Category Archives: Messages

I’m Back — Almost

Above Leavenworth

“Above Leavenworth” (2006)

Over the past couple of years, I have dealt with a variety of serious health problems. Severe clinical depression only served to exacerbate my physical issues. The good news is that, thanks to long-term therapy, my liver problems are now in remission and various types of pain management have helped me deal with degenerative disc disease. Last December, I managed to get reconnected with my old psychiatrist and get back on the proper medication (and here I feel I must tell you I am bipolar). As a result of all this, I am now fit enough to get back to work documenting the ongoing changes to San Francisco’s central city.

The problem is that all of my photo gear is collateral for a loan and I am on the verge of losing it all if I can’t somehow come up with about $1,000 pretty soon. I have quite frankly run out of ideas, so I am reaching out to friends and followers like you. I have never needed help more than I need it now. If you like the work I have done here and would like to see it resume, perhaps you could donate to my PayPal account ([email protected]) to help me get my equipment back. Anyone who donates $100 or more will get a 13 x 19 museum quality print of one of my photos as long as you include your mailing address.

Deepest thanks for your consideration,
Mark Ellinger

Monday 16 May 2016. GOAL ACHIEVED! Deepest thanks to all who contributed. Those of you who contributed $100 or more, be sure to send an email to [email protected] telling me what print you want and your mailing address. Please allow 7-10 days for delivery. Thank you all again from the bottom of my heart!


Filed under Messages

City of the Future Present

Saint Ann's Valley

“Saint Ann’s Valley” (2012)

The future we have created is far more horrid than any nightmare scenario we dreamed in the last century. In recent years, life in San Francisco has become radicalized in the most unpleasant ways. For all the City’s braggadocio, it no longer supports or even cares about the people who for many years made it such a special place. San Francisco has embraced corporatism and rejected culture, becoming in the process a city of the living dead.

I can no longer sell prints to save my soul. All my gear is collateral for a loan, thus changes to the central city have gone undocumented for months. One by one, my sponsors have discontinued their monthly subscriptions without explanation. Chief among them was a software company on Market Street. The amount of their subscription was pocket change to anyone who works there. For me, it meant sustenance for a week. Once rent is paid, I am forced to choose between necessities and generally elect to pay monthly bills for phone and internet services, utilities and medication instead of buying food, all the while sinking ever deeper into a financial hole.

Market and Golden Gate

“Market and Golden Gate” (2014) “Let There Be” marks the Eastern Outfitting Company building, restored 2013-2014 by Zendesk, Inc.

Struggling for miserable survival in the midst of plenty is not a life. It is constant torment and a harrowing, drawn-out demise. Intermittent lip service to the plight of artists is background noise, an irritant, nothing more. Else-wise, the silence has been deafening. Played out, worn down by age and failing health, limited resources depleted, it seems as though all my work has been for nothing. Those who may have wondered about my posts becoming so sporadic now know the reason.

Razing Saint Francis

“Razing Saint Francis” (2013)

If it so happens that you are enjoying the spectacle of my crack-up, please be sure to let me know. Even morbid appreciation is gratifying. Conversely, I will thank you to keep empty, bleeding-heart reassurances to yourselves. Hollow words serve only to annoy.


Filed under Messages, Mid-Market, Sixth Street, Tenderloin

Tenderloin Museum

According to the curators and directors of the Tenderloin Museum, a certain person who has devoted years of his life to documenting San Francisco’s central city and Tenderloin simply does not exist. I hope you will pardon my lack of enthusiasm over the museum’s opening today. Ignored if not outright rejected by the neighborhood into which I have poured all my love, I am right now feeling angry and crushed. Considering all I have endured and ultimately overcome in this life, I will most likely get over it . . . some day.

UPDATE (18 July 2015): I am over it. The work at hand is far more important to me.

St. Boniface Spire

“St. Boniface Spire” (2014)


Filed under Events, Messages, Mid-Market

Dear Followers

Apologies for the delay in publishing comments. Depression over the loss of my cameras has made site maintenance rather painful. I promise to respond to individual comments very soon. Again, my apologies. Thank you for your patience.

Caught in a Downpour

“Caught in a Downpour” (2014)


Filed under Messages