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.
Nostalgia views the world from a distance but with specific acuity. A view from Grizzly Peak of the Berkeley Marina might look like a warm, buzzy vision of NorCal, but with my own memories I attribute specific instances and moments to every aspect of the landscape: Kites flying over Caesar Chavez Park. Stories of a ferry to San Francisco that once ran from the decaying jetty. Learning to sail on the tiny boats on the “left” side of the peninsula. Sailing from the Marina to Angel Island, crewing a professor’s 40-foot sailboat. Finding a place to live, driving up and down University Ave. from the hotel to the hills. Crossing the highway on the bicycle bridge for a long, flat, sunny ride along the shore. All of that experience is encoded into the image, but I’ll always be the only person with the key to decrypt it.
I shot another horse show this weekend, which meant a trip to gorgeous Woodside, California. I’d been to nearby Menlo park before, but I was still unprepared by the amount of trees and topography I found. Having a longer lens on to shoot the horses worked really well to compress the series of hills and valleys leading up to the bay. Coming from the East Bay, it was still astonishing to see houses tucked in among the trees. (It almost looks like something from the east coast.)