Watching the Gradient

Do you see the lone person, sitting on the hillside, on the right side of this image? People provide scale, but also something more in this context. In addition to watching the literal gradient of the sky at sunset, this picture is part of a set of images of the “civilization gradient” from wilderness to dense city center. I quite like the added layer of a gradient from the individual in nature to the greater mass of humanity in cities. Traveling between rural New York and the crowded Bay Area has made me more aware than ever of the contrast.

Watching the Gradient

Industrial Harbor

The orange hue and misty hills remind me of the poster for Apocalypse Now, but this is just the northern end of San Francisco Bay. In this age of upward-climbing property values and Silicon Valley rags-to-riches stories, I’m continually amazed that there’s room for industry. If these facilities had to be started today, I can’t imagine that they’d wind up in the same position.

Industrial Harbor

The Gate and the Devil Z

I’ve had an attraction to Datsun Z cars since I read Wangan Midnight as a teenager and first encountered the “Devil Z”. Around the Bay Area, plenty of these cars are still running, and those that have survived this long come to resemble the style goals of their owners. That might be the “rough style” Z I photographed in Berkeley, or this super-clean example that was kind enough to park in the Marin Headlands overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco.

The Gate and the Devil Z

Angel Island Silhouette

Angel Island played a critical role in the history of immigration to the West Coast, but now it’s a nature preserve (free of invasive eucalyptus trees) with only a couple of light-emitting structures at night. This makes the island dark and mysterious at night, as it floats in front of the lights and civilization of Marin.

Angel Island Silhouette

Grizzly Christmas

Christmas, back in the Bay Area! Up on Berkeley’s Grizzly Peak, alongside the tuners and drinkers and stoners, the clouds rolled over the hills and the whole bowl of the Bay lit up. This is a weird and special place.

Grizzly Christmas