My name is Peter Thoshinsky, a San Francisco native and a long time street photographer. I began photographing way back in 1977. This was me then. That shot was taken on Kodak TMAX film, which was "the film" back then. Thus the "tmaxphoto" thing. Here is an older me in this photo. I'm the one on the left.  After a thirty-one year career as a street cop in San Francisco I returned to the police department in 2015 as the very first San Francisco Police Department Civilian Historical Photographer. My primary goal is to capture "tomorrow's history today", using editorial photography to capture photos that will stand the test of time and enrich the community while maintaining a historic photographic record of the brave work performed by the men and woman of the SFPD.

When I'm not photographing for the SFPD I shoot editorial news for newswire distribution and local publication, with a focus on criminal justice and societal issues and struggles.


More of my work is here on my website,

Although my images are frequently shared copyright, this website, it's rants and writings, are solely mine and not that of the San Francisco Police Department.


Hope to Meet / Traveling London and Paris with a Stop in NYC

September 30, 2013
Hello and thanks to Tim Wagner of Open Show for giving me a chance to introduce myself and put out my hand to fellow artists and photographers. My name is Peter Thoshinsk...
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Illusion at Noe and Market

September 20, 2013
I took some time off from photography last month because my partner Mark bought a new motorcycle. I used to ride bikes but gave them up for adulthood. That's over now, so...
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American Couple, Olive Alley (Or How Photographs Alter Perceptions)

August 04, 2013
I was going through some images from two weeks ago. This is a photograph of a "homeless" couple in Olive Alley in the Tenderloin of San Francisco. I was quietly pleased....
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For the Love of It....

July 29, 2013
You know what? I carry my camera EVERYWHERE and you know what else? If you just take out a piece of decent photo gear, and just start taking pictures, and act like you kn...
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The Mirror: I'm Sam

July 23, 2013
The Mirror: Sam. 19. Male. Transgender. Heroin addicted. Sick. Sleeping in a doorway. There right now. Services refused. Note: Today starts a new series I'm working o...
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San Francisco Bay Bombers Roller Derby

July 22, 2013
Wow! Remember roller derby? I'm talking KTVU Channel 2 1950's and 1960's high bank track professional roller derby! It's alive (barely) in the San Francisco Bay Area. One...
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My Male Erotica Gallery is Back

July 18, 2013
Once upon a time a few months ago a San Francisco photographer (not me) had a boudoir photography website. The man is an accomplished photographer, with an excellent prof...
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Just Too Damn Much Time

July 14, 2013
"Geek Playtime" (Geek Courtship) Geek drone gets ready to send other geeks out on geek scavenger hunt from Union Square San Francisco. I'm sorry but you motherfuckers ju...
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Boy on Streetcar

July 09, 2013
There is a lot to be said for having your camera "oh so ready". I was crossing the street when I saw some kids on a moving San Francisco streetcar, brought the camera up,...
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California and the U.S. Supreme Court (finally) Arrives!

June 28, 2013
Hey people they got it right! Supporters of same sex marriage celebrate in the Castro neighborhood of San Francisco on Wednesday 06/26/13 to celebrate the United States...
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No, it's not 1943.

June 20, 2013
San Francisco used to be the iconic naval city. Not anymore of course. I photographed this US navy officer cadet as he went past AT&T Park following a football game durin...
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Community Exit

June 18, 2013
There's a lot to be said for photographing from a old San Francisco Historic Streetcar. It's a (generally) safe shooting platform with lots of windows that come down. I'd...
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Harvey Milk Photo Center Presents "In the Moment" Photo Exhibit

June 16, 2013
I'm pleased to announce I'm one of the artists showing at the Harvey Milk Photo Center's "In The Moment" photo exhibit. I hope you can attend the opening reception on Jul...
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ZUMA Press International

(Partnered with Corbis Images)



Blue in Black and White Turner Publishing, 1999


Permanent Exhibits:


A Collection of 100 Black & White Prints on Permanent Display

Hall of Justice, 4th Floor

850 Bryant Street, San Francisco

Police Headquarters Building

1245 3rd Street, San Francisco


Staff Photographer


San Francisco Police Officer’s Association



Contributing Photographer


San Francisco Police Department Media Relations & Public Affairs 1990-2013


San Francisco Police Department Video Production Unit



San Jose State






“Behind the Badge”, Harvey Milk Photo Center


Harvey Milk Photo Exhibit Summer


“Off the Beaten Path”, Photo Exhibit, Sharon Arts Center, San Francisco


“Open Show” Apple San Francisco

May 2013

"In The Moment" Photo Exhibit, Harvey Milk Photo Center

July - September 2013



Email me at if you want to connect.

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