Tag Archives: architecture

meet the muse: Fort Point, San Francisco

The personally creative side of my photography goes through variations of inspiration and focus.  Sometimes I have the time and energy to create extensive, comprehensive bodies of work, and sometimes my muses emerge over long periods of study, often with many returns to the same subject over many, many years.

My love of Fort Point, San Francisco, began as a child with an old manual SLR camera and countless rolls of black and white film.  It was a place my family would frequently stop to visit on our way into or out of ‘the City’ when visiting with friends or playing tour guide to visitors from out-of-state.  These two shots are from one of those early rolls of film, scanned ages ago when the at-home scanning technology was still rather limiting.

We likely visited Fort Point so often due to my father’s photography hobby, which I suspect led him to love the place then as much as I do now; with an overwhelming array of juxtapositions, angles, textures, layers of light and shadow, the intersection of Fort Point and the Golden Gate Bridge is a photographer’s paradise.

Now, I’m the one pitching it to visiting friends who want to spend a day in San Francisco, and it’s likely that for many years I’ve always managed to end the day at this historic spot, camera in-hand, without really thinking about my ulterior motives.  Fort Point has emerged as one of my most beloved muses and I never tire of hunting out the details and architectural compositions that I find so interesting there.

Explore more of Fort Point, San Francisco in my archives.  Fine Art prints and Editorial licensing options are available; please note that due to the range of resolutions and cameras used over the years, some photographs will be available in larger sizes than others.

For canvas, metal, and unframed archival prints, please click here.

 

Sightseeing in San Juan Bautista, California

A lovely day-trip destination, San Juan Bautista delights with a blend of history, culture, small-town charm, and delicious culinary adventures.  After thoroughly exploring the mission, being sure to peek around corners into less-explored rooms and taking the time to absorb the architectural and historical details, stroll down to the adjacent and very walkable main street where classic old-town Californian architecture and the mom-and-pop local businesses provide a low-key backdrop to an aimless afternoon.  Wandering from shop to shop, be sure to pause for a signature apricot margarita in a beautiful garden patio setting.  Or for a dining experience that the locals would probably rather keep secret, leave the main avenues and go a block further from the mission, for some unassumingly wholesome and satisfying family-style basque cuisine.

The avenues were quiet on this mid-winter day, and as the gardens of the mission come into bloom, the warmth of this inviting town will draw more spring and summer crowds, including motorcyclists enjoying a ride through the pastoral countryside, and families seeking a sunny and simple getaway.  From Monterey, Santa Cruz, or the greater San Francisco bay area, San Juan Bautista can be an easy weekend adventure, and beyond the attractions in town, there are extensive hiking trails and geological sites of interest providing even more accessible and active experiences.  I am looking forward to returning later in the year, to further explore the charms of this classic California town.

To see these images in full-resolution and to view the complete gallery of photographs from my exploration of San Juan Bautista, check out my California Travel Photography archives.

Crossing, studies 1 & 2

crossing (2)
“Good composition is like a suspension bridge – each line adds strength and takes none away.”
Robert Henri, (25 June 1865 – 12 July 1929)

one structure can take many forms

Working through my archives, I recently spent some time processing a handful of architectural shots from a trip to San Francisco last year. These two images were shot on the same day, and depict different angles on the same windows and balconies of one building.

This image intrigued me, with looming rows of railings, the couple hidden in the shadows, and the layers of squared corners and circles at the top. The tone and texture of the building against the blue sky seems to add another layer of interest, as it is difficult to decide whether this building might be a modern experiment from years past, or some possibly futuristic structure.

forms of imprisonment (1)

The second image frames one edge of the angular building in the heavy concrete of a foreground structure. I chose to work in black and white for this view, as the elements of interest are all caught up in the layered angles, and in the balance of light and shadow as the afternoon light settles across the skyline.

It is important for me to routinely challenge my eye with these comparisons, as it can take so little to bring an entirely new meaning to a photograph. Which interpretation of this building do you prefer?

Echoes of the past

Some places have a special kind of nostalgia, often unexpected and off the beaten-path.  San Francisco’s Fort Point National Historic Site offers many angles on both the water and striking architecture, from it’s strategic spot beneath the Golden Gate Bridge at the entrance to San Francisco Bay.  A photographer’s dream location, the light is always interesting and the compositional opportunities are seemingly endless.  I have rolls of film shot here when I was a child, enthusiastically clicking-away in the echoing halls while sight-seeing with my family. I’d love to work with a model or two in this space sometime, but for now I’m content to explore these familiar arching passages and the dramatic setting for structure’s sake.

under the bridge

Explore this incredible spot a little further in my photo archives – and be sure to visit it yourself on your next trip to SF!

Urban angles

Took a short break from my current series of portrait projects to pull a few images from the archives for some creative consideration. These architectural compositions were discovered while spending an afternoon wandering through San Francisco. Late afternoon light fell between the buildings, bouncing and glittering from one wall of glass and steel to another. As someone who spends relatively little time in larger urban spaces, I find the similarities in structure to be remarkable, as the man-made landscape often echos the world in which it is built.

sunset canyon