Bell, and then Hong Wang and his beautiful wife Xiao Yen in Las Vegas, Gary Holt and Yon Soon in Berkeley, and arrived in San Francisco on April 1 for Bishop Joey, St. Stupid’s and Gail Harper. Drove to San Diego to visit my mom and meet my brother Art and his amazing family, then back to Berkeley to re-connect with friends and say farewell to Nina W. Deckert on April 14th. Vicki flew out and we enjoyed seeing her son Bill marry Ashley Ferreira on the 21st and also spend time with daughter Kate and her husbandJohn DoughertyVicki Hair flew home on May 2 and I started work full-time at Lenz Arts in Santa Cruz. My beautiful daughter Oriana Gliessman gave birth to Mateo Martin Gliessman on Saturday, May 12th, and then it got busy… I have found a small place in the redwoods above Santa Cruz, am working in the Art Materials industry again, and today re-connected to the internet with my PC (I’m not as iPhone facile as I’d hoped) and we took 3-week old Mateo to the beach. This is why I haven’t been able to reply to a number of friends who have sent me notes, but I am almost organized, and will try and be a better correspondent. At least for a month. In July I am hoping for another visit from the woman I adore, and then all bets are off.