What better way to capture San Francisco than looking down California Street?
This image resulted from the process of demonstrating color filters to my coworker. Colors, with black and white? Of course! The rich, dark sky and bright foreground in this picture result from (digitally) applying a red filter. My favorite part of that now-visible foreground is the large Chevrolet pickup, shoehorned into a parking space on a narrow San Francisco street.
Coit Tower, on its leafy green (i.e. unlit at night) hillside, makes for an odd break in the structure of the more northerly parts of San Francisco. I particularly like this short of the juxtaposition of the Tower’s aesthetic beauty with the utilitarian structures of Treasure Island in the foreground.
My past couple of posts have been images of San Francisco, foregrounded by nature and suburbs—the style I like to call a “civilization gradient”. This image similarly presents downtown Oakland, California, past the hilltop homes and Cal fields of Strawberry Canyon and through the invasive alien leaves of Berkeley Lab’s eucalyptus trees. The HDR processing techniques that Brendan and I use are perfect for settings like this, with an array of light intensities across a broad landscape.
The work day is ending and the eight-to-six employees are returning home. They meet in bars or at rec leagues or around the table or in front of the TV, but the hour is still too early to head out for a night’s adventure. In between work and nightlife is dinner time. We’re not tired enough to go to bed yet; the night is young and full of paths over which to integrate (to borrow Feynman’s view).
Red sunset light hit the hilltops of Marin and the span of the Golden Gate Bridge and just a bit of San Francisco, but the little hikers in the foreground are sheltered from it. So too, I assume, are the people on the streets between San Francisco’s skyscrapers. Many of my favorite photographs are those that show the gradient from nature to dense urbanity, and I think this one fits that bill.
Up in the hills, Berkeley Lab possesses some different environmental features from the East Bay below. As sunsets like this finish the day, frogs begin to croak in the hills and the whole lab transitions from a bustling science facility to a nighttime wildlife preserve. Late-night buses are cautious for deer, turkeys, and even the occasional mountain lion.
San Francisco is a city in flux: growing, expanding, redefining itself and how it interacts with the world. Sutro Tower and the Transamerica Pyramid are being joined by new structures. A new span has replaced an old one on the Bay Bridge. Capturing the aggregate geometry of the skyline (including features, like Hills Bros. Coffee, or the view from Treasure Island, I’ve approached from other angles), I have what is (to me) the definitive view of the city. As these new structures arrive, that definitiveness will prove to be only temporary.
Stitching together images taken with my 500 mm mirror lens resulted in this 95 MP monster panorama, assembled into a high-detail survey of this particular moment in the skyline’s history. I encourage you to click through to examine the full-resolution original.
New York’s is a collision of infrastructure from past, present, and future. That’s a cliché by now, but I still enjoy experiencing it firsthand. Here are all three eras connected in one image:
- The Past: Standing on the High Line, a park built on the remains of a freight rail line.
- The Present: The subway rail yard.
- The Future: The Hudson Yards construction site.
There are three ways to interpret the title:
- Seattle is a city known (deservedly or not) for its hipsters. This is Central Library of the Seattle Public Library system, and could thus earn the title based on location alone.
- The building was designed by Rem Koolhaas and Joshua Prince-Ramus in part a celebration of printed books: “Despite the arrival of the 21st century and the ‘digital age,’ people still respond to books printed on paper.” The appreciation for classic technology could be accused of being hip.
- I found the gold and cyan colors of the early-morning shot reminded me of archecture more vintage (i.e. 1970’s) than morning, and went “full Instagram” in processing it. Perhaps I’m the hipster?