When I was here, I went a little snap-happy and took way too many shots of the sky. But that’s a known hazard of watching the sunset in San Fran.
As I look at this, I think if not for the photos, I would’ve forgotten all about it. These are not the kinds of things that stick in my memory very well. However, the picture brings back many details of that night, now nearly five years later.
It may sound conceded, but I like looking at my own photos. In part, that’s because they bring back memories of the experience. Maybe it’s a sense of nostalgia because often the memory exceeds reality. I think we reconstruct memories to build a better story. I’m not sure that makes sense, but those are my thoughts.
I took this about five years ago on one of my visits back to where I grew up. But as they say, home is where the heart is.
Never in a million years would I have imagined I’d end up in Florida. But here I am, and the longer I’m out here, the more I need to go back to the Pacific for little trips to recharge. Maybe I miss the mountains and evergreens which we don’t have in the sunshine state.
I am partial to the west coast. Any west coast will do, I’m not that particular. It just needs to be a coast on the west side of any land mass.
I mentioned in a recent post that this has everything to do with how our planet spins. As we know, the sun sets in the west. However, if our world turned in the opposite direction, it would set in the east, and I’d have a preference as an east coast guy. Come to think of it; I’m not that attached to the west, rather, the direction that the sun sets. As for this planet, it’s west. But over near Alpha Centauri, all bets are off.
Back here in the United States, I live in the eastern part of the country on the west coast of Florida. In this way, should the Earth change its mind and decide to spin the other way, I should have my bases covered.
Whenever I leave San Francisco, I take a redeye home. That gives me time before the flight to head over to Point Lobos for a California sunset.
I’ll take luck where I can get it, and I’ve been fortunate in this area. There’s a lot of scenery around here, so it’s not that hard to get good photos. Even if it’s foggy, there’s a lot of cool stuff to see. I love taking pictures in the fog. In Florida, we only get it briefly a couple of times a year. As I write this, I’m putting San Francisco fog photos on my list.
Speaking of lists, I’m not actually a list person. Maybe I should be, it might be useful. I do make a list when I’m told to go get groceries. That’s so I don’t screw up and forget something critical, like goat milk. But when I go to the store on my own, I don’t use a list. If I screw up then and forget something, nobody ever knows. Life is easy under the radar.
I took this the morning after arriving from the east coast. When I woke up, it was before 4:00 AM, so I went out taking photos, and this was the last place I stopped. I started at the Palace of Fine Arts and ended up here at Embarcadero.
It was early on a weekend so the streets were empty and I could get from place to place in no time. Traveling to the west coast is easy to do, going the other way is another matter entirely. That is unless you like staying up late, but I’m more of a morning person, so going west works better for me. Early to rise…, and all that stuff.
It’s been two years since I took this and looking at it now I thought it was the Golden Gate bridge. But the background doesn’t look right, and the sun doesn’t set or rise this way as far as I know. Something didn’t seem right. Fortunately, this is tagged with GPS coordinates from an app I use; just like iPhone photos, but for Sony. So I looked it up on Google maps and only then did I realized it was the Bay Bridge. Silly me.
A few years ago, I was in San Francisco and while walking around I stopped at Grace Cathedral. It’s in an area called Nob Hill which is a nice little hike up from my hotel in Union Square. I was looking for a place to rest and the cathedral seemed like a good option.
Because of the hushed atmosphere, I didn’t feel comfortable just walking around taking photos, although it probably would have been okay. However, my camera has silent shutter mode that allows me to take photos without making a sound. Churches are one place I use that, I used it a lot while visiting cathedrals in Europe. But it’s also useful at weddings during the ceremony.
For an American city, San Francisco has some nice cathedrals. My other favorite in the city is Cathedral Of Saint Mary Of The Assumption which I saw on a subsequent trip. I think the best time to photograph cathedrals is on a weekday when no one is there and the sounds are hushed. I suppose we could say that both sights AND sounds played a role in the making of this image.
This is from a section of the trail known as Lands End Lookout. As the name implies, it’s on the coast and above the ocean at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. I had a wonderful time here one afternoon and evening and took pictures until long after sunset.
For my money, golden hour is the best time to be here but any time of day is good. From this point, you can look down and see whales going by and large ships coming in and out of the bay. Maybe you can see little red and green dots on the ocean, those are navigation buoys marking the entrance to the bay.
If I had to pick one of my all-time favorite places to hang out, this would be it. I’m not alone, a lot of people come here for the same reasons; chill and recharge. Something about that west coast breeze washing over you on a warm night.
I took this along the Pacific Coast Highway in California. It was the beginning of an all-night drive along one of the country’s most scenic highways. I didn’t intend to drive that far, it just kind of happened that way. One thing led to another and I just kept driving late into the night.
The area is so scenic that if you are a photographer you’ll want to stop a lot. I had a morning flight the next day so rather than sleep, I grabbed a Red Bull and headed down the highway. I ended up a couple hundred miles south before turning around. Arriving at my hotel around six I had just enough time to freshen up and head to the airport.
Even at night there was a lot to see; stars overhead, the beacon from a lighthouse, and the moonlit cliffs of the pacific range as it falls into the ocean. The trip wasn’t planned, but sometimes the best things in life are experienced when you just go with the flow.
This may be the most photographed bridge in the world, that or possibly the Brooklyn Bridge. Nevertheless, every time I approach it I feel the need to take a photo. Never mind there may ten thousand photos of it taken that day, I still have to take my own. Is that crazy or what?
Since cameras merged with cell phones we’ve become a photo-obsessed society. We see something that moves us in some way and we snap a picture. It’s as though we are creating an infinitely rich record of everything we see. Imagine if we combined all photos ever taken into some kind of database. Companies like Google are already laying that foundation so maybe it’s just a matter of time.
Anyway, this is one of many millions of photos of this bridge. Even knowing that I’m still moved when I see it and feel the need to take a picture. And if I’m lucky this image will be added to that great big database in the sky.
This is from my last time here at Lands Ending in San Francisco when I must have taken a million photos. I like how the pool reflects the light of the sky against the sea. It’s what remains of the Sutro Baths from about a hundred hears ago and there is a history of it you can look up on Wikipedia. Speaking of which I just made my yearly donation to Wikipedia. I use it a lot and feel a sense of obligation to contribute.
The west coast of California is something I took for granted when I grew up here. That, and I was more of a mountain boy spending time skiing and backpacking in the Sierras. Whenever I’d mention to someone that I was from California they’d assume I surfed, but to this day I’ve never rode a single wave.
Now that I’m into photography it’s renewed an interest in my homeland of California. So when I’m here, usually for other reasons, I take time for photography.