The Valley/El Valle features twenty diverse prints taken by staff photographers over the past decade. The Chronicle images serve to emphasize the diverse citizens and lifestyles in the Central Valley and include subjects such as members of a mosque in prayer, Hmong dancers and rodeo stars.
I was a bit annoyed that there were no photographer credits on SFAC’s original tumblr post. It’s even more annoying that the SFAC official webpage didn’t have any information either.
Still, I liked these. A lot. I may admittedly be a sucker for images from the Central Valley* but I also like images which show people working and having fun and living in a California which is vastly different from the California which people travel to see. This is the California people travel through on the interstate where they can ignore and avoid everything in these pictures.
*Previous posts have touched on Alec Soth, Lisa M. Hamilton, and Ken Light. And I’ve actually posted some of my own work from the Valley too.
It’s also interesting to see these photos online without any of the context in the exhibition. Especially since they’re all photojournalism literally from the news archives. I don’t feel like I need the stories when I see them this way. There’s a sense of place and life that I get when looking at these as they are. Maybe that’s just me filling in my own context as a native Californian. But it’s still something worth noting.