Sunday, December 8, 2019

Reflections (at closing day of Noguchi & Hasegawa show)

Noguchi was known for his creative take on traditional paper lamps, and I like reflections, so this little collage seems like a fitting summary of closing day at this great exhibit at the Asian Art Museum.

Lily pads of light

The leaves of Victoria amazonica are lit beautifully in the Conservatory of Flowers by night.

Conservatory by night

The Conservatory of Flowers here in San Francisco is fantastic by day, and recent lighting installations make it interesting in new ways by night!

The building came from a kit, was a gift to the City, and is now the oldest wooden conservatory in the U.S.   The plants inside span multiple climate zones (I like the cool, misty, high altitude room especially), and are very well cared for.  

Violet undertones

I just like the colors.

I love blue lights

I have a program to help me make long exposures, but it doesn't work as reliably as simply being jittery. :)

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Digital patterns from a photograph

You'll be able to say you knew me before I was sent off to the Home for the Easily Amused, Pattern Division.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Feeling festive

I'm playing with Mirrorlab on my Chromebook with photos I just made of some ornaments, and am perhaps having too much fun?

As if there is any such thing as too much fun with photography...

Monday, December 2, 2019


Unexpected rose over the Bay...

Between rain clouds

As a child of one of the many droughts here in California, I still find rain NOVEL.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Topped up tower (South Van Ness)

The construction site just across the street from it has broken ground as well...  It's strange to see such tall buildings where low rises have been for decades.

Lines of pigeons

Sunday, November 17, 2019

Enhanced SF (from afar)

The phone filter is really working on enhancing that ridge line, isn't it?  This is a zoomed in view of the SF skyline from near where the Bobcat Trail meets the Marincello and Miwok Trails.

Looking South from within the Headlands

This is from the Bobcat Trail.  You can see the north tower of the Golden Gate Bridge peeking up on the left; Sutro Tower in the center of SF in the left third, and the shore all the way down to Pedro point in Pacifica in the right at about 80% across.

Above Marin

My friends were up for an easy hike, so I suggested we walk Tennessee Valley.  It's a gorgeous part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area (, and relatively flat.  It's been years since I've been there, but it is a lovely place. So, off we went.

We parked near the GGNRA Tennessee Valley sign, started off at a trailhead, and and then walked up, up, and more up while I marveled at how I didn't recognize anything at all.  Was it because I had biked in?  Was it because it had been so many years?  And where did all these stairs come from?

We weren't on the Tennessee Valley trail: we were climbing up the Oakwood Meadow Trail (which isn't for bikes, which led me to believe I'd just skipped it), all the way to this view on the Alta Trail.

It was worth it, this view.  Only because my friends forgave me.

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Dusk blue

Rosy sunset sky

The air quality has been miserable since the fires, but there are consolations.  Colorful consolations.

Masonry meander

This gave me a flashback to something I designed, but this is BUILT and quite nice.  The stone colors are subtle.  I hope the verticals light up at night!

Applied Wall Art, Lower Haight

A bit of freestyle stickering.  I'm sure there's a term for this that I'm not fancy enough to know, specific to having-the-shapes-cut-out-like-appliqué.

Lower Haight Murals 6

(I have a panorama of this wall as mural 5, but it exceeds my post size.)

Nice lettering.

Lower Haight Murals 4

More really great stencil work.  Super talented artists!

Lower Haight Murals 3

These three are taller than life size, and adorn a new-ish looking building that is likely an apartment block.

Lower Haight Murals 2

There is a lot of really impressive stencil work going on here, and in the prior mural!

Lower Haight Murals 1

I don't often visit the Lower Haight neighborhood, and when I think of murals, I think of the Mission District's extensive collection.  But I wound up taking an informal mural tour of Haight (east of Divisadero), and was delighted by the work.

Victorian cuteness (with dancing skeletons)

These are all just so CHARMING.  I'm a modern, glass-box person, but still.  *squealing sound*

The dancing skeletons are near the bougainvillea. 

My phone decided that this was showing too much perspective, and so it adjusting it in a way that makes me perceive the windows as no longer truly rectilinear.  But I think I'm being too sensitive about the distortion-to-de-distort-perspective-lines.  

Corner of many corners

This is near Duboce Park, and I find the handling of the corners interesting.  And a lot of work!

