I found myself wandering around McMenamins Edgefield (just outside Portland in Troutdale, Oregon) with some free time before a wedding ceremony, so I went exploring. I love the way the confluence of additions and annexes to buildings wind up producing these strange internal spaces; they do a lot to magnify the mystery of an already mysterious place.
Nostalgia views the world from a distance but with specific acuity. A view from Grizzly Peak of the Berkeley Marina might look like a warm, buzzy vision of NorCal, but with my own memories I attribute specific instances and moments to every aspect of the landscape: Kites flying over Caesar Chavez Park. Stories of a ferry to San Francisco that once ran from the decaying jetty. Learning to sail on the tiny boats on the “left” side of the peninsula. Sailing from the Marina to Angel Island, crewing a professor’s 40-foot sailboat. Finding a place to live, driving up and down University Ave. from the hotel to the hills. Crossing the highway on the bicycle bridge for a long, flat, sunny ride along the shore. All of that experience is encoded into the image, but I’ll always be the only person with the key to decrypt it.
Departing JFK International Airport over Jamaica Bay, with the Manhattan skyline glittering in the sunrise, brings to mind my favorite topic: the gradient between dense urbanization and “wilderness.” If there’s a consistent theme to my photography, it’s the desire to capture this gradient in a single image (as I sometimes have in other settings.) Even my wide angle lens couldn’t capture the whole scene, but here’s One World Trade Center and the Empire State Building alongside the wetlands of Jamaica Bay, with New Jersey and Brooklyn buffering and smoothing the divide to a gradient.