“Photography takes an instant out of time, altering life by holding it still” – Dorothea Lange, Photojournalist most well known for her Depression era work
I’ve always been fascinated by the power of imagery to convey meaning and form perceptions. I’m not sure if this was sparked by my interest in comics since I was a kid, or my father being a photography enthusiast himself. Photography is a hobby which I’ve wanted to pursue since I was in high school, when I started observing dad’s Yashica; and I got off to a start a good decade later with a modest Nikon D3200 [Yeah, I’m a Nikon guy :P].
One of the perks of living in the San Francisco bay area is the immense opportunity it offers for photographic pursuits. Throw in a good group of friends, pleasant weather, a love for travel and enjoyable drives; the setting is near perfect to grab my camera and get outdoors to absorb the world on an otherwise lazy weekend.
A bunch of us friends set out last weekend to attempt to capture sunrise from Battery Spencer, one of the many scenic spots in San Francisco. The Golden Gate bridge never ceases to excite me. The mere thought of seeing this grand structure with the sunrise at the background, let alone photograph it; made waking up at 330AM seem a less arduous task. We reached Battery Spencer at 530AM and were greeted by a friendly breeze with a light wind-chill. It was neither too windy, nor too cold; these conditions are a blessing considering we were at an elevation of 150 metres in San Francisco. There were about 3-4 fellow photographers already shooting away in near perfect silence.
From the viewpoint that slips into the bay, the sight is overwhelming – there stands the Golden Gate in all its glory. To me this symbolizes the peaceful coexistence of man and nature. The first sights of the sun bring about mixed feelings. It is a moment of pride, and is humbling at the same time. I take pride because we belong to a species which has evolved over millions of years, developed intelligence, made our lives better and built this huge bridge to temporarily hone nature to suit our needs. And yet there rises the sun, as it has for about 3 billion years, and would continue to do so for many more millions of years to come. We are here just for a few fleeting moments considering the ‘lifespan’ of nature, makes one feel so small. Being that close to nature brings about an intimate connect and a sense of belonging with the cosmos. Reminds one of his/her place in this self-sustaining system spanning universes where each entity, living or otherwise, is a significant and indispensable part of the whole.