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.
The gradual shift from sodium vapor lamps to white LEDs as the primary light source for public places means that this transitional period produced odd night images with dominant oranges and blues produced from trying to balance the color temperatures.
That color contrast makes every scene look a bit like a movie poster.
The classical architecture of Prague’s National Theater is set apart, in this image, from the smooth lines of modernity around it.
The compactness of European cities, particularly ones like Prague that are situated in valleys, leads to these kinds of spectacularly vertical spaces. Each street seems to be stacked nearly on top of the next.
On the hilltops above those city streets, inside Prague Castle, the space continues to be used efficiently.
Above the castle structures, the spires of St. Vitus Cathedral continue the verticality.
Human structures—food trucks and skyscrapers—side by side on a Manhattan Sunday morning provide a striking statement on the possible scales of fabrication.
Prague’s Old Town has maintained a lot of its historic character (in part due to surviving WWII relatively unscathed), but that means that modern vehicle and pedestrian traffic are folded in on top of one another.
After we spent an entire day exploring Prague Castle, strolling gently down the sunset-lit cobblestone streets to dinner felt exceptionally satisfying.
Odd angles and old brick in Berkeley’s Normandy village took on extra layers of strangeness on windy, rainy nights. (The blown-over trashcan in the corner provides additional evidence of the weather.)
The old buildings of Prague change at a glacial pace, as this tunnel through a building reveals. The pattern of the taillights, however, reveal the recent vintage: that saw-like pattern can’t be formed by old-fashioned incandescent bulbs, but rather by the rapid on-off of LED hardware.
Given the catastrophic cost of real estate at the southern end of Manhattan, a look at the use of rooftop space reveals a sharp contrast: roofs are either lush garden spaces or barren mechanical utility areas. I had expected to see more “in between” spaces among the penthouses—casually or informally used rooftops. I guess nothing spends more than a few hours on a New York rooftop without a reason to be there.
I sometimes reprocess older pictures when I find some new approach or something special in an image that wasn’t there before. This picture is a bit different—though I captured it at this time seven years ago, I found that I felt no urge to reprocess any part of it. I was happy with it then—though apparently not enough to post it until now—and I’m impressed with it today.
Each Sunday morning during my 2017 sabbatical, I would start a load of wash in the apartment building’s single shared washing machine and head to Philz Coffee on Shattuck (don’t look for it—it’s not there anymore). I’d stand on this sunny corner in the perfect weather with an enormous coffee and watch the world for a minute… Before heading back to change over the laundry.
I wasn’t surprised to find a plethora of churches in Paris, but I was surprised by their array of designs. This first example neatly abuts the sidewalk, filling its lot.
By comparison, this next example is set back from the street and exhibits a vertical reflection plane.
This last case has a wholly different geometry and stonework hue. Am I even sure this is a church? Christian imagery appears on so many buildings.
In an otherwise carefully symmetrized Parisian setting, I wonder how this very high-entropy chair agglomeration formed? They aren’t set in a ring for people to chat, or even in a way that allows all of them to be used. Perhaps the grounds crew clustered them to make space for their own maintenance activities?
Though I complained about the mud of Parisian pathways, there is something perfect about the bright morning sun reflecting off the pale material.