Prague’s Charles Bridge is centuries-old, covered in statues, and seemly perpetually mobbed. We visited during the off-season (November) and never saw the bridge without plenty of company. Perhaps the best part of the visit, though, was staying adjacent to the bridge in the Smetana Hotel, looking out over the Vltava (and crossing the bridge on many of our adventures around the city.)
From up close, the hotel is easier to find, but small triangle park across the street from the hotel is still not visible from this angle, making the the geometry of the ground floor and the street outside escheresque.
We’re not far from the ninth anniversary of the founding of Decaseconds, and I came upon this arresting image of Berkeley Marina, the Marin Headlands, and the Golden Gate Bridge (never before published here) while searching for just the right anniversary shot. I’m fascinated by the way the orange emission of sodium vapor lamps lighting Berkeley (I’m sure now all swapped for white LEDs) matches the Rayleigh-scattered oranges of the winter sunset. The same wavelengths of light, coming from completely different mechanisms.
After a week of overcast November days, the emergence of Rayleigh-scattered blue in the skies above Prague meant I hurried to the top of St. Vitus Cathedral to get the pictures of Old Town of which I’d been dreaming.
Autumn may not be peak tourist season in Prague, but the remaining foliage makes for an effective supplement to the red and white that otherwise dominate the city’s color palette.
When pretty much everything else in this picture is newer than the Brooklyn Bridge, the beauty of the timeless design is effectively articulated.
Trinity College’s “concrete jungle” of dorms have some surprisingly cool architecture for utilitarian dorm buildings.
I’m aware that this picture technically contains three bridges, but it is nonetheless an image of the Two Bridges neighborhood just after sunrise. There are so many sunset pictures of New York; I think the dearth of morning shots is correlated with the sleep schedule of the average photographer.
This is the picture of Prague from every postcard and stamp, and it just happened to be across the street from our hotel: the Charles Bridge over the Vltava River, with Prague Castle and St. Vitus Cathedral rising above. The dramatic clouds made an effective backdrop for the horde of gulls winging above it all.
Jiráskův Most over the Vltava River touches old town at the site of the glowing Dancing House, the “only new building in Old Town,” I’m told. At night, the juxtaposition with the rectilinear older forms starts to grow on me.
My favorite view of the Bay Area (and the view that first let me define the idea of the civilization gradient as an element of my photography) is layered up with loads of detail. Down in Berkeley Lab is the building where I worked on sabbatical, and across the Bay Bridge is the completed Salesforce Tower hiding in the marine layer. The differences, particularly from the last time I showed a very similar shot from the spring, are in nature: the high-altitude clouds have been replaced with empty skies and that rolling marine layer, while the green hills have shifted to a dry, highly flammable tan.
As busy as the cities of the Bay Area become, there are the spaces in the fire trails (like the one in the foreground) to get some quiet and distance. There’s an odd orthogonality of the senses in being able to see all of the commotion below with none of the accompanying sound.
Two of my past St. Lawrence University students are working on their Ph.D.s at Berkeley and I discovered yesterday that one was giving her Graduate Research Conference (Berkeley’s version of a thesis defense, but earlier) while the other was in the audience. I’m very proud of both of them.
Understandably, this had me thinking about my experiences at Berkeley. In this picture from Grizzly Peak, the perspective folds together Oakland, San Francisco, and Berkeley. In the foreground, look at those gnarled trees—they’re weird but they’ve grown tall. I’ll take that visual metaphor for the grad school experience. I took this picture on Christmas Day in 2016, so I guess that makes these Christmas trees, too.
Far, far out, under the span of the Golden Gate Bridge, boats move through the haze. The extreme distance compression of this 500 mm lens puts the end of the old Berkeley Peer practically beneath the bridge, despite them being on opposite sides of the Bay. Optics are fascinating.
The bridge that stands in this location has apparently been destroyed in various ways (usually swept away by the flooding Seine) thirteen times. I guess the fourteenth time is the charm, because the solid and secluded underside of the bridge now feels like the kind of place to hold a clandestine spy meeting.
Lovely, gentle dusk colors—pinks and magentas and purples and aquas—settle over San Francisco and the Marin Headlands, but it barely touches the bright red (technically International Orange) of the Golden Gate Bridge.