The mysterious tiny bay windows on the left

It's as if they couldn't decide what size the windows should be, made the openings too big and so  painted over the top third, and THEN decided to make a half floor upstairs?  Perhaps they enjoyed Being John Malkovich and did this in tribute?  It is odd.

Friday, November 15, 2019

San Francisco in... intense grape

Pink to violet Lands End

I think it says something that I've been testing Lomochrome Purple at 200 ASA, and I chose the least purple image to illustrate the results I like.  

On lush greenery, in harsh autumn sun, 200ASA is brutally purple.  So purple.  SO VERY PURPLE.  

Somehow, I did not anticipate this.

"You bought a film with purple in the name, and you are surprised that it is purple?  IT SAYS IT IS PURPLE ON THE BOX!"

Yes, but... but...  I exposed it differently last time, and so it wasn't this purple.  It was nowhere near this purple.  It was more like the pink shot at the top of this page.  I am quite stunned.

"How purple can it be?"

Golden Grape Bridge?



Sunday, November 10, 2019

Looking In My Archive

I sure have lots of undated prints.  My lab at this time printed LOTS of numbers on the back, but no dates.  Dates would have been nice.  (I can guess what year it was based on the address I used on the order envelope, in this particular case.)

I hope I have scans of these somewhere.  (Perhaps this stack of unlabeled CDs? Gah!)  These are images from Desolation Wilderness, up near Lake Tahoe, here in California.  It is a relentlessly gorgeous, high elevation, roadless wilderness with stunning lacks, snow still piled on the peaks in summer, and (at that time) a remarkable number of mosquitos. 

Yes, I am the kind of gal who hauls an antique twin lens reflex camera and medium format film into the high Sierras.  But you knew that.

Historic Fire Escape Shadow Obsession

I have boxes and boxes of photos that no one but my photo lab tech has ever seen, and found this representative example from a test roll to see if my Target Brownie Six Twenty works. 

Conclusion: it works!  It is a very old fashioned box camera, and has a little window that pretends to be the viewfinder, with little angled mirrors that more or less tell you where you are aiming.  More or less: the boundaries aren't especially accurate, and I'm a full frame composer, so it was vexing.  I wasn't sure what its focusing range was, so I have a stack of out-of-focus close ups of signs in this stack.

This print (from somewhere in the Mission, maybe on Bryant?) is a good example of  "things that are so detailed I don't want to draw them, but which I LIKE."  For some reason, which I never explain, fire escape shadows are one of those special things.  And you are lucky I don't post more photos like this.

Note that, if I drew this scene accurately, you would be convinced that I got the shadow of the ladder wrong, because the treads aren't visible from the side. But look!  The shadow makes sense!

The redness of the fire escape and alarm bell are satisfying.  I also like the inconsistency in my test rolls - I really AM testing cameras when I wander about.  I don't think I used this camera again, however, mostly because I have to respool film for it onto smaller "620" rolls (which take 120 film, but are just small enough to be a pain).

Saturday, November 9, 2019

Fish bone bridge

One of the liberating things about posting on one's own site is: you can post whatever you like. 

By which I mean: I have very few friends who would find this bridge interesting, and if this were social media, this image would have no "likes," while someone's photo of their lunch at some fashionable spot would be racking up approval (if the lunch poster is a frequent liker in the endless cycle of liking that occurs on those sites).  But I'm out to please myself, so I don't have to worry about this particular bridge competing with baby photos, or cat photos, or lunch-in-restaurant-requiring-waiting-in-line photos.  It's so... easy this way!

Away from it all, or at least above it

A lush green escape from the office, if only for a short while.

Upstairs plaza sun

It was surprisingly cold today, especially in the shade.  It didn't help that the fog was reluctant to lift, and hung around the Bay Bridge until well into the afternoon.  But when it did clear, people went out to enjoy it! 

The park atop Salesforce Transit Center was considerably warmer than the streets three-plus levels below.

Urban bird

A captive tropical plant atop the Salesforce Transit Center, which is open for commuters yet again!  (And now I'll need to orient myself, because I'm used to the "temporary Transbay Terminal," which we have now had for years...)

Spiraling up

It is finally clad!  It's hard to photograph it without reflections, because there are so many angles.

Sailboats and smog

This would be a more charming scene without the thick, brown haze in the background...  Yes, the East Bay hills are in there, somewhere...

