"I've always thought of San Francisco as a free-spirited place where people come to find themselves. The women here were in a band called Rad Cloud. I was shooting pictures for their MySpace page. During a break, we scrambled to the top of Bernal Hill. I like the spontaneity in their interaction, but I'm also drawn to the setting and the light as it plays off the hills.
"The Golden Gate Bridge has to be one of the most photographed landmarks in the world. I shot this from Cavallo Point, a hotel on a former military base in Marin County. The vastness of the sky shows the kind of open spaces that surround the city. The bridge is not the centerpiece of the picture, but it pokes its head up as it does from so many points around San Francisco.
"I snapped this shot at Louis', a 73-year-old diner on the cliffs in the Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The building is so close to the edge that you're afraid it could tumble into the water. You expect a place with a view this stunning to be cutesy and overrun. But Louis' has somehow remained perfectly preserved.
"Despite being a tourist destination, Chinatown has managed to maintain its traditional character in the face of change. Most of us imagine it as bustling, crowded, and crazy. So I wanted to catch it at a different moment, early in the morning, when the light is soft and the streets are empty. I took this shot at 6:30 a.m., on Grant Avenue near Bush Street.
"This shot was taken at the Grove Fillmore in Lower Pacific Heights. From the outside, there was nothing notable about the restaurant. But when I opened the door, a surprising scene emerged. The woman clutching her dog gives you a sense of San Francisco's quirkiness. The light and movement are an indication of the kind of energy you might discover behind any door.
(Brown Cannon III)
"It may sound strange to say this, but when you're surrounded by the action of downtown San Francisco, it's easy to forget that there's an ocean only a few miles away. What I like about this shot is that it describes just one of the many ways San Franciscans enjoy the beach. People will often just stop, like this couple, to appreciate the sunset in stillness and quiet.
(Brown Cannon III)
"This shot was taken in North Beach, a historically Italian neighborhood, outside Caffe Trieste. It's where Francis Ford Coppola wrote the screenplay for The Godfather, and where beatniks like Jack Kerouac hung out. What draws me to the image is the way it reflects the city's traditions. The sky is blue, and the guy in the photo is pausing to appreciate time passing by.
"There's a drama to the geography of San Francisco, and this really graceful way in which the buildings match the contours of the land. I took this picture at sunset from the fire escape of a Chinatown hotel, looking toward Coit Tower. I like the scope of the shot, with the light playing off the Marin Headlands in the background, and the brightly colored buildings.