Stream of consciousness: Scenic photos

Climbing up on Albany Hill

Climbing up on Albany Hill

San Francico Bay from Albany Hill, Sept. 19, 2009 #2

San Francico Bay from Albany Hill, Sept. 19, 2009 #2

I’m not sure what to call the kind of photography I have been primarily engaged in since getting back into it over the last two years. I just know it hasn’t been landscapes and scenic photography. Indeed, I have not been trying to make images that are overtly beautiful or aesthetically pleasing at all.

Yet, there is something irresistible about nature. Often, it is awe-inspiring. And as we all know, sensations of pleasure, well-being, and the loss of self in the one-ness of the creation often lead to addiction. Gotta get that fix again and again. That leads to wanting it for oneself, even in a puny way like making a picture of it.

That’s not to denigrate scenic photography. I find a lot of it pretty wonderful. I just also see the production of it as beyond my ken–not to mention my lacking the wherewithal to afford the gear and the travel to seriously pursue and produce beautiful scenic photography.

All that said, I’ve had fun working with some shots of San Francisco Bay taken mostly as an afterthought–or just because I always have my camera with me, so why not? And the other night I was at a friend’s home that is on Albany Hill and overlooks almost the whole bay. After taking a couple shots from the deck, someone showed me the Richard Misrach book of the Golden Gate. It was inspiring. I came to see the intrinsic interest of a series of photographs of one thing taken over all the different conditions to which it may be subject. I think I may try my own little series from a given vantage point and see what happens. If only I could get a neon martini glass, or rusted car, or dead cow or something in there…