Between Berkeley and San Francisco

I spent this week BARTing back and forth from downtown San Francisco to “downtown” Berkeley for the American Chemical Society’s National Meeting. Bouncing between the familiar and the strange, all tinged with a general sense of familiarity, gave me a sense of dislocation, like an atom in slightly the wrong place in a crystal structure. Beyond meeting scientists and seeing old friends, I can think of one exciting new discovery this week: the new seat fabric on the BART is an enormous improvement over the horrifying cloth of yesteryear.

Between Berkeley and San Francisco

Rather Be Sailing

Morning sun provides very stark, even lighting across the San Francisco Bay. I know rationally that gravity forces the big body of water to be (basically) flat, but the curves of the shore and the shadows of the clouds have always made the Bay itself seem to have hills and valleys. I can also confirm that the water feels pretty far from level when actually sailing it.

Rather Be Sailing

Birdblur

If this week on Decaseconds has had a theme, it has been structures suspended over water at sunset. It has also been a week of long-exposure shots that live up to the site’s title. Hoards of gulls riding on the waves are reduced to weird ghost-blurs in the foreground of the San Francisco Bay Bridge, Yerba Buena, and the Port of Oakland.

Birdblur

Golden Gate and Bay in the Rain

I sometimes sift through the RAW files I took long in the past, searching for meaning in images I captured long ago. In the case of this particular photograph, there’s more to the image than just my favorite Bay Area gradient of differing environments (e.g. Oakland and San Francisco and Alcatraz and two different enormous bridges and so on): there’s also a feeling of place and moment. The dramatic clouds and the grasses and the hint of the Golden Gate’s span are all spectacular, but the optics of a raindrop spattered across the lens add just as much to the image. You can practically smell the petrichor in the air.

Golden Gate and Bay in the Rain