Bicycles lean against an old stone wall in Salzburg, Austria
This is another photograph from our visit to England, Germany, and Salzburg, Austria a few summers ago. (We need to go back! Not this summer, though.) From our “home base” in Heidelberg, Germany we travelled south by train to Salzburg on our way to Bavaria, where a big group of us stayed in a farm-house near Berchtesgaden and the Königsee for a week.
Since that area is so close to Salzburg and since we arrive and departed via that city, we ended up visiting Salzburg several times, often walking around the city with cameras at the ready. Cars really can’t get into the central old town area, so almost everyone walks, with bicycles serving as a faster mode of transportation for some. And there are bicycles everywhere, including these two parked against a very old stone wall.
Abandoned railroad tracks on a pier along the shore of San Francisco Bay
I made this photograph of a gray and foggy morning along the San Francisco waterfront, an hour or two before the sunlight began to break through the gloom. I ambled along this area of the waterfront, an area that is rapidly changing as this pressure for growth and upgrading increases here, and I poked my nose into any odd little alley or side-walk that I could find. This one turns out to not be all that obscure, and it even has a relationship to photography.
The old tracks lead out onto the edge of a dilapidated pier. The Bay lies beyond and far in the distance the Oakland shoreline is barely visible.
A small stream bends and twists its way along the bottom of a deep sandstone canyon
We spent the morning hiking down into this deep sandstone canyon, following its course as it twisted toward its confluence with a larger river below. Leaving behind the high tablelands, we dropped into upper, shallow section of the canon, and continued walking as it twisted and turned and worked its way deeper into the landscape. Finally we came to deeply shaded spot with a rock bench beneath a large overhang, where we stopped and pondered and ate for a while. We split up and each of us did a bit more exploring, but soon it was turn-around time — that point that we determine to be when we need to begin to retrace our steps in order to get back to where we started at a reasonable hour.
Heading back up a route on the return walk always feels different. The trip in is one of discovery, while much of the trip out is one of recognition — passing spots that we remember for a few hours earlier, taking time to pause in places we walked through quickly the first time, making a few detours here and there. While the terrain is the same, the light is not. By the late afternoon the deepest sections of this canyon were largely in shadow, and as we each picked our way back up the creek individually things seems slower and quieter.
A group of people sit on a concrete bench as a red bus stops behind them.
I think there might be a bit more to this photograph than meets the eye — at least I like to think so. The scene is a concrete bench along the edge of Trafalgar Square late in the day, as the low angle sun hits the bench and its occupants straight on. I’ll leave it at that…
Worn and frequently painted front walls of urban San Francisco buildings
I have a few more in this urban/street photography set from a recent day spent photographing in San Francisco. I took the train to The City, headed north along the waterfront, then cut inland at Market Street before wandering up past Chinatown (avoiding Grant) and through North Beach before heading back to where I started. There is a lot to see on such a walk on a weekday in San Francisco!
Usually when I pass through the Chinatown area I forego the walk up touristy Grant Street, and instead cut across (and uphill!) to take smaller streets and to miss a lot of the usual stuff. There are lots of little nooks and crannies here, and the buildings offer diverse and sometimes wild visual treats. These buildings, which certainly look run down from the outside, present an incredible surface of textures and colors, much of which probably evolved by accident as people painted out the ubiquitous graffiti.
An electric wire and a rusty lamp attached to a weathered wall
Here is another “poking around in alleys” photograph from San Francisco. I have been walking along this section of the Embarcadero with a camera for a number of years now. The San Francisco waterfront has always been a place of change, but these days things seem to be accelerating. Real estate in The City is becoming increasingly precious and increasingly costly, and there is a continuous transition from inexpensive work, living, and warehouse space to much more expensive and trendy uses, especially in waterfront and other special locations. The changes are closing in on the Embarcadero from both ends and even the middle — from the tourist areas of Pier 39 through the Ferry Building to the bustling area around AT&T Park and on into China Basin.
More and more of the oddball little forgotten places are discovered and eventually transformed. This little alley leads to a set of abandoned railroad tracks leading out onto one of the old piers. Some kind of business seems to have moved in, but the rough walls, worn paint, and functional construction remain. This bit of wood siding, with a rusty lamp and a funky bit of exterior wiring is subtly colored with fading paint, rust and wear from the foggy environment, and bit of blue coloration from being in shade.
A wooden later climbs a concrete wall in a San Francisco alley
This is a photograph from one of my early morning forays into downtown San Francisco, trips that tend to become a bit more common this time of year. The first of “the season” was near the end of May. I started at the Caltrain Station, worked my way mostly along the Embarcadero to the Ferry Building area, and then took a winding route off into the City.
I tend to walk slowly while working on these projects — stopping to look, to wait, and to poke my camera into odd little corners. Here I found the gate to a small alley open, and after watching a couple of people walk through on their way to a business in the back I followed. Just inside the gate was an old textured concrete wall with this wooden ladder leading up along its face, and the combination of the textured concrete, the form of the ladder, and the perspective convergence created an interesting abstraction.