Sunday, March 29, 2009

the Valley of Glass

It's not too often I get a chance to walk in the City any longer. When I lived in Spain I used to walk about seven miles in less than a week and now, I don't even make five miles in a month let alone two. I used to walk every week when I first arrived, but that's before I started madly snapping everything in sight of my great gorgeous hometown, and now I have thousands of image files. It seems the only walking I get to do now is when I grab that old magic-box and go somewhere to take pictures! More often than not, at some stage of taking pictures, I will run - for a position, to get a camera, to use the tripod, etc... you get the picture.

I now practically spend all day on the computer, organizing my files - an endless project as each week I create newer files to add to the pile. Right now I've been spending the past few days moving all of my older 2008 image files to an external hard drive, archiving the old while making room for the newer 2009 files yet to be created. There's a lot of files to organize and archive, 190gigs at last count and growing as I find lost files hidden in some obscure folder as I ran out of room on my 160gig internal hard drive on the desktop. What I am doing now and the constant changes to improve my filing and down- and up-loading influences how I now download to the desktop and later archive.... I've been filing my imagery as negatives and now digital files for over 30 years, and along with a folder under every theme and subject matter to make filing and future retrieval very easy, I've changed the matter in which I date my folders and it just again changed some months ago.

A few weeks by chance I met a North Beach neighbor as I was returning from shooting the sunset at the top of Lombard Street, and we spoke and exchanged website addresses. We've spoken a few times online and today went together on a short two-hour walk from North Beach toward the Financial District....

It was a very leisurely walk at a nice relaxing pace, and talking as we walked, reminded me of a time looong ago in Spain when I would get together with spanish friends on short foto trips.... Except for that time, almost all of my life behind a camera has been quite solitary - not that I mind... It's strange to be with someone, even another photographer, when almost all your life behind the camera (and in my case it's been over 35 years of being a magic-box operator) and in studios, location shoots, weddings and all sorts of environmental portraiture, I have been alone. So today was a unique day.....

The first thing I noticed right off was that being Sunday, the grand masses of people mixed with tourists and frantic bankers (ok, jes kidding) were nowhere to be seen. The streets once we passed through Chinatown were basically empty as compared to the normal weekday chaos. It was actually a welcome silence except for the few cars traveling through these streets and of course: the clang and historic rumble of the cable cars.

I love the architecture of the City and though it's quite different from the centuries-old architecture of Europe and my familiar Spain, what the City offers is no simple sand-dune sculpture!
I don't drive through the Financial District often but the few days I do, you can recognize me easily: head and eyes looking up from the depths of the Valley of Glass, eyeing this and that, and even sometimes grabbing a camera - or cell phone - and snapping a few quick images of the great scenics the downtown offers. I love the huge glass windows but I also love the tall seemingly endless climb to the sky the building perspective offers. But what intrigues me most are the gorgeous reflections spied that is displayed from the glass.... it's to die for!!!

On foot and with camera in hand, I can spend time to catch little details I wouldn't otherwise see from a moving car... and I love the details in the downtown. To see the differences between a buildings dating back several life generations, then to see the comparsion with a nearby glass building is something so beautiful yet strange, is to invoke a sense of madness in the modern architects, wondering what they must have thought when designing something so far-fetched and in what seems a modern-day struggle for slim lines and out with the detailed and beautiful yesteryear architecture that I love and appreciate.

Sigh....

So, the next time you want to celebrate Spring, go out to the downtown area... you'll be looking both UP and in front.... and you'll be pleasantly surprises at the eye treasures you'll find in the Valley of Glass in San Francisco!

Thanks
to teamuck for her company and if you'd like to see some of her images, you'll enjoy her great flora imagery!

1 comment:

  1. I think I might have to get some architectural photography tips of you soon. I love the way you photograph the city building.

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