When doing landscape photography, one must remind oneself that not everything has explosive colors, staggering vistas, and remarkable contrast. For the most part, our earth is pretty plain. But I insist that photography isn’t necessarily about beauty, it’s about reality, in all its extremes.
The Bay Area is a beautiful place, yes, but the droughts have been harsh and the Bay is selectively photographed to include only the most scenic parts. What tourists don’t quite know is that the San Francisco Bayshore is a brackish estuary lined by muddy sloughs and smelly marshland. On a dark autumn day, the effect is a desolate grayness.
The southern tip of the San Francisco Bay by San Jose gradually morphs between bay water and Silicon Valley via an extensive breadth of salt flats and impenetrable wetlands such that, if you’re standing at the bayshore, you might not even be able to see the bay, even if perched on a hill.
Looking back towards Palo Alto, one can see a network of channels that I would imagine look similar to the Mississippi River Delta, except with hills.
On a less gloomy note, I would like to briefly post some pictures from the opposite part of the Bay Area, up in Sonoma County by Santa Rosa. In this picture, the seasonal dryness is emphasized by the colorlessness of the coastal hills, compared to the greenish stain of the drainage in the foreground.
Closer to the coast, because of the oceanic moisture, the earth stays mostly green, although the harsh, rocky cliffs and high winds prevent any sort of lush growth or tall trees.
At points, the heavy Pacific fog rolls back and the sun shines against the foliage, allowing the green of the stunted conifers to shimmer.
And just for fun, here’s a coastal shot: