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A picture of Brian Brophy

Brian Brophy

Photographer, attorney

in lawyer, mac, photographer

Who are you, and what do you do?

I am Brian Brophy, aka The Tens. I take photos, mainly in San Francisco, mainly street. I've been posting them to my blog,, since September 2009. I used to run Mesh Magazine, a San Francisco-based art and music publication. I have just begun displaying and selling my prints, and am planning to put a collection of photos into some sort of bound, print thing in the next year and a half.

I am also an attorney at a nonprofit in San Francisco that provides free legal services to people living with HIV. For that I use a phone and a Dell PC with which I write nastygrams to slumlords and such.

What hardware do you use?

I use a 15" Macbook, that I got from sister after my old laptop (a Dell, I know, I know) was stolen. I have no idea any of the specs. I miss the right click button. I use Western Digital Elements hard drives to store photos, and am going to start using Google Cloud storage any day now (right after I get that earthquake kit I keep thinking about). I have an HP C4580 flatbed scanner, that is not that great.

I mainly shoot with a Canon G15, a Panasonic Lumix LX3, and a 35mm Agfa Selecta. The only digital SLR I have owned was a Canon XTi, which died when I spilled a bottle of water on it. (I don't miss it). There is a glut of digital SLRs and people who only use auto-settings, which I don't really see the point of and like shooting with a smaller camera, especially because I sometimes shoot in neighborhoods, where it is sometimes better to be inconspicuous. I have a ton of older film cameras: some SLRs, but mainly rangefinders. I use whatever film I can get my hands on.

As far as tripods, I don't use one, but in place use parked cars, bike racks, curbs, newspaper stands, rocks, etc. for long-exposure night shots. I have a Promaster 2500EDF flash that I use sometimes.

I am currently wearing a pair of Adidas that have often taken me around the city to shoot. I also have a pair of fancy boots that I bought at some store in Williamsburg. I wear those when I want to pretend I'm a grownup.

And what software?

I use Photoshop Elements. I used to use Photoshop CS3. For what I use it for, there's not much of a difference. Photoworks in San Francisco developments the film I shoot, as well as makes the prints.

I use Tumblr for uploading/hosting my site. I post some things on 500px as well.

What would be your dream setup?

I need a negative scanner, a better flat bed scanner, and would love to have my own high-end photo printer at some point. I used to develop in a dark room and made one in a walk-in closet I had in college. I hope to one day get back to developing and printing film and would love to have one in my home, or at the very least nearby.

My next immediate purchase is probably going to be a Mamiya RB67 medium format film camera.