Tag Archives: study

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.

 

if you only knew…

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I have long loved seeing familiar landscapes from unfamiliar perspectives, and an aerial view of the earth always invites the eye to pause and take in the details. Sometimes the effect is as if a map has come alive, and our minds seek to become oriented within the relationships of geographic features and man-made structures.

For me, the most captivating details are the ways in which the effects of time are made visible on the landscape, and to really see the larger features and their accompanying textural details, one must take to the air. This image is one of many in an ongoing series of fine art aerial landscape photographs, ‘time will tell‘, in which I am exploring the nuances of the North American landscape and the subtle stories it may have to share.

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.

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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?

Deep canyon landscape

Spent maybe a little too long this morning playing in the archives, but I couldn’t resist. This sunset desert landscape is a panorama stitched from three photos.  The sun had just slipped behind mountains to the west, and only the faintest glow remained, caught by the buildings of Boyd Deep Canyon research center and a sliver of the distant Salton Sea.  The colors of the desert rocks and varnish are always surprising, but something about the softer winter light and clearer air of December seems to bring out even more dramatic color across the mountains.

I will be posting a great deal of landscape photography this year.  It has always been a favorite subject area, and I have quite a collection of untouched images from last year’s travels.  Landscapes figure quite largely in who we are and what our lifestyles and cultures have become, and as I find it difficult to separate myself from my environment, I am looking forward to studying it further.  That it can be so magically beautiful and glow with amazing colors is simply a bonus.

Of course, this image is much better viewed larger – click through for the lightbox view and some bonus info.

the language of flowers

It so often catches me off-guard, working through routine beauty shots of flowers, when a certain image resonates a little further than expected. In this case, I wanted to document the stunning bronze orchid blooms just brought in from the garden, and the morning light was reflecting off of the kitchen table just-so. A few contextual shots, a handful of close-ups, and that was it.

In editing, this image struck me as a little more. The structure of the flowers and the way that they are gracefully balanced only compliments their beauty further. The color is so unusual too, an almost painted bronze and deep red that seems to glow from the shadows.  Some adjustment to the contrast and curves, and a bit of added vibrance, and the dramatic flowers really came to life, just as they’d first caught my eye from across the room.  (View large, on black.)

This flower photo and many more are available for purchase as high-quality framed metal prints – custom sizes and arrangements available, simply inquire!

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