I remember thinking at the beginning of my “serious” return to photography in 2011 that I’d someday look back to those pictures of a particular place and time (Berkeley in the early 2010s) with a sense of nostalgia that then random street scenes didn’t necessarily offer at the time. This view of a 1974 Alfa Romeo GTV parked outside the Cheese Board has now become one of those images: in 2020, the prohibition on diners in the road median is now being enforced, while the parking for the cars see here has been largely removed and replaced with additional sidewalk seating.
In the Normandy Village, even the back door to the fire escape and laundry room is weird and wonderfully overdesigned.
The archway in the center of Trinity College’s Northam Hall is a welcoming place with the warm glow of dusk passing through.
Capturing pictures of the everyday and mundane details of living in a place as odd as Berkeley’s Normandy Village means that I can look back to the little details. This maroon fire escape served as the back door to our apartment, but also easy access to the shared laundry room—and thus a route I frequently traversed, trying to find a time when the machines were free.
Photo of “Iroquois” by Mark di Suvero.
The key to getting the most incredible image of a view is to take “luck”/chance out of the equation. I’ve been watching this same view (from the balcony of my research facility at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) almost every night for just the right kind of sunset to appear. After a hazy, cloudy day, I hadn’t expected last night’s sunset to have much character—until I was texted by a friend at the lab: “Sunset. Stat”
The reds were worth it.
Equally astonishing to me is that this image wasn’t taken with my DSLR, bur rather was assembled from multiple exposures taken with my iPhone 7 Plus. Though I doubt a compromised phone camera can ever replace my handy/chunky main camera, it makes an incredible back-up option.
Getting into the Christmas spirit with some pictures from Longwood Gardens’ Christmas display! I always enjoy the holiday display, and photographing the lights was a lot of fun, getting the contrast between the motion of people in the center of the path with the stationary folks on the sides.
‘Tis the season for some holiday cheer.
As with my photograph of the Seattle Public Library, I’m exposing my inner hipster with these images. Double exposures had an element of serendipity and excitement when they originated from film cameras. I guess I’d call these more studies or experiments in how to bring together the landscape images I’ve enjoyed creating with the portraits I find myself taking for practical purposes: LinkedIn, passports, school webpages, etc.
With these imagines, in particular, I’ve played with the idea of “stacking” the face and the main subject of the other image (be it lighthouse or galaxy NGC1275 overlay data from the Hubble Telescope).
Northern Vermont is a magnificent place in the winter: skiing, hot cocoa, quaint inns, etc. This warm winter has left those skiers waiting for the actual snow to arrive, however.
In this particular corner of Connecticut in early spring, the rain and snow combined to make the perfect storybook fog. This image is so quaint and charming, I could swear I’d seen it somewhere before.
But this brings me to another idea: those particular locations in landscape photography so scenic that they are literally ubiquitous. Take the tunnel view in Yosemite, or shots of the Golden Gate Bridge from the Marin Headlands, or downtown Manhattan as seen from the top of Rockafeller Center as examples: is it even possible to make an original composition from such a photographically saturated place? But these places are also photographically saturated for a reason: they’re really, really pretty. Where does that trade-off between originality and beauty fall?