Monday, November 4, 2019

Calm Lake (November 3rd)

Me and my pal M enjoyed a long walk in the park, and were charmed by these reflections...  She and I both work long hours, and it was good to be away from our screens!

Too colorful evening (October 29th)

Briefly violet sky (October 29th)

The only upside of pollution, especially from fires, has been extremely VIVID skies.

Layers of visible air (October 29th)

Don't breathe anything below that line...

New look, old station

After an eternity of looking at exposed fireproofing over the Powell Street station's top level, a grid and new lights have appeared! 

This was the first time in years that I've passed through this corridor without it looking like a medical ward, and I sincerely hope that the folks that would otherwise be there are benefitting from the new tax we passed, to provide more services to people who need them.

Looking back: October 27th

Things have been rough in California this month.  Major fires broke out around the state, and wind storms whipped them up into dangerous infernos. 

This photo was taken during a break in a wind storm that briefly, so briefly, cleared the smoke-filled air while allowing me to step over fallen trees, branches, leaves, and other wind-blown debris.  It was good to be outside while not feeling in danger of being blown down.

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Thursday evening 2/2

I'm probably into this more for the clouds than anything else, but I'm okay with admitting that.  (I think I'm easy to please, subject-wise.)

Thursday evening 1/2

Sunsets are kind of easy-crowd-pleasers, yet it always makes me happy when other people get so excited to witness one IN REAL LIFE.  They are suddenly really paying attention!  It's good for them. :)

Monday, September 30, 2019

Monday clouds

We have had ALL the seasons over these past few days, sometimes two seasons per day!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

London is still Londoning

I've been to London on business several times (five?), and have rarely had time to just SOAK in it.  So, as my third city to meet my third friend, pre-Brexit London seemed like a fantastic choice.

Ultimately, she didn't come, but I had a great time, in a mix of hot-to-rainy weather, mostly indoors.

The UK (or at least the British element of it) brings to mind images of tea and teacups, the Queen, British New Wave bands (I can finally visit without having ABC's Tower of London, the Clash's London Calling, or the Smith's Hairdresser on Fire on endless loop in my head), and various other icons from an earlier era. 

Yet, London is an extremely modern, international city, and so I focused this trip on experiencing ultra-modern things: contemporary art by living artists (Studio Olafur Eliasson, whose work is always so fantastic, have a show at the Tate Modern!! YES, I did plan around this!)  , design award shows focused on making the quality of life better for us, and on the constructs that AI systems create, and street art.

There are so many flavors of London to experience!

2019.09.19-23 London, UK

Photos of London, UK by A. Elizabeth Graves

Amsterdam is also lovely

After a lovely time in The Hague, I took the train to Amsterdam. 

I see Amsterdam all of the time in movies much as you likely see my hometown of San Francisco in movies: as a backdrop for international intrigue and the occasional car chase. :)  I was sure that the same few parts of town were always in movies (true!), and wanted to branch out and escape the crowds. 

Happily, I had a German friend with me (CM), and she had always stayed in the tourist core and was ready and eager to branch out and see the shiny NEW districts.  So we had a pleasant set of adventures.

2019.09.13-19 Amsterdam, Netherlands

Photos from a first visit to Amsterdam, Netherlands by A. Elizabeth Graves

The Hague is lovely

Yes, I left my travel-heavy global position at the end of last year, and have been posting LOCAL photos (mostly) since then.  Also, I've used my time off to take care of others after their surgeries, or to have dental surgeries of my own.  (INSERT NUMEROUS SAD FACE EMOJI HERE)  I haven't taken a real vacation all year... until this month!

I wanted to use miles I earned during my business travels to enjoy myself, booked everything in April and May, coordinated my visits with three friends in three different countries... and then the airline I was relying on had a labor dispute, and cancelled my flights. 

I managed to rebook and still take the trip, so I am lucky.

My first stop was The Hague, which has always been famous in my mind for the tribunals where global justice plays out.  It is also a charming city.  Here are some touristy photos from my first visit, during stormy weather.

2019.09.10-13 The Hague (Den Haag), Netherlands

Just over fifty photos taken in The Hague, Netherlands by A.E. Graves

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

New high rise district anchor

The area around Market and Van Ness streets is getting taller, and in a very shiny way.  I travel in that area now and then, and it is going to change a lot more in the coming years, so I am READY!

And the building with a folder paper boat top

(I realize that only people who folded paper boats will know what I mean, but I'm okay with that.)