A Photographic Return to San Francisco

I start every year with a trip to San Francisco, a city that I have written about many times in the past.  It is a place I go to re-charge, to visit friends, to get inspired and, of course, to make new images.

Just before my last trip there I happened upon the following quote:

“I walk,

I look,

I see,

I stop,

I photograph.”

– Leon Levinstein

This perfectly sums up how I feel about San Francisco now.  I never make detailed plans when I am in the city, choosing instead to wander randomly for hours at a time.  I may shoot street photography for a few hours, grab a meal, then hop a bus somewhere to spend my evening making a new blue hour cityscape.  On other days I sit by the water and write for a while, then spend the afternoon focusing on making portraits.  There are also many days where I just put the camera away and live in the moment.  It is an instinctual, mindful, wonderful way to approach photography.  I walk, I look, I see, I stop, I photograph.  And, I always come home inspired to tackle the year ahead of me.

Here is an eclectic mix of new images from the city by the bay.  Everything here was taken with a Fujifilm X-T3 and the 23mm f/2 lens.  It’s all I need.

Best wishes,

Ian

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.

Cheers,

Ian

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.