The Colors of the Oakland Waterfront

I’m not sure what was going on with me today, but a lot of the photos I took on the way home from work tended toward the abstract. Here are four, and I collected a handful of other new shots (plus two older ones) together at a new set on Flickr called “Abstraction.”




Sea and Sky

8 Responses to “The Colors of the Oakland Waterfront”

  1. Gene says:

    Sweet set of pics. Abstract, yes, but awesome colors.

  2. ng says:

    really lovely!

  3. wordnerd says:

    Could you do this in ANY city? Of course the photographer is indispensible, but is there something about Oakland?

  4. dc says:

    Gene and ng: Thanks! I like taking all these shots, so I’m glad you like looking at them.

    Wordnerd: I bet you could do similar things in any city, although the colors and the atmosphere would probably vary. We have a lot of sunshine here, and there are also probably more things painted in bright colors in California than in, say, Manchester or Leeds, but I think you can find interesting color patterns anywhere if you look hard enough. my advice would be to head to the waterfront. Waterfronts are almost always picturesque, and there are a lot of brightly painted things there (boat hulls, buoys, sails, shipping containers, etc. etc.). If there’s no waterfront handy, my next piece of advice would be to head to an immigrant neighborhood, where the visual feast hasn’t yet been replaced by plastic buckets full of gruel.

    Don’t overestimate the role the photographer plays. The main “skill” in photography seems to be the ability to keep one’s eyes open, and the free time it takes to wander around waiting for things to appear.

  5. eric says:

    You are modest. Those are nice photos, each in a different way.

  6. ruth gutmann says:

    You are absolutely right about the waterfront. Hannah voiced only one condition for college: that it be near a river or some other body of water.

    We still walk along the Muddy River because it and its surroundings offer so many different sights and sounds, but the unwillingness or inability of the towns to keep it clean is painful.

    Just recently I read what constitutes a good picture versus a mediocre one: If every element of it is essential. This was said by a wellknown Israeli photographer who judged one of his photographs of soldiers at the Western Wall flawed even though its subject made it iconic, and another perfect according to his criteria even though Sadat and Begin, portrayed deep in conversation, were by no means popular.

    I really liked your “abstract” pattern photos, even before I knew of the above “rule.”

  7. ronnie says:

    David, I saw a small framed print at Nadia and Eric’s place this evening and immediately loved it. Eric said it was one of your photographs (the blue roof against the blue sky, the blues, in “abstraction” group). Eric sent me to Flicker and to your blog to see more. I am really impressed with your work. Just love your abstract images–“yellow”is wonderful too! Can you tell me what”sea and sky” is from in “abstractions”? It looks like an amazing painting. I will need to keep checking into your blog and flickr to see what is new.

    I hope you are very well and that we can see you one of these days. You rarely get back east, I know, but it would be so good to catch up.

    All the best!
    P.S. What is your email??I am not a blogger.

  8. dc says:

    Ronnie: I didn’t know that The Blues was framed and “showing” at N & E’s. Very cool to hear! Next stop: The Whitney Biennial.

    Thanks for leaving a comment, and I’m glad you like those abstract photos. I never really took pictures until the past year or two, and I didn’t even like it when other people took photos in my presence, but now I have a Nikon and have become a real shutterbug—go figure. I’ve been slacking off lately on my blogging and photography “duties,” but I will get back into the swing of things in the next few days.

    As for Sea and Sky, it’s from the painted hull of a boat. On my way to and from work, I ride my bike past a boatyard where they haul boats out of the water to repair or maintain them. That boat was apparently in the process of being repainted, which explains the different colors and the visible brushstrokes and so on. (Incidentally, the red, white and blue image at the top of this post is from the hull of a different boat at the same boatyard.) For some context, here is a wider-angle shot of the same hull; you can see that this photo didn’t come out very well, which is why I never uploaded it to Flickr:

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