Lexington’s Kentucky Horse Park seems to have more than its fair share of great sunsets; I wonder whether the primary residents (the horses) appreciate them? Scientific evidence would suggest not quite to the same degree (horses see fewer colors than people.)
Students from Berkeley’s campus climb as high up the hill as they can to watch the sunset behind San Francisco and the Golden Gate, but the barbed wire fence of the Department of Energy National Lab makes for a cut-off point. Far on the other side is Grizzly Peak: another great view, but one without the immediacy of this particular spot. Inside the perimeter of the lab, I had the opportunity to experience a set of perspectives both scientific and literal that are beyond the scope of everyday Berkeley life.
The shapes of the hills of California are odd and impossible by the standards of the Northeast. In spite of my time spent there, my brain has still not adjusted to the angles—either in the distance or under my own feet when I’m there. On a charming horse farm that might be at home in the early twentieth century, the sunbaked scene is too real to be real.
The grassy, rolling, limestone-based Kentucky countryside looks too perfect. Precise fencing geometries and gently rippling ponds are just too much. I’m reminded of the famous Microsoft Windows XP default wallpaper, “Bliss.” The key to making both images work, I think, is an overall very clean image with just enough small details and imperfections at the edges to show you that it must be real.
That the hills of San Francisco are so steep that sidewalks become stairs is fantastic. (In literal sense of being fantastical.) Traversing the city feels less like plotting out positions on a grid than navigating a mountain labyrinth. Climbing Telegraph Hill to Coit Tower in the light of the setting sun only serves to amplify the sense of strange magic that San Francisco offers.
Along Canton’s Grasse River are all kinds of back yards. This particular one is so small and idyllic in the evening that I just had to capture it when I was out with my f/1.8 prime lens. I think the narrow depth of field it provides produces a nice miniature/diorama-like effect. Is it a real back yard, or is it a part of someone’s model train set?
In the already quiet and calming Nitobe Memorial Garden, this particular corner is the quietest and most calming of them all. At the back of the garden, where few other visitors go, is this tiny fenced-off area. Though this yard is actually adjacent to the ceremonial tea house, I much prefer imagining that an elderly couple lives here, and will be out to tend the garden shortly.
Here’s the exciting secret of photographing the Golden Gate Bridge: because of the cruel nature of geography, there is exactly one bluff from which to get reasonable pictures of the bridge. Greater than 80% of all Golden Gate Bridge photographs in existence are from the same place (with another 10% coming from the city side.) On any given evening, you’ll see dozens of photographers clustered in the Marin Headlands, set apart only by small differences in compositional preference.
The most interesting thing I discovered in taking pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge, however, was that there is an enormous fence corralling the area. Just as most pictures use a similar angle to incorporate most of the bridge, most pictures also carefully crop away this fence. There are also myriad holes in the fence where rebellious souls have cut spots to poke their lenses through. I was most interested by the interplay of the curving fence links with the solid, glowing form of the bridge. In a way, I think today’s shot paints a truer picture of the sometimes compromised (but always gorgeous) experience of photographing the Golden Gate Bridge.
The previously featured Robert Sibley Regional Volcanic Preserve is apparently home to a small herd of cattle. This came as some surprise to us while were having a stroll through the park when we came upon a small pen filled with cattle and their calves, including this one who came around to figure out what we were all about.
So often in suburbia, the facades of buildings are a bit boring and a couple of designs feel ubiquitous. The back of a commercial property, though, has been given over to this hyper-utilitarian aesthetic that is a much more interesting subject. A couple of security lights cast the some of the best shadows.