Ten Years of Decaseconds: Return to Campbell Hall

Our first post on Decaseconds debuted on this day ten years ago. I can scarcely believe it myself! In the intervening decade, both of your humble photographers finished doctorates from Berkeley and moved to new states across the country.

Looking back to how photography has changed since 2011, the rise of platforms like Instagram (have you visited Brendan’s or mine recently?) brought with it whole new aesthetics and a new generation of photographers. In spite of the possibilities that such channels allow, I still enjoy the independent posting style of Decaseconds.

In honor the past decade, I returned to RAW files from the evening of that first post and selected another image of the old, now-demolished Campbell Hall in its mummified form. Here’s to another decade!

Return to Campbell Hall

Stone to City

While my normal images capturing the “civilization gradient” tend to be more focused on space (traversing from nature to dense urban areas), I sort of like the way this image reminds me of a traversal through time, from the Stone Age to the Information Age. As William Gibson says, “The future has already arrived—it’s just not very evenly distributed.”

Or perhaps it really just reminds me of the vantage point from Caspar David Friedrich’s “Wanderer above the Sea of Fog“.

Stone to City

Every Detail of the Bay, Redux

This image is another in a series of my re-processings of less-than-new RAW files with Photoshop’s “Super Resolution” machine learning algorithm. As in those other cases, the added impression of detail is particularly astonishing when viewed at full size after clicking through to the original image on Flickr.

Every Detail of the Bay Redux

Sather Tower and San Francisco

In the United States, the ubiquitous Neo-Gothic architecture of college campuses is an intentional throwback to far more ancient campuses in Europe. From a present-day perspective, of course, the “new” campuses of the east coast have existed for long enough that the anachronistic campuses now blur into a single time period called “old”. On the west coast, however, structures like Berkeley’s Sather Tower (a.k.a. the Campanile) are clearly artificial additions in the otherwise-contemporary landscape.

Sather Tower and San Francisco

Civ Gradient Redux

Going back over some of my favorite images with “Super Resolution,” there’s no way I was going to skip a second shot at my image that first captured the “civilization gradient” from nature through suburbs to dense urbanity.

Civ Gradient Redux

Watching from Grizzly Peak

One of my favorite images, taken in 2017, captures a person watching the Bay Area sunset from Grizzly Peak. When Photoshop’s new Super Resolution processing brought me back to some of my images from the same vantage in 2013, I was surprised to realized that I had already captured a very similar image. The difference between the burned-out foreground of 2013 and the lush grasses on 2017 is particularly interesting.

Watching from Grizzly Peak