This is the Westfield Mall under Santiago Calatrava’s Oculus. I was standing on a set of steps where path station and mall meet.
I don't necessarily like going to the mall, but in this case, I can make an exception. I am convinced that Calatrava is one of the greatest architects of our time. That's based on the feeling I get when inside his creations. There was also an exhibition of art from the Sistine Chapel. The juxtaposition of Michelangelo with the modern architecture was amazing.
We had no intention of going to the mall, we simply wanted to know what was here after touring One World Observatory. Anyway, there is a bistro just on the left and I sat there with a coffee while my wife looked for a certain type of shoes. I was also in the market for shoes but deferred that to spend the rest of the time taking pictures. After I got all the pictures I wanted we headed to Macy's where I finally got my own shoes.
This is from a section of the trail known as Lands End Lookout. As the name implies, it's on the coast and above the ocean at the entrance to San Francisco Bay. I had a wonderful time here one afternoon and evening and took pictures until long after sunset.
For my money, golden hour is the best time to be here but any time of day is good. From this point, you can look down and see whales going by and large ships coming in and out of the bay. Maybe you can see little red and green dots on the ocean, those are navigation buoys marking the entrance to the bay.
If I had to pick one of my all-time favorite places to hang out, this would be it. I'm not alone, a lot of people come here for the same reasons; chill and recharge. Something about that west coast breeze washing over you on a warm night.
Here is another balloon from the festival last week. If nothing else, it whets my appetite for doing more of these. This kind of image checks a lot of boxes for me: it's at night, colorful and simple.
It's an example of how I try to simplify a subject to give it a stronger voice. At an event like this there are a lot of people walking around, other balloons and basically, a bunch of commotion. But I walked around this one balloon looking for an angle that would minimize the distractions. I also used Photoshop to blackout a bus and truck. So, the combination of composition and post processing allowed me to create a simpler scene that focuses on just the main subject.
I gravitate towards simplicity in photography. I suppose it's a form of meditation and a break from the barrage of daily life. So, there you have it, one big reason why I like balloons. And you thought they were just for flying.