Frequent visitors to The San Francisco Scene–Seen! have become familiar with this phenomenon but might still remain baffled: I really really really like studying the color grey. Grey might seem dull to most folks; perhaps that attracts my attention, seeking to find the sometimes interesting in the usually dull. I know a professional photographer who likes to say, “Do not photograph an interesting object; photograph what is interesting in the object.” I like his approach, which might explain why I sometimes find grey a work of art.
One positive aspect about the color is that shadows play well with it. Here is a shot of a boring wall near Van Ness and Market that only becomes interesting twice a year , and only for a few minutes.
You get these shadows only every six months.
I saw this diagonal shadow pattern on a bridge on Illinois Street near Amador, along San Francisco’s East Coast.
This time, a nice contrast of horizontal vs. diagonal.
Such extreme shadows along walls (I call it “light shaving the wall” because I don’t know the correct term) will throw rougher textures into their greatest contrast, as in this picture, also taken along Market Street on the same day as the first.
We have a building a few blocks down on Golden Gate Avenue whose eastern wall frankly has little visual appeal. Most of the time.
And perhaps it still does, but I like it. Sometimes.
Across from PUC HQ on Redwood Alley you will find the backside of Superior Court, and between 4:00 and 5:00 p.m. every six months (notice a pattern?) the curious and useless ledges that stick out–actually, pigeons looking for love do find them useful–will cast extremely long shadows given that they only stick out about 6 inches from the wall.
I hope everyone had a good weekend and looks forward to a good week.
Vonn Scott Bair