It has been a minute since I shared new photographs. I was traveling to India, and when I returned, I got an infection that rendered me useless for a few days. Now that I am back in the saddle, I wanted to share some photos.

I had a tough time finding things to capture in Delhi. After all, it is hard to find moments of silence and simplicity in a chaotic city like Delhi. At the edge of a little pond, I found tiny reeds poking out of the water (above.) I felt compelled to capture the feeling. While waiting around there, I found a dragonfly hovering over the reed. It was perfect.

River Yamuna flows through Delhi. I have many distinct memories of the river. It used to be clean, pristine, and a force of nature. At some point in my life, it flooded and caused significant damage.

Many bridges built over the river are signposts of the city’s development, opening up distant areas for further growth. But over the past two decades, it has become a shambolic symbol of the failure of civic infrastructure.

It is polluted, and it stinks. I have no idea how and when all the clean-up efforts would have an impact. On my recent trip, I went down to the river — on one of the many ghats. It wasn’t much of a morning — phelgemic is the best way to describe it.

The smell/stench was overwhelming, and I didn’t feel quite creative. I was shocked to see folks take a dip in this water and do their morning prayers. I didn’t want to be there. Till I saw this man take his boat across the water, and then everything clicked in place. One day, I hope the river returns to its pristine state and, with it, comes back the wildlife.

October 9, 2022. San Francisco

Labor Day Weekend is here! And it also means the end of what the locals call, Fogust. This is the official start of our version of summer, and it is called Indian Summer, though it is nothing like an “Indian summer.”

This weekend and the coming week, the temperatures across the Bay Area (and in California at large) will be reaching record levels. There has even been a heat advisory. San Francisco, a city, usually cool because of the winds of the Pacific Ocean, is expecting temperatures in the eighties.

Perhaps, that is why I thought it would make sense to share a few more from my “Cool Gray City” series of photos. It is unlikely that we will see any fog for a while, so this is probably the last set for a few weeks.

Have a great long weekend, everyone! #coolgraycity! 

September 3, 2022. San Francisco

The winds of the Future wait
At the iron walls of her Gate,
And the western ocean breaks in thunder,
And the western stars go slowly under,
And her gaze is ever West
In the dream of her young unrest.
Her sea is a voice that calls,
And her star a voice above,
And her wind a voice on her walls—
My cool, grey city of love.

George Sterling.

“San Francisco,” Gary Kamiya writes in his book,  Cool Gray City of Love: 49 Views of San Francisco, “is all about the collision between man and the universe.” What a wonderful description of the city on the edge of the Pacific Ocean. As someone who wants to avoid people, urban blights, and grand vistas in his photos, San Francisco is a challenge and chalice from a visual standpoint. As a photographer, I struggle to decide: Should I ignore the manmade and instead look to gifts of the gods? Or should I embrace the outcomes of human ingenuity? There is an abundance of both in the city of seven hills. 

A poem by George Sterling inspired Kamiya’s book title, so I am taking a cue from both of them — I have come up with a new project: cool gray views of the city, and it is my way of telling its visual story. 

It will combine what I love most in my photography — silence, fog, abstraction, and an opportunity to wander. One of my new photo friends on Glass, after seeing my shared photos, called them “dreamy grays.” It never really occurred to me, but that comment and Kamiya’s book helped coalesce everything for me. 

Ironically, I have been on the journey for a while; I didn’t realize it. I am sharing some photos that tell you what I have in mind. It is an unending creative effort, and I hope they will one day become part of a larger body of work.

I will tag this series #coolgraycity! 

August 21, 2022. San Francisco

Little did I know that this photo would start a journey to find a creative visual identity. Unsurprisingly, it was in Japan, just off the shore of Naoshima’s famous art island. The photo below is a companion photo. Both photos were made with a Leica Q — which quickly lost relevance as a tool. They were both JPEGs. I forgot to record the scene in the native DNG format.

August 5, 2022. San Francisco