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The first edition of the San Francisco World Photography Festival kicks off today in the Mission’s Left Space Studio, bringing together professionals, students and amateurs alike for the next three days to talk about the craft of taking pictures.

R.J. Muna, the driving force behind San Francisco’s largest photography studio, is a prizewinning photographer mostly known for his commercial work. But over the last 15 years he has captured the stunning leaps and twirls of some of San Francisco’s avant-garde dance companies, including ODC, Joe Goode, Janice Garrett, Alonzo King Lines Ballet and performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña.

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Caroline Bins recently parachuted into the Mission from Amsterdam and has already climbed into a San Francisco Municipal Transit Authority vehicle with city workers to discuss the neighborhood. One of them, Amaya, was born and raised here. She explains she used to hang with the wrong crowd and also shares her favorite Mission salsa venues with her.

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