The Streets of San Francisco – Part Four

“Leaving San Francisco is like saying goodbye to an old sweetheart.  You want to linger as long as possible.”  – Walter Cronkite

Years ago, when I first started going to San Francisco,  I focused on shooting iconic landmarks:  the Golden Gate Bridge, the Bay Bridge, the view of the city from Twin Peaks, Coit Tower, Alcatraz, Crissy Field, Fort Point, The Presidio, Cupid’s Span, the waterfront and the beaches… the list goes on and on.

Over the years I have definitely felt a change though; those early photo focused trips have given way to unplanned days spent exploring with no agenda.  San Francisco is a remarkable city, full of charm and it is the simple things now that bring me joy and inspire me to shoot.  I am content to feel the energy on the streets, meet the people and find beauty in the day to day life of this city that I love so much.  San Francisco is like an old friend now.

With that said, here is the final set of images from January’s trip.  Until next time, my friend.



To view part three of this series click here.

The Streets of San Francisco – Part Three

“If you’re alive, you can’t be bored in San Francisco.  If you’re not alive, San Francisco will bring you to life… San Francisco is a world to explore.  It is a place where the heart can go on a delightful adventure.  It is a city in which the spirit can know refreshment every day.”  – William Saroyan

I’m working on this post while sitting on a balcony in Hawaii, looking out over the ocean while I write.  My wife is reading, my daughter is playing and I just finished a photowalk.  Life is good, and it got me thinking…

In the last 12 months I have spent time in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Toronto, Amsterdam, Paris and now, Hawaii.  A few of these trips have been for family vacation, but most were photography related (either teaching workshops or creating work for upcoming projects).  I’ll be home for a few months now, giving me time to catch up and enjoy springtime in Vancouver and then I’ll be heading back to Paris to teach a street photography workshop in July.

I’m incredibly fortunate for this life  that I lead.  No, that isn’t right.  I am incredibly fortunate for this life that I built.  It was only a few years ago that PTSD, a gift from decades of working as a paramedic, had a hold on me. It was a turning point though, one that set me on my current path that I wouldn’t change for anything.  Now my time is spent shooting, teaching, writing, working with my amazing clients, traveling and perhaps most important of all… ensuring a proper balance of work and time with my family.  I know I am rambling a bit here, but I’m feeling pretty grateful right now and maybe…. just maybe… this post can serve to inspire someone else to make a change they want to make in their own life.

How does this relate to San Francisco?  The photos in this four part series were made on a trip there in January, and I consider a couple of them amongst my best work.  Not all of them, but one or two will go into my portfolio for sure.  I was able to visit this city, and make these photos, because I changed my life.  That’s a pretty cool thing.

So, here is part three in this ongoing series featuring new street work from San Francisco….

To view Part TWO of this Series click here.

To view Part FOUR of this Series click here.

The Streets of San Francisco – Part Two

“San Francisco itself is Art.  Every block is a short story, every hill a novel.  Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal.” – William Saroyan

For me, there is no quote that describes San Francisco better than this one.  Every day I am there I start shooting  early, as the sun rises, eager to explore.  This isn’t a big city, but in the blink of an eye the sun has set and I have walked over 20 kilometres.  My feet are sore, I am mentally and visually exhausted from shooting for so long, but I can’t bring myself to head back to the hotel because there is just so much to see and discover.  This is a city full of life, a city that embraces you, and there is always one more block to explore, one more corner to turn, one more person to meet, one more photo to take.

Being a photographer in San Francisco is a wonderful thing.  Here is another series of street images from my most recent trip there…

Note:  The next photograph has a funny story:  I pass through this tunnel on my way to Chinatown often and these steps have always intrigued me as a vantage point for a new photo.  I finally made this one, which I like, but something felt off about it as soon as I clicked the shutter… like it felt familiar.  It wasn’t until days later that I realized that my good friend Valerie Jardin had made a photo from this spot, which was published in one of her recent books.  I was going to just delete it, but I think I will leave it here as an homage to a friend.

All images in this series were shot with Fujifilm X Series cameras, either the X100F or the X-Pro2 (using either the 23mm f/2 or the 50mm f/2 lenses). I can’t think of any other camera system I would want with me on the streets of a city like San Francisco, or anywhere else for that matter. 👍

To view Part One of this Series click here.

To view Part THREE of this Series click here.