WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

24 August 2012


1. View of San Francisco’s Cityscape, Nikon DSLR, June 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

2. View of San Francisco from Coit Tower, Nikon DSLR, June 2012; © Sally W. Donatello and Lens and Pens by Sally, 2012

Let me know which is your favorite.


The urban landscape can be thrilling with its commerce, culture, history and people. But it also can be staggering as one building is stacked against the other. Each rising and falling according to architectural design, the economy, politics, and the times. When WordPress’ theme for this week’s Photo Challenge was announced, I immediately thought of San Francisco: viewing this urban center from various perspectives.

Urban life can be expressed in its decay, glory, intensity, and renewal. It also can be imagined as its densely-populated self. While most city photographs are labeled street photography, I have a broader definition of its girth. A city must be seen from all degrees of its boundaries, compass and points of reference.

When I think urban, my mind conjures big cities, those with a cavalier attitude about their offerings. It’s not an ego thing, but a love of all that is defined in the pace and splendor of a metropolis that usually blends the old and new.

In the Lens section are two images of San Francisco that I took during my trip in June (Check here and here and here for more posts about the excursion.). The first one is very much the Bay watch: a view down and up and to the center of the city. It shows close habitation in a city with STYLE. Apartments, businesses, homes, restaurants, and other buildings push themselves upward and give the urbanscape its character, its finesse.

Photograph two was taken from the top of Coit Tower. In this tightly-packed city much can be realized. Pockets of endless surprises can be found within forty-nine square miles.

During my visit with my teenage grandchildren there was never a moment of claustrophobia (oops, except on the buses). With the rich urban landscape came new discoveries and unrivaled memories.

Still, we strolled the streets with a sense of freedom and wonder. It was surreal.

Note: As always I welcome any comment about this post or any part of this blog.

This entry was posted in Black-and-White Photography, Photography, Street Photography and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge: Urban

  1. I left my heart in San Francisco and today I get to be reminded why…in a beautiful, nostalgic way. Thanks.

    • Thanks, urban life in San Francisco brings such illumination that it expands and entices us to do and see more. In many ways the small pockets of communities did not feel “citified” at all. You were fortunate to have lived in the Bay area, and experience all that it has to offer.

  2. Northern Narratives says:

    Perfect urban photos.

  3. You really nailed the theme here, Sally – love the different aspects of the shots (and your commentary too). Excellent!

  4. fstopfun says:

    I love the crispness of your photography : ) I love the top picture for it’s strong lines but the bottom picture make me want to go into the city to take some shots like this : )

  5. peters154 says:

    I’d vote for #1 , for it’s angular city shapes, like a maze

  6. Nico Calavita says:

    Last night I was looking at a book of urban photographs of the Italian photographer Basilico; many of San Francisco. Most of them were taken of the corner of blocks, with the junction of the buildings at the corner and the two streets extending in the distance. Nothing like your first photo. It gives us a view of what appears to be a strip between two streets, and because of the angle and the slope we cannot see the cross streets; so it’s a continuum of urbanity in all its variations and complexities. And then at the bottom, an entrance that seems to be the entrance for all the buildings behind. All framed by the two buildings in the foreground. It’s original, creative, memorable, evocative.

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