101 4th Street
San Francisco, California 94103

The Metreon is suffering an identity crisis on its first and mezzanine floors. One nice diversion occupying the former Sony Style store space on the southern end of the complex is a photography exhibition. The exhibition is called Environmental Journey: Robert Cameron’s Aerial Photography of our Pacific Rim.

You may have recently read that photographer Robert Cameron passed away in November at the fine age of 98. He was intimately involved in setting up this exhibition at The Metreon before he passed, I was told. The exhibition opened in September 2009.

Robert William Cameron was born April 21, 1911, in Des Moines, Iowa. After his first year at the University of Iowa, he dropped out and spread his tuition money across six months in Paris.

He’d been taking pictures since his father gave him a Brownie at age 8, so upon his return he landed a job as a news photographer at the Des Moines Register. He got his start shooting aerials when he contracted with the U.S. Army to take night pictures of exploding ordnance and tracers during World War II.

His big break came in 1964, when he created and published “The Drinking Man’s Diet,” a concept that Chronicle columnist Herb Caen could embrace.

The success of the diet book allowed him to follow a hunch that a coffee table picture book, using the skills he had learned doing aerial photography during the war, would sell.

He self-published his first aerial book, “Above San Francisco,” in 1969.

He was blind in his left eye from macular degeneration and carried a business card that said “Robert Cameron, World’s Oldest One-Eyed Aerial Photographer.” On his last flight, he had minimal vision in his right eye, and he was completely blind by the time he died.

In the Robert Cameron Above San Francisco 2010 calendar, there’s a beautiful photo of the Rincon Hill neighborhood with One Rincon Hill and The Infinity standing out for the month of September.

55 large format prints of bird’s eye view photographs of both the natural environment and the impact of humankind on the Pacific Rim fill the exhibition space at The Metreon. If you happen to go to The Metreon for a movie or just happen to be shopping nearby, stop in to take a look. They ask for a $5 donation from adults, free admission to adult-accompanied children.


Official Website: http://greatkolor.com/ENVIRONMENTAL_JOURNEY.html

Added by julesnavejas on December 29, 2009

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