Category Archives: Street Photography

San Francisco Adventure: Walking the Embarcadero to Goldsworthy’s Tree Fall and Wood Line

Embarcadero to the Goldsworthy Art in the Presididio - a 12.5 mile urban hike

Embarcadero to the Goldsworthy Art in the Presididio – a 12.5 mile urban hike

Let’s walk from the Ferry Building to the Andy Goldsworthy art installations in the Presidio. It’s a sunny June Saturday morning, 70 degrees with a slight breeze. Click any of the panoramas below for an interactive version shot with a Ricoh Theta 360 camera.

We take BART to Embarcadero, and thread our way through the art vendors and Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Outside the Exploratorium, we do a little bit of skateboarding:360 panorama skateboarding outside the Exploratorium

Along the piers, a hundred cruise ship passengers wait for taxi cabs. We run the gauntlet of tourists at Fisherman’s Wharf. We do not eat soup in a bread bowl. Here is a scale model of Alcatraz:

Alcatraz scale model along the Embarcadero

After watching tourists on rental bikes struggle up the hill at Black Point, we reach Fort Mason. We load up our backpacks with some books at the SFPL Readers Bookstore, and then get takeout food at Greens. Also, we learned how to spot UFOs:

UFOs and how to see them

We walked through the Marina Green and Yacht Harbor.  Jogging, cycling, and volleyball ensued. We arrived at the crowded beach where a dog was digging a large hole:

Dog Digging GIF

Curious about the new approach to the Golden Gate Bridge, we left the beach path and walked on Old Mason Street, crossed under the freeway, up past the pet cemetery, San Francisco National Cemetery, and down to the Main Post of Fort Mason.

The Andy Goldsworthy piece Tree Fall is in a small, unsigned building in the square of the Main Post of Fort Mason. From a distance, it looks like a bathroom building. We sat down inside and contemplated the art:

Tree Fall diptych

Continuing through the neighborhood, we walked to the Lovers’ Lane Trail, and found the Andy Goldsworthy installation Wood Line. A young Indian fellow who was up along the road above the trail asked what I was photographing. I showed him the Wood Line and after a short walk he exclaimed: “Wow, it’s HEAVY!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

The area on the map at the top of this post where we double back is where the Wood Line is. We walked it both ways. Here’s the view from the top:

Andy Goldsworthy: Wood Line - photo by Joe Reifer

Andy Goldsworthy: Wood Line – photo by Joe Reifer

If you’re in the area, Andy Goldsworthy’s Spire is also worth a visit. Exiting the Presidio, we walked through Pacific Heights, and down to Civic Center BART for the journey home. San Francisco is yours to experience. Put on those walking shoes and roar!

San Francisco Lion Panorama



Walking All of Geary Street in San Francisco Redux

Five years ago, we walked all of Geary Street in San Francisco. Yesterday, we did it again. Market Street, the Tenderloin, Western Addition, Japantown, and out through the Richmond District. This time we used a GPS app, and logged the trip as 8 miles, including the walk down the beach to get on the N Judah for the return trip downtown.


Cultural signifiers are analyzed to determine if photographs still have meaning in the age of the image as social currency

San Francisco Diptychs: Hipstamatic vs. Film

Six side-by-side photos compare a photo taken with an iPhone 4 using the Hipstamatic app with a photo shot with a 1950′s Franka Solida III medium format folding film camera. Much like last year’s experiments with a Holga, I prefer the film images.

The site has a lot of great information on vintage folding cameras. The Franka is compact, works perfectly, and looks beautiful — not bad for a 50+ year old camera. The best part is Jurgen from does a full CLA on each camera before selling them on eBay.

The downside of shooting film is the cost — a roll of 120 plus developing ends up being $12 — $1 per shot. And then of course you need to scan the film. If you want to make prints, the extra hassle is worth it. Film has a lot more dynamic range than the iPhone. And the 5 megapixel iPhone 4 or 8 megapixel iPhone 4s can’t compare to the resolution of scanned 6×6 film. Even on my old Epson 4990 flatbed scanner at the 2400ppi setting I get a 25 megapixel file from my Franka negatives. Big enough to print a 16″ square image at 300 dpi, which is a nice size for these images.