I spent some time on Telegraph Avenue Tuesday night chatting with and snapping photos of Tonanzin Klote and Daniel Ballance. The couple, aged 18 and 22 respectively, have been together three years after a chance meeting on Telegraph. They are expecting their first child in August.
Daniel has been on Telegraph since he was fifteen years old. He was first put into the foster care system at age 14 and for various reasons found himself a resident of at least thirty different homes before he turned eighteen. The couple squats in an abandoned apartment building, of which Daniel says there are many, in Berkeley. They intend to leave for Oregon (I believe) at the beginning of July, to have their child in a more welcoming city and are already in the process of saving money and locating a midwife there.
Other interesting things I learned were that the best time for dumpster diving is when school lets out for summer and dumpsters around the university dorms overflow, that awnings have been taken down or slashed all over Berkeley and especially on Telegraph so that storefronts do not provide adequate rain shelter for the homeless (Amoeba Records, with their solid not fabric awning, provides one of the only good places to shelter), and that Redwood trees provide the best shelter but that the city has been cutting bottom branches off of these kinds of trees in People’s Park specifically to prevent homeless people from seeking shelter there.
I shot these images on my Canon 20D. Some were handheld and some flash. I’m mostly a fan of the ones without flash, mostly because I feel like I haven’t quite mastered flash perfectly yet. I’m definitely getting a better feel for it though, so that’s good. :)
Sorry for the lack of blog posts recently. I’ve spent a disproportionate amount of days in bed with first the flu and then the stomach flu. And now finals are approaching. I’ll keep posting as much as I can! :D