Seeking to print some images for a tall, narrow section of wall near a window in my office, I realized that I don’t shoot vertically very often. Perhaps that comes from what originally drove my interest in photography—making cooler desktop wallpapers for my computer. I traveled back to 2013 to find a vertical shot that really tickled my fancy (though luckily Adobe’s Super Resolution was up to the task of upsizing for printing.) The warm sodium-vapor-and-neon glow of San Francisco’s Embarcadero (stacked with the Transamerica Pyramid and Coit Tower) are a moment frozen in time, if not least because the switch to LED streetlights is totally changing the hue of an American city at night.
Transient Transbay Panorama
This panorama of the San Francisco skyline (seen from across the Golden Gate in Tiburon) is transient in two senses of the word: because the sunset light takes on this set of specular reflections for only a moment, and because civil engineering has already transformed the skyline to some new form in the time since I took this picture.
The retrofuturistic shape of the Transamerica Pyramid emerging from the more traditional architecture of San Francisco is one of my favorite photography subjects. When will this Star Destroyer finally lift off from its docking station in the Bay Area?
San Francisco: Texture and Geometry
Transbay Tower Grating Effect
No offense to Salesforce, but the rainbow sunset reflections off the curved surface of their tower seem to fit much better with a building named “Transbay Tower”—particularly when it sits on the skyline near the Transamerica Pyramid. The darkened and humble shape of Alcatraz in the foreground makes for an appropriate memento mori to San Francisco’s grand architecture.
Old Under New II
The Transamerica Pyramid is one of my favorite subjects, and I’ve lately enjoyed photographing it juxtaposed with older brick buildings.
Old Under New
Striking modern architecture next to industrialization-era brick and ironwork makes for a dramatic combination. It’s also the bedrock style of my favorite cities, including New York and San Francisco. In this particular image, the sport bike and the small group enjoying breakfast at front add the perfect hint of scale.
Sneaking Up On the Transamerica Pyramid
The side streets of San Francisco let the sneaky photographer creep up on an unsuspecting building. The tallest building in the skyline looks oddly small in this context. I particularly like the details at street level—restaurants, people, and signs, all a world apart from the geometric perfection of the pyramid.
San Francisco at the end of Saturday: to paraphrase the Hold Steady, the lines of the city are awash in hot, soft light. I’ve rambled in the past on the gradient between nature and dense urbanization, and the special anomaly that the San Francisco Bay Area represents in its gentle juxtaposition of wood and concrete (buildings). This particular photograph from Telegraph Hill tells the story: the towering, mythical shape of the Transamerica Pyramid and a hill of grasses, with less than a half-a-mile walk separating them.