San Francisco’s winter storms are usually pretty windy, which is bad news for umbrellas. I can’t recall the exact winter that I became perplexed by the phenomenon of umbrellas that were simply dropped in the very spot where they broke under the strain. At some point, though, I had encountered enough of them that I began photographing them and documenting the sightings on my Instagram account. It evolved into a photo project that I call #derelictumbrella.
This past winter was particularly brutal for umbrellas in San Francisco: the Financial District was turned into a battlefield of broken bumbershoots. Some I found laying gracefully on the ground and some remained in full bloom, bouncing and rolling in and out of foot and car traffic. Others huddled pitifully against buildings and bus shelters. Some umbrellas had been provided a burial in a nearby bin, but they were the exception.
And then there was that terribly unfortunate umbrella, its skeletal remains defiantly standing against the storm, carrying as much dignity as a broken, naked umbrella could muster. Somehow I think the ghost of that umbrella is haunting the person who had so cold-heartedly discarded it. It looked kind of bitter.