Sunday, November 18, 2012

San Francisco: The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project {Travel Photography}

This is the season to send out Christmas cards.  Usually I'll post a sneak peak after a client session.  Not this Fall.  This year I decided to wait until after my clients have a chance to send out their cards.  I really want their friends and family to be the first ones to see their lovely family images when they come in the mail.

So, I thought I'd post some more pictures from my summer vacation to California instead - starting with a short day trip to San Francisco, CA with my high-school friend Lori.

Lori and I spent the day visiting several of the common tourist spots in San Francisco.  I'll start, though, with a hidden local treasure most tourists to San Francisco may not even know about.  The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project.

I discovered this work or art while perusing Pinterest one day.  Loving it at first sight, I quickly re-pinned it to my "Places to Visit" Board thinking someday I'd need to visit with my camera.  Lori had never heard of it before, but a simple Google search brought up the exact location and we were good to go - adventurous spirits in tow.

It was one of our last stops of the day.  So worth the drive!

Thinking ahead, I had brought along my old trusty back-up camera when packing for my trip. Something told me Lori might enjoy shooting alongside me. She proved to have a pretty good eye for composition and was very gracious to put up with all my photography pit-stops.

You know, you can learn a lot about a person by spending a day taking pictures together. Lori learned that I LOVE the tiniest of little details. A splattered rainbow of paint on the pavement under foot is sure to capture my eye. She quickly learned that many such random subjects bring me unexpected delight and joy. Because I love the details so much, I tend to shoot in a way that isolates my subject from the surrounding scene - making my lens of choice the 70-200 mm f/2.8.

Lori, on the other hand, likes to tell the bigger story. She loves capturing all the elements of a scene before her. My wider-angled 24-70mm f/2.8 was the perfect fit for her broader perspective and open-minded personality.

Just for kicks we switched lenses once or twice throughout the day, but for the most part we each felt a special connection with the ones we started with.  We ended up with a collection of San Francisco images from each of our perspectives.  I loved seeing how she and I saw things differently.

Lori was a trouper - stopping the car for me at a moment's notice any time I saw something interesting to photograph. Once, I saw a bride and groom alongside the road.  She turned to me and said, "You want me to stop the car?"  She didn't really need to ask me.  She already knew the answer.  But, it was great that she and I could share the joy and thrill of capturing all these little moments together throughout the day.

Back to my Pinterest obsession:  The 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project was actually a planned stop. It was beautiful.  If I lived nearby, it too would be my athletic gym of choice.  As you'll see below, many locals use it as a place to work-out and exercise.  Hey!  It beats paying a gym membership any day!

Artists Aileen Barr and Colette Crutcher were the creators of this project.  It was designed to bring their community together. The tiles were donated by people from the community in honor of their family or other loved ones. You can read about the project HERE.

Take a look.  Here's the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project from my perspective:

Thanks to Lori, my presence here at the 16th Avenue Tiled Steps Project has been documented.

Thanks for a great day, Lori!

I'll be posting more from San Francisco in the weeks to come.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

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