His images depicted the world around him in unique and often delightful ways. The images on Sam Young’s website include exotic foreign locations such as Nepal and Mali, but some of the most recent images on the San Francisco photographer’s website include haunting images of the city as seen from the east side of the San Francisco Bay.
The Bay Bridge and the Transamerica Pyramid are dwarfed by giant cranes and ships loaded with crates the size of big rig trucks in the foreground. Without a word, these images convey the dichotomy between San Francisco as a tourist town and San Francisco as seen through the eyes of its neighbors as viewed the industrial sprawl on the opposite side of the bridge in Alameda and Oakland.
These photos, uploaded at 9:55 PM on June 25, 2014 are among the last series uploaded to the local photographer’s Tumblr account before his sudden and untimely death. The next day, June 26, he changed his Facebook cover photo to a poignant shot of a young gay couple walking down a crowded street arm in arm, just in time for Pride weekend. Shortly afterward he fell out of touch with family and friends.
Young was discovered deceased in his apartment on Monday, June 30, 2014. It is suspected he died over the weekend. The Medical Examiner's Office has yet to release a cause of death.
“I guess the thing that staggers me is the question of what would have been otherwise. What unfinished symphonies might have been written, what unshown artwork will never be seen?” said Turner Morgan “Sam was a fantastic photographer, a screamingly funny person, a generous soul and those of you who aren't lessened by losing him are lessened by the fact you'll never get to know him. He had such a discerning eye- and such a loving one.”
Young was also an experienced video editor, who created a promotional video for kickstarter.com for photographer Julian Cash’s successful campaign, which raised money for the book “The People of Burning Man”.